Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful.

My family is not really celebrating Thanksgiving as my brother is not coming home for the weekend as I had hoped. I haven't seen him in about a year. Last time he saw me, I was very, very sick with my ED. He told me stopped several times on his way to and from our home up here in CT (my brother works/lives in Virginia) because he couldn't stop crying at the thought of seeing me. And after seeing the reality of what I still looked like, it broke him. I wish very much that he was coming home this weekend, so I could show him how much better I am. I'm glad that we are able to at least talk online. But still, I know a part of him won't believe that I could really be so much better until he sees it.

I have many bad memories of Thanksgiving, especially over the past years. When I was 18, I tried to kill myself on Thanksgiving day. I have a tattoo (as seen back in May I believe) that was a tribute to this. I remember it very clearly. After my attempt at suicide, I sat in my room crying. My brother was the only one in the family who wanted to take care of me. He sat there in my room, watching me, crying with me for hours. After we talked for a bit, I got up the courage to go into the kitchen and drink two Ensure Plus's to make up for the meal I had not eaten earlier. And it was on that night that I was determined not to let anorexia consume me anymore. Its been three years since, and I had many more struggles to deal with since then. But I will always remember that my brother has never let me give up hope. Even when everything seemed bleak and without light, he never fought with me over the AN or treated me like an invalid like my parents did. He always wanted me to remember that I was human, that I would make mistakes and do things I wish I hadn't done - but that it was OK because as long as I tried to fix it, better days would be possible.

What am I thankful for this holiday?

~My family's patience and strength to carry on with me after all these years.
~Finally being well enough to eat and enjoy a slice of strawberry cheesecake (oh yes, I am)
~Having friends, a job, and school to look forward to every single day.
~ Having "met" all you wonderful and lovely people. Even if it was through not so pleasant means, I consider you guys to be some of the best people I've ever come into contact with.

Most importantly, I am grateful for my life. As silly as it may sound, I spent many years wondering what my life was even worth, questioning my existence and purpose. I used to believe that I suffered like I did because I didn't deserve to live. But now I have come to the conclusion that my eating disorder took the path that it did because the powers that be knew I could survive it, learn from it and eventually be able to help other people. Every single time one of you guys say how I've helped you, even in some small way - it brightens my day and makes me realize that this has all been worthwhile and that there was a reason for it all. I am thankful to have you girls and the comfort you offer me.

<3 Tori

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday 11/14

Hey lovelies! Sorry for the lack of postage. With the holiday season and midterms, things have been kinda crazy lately between work and school. I have to get up at 3AM on Black Friday to get to work for 4AM and I'm there til sometime midafternoon. Totally dreading that. Apparently, it going to be the retail version of Fight Club. No cellphones in or within 100 yards of the store - has to remain in my car, in the SEARS parking lot next door, turned off. No speaking to anyone outside of the store about what goes on inside. No contacting anyone while on shift. Crazy right? Sigh. Mostly, I just hate how thrown off my schedule will be. I've already decided to tell myself three things: I will not worry about many cigs I smoke, how much coffee I drink, or how many calories I eat that day. FREE REIGN.

New find I found at the local discount store:

Gingerbread, Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Mocha latte mixes!

We all know what my first instinct was...

Ginger Bread Latte oats!
1/3 cup oat bran cooked with 1 packet of GingerBread Latte, about 2/3 mashed in 'nana. Then topped with 2TBS cinnamon raisin peanut butter, handful of walnuts and the rest of the sliced banana. Soo good. I can't wait to try making concoctions with the other flavors, though this was really, really yummy.

And here's how I spent my last sculpture class. Ladies and Gents, I give you Clarence the green elephant.

I actually made about five of these and gave a few away. PJ was given to a girl in my art class, and Clarence was given to Dan. I love my sculpture class just a little bit more now, after sitting there looking at a stack of left over mini-notepads and realzing I could turn them into something awesome. Everyone in my class thought I must have seen a pattern online to figure it out. But no - I was legit just folding pages and out of nowhere exclaimed "Hey! I can make elephants!" I admit to having been questioning my choice to be in the art field, and was doubting my ability to create. This kind of restored my faith in myself.

Hope you all are having a great weekend! Despite it all, I know I am.
<3

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sigh.

Blogger is being a pain in the butt and not letting me comment on people's blogs. I'm terribly annoyed - there is so much I feel like I need to say. So, given that I have the entire day today off from school and work (yeeahhh boy!) I'm going to write a post touching on all the topics I feel need to be spoken about.

