Rising Above

Vulnerability

Vulnerability: susceptible to attack or harm either emotionally or physically…capable of being wounded or hurt….

This is without a doubt the hardest thing for me. I have always avoided being vulnerable, be it with my emotions/letting people in/trusting of others/letting people see who I am. I have such high walls and must always be perfect that I rarely showcase the entire me. This more than likely comes from being an open book in my early early days and people taking advantage of that, my fear of rejection, and because I have to be perfect. I feel as if I have this standard to maintain and opening up can ruin what I have worked so hard to attain. After some therapy sessions  I know that being vulnerable will not ruin my appearance or presentation, but if anything help enhance it and let people know me. People may not see that I have this problem because I am passionate about EVERYTHING! I am easily excitable, but if you look past that, do you ever see me open up truly? Through the past few therapy sessions we have come to the conclusion that this is where I am: I am ready to be fully vulnerable and open up but it scares me and that is why I can’t jump off the vulnerable mountain top yet.  Which I have now realized, especially in my yoga teacher training weekends, I am opening up more and more without even noticing it. And guess what…my peers are accepting and don’t think anything about my struggle with anxiety, depression, and body image…if anything it has made a few come to me and I feel as if I am more into the group of future teacher trainers now than I was before…

My therapist then proceeded to have me watch the following TED Talk (which I ADORE them!). I wanted to share this with you in case you struggle with vulnerability or just to gain more insight on how powerful vulnerability can be. Or you can watch this because Brene Brown is just hilarious. The choice is yours….

#’s (pounds not hashtags)

Do you love the scale? Do you hate the scale? Do you just not care? Whatever your opinion on scales are, you have an opinion. Hopefully it is a healthy one. Those of us with ED’s or are in process of recovery have a definite opinion of the scale. It is our frenemy (friend and enemy).  We love it because it brings us happiness when we need it. We love it
because it keeps our otherwise hectic life in control. Yet, we hate it because it brings us unhappiness. We hate it because it controls us. We hate it because it tells us our self-worth, self-value, and when people will love us. All because of one number we have in our heads. We cannot go above that number. We have a safety number (well I did). Once we go above the high number we starve and purge. If we fall below our safety number we binge because we feel sad and out of control than follow it up with purging.

When I was controlled by a scale I use to hide my insanity. The scale was in my parents bathroom. So I had to go in there to use it. I had to time myself and step on the white plastic scale when they weren’t around. If they caught me using it they would either check the number (which would result in gain weight comments), or tell me to get off it. I did it daily. Multiple times a day, knowing that your weight fluctuates during the day, I had to do it. Ask any one who struggles with this, it is only you and that scale. I had numbers on it where I felt my best and that I liked. I had numbers that were my heavy numbers which were signs that I need to lose weight. And I had a number that I couldn’t go under, mainly in part of a truce I made with my mom and gynecologist when I was severely underweight.

One of my first challenges was to step off that plastic white scale. To decrease my time on it. Instead of five times a day, cut back to three or four, etc…Eventually I weened myself off the scale and only stepped on them when I had a dr’s appointment. When I moved to my current therapist he came up with the idea to step on the scale sideways or backwards so I wouldn’t see the number. If I didn’t see the number I had no attachment to the number (I am not a math major but I had number attachments). It wouldn’t ruin my day with thoughts of “I am gaining” or “I am losing” etc…I felt like I looked stupid and I always made a joke of it but I soon came to realize that the nurses didn’t care. Most of them thought I was smart by doing that given my challenges.

The other day I had a major breakthrough. Probably one of my biggest ones in the almost three years of recovery. I saw a number on a white sheet of paper (my check out sheet at the doctor). On that white sheet of paper, I saw my weight. Here is the crazy part: it was heavier than usual, but I didn’t care. I knew that it may not be accurate because of the time of day, the time of month, and just took it with a grain of salt. I knew that I gained a few but that was ok because people still think I weigh less than that. I have muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. There are lots of reasons for that number. My current weight as of that day was how much I weighed in high school. I honestly think I look smaller now then I did around ten years ago. But my body has also changed shape (yay for late blooming).  I took that number and just let it be. I didn’t purge, starve, or over exercise. I just became mindful of it and went on my merry way.

