Tag Archives: anorexia

Exposed: My Story (Update Nov. 19, 2014)

Eating. Drinking. Smoking. Snorting. Weighing. Hurting. Burning. Cutting. Starving.
Purging. Praying. Stripping. Weighing. Binging. Dying.

These are words are verbs, actions. These words are not who I am, but things I have done. These things don’t make up a person or even describe a person. They are things that people DO. Why? For myself it is how I survived in the world starting in my very late teen years. These things were my way of living, dying, punishing, forgetting, numbing, functioning and coping. These are my sanctuary, my safety and at the same time, a double-edged sword that was jabbing away at my soul, my spirit and my life. (Read full story)

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Do you see this little girl?

945971_10151874063161477_2020789806_nLook at this little girl, the silly smile on her face
see her tiny dimples, and sunglasses perfectly in place
She’s only a young toddler, the entire world before of her
But if you knew the road ahead, your heart would become heavier

Do you see this little girl, innocent and small?
Her parents love all of her as they watch her learn to crawl.
She’s only a few years old, but has an old soul
Always laughing and playing, her future still untold

You focus on her smile and the light in her eyes
It’s hard to believe years down the road a darkness will rise
You couldn’t see the shadow, even if you wanted to
Inside this little girl, a disease began to grow

She will be bullied and taunted, pushed and shoved
Her heart will shrink and she’ll feel unloved
Her once loud laughter will shrink down to silence
Her bright smile will fade, and she’ll meet quiet violence

People won’t hear her, so she’ll turn inward with her pain
What used to beam sunshine, only storms inside and rains
Her hope will begin to dwindle as she slowly slips away
But it’s only going to get darker, from glitter to gray

She will find her way to fit in after yearning to be wanted
She takes her first sip of alcohol, takes sobriety for granted
Turning into the life of the party, she’s the center of all the jokes
She just wants to be loved, but people prod and poke

She’ll give up on trust and love by the time she’s nineteen
When a man twice as old as her gets on his knees
Her voice is gone, she can’t make a sound as she sits paralyzed
She turns to stone, gives him his way, and inside breaks and cries

By now she’s lost her faith in God and turns to worship booze
Now an alcoholic, she’s lost her ability to choose
Not long from now, it won’t be enough as she rolls a dollar bill
She’ll snort away her problems, as heroin moves in for the kill

Nothing takes away her despair, her stomach full of guilt
She throws up her food, her shame, the life she could have built
When puking isn’t enough, and starvation is the only way
She turns her brokenness inward, stops eating and fades away

Once a healthy baby girl, she is dying inside and hopeless
No matter how much weight is lost, all she see’s is ugliness
She screams and yells, but no one else can hear
So she runs to the blade and she slices and tears

This little girl, now 21, is hollowed out and empty
This shell of a woman, no where to go, steps on the stage for money
Do you see this dancing girl, a friendless and pained daughter
There’s no way out she’s become her own slaughter

Now rewind time, back inside the playpen, look at the girl there
You wouldn’t know by looking, but you can see me if you stare.
You see, I am this little girl, now grown up and fighting to live
While I can’t protect her, I can try to help her forgive

Nothing could have prepared her for the broken road ahead
But she needs you here, she needs you now, because she’s not yet dead
Listen to the little girl, and when she asks hold her hand
Because I am her, all grown up, and still need help to stand

Return

I know this blog has been lacking with posts and updates or anything else from my jar’s collection of loose screws. However, I’m back. I stayed inpatient for 30 days and then continued on to another three weeks of full day program. There was a lot of growth, recovery, pain, setbacks, and support. I don’t want to get into too much detail right now about where I am at with ED. But I promise I will. I will share chapters of my life from the last six months.

Thank you dedicated readers and friends.

I hope all is well.
Love always,

Brittany

And I’m going back to treatment

So next week, I go back for another round of treatment. Eating disorders suck, and it’s been two years exactly since my last venture out to Remuda Ranch. Now; I go somewhere else. So many emotions and feelings, and so much struggle, I just gotta hold out until Monday morning so I get my call re-confirming my admission Tuesday morning. So overwhelmed.

March 31, 2014

Sometimes I want to take my hand, shove it down my throat, into the heart that barely beats in captivity. I want to grab and squeeze the disease that imprisons me, barely breathing after it has sucked out my life. This is despair. Fear. Agony.