I have seen so many of us struggling lately. I empathize with all of you greatly. I truly do. This time last year - I though 95 pounds was the perfect goal weight for my height. I'm 5'8". We all know that was absurd. But it was what my eating disorder told me was the upper limit of acceptable.
It was very challenging to get past that weight. But in time, I began to see what I really looked like and realized how much more I truly needed to gain. And by time, I mean over the course of 6 or 7 months. When I was twenty pounds lighter than I am now, I looked in the mirror and saw someone ten times larger than the person that I see looking back at me now. Doesn't that tell you something? It takes time, weight restoration and continued nutrition for the eating disordered thoughts and perceptions to fade. For the time being, you have to recognize that what you see and sometimes think is not based on reality or truth - but rather a conditioned response created by the eating disorder. You can recondition yourself to think and feel differently about your life, your body and yourself as a person. But, like all things, it will not happen overnight. And it sucks to have to deal with it. I'm the first one to admit - recovering is fuckin' hard. It doesn't really get perceivably better until you are nearing the finish line. Even the last five pounds I gained recently were hard. I waffled on my decision to gain more weight for weeks. But after going back to school and work - I saw what REAL people looked like and I was far too thin in comparison. And I can tell you, it still amazes me now how much different my perception and feelings towards my body are these days as compared to ten months ago. But the point is - you do it anyways. Despite how hard it can feel. Because you know what - no matter what you do, your eating disorder is going to make you miserable. You might as well suffer on with its abuses knowing full well that it's screaming so hard because one day, sooner than you think, you will have a life to call your own again. That's how I had to look at it and it helped me a lot to remind myself that one day, all of the hurt and negativity would be gone and that I would be happy. Its hard to believe, I'm sure. But if you knew how miserable I was in my eating disorder, you'd know that for me to be able to say any of these things in truth is incredible. For the longest time, I punished and abused myself because of how negatively I felt towards my own existence. I didn't think I was worthy of the negligible amount of space I took up on the earth, I felt I was a burden and a useless one at that. I believed that the starvation and OC exercising would somehow cleanse me and make it right for me to be alive. I kept waiting for the day where I would wake up, look in the mirror and see someone who I felt was worth living for.

That day never came while I was entrenched in my eating disorder. That day did not come while I was still struggling to come around in my recovery. That day has come now that I am at a healthier weight and have long since overcome my fears and continue to do the things that I want to do for ME every single day. We have to make peace with this fact, or else we never get anywhere.
I can honestly say, I look in the mirror now and while its sometimes hard to believe its really me, I always see someone I think is beautiful.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Such Coincidence.

"You are more attractive than you realize, and someone is going to make it their job to help you understand that today. Be happy and gracious when someone calls you beautiful. You should believe them -- after all, why would they lie? Your self-esteem has been taking a hit lately, mostly because you are listening to the tiny voices of doubt in your head. Stop it -- those voices are full of lies." - Yahoo Astrology.

The amazing amount of truth behind my horoscope this morning is almost unsettling. Lets hope that its real and that it does get better.

As the days draw by, I'm getting more and more fed up with this way of life and I think I am getting closer and closer to finally, truly, breaking free from anorexia. I know I've said it before, and every time I do say that - I seem to make another step forward. I'm getting to a point where I hate the counting and checking and portioning. Its a major stress, as I'm sure we all know. And I'm slowly beginning to see that its not necessary. My body knows when its hungry. It knows when its not. I've had days where I eat a 700-calorie breakfast, feel hungry an hour later and make a PB sandwich. But then I won't be the least bit hungry in the afternoon. I've had days where I eat a 500 calorie breakfast because I'm just not hungry in the morning, but then in the afternoon I'll have a snack baggie of trail mix or a yogurt with granola after lunch or (god forbid!) a few squares of dark chocolate with some dried figs after dinner.
Do you see what I see? I used to have to eat X calories at X time. Not anymore. I still count what I need to eat in a day, but it has progressed to a different, more healthy level. Slowly but surely, flexibility is coming through. I know we often rush ourselves and want to be happy, healthy and normal overnight. But it just doesn't happy that way. Its hard to have the patience to see this all through. Believe me, I've lost my patience with myself many times. But for some reason, I just never give up. I'll talk the talk and say I hate my life and that I'm giving up. But the next day, I wake up and do it all again. Because its the right thing to do, because the real me is becoming more and more present and in power over the ED. And I do not want that to change. I want my life back. No matter how long it takes for this to pass on in entirety - I will be my own free person again some day. I know I'm already so close (actually just ate a fun-sized Milky Way bar after lunch. Heyy!) No amount of negativity or misperception of myself in my mind is going to take this away.

We may be born into circumstance, but we are always free to take control of what we are given and to change it. We do not have to play like passive victims. Its an unfortunate illness, one that is insufferable and cruel. But it can be overcome. It takes time and determination. But all you need is just to face that one first REAL challenge (I don't mean eating a TBS of peanut butter instead of a teaspoon. I mean eating a real frickin' candy bar or having pizza) and allow yourself to feel good about it and to enjoy what you've just accomplished. That's all you need and suddenly - the whole world becomes possible. And you start to realize that nothing is ever as scary as the ED makes you believe. And all the eating disordered rules start to come crumbling down as you see more and more truth and reality in the world. And as the rules bend and break - you find yourself settling into normalcy. Its frightening at first, yes. But it too will become familiar. Each stage of this recovery process will take time, but it always becomes the new familiar place - the new comfort zone. And as that "zone" gets bigger - your life begins to get better.

My newest comfort zone: being able to eat at whatever time I feel hungry and not caring if its 2 hours after breakfast or two hours before bed.
Next place I hope to get to: Being able to eat without wondering about portions/calorie content. And just eating for satiety.

Edit: A random guy followed me up the stairs at school to tell me I had a pretty face. LOL. I love community college.