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you curious?

ask questions gifLast night I decided that I needed a break from course work and my brain suddenly told me to… “make an ask.fm.” So, I did.

Totally open to any questions! But I will keep my values in mind and decide how to answer!

Super excited to interact with everyone more!

You can find it here: https://ask.fm/kintsukuroilife

 

Musings, Recovery

Coming to “Enough”

I searched Pinterest for a while looking for topics on which to write. But I didn’t find any. I couldn’t seem to get my mind around any of them. I wanted to write some post about something deep and whatever, but you know what… I don’t need to and I am not going to.

Life is kind of a whirlwind. Recovery is more of a tornado. I often feel like I’m being whipped around in circles from one thing to another and then back again. But, interestingly enough, I’ve come to like it a bit. It’s a lot more interesting and satisfying than the perpetual depression of my eating disorder. I don’t mean to say it’s all good things in the tornado. Occasionally, I whirl by the Wicked Witch of the West and have a moment of fear and anxiety. But then I somehow land in Oz among the flowers and there’s a period of calm again–or as calm as it really can be in recovery.

It’s interesting though, because there is a lot of freedom in fear. It sucks, of course. But if you do whatever you fear, and then you do it again, and again, and again, and you keep going, the fear leaves and you just have freedom. It’s a process and it takes a LONG time. But each time you do the thing you fear and you make it to the other side, you get a little bit more space from the fright. You get a little bit more free.

Yesterday night, as I was preparing for bed, I pulled of my shirt and I stood in front of the mirror in my sports bra and I brushed my teeth. I looked at myself straight-on in the mirror and let my eyes wash over my body. I let them run over the shape of my stomach body imageand my arms and my chest and let the feelings come. I noticed the thoughts that usually come with looking at my exposed body–the judgements and criticisms and slight sense of discomfort.

But I smiled instead of covering up again and just kept looking. I did it because I needed to and because I physically couldn’t put a shirt back on with a toothbrush in my mouth… but mostly because I needed to do it. Because it kind of doesn’t matter what thoughts come to me. They are only thoughts. They do not mean that I am any less of a person. And I may not believe that entirely just yet, but I stood through the discomfort anyway and embraced it.

It sucked a little bit. It sucked to not like everything I saw. But I only dislike it because of a standard I have in my head that is absolutely ridiculous. I will never fit the standard that society holds for me and that, therefore, I have in my mind is correct.

But it isn’t correct. It is warped and unachievable and unhealthy (at least for me). And that’s the way it is–like it or not.

I keep thinking about a poem I read the other day. It’s entitled “Enough” and it reads:

Enough. These few words are enough.

If not these words, this breath.

If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life

we have refused

again and again

until now.

Until now.

-David Whyte

I think it spoke to me because I am so ready for it all to be “enough.” But what I like so much about this poem is that it finds enough in the simple. Breathing is enough. Sitting is enough. Being is enough.

Stop refusing life. Stop refusing to open yourself up to the world. Let just being be enough. Let being YOU be enough.

So standing in front of that mirror yesterday night, or putting on clothes this morning that didn’t hide my curves, or eating a before breakfast snack because my body was hungry, or looking down and seeing my stomach and my thighs and my body, I remember that I am enough. I might not completely believe it yet, but I tell myself it anyway. I’m not lying. I may feel like I am sometimes; I may not agree with the statement; I may try to refute and disprove it, but it is true none-the-less.

I am enough. You are enough. And I’ve had enough of “refusing life.”

 

 

Musings, Recovery

how do you learn to love yourself?

*Let me preface this by saying that this post is going to be a brutally honest, zero bullshit, hands-up-in-surrender type of post.*

My body and I don’t are not getting along too well right now. I might go so far as to say that I hate my body, or at least the way it looks.

I struggle with having curves. I struggle with having a butt and thighs that touch and a stomach that isn’t flat. I struggle with not being toned and defined. I struggle with not having stamina and endurance. I struggle seeing the way my body squishes. I struggle with the changes that have happened since I started recovery.

I don’t always want to be seen. Actually, I almost NEVER want to be seen. I don’t like undressing. I don’t like having to see myself in the shower and be reminded of my changes. I don’t like wearing fitting clothing. I don’t even really like my boyfriend seeing my “new” body.

I compare myself to other girls and wish I looked like they do. I see someone and a voice says to me that if I just looked like she did then I would have the right curves and I would be pretty. THEN, I would be satisfied with myself.

That’s a fucking lie.