I want to rip the life from the flesh-eating disease that possesses my body. I want to fight, but then I can’t breathe and I’m tired. Please, just make it stop. I want to squeeze the life out of the disease that starves me. It’s like I’m buried alive inside of this body, screaming to get out but no one can hear because the dirt fills my mouth. Because this demon waits until I am out of breath. And when you ask, it whispers: “I’m fine.”tumblr_n3czsvNqk11twwxf2o1_500

Let’s talk about body acceptance, in any point of recovery

“One of the biggest problems about recovery is the inconsistency of it. Some days, you are a superhero. You eat all of your meals, and still find beauty in the fullness of your stomach. However, the not-so-wonderful days are the deterrent. You wake up, and cannot find a thing appealing about yourself. When beauty is no longer the goal—you just want to not hate yourself.

Then, you find yourself wishing you knew you were skinny when you were skinny. You hate that wish. It is the creepy uncle that no one likes who sits in the corner and stares at everyone at Thanksgiving. But you cannot help but think it. You were not skinny, you were dying. You were trying to be invisible; you were trying to shrink away from life. It got so severe that you just stopped functioning, didn’t you?

You may not have known you were skinny, but you knew you were dying.”

Michelle K., Bad Days in Recovery

tumblr_mzayiqlhfx1sm41mbo1_500While browsing the internet, I came across this quote, or section from a writing: Bad Days in recovery. I never heard of this piece before, and I am very keen on books and articles regarding eating disorders. From self-help to fiction to biographies. This is an interesting though, and poignant because it’s so, so accurate. Michelle describes a piece of any eating disorder so profoundly and accurate, that for me, especially, I forget that piece to recovery.

Lately, I find myself at a new point of recovery. Technically, I’m not in recovery yet, but I am working IN recovery. Five years ago, my life spiraled out of control and I found myself praying to a God I didn’t want anything to do with to simply “don’t let me die.” Other times, I found myself checking my pulse, only to reassure myself that my heart was still beating and my night-long purging and starving did not kill me without my permission.

But in a sense; that’s what we do. Our eating disorders, all very different, say, like a fingerprint, take on an identity and drive of their own. I mean, on the surface, isn’t that what we are so obsessed with in the midst of our behavior? Getting thin or skinny? Obviously, all of us anorexics, bulimics, binge-eaters, or combination of all three, know that while we are primarily focused on being “fat” or fearful of getting “fat” that we merely do what we do because we are not ourselves. We do what we do because we are sick. We do what we do because we cannot cope with emotions, past traumas, current issues, adulthood, relationships — and the list goes on and on.

Many of you can relate with me, when it comes to being in different points of recovery. Whether you’re newly diagnosed, or in treatment, out of treatment, or in sobriety from your eating disorder behavior, one of the hardest things; if not the hardest, is the acceptance of allowing our bodies to physically heal. We have to let our body’s restore to the shape and size God created, instead of doing everything in our power to shrink it, get rid of it, or change it. I have been struggling with this more that I think I ever have.

Two years ago, I thought the hardest part was stopping my purging, eating more than once a day, while accepting that I had to put on more than 10 pounds, at the very least, to even be considered stable. What I’ve found is that ever since being discharged and rebuilding my life, I still struggle with my anorexia. More so than restricting, I really find it discouraging when I know my body still isn’t at it’s set point. It pisses me off that I cry over the “bulges” and “fat” I can see and grab. And when I’m told, “you still have an eating disorder” I cling to the fact that, well, no, it’s not that bad because I am not as small as I was when I was dying.

Truth. Sometimes I find that I get more upset and depressed over the fact that I feel so much worse lately in a body that is 25 percent more than it was a year ago. I fight myself to keep it at that weight, to not go over, but to not drop too low. And I find myself thinking, “well, I wish I had the body I had before if I am this miserable” or “how the hell can I have an eating disorder if I weigh more than I did before?” It’s as if I find myself feeling like a failure in recovery, but also as an anorexic. It’s sick and twisted. How can I come to terms with my body now, let alone another 25 percent more? How? I haven’t been inside that body for five years. In fact, I’ve never been an adult in my adult body.

Even if I can’t accept it right now — maybe I need to accept this: I don’t know that I am skinny, or thin, small, or not where I need to be, but I know I’m dying when I purge like I have the past several days because I cannot tolerate my body. I am terrified of what it will and is becoming. On those bad, bad, bad days, like Michelle says, it’s turmoil. Trapped in this limbo of a purgatory. Between fully restored, only halfway there, halfway sick, halfway recovered. Let’s start with a simple step of accepting that when we are not living, when we are not eating, when we purge, even if it’s just once every once in a while, or if it’s in a minor relapse that needs to get under control. I know logically, that I’m dying when I do that. And that is an eating disorder.

