Monday, June 18, 2012


Im sitting here...awake. Tired but unable to sleep. Whatching the clock tick by; 12:00, 12:45, 1:55, 2:30. I have to leave in 4 hours. Words are eluding me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Just a little blurb about this one.

How often do we lose focus on what we are reading because we get caught on grammatical errors? How many times have I gotten sidetracked by some imperfection that might be surface level and never delve deeper? How often have I been so overly concerned with my outward appearance to forget about the parts of me that are beautifully imperfect?

So, I think I'm going to work on not fixing grammatical errors, stop tweaking pictures/getting stuck on the exterior and fail to get to know someone/thing/experience more genuinely. And I'm going to try and appreciate the parts of me that are perfect just the way they are: imperfect.


An interesting thing happened during my day today. I was having a conversation with some co-patriots about the word anger. Looking at all the emotions that can be expressed when feeling angry. And then we had a role-play situation happen in which we all realized our mutual anger about a situation.

Through the realization we also reaffirmed our cohesiveness as a group. In laughing about why we were angry we started along the process of looking through the emotion joy. We realized, by venting our frustrations with each other, we were lighter and our burden was not so heavy. We laughed about the frustration and learned to trust each other.

The last word we discussed was love. And the different levels there are to love as an emotion. It's not just about the romantic love. There's love born out support. A knowledge another person has your back, that they are there for you. This brightened our whole day. Because we knew we were going to be ok.

Much like this conversation today, in a crazy time during my own life, the end result of the day was a sense of hope. If a group of people could serendipitously realize they were happy and love and recovery was possible, than they could each take a piece of that promise away with them. I took a piece of this conversation away with me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Who has the power?

Power. A strong word. A word that can mean both positive and negative things.

On the negative side is when someone else (or an eating disorder) takes the power from us. We allow the strength and direction of our life to be given to another person. Despite the fact that it does hurt, it's still hard to take that power back from another person.

On the positive side, when we hold the power to our own life, this strength has no limitation. As long as we do not abuse the ability to direct our life by hindering another there is no limit to how far we can go.

Isn't funny that I think of the word power over the word force? I think it's because I think of the word force in a negative connotation. Maybe because of the various experiences I've had in my own life, but I think power has a slightly more positive direction when talking about the ability to direct our own life. The word force feels more like an external entity (like the eating disorder) has the power over how my life will go.

And how often have I given the power over to my eating disorder? How often have I willingly, without a struggle, decided to give the control over to it with the hope that losing the weight will make my life better?

Maybe I do need to change the vocabulary in my internal messaging a little bit more. Change the direction my eating disorder has on me to something that isn't so positive. Because my eating disorder isn't a strength but something that takes the power away. It has truly taken the power away from me in making my own decisions.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Invisible, emotional, illogical

Yesterday I thought about the word logical and the thoughts that flowed were incoherent and had little to do with logic. A week ago we talked about being invisible but I was not seen and, thus, was not heard. And all these words flow from my brain as I contemplate the emotional mess I'm in. Therefore I find it quite appropriate to write about all three at once...

For me, right now, I do feel that all three of these words are intertwined. Much like the braids of a rope; each individual strand makes the whole stronger for how tightly they are bound together. Not necessarily what I would choose for climbing but, it's what I've got to work with, and I can still get up my mountain with just a tad bit more caution. 

I think all three of these can be both positive and negative really. Sometimes it's good to fade into the background, if only to truly hear (not just listen) to what is going around you. And emotions; they let us know when we are upset, angry, happy, envious, and so many more. It's only in the application they become hazardous. No person is logical all the time and I would question anyone claiming to be so. 

I found this poem and found it very profound when reflected onto my own life and thought I would share it with you as a way of ending this rather peculiar post

The Invisible Person
By: James Laughlin

Life kept rolling her over   
like a piece of driftwood
in the surf of an angry sea   
she was intelligent and 
beautiful and well-off 
she made friends easily 

yet she wasn’t able to 
put the pieces together 
into any recognizable shape  

she wasn’t sure who   
she wanted to be  
so she ended up being 
no one in particular 

she made herself almost invisible 
she was the person you loved so much 
who really wasn’t there at all.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


