Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Big Lie

[Eavesdropping on a typical conversation between Ana and I, years ago]:

Me: “Ana, I’m sick of this. I just want to be happy. Sometimes I just wish I could eat and be normal.”

Ana: “By normal do you mean fat? You can’t be happy if you let yourself get fat. You’ve tried eating. You always come back.”

Me: “I know… but lots of people have normal and even large bodies, and somehow manage to be happy. Isn’t that possible?”

Ana: “Do you think you could be?”

Me: “No. I guess I never will.”

Ana. “See. Stick with me and you’ll be thin.”

Me: [Sobbing] “Maybe I should go into therapy or get some help.”

Ana: “You’re not skinny enough yet. You’re not at your goal weight. You're not sick enough until you lose a few more pounds. You can’t go into therapy looking fat.”

Me: “You’re right. I’m too fat for help.”

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Where is Della Shadows?


I'm so sad because I haven't been able to find Della. We were e-mailing and profile disapeared and her e-mail address was deleted. Does anyone know how to reach her? :'(

I'm so sad.

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This week was the beginning of Lent.

Since I grew up in a religious family, Ana and I used to use any excuse to fast. It was like a free day without any pressure – no one expected me to eat, so there was no pressure to pretend.

Fasting has presented a much greater challenge since I went into recovery.

Here is the understatement of the year: I’m in a much different place spiritually and mentally than I was back then. I’ve changed faiths for starters. I broke off my friendship with Ana and Mia.

But I really wanted to participate in the season of lent this year. The idea is to give up something you really like (often a favorite food) and focus on growing spiritually and praying. It’s also traditional to fast on the first day of lent.

On Ash Wednesday this week, I decided to give fasting another go. A few hours in – the familiar feelings. The hunger pangs I used to look forward to and consider a success. The oh-so-familiar taste in my own mouth. The blurry disconnect. It was all so easy. So familiar. I slipped it on like a favorite, old pair of jeans.

But you know, I think the scars run too deep. I did that for too long to have a good mindset about it.

While I didn’t feel the need to relapse this time, I couldn’t help but start seeing the world the way I used to. Seeing food as poison, noticing others’ weakness for eating, and feeling a little worthless.

I floated down the aisle at Ash Wednesday service in a blur. The priest placed the ashes on my forehead saying, “Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.” This reminds me that my life is just a breathe – a moment in time that is passing

I’m playing my own body guard now, and I’ve decided that it’s not safe for me to fast from food. In a way, I think I’m becoming a better body guard to my own recovery – learning things that put me in harms way and avoiding them – even if it does make people judge. I don’t think I really should ever let my guard down. Recovery is not a state of being, it is a daily journey.

I think next time Ash Wednesday rolls around, I’ll be fasting from something non-food related like TV or the internet. Probably I’ll go for something that puts a little more silence in my life.

I’m just not there. And that’s okay.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Bad News

I’ve been distant, I know.

I won’t let it happen again.

You see, I’ve been getting kicked in the gut over and over again. I don’t blame you for being upset that I haven’t posted. I’ve just been flat on my back, emotionally, and I’m really, really ready to leave this place. I’ve got sooo much to catch you up on, and I hadn’t decided until now whether or not I was going to be able to do it. I think I can.

I’ve described to you before how EDs push people away. I know it first hand from my own experiences pushing everyone in my life out – slamming the doors so Ana and I could be alone and concentrate on progress. But this is the first time I’ve ever been the one on the other side of the door. It’s no fun. I’ve often made the parallel between an ED and an abusive relationship. In my own recovery, I refer to my eating disorder as a person, “Ed.”

Kat said she was doing better, and said she didn’t want to do this blog anymore and that she knew it was keeping her from recovery.

I don’t know how to write about all that’s transpired since then, because I can’t process it fully myself yet. I’ve been trying to verbalize so I could share with you, but I don’t know how yet.

I’ve been really torn up since recently; Kat started shutting everyone out, including me. She’s been behaving really erratically and making a lot of crazy moves. She stole from Judah’s workplace. She stole from my friend at a party. She dropped out of High School. She was staying at my house for a few weeks, and picked up and left one night without warning. Back at my parent’s house a few weeks later, she ran away from home. She’s been lashing out and hurting everyone around her, honestly being kind of a jerk, and busting up her relationships.

