I've always wondered what it would be like to look at myself and see what's actually there. When I stare back at my reflection in the full-length mirror that hangs from my bathroom wall, I don't see what you see. The eating disorder community calls this body dysmorphic disorder. I call it my every day. I've also wondered what it would be like to not compulsively obsess about my appearance. Because I'm not vain but my eating disorder would tell you otherwise. Even though I'm not "active" in it anymore, I find that it still creeps up. Because when I wake up each morning, I run to the scale. Depending on what reads back will, in fact, tell me how good of a day I will have. Slowly though, I'm learning that my value and self-worth doesn't change when or if my weight does. If anything, you become smarter when you finally see all of the lies about body size equaling happiness. But to me when I'm in the thick of it, it takes over. It's no longer about facts. It's not rational. Because most of us know it sounds crazy. Hell, it is crazy. But it's real and we simply can't help it. We can, however, control it or at least attempt too. Because I'm not lying when I say I don't see what you see. I never have. And for some reason, I still fear getting fat even though I've never been overweight a day in my life. So here are three reasons why I shouldn't fear any of that. And for the record, neither should you.
Oh, if I could go back in time. Oh, the things I'd tell my younger self. Only recently have I really come into my own. I used to be this wet blanket. A people-pleaser with no voice. I'd apologize for everything. I'd say sorry for saying sorry. I'd agree —even if I didn't for fear of rejection. Not anymore though. I don't know when it all clicked. But when it did, it did. And now, I want to share some things I've learned over the last decade. About myself. About life. About everything. Because nothing is what it seems. Nothing really goes according to plan. I had this picture in my head of who I thought I was. Who I thought I'd be. Of what life would turn out like. Why do we put such high expectations on ourselves? And why can't we be content with what we have instead of spending the precious moments we do being sad about something we made up in our heads that we thought we needed? Most of the time, the universe has a way of straightening things out far better than we ever could. So, from 20-something to nearly 30, this is what I've learned.
I've been complaining of pain for a while. Honestly, though, it's hard to put into words exactly how I feel and I think that's the problem. Because I don't know where to begin. Because for the past few months, I didn't know what was wrong with me. I knew something wasn't right. I mean, it's not normal to feel sick all the time. But after visiting multiple doctors —all telling me I was fine, why wouldn't I believe them? They're the ones with a medical degree, right? It's just this thing is really hard to figure out. Did you know 10 years is the average length of time it takes to get a diagnosis? That 68 percent of women are initially misdiagnosed with another condition? Oh, and that 50 percent of women with endometriosis also experience infertility? I didn't. What I do know is that it's exhausting. It's hidden. Not seen. Not talked about. Embarrassing. But it's not —at least it shouldn't be. Except, it is according to society. Not anymore though and definitely not here.
I remember love. I remember laughter. But I also recall resentment and tears. I will say that growing up, I never went without. In fact, I always had too much. And I think that's how my addiction ultimately began. My family was loving. My mom, selfless. My dad, the provider. And, my sister, my role model. We were small but close-knit. I'd like to say fierce. They always had my back. They were (and still are) a bit overprotective but you'll never hear me say they didn't care. So if you're wondering why I am the way I am today, read this.
I was the girl hiding in her closet at 2:00 a.m. doing crunches because I couldn’t sleep. I was private to the point of fault. No one could see me work out and I hated the idea of anyone watching me eat. Except, when I finally made the decision to seek treatment, I knew I had to change my behavior. I needed to alter how I looked at fitness and my relationship with food. At the end of the day, I wanted to not only look good but feel good too. So, let's start at the beginning.
I was the poster child of hedonism. I chased highs and escape. I ate too much. I drank too much. I gossiped too much. I bought too much. I smoked too much. I worked too much. The list clearly goes on. Because I felt so empty, I used an insane amount of external things to fill the holes on the inside —anything that fed my senses, I was hungry for. Because I had failed to address any of the things that were driving my need to escape in the first place, my first go at ditching pills crashed and burned. But then, I switched my plan of attack. It was during this time that holistic therapy began to take on a whole new meaning for me. So here it goes.
I sit here with a clear head excited about what's to come. I've worked hard these past few weeks and I'm actually hopeful. But when I'm all alone in my bedroom, I can't help but think, what now? I know I have the tools to succeed in my recovery, yet, I still feel stuck (sometimes). It's like when there's nothing to do and I'm a little bored, I find myself asking, what if I got high? I can't. I know I can't. And the truth is, I won't. But seriously, what am I supposed to do now? Well, I can think of seven things.
