Catching Up On Stuff

Another day goes by, and here we are.

Things have been stressful lately, but thankfully not every day has been panic-inducing. I haven’t had to take my anxiety PRN medication every single day, and that’s good for me (these days).

I feel like a lot of my anxiety occurs in the afternoon/evening/nighttime. Things just start getting into my head, I start obsessing, and there’s no turning back. I’m not entirely sure how to stop obsessing, but I’m trying to work on it.

I’ve been doing things that really aren’t healthy for me lately, like smoking weed and eating whatever shit I feel like. I weighed myself for the first time in forever the other day. Thankfully I wasn’t too shocked/upset by the number (it was kind of what I expected). I know that my body right now doesn’t gain weight very easily. However, I realize that I can’t live my life like this regardless. My diet isn’t very healthy or thought through, and I think I’d like to make more of an effort to make it better…or at least put some thought into it besides whatever I’m craving in that moment. To be clear, this is not ED-motivated. This is purely for the reason that I want to live a healthy lifestyle and eating healthfully is a part of that.

Smoking is something I’d like to stop also. Or at least not do as much. I’ve had a really bad cough for the past two weeks, and whether it’s from smoking or not, it’s hard to think it isn’t. I feel like shit all the time, and I’m tired, and I don’t like feeling like bingeing when I smoke. Smoking helps me sleep, but I’m also on medicine for sleep, so maybe I can try to make that work instead.

At the same time, I still wish I didn’t have to be on so much medication. The amount of pills I take is kind of ridiculous. I have tried semi-recently to come off of some medication, and it didn’t work out. My psychiatrist ended up increasing it back to where it was originally. Maybe one day I can at least come of something…

The craving to move out of Georgia is getting real. The summer heat is something I can’t stand. Wearing my hair in a bun every day and sweating my body weight by standing outside is not at all appealing. I hate it. I want fall, or cold, or something. Bleh.

I have two job interviews coming up this week, and I’m interested to see how they turn out. The first on Monday is actually with another coffee store, but a local shop (instead of a big corporation). I think that could be interesting. On Wednesday I have an interview with an answering service. The answering service one would just be taking phone calls and making appointments. Kind of boring, but also more predictable and reliable. Coffee shops aren’t always reliable for getting the hours you need. Case in point- I tried to transfer to a Starbucks closer to my house (so I could actually make money off being promoted). My boss had a talk with me, told me she would give me the hours I needed…and for the next two weeks I have less than 30 hours each week (which is not at ALL what I can afford living off of by working there). I hate that it’s becoming like this with Starbucks. I’ve always loved this company and what they stand for. I’ve had so much fun learning new things, growing with my stores, and being surrounded by generally awesome people. Starbucks is growing more and more into something I’m not recognizing. Something not appealing to me. Something not appealing to many baristas, actually. Still love you Starbucks, but we may need to part ways.

I have decided to change my major to early childhood education (for the time being). I’m going to go to my local community college again instead of Arizona State Online, because online classes are NOT meant for me. I miss Georgia Highlands, actually. They’re an incredible school. Sadly I can’t go there for much longer (since they only have an Associate’s degree for my major interests). I might as well go there while I can, though. I’ll be taking four classes in the fall, if everything goes as planned. I might have to be going to school Monday-Thursday, which I know will be a pain in the ass, but I need to do it. And I can’t figure out a class schedule that only has classes on two specific days, so here we are.

I have been exhausted every day lately, so I’m probably going to bed soon. It’s 9:18pm right now. But I’ve also been awake since 3:15am for work this morning. I think I should get to go to bed soon.

Peace and love ❤

-July 21, 2017

 

 

Liking Self Vs. Liking Life

I’ve been going through my old altered books today. If you’ve been to Sheppard Pratt Center for Eating Disorders, you know what that is. If you haven’t been there, maybe you still might know what it is. It’s actually a pretty good coping strategy. You take an old book (I’ve always preferred bigger books)…you cut things out from magazines and glue them in, draw in it, write in it, etc. You take an old book and make it your story.

Since I’m not that great at art, and art groups always kind of sucked for me, I would prefer to work on my altered books (most of the time).

The main reason I’m bringing it up is because I found a paper taped in one of them that spoke to me.

It’s a list of 67 “confessions” that I suppose those with eating disorders, or even anxiety/depression, can relate to. I starred the ones I had felt applied to me at the time. I will admit, I’m not sure what time period we’re looking at here…but it’s from SP, so sometime between 2009-2015. Probably closer to sometime in the early/middle years.

