Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thinking it All Out

I get really stuck in my head sometimes.
I can spend entire years in my head.
That pretty much is what happened to me when i was in my eating disorder.
I would wake up with numbers. My first thoughts of the morning were how many calories did i yesterday (already stuck in my mental calculator from the night before, just a lovely reminder) and did i binge/purge? Then I would jump out of bed, weigh myself. Based on what the weight was, i would have an ongoing dialogue in my head about what kind of person I was (good/bad/dumb/idiot/okay/successful/whale etc) and what I was going to do with my food based on my weight that day. Then I would go about my day, going through the motions of going to school, greeting friends mindlessly (I was basically chronically depressed but tended to wear a smile), running to classes, trying to be engaged (but really I'm not thinking about physics - how the HELL is everyone else here really thinking about Physics? I'm too busy figuring out how i'm going to get away with not eating lunch and trying to figure out what to buy at the supermarket when i leave school). I'd finally escape the walls of school and then run home to binge and purge, the time of day when  i could finally escape from the hell that was my life (and basically, the hell that was my head, my thoughts).
Recently though, I'm still in my head a little bit. I am beginning to think that this tendency to be overly cerebral might just be a personality trait, or the way i'm wired. I used to always blame it on the eating disorder, but I'm beginning to wonder if part (or most, even) of the eating disorder was a way to make my tendency to "be in my head" more bearable. The eating disorder behaviors, at least, (the high of starvation & restriction, the high from bingeing and purging) gave my mind a temporary break from itself. *
These days, I've been in my head a lot. It has not necessarily been a bad thing, I have just had a lot to think about in terms of my summer, my goals, my intentions, my relationships and so on.
Writing this out, however, I am realizing that maybe all of this time spent in my head isn't a good thing. Maybe I need to stop worrying so much about the future and be more in the present moment. As if that were easy. I do definitely need to pick up my yoga again, because I love and miss it and just kind of forgot about it this month. It definitely keeps me grounded and in the moment. I also have just felt very preoccupied recently with some kind of dissatisfaction in my life that i have been trying to "figure out" in my head. Maybe I need to just give life a chance and see what comes. I wish i were more "go with the flow". Ha!

Okay well, it's getting late and I'm going to go grab a snack.
Time to be grateful ;)
1. My new paint markers and canvases! I can't wait to finish my new painting and start more!
2. My running shorts - in the past week or so, its basically all ive been wearing, it (along with my favorite grey t-shirt) is my go to outfit for these awful body image days and I don't know what I'd do without it.
3. Iced Coffee - looking forward to my Starbucks tomorrow morning when I am at work.

*I know a couple friends of mine from treatment who also are just very cerebral people. One in particular comes to mind who always used to say "I need to figure this out in my head, first", and then proceed to spend hours just thinking.  I wonder what this is about and I'd be interested if there were any research on the topic of the correlation of people with eating disorders and a tendency to be overly cerebral. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Me, today.

(I do have to admit, though, that every time I look at this picture, I can't help but laugh. It's too cute!)  
Today was extremely rough, to say the least. I'm going to watch some T.V and then hopefully sleep through the night. Hoping that tomorrow will be better.

1. L, my amazing dietitian and friend.
2. My mom's incredible back rubs
3. Painting

Not a P.Diddy Morning

Yeah. So I definitely did not wake up this morning feeling like P. Diddy
I woke up feeling more like Rosie O'Donnell. (no offense, Rosie)
I hate days like this. I just look in the mirror and want to fucking smash something.
One of the worst parts about having a bad body image day is that it almost always inevitably makes me late, because i have to spend a good half hour at least finding something that might give me the illusion of not weighing five million pounds.
i also hate summer--- at least if it weren't 90 degrees out i could wear jeans or something! Grr.
Okay, /end complaining.

How are we supposed to deal with days like this?

