Paper Bag

“What do you see when you look in the mirror?”

Oh god, I don’t want to say it. It’s too cliché. I can’t believe that’s what I see! Now I understand why that ad campaign works. Just stare at the floor. Maybe she’ll talk again and say something else and change the topic. Oh no! She’s just waiting for me to answer. Well say something. Anything but the truth! You do not need to add this to the list of reasons why you’re a broken, sad excuse for a person. Well, what else can I say that would answer the question? I see me? No, that would invalidate this conversation. Come on, you’ve only got 4 sessions left with her. I cannot believe you brought this up. You have to say something. It’s too late now. You have to speak. The door is open now and there’s no closing it. Just admit it.

When I look in the mirror I see a fat person. That’s the only way I can phrase it so it makes sense to people who can’t read minds. When I look in the mirror I look huge. When I look in the mirror I fixate on all the fat that is on my body. I don’t care that my new higher weight is a result of muscle mass. I don’t care that my measurements have basically stayed the same except for my hips because I have an ass now. I don’t care that whenever I go to the doctor they make some comment about how great my lungs sound, or how strong my heartbeat is. “You must work out,” they say. But when I look in the mirror all I can see is fat and how much I have failed.

In therapy yesterday this came up, and I didn’t want to talk about it. After she got this out of me I did not say much else and let her talk. She had a lot to say, though, which I was thankful for. Because I didn’t want to admit this. Now just to her because she is my therapist and is only here until the 3rd week of August, and already has heard all of my stories about my family, my past, my present, my fears, my anxieties, etc. I did not want to add that I still struggle with body image on a daily basis to that list. I felt ashamed. I must look so broken and pathetic in her eyes. Just this sad little girl who gets anxiety attacks because she doesn’t know how to let her emotions be so they bubble up inside until the explode at the most inconvenient of moments. Just this sad little girl who comes from a broken family. This sad little girl who hates herself. This sad little girl who can’t even look at her reflection in passing without having to stop and scrutinize every inch of it. I didn’t want her to think any less of me than I assume she already does.* But I also did not want to admit it to myself.

I have been in recovery from anorexia nervosa for over 4 years. In that time I have learned and studied Pilates, weight training, HIIT, and have become a certified fitness trainer. I have dedicated those past 4 years to learning absolutely everything I could about health, fitness, and nutrition. Heck, I could have a degree in it by now. I know exactly how this all works, but when I look in the mirror all I see is failure. Failure because I never reached my UGW. Failure because I even tried to. Failure because despite all my knowledge I still don’t have rock hard visible abs, and I still indulge in sweets. Failure because my body is no one else’s fault but my own. It’s not hard like studying and taking a test. It’s just eating right and exercising and I can’t even seem to do that. I did not want to admit to myself that despite all I’ve learned and all I’ve overcome in the past 4 years I still cannot accept my body. I still hate how I look.

And now I just feel trapped. Because I cannot go back to starving myself. I know that. But it seems like I cannot do it the healthy way, either. I feel trapped. I feel sad, and I feel scared. Scared that I’m going to feel this way forever. I’m only 20 years old. I have hated my body since I was five when I wished I would be allowed to wear make up so that I could for once feel pretty. I’ve got 40-60 more years ahead of me. I don’t want to spend them feeling this way. I have been trying for 4 years to accept and love my body; to make peace with it, but it’s not happening.

Sunday Funday–Super Moons and Swimming

I did not realize that last night we had a super moon and it explains so much. Our forecast today was projected to get to 104 and yesterday I was super irritated about that, and last night was just really weird and, well, irritating. It was way too hot to sleep comfortably and I was really irritated about the prospect of tonight being worse because of the projected forecast, but then I saw the news articles this morning about last night’s super moon. Boy was that a big wake up call. I hate the heat as much as the next person, but not so much that I spiral into a ridiculous depression about it. I was also having the biggest body image relapse ever that seemed to have come out of nowhere. Believe what you will, but the full moon does something to people. Ask pretty much any ER doc. All the crazy cases come in when there is a full moon.