One of the confessions I starred was this:

“I wish that I didn’t hate myself but at the same time, I don’t know how it would feel to like myself.”

Earlier today, I was showing my therapist some of the books. There’s several pages dedicated to fear foods, skinny models, weight loss quotes from magazines, self-harm-related things, etc. She asked me how it felt to look at all of this. I said it felt weird. It’s kind of surreal, because I’m no longer in that place.

I can’t say I’m completely over my eating disorder, because I’m not. And honestly, I don’t believe that I ever will be completely rid of it. The thoughts still occur, but they’re different now, and more sporadic. They’re more manageable. They’re not the same.

But when I read this quote, something struck me about it. If I am being completely honest, I still don’t know what it feels like to like myself.

I don’t think I hate myself anymore, but I don’t like myself either. Where does that leave me? In a state of confusion, really. I’m in a state of…I just don’t like myself. I don’t like the way I come off, or the awkwardness I can carry. I don’t like my inability to confront people on things that need to come to light. I don’t like that I hardly ever stand up for myself, yet I’m totally willing to stand up for everyone else.

I like my love for animals, though when I say that, I automatically think about how it turns people off. They think I’m weird, because I love animals so much.

I don’t even know what else I like about myself. If I could, I’d change a lot. I like the people in my life, and I like the love I can give and receive. I like several qualities of my life. But I don’t like myself.

It’s strange, really. I thought in the process of recovery, one of the goals was to learn to love yourself. I haven’t really learned that. I’ve learned how to follow through with actions that compliment loving myself, such as eating, drinking water, working hard at school/work, and being social. I’ve made a lot of accomplishments, like paying for school, getting promoted, having my own apartment/moving out. But that doesn’t mean anything about myself.

I guess it would be logical to like yourself for making all these accomplishments. But it’s not true.

Does anyone else relate?

-May 18, 2017

Those Siblings, Though

I’m pretty sure life will never cease to amaze me. Whether it be in a good way, or a bad way, unexpected things happen which change the course of everything.

This time, it’s a good thing. My brother did something for me over the weekend that was totally unexpected, and I’m just amazed at the goodness people have in their hearts. Like I have always said to everyone, having so many siblings in the best thing I could have ever asked for. They’ve always been there for me, always stood behind me, always caught me when I was falling, always loved me when I was convinced I was unlovable. One of my brothers was the first person to come when I had my bad overdose a few years back, when my mom wouldn’t come. I love having them in my life for all of the things I’ve said, all of the advice they’ve given me, and overall just the companionship of having someone there for you. I’ll never take it for granted.

Things at work kind of go from good to bad, depending on the day. Today really wasn’t so bad. I only have to work one more day, then I’m off Monday-Wednesday. Tuesday night is a concert my boyfriend is really looking forward to, so I am too. It’s his favorite band, and he’s excited to see all his friends/introduce me to them. I’m excited to sleep in a little bit. I’m pretty tired today. I open tomorrow, so at least the work day will go by semi-quickly.

Frappuccino happy hour is coming soon. I’m not looking forward to it. Sorry to all of you who really enjoy it- I know I did before I worked at Starbucks. But it’s a pain in the ass. Lol. At least the frappuccinos they have out this year are pretty good. One is the smores, which is my personal favorite frappuccino, and they’ve also got a mint mocha frappuccino. That’s actually pretty good as well.

I went to a vegetarian restaurant with my brother last night in Atlanta, and it was so good!! I really wish they had more of those further up where I am. It’s about a 45 minute drive to where he is, so not something I want to do every time I want to go out to eat. It’s hard to eat vegetarian sometimes at restaurants. There’s not many options, which kind of sucks. But overall, I have felt a lot better physically since I stopped eating meat. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but my therapist has been telling me about Eating For Your Blood Type (the book). It’s pretty accurate.

I think that’s about all I have to update on. Just going to have a relaxing night. I ordered take out and it’s time for Netflix.

-April 29, 2017

Heels Suck, Netflix Doesn’t

I’m writing again in hopes that I can bring on some sleep. Watching Netflix isn’t doing the trick. But hey, thankful I am getting to watch a few hours of Netflix anyway.