Monday, June 21, 2010

It IS a Big Deal

Tonight after dinner, my parents suggested that we walk down to the Gelato place near our apartment.
It was always what we did after dinner on hot summer nights when I was a kid, so today seemed like a perfect day - it was a celebration for the Longest Day of the Year! (Not really, but we realized after that today is, in fact, June 21, the first official day of summer aka the sun is out for the longest amt of time)
Anyway, we walked down there but it was closed. Apparently these people don't want to make any money because they decided to close at 8pm on summer nights, which is just dumb because we were NOT the only people going to get gelato after 8 o'clock at night in an NYC heat wave.
Instead we went to the market near by and got some Ben and Jerry's and Haagen Dazs (we got Everything But The and Haagen Dazs Cookies & Cream. Yum!) 
got back home and ate and it was nice and whatever. After I had had my bowl, I still wanted more. 
I already was feeling really guilty for having ANY in the first place, and my mind was freaking the fuck out about the calories and fat, but I was doing the whole thing where I just kind of push it out of my mind.
(Which tends to work, for limited periods of time)
I sat at the table trying to decide if i would have more or not. 
A few of the millions of thoughts going through my head:
"Rose, have what you want. It's just ice cream. Not a big deal." 
"Fat pig fat pig fat pig fat pig"
"You already blew it, so you might as well just eat more"
"Mom is definitely thinking that I ate too much"
"calories calories calories. *** Calories for 1/2 a fucking cup! FAT FAT FAT GROSS. 
"You know that you have delayed fullness signals, especially when eating sweets""Take care of yourself"
So after all of this confusion, I had more. Not a lot more but enough so that it felt satisfying while at the same time totally awful and indulgent and disgusting and guilt-inducing. 
I walked to my room thinking "why do i do this to myself?" "Why can't I just be normal like every other eating disordered person in the world and NOT eat things that are going to make me feel guilty if i know I can't purge?" "What is wrong with me?"
Here's the picture. It wasn't like i was uncomfortably full. I had some fucking real ice cream, so shoot me. It tasted good and so i had more and I felt satisfied after a second serving. When i got to my room i started thinking about how annoying it was that since i'm "in recovery" i can't just go and casually throw up after i eat ice cream. Like it just seems to me like I enjoyed the ice cream, and now i should be "allowed" to go get rid of it because its just unnecessary to have an extra 700 calories floating around, when i could just as well be done with it. 
I think of this as "casual purging". 
This is kind of how I used to get discouraged about recovery. I would agree that it would be good to stop bingeing and purging, or purging even when I was restricting. But i could never quite wrap my mind around the reason WHY i shouldn't be able to just go get rid of "unnecessary" things like ice cream.
My body doesn't need it. My mind doesn't want it.
 My taste buds, and some sort of part of me (soul-self?) that is desirous and pleasure-seeking WANTS Ben & Jerry's.
This is frustrating to me. I don't like that I can't just go and sneak off to the bathroom and get rid of it. I hate that i have to commit to my food. I want to be able to just let some part of myself enjoy the ice cream, but then not have to really "own up to it". Does that make any sense?

I think the first problem here is that purging cannot be seen as "casual" in any sense. I need to wrap my mind (and my body)around the fact that there is nothing "normal" or "okay" or "typical" about making myself throw up my food. This belief might take some time, I think. 
The other issue is really getting in touch with "commitment". I need to be able to commit to my food. I need to be mindful of what I am eating. I need to feed myself in a deliberate manner. L, my dietitian, talks a lot about this concept of "conscious eating". I think this is partly what she means. 
When I am feeling guilty about something, or having thoughts about it before I eat it that I just push to the wayside for some semblance of peace of mind, I am not being deliberate with my food. 
I think this might be a major difference between AN and BN which i think it would be interesting to explore. It is for this reason that sometimes I wish I had some kind of AN tendency to be overly deliberate with my food. I feel like in my BN, and also in my recovery from it, I cause more suffering to myself because I kind of ignore the part of myself sometimes that is screaming "don't eat that". Obviously, ignoring that voice is important, lots of the time, but I think that i go the opposite way, in spite of those voices, to the point where it is just misery-inducing.
Okay I am rambling and i apologize and applaud anyone who got through this post!
Going to go watch Law & Order SVU now :) (guilty pleasures, anyone?)
First my three gratitudes:
1.  Air Conditioning
2. Afternoon naps
3. My friends (I just had a wonderful phone call with a good friend of mine, N. I am so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life)


Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Game

So i was watching one of my favorite YouTuber's today (The Vlogbrothers - check them out if you dont already know them!) and his video seemed very relevant to how I have been trying to remember to think about things recently.
He was talking about how "The only way to win "the game" is to not know that you are playing it" and "once you know that you are playing it, you have already lost". 
Basically, it's an interesting concept that has a lot to do with (and he says this) the Buddhist idea that "All desire leads to loss". Like you can't LOSE anything if you don't desire it in the first place.
Hank was more concretely referring, I think, to some dumb mind game that little kids are into, but "the game" is pretty much a metaphor for life.

Click here to watch Hank's video!

