There is an Asshole Living in my Head.

There is an Asshole Living in my Head.

  There is an Asshole Living in my Head.   I’ve got an asshole living in my head. Ed, the voice of my eating disorder, still inserts his ugly comments into my life sometimes and recently he has been particularly loud. I find myself comparing my body to other women’s bodies and to past versions of my own body. I think about wanting to lose weight and feel myself judging every curve of my stomach. I am anxious about wearing bathing suits and certain dresses. If I just work out more and lose a few pounds before my trip to Nicaragua I’ll be happy, right? I shouldn’t look like this. I didn’t used to feel this uncomfortable in my own body so I must be failing, right? Ed’s voice can be so convincing…and the whole thing pisses me off. No! My body is not fat, Ed! No! I do not need to have six-pack abs to have fun at the beach. My body should NOT look like my anorexic eighteen-year-old body. I do not need to compare myself to other women with their own body types and body image issues. I am twenty-five-years-old with the body of a twenty-five-year-old woman who does not have the time to look like a fitness model and who finds fulfillment in other areas of life than only the physical. My happiness is not determined by the size of my body! I am beautiful and sexy and gorgeous and amazing…and I am tired of thinking that I am not. I do not want to live my whole life looking back at old pictures thinking,...
A Beautiful Mind, an Under-Toad, and Constant Vigilance.

A Beautiful Mind, an Under-Toad, and Constant Vigilance.

Spoiler Alert! This post contains plot information from A Beautiful Mind. It is an amazing movie! If you have not seen it, go watch it and then come back to read this post.     A Beautiful Mind, an Under-Toad, and Constant Vigilance.   In the movie A Beautiful Mind the main character, John Nash, sees characters that are his schizophrenia manifested in “human” form as hallucinations that only he can experience. It takes John (and his audience) awhile to realize that these seemingly real figures are actually figments of his imagination. These people he sees and has complex relationships with have been created by his mind to cope with his reality. Towards the end of the film Nash says, “I still see things that are not here. I just choose not to acknowledge them.” With these words Nash is showing not only that he has developed an awareness of the hallucinatory figures but also that he now understand that he has the power of choice. John knows that although he may be unable to eliminate these characters from the landscape of his mind, he can choose whether or not to engage with them. He has realized that he can ignore the hallucinations; he can deny his demon’s power.   I have a character in my life similar to John Nash’s hallucinatory friends. His name is Ed. He is like a shadow I never asked for, who burgeoned in my late teens and attached himself to me for life. Mostly, Ed is a voice of abstract thoughts and beliefs. However, when I imagine him in a physical form he...
BODY DYSMORPHIA

BODY DYSMORPHIA

  It’s normally dark outside when I look in the mirror naked. Even though my pre-work or pre-bedtime brain is jumbled with sleepiness and fatigue it can still lie to me through the reflective piece of glass before me.   This morning, sticky thoughts of body negativity wash over me with the warm water in the shower and I feel trapped.   I feel trapped in my own body.   I want to wriggle out of this skin that I loved just yesterday; I want to hide from this home-turned-prison. The desire to run away, just for a moment, from the uncomfortable situation that is body dissatisfaction seeps into my being. I want to look away from the too-bright florescent light glowing around the curves of my waist and the non-gap of my thighs…but I can’t. I wish I could love it—this body I know is beautiful to everyone else—but right now I just want to scream. I just want to change it. I can almost see the words—gross, imperfect, not enough, incompetent, weak, pathetic, worthless, ugly—sliding down my body like the beads of water slipping down the steam-streaked mirror facing me. These slimy words are like roll-on tattoos that ooze deeper and deeper into my skin the more I fight to scrub them off.   How do I escape? ~   Body Dysmorphia: anxiety about one’s appearance and a distorted view of how one looks.   I didn’t think body dysmorphia was a part of my eating disorder concoction. Even when I pinched the skin on my elbows and cheekbones at the worst of my anorexia, even when...
Ready, Set, Recovery: What helped me to start moving away from my eating disorder.

Ready, Set, Recovery: What helped me to start moving away from my eating disorder.

  What would I have wanted to know when I was starting recovery? What would I tell my past self now that I am recovered? What advice or tips do I have for others starting recovery? Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it was like to start recovery and what helped me (or could have helped me more) to move through that difficult time. Someone recently asked me, “What do you wish you could tell your past self?” and it got me to thinking…   Things that helped me in recovery or that I wish I would have trusted more:   Recovery is possible. While this may be hard to see from within the disorder, once on the “other side” of this journey, recovery is the obvious and very possible path. I know that the eating disorder voice in your head or even a part of your self does not want to believe me. However, I am living proof that recovery is possible. I understand the fears that cloud the pathway towards recovery. I know the fear of weight gain, eating fear foods, and not having control, which can corrode your resolve to get better. I know the mistrust you have of yourself and others. I understand the feeling that it is all a trick…a horrible anxiety-provoking joke to make you fat. I know the thoughts of recovery being worse than where you are now. I understand where you are at, because I have been there too. I know that feeling of not being able to escape; damned if you do and damned if you do not....