Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

always get me down...

too bad yesterday fit both of those criteria!
Yesterday was not. fun. 
Lets just put it that way.
I was super exhausted at school and hence not very pleasant to be around/felt bad about being "anti-social"/was having a terrible body-image day and basically wanted to disappear or for no one to even glance at me.
I had a really hard therapy session (which I should make a post about at some point) and then came home, slept, binged & purged, cried, and then finally got back on my feet after spending some time watching Mad Men with my parents.
It's always surprising to me that my parents tend to be the source of comfort that I am looking for when I am having days like yesterday. 
Even in their newly-about-to-get-a-divorce-want-to-rip-each-others'-heads-off kind of way of acting around here lately, last night, it was still really therapeutic for me to just spend some time with both of them, together.
Maybe I haven't really put enough weight (no pun intended) on the fact that my parents have just recently decided to get a divorce into my thoughts about how i am coping/all the stress in my life. I don't know.
I don't like to think about them much. It's kind of upsetting. Hence why i never got around to formally mentioning it on the blog a month ago when all hell broke loose/ the shit hit the fucking fan and my entire house was in shambles and we are now in process of moving those shambles elsewhere.

Okay. I didn't intend to talk about my parents marriage (or lack thereof) right now. It's just complicated and messy and boring, I'm sure, so i'm gonna go hit the books now.

Hope everyone had a better start to the week than I did. At least Tuesday has been a big improvement :) (How could it not be?!)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Body Image & the Weekends

I'm just gonna put it out there.
Weekends tend to be tough.
I know this is not just the case for me but also for lots of others (eating disordered or not).
Whether it's just the break from the normal routine, or the under-current of pressure to be doing something "interesting" "exciting" "cool", "productive" or "active" , or because we are not all distracted by the business of the work-week, for whatever reasons, as longed-for as they are, (especially apparent in the surge of TGIF posts, tweets, statuses, heck- t- shirts these days) Saturday & Sunday can be rough.
That being said, this weekend has been rather typical, but not terrible for me.
A weird pattern that I'm, noticing, however, is that my body-image tends to plummet on the weekends.
sundays, particularly. This is also true of my symptom-usage, sometimes.
I think part of it is the fact that my weekends recently have been super boring.
Not that the inherent couch-potato & TV lover in me has any problem with this.
My ego has a serious issue with it though. I always feel awful and loser-ish when I just don't do anything "cool" on the weekends. I mean, come on, I live in the city that never sleeps! I'm seventeen! Shouldn't I be out & about, painting the town green and bar-hoping with adorable random boys all night? Should I be out to brunch because it's Sunday and then down to SoHo for the new boutique opening? Should I have spent yesterday morning going for a jog and then the afternoon frolicking &being crazy on the Great Lawn with some cool hipster friends?
I don't know.
In reality, i spent most of the weekend either hanging out with my mom or in my room.
I didn't do nearly as much physical activity as I "should have", and I barely accomplished anything (save spending hours looking in my 2010 Fiske College Guide and creating a colored-post-it system to keep track of the schools that I okay-ed, liked, or adored...yes, i'm a major nerd who wants to get out of high school very, very badly.)
With all of this self-judgement flying around and lots of time to think about all of the things that i feel bad for not doing, I guess it's no wonder that my eating disorder seems to "flare-up", so to speak, on the weekends.
Today was no exception to this weekend-itis.
I woke up ravenous, ate breakfast, watched tv, read my Fiske Guide (lol@me), and napped. A few hours later, I was even more ravenous, so I went into the kitchen to make lunch. I ate. And then I wanted more. And then more. And then I threw up. Meh.
It was the only time i've thrown up this week, which I am really proud about, considering transitions tend to be hard & stressful, and stress increases my urges to either restrict or overeat/purge, blah blah blah, et cetera et cetera.
After that little 'party', i showered and then it was time to get dressed.
dum dum dum.
*enter dramatic music*
Yeah so my body image sucked. I couldn't find anything to wear. And my once tidy room is now in shambles.
Le sigh.
But, never fear, blogging saved the day!
I stumbled upon this (embedded below) video on forever_hopeful's blog, and it literally just made my bad body image crawl into a hole, shrivel up, and die for the time being.  WOOHOO! Rose: 1 ED: 0 cha-ching!
Seriously though, watch it.
I'm not usually one for semi-sappy, quasi-meaningful 'love yourself' videos or whatever, but this literally made me cry (maybe it's my vulnerable state ;) ??? ) and I just really recommend it. So, here it is. 
Hope it touches some of you the way it did me.