Anyway, on from that. 
I've been having a really rough time lately. I've just been feeling really lonely and aimless. My food has been fine, and I am proud of myself in that I really seem to have a tight grip on this whole "not fucking with my food" kinda concept, and i guess it's pretty great. The problem is that my head is still kinda crazy and i still feel kinda awful but i'm hoping i'll be more distracted soon once i start my summer Intro to Sociology class up at Fordham! :)
I really need to be a therapist. The only thing that made me feel at ALL better today was trying to help and support my friend over the phone. I'm so excited that i've found what I want to do with my life. It's all I ever want to think about. MMMMMM. :)
Going to copy Kim (one of my favorite Bloggers) and try to do gratitudes at the end of my posts ;)
1) I had the most delicious Ben & Jerry's Cinnamon Bun ice cream tonight with my family tonight. I am so grateful that I can enjoy things like that now. 
2) My friend Kristin called me!
3) My family was incredible today, I love them all so much.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reason to Recover?

How about this little girl?

That's my five-year-old niece, Sophie, and me, at her preschool graduation last Friday.
I'm so proud of her. I love her dearly. And she loves me back.
She probably tells me more than anyone else in my life how much i mean to her, in her adorable little way.
I'm so grateful to have her.
I want to be a good role model for her. I want to be someone she can look up to, someone she can confide in. I want to be an example for her. I want to be there to help her when things get tough. The first time she thinks about her body, I want to be able to tell her, without hypocrisy, that she is beautiful just the way she is. I want to be fully present to be able to comfort her when she is upset, when school is hard, friends are mean, or mom and dad aren't enough. I want her to see somebody who she wants to be in me.
I could never look at this picture and then go make myself throw up, or make myself run when i didn't want to, or skip my dinner. I feel that when i hurt myself, I hurt her. I can't break that innocence.

I love you, Sophie.

Monday, June 14, 2010


So a friend pointed out to me this weekend that i tend to be pretty vague on here.
I guess i didn't really realize it but looking back, i see that.
Well, just for clarification (and celebration!) Saturday was my One-hundred and fifty day mark of being eating disorder (symptom) free! Woohoo!
No bingeing, purging or restricting for five months! YAY.

In other news, I just got the internship i applied for, at a small film production company downtown. That is nice, so i will have something to fill my time during the day when I'm done with my day program soon :)

I had a wonderful day yesterday, and it really felt like a milestone. Sundays always, ALWAYS were a binge/purge day for me. It was the last day of the weekend, when i felt guilty and anxious about not doing any homework. It was usually a day when i had the house to myself (sans parents, who usu. were out doing their own things all day) so i had free roam between my bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom.
I could take my time, buy my groceries and spend the whole day running back and forth between the kitchen cabinets, the toilet bowl and the scale.
Sounds lovely, eh?
Well what was ACTUALLY lovely was yesterday- i went to the Met with my friend M and saw the American Women exhibit which was beautiful! Then we had lunch at the Met and I had pretty delicious (although slightly burned) French Toast. Then i spent three hours in Barnes and Noble reading the entire Psychology section in the corner and scowling at all the mean B&N staff who kept on trying to find ways to get me out of there.
It was such a nice day! And no bingeing and purging-- i didn't even want to :)
Then i painted last night before i went to sleep which was awesome cause i've been meaning to get back to my painting for a month now so i actually feel really accomplished (although i'm far from the next Picasso).
Anyway, this weekend was pretty decent and so I thought i'd share about that so I can record BOTH the highs and the lows, because i seem to be having a kind of roller-coaster of both recently.
Gotta go make dinner (Pesto pasta with tofu and asparagus)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So I was on the phone with a staff member from MNV today.
I love and respect this woman so much, and she is recovered so i really felt like talking to her was useful, especially today.
One of the things she said to me was "You have three choices. You can stay still, go backwards, or go forward."
This really struck a chord for me as I was recalling to one of my friends even last night that i was scared that i was going backwards, in terms of my food/thoughts/etc.
After I got off the phone, I actually felt like i had the strength and I got out of bed and went out and met up with a friend- so i went forward instead of staying still (wallowing in my misery) or going backwards (engaging in eating disorder/ self destructive behaviors to not feel the misery).
I feel like I actually accomplished and learned something today.
I'm feeling really grateful for the person who i talked to (lets call her "A") today, especially because she and I have not always been great buddies but, really, I felt so loved and supported today by her.
Hanging in there!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"I'm not okay."

