Day 252: Breaking From Rigidity

Hi everyone,

Last night, after I ate the chocolate cake for breakfast (I wrote about it in yesterday’s post), I just didn’t seem to fully recover from it mentally.

It had been a very long time since I had felt that I was locked inside Ed’s prison again, banging my head on the bars wishing to rip them out of the ground with my own two hands, only to find that my hands and feet are glued to the floor and it’s as if I am not even moving an inch; just letting those bars stare at me, with Ed dangling the key far far away.

I spent all of last night in that prison watching Ed dangle those keys in front of my face.

I ate dinner there. I ate even more dessert there. I slept there. and I woke up there this morning.

Somehow, I found it within myself to bring E my bag of sick clothes that I am going to donate to charity. I knew the moment I got up, that they needed to get out of my room, otherwise I would be trying them on all day over and over again.

When Ed is loud like he was today, I always turn to my plan; his plan; pure rigidity.

Eat only safe foods. Follow the food rules-those that’s the basic plan of rigidity.

While I  gave away my 7 page list of food rules to E within the first 100 days of this blog, there are still food rules I abide by.

I knew that if I stuck to all of them today, they probably would not be broken again for a long time, and honestly, I didn’t have the capacity today to fight it on my own.

I was planning on getting a salad with some protein for dinner like I usually do on Mondays (rigidity, rigidity , rigidity), but my grandma decided to make us dinner.

It’s like she knew that I needed to break some kind of food rule today in order to step out of that jail-but I never even told her.

I haven’t broken a food rule like this in months.

I even asked her if she made dinner for both of us, or if she made it for just her- what a dumb question right, why would she make it only for herself?

So of course, when she said she made it for both of us, it was clear that I was officially going to be breaking the salad for dinner on Monday’s rule.

Here  I sit, one hour later, and I can say, I did it.

Surprisingly, I feel really good about it.

It was easier doing it with someone I love, but since I didn’t say what I was thinking, I kind of battled with the experience inside my head.

But there we go-the rigidity has been broken.

A part of me has been taken back from Ed.

Am I in a better place than I was this morning? Yes, but am I in a good place? No, not yet.

Recovery ebbs and flows and I know that I will have those keys back in my hands soon.

But for now, I apologize to those who e-mailed me asking for guidance or advice today.

First off, thank you for sending all your love and support because it keeps me strong on days like these.

But the reason I have not answered yet today is because I don’t have advice to give at the moment, since I am kind of sitting in Ed’s little house myself, and I don’t want to say the wrong thing. But when I do know the right words to say, I will so happily respond, as I normally do.

I don’t write today as an inspiration or as a form of guidance.

I write today as another fighter who needs support.

Part of breaking the rigidity of an eating disorder is breaking the rules-food rules and all other eating disorder rules-one of the biggest ones being to never show your weak, because that would mean your admitting that your actually not perfect (every Ed’s worst nightmare).

Well, here I am admitting it and breaking that major rule.

I need support today-there, I said it, Ed. I’m not perfect and I need some extra strength today.

If we’re going to break away from rigidity, let’s give it all we got, right?

Hello life.

 

 

 

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Day 251: Chocolate Cake For Breakfast

Hi everyone,

I was feeling really sick last  night and today, so don’t ask me why I had chocolate fudge cake both meals in a row.

I didn’t even want it, I couldn’t even really taste it because I am sick, yet this morning, it was my breakfast.

Now, I’ve been thinking about this scenario in my head all day so I am going to try to break it down for myself.

Part 1: Ed’s voice.

When you live with an eating disorder, eating “forbidden” things like cake are not allowed. And if you do eat them, you need to eat all of it, right away, really fast, and then go and somehow “fix” it later.

That’s what happened today with the cake for breakfast.

Ed couldn’t handle it just being in my fridge. Usually, I am OK with unsafe foods being in my house because I am at the point where I can trust myself around them, but today just didn’t flow like that.

So, Ed said if I am going to have this cake in my fridge, I needed to eat it all, right now, standing up,and then not eat the rest of the day to compensate.

And yes, I listened to him about eating the cake. Did it feel good to let him make that decision for me? No. But here is the second part.

Part 2: I really just like cake.

I was craving cake all week, so when I had the chance to order it yesterday, I did.

It was bad timing because I was sick and maybe I should have waited until I could better enjoy it-but nonetheless, I got it.