Let’s try to accept this thought — by not purging, we aren’t dying. I may not accept that my body is bigger than it is (even if it’s a minimal change because of where I am at), or that I’m not as thin as I was; isn’t it time to try and radically accept that? I’m not as small as I was, but I’m also more alive than I was. I may not like or accept my body now; but I can say that I accept that I need to learn to accept this, before I can let my body 100 percent back to where I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 134:19).

‘I had NO IDEA’ is a bad idea

There has been an insane amount of NEDAwareness posts all over social media this week. Of course, that is due to 2014 NEDA Week. I am all for spreading awareness, but not in the sense of the tactic NEDA is attempting to attack. There are many amazing things this organization does and I am 100 percent a supporter. However, while raising awareness is an important task — specifically breaking the stigma of eating disorders — the theme this year falls flat. Not because of what they are trying to accomplish, but because of overwhelming amount of stigma it’s causing.

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Instead of focusing on some of the potential strengths of this year’s theme, NEDA appears to have pasted alarming statements on the awareness posters. For example, let’s talk about this:

This poster has a toilet (obviously the plate) and then eating utensils. The caption on the poster reads: “What’ll we lose on this diet? Lots of people every year.”

Break this down with me: a) eating disorders are NOT a diet and b) this implies that purging behavior is a choice by using the term diet. I understand perhaps the goal was to say No diet is worth it however people with bulimia or anorexia or BED or EDNOS do not choose to have their disorder. Clearly, the poster may also imply maybe diets can lead to eating disorders, which is true. But using the term diet on this poster is not the best choice. As someone battling anorexia, with binge-purge tendencies, it’s actually offensive to call it a diet. Additionally, it lessens the reality of what this disorder can cause. By calling it a “diet” it is taking  away the severity of “eating disorder” and feeding denial. For most people with an eating disorder, we go through cycles of being fine or better or not bad enough, not sick enough. But seeing this poster as a disordered person and seeing the term “diet” is a dangerous tactic. It could feed thoughts of, “oh, well it’s just a diet,” or “I don’t have an illness, I just have a bad diet.”  Purging is not a diet.

NEDAwarenessPoster_Web

Break this down with me: “I HAD NO IDEA that eating disorders can destroy lives.” While this poster begins to carry a strong message, it falls short. Many people have no idea what it is like to suffer from an eating disorder. As outsiders looking it, this may appear to be a choice, a diet taken too far, lack of control or will power. This is mistaken. These posters should say something like “I HAD NO IDEA that men could have eating disorders too” or “I HAD NO IDEA that eating disorders come in all shapes or sizes.”

Those of us with an eating disorder know that it destroys lives. Family who have watched their loved ones slowly kill themselves know that it destroys lives. Those friends who have watched as we wasted away on the inside or out, know of the destruction this brings. “Getting in the know” should focus on the stigma and false stereotypes pushed upon eating disorders.

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Break this down with me: This poster reads “The monster isn’t under the bed, it’s in the fridge.” Really? Really, though. I’ll give NEDA an A+ for calling the disorder a monster, but here’s the problem This fork is holding a strawberry — food, and actually a healthy food — and says that the monster is in the fridge. Therefore, food is the enemy. FAIL. Food is not the enemy. The eating disorder is. This is such a bad idea, and anyone disordered looking at this will have a crazy swarm of feelings. For an outsider looking in, this simply reinforces that the monster is the food, and that comes down to choice. Again, a discouraging message.

Rose

And finally, break this down with me: This poster shows a frail and shriveled rose, obviously a symbol of beauty, and reads, There is more to life than looking like you have none left.” Wow, NEDA, I see you trying to be deep here. But here is something that may not have been thought about: Looking like you’re dying or have no life left is again, reinforcing the stigma to an eating disorder. Looking malnourished, thin, sickly, or like death is only one of the characteristics that eating disorders can cause (such as the commonly known anorexia) but what about the billions of other people suffering from bulimia, binge eating disorder, or EDNOS? You can’t tell that someone has an eating disorder by simply looking at them. This also sets a poor standard for others suffering from an eating disorder because they feel that “they are not sick enough” or “thin enough” to need help or have an eating disorder. Using the visual of frailty is not even close to the clarity of detecting an eating disorder. The posters for last year were closer to home —

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“Everybody knows Somebody”

This poster here was remarkable. The truth is, every single person knows someone with an eating disorder, not specific to any type. If you’re reading this, you know someone — me. I guarantee you, you know someone and can’t tell by simply looking at the person on the outside. Eating disorders eat us alive from the inside, then out.

There needs to be so much more awareness and education on stigma, stereotypes, diagnosis, and characteristics. You just DON’T KNOW.