Just a Little Quiet

I have this really strong urge to go somewhere secluded. In the mountains, maybe. Where the tree canopies and the sunsets make my shallow, habitual need for constant entertainment obsolete. I would live in a shack where the natural cross breeze would act as my air conditioning and the rays of the sun would act as my heat. If I was bored I would visit my bookshelf, full of american classics and poetry, and choose something to read for the day. Or, I would grab my camera and go for a hike. I want to be able to put my phone down and listen to whatever thoughts I’m trying to ignore every time I scroll through a news feed, or hit the play button on Netflix.

There are plenty of people who don’t quite understand this, or they see me as depressed.”Make sure you’re not isolating.” they say. “What are you trying to run away from?” they ask. Each answer is simple. Realizing that this is something that I desire is invigorating and broadens the gap between me and any depression. I am not trying to hide. I am not moving geographically in the hopes that I will be able to escape my problems. For in the silence I wish to surround myself with, I welcome all of my thoughts and worries. I’ll even save them a seat in the car or the bus that I ride in, buckle them in, make sure they’re comfortable. I might even let them choose a song or two on the radio. In the mountains I would have room for all I’m supposed to be, including any and all baggage that I carry.

I wish to go somewhere remote  because, sometimes, in this world, I feel as though I am being screamed at. I am constantly trying to listen to others, trying not to offend others, and caring way to much about what others think. It seems as though I am ignoring myself. Everything is just to loud sometimes.

So maybe I am trying to run away, but it is from the things not allowing me to listen. Listen. Listening, understanding,comprehending and honoring…Honoring. But, finally, of the self and not of others. In the company of the trees and the magic dust from the moon that fills the air every night. In the company of the natural rhythm of the seasons. High on a mountain closer to heaven, the sky and of all its energy. There I wish to listen. There I wish to confront what I, and most of us, hide from on a daily basis.

One day, I promise, I will do this. And imagine the amazing blog posts that will come of it!

~Liv

PhotoCredits: Me

 

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August 5th

August 5th is my birthday and an official start to a new year for me. I think that out of all my years on this earth, although few, I am most grateful for this one. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say … this year was a total BITCH.

I firmly believe that there is an infinite amount of beauty in pain (or in this case, Beauty in the Bitch). Back in August of 2015, I finally started treatment for my eating disorder after 5 years of suffering and thinking that I could handle it by other means. Then September came around and I came out publicly with my ED. Doing this changed my life, or rather, saved it. I was no longer walking around in what I felt like was a metaphorical over sized hoodie and dark sunglasses, or what most literally came across as a very bad case of resting bitch face. I was walking around as Liv, authentically. This concept of being so vulnerable, although positive, proved miserable in its entirety. Little control freak Liv was no longer in control of how people perceived her. A blessing, really.

So much more happened to me besides things revolving around my ED. I fell in love for the first time. Not the kind you find in teen movies or even in your average romantic comedy, but the real kind. The unconditional kind. Consequently, my heart got broken just the same. However painful this process was for me, my theory proves correct and the beauty prevailed. Me, the girl who I thought was incapable of love, too damaged or scared, is in fact very capable. Not only am I capable, but loving others in the way that I do is a strength in my character that I was previously unaware of.  With my new awareness of love came a new awareness of morality. If one does not chase the magic, if one entertains concepts or practices that dull experience, then one needs to get one’s friggin priorities straight.

So it’s the start of a new year for me. A year, unlike the last, beginning in recovery. A year where my first step forward is one with a little bit more determination. Instead of a tiptoe, it’s a mild stomp. Mild, yet authentic and magical.

~Liv

PhotoCredits: Olivia Broussard

Feeling Numb

When I am anxious, I listen to Jason Mraz and put on lavender lotion. When I am feeling depressed, I open the windows and read some awesome blogs. But when I am numb, there doesn’t seem to be a lot that I can do. And there is something very scary about that. For me, the sensation (or lack there of) of being numb, is the hardest part of recovery.

A defense mechanism that I have is “Checking Out.” I shut off entirely.

“Livy how was your day?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well what did you do today?”

“I don’t remember.”

I am feeling numb today. I have been feeling numb for about 2 weeks now. So today I started asking myself what it is that I am trying to block out. And then I made sure that I am not feeling numb because I am restricting (which can sometimes be a subconscious habit). After a little bit of self reflection I realized two things. 1) I am restricting again and 2) I am checking out of all of the transition in my life. I am graduating high school and moving out in three months. I am leaving the only school that I have ever attended that felt like home to me, and the only school where I was never bullied. I am about to re-enter a world (a real world) full of gossip, judgement and, dare I use the cliche word, cliques.

Will I be able to face each judgement call with civil confidence? or will I be triggered and cope by purging and restricting? Will I stay on track with my treatment, or will I become fueled by the high of hunger and decide to skip my doctors appointments, group meetings and counseling sessions. I am terrified to see what will come…. But wait, that’s good! I am feeling scared right now, and with this fear comes the absence of my numbness. This shakiness that I feel right now as I struggle to hit the right keys as I am typing, this shakiness is a gift. I am afraid for my life because I value it, because I want to keep it.

Will I be able to face each judgement call with civil confidence?

So when I am anxious I listen to Jason Mraz and put on lavender lotion. When I am depressed, I open the windows and look at some amazing blogs. And when I am numb, I will evaluate 1) are you restricting and 2) what are you trying to block out. Then I may blog about it, or journal or write a letter. But let me juts finish by saying… Lord thank you for my shaky hands.