This is the healthy part of this situation. You like cake, you eat it. No guilt, no over thinking.

It’s one piece of cake-not the entire universe on a platter.

I did let Ed dominate the cake for breakfast situation more than I would have liked.

I don’t regret eating the cake, because like I said, I love cake, but I wish it was more on my terms,’ my way. Maybe sitting down, or maybe on an actual plate or something of that matter.

But at the end of the day, although Ed would like to make me think that this one piece of cake completely morphed my body and that I need to go do some drastic extreme measures of exercising or restricting to fix it, I know he is wrong.

Really, if you think about it, all that happened, was that I had a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast.

No exercising or restricting needs to be followed by that.

What needs to be followed by that is some self compassion and understanding.

Big deal Ed, so I ate chocolate cake for breakfast.

I’ll live on and you one day, will not.

Hello life.

 

Day 250: Standing Tall

Hi everyone,

On this day…

I celebrate 250 days without a scale.

I appreciate 250 days of living in recovery.

I give up 2 more sick pants to donate.

On this day…

I listened to my body when it was tired to end my morning walk.

I listened to me more than I listened to Ed.

On this day…

I remember where I was 250 days ago.

I remember how I felt when Ed used my weight to tell me how good of  a person I was that day.

I remember those numbers.  I felt like they were  literally inked onto my body.

I remember carrying them around with me every day.

On this day…

I close my eyes in sadness at the prison I once lived in.

Yet I open them to find I’ve begun to set myself free.

Sometimes my feet get tangled in some of the chains that are left behind, and sometimes I fall.

But on this day…

I celebrate the 250 times that I picked myself back up and lived each day in recovery.

I never thought that I could do this, and somehow, I have.

Thank you to everyone, both old and new readers, followers, supporters and fellow fighters, who have given me the strength to make it to this 250 day milestone.

On this day…we celebrate us standing tall without the confinements of our addictions.

Hello to 250 days of beginning my journey to freedom and hello life.

250

Day 249: Jean Sizes Don’t Validate Me

Happy Friday everyone,

I started today by adding two more pairs of sick pants to my bag that I am going to donate. I didn’t try them on first, even though I wanted to. I just put them straight in there.

It was so hard. Both of those pants had true meaning to me. They, along with my scale, used to validate how worthy I was on a daily basis.

At one time, one of those pants, used to be so tight on me, and at the end of my time with Ed right before I chose recovery, they were falling off. I was literally pulsing inside wondering how they would fit now.

I could have tried them. No one was there.

But I knew, no matter how good I felt before that moment, I wouldn’t feel good after trying them on; not because I didn’t necessarily like the way I looked today, but because I would have been stepping back into that place of letting these pants be my judge.

Instead, I dropped them into the donation bag.

Soon, but not yet, I think I will be ready to donate my first bag to the homeless shelter I found (there is a link to them on the “donate your sick clothes page.”)

Anyway, I spent the day after that seeing E, and then relaxing and sleeping. After such a crazy week, I just needed to rest. It felt weird, but it was necessary.

Ed doesn’t like when I rest. But he already lost his power today when I put those two sick pants in the donation bag.

And then tonight , I celebrated one of my brothers birthday, who turned 8 yesterday.

He was so happy because my sister and I got him his first real pair of walkie talkies.

Seeing him smile and seeing him play with the new toy we got him, just made me so happy.

Sometimes material items can have such a hold on us.

My pants are just pants, but they meant the world to me at one point because I trusted them to tell me if I was skinny or not that day.

But then there’s something like this pair of walkie talkies; so simple, so innocent, yet it brought joy to my brothers and their cousins for hours today.

But more than that, I didn’t need to wear a pair of sick pants, or a certain jean size tonight to feel like I was valued.

I saw it on my brothers face when he smiled and gave me a big kiss and said his walkie talkies were the best present he got.

No size jeans can do that.

Hello life.

Day 248: Time To Relax With My Dessert

Hi everyone,

I just finished the biggest story that I’ve ever done.  I worked on it for the past week endlessly. 7 days and over 20 interviews later, I feel I can finally breathe and relax.

Simply stated, I never could have done this story if I was living by Ed’s rules.

He would have starved my body, which therefore would have made me weak and unable to focus.

It is because of recovery that I was able to stay focused enough to use my writing skills and my passion for journalism to finish this piece.

It wasn’t easy.

