Next week is set aside to bring National awareness to eating disorders. I am reblogging this entry because not only can I relate to each and every word since I often feel as if “I’m not sick enough for help”, or my mind conjures up many of these illogical justications for not receiving help, but more importantly this entry also is a needed reminder to the general public eating disorders are more than appearance, they go deeper than surface level, and to anyone in recovery or relapse, we are all deserving of physical, mental, and emotional wellness.
I am hoping I can make some sort of intelligible connections with the recent place I am mentally related to eating disorder recovery, so if you can glean something helpful, way to go for comprehending my ramblings, and if you have feedback, tips or a reality check, I am all ears.
For anyone in recovery, I am sure you’ve heard the comments which are intended to be motivating or have received the tough love, reverse psychology approach some misinformed friends or family use to accelerate recovery. Or maybe in their own way they hope it will return you to the person you were prior to an eating disorder, I don’t know.
I don’t know because I do not remember who I was before anorexia. I’ve lost sight of the freedom to eat a meal without fixating on irrelevant details such as the size of the plate, the name of the dish, especially if it has adjectives about size or weight in the title. Reading over this last sentence makes me feel screwy, because logically I know, who in their right mind cares? This is my experience with an eating disorder. It makes no sense, it has no rhyme or reason except to slowly kill me
Today I went out for an enjoyable lunch with coworkers, and that damn bitch of an eating disorder screwed with my head the whole time. The mental exhaustion of logically knowing despite having to interact with food you possess the ability to socially assimilate with others, but then the thoughts, feelings and associated obsessions come boiling to the surface. Oh, and we can’t forget the planning for the future to undo any perceived bit of damage whether real or a blatant lie.
Please someone tell me when does it stop? Maybe it’s just been today and if I hold to the truth that tomorrow will be better this will come to fruition, but this is where I am right in the moment.
Recovery is frustrating, uncomfortable, difficult, tiring, however, I had little glimpses of what it felt like to be free of this prison, although a brief respite from the madness. I am thankful for these memories of clarity, because I do not know if I could have continued down this path or would have even survived this hellacious war for the past 20 tormenting years if this journey would have been one unending relapse.
I truly hate anorexia more than I did when I was 13 or even 23, but where I am I going wrong when it comes to recovery? Why care about a stupid number on the scale, or in clothing sizes that logically means nothing?
I’ve been trying to follow my old ass meal plan and try not to obsess over the specifics, but without fail eating equals feeling full, which then translates into illogical distorted perceptions of my body and then it’s time for reconstruction mode to kick in since the symbolic voice will not shut up with the self-deprecating comments. Now, I try to remind myself, Anjie, you don’t have to give the eating disorder control, but I have this irrational fear of losing it altogether.
If I actively work at recovery each day with all its messy, emotional, exposures of my vulnerabilities and weaknesses, then what of me? What will people think if I cry over a stupid snack or meal because I intensely emotionally and physically feel too much? I am supposedly a 33-year-old professional, daughter, Mother, friend, and sister, but the way my mind works some days I feel as if I am not worthy of these titles.
I hate sitting with those feelings with nowhere to go and nothing productive to do. Yes, I have tried the distraction techniques which temporarily work, however, I am realizing the pressure to measure up, to keep up, to be who I long to be is a double-edged sword.
While outwardly I am sort of successful. I graduated with my MSW, have a wonderful fulfilling job and authentic friendships I wouldn’t trade for the world, in the long-run what am I really doing? What if everyone knew who I really was or the not-so-good mental health days?
By avoiding recovery, being passive, sort of motivated but not, actively restricting but fighting back with all I have some day’s over others, how will this sorted soul-sucking story end?
God, right now I do not have the answers. I do not have the strength to deal with dinner, but I must. I must because you haven’t brought me this far for me to give up. I will divide and conquer and if so be it I will fake it until I “make it.”
For anyone in a similar place, know you are not alone, and we may not have all the answers to the questions at this exact moment, or even quickly win each battle of relapse and recovery, but let’s cling to the assurance recovery and overall wellness are possible with faith, hope, love, dedication and healthy supports.