A year ago that would not have happened! 2 years ago that definitely would not have happened.6 months ago there would be a chance that that would not have happened. But there I was completely ok with it. Melvin did creep in and try to talk me into starving. I disobeyed. I was in a good place. Especially since they are figuring out what is really wrong with my GI distress, and that is enough t over rule any weight arguments with Melvin.

So for those of you out there struggling with the scale, don’t give up. Try getting on the scale backwards or sideways. Don’t have the health practitioner tell you anything. Work on getting rid of attachments to numbers (they do not serve you). Keep trekking on. Eventually that white plastic scale (or whatever color of scale you have)  won’t have a death grip on you.

Till that day comes, practice Metta (lovingkindness in Sanskrit).

 

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NEDA Awareness Week Recap

This past week the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) had their yearly awareness week. For those of us suffering from ED’s or better yet, know people who have suffered or died, it is a great way to bring awareness to this disease.  All over America people join together to bring light to this subject through a variety of mediums. Some participate in NEDA Walks, college campus’ (much like my Alma Mater,  ETSU) hold a week worth of activities, buildings get lit up, people watch movies, there is always the NEDA Jeans Giveaway, and more. For the past two years I have participated with my Facebook page. Where I live now currently doesn’t do anything, I might need to change that, so I post daily information/graphics/pictures/stats/positive messages on my page.

I would like to share with you what I posted each day this week. Below you see pictures, articles, and a link to a blog I follow of a fellow dancer in recovery.

Day 1: The theme of this years week was I Had No Idea. I found this graphic and this article that truly backs up their theme. Also, being an individual who has been told, “you don’t look like you have an eating disorder”, that statement hurts more than people will know and it prevented me (and I am sure others too) the treatment they needed….

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Amazing article to go with this:

Weight Stigma Viewed Through the Eating Disorders Lens: Chelsea Fielder-Jenks, M.A., LPC Intern

Day 2: We all need a little encouragement and reminder of how beautiful we are. The below picture also reminds me of how I had a friend who offered to take me out shopping and rip the tags out of them so I wouldn’t know the size, and she even offered to help me with my clothes already in my closet.

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“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.”  Simon de Beauvoir

Day 3:  Who doesn’t love a good infographic?

wtfzz national eating disorders awareness week wm

Day 4: “A good addiction is a contradiction in terms. Anything people cannot give up or must have is not healthy, no matter the activity.” Jody Dean

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Day 5: An awesome read by a blog I follow. It really captures “ED Logic”.Those of us with ED’s all have our own “ED Logic”. I love that I have found a fellow dancer who is sharing her story…

http://thefatballerinablogs.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/eating-disorder-logic/

Day 6:  I love yoga. I love how it helps to manage my anxiety as get me more in harmony with my body. Yoga has been shown in a few research studies to be a good supplement for an ED treatment program. I hope when I go through with my teacher training, I can help those with ED’s through yoga too.

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A good read: http://www.yogapsychology.org/art_yogatherapyfored.html

Day 7:  “Beauty shouldn’t be about changing yourself to achieve an ideal or be more socially acceptable. Real beauty, the interesting, truly pleasing kind, is about honoring the beauty within you and without you. It’s about knowing that someone else’s definition of pretty has no hold over you.” ― Golda Poretsky

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Peace and Namaste.

When you don’t know what to say, let Maya Angelou do the talking

Right now I am working on a few different topics for my next entries but nothing ready yet to publish. As I sit here thinking about what to write, I realize I don’t have much to say that is short, precise, moving, and gets the theme of this blog. So, why not let one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou, say what I can’t. Enjoy!

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*One of my favorite poems of hers. I just love watching her facial expressions in this video.

*Check out Phenomenal Woman if you have never read it. That poem will make you feel great about being a woman. If you struggle with body image, ED’s, or lack of confidence, this poem really points out the beauty that all women have. The way she writes it, you can’t help but believe that YOU are phenomenal. Which YOU ARE!

