Day 221: I’m The Driver

Happy Friday everyone,

So, where is Ed at today?

He’s here, like always, of course.

I felt him speaking to me a little louder than usual today for whatever reason.

For example, when I went to get frozen yogurt today, and I saw that it weighed 8.6 ounces, I let Ed tell me to throw half of it away when I got home.

You would think that I felt more comfortable once I threw half of it away, but I didn’t.

I felt the opposite.

I felt ashamed and disappointed at myself that I even let Ed tell me to do that.

I obviously wanted that amount of yogurt for a reason, and I let him tell me otherwise.

While that didn’t feel good to let Ed take power over me like that, I tried to remind myself that it was only one incident in my entire day when I let Ed back in.

Just one.

There were times where Ed ran my entire life.

Every day. Every hour. Every week. So, one incident today is not something I am going to beat myself up over.

However, there was also something great that happened today, that by far, is better than pleasing any of Ed’s demands and it outweighs the disappointment I had in myself for giving into him that one time today.

After having my interview for a paid internship with NBC yesterday, I got notice that I have moved into the final hiring stage for KNBC, which is channel 4 news.

Pretty much my dream come true.

I spent the first half of the day trying not getting too excited about it.

Then I spent the second half of the day trying to shut Ed out completely.

And then I realized, I don’t think my goal for the moment is to shut anything out completely, even Ed.

It’s about balance.

I am actually pretty content with learning how to live my life, pursue my dreams and my school, even with Ed in the picture.

It’s not about demolishing him as a whole, because what takes years to create, will probably take years to destroy.

It’s about learning to navigate my life with me in the drivers seat.

At one point, Ed was my driver. I was the passenger.

We’re still in the same car together, but now, I am driving.

I’ve said that I am the driver in previous posts, and while I feel I’ve been driving the car for a while now, it’s only now that I am starting to feel in control of the vehicle.

The speed we go at…the lights we stop at it…most of the time now, it’s me, not Ed.

Especially this week.

And I can sincerely tell you, that I truly feel within my veins, that I am driving myself somewhere great.

Maybe by the time I arrive, I will have dropped Ed off somewhere. And if not, then he can sit back and watch me excel without his input.

Either way, I’ m the driver.

Hello life.

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Day 220: 3 Dinners in 3 Days

Hello all,

I woke up this morning, did my video interview for NBC, went to get my nails done, and then went to pick up a copy of my college newspaper so I can see my story published.

All good things, right?

Actually, they were all great things.

Up until about 30 minutes ago, I was happily enjoying myself in a slight world of lala land where it was just me feeling proud of myself; Ed was not there.

But, (and I don’t mean to take away from any of those beautiful times I spent without Ed today, but there is a but), then  I got invited to dinner.

One of the families who I tutor for invited me to have Rosh Hashanah dinner with them next Wednesday night. It’s a celebration of the Jewish new year.

Of course I said yes, because number one,it would be rude to decline, and number two,  I really think it was such a kind and warm thing for them to do.

And then as I was driving home, it hit me.

Wednesday night is dinner with my tutoring family.

Thursday night is dinner with my dad’s side of my family.

Friday night is dinner with my mom’s side of my family in San Diego.

Three dinners back to back to back, everyone.

Three big, food filled, dinners.

And if you can’t already feel it by now, my anxiety level started to soar.

I know it’s a whole week away, but I already, or I should say Ed already, has started planning what to eat on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, leading up to those dinners.

He is saying they should be really light meals, and possibly extra cardio on those days.

Here is my question, do “normal people” (no one is really normal, but people without eating disorders), think about stuff like this?

Do they get anxiety over having three straight dinners back to back?

I knew that the upcoming holidays would be a challenge for me, as any first in recovery is.

And holidays can be especially difficult being that they are surrounded by so much food and so much people-the two things that Ed despises the most.

I just didn’t think it would start to affect me already.

The part of me that is not connected to Ed, wants to enjoy these dinners.

I want to enjoy getting to know the family I tutor, outside of the one hour I spend with their child.

I want to enjoy my time with my brothers and my family on Thursday.

I want to enjoy the beach and dinner with my grandma and mom and aunt on Friday night too.

But you see, with Ed in the picture, it will be a lot harder to get to those moments of joy.

I know I can still have them, but I need to make that decision now.

I need to decide that I will enjoy the upcoming holidays with my family, and yes, with the food too.

Decision made. I will enjoy it.

The next step is how to fight Ed to get to that enjoyment?