I had a day off today, though it seemed to go by so quickly. I suppose they always do. I tried to sleep in, but that never works too well. I got to 8:30am and just decided to get up. I almost ran some errands I needed to do, but lost the motivation. It’s just going to the grocery store, so I can do that another day. (I do have food until I go).

I had therapy today, but I didn’t talk about what I needed to talk about. My mom is probably going to be selling our house back in Baltimore within the next few weeks. The one my dad built. The one we all grew up in. It’s one of the last pieces I have of him. I feel like I’m blocking the emotions, though. In the past, when she’s talked about selling it/them knocking it down, it’s been really difficult for me. I don’t want to think about the house being bulldozed and that part of my dad being gone. I think I felt better, because as much as she spoke about selling, it never happened. But now the well has run dry there, and it’s either pay for a new well to be dug (which is too expensive), or sell. She has some company quoting her this week on what they’d give her for the house/land. Mostly the land, I suppose. It’s a really nice area. Middle of nowhere, yet somehow my everything for so long.

The memories won’t get knocked down with the house, but it just seems wrong to knock something down that my dad worked so hard to build up. I loved my house, as much as I hated what went on in it. I loved that my dad built it. I loved the area it’s in. I don’t want that piece gone.

I feel like I should be more emotional about this, and on the other hand, I don’t want to be. So maybe that’s why nothing is happening inside right now. I’ve convinced myself for so long that my mom won’t actually sell it…that I have more time. It’s running out quickly, but…I don’t know.

On a different note, I went to a modeling interview today with a company in Atlanta. It went well, which was nice. It’s comforting that they liked me in the first place. Everyone was really nice. But I talked to my sister about what they wanted from me, and my sister advised against it. As a backstory, my sister is/was a model, and she just signed with a new company after not doing it for awhile (because she had my niece). Well, her going back into it sparked my interest again. When I was 15, my dad took me down to North Carolina where my sister lived to get a modeling portfolio created. But he passed away soon after, so nothing became of my modeling. My mom was never a fan and then obviously the ED got in the way of that.

So I applied to a few companies online, and this one responded and asked me to come in for an interview. I didn’t go in with all my hopes up, so I’m not too let down. I really would love to model, but I have the mentality of “if it’s meant to happen, it will”. I’m pretty sure my ED wouldn’t be triggered by the modeling. I don’t know why I’m so confident in that, but I am. I think because I’ve been doing well for awhile now. I’ve had dips, maybe a mini-relapse, but I’ve pulled it together again. So…I don’t know. It if happens, it will. If it doesn’t, it probably means I’m meant to be doing something else with my life.

I am still debating the summer classes. I think I’ll at least do one. Honestly I’ll probably end up doing both. We’ll see.

I work all weekend, but I have some exciting things coming up. Tomorrow night I’m going to see my brother after work and have dinner with him, which should be fun. I don’t see him as often as I’d like to, even though we’re in the same state. It’s still a bit of a drive but nothing terrible. Driving to work has me more accustomed to longer drives in general now. Except for the hour and a half it took to get home from that interview today. That was brutal. That was also enhanced with the fact that I walked around Atlanta in heels for 20-30 minutes looking for my damn car (and my feet hurt something fierce).

Next week I’m going to a concert with my boyfriend. It’s his favorite band, so he’s super excited to go and to introduce me to everyone (he has a huge fan group he’s a part of, I guess you would call it…they travel and go to different shows/all know each other). I’m looking forward to that.

And going home to Baltimore for a little bit isn’t too far away. I miss my best friend more than words can say, so it’ll be awesome to see her and hug her and spend time with her. We’re actually staying with her now that my mom has no water in the house. I don’t even care that it’s an air mattress on their floor, because that means I get to spend more time with her.

That’s about it right now. I’m dreading work tomorrow but that’s nothing new. At least I love my coworkers. The job itself is really stressful at times, but they make it bearable.

❤ Hope everyone’s doing alright.

-April 27, 2017

When You Read a Book That Sparks a Light Inside of You

I bought a book the other day from Barnes and Noble. Well, I bought several, but this one was read first. It’s called, “The Princess Saves Herself In This One” by Amanda Lovelace. While there are several pages I have tagged, and I did make a word document out of all my favorite passages/quotes, I think I’ll talk about these two today:

Pages 96-97: Fuck the idea that there is such a thing as destiny, that there exists some kind of mysterious master plan, that there is a god who simply does not give us anything we cannot handle. The pain did not make me a better person. It did not teach me not to take anything for granted. It did not teach me anything except how to be afraid to love anyone. I am far too young to be so goddamn broken & if I could go back in time & give myself her childhood back, I would. –what was the point?