     Nothing left me feeling more caged and cornered than attempting family therapy for the first time yesterday. I may have cussed at the family therapist trying to stonewall the phone call to my sister's business. And I may have refused to talk to her as well during the 30 minutes in which she was trying to ascertain what was  wrong before we made that call. And then, when we finally did, I may have refused to talk more than a few sentences in response to questions posed by the family therapist in response to what my sister said. And my sister said many loaded opening liners for our in-person session next Friday.  I have a feeling I'm in for some honest to god trouble.
     I don't have a relationship with my sister and it's largely my doing. I don't tell her what is going on in my life, she doesn't have my address, she doesn't know my friends...I could disappear and she wouldn't know. I don't know why I continue to do this to her, to us. Why I don't really have a relationship with anyone in my life. Why I have friends, but each of them only knows parts of me. I have been unable to form genuine attachments with them all and I have left myself alone. 
     I wonder when I lost myself. When I ultimately shut down. My heart is sitting heavy in my chest. Because I'm in the middle of a mess, a briar patch, and even though I know there's a way out I'm not sure which way is the path. There's going to be pain to find myself and some trouble finding that path. I have the feeling I'm going to be stuck in this labyrinth for a while.

Breaking Old Habits


     To me, a core value essential to peaceful living. If it acts as a foundation for everything encompassed within a life each situation has a stronger integrity. Circumstances may indeed be difficult but there's also a sense of endurance of the individual. If the problem is built upon fractured lies, half truths, and secrets they first need to be looked at before the top layer is dealt with; such a daunting task.
     I think about the times honesty has played a major role in my life and also the times I've hidden behind a lie. Every time honesty acts as my backbone I have been able to grow stronger, maintain trust, and have been given grace. But, when I've relied on a lie to carry me through, I end up shattered and exhausted from the effort of holding up false pretexts.
     Currently I am working on a part of my life shrouded in dishonesty. I'm peeling away the excuses of training for a marathon to justify working out all the time. Clearing out 'closets' full of lies told to get out of engagements in order to spend time with my true love, my eating disorder. This relationship itself is centered around secrets. My eating disorder comforted me, shielded me, and protected me.
     In reality it acted as a sugar coat over the real issues, leaving me isolated, broken, and alone. I've never let my sister in, she knows nothing of the truth in my life. It's like the codependent relationships where you forsake all to spend time with your significant other. When you finally come up for air you realize your friends/family/etc have moved on and no longer trust you. After the breakup there's the painstaking process of rebuilding a relationship and basing it on honesty.

Which brings me back to honesty, a core value...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sparing change for new thoughts

I'm back tracking a little bit on a blog challenge right now. I figure, since I'm not asleep I might as well. Times like these, in the middle of the night (especially when I know I have long days on either side), I tend to contemplate the deeper issues and stay awake even longer.

I have many people behind me right now, trying to help me to recover. I have an individual art therapist, expressive art therapist, mindful movement therapist, two dietitians, 3 occupational therapists, and individual inpatient therapist, outpatient therapist, family therapist, the PsyD and Therapists that lead groups, nurses, mental health workers, and a psychiatrist. I see this list, for the first time acknowledging how many people are trying to guide me forward and I think two things: 1) "That's a lot of Fing people" and 2) I must be really crazy.

When you have this many people and you talk with them about trauma and difficulties, if you're honest with all of them, commonalities stick out of what they say back. We all agree that where I am in recovery is hopeful but very difficult. They've helped me see negative thought processes and triggering situations and are helping me think of alternatives and more positive affirmations. They are literally helping me to rewire my brain.

The hardest thing, by far, is what I listen to them saying over and over, but don't actually hear and take in the meaning of their words. To the point where, even when I've tried to repeat back what they've said, I manage to parrot my core belief back to them: It's my fault. I've claimed blame for pretty much everything and I could say the list without difficulty over and over (which is part of the problem). I claim the blame and remove others from their responsibility. I do this because I have to keep some of them in my life. I do this because, to place their piece on them, acknowledging it, makes it hurt even more. It causes me to see my vulnerability and the inability to change what happened.

The truth is, we can't change what has happened to us. It molds us and morphs what we say, do, how we protect ourselves. The growth and process of changing comes in acknowledging who we were when we were hurt and trying to change the thought processes into more positive coping mechanisms and have a healthier life.

It's scary, it's hard, and it takes a long time.

The point is, unless we change, we just stay stuck and aren't present in our life. Sure, we are physically involved. But, there isn't actual enjoyment.