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*Are you in harmony?

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*Love others…

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*How us older women need to live our lives to show the next generation of women that it is ok to be strong and kick ass…

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*Aren’t we glad that not one person is a like? How boring would life be if that was the case…

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*The following quote is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES if Dr. Angelou’s

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*The Rock Cries Out To Us Today

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Mark the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spelling words
Armed for slaughter.
The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.
Across the wall of the world,
A river sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.
Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.
Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.
The river sings and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing river and the wise rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the tree.
Today, the first and last of every tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river.
Each of you, descendant of some passed on
Traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name,
You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,
You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,
Then forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of other seekers—
Desperate for gain, starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot…
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,
Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the tree planted by the river,
Which will not be moved.
I, the rock, I the river, I the tree
I am yours—your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
Into your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Friday Night Fun Night=Friday Not So Fun Night

We have all had embarrassing moments right? I am sure as you are reading that sentence your most embarrassing moment is running across your mind. You may even have multiple moments. I think there are certain people who just attract embarrassing moments. I say that because I am a very very outgoing individual and that lends itself to some very interesting/semi-embarrassing moments.

While I have ran into a flag pole, fallen on stage during a dance performance, played a variety of food throwing games at youth retreats, accidentally posted  private stuff on Xanga in high school (o yes, I just went there); I will say what happened to me not so long ago is the worst. It wasn’t even embarrassing. It was mortifying. Yet, ad mist all that embarrassment, I learned new things about my friends and learned how to be more honest with who I am.

My husband and I have made friends with two other couples in our neighborhoods. All roughly the same age and mostly in the same area of life. After months of lacking sisterhood with women, and longing for companionship outside of my dog Winston and my husband, I have meet two incredible women and their husbands. Even all the husbands get along. We celebrated New Years together,  we hang out on the porch while the three year old of one of the couples runs in the yard with Winston. You might call us the Claire Lane Gang.

Two Friday nights ago we decided to get out of the house and all go out. So what do you do in a small town with  no bars? Go bowling of course! And not just any bowling alley a true 1970-1980s bowling alley. We arrive at the ever so early hour of 7:30. Get our awesome bowling shoes and pick our bowling nicknames for our score sheet. My lovely other half gives me $3 to go pick songs on the jukebox (a nice mix of Hootie and the Blowfish, JT, Gagnam Style, Bon Jovi, Sublime, Foreigner, Old Crow Medicine Show, ACDC), all of us are ready to throwdown.

First game is on. All of us are having a good time laughing and cutting up. Most of us girls are doing fair while the men are killing it. I am getting upset and determined to win (though I am in last place) because I am all way too competitive. After that is all said and done we start game two. Two frames in…I…GET…A…STRIKE!!!!!!!!!! I jump for joy and BAM! I fall to the ground very un-ballerina like. I hobble back to my seat brushing it off. Inside I am dying. My whole body is hurting. I have to relieve myself because I am nervous but I can’t walk. I want to throw up because I am nervous but I can’t walk. I am stuck on my chair feeling helpless, restless, and uneasy. My hubby notices that I am about to have an anxiety attack and comes over to me. Looks at my foot and tries to calm me down. I tell him I need to go to the bathroom to vomit. One of the ladies comes with me. I start crying, my head goes light, the rooms spins, and DOWN…I…GO. I fall over and hit my head on an arcade machine before one of my friends catches me. I passed out momentarily. When I woke my friend asked me if I have anxiety. To which, I honestly replied, yes.  But then I hear the words, “I do too. I know how you feel.” While that hasn’t really registered with me, husband dearest sees me fall and rushes over to me. I start bawling hysterically because I can’t walk, I looked like a fool, and now someone knows I have anxiety/panic attacks. I CRAWL on all fours to the closest door and just flop like a rug onto the cold concrete stop outside the bowling alley. My head over the edge puking, no shoes on, hair a mess, I am shivering from the cold weather and my anxiety.