I’ve also been mediating more, and loving it, but it’s lead me to believe that we draw our strength from the earth, and why wouldn’t we? We are made of earth and when we die we’ll return to it. Why else would eating a plant based diet be so good for us? We are the stuff that stars are made of, so I think it makes sense the full moon would do something to us. Also because of the moon’s influence on the tides and we’re basically just sacks of water.

Speaking of water, the Actor and I went swimming today at the city pool and it was so nice. I haven’t gone swimming since our honeymoon and that was a very rushed swim because we swam, showered, grabbed our stuff, and checked out of the hotel, so it had to be before 10 am or something if I remember right. Some beautiful grey clouds rolled in over the city and so we only got up to 97, which sounds so much nicer than 104, but it was still nice to swim. We were going to go to our university’s pool but it isn’t open on weekends during the summer so we might check it out during the weekday here in a couple of days or weeks.

I’m halfway through summer quarter and about to start working on my first act for my first screenplay. Ok, I started one a few months ago and got 2 pages in before I realized I needed more planning and also did not really have any time to work on it, so it’s been sitting on my computer ever since. it’s kind of a reverse cross-dressing story. Will you ever see it? Chances are no. Someone’s first screenplay isn’t likely to go anywhere, and if anything when I’m out in the professional world if I have it edited to where I want it, it won’t be more than a portfolio script to show people looking to hire writers. Maybe if I ever get the money I’ll do it independently, but whatever.

I am loving these clouds. It is so nice. I’ve also got our air conditioner running. It’s just a nice change from how I felt yesterday. I did have a lot of fun at work with my coworkers, even though it was a slow and long shift. Tomorrow is Monday, and thankfully I just have therapy and work. I am ready for my summer vacation. I get a month off starting the 22nd or 23rd of August and school starts again on the 24th of September, but that month will be plenty. Once I’d stopped driving back and forth to visit my mom in the hospital and settled back home last summer I started to get very bored not having classes or a job.

I hope you all had a good weekend!

Also, head on over to my movie review blog for a comparison review of Tangled and Frozen. Chocolate Dipped Drama

Classes and Cramps

My life is so boring lately! Ok, it’s not boring, just busy and full of things that are not really all that exciting. So here is a jumble of things:

It’s been 7 weeks since I got my IUD inserted and I am still SO happy with this decision! The cramping has gone down, although I do still get it occasionally. When we hit 4 weeks it got really bad and I thought I was going to have my period, but nope. The cramps went away after a week and some ibuprofen, and since then I’ve just been spotting very slightly and still no period. They said there is like a 10% chance (don’t quote me on that) that you won’t get your period while using Skyla, and I’m like, “Awesome, I fall into that 10%!” It’s a good feeling. I definitely like not getting my period every 3 weeks like I did on the pill. I don’t really like not knowing when it will come if at all, but it’s not the end of the world if it does come.

I am also halfway through summer quarter now. It’s only 6 weeks of classes so this is week 3. I have a screenplay to write (ack!), an actor to put a presentation together on, and then 3 tests which are all open note and open book, so it’s not that stressful. Soon I’ll be done with classes for the summer and spending a lot more time in Seattle for:

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I am so excited! It’s going to be a good summer. And then I get to go back to my second and forever home:

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It’s going to be a good summer. I can’t say it’s been terrible now, either. It’s been hot. Like in the 100’s hot! We are so grateful our apartment has air conditioning. And I’ve never been so happy about the ridiculous wind! We had the window open and the fan going in the bedroom last night and I actually got cold! That’s a good feeling.

In case any of you are interested, I’ve started yet another blog: Chocolate Dipped Drama. It’s a film review blog/maybe story series blog. If I have the time and get around to it I’m thinking of releasing the novel I worked on last summer in bits on the blog, but extend it like a series because there is so much I want to do with it and keeping it in book form is just limiting unless I want an Order of the Phoenix-sized book.

I also got the ball rolling today for getting a training job at my uni’s gym which I am very excited about! This is just one of those times when I feel like things are going to be okay. I’ve started meditating every night using the app I downloaded onto my phone called Stop. Breathe & Think and I love it! My therapist is leaving at the end of August so I wanted to get something in place that I could turn to, and now use to help me get to a place where I will feel more confident about stopping therapy when she leaves. It’s definitely helping.

