Your Ass is Mine, ED

I’ve been drafting this post for a few days now, and I was ready for it to be a Debbie Downer; I figured it was time I just open up about the lowest points and the toughest struggles. I returned to work this week, which was quite difficult, and I received my tentative discharge date, which spiked my anxiety and lowered my self-confidence. And then today happened.

A switch flipped.

Today, I suddenly feel ready to battle my eating disorder. My therapist has helped me put on my boxing gloves and pushed me into the center of the ring, and I’m ready to take the first swing. I am a fucking warrior princess.

Earlier today I met a friend for coffee who discharged from program a couple of weeks ago. We discussed life after treatment, and what recovery looks like. I ended up disclosing to her one of the largest obstacles between me and recovery: lying. Dishonesty is what drives eating disorders. They live in the shadows of secrecy and deception. My honesty has been slowly improving in the last few weeks, but suddenly I was ready to kill the lies that have been stopping me from achieving progress in recovery. I’m tired of fighting this fight. And yet, somehow, I found the energy to stand back up and do what I need to do to live. You can’t live if you never eat.

In the last few weeks I’ve come to recognize that the darkness doesn’t completely go away. The urges never fade. Today I was triggered and sat with self harm urges all day. I’m still sitting with them. But I realized it’s what you do with those urges that shows progress and recovery. Today marks 41 days with no self harm. Forty. One. Mother. F*cking. Days. Tomorrow it will be 42. It’s time I start marking down days with no ED behaviors.

The world is going to be triggering. Diet culture exists. There are folks who are uneducated about self harm and eating disorders and depression and God knows what else. And that doesn’t mean I have to act on the urges that arise because of these triggers.

I’ve come a long frickin’ way since I started treatment. I remember my first month thinking, “I don’t need to be here, I’m different from all of these other patients. There’s no way they can relate to me.” I shake my head at the person who thought that. Now, the friends I’ve made in treatment are some of my best, and they understand me like no one else does. Just like I understand them.

A dear friend of mine discharged from program today and got to process about her time in treatment. She talked about her ups and downs and her feeling of freedom from her ED. Suddenly I found myself crying at her words- the first time I had ever cried in a process group in program.* I’m not one to cry in front of others. In fact, until today I was convinced I couldn’t. But the floodgates opened as I realized that I have the power to conquer this disorder. I have the opportunity to feel freedom, just like my friend.

I cried because I was relieved. I cried because I was overwhelmed. I cried because I’m ready. I cried because I’m so scared.

I’m absolutely terrified of what recovery means. But I’m ready to be afraid. To take the leap anyway, because my future depends on it.

 

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I feel so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a small army of warriors every day. The friends I have made in treatment have cheered for me at my worst and celebrated with me at my best. Much of my strength comes from them. I was so incredibly fortunate to have had this revelation with them today. To know that as scared as I am to take the first swing at my disorder, they are behind me to back me up and root for me.

Recovery. It’s happening. Look out, Eating Disorder. Your ass is about to get kicked.

 

 

*While writing this post I realized that I am roughly half as energized and motivated as I was earlier today. And yet, I’m still energized and motivated. Just to give you a sense of how intense this day was for me.

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The Bitch Bag Breakup™️

So, listen Sasha. We gotta talk.

You and I both know we have a long history. I’ve been wrapped around your finger for years. Our hands stay intertwined no matter where we go, and when I can’t find you I panic. It helps that you’re gorgeous; everything I wish I could look like (and more). I think you did that on purpose. You see, while I was fawning over you for all this time, you figured out exactly how to keep me around. Promising a life of beauty, happiness, art, and endless pain to foster my creativity. After all, you were the one who told me good art comes from suffering. And I believed you for a long time. Until now.

I’m outing you, Sasha. You’re emotionally abusive, and I can’t take it anymore. It’s time to shine a spotlight on you in front of the world. You thrive in secrecy. The shadows is where you like to play. Not anymore. It’s time everyone knew you for who you are: an emotionally manipulative piece of garbage. In fact, you’re more like the gum someone scraped off their shoe and stuck to the garbage in the trash can. Someone close to me recently described you as a “bitch bag.” I’m sorry to laugh but…you know what, I’m actually not sorry at all.