The love of my life follows me outside. Cuddles me and gently coaxes me into a softer state. In between sobs I agree to go home though I hate to leave. I even talk about how everyone now knows I have anxiety. I try to keep it from happening in public but I felt as if I failed hiding it. That is made me weak. To which my husband said that was not the case. Especially since one of the ladies has anxiety too and talked to me about it. Still not wanting to believe him (because what wife with a mental illness who has a busted foot that is turning black really wants to listen to her husband who happens to be correct?), we get home (at the ever so early hour of 9:30) and nurse me back to health.

The following day while RICE’ing my poor foot, I was texting the woman who confided in me that she has anxiety. The more we talked the more we had in common. Battling similar battles, our thoughts on therapy and medication. She even said that I can start talking to her when I am starting to deal with Melvin (my ED) and and GAD symptoms. Instead of embarrassment, I felt relief. Here is someone who knows my dark side and relates to it! I have someone next door (not just a phone call away like other people on my support team), but I can just walk right over there and say, “Help me.” Or say. “I am struggling. Can you talk?”. What a wonderful thing!

To make this even better, and only in my life would this happen, I read a passage in Soulprint about embarrassment that morning at work: “Embarrassing moments are horrible, no doubt. But they are also wonderful. Few things are as freeing as a little embarrassment. It frees us from the burden of pretense, and it forces us to stop taking ourselves so seriously. In a sense, embarrassment is one way we die to self. And dying to self is one way we come to life….One dimension of humility is the ability to laugh at ourselves, and I’m convinced that the happiest, healthiest, and holiest people on the planet are those who laugh at themselves the most (pg. 95).”

I will have to agree with Mr. Mark Batterson, embarrassment is freeing and it helps open ourselves up to receive the gift/blessing/intimacy of others.

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Question: Do you have an embarrassing moment? If so what was it? Did you learn anything from it? I would LOVE to hear from you!

Relapse: Stepping Forward, Stepping Back

relapse: to fall back or revert to an earlier point (Webster’s Dictionary, 1991)

In any form of recovery the word relapse is a scary word. We try to avoid it like the plague. It becomes a “bad” word. Yet, it is completely unavoidable. There is no way around relapsing. It happens. The thing about relapses is that the farther along one is in recovery, the less frequent they become, the episodes may be shorter (an hour or two, maybe just one day not a week), and how we approach them changes (we are kinder to ourselves, we have our toolkit, support buddies, etc…).

When I first started recovery a little over two years ago I wrote relapsing on my FEARS list. In red ink it says: relapsing…leaving therapy/quitting it…recovery in general…among other fears. Relapse was scary to me because I interpreted it as a lack of control and that I was a failure at recovery (and ED’s LOVE to jump on the failure bandwagon). Also, I had no idea what to expect. My relapse could be anywhere from a simple day of over exercising, skipping a meal, counting/measuring my food intake, negative thoughts, weighing myself multiple times a day, looking at Muscle and Fitness or other NPC mags, taking extra fiber pills or laxatives; and how would I react. So much unknown.

Compound this on top of being a perfectionist and relapse is a super bad word/concept/idea/situation. In the perfecitonistic style  you approach recovery this way even though you are suppose to decrease these tendencies and be gentle/kid/loving to yourself. Instead you avoid anything that has to deal with relapse. While doing so, you relapse. It is inevitable to avoid a relapse. Something happens, you can’t cope and BAM you are in a relapse. Your first relapse is scary. You don’t know what to do. It can last for days! Maybe a week. Maybe two. You cry out to your therapist and support buddies for help. Finally it is over. You survived your first relapse. Like anything else, the first one is the hardest. Then maybe a week later you have another one. Another freak out, another cry out. This cycle keeps happening. You are learning to navigate this new life without another person who lives inside of you telling you how to live your life and you don’t know what to do. As time goes on you do know what to do. You have found your own personal recovery relapse tool kit. A blue print. Maybe you can feel a relapse coming on so you call a buddy. Maybe you do some yoga and meditate on positive thoughts. Or you have the ability to make a quick call to your therapist. Anything. You feel strong, empowered. Relapse can’t get you down.