So this was many things all in one post. I thought about writing another depressing post about my childhood but decided against it. I hope you’re all staying cool!

I Belong to Me

On a similar strand from the last post, I’m going to talk today about my experience as being property as most women have been and still are treated. When I was younger and in school, and this might have more had to do with my incredible skill at being indecisive than the property thing, no one ever asked me what I wanted to do. I mean, my friends except for my best friends. They would always look to either the Actor or my best friends to say what I wanted to do. I learned to stick up for myself pretty quick after I realized this.

Then comes the topic of getting a father’s blessing for marriage. We didn’t. The Actor and I had discussed it beforehand, because let’s face it, we’d been together for 4 years by the time we got engaged. Marriage had come into conversation a fair amount of times. We decided that getting my father’s permission was unnecessary for a few reasons. One, I do/did not belong to my father. I am a person and people do not belong to anyone, so asking for his “permission” was unnecessary. Two, my father had made the decision to try and find new women and families to be a part of, thereby removing himself from ours. My brother and my mom can deny this fact all they want, but he made the decision to leave it on multiple occasions, and so I did not see any reason to ask his permission. If I “had” belonged to him before, I certainly didn’t once he’d made the decision to leave. We did however, ask for my mom’s blessing. I was her oldest child and only daughter. I had helped her through her separation as best as a 9-18 year old daughter could. We were very close, and so I thought that we should at least get her blessing. Not because I “belonged” to her, but because we had a very close relationship and me getting married would mean that our relationship was going to change slightly and I wanted her to be okay with that.

I think that in today’s progressive (well, unless the SCOTUS gets involved seeing as they just helped us regress a little with women’s reproductive rights) day and age that asking for a father’s permission is not really necessary anymore. Maybe you want to do it because it is tradition and that’s fine, but it most certainly isn’t required. You don’t need anyone’s permission to get married. Yes there are age restrictions and unfortunately not all states allow marriage between two people of the same sex yet, but we’re getting there.

As a person, especially as a woman, you do not belong to anyone. No one is in charge of telling you how to cut your hair or who to marry or what to do this weekend but you. You belong to no one but yourself. You and you alone are in charge of your life. If some insanity ever possesses me to have children in the future I know I’m not going to make them as for our permission or even our blessing to get married. If they want to dye their hair pink and shave half their head then I will help them with the razor and the dye box. If my son wants to wear a dress I will take him shopping for one. Just because I give birth to them does not make them mine. I will be in charge of their wellbeing until they are old enough to be in charge of that themselves, but that does not make them mine. My daughter will be free to be her own person and I will teach her that she belongs to herself and that no man (or woman) has any power over her and her life.

So to recap, I belong to me, you belong to you, no one can tell you how to live your life and if they try they better prepare for a world of hurt.

And happy Canada Day!

Do What You Want with Your Body

In 2008 I was very single. I was 15. I was a freshman in high school. I was ready to face my future, although at the time I was upset that I was being forced to decide on something that wasn’t going to happen for another 4 years, but that is beside the point. At the time I had two guys who liked me that I liked back romantically. One was an old friend from middle school, and the other was the Actor. We had a long winter break due to a weird amount of snow for western Washington and I spent that break on MySpace chatting with both Old Friend and the Actor. Old Friend and I hung out once over that break. I walked to his house in the snow and we spent the day playing video games, making snowmen, and making cookies. It was a fine time. As a side note, I think I left my cookies at his house because my ED was kicking in and I didn’t want to have sweets to tempt me at home, especially with the holidays so close. His parents drove me home in their 4 wheel drive car and that was that. I went out with the Actor on New Year’s Day a few weeks later. I have to admit that my heart was racing during most of the date and I was anxious and nervous but pleasantly excited. The day I’d spent with Old Friend I considered a play date, but this with the Actor was something completely different. It was the beginning, I’d hoped, of a long and wonderful courtship. We saw a movie and then got drinks at Starbucks where we sat and talked until the mall started to close.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some feelings for Old Friend at the time. We’d had three years in middle school to get to know one another and he was the first boy I could ever admit to have liking. But we never had a romantic relationship.