I'm a lifer

     When I think about the word warrior movies like braveheart and the samurai come to mind. Men with incredible virtues, willing to lose their life for their country. Or Veterans of our own wars. Our countries warriors, going overseas to fight for our freedom and liberties, and to protect our way of life. And our heroes that could not come home.
     After  I get through the traditional use of the word I think of the men and women who have fought for rights common to me now. How they have done the battle for rights I deserve. I am able to work, I am able to vote, I am able to question my religion and sexuality because of the work these people have done. I'm grateful to them as well.
     I peel back another layer and get to my own life. My personal heroes. There's the 8th grade English teacher who became a mentor, a safe place in a tumultuous time and, later, a friend. Or the friend I've had since I was 9, who has stood by my side through struggles and good times. And my sister-if I'm honest-who helped me move from a very difficult situation and has always been there. And my treatment team. How often have they gone above and beyond their job description in order to help me when I needed it and might not have deserved it?
     At the core there is me. My life. I've realized recently I truly do not like looking too closely to myself and run from the opportunity until I'm stuck and have to see who I am. Yea, there's the things I don't like and am deeply struggling with. But there's also the survivor. The won who has been through battles and is still here. A part of me is a warrior too.
     I think about the eating disorder community. Full of men and women with different disorders but common themes. Their disorders stem from trauma and stable places, hard times and difficult families, high incomes and low, but situations do not matter. Each of us is fighting an important battle; the one for our life. Even if it's not something one doesn't want to hear, they are also our warriors, and I couldn't be more proud to stand along side them on the path to healing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sincerely, me...

     Sincerity is an awesome quality. Whether expressed through a sincere smile or through genuine concern, when I see it in others a sense of well-being fills my own soul. Too much of our culture is based on fake and superficial needs. Hollywood focuses on obesity and diets when the emphasis should be on balanced nutrition and healthy living. Mainstream focuses on staying youthful instead of aging gracefully. I often wonder how interactions with others would change if we just lifted the shallow lenses from our eyes long enough to see people for who they are, not what they are.
     For me I feel it's important to be sincere, to be genuine. Not being so, with even the smallest things, has never gotten me anywhere. And there's also the interpersonal relationships based on being real vs. hiding how I feel, they have helped me so much and last so much longer.
     In the sense of recovery I am learning to be more sincere: with my treatment team, my family, with friends. It's hard for them to help me build a lasting recovery if I don't let them in to the struggle with me. I've also had several moments of precious clarity in which I've seen my life without my eating disorder and had such a genuine growth of hope for this life that I don't ever want to go back to minimizing what is wrong. My relationship with me has to change before I can fully change my relationships with other. I'm not there yet. But I'm definitely further than where I've been.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Crazy. A loaded word. I hate it and hate hearing others use it in reference to another person; and yet I find it slipping out of my mouth before my brain even processes that I'm using it. Full of stigma.

I am trying to eliminate the word from my vocabulary. Even though the word can have a positive connotation in reference to a love of sports/persons/etc it is, more often than not, used as a synonym for mentally deranged; demented; totally unsound. A derogatory term for anyone suffering with an mental illness.

But, how often have I used this in reference to myself? To apologize when I feel I have failed to meet a need, to needing time of work, for needing extra help? In thinking about this word I am realizing I often use this word without the forethought in how it ingrains my self-worth further within myself. As I grow healthier, my foundation stronger, this word will have no structure within my life. Instead bright, hopeful, beautiful and many other positive ones will be used to describe me.

Nobody should be called crazy.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Power. It’s required for almost all of daily human functioning. From the alarm clock in the morning, and the cup of coffee brewed in a pot, to turning off the lights at night. It moves our vehicles, plays our music, and gives us an outlet to communicate with the outside world. And for those of us with an eating disorder it can be the element that keeps us in our disorder or frees us completely; it’s all in the application.
Here I am, sitting on the floor in my apartment, thinking about power in my life. This is MY life but I do not currently harness the power to control it. I have given that over to my eating disorder. There’s a moment of contemplation going on because I am trying to distinguish how long I have given over my control and if I ever had the power within myself.
At some point in the last three months I did have a moment of clarity where I decided I would claim the power back in this dysfunctional relationship. The ebb and flow of the interim, however, has led to a certain level of ambivalence. Twelve hours a day I go to a partial hospitalization program where I learn about recovery, eat recovery modeled meals, and support other patients. On the inside I’m fighting the desire to return completely to my disorder because I feel like it holds the power to getting back the life I want, even if it is disordered.
I guess, to the recovery community, it’s good that I don’t have the power to remove myself from program. That power lies within my treatment team who will not return me to work until they see I am ready. So, for a little while longer I don’t have the power and I’ve accepted this is probably for the best. It’s not forever. And I would rather have the power when I’m healthy enough to use it.