Until next time, be well
Hi all on this rainy day,
Based on unfortunate happenings today, I have been forced to seriously evaluate what I deserve in life, and rather than focusing inward, I believe these criteria are applicable to us as human beings. Especially also with Valentine’s Day coming up this Tuesday, when most of our society is focused on “love”, many men and women are sadly suffering through abusive relationships. May we always be mindful abuse does not have to be just physical. At times emotional, mental and verbal abuse can cause deeper wounds than one can visually see, for anyone who has also come through to the other side of an abusive relationship, may we never forget this short list of things we all deserve no matter our pasts, current situations or future choices.
•To be heard
•To be ourselves
•To be loved.
•To make mistakes and learn from them.
•To have joint control and say in decisions in relationships
•To make our own decisions whether good or bad
•To be respected for our choices
•To be honest with those who hurt us with our words or actions
•To give respect, love, and attentiveness to others.
•To guard our heart
•To listen before speaking
•To not have to justify our actions as adults to others in order to seek their approval
•To value and love ourselves by caring for our mind, body and spirit
•To be happy
•To feel sad and share our pain with those we trust
•To be ourselves with all our authentic strengths and weaknesses
•To improve ourselves
•To make choices
•To live our lives free of emotional manipulation, retribution or fear
•To actively live out our chosen faith in supportive communities void of condemnation
•To live this precious gift of life
Whether someone tells you on Valentine’s Day or all the other days of the year, know you are valued, a unique gem and this world would not be the same without you.
Until next time,
Hello there, welcome to the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary time.
While many are watching the Super Bowl, I thought I would take time to attempt to make up for my lack of blog entries with some random reflections. This morning I was honored to be one of many who celebrated in a beautifully personalized Mass at the Cathedral for a friend from Theology on Tap who was received fully into the Church with the sacraments of Communion and Confirmation.
It has been refreshing to see a catechumen so on fire for her faith. Most of my friends who are Catholic are like me, cradle Catholics who at times take our faith for granted. I know I did not value my faith until I completely walked away from it and reverted with a deeper love and appreciation for the beauty, fullness and truth of Christ’s Church.
Fr. Brommer’s homily focused on the Gospel which proclaimed,
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”
We were reminded as practicing Catholics, the Church impacts our relationships, helps shape our opinions and perspectives, but do we often stay in our comfortable familiar circles without venturing out to minister to those of different or no particular faiths?
The larger question is “who is the Church?” As the Catholic, meaning “universal” Church, it is all Christian believers whose purpose is to live our lives in such a way we bring god the glory.
While as a practicing Roman Catholic I may have theological differences with my fellow Christians of different denominations, I pray in our own personal ways we can reach out and be the salt and light to the world, because the Church is all believers, and as St. John said, “they will know us by the love We have for one another.” Recent life changes have reinforced the idea that I cannot cause conversion in someone’s heart, or steadfastly clinging to my narrow-minded life goals does not freely permit God to work in my life.
Being part of such a moving Mass for a beautiful friend who has joined the Church family has renewed my prayer that rather than attempt to single-handedly orchestrate my life, I ask for the Holy spirit to ascend upon us all so we can go out into our parts of the world and put into practice the “culture of encounter” as displayed by our Papa Francis.
This fitting song was our Communion hymn
May through modeling the examples of our heavenly Saints who have gone before us and reliance on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I pray we carry out the Great Commission through our words and actions to all we meet no matter their faith journey, because God’s always up to some greater good that we may not see at the time.
Until next time,
Hello all my blog lovin’ friends,
It has been some time since I last put keys to computer, so here goes a beyond brief hodgepodge of rambling realizations in the form of a poem by an unknown author. I hope to return in the near future with a more engaging entry.
I will first start off by saying this rendition of
has not only been on my daily music merry-go-round over the past few days, it also has been instrumental in helping me come to terms with the difficult and at times painful pieces of life as well as provided the strength to embrace the positive people God has graciously placed in my life. If I attempted to summarize the below poem, it would become a muddled mess, so since I concur with all that is said, I pray these words of wisdom speak to you where you are. I also pray we continually seek the strength and understanding from our Creator, the one who knows us better than we know ourselves, and may we live a life pleasing to Him.
Letting Go Poem
Letting go doesn’t mean to stop caring;
It means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off…
It’s the realization that I can’t control another…
Letting go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try and change or blame another,
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle
arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective,
It is to permit another to face reality.