So I went into 2009 leaning toward the Actor, but holding on to Old Friend a bit. That all changed the day I cut my hair.

I chopped it all off, much like I just recently did. At least a foot of hair was chopped off and donated and I walked into school the next morning quite pleased with my new ‘do. I loved how light it felt and pretty I looked in the mirror. Old Friend was not pleased. I had mentioned wanting to cut my hair during our winter break play date and he told me quite certainly that he preferred girls with long hair. When he saw me that morning I could see the look of dissatisfaction with my new hair cut. I asked if he liked it. “No,” he said, “I like long hair on girls better.”

Now, I can’t say for certain that that was what sealed the deal on choosing who I was going to date, but it certainly helped. The Actor told me at every chance that he got just how much he liked my hair. I got multiple compliments from him on it in the first week after it was cut. The way the Actor and Old Friend reacted told me a lot about both guys. Old Friend wanted someone who would do and be what he wanted. The Actor was someone who would be comfortable with me doing whatever I wanted.

Because I didn’t cut my hair for either of them. I didn’t cut it in rebellion to Old Friend’s comment, and I didn’t cut it because I thought the Actor would like it. I cut it because I wanted it to be short. I cut my hair for me. And when I saw the Actor accepting me for me I knew he was the better guy to be with.

Girls have no obligation to dress or look a certain way to please a guy, and looking back, I am happy that at 15 I had already realized that. If you want to cut your hair do it. If you want to wear a certain outfit do it. It does not matter at all if a guy or girl or whoever does not like it because you are not doing it for them. You are doing it for you. And if someone does not like it, then they are not accepting you for who you are and are not worth your time.

Currently June 2014

I know we’re halfway through the year now but I’m still not use to typing 2014 when I type. Maybe I’ll get used to it someday. I’m typing on my kindle right now and this is very interesting. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to this either. No, my computer did not die on me again. The touchpad died but otherwise it works fine. It’s a fairly flimsy laptop and I was angry one day and slammed it down which I think jostled the touchpad out of connection because the computer still thinks it is there except there is no cursor unless I plug in an external mouse so yeah. That’s fun. The Actor’s computer just died though. May it rest in peace. The pixels in the screen flipped out and so now you don’t see anything but a digital crack in the screen. It was bound to happen soon though. It’s an old computer. 

So anyway, June is almost over now. I am a week into summer session which means I only have five weeks left. So far I am really liking my classes. Not too much homework although everyone always gasps when I tell them I am taking 13 credits. I guess when you normally take 12-15 during a normal session 13 sounds like a lot, but I normally take 17 or 18 so this is like a break for me. 

Currently, really into The Legend of Korra. It’s not as good as The Last Airbender but it is still really fun. The third season started yesterday. 

Currently, reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I’m gonna let you in on a secret: this is my first time reading the series. I finished Order of the Phoenix the other night. I am really enjoying them, and especially like comparing the books and movies because I think both are very good and the only thing I’ve bad a problem with so far is how many scenes with Sirius they cut from the movies. 

Ugh, I’m a terrible blogger. That’s pretty much all I have to write right now. Plus I’m getting irritated with typing on the kindle. More to come soon I promise. 

Summer Time!

What time is it? Summer time! It’s… not vacation yet. Sadly. I’ve got 2 months until Disneyland, and 6 weeks of summer session classes ahead of me. I did the depressing task of buying my text books yesterday. It’s one of the few times when I feel like professors are pure evil. Some are nice, like one I had last quarter who instead of having us buy a bunch of books, took all the excerpts he wanted us to read and put them in a $20 packet. Others are, pretty sure, plain evil. One of my books was $80 rented used. So you don’t even want to know how much it would have cost to rent a new one or to buy a new or used one. Yuck.