Even though I have a lot of anxiety right now, part of my heart is so warmed by the fact that I was invited to dinner by someone I work for.

They actually care about me and wanted to do something nice. That right there, is me speaking, not Ed.

Anyway, I am opening up this post for any advice possible.

What do you do on the holidays when you are surrounded by food? I don’t think that people with eating disorders are the only ones who face this issue.

If anyone, whether you have an eating disorder, or are in recovery for an eating disorder, or don’t even have an eating disorder, has any advice, I would love to hear it, because I truly do want to enjoy these dinners next week.

And I will enjoy them, it’s just scary because it’s the first time I am doing the holidays while being in recovery.

But the fear over how to handle something new in recovery, completely outweighs the fears that I used to have when I was living in Ed.

Fears like being scared to eat anything other than prunes for lunch, or being scared that the extra piece of gum I ate would throw off my weight the next morning.

And maybe this isn’t even a fear about these dinners, maybe it’s just something new.

Doesn’t everyone get a little anxious when they experience something new?

And I should point out to myself, that three dinners in three days also means three times of spending time with people who love me.

Hello life.

Day 219: Once In A While…Blow Your Own Mind

Hi everybody,

I completely and totally blew my own mind today.

I went above and beyond any and all expectations I had of myself and I truly feel proud.

So, let me explain to you where this all started.

It started at 12:30 a.m. last night, after I found out that the story I spent hours on interviewing people about why faculty members at California state universities were not getting pay raises, totally got thrown out the window, since at 10 p.m. last night, the union decided to give them all pay raises.

My title of “CSU faculty have not received pay raises in over five years” totally got trashed, and instead, I had to write a new piece about why they are now getting pay raises.

This story was supposed to be published tomorrow, which meant it had to be completed and perfect by today at 3 p.m.

My editor said not to rush and that she will run the new version of the story next Thursday.

But as you all know, this is not how I operate.

I don’t like to wait for opportunities to come to me.

This was an opportunity to publish my work, so I needed to tackle it.

By 12 p.m., I had re-interviewed everyone I needed to interivew.

By 1:30 p.m, I had found time to eat lunch and nourish myself.

And by 2:30 p.m, my story was in my editors hands ready to go to print for tomorrows newspaper.

Talk about a lesson about going with the flow…last minutes changes..and not turning to Ed for support.

I couldn’t turn to Ed today when I was feeling overwhelmed; if I did, he would be all I focused on.

I would have focused on my calories instead of my writing, or the way my clothes fit instead of meeting my deadline.

There was literally no space for him.

And on top of feeling so accomplished already, about one hour ago, I got an email saying I have a interview tomorrow for  a paid internship with NBC.

I applied for this internship only three days ago.

It was a total whim and I didn’t think they would even call me back.

But something in me made me want to apply.

There was something in me that made me believe in myself enough ,that I had a chance to go for it.

I believed in my self worth at that moment when I applied, because I believed I was good enough.

I didn’t think I was good enough because of what I weighed that day, or what I ate that day, and that is huge.

Even today, after 7 months of recovery, I still am learning to mold myself into believing that my value does not rest on a number or size, but rather, who I am, what I believe in, and what I am capable of.

Ed didn’t write that story for me today in six hours.

He didn’t get it published for me tomorrow.

He didn’t get me my interview.

And a size zero didn’t get me any of that either.

I got me that.

Learning to believe in myself, because of who I am, and not because of what I weigh, has been a long process for me, and it still is a process…but today, I learned a really big lesson.

The more I believe in myself, the less Ed exists.

I wrote a post about a week ago, saying how I feel my time to shine was going to come quickly.

It has now officially come.

The more I shine and the more I believe in me, the more dull Ed becomes.

And you know what? I’m not even stressing about what will happen if I do or don’t get that internship with NBC.

Them just giving me that interview in the first place solidified that I have the right to believe in myself.

What greater gift could I ask for?

Hello life.

mind

Day 218: Writing Calorie Counts On The Back Of My Syllabus In Class

Hi everyone,

There I was, at 5:45 p.m., sitting in my class about diversity and the media, writing down all the calories I’ve eaten today on the back of my sylllabus.

I don’t even know how I got there-I really thought I was having a pretty OK day with Ed.

In the morning, even though I wanted to go workout really hard, I knew I couldn’t because my neck was still hurting, so I walked instead.

It still hurt to walk, and maybe it wasn’t the best choice, but it was still only walking.

And for me, that was a total win that I even was able to do that and not go running instead.