Just as you think you are doing great it has been quite some time since a relapse then out of the woods a relapse comes upon you. Except this time, you are letting your ED in. He/she is coming back to roost. At first you try your tools. You call a buddy, go to therapy, chant a mantra, but nothing works. Then this feeling of laziness, comfortableness, the friendship of your ED comes back and the relapse lasts. It doesn’t stop. You can’t get it go away so you decide to let it be and have a picnic with you. Those scale weighing fits, the laxative abuse, the negative talk/thought conversations, the weighing/measuring/counting, the binges of exercise, hating everything you eat, obsessive “fat talk”  is your life again. And you just don’t… know… what…to… do….

I say all this I am here. I am at the corner of Recovery Road and Relapse BLVD. Melvin (my ED), has come back and decided to make himself a nice little home here again. I try to stay above it all but, I am finding myself lackadaisical with recovery. I am criticizing I what I eat but I follow it up with, “At least I am not restricting or counting.” I am paranoid if I am eating correctly and why I keep eating so much. My hubby tells me, “You did Nutcracker for two weeks straight and ate lots of yogurt and had a weird eating schedule.” I didn’t starve during Nutcracker. So that is a HUGE improvement (I usually eat very little during performances you know because of costumes). I now have boobs and having to deal with those while performing was a new and stressful experience which made me had them even more than I do. I keep checking my stomach to see if I am fat or asking the hubs if my legs are turning into cottage cheese.  I am becoming lazy with journaling and the 12 Steps. I just don’t want to do that anymore. I know I need to but, being the personality that gets tired of things, I want something new. Therapy has just been ok. I feel stuck. I am a four wheeler stuck in the mud and can’t get out. I may be not diving back into old habits but I am not getting out of the mud.

I am sick and tired of being this way. This is no way to  live. This is the whole reason why I started recovery. Life wasn’t as fun as it could be. With this being said and the new year is here, it is time for me to hop back on this recovery train. Start my new year off fresh and kick Melvin out. Start working the steps again, call my circle of support, have special yoga sessions.  All in the name of new life and new year.

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detox much?

When you have an eating disorder you can manipulate anything in your head. There is a rational thought/reason behind everything you do. Even if doesn’t make sense to others, it makes sense to you. There are even times you can convince anyone that what you are doing is alright. You are the last person to really see that you are wrong. That your action is anything but rational. It is irrational.

Eating disorders have a tendency to cling to certain words or catchphrases. “Low-cal”, “Increase *insert some word*”, “cleanse”, “detox your body”, “clarify”, “fat”, “get what you want”, “this *insert action* will give you the approval you seek”, “control”, etc…the list goes on and on and on and on. You do the action because at the end of the day you need that control. That approval. A way to change who you are because you struggle with yourself.

When in the depths of my eating disorder I had a long list of things I did not eat, my list of few foods I would eat, what I avoided like the plague , an extreme exercise addiction, and I even mis-used fiber pills/laxatives. All of my actions were because I needed control. I viewed myself as lower than others but by obeying these rules I had set up for myself, I could be up there with everyone I felt inferior to.

In the yogi lifestyle, along with dance life, even fitness, a lot of people talk about cleanses/detox’s. I had friends who did them in the spring. In the yogic medicine, Ayurveda, you do them as the seasons change. Fitness people do it to help them get to their next goal. People asked me all the time if I did cleanses. I don’t know if it is because they saw I didn’t eat a lot or just ate tons of salad, or because I was into those lifestyles. I always said no. I never agreed with cleansing because I didn’t like the idea of starving ones self in order to “cleanse the inside”. But yet, I was ALWAYS starving myself. Though the eating disorder would never call itself a cleanse because an eating disorder is a way of life. A cleanse doesn’t last long.  The idea of detoxes and cleanses always intrigued me. I thought it amazing that people could go a while without caffeine (which is an eating disorders really good friend…..mmmmm coffee for lunch! L-carnatine for snack though I will get the shakes! eye-openers because I don’t eat enough breakfast and I can’t sleep at night because I had no food and I need to be alive during my 8:15 History class) or eat nothing but black beans. Yet, it was everything I did. I didn’t drink the special teas or waters. I didn’t eat the specified times of day. I just didn’t eat. Or I just measured out my whole caloric intake up to my crazy two hour long exercise-a-thon followed by dance rehearsal. Due to this I stayed away from the cleanses. Yet, I couldn’t stay away from my eating disorder.