But enough of that. Last week was the end of Spring Quarter 2014. I have one more of those left before I graduate (hopefully). It was also graduation season and I know like 50 people who graduated. Two were cousins, one was my brother-in-law, and my little brother, Maxlemore as he would like to be called, “graduated” from middle school last Friday. I am so proud of him. This year was definitely not easy. His dad moved away a month before it started, then our mom nearly died and was still in fairly poor condition when he started school. The district he is in changes the grading system every year and the teachers have to learn new things to teach and how to grade every year so most of the time he didn’t know if he was passing or failing. It’s also middle school so there is just tons of drama with that. It was the second year without me at home, but I came to visit even less than the year before because being married and living off campus is a lot harder than being single and in a freshman dorm. He is also pretty much the male version of me so there are all those underlying disorders I can see the signs of, but he survived and I’m very proud of him.

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I chopped off all my hair last week. I love how short it is, and even would like it a little shorter. Bringing back a classic: the flapper bob! Seriously, I kinda want it shorter. But I love it. I think I’m going to keep it short for the rest of my time in college just because long hair in the town I live in is just too much to handle with the dry air and the 30 mph daily wind. I grew it out for the wedding, but that was a year ago so it was time for a change.

My brother’s ceremony was on Friday, and it took forever, but it was in the gym of my old middle school. In the beginning they asked all Brave alumni to stand and it was so weird to think that, wow, yeah, I’m an alum. I don’t think I’ve actually been in a building there since I “graduated” from it back in 2008. That is crazy.

Then we had my brother-in-law’s high school graduation Saturday night and that was weird, too, because the last time I was at a graduation for that high school it was my graduation. And I’ll be back there in 4 years for Maxlemore’s. (he has no idea what he’s done picking that as his nickname).

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I can’t seem to get the rest of my photos from my iPhone to sync up with my iCloud so I’ll leave you with this rough sketch I did for freshbakeddisney.com. I made it all fancy and sent it in to them yesterday. can’t wait to hear about it! If you don’t know who they are they are the best! “The best of Disney fresh baked daily,” so if you’re like me and call Disneyland your second (or even first) home, and just can’t go very long without it, these people are for you. They go to Disneyland every Saturday and put out 7-10 minute clips from their trip each day. It’s actually really addicting.  I did this doodle in class last quarter to try and stay awake. Try getting up before dawn to go to work and then having 5-6 hours of class right after. It’s exhausting. Anyway, I’ll put up the fully illustrated one maybe later. Probably not because if they decide to use it then it’s theirs and then I’ll just post the link here. I seriously feel so honored that they liked my sketch enough to ask me to clean it up so they could use it. I have always loved drawing, but to think that someone would actually like my drawings in the future is just… I never expected anyone to like them other than my family because they’re obligated to. It really just makes me so happy.

Say No to Anorexia

I stumbled upon a post that promoted 40 shocking posters and I loved most of them until I came upon this one:

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“You are not a sketch. Say no to anorexia.”

Had the add just said “You are not a sketch” I would not have a problem with it. It is the “say no to anorexia” line that gets my blood boiling. You cannot just say “no” to anorexia. It’s not a drug someone in a dark alley waved in my face and asked in a raspy voice, “Ya wanna try anorexia?” That campaign doesn’t work with drugs anyway. I was never offered the choice of saying “no” to my anorexia. That’s not how it works. That’s like saying, “say no to autism” or “say no to cancer.” That isn’t something that is possible. A strategy like this doesn’t work with anything. You can’t tell someone who is having trouble sleeping to just go to sleep and expect it to be fixed just like that. You cannot just tell an anorexic person to eat and stopping projecting their feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, etc., onto food and starvation and body image.

Anorexia, like any eating disorder, is a mental disorder. It’s not a drug addiction despite the addiction-like symptoms.

On top of that, this puts the blame on modeling agencies when I, personally, rarely ever wanted to look like a model when I was deep into my anorexia. The thinspo I looked at rarely ever contained models. I can’t think of anyone that ever did. Not that anyone did or does, it’s just not the usual target.

It is an offensive and very misinformed ad. Eating disorders are a problem, but you cannot fix it with an ad. It’s not ad related. Eating disorders have been around for a long time. Our current photoshop skills and all that may be a trigger but not a cause.

1 Year of Wedded Bliss

Not so blissful if you count the hospital scare, the car crash, the whole college thing, and the whole working and having bills to try to pay on minimum wage thing. But it was still nice to be married. Since our anniversary was the start of finals week there wasn’t much we could do. I got work off but still had a final and the Actor has a whole bunch tomorrow that he spent most of Monday preparing for, but we still went out for dinner and I made a cake.