Letter to my Body from Ally Marks on Vimeo.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Recovery Essay

As promised, here is my essay. It's kind of awful and incoherent and I'm really not sure that he's going to understand it but maybe i'll proof read it tomorrow if I'm a little more lucid. Or make any changes that ya'll suggest (if you do it before 1 pm NYC time!). We had to put a Huck Finn quote at the beginning as a sort of epigraph. Mine is the moment where Huck decides to help Jim get away, even though he's terribly conflicted.
Warning: It's kind of terribly long for a blog post. Feel free to skip if you don't feel like being bored out of your mind. ;)

“It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because, I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied it for a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself ‘All right, then, I’ll go to hell’ ­– and tore it up… and if I could think of anything worse, I’d do that, too; because as long as I was in, and in for good, I might as well go the whole hog” (Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. 223).
            There is no one moment that I can say it all started. No single glance towards the mirror. No stinging comments. No terrible, abusive father. I can’t give you a concrete answer to the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, or ‘when’, and certainly not the ‘why’. What I can give you is a lot of blurs. Blurs that mesh together and go from dark to light to dark to lighter and back to dark again. And the blurs eventually meander over to the lighter side, hopefully to stay, each step precarious, toes checking for quicksand or faulty rocks, just waiting to slide off a steep cliff.
            It’s hard to remember most of the facts. I can remember the feelings, or the lack thereof- the numbness. The pain. I can remember the frenzy to get out of the pain. I can remember the knots in my stomach as I sat in classroom chairs, staring blankly out at the world, counting the minutes until I could escape. My stomach would be twisting and turning in knots, my brain obsessing over food, my body begging me to eat something with all the power it could muster. I would watch the clock and jiggle my foot and anxiously wait until I could run out and do what I knew would help me escape. I could buy food -- lots and lots of food, and eat it as fast as I could and then throw it up. I’ll go back and forth from the mess of the kitchen to my sticky bathroom floor until my skin is pale, my temples are pounding, and my heart is racing ba-doom, ba-doom, ba-doom.   I'll go and lie face- down in bed, exhausted. Other days, I would sit alone in my room and makes lists and charts of calories, fat grams and pounds on the scale and obsess for hours. I’d make scrapbooks of pictures of anorexic models. I’d spend hours on the Internet looking at images and reading stories about girls who were sick and sad and didn’t eat. I’d stare at the mirror in disgust, seeing all the things that were wrong with me. I’d run to the scale hidden in my bathroom to hop on and hop off, clenching my jaw, hoping to see the numbers go down. I did anything and everything not to be in the world, to find a way out, to build a reality separate from everything I was afraid of.
            I remember those days in a blur. They were pain and sorrow and neediness and fear all wrapped up in my mind and made a little bit more tolerable by the insanity of an eating disorder. I don’t like thinking about, or writing about those times. Something about it feels unsafe. I don’t want to get to close. I fear that closeness may leave me teetering on the edge of a building and I can’t look too far down, or I might loose my footing, slip, and fall. It would be a long, long way down.
            What I want to talk about is the world where I live now. And how I stumbled all the way here. These days are different. And it’s taken a lot to get here. I still have a ways to go. I guess I’ll start at the beginning, although, to be honest, I’m not sure I know where exactly that is.
            The thing about recovering from an eating disorder is that it is, in fact, simple: you eat. The thing that is not so simple about it is everything that happens when you do. An eating disorder was the way I kept a precarious grip on life. It held me together, albeit minimally. When I let it go, I felt everything fall disastrously into pieces, and I was back exactly where I started, and with a few more wounds to show for it.  