This week has been the hardest week of recovery I’ve experienced in a while because it was so easy to skip meals and blame it on being “too busy,” and it was so hard to take out that time out to eat.

The black and white part of me still does exist, although there is a lot more gray now-I still tend to be extreme at points. If I am working on something, I work until I am done-nothing in between.

But I found a way to shove recovery somewhere in between all those black and white moments this week and it feels good.

So now, I am giving myself one night to breathe and relax, until tomorrow, when I start my new story.

Ed is already telling me to workout tomorrow morning, but I will not.

He’s telling me to not go eat this frozen yogurt that’s in my freezer right now, but I will–because I want it, it looks good and who doesn’t like to relax at home with some kind of dessert?

It only feels right to complete my night like that.

Goodbye Edward, as my dad calls him, hello dessert and hello life.

Day 247: The Hello Life Moment That Made Me Cry

Hi Everyone,

This past Monday, I read the little girl I tutor a poem called Hug O’War by Shel Silversten.

It goes like this:

“I will not play at tug o’war.
I’d rather play at hug o’war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.”

I read it to her because it taught about loving others, being kind to others, and being fair to others.

It was a poem about love and kindness, and we talked about what it meant for a good 20 minutes after I read it to her.

Tonight when I came to tutor her, she had this waiting for me on the table:

hug o war

I cried when I read it.

She had taken those words that meant so much to me, and she wrote them on paper for me with nothing but love and kindness.

It was such a true “hello life moment.”

Sometimes when we are trapped by an addiction, our entire lives can become so consumed with the things bound by them-for example, with Ed and I.

Sometimes I can get so consumed by what I ate today or how my clothes fit, I tend to lose sight of life’s undeniable truths that no eating disorder can overshadow, one of them being true love.

This picture was true love.

I thought I was teaching her a lesson about love and kindness by reading her that poem, when in reality, she actually taught me one.

Recovery was hard for me today. It was a struggle to eat. But none of that seems to matter to me right now, when I stare at that picture.

My life, our lives-is so much more than the tiny obsessions we can get so sucked into like calories or numbers or tangible things to fixate on like clothes or money or jean sizes.

It’s about moments like these-moments where the love of others seems to find its way to our hearts and souls and has a way of bringing so much joy into our lives.

There’s been only a few true “hello life moments” since I’ve started this blog, and this is the first one that has ever made me cry.

No Ed in the universe can give me that great feeling that I felt tonight when I walked in and saw that picture on that table.

Ed can give me familiarity, structure or some image of an “ideal body,” but he can’t give me love.

If I could only love myself half as much as this girl loved me enough to make this picture for me today, Ed would never stand a chance again.

I am on my way to making that happen.

Hello life.

Day 246: Just Shut Up And Eat

Hi everyone,

From the minute I woke up today up until right now, my day has been extremely busy.

I literally haven’t had one second to relax.

From going hiking with my sister in the morning, to doing seven different interviews for my story due this week, to writing my actual story, to attending a 3 hour class at school and to finally being able to sit and write this blog, it’s safe to say I was very much distracted today.

Now, distractions and recovery can work very well together sometimes.

There have been many times where healthy distractions like watching a movie, going out with friends, or being deeply involved with my school work has actually distracted me from listening to the mean things Ed tells me.

But today, it didn’t serve that healthy purpose. I felt it the moment I woke up too.

I know how the cycle goes when I slightly slip and skip a meal or even a snack already. I get so sucked back into Ed and his ways and then it makes it 100 times harder to pick myself back up the next day.

I don’t have time to today to slip and fall a few steps back because I am writing my biggest story yet (it will be my second front page story) and I need to stay focused. And I also  want to continue feeling as strong as I can in my recovery.

Therefore, I literally had to tell myself today over and over again “just shut up and eat.”

I could talk myself out of eating in one second, or actually, Ed is the one who could talk me out of it very easily, so telling him to shut up was essential today.

And it’s worked so far.

I just need to do it one more time after I write this blog so I can go eat dinner and I will have successfully stayed on my meal plan today and made it through another day in recovery.

My desire and absolute lack of appetite right now is making this last meal really hard for me, but I knew if I wrote about it first and left myself accountable to all those who read this blog, then I would have no choice.

Sometimes, there are days where you can’t do something for yourself, so instead, you do it for others, and that’s what I am doing today, and I think that it is OK.

Hello to another day of making it through recovery and hello life.