The truth is, I will never be satisfied with myself by changing. Satisfaction and self-confidence have nothing to do with what shape I am, if I have a thigh gap, whether my abs are visible, or if I weigh a certain number.

It is so easy to turn to “fixing” the problem when really you are only altering the manifestations of a deeper, underlying issue.

The problem is not how I look; it is how I perceive myself and where I store my worth.

Of course, if my self-worth is stored in my thighs, my stomach, or how thin I am compared to another UNIQUE human being, I will never measure up; I will never feel worth anything.

I wish I could figure out when what my body looks like became more important than who I am as a person. Because I am not my body. Beauty is not skin deep. Beauty is found in the soul, the personality, the heart of someone. The body is only the vessel.

I wish I could pinpoint exactly what happened to make my body my enemy… but I know I never will and, ultimately, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how I change this perception, this unfounded belief that I am only as good as the way I look. I need to try to own who I am until I really can own it.

I have skin over my ribs. I have skin with a scar that shows my battle to recovery. I see it and I remember how far I have come. I am ashamed of that scar, but I carry on because I have to. Because I want to.

I have a belly that squishes and folds when I sit. It hides my abs and sticks out a bit. But it is healthy. It isn’t gnawing away at me and begging me for food even when it knows I won’t listen.

I have hips that have shape. I have hips that sway as I walk. I have hips that make me self-conscious of wearing tight clothes for fear of being called fat. I have hips that no longer show bones when I walk. But I also have hips that may eventually help me have children. I have hips because I am supposed it.

I have thighs that touch. I have thighs of which I am self conscious and afraid of the same teasing I had when I was younger. I have thighs that remind me of the nights I would cry and wish I could cut them away from my body because then all of it would stop. I have thighs that hold scars of the pain I have felt–self imposed scars to try to get out all the hurt. But they are still there. And they still work. Why should the space in between them dictate my worth?

I have an ass for which I had been teased endlessly as a kid. I was so excited when I lost it during my eating disorder. I dreaded getting it back during recovery. But I need to forgive the teasing and make peace with myself. I have a butt. I have curves and shape. I also have a soul and a mind. I don’t hate those, why hate the other?

The battle to love my body is so far from over. It probably won’t be over anytime soon. But I am trying… and that’s the best I can do.

I have hope that I can learn to love me for who I am as a person and not what I look like. I have hope that I can strip my perception of worth away from the size and shape of my person. I have hope that I can come to accept what I look like, maybe even like it, one day.

Recovery

a break-up letter

Dear Ed,

It’s been a long haul. We’ve been through a lot together. But it’s over now. I’d say “it’s not you, it’s me,” but that isn’t true. It’s all you. You served a purpose for a while, you gave me a sense of control and safety-albeit incorrectly- but I don’t need you anymore. I don’t want you anymore.

I want life and love and laughter. I want adventures. I want smiles and spontaneity. I want health and happiness.

I want cake and chocolate. I want fast food on busy days and comfort meals on rainy, cold nights. I want to eat candy and popcorn at movies. I want to listen to cravings and eat to my desires. I want foreign foods and the chance to try new foods. I want to go out to a restaurant and have the full course meal.

I want to look in the mirror and accept what I see. I want to see myself for who I am as a person and not how my clothes fit or what I weigh. I want to meet new people and not think about how I look to them. I want to go on trips and learn new things and be able to feel the wind on my face on the top of a mountain. I want to run for fun and enjoy movement because it makes me feel good inside.

I want to be me, authentically. I want to discover who I am and fill the spot in my soul you take up with gold. I want to breathe in freedom and exhale rigidity. I want flexibility and variety.

Ed, I want life. And you do not bring me life. You do not bring me any of the things I want above. You hinder me. You hold me down. You tell me I am less than I am.  You abuse me and manipulate me and take me away from my dreams.

We don’t work. We never will again. It’s over. We’re done.

Musings, Recovery

the other side of the rainbow

I want to magically be at my pot of gold and the happy-go-lucky fancy leprechaun. I want to be on the other side of the fucking rainbow.

But I know that this isn’t going to happen overnight. I know that rainbows come after rain. I know that rainbows really never end. And I know that James Taylor got it right way before I figured it out…

Long Ago and Far Away:

Long ago a young man sits and plays his waiting game
But things are not the same it seems as in such tender dreams
Slowly passing sailing ships and Sunday afternoon
Like people on the moon I see are things not meant to be

Where do those golden rainbows end?
Why is this song so sad?
Dreaming the dreams I’ve dreamed my friend
Loving the love I love

To love is just a word I’ve heard when things are being said
Stories my poor head has told me cannot stand the cold
And in between what might have been and what has come to pass
A misbegotten guess alas and bits of broken glass

Where do your golden rainbows end?
Why is this song I sing so sad?
Dreaming the dreams I dream my friend
Loving the love I love to love to love to love

I wish someone would tell me how to climb the rainbow. I wish someone would give me the answers and tell me what I need to do to get to the gold. But I can’t ask others to solve this for me. I can’t learn without doing and I can’t get through without actually GOING through.