The above statement has never been easy for me.
The statement above this is an understatement.
Saying "I'm not okay" is not only not easy for me, to do it  i have to collect all the energy in the world and stick out my tongue and cringe. It is the most unnatural thing in the world. Almost as unnatural feeling as, say, eating.
My eating disorder protected me from the fact that i was not okay and that everything was not dandy.
It allowed me to lie to myself along with everybody else, and pretend that i "didn't care" about things in my life that were truly bothering me.
The last few weeks have, in short, been really, really rough.
My food has been rough. I feel like I have take 3 steps backwards after the 100 steps forward.
It feels disappointing. Most of all though, it is just scary.
I don't want to go back to where i was before. It's hard to acknowledge that the language that i use when i talk about food recently seems more akin to that of 5 months ago then of 5 weeks ago.
The tricky part is that nothing drastic or horrific has happened.
I haven't binged, purged or severely restricted, i've just been toying with the thoughts and experimenting with the omission of food and the denial of my hunger.
The fact that this seems pale in comparison to the "not okay" that i used to know makes it all that much harder to be able to admit that i am "not okay" because i fear being the girl who cried wolf, when really, all that was  there, was a hamster.
I talked to L about this today on the phone and she told me to call R ( my therapist from MNV) or just call the office (at MNV) and demand to talk to someone just so i can say "I'm not okay". I texted R just now and asked if we could talk tomorrow and we have a phone date at 5.
I hope i can get up the strength to tell her what is going on, without feeling like a fraud or a faker or  just dumb. I need to do this. I need to ask for what i need and take responsibility for my own well- being. Otherwise, i will be really really not okay.
Wish me luck.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Finding Motivation

I had been having a really hard time the past few days with my motivation.
Motivation, in my mind, is crucial to the success and progress of my recovery. I have repeated many times that my problem is "not fucking whether or not i'm eating yogurt or cottage fucking cheese for breakfast---it's about the big picture!" (Excuse my french, of course ;) )
The whole problem with motivation, though, is that sometimes, it's just not there.
And if it's not there, i tend to get into a mind-fuck where restricting seems logical and eating seems like "a waste".
I was feeling today like "this whole recovery bullshit" is just that- bullshit, and that it's not worth it because my situation (home, Junior year X 2) is so sucky and i have so long to wait before anything good comes of all the hard work that is recovery.
My head was telling me that Eating* would make the situation worse, more unbearable and harder to deal with because it would not allow me to disconnect by using my eating disorder behaviors/thoughts and it would force me to really "be present" in my life.
What really was helpful though, in my conversation with Lyn, was the way she completely reframed what i was thinking in a way that totally made sense.
 The conversation went something like this...
(imagine an adorable british accent---it adds to the advice, i swear!)
Lyn: Rose darling!
Me: Hiiiiiii
Lyn: How are you?
(forget the fact that i totally just ignored her question...)
Me: Why am i doing this?
Lyn: Why are you doing what?
Me: Eating. I mean. You know--- all of this. It sucks.
Lyn: So that you can get the hell out of your parents' bloody house and live a fabulous life, of course.
Me: But its like...i feel like i'm holding my breath until fucking 2012. What the fuck.
Lyn: Rosie-posie, you need to eat your food and keep your food and take care of yourself darling so that you can have your wits about you to deal with all your parents' crazy shit and then you can go and have a fabulous life, and leave them in their own miserable lives. You are meant to be FABULOUS and you can only do that if you're eating your food, right?
Me: Oh, yeah, you're right.

So rather than thinking that Eating and recovering is making this bad situation worse, maybe it makes sense think that eating my food could maybe (dare i say it...?) help me function better and be more equipped (mentally, physically and emotionally) to deal with whatever comes my way!?

Never-mind the fact that Eating is literally necessary for my body and mind to function, my eating disorder is great at convincing me that eating will literally ROB ME of the ability to deal with life (by making me stressed, anxious, uncomfortable, alive- yes, i said that, and fat!)
In reality, however, Eating actually means providing my brain and body with the energy (calories, peace of mind that comes with getting rid of ED thoughts) to deal with the life i am living now, so that i can start to build the life i want to live!

It is interesting (and somewhat nerve-wracking) to see how easily i (and i consider myself to be a fairly rational person, relatively speaking (; ) can be convinced by the eating disorder of something that really makes no sense whatsoever, and then allows me to almost threaten my recovery.

I guess thats why we all need support people around us, to keep our crazy heads in check.