I remember being on vacation and not needing my standard amount of insulin. I didn't understand why my blood sugars were so stable and almost normal until I understood how stress effects just about everything. Many anxious moments occur spontaneously. However, some can be predicted. And if you can predict it, you can prevent it. Here's what you need to know about stress and blood sugar levels.
I don't know why I've always been so hard on myself. It's like I don't expect others to be perfect so why the fuck do I expect this of myself? It's exhausting and makes no sense. Except, recently, I had this revelation that I don't need to be perfect all the time. In fact, I don't need to be perfect at all. Here's how I deal with the devil of perfectionism.
I think you have to want it bad enough to overcome addiction. I couldn't let these pills go, even after I hit rock bottom. And then I found yoga. That's when everything changed. I get it though —the process of recovery is stressful on its own, and without your usual means of coping, it’s really easy to become overwhelmed. So, here are three ways yoga helps me stay grounded.
College graduation is upon me along with my sensible attempts to get the good girl back. Except this chick was severely addicted to opioids. I was literally doing about 31 pills a day. But I thought if I could simply leave, then I could get better. I was living my life through the saying, out of sight, out of mind. So I pack my bags, give my apartment key back to my landlord, and try to start over, again. Destination —sunny Florida. Things started off great but I was about to learn; wherever you go, there you are. And eventually, I find myself addicted all over again. So I'll ask you one more time, who's ready to battle for some sanity? I hope you say yes.
In my last blog post, I discussed how I’m trying to swim through life with multiple mental illnesses but I can’t even float. It feels like I’m sinking with nothing to stop me but me. And so, I pretend everything is okay. And if you're like me, you want to feel normal but maybe you just don't know how. Well, here are three mental health treatment options that can bring you back to the person you were always meant to be.
I don’t remember when, but at some point, I realized what I was feeling and going through was not normal nor healthy. It was hard to admit that I was drowning. But, if I was going to get help, if I was going to feel happy again and be able to stay afloat, I needed to admit that something was wrong. I was not okay.
This disease is not solely based on the pursuit to “look beautiful" —for those who have some type of eating disorder, it's so much more than that. Honestly, it’s as if you're in an abusive relationship. One minute it’s spewing hateful thoughts about you and the next it’s apologetically, promising that if you listen to what it says you will achieve happiness. One thing I always wish people knew about living with this type of mental illness is that it casts a shadow on everything in your life, no matter how small it may seem from the outside world. So, this is what it's really like to live with an eating disorder —at least from my perception.
Let's face it. Sometimes we are what's making us miserable. We just can't stop thinking about how so-and-so wronged us, or how our life didn't turn out as we hoped. Negative thought processes —such as worrying, self-judgment, and fear of rejection —only keep us more miserable. But if there are outside factors that make us so miserable, there have to be others that will make us happy, right? Yes. Here are five self-care tips that can help you make it without faking it.
I lost 30 pounds in just a few short weeks. Secretly, I loved it. Maybe that was why I waited so long to actually get my symptoms checked out. The thing is, if you listen to your body when it whispers, you won't have to hear it scream. Here's what you need to know about diagnosing type one diabetes.
Just about everyone gets hurt from time to time. When you cut your finger or pull a muscle, pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. Once the injury heals, you stop hurting. Sounds simple enough, right? Yes. Except chronic pain is different. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible trauma, chronic pain persists —for months or even longer. If you have chronic pain and depression, well —that burden may grow even heavier. The good news is, these disorders are not inseparable. Here's what you need to know.
Truth, most Americans these days are either trying to get pills, helping someone else get them, in recovery from using too many or worse, dead from overdosing. Don't you think it's about time for a different approach? Why are some doctors so quick to write a refill for oxy while others are too afraid to even take their prescription pad out? Well today, I have some good news. With the rise of opioid-related deaths, new regulations finally say that opiate medication should only be looked at as a last resort when treating non-cancer chronic pain —a loss for “Big Pharma” but a win for pain patients everywhere. Here's what you need to know.
Maybe you have no reason to feel anxious. Or, maybe, it's all just too much to handle. The thing is, it's okay to feel your feelings —just don't move in. There are ways to ease the pain of anxiety, and eventually eliminate it. But before you can actually work toward fixing it, you must identify why you do the things you do. This is what you need to know.