A few weeks ago I saw Yoga Journal promoting a fall detox. It was only a week long, and that seemed feasible. Their detox plan was food based (which a lot of detoxes aren’t food based. They restrict a lot). You ate a special rice dish three times a day, drank special teas, had a broth you had to for snacks. The  meals were based on Ayurvedic medicine for your dosha type. There was even a special yoga practice that went a long with it. Each day you did a special cleansing and detox practice to help restore your body’s balance. In the morning I was going to have my husband give me a massage with sunflower oil before I showered so I could stimulate my lymph system. In the introduction video this cleanse was promoted as a way to “prevent illness”, “align myself with the seasons”, a “whole food cleanse”, a “purification of my insides”, and a way to break nasty habits I have, along with challenging a new way of being. So I can “self heal” and see the world with a new perspective.

As an individual with gastrointestinal issues that had been controlling her life the past few weeks (because my GI didn’t want me to forget that I had IBS and stomach spasms), I felt as if this detox could restore my internal organs. Cleanse my insides and heal them.  I jumped on this wagon full force.  I was telling everyone about this detox. I was pumped! I looked forward to eating this rice dish three times a day, have my love massage me, do yoga daily, and drink this tea that actually sounded delish. I also liked the idea of a challenge. The video mentioning about how detox help manage your bad habits and push you. I love being pushed.

So in therapy I mentioned this. My therapist was skeptical (my husband was too, but instead of voicing how he really felt he supported me). But using my eating disorder brain, I used therapy buzz words and manipulated it into something that sounded ok. With his approval I went out and bought all my special foods. Sunday arrives and I rise up early to make my rice dish, tea, and cilantro chutney. It takes me all morning! I am in the kitchen cooking up a storm. As I am preparing my meal I see this last slice of cornbread that I wasn’t gonna be able to eat. The hubby was double checking the foods I could eat. He offered me coffee but I had to refuse, I could only do green tea for caffeine.  We talked about his dinners and I realized I couldn’t eat that delicious food. I had a special dessert that I couldn’t finish. Hubs was going have to finish it. There was all this food that I couldn’t eat.

My breakfast is ready. I look down at my bowl of rice, seaweed, carrots, beans, green beans, and potatoes. I have an apple with it.  It doesn’t look like breakfast food. I am unappatized. Where are my Chex? My yogurt? My Whole-Os? I want cereal. Pancakes. Eggs. Anything but this! I take one bite and I say, “I can’t do this.” My husband replied, “You already giving up? You just started.” Hearing those words “give up” sparked my eating disorder. Giving up is a negative. I ate my breakfast. I am not full. Not satiated. I am miserable. Lunch arrives. Rice dish, and a baked potato with a tiny bit of avocado. Day goes on. I am foggy, grouchy, irritable….HUNGRY. Then I realize, I am in the pits of my eating disorder. I am doing everything, feeling everything, I did pre-recovery.  In essence I was restricting myself but not with my eating disorder behavior. I had worked so hard over the past two years to eat freely. Eat that dessert, drink that extra beer, have yogurt, not measure breakfast/lunch/dinner, refrain from counting calories. But here I am restricting what foods I eat. Not feeling sharp. Feeling the sadness of not being able to eat the rest of that cornbread or foods I am now enjoying.

After that realization I gave up this detox. It put me in a very sad place. Inadvertently through all this mind manipulation, I had started down that path of my eating disorder. Like an alarm going off, my wise self, spoke up and said,”evacuate this detox!”. So I did. I snacked on that last piece of cornbread, I made a lovely cozy dinner and had a  nice stout beer for dessert. I heard my eating disorder say (which by the way his name is Melvin), “You gave up. You took the easy way out. You are a failure. You use to have such will power when I was your friend before you dropped my friendship. I say to him as I drink my beer,  “Melvin, I did not give up. I do have will power. I have the will power to give you up and stay in recovery.”