Page 142: I let myself know that my life doesn’t have to be over just because theirs are & I went ahead & painted the sun back into my sky. –I am allowed to live my life

I’ve been working on this a lot- living my life even though my dad can no longer live his. Living my life despite the fact that several people have lost theirs in the past few years. Living my life despite the fact that I have no idea why it was them and not me.

I’ve always been so angry with the world about this topic. Why did God take my dad? There was no good reason. No one can argue with me that, like she said, there is some “greater plan”. I bought into that for a bit. I believed that there was some reason for everything, some explanation I wasn’t aware of. I thought, maybe it’s (I don’t have a good word, because “tolerable” and “okay” are not it…so fill in that blank yourself), because now my parents aren’t fighting. I don’t have to live a life at home in constant fear. I don’t have to feel on-edge at every moment, because there won’t be any more of the screaming, the banging, the tears, the wasted energy…the hope that maybe one day it’ll stop. Because it has. It has stopped. Silence has greeted this house, for once.

Then the battle began- did I do this? Every year, when I blew out my birthday candles, I wished my parents would stop fighting. I went to bed hoping that tomorrow, things would change. That the chaos would cease.

I battled feeling like God misinterpreted my prayers, to telling myself that I’m really not that important/this can’t be my fault, to being angry with God for doing this, to disbelief in any higher power listening to me anyway.

And that’s where I remain now.

It’s hard for me to believe in any higher power loving me, taking care of me, watching over me, or giving any justice in this world. My dad was a good person. He was smart, he was funny, and no, I will not agree that it was “his time”. He could have done so much more in this world.

I spent years trying to work through this mess. I nearly killed myself in the process. Yes, I am “together” today, for all intents and purposes. I’m alive. I have learned things. But I feel like I could have learned them another way. It doesn’t take my dad dying to make this happen.

People die- that’s life. I understand that concept. But I don’t agree with how it happened for me. I don’t agree with a lot of deaths that happen. It’s not fair. And no, I don’t care that that is a childish statement. Sometimes, it’s just not.

I had to learn the second quote eventually, though. I had to let go of a lot of that anger, the “it’s not fair” attitude. While that statement remains true, I learned I cannot live out that statement. I cannot ruin my life based on the fact that it wasn’t fair that my dad died.

I still hold some of that anger inside of me. It’s extremely difficult to ditch all of it. And I did learn that I have to “paint the sun back into my sky”. I can’t live my life in anger with something that I can never personally change. I can’t will my dad back to life…but I can progress in my own life and try to make him proud.

Sometimes I forget that intention. The more I was sucked into the eating disorder, the more I believed I had already disappointed my dad- and there was no way out. I imagined him looking down on me, wishing I wasn’t his daughter. Or worse, not even recognizing me.

I was someone completely different after he died. And I am someone completely different now. Some things stay the same, and I know he can see that. All things I learned from him…people-watching, cat loving, getting lost in books, writing poetry…they’re still there. And I’m proud of that. And if I’m proud of that, I think he would be too.

My dad was an amazing person, when it comes down to it. I got the pleasure of spending 16 years with him. While I have a long list of regrets, I always have the love in my heart that I need to believe he can feel. I choose to believe that if he knocked on my door today, we would smile together instead of feeling shame.

I still don’t agree that death like this is necessary…but the ability to keep going despite it, is.

-February 22, 2017

 

Because We Don’t Need To Be Alone

I, by myself, am not a powerful person. I cannot take sole credit for my accomplishments, nor my downfalls. I did the actions, I made the choices, and what happens is my responsibility. But in this life…we are here together.

I spent a lot of my time in the past several years feeling very alone. I felt that those who could understand more clearly what I felt, didn’t have the answers that I sought. We all felt miserable. We all wished for change. We all felt stuck. None of us, sitting inpatient, had the key to “success”. Nobody really had a lasting answer for what I had to do to be able to eat something without feeling like absolute shit.

My loved ones and those around me could tell me things all day. You’re beautiful already. You don’t need to lose weight. You don’t need to punish yourself. You are a good person. You have so much to live for. You can do this.

As much as I was told that, “I can do this”, I felt none of it. I felt paralyzed by the disorder that I unwillingly gave permission to to run my life.

