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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The Before and After Picture

If someone were to Google “eating disorders”, or more specifically “eating disorder recovery” they would find thousands of images of tiny, emaciated girls and women. Exposed rib cages, a girl slouched over with her spine almost completely visible beneath her translucent skin. And then, sometimes, there is an additional image next to it. A girl who is “weight restored” and smiling, laughing even. #recovery #bodypositivity

I respect everyone’s journey through any eating disorder and the unique factors that go with that individual. But what I refuse to respect is the damage that sharing before and after (eating disorder) pictures does. It is extremely objectifying and it aids almost every stereotype surrounding ED. It promotes the idea that everyone struggling with anorexia or bulimia or EDNOS will be utterly skeletal at their worst. In no way does body size indicate how badly someone is suffering. And the straight out truth of the matter is that the majority of people affected by eating disorders will never embody the image of the anorexic girl that you so often see in health text books, google images, and even irresposible private blog and Instagram accounts.

I can not help but become angry when everything I am trying to prove in my writing gets counteracted. Disordered eating is rooted in thought. How someone feels after a meal, before a meal, during a meal. The deep feelings of not only physical inadequacy but just thinking that who you are isn’t enough. ED does not live in this revolting image of a high school girl wearing a tight pink T-shirt and proudly proclaiming that she is on a new fad diet. ED lives in the girl who carries a sadness in her expressive eyes. ED lives in the boy tired of feeling worthless. ED lives in the abused and torn down. ED is a hiding place… NOT a number on a scale, a pants size, a BMI. NOT rib cages, pelvic bones and spines. Even though those things can happen, a number drops or rises, the CONSTANT association can rob a very sick person of their ability to get better because they do not believe they are “sick enough”.

Although seemingly inspiring, before and after pictures are a dangerous association, one that I will not take part in. My weight is for the concern of my doctors and is not a measurement of my success in recovery. Throughout my blog I may discuss health issues but that is in attempt to show how, when trying to achieve an allusive physical image, things can go horribly wrong. I want to see your success through happiness, self expression, passion, and healthy love. I mean it when I say to you, your body size means absolutely nothing to me.

~Liv

PhotoCredits: Me

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

The Pain of the Consequence

I have not written in a long time, almost three weeks. There was a reason for that too… I really did not want too. I wanted to be in my own little eating disorder bubble during the past few weeks because of the stressful things that were happening. I finished out my senior year of high school and actually graduated with a decent grade point average, especially considering the year that I have had, I walked across the stage and received my diploma, and felt stabs a sadness as I realized I was leaving the first school that I actually loved. I chose a college major, pierced my nose, chopped all of my hair off and am preparing to move out of the house. It seemed like too much for me to handle without my usual coping skill of restricting… so I did.

Here is what my ED made me think would happen: I will just restrict a lot this week so I im backcan get through everything that I need and in the process my stomach will get flatter in preparation for summer. Then after this week, I’ll just stop.

Here is what actually happened: I will start restricting heavily this week to calm my nerves. *7 days later*. Ok, that stressful week is over, I can stop now. But my stomach feels so empty and flat. I’ve missed that feeling…

So that week turned into me loosing complete control of my diet and I ended up with a giant, unrelenting, excruciating, stomach ulcer after 3 weeks of restricting to prove it. So if you think you might want to restrict today, be my guest! Just know that there is an inevitable loss of control coming your way, and that day is going to turn into a month. And you are going to end up with a stomach ulcer that literally keeps you up at night. A stomach ulcer that makes you scream in pain every time your stomach gets too empty, every time you eat a tiny bit too fast, every time you don’t drink enough water, every time you miss your carbohydrate snack every 45 minutes to keep the acid levels down. A stomach ulcer that makes your stomach so distended that your skin starts to hurt from stretching and the only thing that you can wear is over sized sweatpants. And this little fucker lasts 3 months. 😉

I am not telling you this so you feel sorry for me (I’m a bad ass bitch that doesn’t need your pity), I’m telling you this because your eating disorder is a liar. ED is trying to kill you, so please don’t listen to him. And if and when you slip up an listen to him, write about it, paint a picture of it, record a song… anything so that you will remember the pain of the consequence.

BTW- I am over three months free of purging !! (count every victory)

Live long and prosper (and I can only do that if I stay in recovery)

~Liv

PS: one more post to come tomorrow

 

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

 

 

Eating Disorders and Depression

Along with an eating disorder, I also have depression, and the two often go together. I was diagnosed with depression in the seventh grade and, until now, I coped with restricting and purging. I did these things in secret, and I thought they were working. But now, I have chosen recovery. I am slowly learning to let go of the extremely physically and emotionally destructive behaviors of ED. The next step for me is to not allow myself to become painfully hungry. The sensation of being so hungry and empty has an, almost, numbing affect on me. A sensation I am hopelessly addicted to. But in the last few weeks, I have made a lot of progress in this aspect. And (coincidentally?), I am also going through a rough patch of my depression. This time I am not numb to it. I am not in any emotional danger and am only writing because I want to share with you what it is like. Either for the purpose of education, or in the case that you might relate, that it might give you a sense of being understood. There is almost something painfully beautiful about my new, “sober”, depression.

A sense of being understood…

…So now when I am experiencing the throws of depression, it feels like I have the ability to look at life and call its bluff. For example, when I look at the concept of marriage I don’t see the pretty white wedding gowns and a lifetime of happiness, I see divorce. I see two people saying that they are going to be together forever, but are blissfully unaware that they don’t have the knowledge of the future to know whether or not they will grow apart. Love is temporary and pain is inevitable. Everything is an ending, nothing a beginning.

Is love temporary. Is pain inevitable.

There comes a time when I am not sure what to believe in: the magic of life that everyone says is there or what seems to bet he depressing truth  about existence. Now not only am I experiencing depression, I’m confused on what is real.

It is a fact that people with depression tend to ponder the meaning of life more than others do. They/we look for the answers to everything and everything must have an answer. But what if the answers are actually the delusions of depression. And what about the things that have no earthly answers. This makes me feel so afraid. I desperately need to know the purpose of everything and whether or not some things are just pointless. And what if I am pointless.

So when I appear sad or angry or distant I am simply lying to you. I am afraid… At least for now… because I am working on it.

~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