I’ve cried a lot. For a week all I could think about was “Speechless” by Lady Gaga. The Lyrics totally expressed my feelings. The day after she ran away from home, I wrote her a letter. Here goes.

Dear “Kat”,

I wanted to write this to you today to give you a glimpse into actual reality. I know that to a certain extent, you know that what I am about to say is true.

I love you. And I’m a fool in love because it’s destroying me emotionally. I feel so useless as I write this at my little table at Starbucks.

How long do you think relationships can handle going through the meat grinder that is Ana and Mia? You are missing so much.

One of my biggest regrets in life is that I feel like I just started living 3 years ago. Life, it turns out, is a cornucopia of amazing sounds, colors, thoughts – emotions even – that my eating disorder would not allow me to experience.

I’m talking about your eating disorder because I blame your relationship with Ana/Mia squarely for the crumbling relationships between you and our family who love you so desperately.

It makes me want to scream, or shake you because you are stuck in an addiction that promises everything, but offers you nothing. And you have traded the greatest gifts in your life for those cheap lies.

I know “recovery” often seems ridiculous. But I have chosen to implore you to try.

Why? Because I’m fed up. I’m sick to death of being slapped in the face by Ed when I need my sister! I hate that he is keeping you from being here for me, and that because of him, you have nothing to offer your family in a time of need.

I hate that the other night, you could have been having a blast with me and my crazy friends at the party, but instead you chose to spend the night in the bathroom. Try to tell me that doesn’t hurt.

But that is the reality of our EDs. Not the beautiful, thin, fulfilled models you posted as thinspiration. That’s the lie that Ana promises but never delivers in a way that is satisfying.

Trust me, as someone who was married to Ed for ten years, he’s a fucking loser who warps your perspective of the world and sucks every ounce of color and joy out.

Ed promises you beauty, perfection, love, acceptance, and that you will be valued. He delvers misery, depression loneliness, despair, self-hatred and death.

It’s not beauty - It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.

I wish you could open your eyes and see that here before you is a family absolutely in love with you. Desperately in love with you. Tragically hurt by your actions. But this is what Ed does. He wants you isolated. He wants dead. He wants you lonely, and depressed. I love you. I want you. I even need you. But as long as you continue in your self-destructive tendencies, you will continue to fail us. How long can this go on? How many will be casualties before you stop? I am here for you. As I said in one of my blog posts, I feel like in a lot of ways, I have yet to even meet you.

The fact is, you are an adult now and it’s 100% your choice how you want to live your life. No one can or will stop you. I just urge you to think long and hard about what you want in your life, and if you are on a path to achieve it. They say hindsight is 20/20. In so many ways we are similar. If you extrapolate the hindsight theory, I look into your future and see utter personal disaster if you don’t reach out and accept the true love and help you deserve and need. I see you breaking relationships. Missing the beauty in life, and perhaps even losing your future husband - simply because you chose the bathroom option.

I of all people know that it isn’t easy. But you are loved. You have support. You need to act. Please reach out and stop missing everything. We need you. You do have a choice. No one is making you hurt us – it is you.

* * *

Things seemed better for a while. Then, two weeks ago, she left home for good, leaving my mother with only a note. Since then, Kat’s been shutting everyone out. She unfriended the whole family on facebook, even me. Aside from one text, I haven’t heard from her.

There’s been a lot of erratic behavior. I get that. I know it’s a part of this whole thing. I also know that I’m oversimplifying here – and a lot of shit has gone down, and it’s not easy to explain.

I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of worrying. I can’t concentrate on anything. I’m ANGRY that I don’t have a sister present when I need her. Kat’s obviously pushing everyone away, but even I feel like the limits of my patience have been tested. How many times can someone (metaphorically) hang up on you before you give up trying to call? Judah and I love Kat a lot, but hey, even we are human. To quote Shakespeare, If you prick us, do we not bleed? …If you poison us, do we not die?”

I guess I need to figure out how to love her without continually getting destroyed in the process. I’ve been on the sidelines with a few injuries.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010


Hi there,
Just wanted to let you know that I haven't fallen off the planet. I was called out of town unexpectedly, but now I'm back. It's been busy. Hope you are all doing ok.