            I knew that I didn’t want to die, but I also wasn’t particularly sure I wanted to live. I thought I’d give living a try, though, and if it just “wasn’t for me” I could go back. So, I ate. I ate and ate and ate. Eventually, I cried. The food filled me up and there was no more room inside me to hold back the tears.
            I remember the day that I looked at a slice of pizza and burst into tears. Rachel, a woman who was only a few years older than me, with a sweet smile and a borderline-cheesy-happy disposition, but who inspired me nonetheless, was my therapist. She sat with me when I curled up in a ball of agony, thinking of the pizza in my stomach, imagining it spreading to all the parts of my body and making me fat, as I had always feared I was. (I will learn later, very, very slowly, that “fat” is actually, in my case, a synonym for “unloved, undeserving, and fundamentally "wrong") I wanted it out. Stupid pizza. I wanted it all out. If only I could just throw up, just this one last time, I begged, I’ll never do it again. She came over and gave me a hug. She sat with me and rubbed my back. She braided my hair and told me that I was going to be okay. Eventually, I believed her. 
           Maybe this was the moment where the change happened, where the tables turn and I finally took the right fork in the road, or crumpled up the proverbial letter. I don’t know. What I do know is this: recovery, for me, was about love. It was about needing love, wanting love, and wanting to love others. In first grade, my teacher sent home a report card to my parents that said that I while I was shy, I gave the best hugs of any student in the class. I knew why this was. Whenever I hugged someone, I really meant it. I loved people so much that it scared me. I wanted to love all my friends all the time and get the same in return. When I grew up, and realized that this wasn’t “cool” or acceptable, I learned to cut down. Cut down on the love, and cut down on the food. What I’ve learned now is that I need to tell people I love them and show that when I want to, ask for the love I need in return, and eat and keep all of my food.
            Every time before, when I had wanted to return to the darkness, the black haze of sickness that had cradled me for so long, there was no one there to stop me. Now, this time, I had people who cared about me. Rachel, I knew cared about me. This scared me tremendously, I was afraid of caring back, afraid that I would lose her and be left more desolate and alone than I had before. But it was in those moments, where someone was there again and again, to rub my back because she didn’t want me to hurt myself that I learned to choose the love over the sickness. It was being loved that allowed me to eat my food. That made all the difference.
          After meals, my friend Laura and I used to go out into the backyard of the house we were living in, stand on the porch, and scream. We’d hold hands and wail until our throats were hoarse, trying desperately to get something out of us. We wanted some kind of release, because everything we were feeling was so intense. We knew we had to do this though, to let it all out, even if the neighbors wanted to kill us. It was this, or go back down below, to the numbers and voices and mirrors and porcelain. I think I’ve always been an intense person, and this probably won’t change. I don’t scream out my New York City apartment building now, though, because I’ve gotten used to all the madness that comes with eating, and with living in the world like a real person. Some days I still feel pretty insane. I can feel the intensity well up inside of me like a knot in my stomach and my head starts to go around in dangerous circles. I either find a way to cope with this or I slip and return to the obsessions and the loneliness on a cold, hard, bathroom floor. The thing is, now, when that happens I know how to get back out, I’ve learned how to peel myself off the floor, and go and ask for a hug.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hi, I'm Rose and I'm an insomniac