~Liv

 

 

keeping a Journal

I was looking through my old journals the other day, and it was something that proved to be really difficult. Writing is my main (healthy) form of coping and I kept pretty extensive journals throughout the most traumatic times in my life. I was thoroughly emotionally abused throughout middle school and was also bullied restlessly by the typical “mean girls”. I was un-medicated for my anxiety and depression and was starting to experiment with my eating disorder. To be completely honest, I was a very emotionally unhealthy girl in a very emotionally unhealthy situation. As one can imagine, any journal entry that was written during a time like that would show just how broken I really was. These journals document exactly where, when and how my up-hill climb to total recovery began.

After reading these journals (with the intention of looking for writing inspiration) i was thoroughly… disturbed with myself. I must have forgotten that i once had any of those thoughts, or had been in any of those situations. I then proceeded to cry a little bit about it and debate whether or not I should throw all of the journals away. I wanted to get rid of any evidence that there was of me being like that.

Amy Winehouse is one of my favorite singers, and one of the people that interests me the most (along with Maya Angelou). I feel as though me and her were “cut from the same cloth”, or that we were extremely similar people who took extremely different paths. I decided to watch her documentary when it was finally available on demand. There were things she experienced and things that she said that changed my total outlook on recovery. But, the one thing that pertains to this blog post about journaling is when she said (paraphrase) “a lot of people experience depression. But I’m lucky because I can pick up a guitar and right a song. I sing about what I know Because that is the only way to be authentic. I have an outlet.”

Writing is my outlet. During those horrible times 6 yeas ago, I wrote what I knew, I wrote of who I was. Whether I like it or not, my bullies, my abusive father, and my battle with an eating disorder are part of my beautiful authenticity. I must never wish that a part of who I am (or was) didn’t exist.

I kept the journals

~Liv

 

What Does ED Look Like

A lot of us personify ED to some extent. And we might try to think that (he) is this ugly, evil being, maybe with horns, a pitch fork and a nasty grin. But, ED is smarter than to appear in such a manner. The ED that I see is a well dressed, clean cut person who looks at you with kind eyes. (He) is someone who would have diplomas, certificates, and awards hanging on the walls of (his) office so that (he) appears to know exactly what (he) is talking about. ED is someone who asks you if you would like a warm cup of tea every time you enter (his) home. If ED appeared to be this horrible and disgusting villain, then I would be more willing to get rid of (him). This is the tricky part of recovery, and the part that I feel most people don’t understand. I am trying to get rid of something that my brain thinks is wonderful.

I am all about trust right now. If I don’t trust the people who are trying to help me, or if I don’t trust in the process, then I am going to hold on to ED forever. I also have to understand that right now, I can’t trust my perspective of the situation and it is even possible that when it comes to this, I might always have to ignore my instinct.

~Liv

This Moment in Time

I did have a really bad relapse last February and it was a real turning point for me. Right after it happened I knew that it would be. I told myself “things NEED to change”, and they did… for a little while. I went back to following my meal plan and I was honest with the doctors about what I did. I drank the prescribed amount of GaterAde and I took every single GIGANTIC vitamin that I was supposed to. It seemed as though I was finally getting a handle on things. To some extent, I am actually getting a handle on things and my bad experience was a turning point, but in a way that is much, much less glorified than I expected. My sudden and complete 180 degree turn in behavior was fueled by my “Turning Point High” and it wasn’t going to last forever. Now the real work begins.

To be completely honest with you, at this moment in time, I am a mess. Every emotion and event that I suppressed over the years is deciding to come out and I am left with the OVERWHELMING task  of having to deal with 10 years of trauma. I am keeping everyone at arms length, including the people that I am closest with. I do not want to be hugged or touched and I even started parking on the street instead of in my driveway because I feel like my mom’s car would be way too close to mine.

In terms of my eating disorder, I am not taking any diet pills or medicine that makes you purge (that’s progress), but I am restricting pretty excessively. It’s what I have always done and I don’t know what it is like to do anything else. Not restricting is unknown territory, and literally against my brain chemistry.

I am dealing with a lot of different emotions right now, and that is a necessary part of recovery, but I am stunting the progress by restricting. With my knowledge of that must now come the change (easier said than done). My intention for writing this post is to be honest with the people who read my blog, to be held accountable for my recovery, and to share my experience with those who might be feeling the exact same way that I am.

“With my knowledge of that must now come the change.”

Recovery is a freakin’ messy process, and a lot of the time the only thing that is rewarding about it is the proposed light at the end of the tunnel. I remember when I first started getting help for my ED, people said that I needed to trust the process and have faith. I was COMPLETELY numb to those words. But now I see that if I don’t trust the process, then I would not trust that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I would not make it past this point of my recovery. I would go to Walgreens and buy anything and everything that I  could to purge away my feelings and I would end up passed out on the bathroom floor again. Then again. Then again.

“Recovery is a freakin’ messy process.”

So at this moment in time, I hate recovery, I am a mess, I want to go to Walgreens, and I am tired beyond belief. I am being honest with myself and with you because I am not a liar and my blog is bull shit free. If I want to be happy and experience the beautiful things that life has for me then I have to let myself be an emotional mess right now, I have to stay far, far away from all pharmacies and I HAVE TO trust in the process and have faith.

~Liv

Read this great article- About more than food

 

Watch Out For that Sewage Grate

My way of thinking for the last Six years has been “I know my eating disorder is bad and I am supposed to want to get rid of it, but I need it because without it I would look horrible.” People and doctors tell me that this is wrong and then they give me some speech about the human metabolism and then I dose off and nod my head to make it look like I’m listening. Then I imagine myself stuffing my face with donuts and walking around while tuba music plays with every step that I take. Then I have an anxiety attack and plan my meals and see what days in my schedule I could purge and not have to miss school if it doesn’t stop. Continue reading “Watch Out For that Sewage Grate”