Sometimes I wonder where it really began. Was it wanting to be a model? Looking up to the thin girls on America’s Next Top Model? Was it the fighting that happened at the dinner table that took away my appetite? Was it the fact that I was constantly pointed out as being “the skinny one”, like that was my only claim to fame? Or was this bound to happen, one way or another?

Maybe all of it. Maybe none of it. Either way, it happened.

Anorexia didn’t slowly take over my life. It swooped in, told me it was my savior, and tried to cling on as long as it could. If certain things hadn’t have happened the way they did, anorexia would have taken my life.

That was always it’s goal. To run me into the ground. Because, like it convinced me, “I wasn’t needed here”.

I felt strong isolation while amidst my disorder, even though the world is full of people. Many say the world is over-populated by people. So, why couldn’t I see that? Why wouldn’t I see that?

My behaviors stemmed from messages I received or interpreted throughout my life. I began to believe the disorder more than my friends and family. I worshiped anorexia like a relentless god.

And one day, years into the battle…I looked over, and there were the people. The people who were tired of watching this battle, tired of watching me die. People who stopped trying to say what they always say, because I wouldn’t listen.

I heard them, but I didn’t believe them. A hundred people could tell me I have worth, but the one voice that told me I didn’t, I believed. The disorder.

It takes a lot to really, truly listen to the other people around you. To try with all your might to take what they have to say into consideration. To not immediately fight their words in your head. To give the thought that, maybe they aren’t trying to hurt me, a chance.

We need each other. I thought I was better alone, not hurting the rest of the world. If I sectioned myself off, I wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone. I wouldn’t cause them any more pain.

What I didn’t consider was anything positive I had to offer. I believed there was nothing. But I also believe that everyone is here for a reason. It was so much easier for me to say that to the rest of my peers in treatment…but me? Nope.

Every person has value. Every person has reason. Things, situations, lead us astray. But we will always have something to offer.

I am a good listener. I love to write, and believe it’s my best method of communication. I love animals, and want to help save them from being put down for no reason. I aim to protect, and build up…not to crush or put down.

These traits are necessary in this world. If I died years ago, who would be the one with my boyfriend right now? Who would be the one in college, speaking up for the rights of others? Who would be writing what I could have written, reaching people in some form? Who would be my best friend’s best friend? Who would take the place of my mom’s daughter?

I am supposed to be here, because I am still here. I could have died many times throughout the past 24 years, and I didn’t. You, reading this right now…you are reading this for some purpose. Maybe you find nothing helpful from it, but you’re reading it anyway.

Maybe I can help that other person. Maybe you can. Without us, we’d all break. Think about the people you love most. Do they have purpose? Why wouldn’t you?

Beauty comes from the fight. I aim to spread what beauty I can. There needs to be people out there who have made it through. Who can help those who haven’t yet. Who can try with everything they have…because that has meaning. It means that not only have I made it through, but I made it through to be here right now, helping you.

We don’t know what the future brings. It will probably bring both pain and triumph. What I’m getting at is, I can no longer merely survive, trying to find a way out, to avoid the pain. Pain can later have some purpose, if you can make it. Maybe to help someone. Maybe to give you strength for other things that are thrown at you. Maybe to show others that people do survive.

This notion doesn’t make things less painful as they’re thrown at you. But it does give a reminder that not everything needs to crush you. Not everything is meant to kill.

We need each other. A solitary life is not one that can last. We are stronger together. And I won’t give up.

Pondering Time

Question to Ponder: If you were given a choice to live as long as you want, how long would you like to live?

Um…that’s kind of a hard question. And the answer to this question changes over and over, over the course of my life. If you had asked me this question, I would have said I wish I had never been born in the first place; that I’d like to die yesterday. Today, I am content (to a larger extent) with being alive; however, there’s some factors you have to consider with this. The fact that you could say, forever, or until you’re 101 years old…but you could lose a lot of loved ones living that way. Everyone you know will probably die before you. You’d run the risk of being lonely, depending.

I guess for me personally, I’d like to live long enough to experience life, but not longer than all of my loved ones. If I get married, maybe we can both grow old together and go like that? I want to live as long as I (and others) can find pleasure out of my existence. I want to live long enough to make a difference, and live out my purpose. I want to be fully alive while I am alive- I don’t want to keep on living if I’m suffering, or causing others to suffer.

So, no, I don’t have a number for an answer. But I guess the question didn’t specifically ask for one, so…yep.

-November 12, 2016