Letting go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
Until next time,
“When all the world is looming dark,
And things seem not so clear,
When shadows seem to hover ’round,
Lord, may I persevere.
When it seems, everything’s been tried,
And there’s no way to go,
Just let me keep remembering,
Sometimes the journey’s slow.
I may just need to stop and rest,
Along the path I trod,
A time to try to understand,
And have my talk with God.
As I gain new strength to carry on,
Without a doubt or fear,
Somehow I know things will be right,
And so, I persevere.
Anne Stortz from Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul
I hope you are doing well. I do not feel as if I have anything substantive to say with this entry, however, this poem recently spoke to me and provided a glimpse of encouragement during my current bout with depression. Although I feel as if words fail me, hopefully the above poem can speak to you despite whatever difficulty you may be facing.
Until next time,
Wishful Drinking: A Book Review
“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.” Carrie Fisher
On this frosty Saturday, wishing all a happy healthy start to the New Year!
Fyi, this review drastically diverges from previous books I have read and written about. If you prefer to not read profanity or descriptions of sexual content, most likely you would not enjoy this book. Whether you read this book or choose to refrain, I encourage us all to be open to the many lessons we can learn from the successes and stumbles of anyone’s life, especially if their path differs from our own.
Since I tend to have a warped sarcastic sense of humor, I thoroughly enjoyed Fisher’s personal narrative. I admittedly am one of those who read Wishful Drinking after Carrie’s untimely passing. I knew her name was synonymous with the Star Wars franchise and often read about her advocacy regarding removing stigma and changing perceptions of mental health diagnosis’s and treatment, but I was not familiar with her complete story. Since anyone can read on Wikipedia about her star-studded sorted past, I am not going to focus on the family drama which surrounded her celebrity status, rather my goal is to capture my take on the person she put forth in this quick read along with realizations I have been able to relate to my life journey.
This is a wonderfully real, Whitty, raw account of Fisher’s unique experiences fighting the battles of bipolar disorder and substance abuse, which are often stigmatized by our society. She was a tireless activist who put an authentic face to what it is to live despite a DSM diagnosis. As someone who struggles with eating disorder relapse and recovery along with bipolar II, I could relate to her emotional roller coaster ride of highs and lows. While everyone has a different story, for Carrie sobriety was not just a once and done deal; she had to regularly and willingly work a program even after setbacks.
Accepting the diagnosis of bipolar disorder and what it took for her to be well also was not an easy road. Although it is not always the best approach, her story is a reminder that as humans we are stubborn self-reliant creatures who at times must learn best by doing rather than following advice or input from others.
Just to clarify, in an ideal world I know I would take my medications as prescribed, follow my doctor’s orders, and flawlessly follow my meal plan, however, I know putting forward this false facade would not be true to my flaws and tendencies. However, saying this does not preclude me from changing, trying and learning from my missteps and meanderings. We are all works in progress who undergo transformations of learning and letting go.
As an aside, the HBO one-woman show of Wishful Drinking is hilarious, but there is content included in the book that wasn’t covered during her stand-up performance. For instance, imagining the below quote cracked me up. I am learning instead of being overly stuffy and super serious all the time about my struggles humor keeps me going; it helps make the big and small battles worthwhile.
“I thought I would inaugurate a Bipolar Pride Day. You know, with floats and parades and stuff! On the floats we would get the depressives, and they wouldn’t even have to leave their beds – we’d just roll their beds out of their houses, and they could continue staring off miserably into space. And then for the manics, we’d have the manic marching band, with manics laughing and talking and shopping and fucking and making bad judgment calls.” Carrie Fisher
While Fisher was a celebrity who grew up in the constant watchful eye of Hollywood, her life story is proof addiction, mental illness, relapse, recovery, treatment, family conflict/drama, loss, pain and the myriad of ups and downs does not exclude those who our society deems as untouchable.
shows that even in death what she stood for was represented: her quirky sense of humor and her final resting place is a lasting tribute to normalizing the importance of mental healthcare which is just as important as taking care of our body and spirit.
Whether you have a mental health diagnosis, or are an ally, since we have one spin on this earthly merry-go-round, let’s do our best to not only live through the good and not-so-good days we are dealt, but also use our experiences to advocate for inclusion, acceptance and education about overall wellness.
Until next time, be well