Lyn's accent also always cheers me up, and i assume that has something to do with my new found motivation ;)

* I use a capital E because by "Eating" i am referring more to the whole act of engaging in Recovery rather than a single isolated act of feeding oneself.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Its friday!!! Never thought i would be excited for a weekend that involved being dragged out to my parent's beach house but I actually have one of my best friends from California coming with me today so i am actually psyched :)
My only concern is that K, the girl who is coming with me, I have heard through the grapevine "isn't doing so well". Obviously I owe it to K to tell me herself how she is/ is not doing. If she is doing well then that's great, i will be so happy for her and it would be wonderful to have a good influence around all weekend. But if she's not that is a different story and it is something that i have to be weary of.
My concern about her not doing well is not the obvious - I am not so much afraid of Kristin's "influence" on me. Rather, I am afraid of myself, and my somewhat innate, but also very ingrained tendency to try to take care of people, especially those of my friends struggling with eating disorders.
Somehow, i tend to get preoccupied with the recovery of my friends and all of a sudden, their recovery becomes WAY more important than my own.
This is, in some ways, a nasty little trick that the Eating Disorder tries to play to allow me to slip and F- up my progress. This is also, however, just a manifestation of the kind of overwhelming love i tend to develop for my friends and my desperate attempt to make everything in their lives great, regardless of my own suffering.
the above paragraph kind of describes my mother. This in itself should be motivation to NOT act that way.
I do just need to keep in mind that My recovery comes first and that Kristin's (just as an example) is her own responsibility.
It's kind of like on the airplane when they tell you to secure your OWN oxygen mask first, before helping the child next to you. Ironically, I always thought that part of the video kind of inhumane, weird, and kind of against my intution- however OBVIOUSLY that is the problem!
So i am heading into this weekend with an awareness of my tendency and an intention to take care of myself at all costs, to put my needs before K's.
This will be hard- so wish me luck, because you can't breathe without oxygen.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I couldn't decide what to title this post, but i decided that relating to my blog title, and considering the day i have had- "Madness" would be appropriate.

Nothing too "Mad" really has appeared to happen to me today.
I went to my day program, which i am soon transitioning out of.
I ate my food, kept it, sat in therapy, la di da.
I saw a movie (currently to remain nameless, out of shame) with my mother, took a nap, went out to dinner with my family.
The Madness i am referring to is in my head.
It has been a really rough couple of weeks. Lots of ups and downs, mostly downs with some sides of ups. Needless to say, I have felt quite mad.
I have finally learned that when i start focusing on my eating and exercising in an obsessive, unhealthy way- that is a red flag for me that SOMETHING IS BOTHERING ME.
In the recent past, my approach has been to try to figure out what that thing was, so that i could "solve the problem" so to speak, and move on with my life.
What i think i am slowly learning right now is that sometimes it really is necessary to just sit with the "madness" and not to do anything about it.
This concept of not doing anything is pretty ridiculous to most of us in this day and age, especially those of us with the temperament conducive to eating disorders (perfectionistic, over-achieveing, high- strung, hypersensitive to the surrounding environment).
What i am saying, in short, is that i have felt like shit the past couple of weeks and today i think it came to a peak. I felt awful, drained, sad, angry, scared, confused, nervous, anxious and lonely.

Instead of trying to distract myself, problem-solve or even self-soothe, I sat on my bed, stared at my comforter, closed my eyes, and allowed myself to really feel it.

I'm feeling calmer now, appreciating the air conditioning as it cools my scorching hot bedroom and i think i feel some greater understanding of the before madness that was occupying my head.
Maybe there is something to be said or actually, whaddya know--- feeling our emotions?!
Who woulda thunk it?! What a novel idea.

I make fun, but really, feeling strong emotions is hard work, and i encourage everybody to do it. A
As a yogi in training (YIT) i should know- resistance to suffering is, in fact, the cause of all suffering.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Make The World Brand New

My first blog post! I'm so excited.
So, this is, i guess, a record of my journey through recovery from an eating disorder.
I've been so lucky up until now with all the support i have received. I am finally home now after spending four months in residential treatment for my bulimia and i am now determined to lead a life bulimia-free.

I always thought people were exaggerating when they said that "everyday is a struggle" during recovery.
I kind of realized (laughingly, of course) to myself today that yeah, everyday IS really a struggle.
That might just be how i'm feeling right now, since it has been a rough week, probably the hardest i've had in the month that i've been home from treatment.

Anyway, I'm determined to keep moving forward in my recovery and to do whatever it takes and since i love writing and i also love reading other's blogs, i decided today that why the hell should i not make one?!

So here i am, typing away and i will be shocked if anyone reads this- but also greatly flattered.

So here's to recovery and the long road ahead.