I wasn’t satisfied with only walking, but it was enough exercise that I was able to eat lunch and eat my snack.

I was talking back and forth with Ed a lot  today, as you can see, but I felt like I was the one getting in the last word.

So, how I got to writing my calorie count on the back of my syllabus in class, I do not know.

I realized what  I did , only after I even did it.

I hated doing it though. It felt so automatic, so expected, and so part of my routine.

Writing calories on pieces of paper in class used to be part of my old school routine, it’s not something I wanted to bring into this new routine when I am in recovery.

At first, I thought about crossing the calorie count out.

But now that I look at it right next to me, I want to leave it there.

I want to leave it there as my reminder of what Ed can do to me when I let him take over my mind; he can distract me from class, and the end result, is that calorie count on the back of that paper.

But really,what are those numbers anyway on the back of my syllabus?

They are numbers. Just numbers. More and more numbers. Big numbers…which I don’t like, but in the end, just numbers.

Those numbers are what Ed thrives off. They are so factual, and to the point.

They are so unforgiving.

Ed is unforgiving.

But me, I am forgiving.

I forgive myself for writing those calorie counts on the back of my syllabus, because I am doing the best that I can do.

Being OK with doing the best you can do, is not a concept that is accepted for those of us who live with eating disorders, or any kind of addiction.

The best doesn’t exist in the dark world of eating disorders, until you give your life to it.

There’s always a lower weight to reach, or a smaller size to fit into.

In recovery, doing my best does indeed exist.

And to be honest, sometimes I don’t even know what doing my best is.

Yesterday it was eating even though I didn’t exercise, today it was walking instead of running, and maybe tomorrow it will be something else.

For today, I was the best me that I could be, and to that, I end tonight by saying, hello life.

Day 217: First Day Of School In Recovery

Hello everyone,

Ed woke up with me today at 7:30 a.m. when I realized that my neck is still injured and therefore, I couldn’t workout, yet again.

The idea of not exercising for four days in a row now is getting mentally harder for me to deal with everyday, and of course, Ed is not helping me.

On top of that, today was my first day back at school.

It’s actually my last semester of college, as I will be graduating in December.

It brought me a lot of different emotions.

Part of me was so excited and ready to end this chapter of my life and move on to bigger things.

Part of me was excited to start a semester as being senior reporter for my university newspaper.

But part of me was also scared and nervous.

When I started recovery in March, school was slowly ending, and I was still kind of figuring the whole recovery thing out.  The eating part of recovery was still new to me at that time.

For a lot of people who do not have eating disorders, they think that the first step in recovery is eating, but it’s not.

The first step is even realizing that you have an eating disorder in the first place-and that is where I was around the time school ended before summer.

Today was the first day I had to go through a full day of school, totally living in recovery, meal plan and all.

So here I was this morning, sitting with two options.

A) I could let Ed be in control of my very first day of my last semester of college and my first day of officially being senior reporter or

B) I could find it within myself to stay true to what’s important today; my future, my writing, my school, and my recovery. Not eating or restricting just cannot make the list.

So, I chose option B.

It was hard. Very hard.

The words “very hard” actually don’t even give it justice.

I literally felt like a robot on auto pilot all day, just eating at the times I knew I had to, and eating what I know is on my plan. It was automatic, with no feelings attached.

When Ed gets to me and I disconnect from my hunger cues, it’s easy to let him win.

I was already thinking of how great it was that I was so busy today with a full school schedule and work schedule, and how convenient it would be to be “too busy” to eat.

That was my excuse last year in school.

It’s not a valid excuse for me anymore.

I know if I want to be the best reporter  I can be this semester, and produce good quality work and make good grades, I need to eat to stay clear minded.

As far of my first day of school in recovery goes… I did it, but it was not easy at all.

But that’s OK, because in the end, I won’t remember the struggle of today as much as I will remember that I was in control today, not Ed; and that I won over him.

I can see this semester being a great one for me, now that Ed is not who I use to define myself by.

I won’t go into anymore tests or presentations or interviews only thinking about what I weighed that day.

I will be present.

I might struggle with Ed’s thoughts vs. my own thoughts, but this is my time to show myself what I am capable of without Ed or without a number on a scale bringing me down.

I worked too hard to get to this place in recovery to let Ed ruin this last semester for me.

I am doing this.

I am going to finish my last semester in college living in recovery. Wow. Hello life.

Day 216: Being Me-Sponsible

Hi everyone,

mesponsible

So, this is what I did today.

I was me-sponsible.

I was responsible for me, my health,my happiness and well being.