I’ve written a lot of posts about you and your devious ways, Sasha, but I always end up slinking back to you at the end of the day. Desperate to cover myself under the cloak of your shadow. But this is my promise to fight you. To not let you seduce me into your twisted ways. To not hinder my recovery for the sake of your comfort.

So, there it is Sash. I’m declaring this our official breakup. I’m taking back the reigns from your thin, frail hands. I’m going to live my life now. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

 

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The inspiration for this breakup is funded in part by Demi Lovato’s Sorry Not Sorry. Please find the lyrics here, as I have been playing it on repeat all day.

*If this post has left you thoroughly confused, please feel free to learn all about who Sasha is and why we are so codependent here.

Episode 19, or My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

A very exciting announcement!

My cousin, Kevin, invited me as a guest on his podcast, Capture the Conversation. We discuss my relationship with mental illness, my eating disorder, and how I aim to end the mental health stigma! I had a great time recording this episode with Kevin, and am humbled to have been asked to be his guest. 170x170bb

Click this link to listen, and my episode is #19 (aka the one published on 5/1/2018). Also, please check out the other episodes on Capture the Conversation!

Please take note that obviously I’m the superior KG among the two of us. Sorry not sorry, Kev.

you can’t have a life worth living if you don’t eat

your insides are crying out to you
why don’t you answer
you keep saying you are working so hard
on your art and your future
but you can’t have a future as an artist
if you starve yourself

listen to your body
do you hear the rumble
that is a cue that it wants to be nourished
your brain is wailing
begging you to allow it to do it’s job
at its highest functionality

you must recognize your recovery
is dependent on your willingness
to do what is best for you
ignore what you saw on the scale today
your creativity and art and future dog
are far more important than a number

Wise Mind Collection

Hello all! A #MentalHealthMonday post is forthcoming, don’t you worry, but I wanted to make a quick announcement first.

I am adding a new poetry collection to my site! In addition to the unnamed series, I will be writing pieces reflective of my work towards recovery, particularly from my eating disorder. I will be writing when I am in wise mind, and the focus will be on the importance of recovery, that I can look at when I’m feeling willful. I want to channel my creativity, because that tends to draw me in more and be more inclined to share and express what I’m feeling or going through.

So, I hope you enjoy it! I appreciate your readership!

-K

my fiercest army

i stare dead into the face
of my disorder
it is beautiful
a ravenous glow
that makes me hungry
for the beauty it possesses
it pulls me towards it

stimulated
i sway towards the light
moving through a thick fog
when from behind i feel
my name trickle into
my consciousness
the glowing light in front of me
suddenly flares as i
turn to the direction of
the voice
the light so blinding
it’s hard to make out shapes
colors seem distorted

there it is again
my name like silk
like something familiar
calling me home after a long day
through the ether hanging like a
curtain upon my eyelashes
a form materializes
and i can make out
an outstretched hand
i walk towards it
the warmth from the mass of light
behind me flutters
against my skin
as i spot another form
another hand stretched towards me
welcoming
comforting
the two forms are shoulder to shoulder
when another joins them
and another
until there is a sea

an army
reaching out for me
and i realize
they aren’t anonymous creatures
they are women
each with a distinct aura
all radiating care and love
they seem resistant to the illumination
that i have left in my wake
and their hands seem soothing
like a still pool of water
the heat continues to shroud me
yearning for me to reciprocate
and envelop it’s rays
yet there is something so magnetic
that allows me to reach out
and grasp at the closest hand

there is a slight shudder
a disturbance in the temperature
and the woman reaches up
with her other hand
and douses my eyes
with her fingers
washing away the curtain
and i feel a change
a match struck

when i turn to face
the warm glow of my disorder
i find that it is a roaring fire
sparking and spitting
angrily towards me
i look down at my clothes
they are singed and smoking
falling from my body like ashes
it’s as if a kaleidoscope is removed
from my vision
changing the soft light
to an inferno
that was burning me alive
engulfing my existence

i step back into the arms of the
women that surround me
forming a wall that withstands
the increasingly burning ugliness
cooling my skin as they
barricade me from the blaze
they guide my mind
teaching me how to
douse the flame

 

-to the army of women on staff at my treatment center. this is for you.