Since the first anniversary is the paper anniversary I decided to kind of theme it like Paperman, the short they played before Wreck It Ralph.

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I gave him a roll of toilet paper as a joke.

 

 

 

 

Red velvet cake with cream cheese filling and frosting. I tried to copy the decorations from our wedding cake with icing.

Desserts from Olive Garden. They’re doing their 2 for $25 again so we got dessert basically for free. Can’t pass up a deal like that.

It’s been a good year. I kid when I say it hasn’t at the top. I mean it hasn’t been happily ever after fairy tale, but when is life ever like that? We look forward to another wonderful year. I can’t believe it’s already been an entire year already. A year ago I was… probably asleep in Walt Disney World after taking an almost 6 hour flight, and I would take that over getting up to go to work this morning. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

Why I’m Reluctant to be Happy

The combination of therapy and getting off the Pill has left me in super positive moods pretty much all the time, and when I do get sad I know and have an easier time working through it since I’m not in pseudo-sad moods the rest of the time and can’t pinpoint what is making me sad now. But, and this has come up a few times in therapy now, I am reluctant to let myself be happy. I mean, I definitely love being happy, and I do allow myself to feel happy, but it’s not 100% accepted when I feel happy and there is some guilt associated with it. Part of it is I honestly do not think I deserve to be happy, and part of it is in the past me being happy usually has been a sign of things about to go wrong. So many times I would get really happy and excited for my future and better life when my mom would tell me she was finally divorcing my dad and we were going to move to her hometown of Helena, Montana I would go to her high school and become a cheerleader and be in the Vigilante Parade.

And then she would tell me that they aren’t going to get divorced and they would stay together because, “I needed a father.”

This happened 5 times.

I was getting very happy and content after marrying the Actor and my mom ended up in the hospital from a cardiac arrest and respiratory failure.

And just recently I was feeling very happy and confident about a presentation I had to do on Tuesday. I went up there and felt like I was doing a pretty good job for having a slacker freshman as a partner who was pretty terrified about having to speak in front of the class. I sat down afterward thinking that while we didn’t get an A we probably at least passed and I at least did a decent job of presenting. I felt great. I felt in the zone. I was happy. But today I got the feedback from it. We got a B+ which is great, but there was a specific note about me. I did not talk loudly or clearly most of the time. And I’m devastated, because I went up there and felt like I was doing great. I was excited. I wasn’t even anxious about it, and yet I did terribly. My partner who’s voice very clearly shook and she paused and “um”ed and all that had no note about her. Yeah, our PowerPoint sucked. I knew it would. But I spoke too quietly, too monotone which I didn’t even think I did, and not too clear. And the professors were in the first row so if they couldn’t hear me… That would explain why no one asked us any questions but every other presentation got two or three.

This, like every other past experience, tells me that I was wrong to be happy. It tells me that I very clearly misjudged the situation and should have been more anxious about it. It tells me that my being happy and confident caused me to fail. It tells me that being happy is not okay.

So now I just feel very lost. Very sad and very lost, because I want so much to be happy, but it just seems like I shouldn’t be. It seems like it isn’t okay and that bad things will happen if I’m happy and confident. And knowing that just upsets me more. Especially because I just took a test today that I felt very confident about and now I’m thinking I shouldn’t have done that and probably failed it. I just applied for a new job and felt great about it and now I’m thinking I probably won’t get hired just because I felt great about it. Am I supposed to go through life being anxious and afraid of everything? Because I don’t want to do that. I want to be relaxed, happy, and confident. I don’t want to feel that way every time I present something or turn something in. I don’t want to be anxious and have to think the worst every time I apply for a job, pitch a script, create a workout program for a client, etc.

So I don’t deserve to be happy. Because bad things happen when I’m happy. To me and to people I care about. It’s wrong for me to be happy, and I wish things were different, but they’re not and they never will be.

 

ps, this is apparently my 500th post. Yippie…

Writing to stay sane, recovering to stay alive.

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