this is really getting ridiculous.
I don't know which is worse: my insomnia or my procrastination?
Ugh. Okay so for my english class we read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn over the summer. (Not a book that i'm particularly fond of- but we are now reading The Great Gatsby which i love- F. Scott Fitzgerald is such a beautiful writer)
We have to write a personal essay on "an adventure that you have recently been on" to conclude our Huck Finn segment. I decided that I would write about my recovery, considering this last year has definitely been an adventure, and it's something I care about- and my personal essays are always better when I actually give a s*** about the material (aren't everybody's? Sorry, you'll have to excuse me. Note the title of this post.)  Being me, I decided I wouldn't start the essay until tonight. Maybe "decided" is too generous of a word...let's say just say "figured". Tonight rolled around and I was busy being dumb and doing nothing until 7 o'clock when I opened my computer and started writing. Very slowly. With multiple study breaks. It's probably better described as: Would you care for any studying with your break? 
Sorry bad joke. Again, note above parentheses. 
So yeah. Basically, I've written two pages of very awful, raw writing and have a long way to go along with a couple other homework assignments that I haven't done and it looks like my recently acquired inability to sleep might just come in handy tonight, unfortunately. 
Just decided i'd drop by here as a final good-bye to the internet until I finish my goddamn essay!
If it turns out at all well, i'll definitely post it here in case anyone wants to read :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Making Lemonade

ever have those nights/days when you are just too zonked to do anything productive?
Well, i've officially declared tonight one of those nights for me, as it's 9:30 and I have yet to do any work, despite the fact that I have a pre-calc quiz tomorrow...and let's just say that math is not my forte.
It's not that I am so tired at this particular moment. I came home and slept for two hours already! I think my brain is just burnt out and exhausted in a kind of basic way. (aka I can't for my life make seem to motivate myself to do work tonight) 

But, as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons you're supposed to make lemonade! So instead of spending the remainder of the evening berating/torturing myself for being lazy tired, I decided that I'll at least make the most of my "free time" and do some things that I enjoy so that I can, so to speak, rejuvenate my brain! 

Unfortunately (for my credit card), one of my all-time guilty pleasures favorite "chill out" activities is online shopping. There are so many things I want! (Good thing the birthday is coming up...eh?) I decided i'd share some of my favorites with y'all. 
I remember seeing this pic of a Your Eyes Lie 'Cosmic Spot' Tee
on Lookbook a few months back and guess what... I still want it!

LOVE this cropped "Heart-T" by Laugh Cry Repeat on NeedSupplyCo

I'm basically obsessed with these zip-back, equestrian-style Jeffery Campbell boots,
that I also found on NeedSupplyCo . (I'm definitely getting these, I'm not sure I can live without them!)

Anywho, since i was all into making lemonade tonight, I thought i'd go ahead an make a blog post as well. Now it's starting to get late and I'm guessing that if I have any hope of passing my math quiz tomorrow i'm going to have to wake up early to study so... i better go!
night loves!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save. 
~ Mary Oliver ~

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rambling Tuesday

I just registered for the NYC NEDA walk!
Thought i'd just share that little tidbit of information.
Not that i'm super excited about it or anything, but I do think it's a good thing to do to show my support, and it's not like I have any other pressing plans at ten am on a saturday morning (besides sleeping, which, trust me- i do enough of!) so I figured  i'd fork out twenty bucks and say Hi to some old friends.

I was talking with my dietitian today (well, mostly, she was talking...) about how i should really find something I'm interested in and get into it, so i have something aside from school to keep me interested. I really would love to be more directly involved in advocacy work, but I'm not sure exactly how to go about it. Any brilliant ideas? I mean I know for sure that I'm going to go into the Psych field, and i'll most likely do some work in eating disorders, consider that I AM passionate about the subject- however, I'm not sure that anybody is really interested in what a seventeen year old former bulimic high school junior has to say about anything....so it's a little discouraging.
Anyway- Day # 2 was a huge improvement. This is good news because I think it would be pretty hard NOT to be better than day number one (unless, ya know...someone maybe put a "Kick Me" sign on my back or maybe I accidentally forgot to wear pants- but no worries ,that didn't happen- yet)
Maybe tomorrow will be a little bit better? I hope so. I just want friends! Is that so much for a girl to ask for? :)
Love you all, and hope everyone had a lovely day! (P.S. if you're in the NYC area you should totally come to the walk in October- I'd love to meet other bloggers!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