What did I do?

1. I ate on my meal plan, although I don’t ever remember feeling hungry or having the urge to eat.

2. I worked on two stories I am writing for my university newspaper due this week.

3. I prepared everything for my first day of school tomorrow.

4. I rested and didn’t exercise, since I injured my neck yesterday.

5. I took a nap because I was tired.

I love the concept of me-sponsible.

I am the kind of person who is always responsible; I am on time to work, I complete my homework assignments a week before they’re due, and I keep track of all my daily tasks in my phone.

But how often do we give ourselves the time we need to be me-sponsible?

I for sure don’t do it enough, but over the past 7 months of recovery, it’s something I’ve learned to make time for in my life.

At one point, self care was something that was a luxury to me.

Getting my nails done, taking a nap, or eating a meal, were luxurious prizes I would award myself with when I restricted.

Now, self care is a priority, not a luxury.

What kinds of things do you enjoy doing when your me-sponsible? (As always, feel free to share, as it brings insight and ideas to myself and other readers).

Call it self care, or call it being me-sponsible, I hope everyone reading this finds some time this week to be kind to themselves, because well deserve it.

Hello to self care now being a priority, hello to being me-sponsible, and hello life.

Day 215: Not Going To Fall

Hi Everyone,

I sit here writing today’s post in bed with a heating pad on my neck and Advil by my bedside.

I woke up this morning, ready to go workout, but I slept wrong and I could not move my neck at all.

I went to the gym anyway, only for my trainer to send me right back home, since I pretty much can’t move at all.

I guess I had some kind of hope that she would let me work out anyway, because after eating a lot of food and sweets yesterday, I really felt the need to burn some of it off.

Well, she didn’t let me workout, and I am thankful for it, because I would have hurt myself even more.

But naturally, Ed and I were not happy about that.

I was already in pain from my neck, and on top of feeling that discomfort, now I had to live with the feeling of not being able to burn off any calories from yesterday.

It’s annoying and it’s frustrating, but at least I listened to her, and I came home and rested all day.

And I still ate today too, which is a victory for me and a loss for Ed.

In the midst of me driving myself to the gym thinking I could actually work out today,  I got a Facebook message from one of my old friend’s dad.

This friend and I were friends in high school, and over the recent years, he was battling some Ed’s of his own, although his was not food, his were drugs.

As I said in a post last week, everyone has their own Ed in life…whether it be food, alcohol, drugs, or anything else people might use as an outlet to deal with life.

Anyway, he came home from rehab about two months ago.

I spoke with him on the phone, but never saw him in person, as I didn’t want to get too close to someone who I wasn’t sure was strong enough to stay away from their addiction, and I didn’t want him to introduce me to any new coping mechanisms like drugs; Ed is already enough for me to handle.

Over the past few days, his parents kept asking me where he was, and for the phone numbers of the people he is with.

I had no idea why they were contacting me, since him and I haven’t spoken in a few weeks.

Today, I found out, he had told his parents, for the past few weeks, that he’s been hanging out with me and my friends.

He knew his parents trusted me.

He used me as his cover up, so he could go do whatever he is currently doing…I am not sure what it is, but considering he isn’t communicating with his family, I assume it is not good.

At first, I was so upset.

How could someone use me to cover up for them doing harmful things to themselves like possibly using drugs?

Especially me…this guy and I were close friends. He was even the third subscriber to this blog.

And then I realized, I can’t even be mad at him.

I can’t be mad at him because this isn’t him doing this, it’s his own Ed.

I remember when I used to use people to cover up for me and my dear Ed.

I would use my brothers, and tell my boyfriend at the time, that I ate dinner with my brothers already, so I couldn’t eat with him.

I would tell my sister I couldn’t eat with her since I had to make dinner for my boyfriend (at the time).

The list goes on and on.

I doubt my friend is reading this post today, because when you are back in that dark world of addiction, you don’t pay much attention to the present world outside.

But if you for some reason are…I hope you know that no matter how many times you’ve fallen, you can still get back up.

Right now, in this moment, you can stop, take back control, and get back up.

I have to remind myself of this message today too.

Ed is yelling at me that I should not eat because I didn’t work out today.

But I am eating anyway.

Why? Because I know what it’s like to fall victim to Ed,and how hard it is to find the strength to stand back up again.

I woke up this morning standing up to Ed,and I will go to sleep standing up to Ed.

I’m not going to fall today.

And to my friend who is struggling today, I hope you can find it within yourself to stand up too.

Hello life.