The only way out is through.

The only way out is through.

It’s written on the screen at my treatment center. It’s ingrained in my thoughts.

The ONLY way out is through.

The only way to the other side of the rainbow and to the pot of gold is trekking along the WHOLE FUCKING rainbow. To the other side.

Musings, Recovery

you dont have to love me

It’s okay. You don’t have to love me.

You don’t have to understand my struggles. You don’t have to be familiar with my past. You don’t have to appreciate my actions. You don’t have to support me in my journey. You don’t have to be present in my life.

You don’t have to love me.

But you do have to respect that I am a human being. You have to respect that I have rights, emotions, values, a life.

The truth is, if you aren’t going to support me and respect me for who I am, I don’t want you to love me. I don’t care if you do. I may be a people-pleaser, but that doesn’t mean I will accept negativity and tolerate disrespect. We ALL deserve respect. We ALL deserve love.

But you need a certain person to love you. You need someone who understands and accepts your demons. You need someone who sees your past and says: “I don’t care how much baggage you carry. What you have been through makes you who you are, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”

When you find that person, keep him/her/them.

It’s okay. You don’t have to love me. I have people who do. I am working on loving me. And I don’t need to be surrounded by those who don’t.

Musings, Recovery

x things better than being skinny

*Disclaimer: what I write here is true for MY personal experience. However, eating disorders are unique to the individual, and though we may share some thoughts and feelings, the way that an eating disorder manifests is NOT identical person to person.

IMG_1536.JPGEating disorders are NOT about appearance. They aren’t. But that doesn’t mean that appearance isn’t a sore spot. Eating disorders are sneaky little bitches. They trick you. They tell you that if you just lose ONE more pound, you’ll be perfect. And, if you do, they say it again… and again…. and again. They tell you that the number on the scale is your self-worth. It is your blue ribbon. If it goes down, you’re winning. They say that space between your thighs, the illustrious thigh gap, means that you are okay; if your thighs touch, you failed. They tell you that having “fat” on your thighs, stomach, arms, etc means you are out of control. They show you a false reflection in the mirror.

But there are SO many wonderful things out there better than being skinny. Because skinny does not define your worth. The eating disorder lies, manipulates, distorts. Skinny is not everything. Skinny, really, is nothing…

What, then, is better than being skinny? So many, many things.

  • having the energy to walk up the stairs to see a sunset on the top floor
  • smiling a REAL smile, one that includes your eyes
  • taking a walk on the beach and feeling the sand in between your toes
  • laughing, and truly laughing, because it’s enjoyable and not just something you do to make people think you are happy
  • the smell of coffee in the early morning
  • feeling the wind come off the water as a storm moves in and not think you would fall over from the gusts
  • having color in your skin and looking vibrant
  • midnight Wawa runs
  • dancing to music because you want to and not feeling like your legs were going to collapse
  • being able to get out of bed in the morning without working up the energy to do so for 10 minutes
  • adventuring… because you can!
  • the view of the world through a camera
  • the smell of flowers
  • being able to enjoy the crisp fall air without 10,000 layers
  • pillow fights
  • bubble baths
  • jumping in puddles after a rain
  • amusement parks you can actually go to without feeling like you were too exhausted to move around them
  • bright eyes
  • book plots you will remember because you have cognition again
  • spontaneous drives
  • fire crackling
  • walking around to explore and not to burn as many calories as possible
  • a warm bed on a winter morning
  • breakfast in bed
  • journaling in a cafe and enjoying just sitting there
  • being able to sit on the ground and play with puppies, kittens, children, etc without your butt hurting because you don’t have anything to sit ON
  • taking a day to do absolutely nothing
  • reading on rainy, cool days
  • curling up in a blanket
  • movie marathons with best friends (or just you! because time to yourself is necessary)
  • having the energy to go out with friends
  • SO SO SO MUCH MORE

You will never be defined by the size of your clothes or the number on a scale. A scale can not show you who you are inside. It cannot tell you how important you are to the world and to those around you. You are so much more than a body. You are a soul. You are a free, independent, capable spirit.