First day back

and i can't wait to hit the sack.
Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
When the opportunity presents itself for me to rhyme- i just have to do it! It's too fun!
Oh god i'm such a nerd...
Anyway, what was I saying?
Right, okay, so today was my first day back at school.
It was the school that I went to my sophomore year of high-school (the year when i was really really sick with bulimia) and then didn't go to last year because first I was at boarding school (long story) and then spent the the second semester in treatment. So now I'm back as a junior while all of my friends are seniors.
And, in short, it kind of sucks.
Not only does it suck that I'm not a senior with them, but it also sucks because I just felt super awkward, out-of-place, and disconnected from everybody. I felt kind of estranged even from my closest friends and it was just not cool at all.
I had a lot of nice people in all my Junior classes though, so I mean, maybe i'll make some friends, which would be lovely. We'll see.
Luckily for me, I had therapy right after school today, thank the fucking lord, because if i hadn't i would have been a huge mess tonight.
It really made me feel so much better. 
The first thing she D said was "No day is going to be worse than this one"
And that, I hope, is true. And so, so comforting, if i choose to believe it.
She said (very flippantly, I might add) that today was like "Ground Zero"* of days. And i mean she's so right. There's no way anything could be worse than this. So it HAS to get better...right?
Anyway, I hope everyone else had a MUCH better Monday than I did, and here's to tomorrow!

*Never-mind the fact that immediately when I heard this my brain automatically went to the debate over the Mosque at Ground Zero that is going on right now and then I tried to figure out what the hell that means in terms of my situation at school- what is my proverbial "mosque" but then I realized that I was doing that weird thing where I'm sitting in therapy but I'm like staring at the ground and just being silent and awkward and I quickly pulled myself out of it- and decided not to take the "ground zero" comment too literally- for my own sanity's sake.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The long-awaited end of summer

Hey all!
So i want to start off by apologizing for falling off the face of the earth these past couple of weeks. 
I'm back- hopefully to stay. 
I've had a lot lot lot going on. With the start of school (on Monday, eek!) , and all that's been happening @ home and such, i just haven't had very much time or energy to blog.
My entire life is kind of under construction right now. This has been a long, long summer. Here's a list of all the things that have happened this summer:
  • I started this blog!
  • I finished Day treatment after i got home from my RTC
  • I "broke-up" with my old therapist
  • Started practicing yoga (more) regularly
'Cause meditating on train tracks is like totally normal & safe
  • I re-discovered my lovely New York City, even after I was sure LA was the place for me (probs still is...)
  • I got my nose re-pierced!
  • I learned how to bake
These are what we call "Joel Cookies" in my family. Named after my dad, and they are much more like a blondie than a cookie...
This delicious Cookie Dough Ball doesn't actually require baking! It's amazing! Got it from Joy, the baker
  • I went to L.A. and had an amazing time- seeing people who i LOVE and looking at some colleges 
  • I tried some new foods (sweetbreads, almond butter, chocolate dreams pb!) 
  • Don't forget the Montaco Truck! I went here with my brother and his girlfriend last weekend. It was great, fresh, Mexican food
  • I rediscovered my favorite book ever, "The Catcher in the Rye"
  • I spent a LOT of time with my family, more than I wanted to, and probably more than most would consider to be psychologically healthy
A pic of me and Jake (my bro), chilling on the steps at our beach house

Aside from all of those activities that I did, I really accomplished a lot this summer.

I survived New York City heat, which is no small feat, especially for a girl like me, who tends to wear tank tops in the dead of winter. I also did a lot of really intense things, too. I transitioned back home after a long stay in residential treatment, back to an environment that I was terrified of re-entering. I made a big decision about school and education and the next two years of my life. I re-learned how to live in my home, but this time, without the safety of my eating disorder to fall back on. I binged and purged, but figured out, for the first time ever, how to pull myself back out again, even when things are rough. I learned how to be real with people, especially with myself. Most importantly, I lived my life this summer and although it wasn't the best, I'm thinking (well, hoping) it can only go up from here.