reasons.

I have struggled with finding the reasons for my recovery recently. It might have been due to the conclusion that being a touring photographer might not be the healthiest & recovery-centred career right now. It might have been the realization that late nights spend on buses instead of sleeping or driving for 7 hours, sleeping in the morning and working late into the evening, isn’t ideal. Maybe in the future but not in the Spring or the Summer or next Fall for that matter. A few years down the road when things are changing fully for the better and I’m no longer holding onto my demons in a way that “protects” my soul.

As I ponder these things, I create a list of Reasons To Recover. Something I should have made so long ago and sure I did, here and there. But this is concrete. This is real. This is why I need to continue to fight for my freedom.

  1. To return to school.

I was in a program that was detrimental to my mental health before this treatment visit. But I had also been accepted to a program to further my craft in digital media – something I so badly wanted to persue. For treatment, I had to withdraw from the program and have to reapply for next Fall. This time has given me the time to ponder on whether or not that is exactly what I want for my life.

2.  Be able to travel.

Something that has been a trigger for so long. Going on vacation has never felt like a vacation with constant thoughts of how to be productive, how to lose weight, how to restrict meals, how to hide my body. All of this energy put into “protecting” myself instead of enjoying what life has to offer. My dreams to travel to the UK and other countries have been put on the back burner for life because of this eating disorder. I know that not eating means I won’t have the energy to exist outside of my hotel room. So I leave this fear behind, and jump into wholesome recovery.

3. Regain interests I have left in the dust.

Yeah, that’s right, I had interests and hobbies once upon a time. Sometimes I forget that someone existed before my eating disorder but it’s true. There was once a girl who twirled in skirts and who smiled to light up a room and doubled over in laughter. And that girl, was me. I used to play guitar and sing all of the time; the radio was just really intense karaoke…I used to play soccer and basketball. I enjoyed snowboarding on days off and walking the dog with my parents. All of these things that I lost interest in because my eating disorder decided what was okay and to what intensity. I want that girl who laughs so hard her stomach muscles ache and twirls in skirts back. I want me back. And I’ll leave my eating disorder in the dust this time.

4. Experience and describe real emotions.

One of the biggest losses of this relapse is that I forgot what it felt like to feel real emotions. I hid behind my hair and sarcastic remarks. I listened to my thoughts when they told me to arrange my place setting properly and eating in alphabetical order and make sure my liquids were at matching amounts. It was exhausting and heart breaking and I saw it as a safety net. Nothing could go wrong if I did these things. I didn’t feel immense sadness or shame or guilt because everything I tried to control could be justified by any thought. I was using my wise mind against itself. Feelings aren’t meant to be buried and forgotten, they are meant to be felt and shown. So why did I try to suppress so much, for so long?

I write these reasons out as I dive back into the worksheets I need to complete. As I take time to think about all I have accomplished even while my demons have tried to silence my thoughts. I am no longer just a diagnosis or walking, talking zombie. I am a human. Almost 20 and still piecing myself back together. It might take some time but at least I’m starting to move forward. Again and again and again.

I will fight for this. 

‘And David danced before the Lord with all his might.’ (2 Samuel 6:14)

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pass.

I’m home. Oh boy, I am home. And I am terrified. A 48hr therapeutic pass is not how I wanted to spend the rest of the week but it’s also not something I wasn’t expecting. Yeah I’m struggling. But struggle is just another word for GROWTH. So I guess you could say that’s exactly what I am doing; growing. It only fits that the card I chose earlier this morning in Horticulture was “growth” and what I wrote while I had felt drawn to this card, speak for themselves. That’s the cool thing about vibes and stuff, they really speak to you when you need them to.

I guess it’s the same thing about God, eh? He’s there when you want him, and there when you might not but He doesn’t push His wisdom upon you. He lets you wander without worry or fear but He also lets you make choices that may make life harder. It’s all a learning process. Honestly I’m not processing as I write this post; something a staff member told me to do while I journaled during these next 48hrs.

While I recount today based on when I awoke to now @ 10:30pm, here are some victories I’d like to share and remember:

  • got out of bed and dressed before breakfast
  • wasn’t late for groups
  • took team meeting well and was mature about decision
  • called mom and asserted my needs about needing a ride home
  • figured out 2 days of meals & most of my pass plan for 48hrs
  • owned up to mistakes and told the rest of the community
  • fucking pissed ED off and ate dinner!!!!!
  • talked to mom in car about recovery needs/goals
  • went grocery shopping with mom
  • had snack on time (+extra fruit) cause hunger!!!!
  • felt full & planned on showering but instead did some work and didn’t isolate
  • used “check the facts” skill effectively
  • refrained from body checking in mirror when i went to shower
  • did not body check after shower or follow urges to find scale & weigh myself
  • did my laundry
  • took nighttime meds!!!!

Yes the car ride home was over 2 hours long and it pushed some things back but I still managed cause sometimes that’s what happens and you just gotta roll with the punches!! So yeah, ya gurl is back.

FUcking 4 hours home and the motivation is already building. Also did something cool and reached out to my youth leader, J, about coming by to talk/visit this weekend since I won’t have a pass once I am back!!!!

Also getting my hur did tomorrow morning #recoverygoals

 

more harm. than good.

Self-harm manifests in multiple different ways.

My eating disorder is a form of self-harm. My anxiety caused me to fall into multiple patterns of self-harm. Nail biting, scratching, skin picking. The worst, by far, was cutting. My wrists are littered with scars still. At my worst, I didn’t see a way out. I couldn’t see myself reaching my 16th birthday. And then my 18th. I didn’t think I’d ever graduate high school. I constantly beat these doubts. I made it to my 19th birthday. I surpassed my expectations of living and reached new heights. I don’t know what this makes me. What does this mean?

I’ve always done more harm than good for my body. I’ve never thought about the repercussions of pushing my body or mind to exhaustion. However, I find myself here again and again. It’s just a new way that my self-harm is manifesting. A scary thought. I have yet to shake my self-harm in its entirety. I am afraid of missing out. A fear so bad that I constantly try to please everyone around me. I am trying to fight but I never want to let someone else down. It’s exhausting. I am so exhausted and I have no way to stop.

I am just 9 days from being 1 year self-harm free (in terms of cutting). Something I never thought would stop, stopped. Yes, I traded one method for another. It’s true. But I am stronger than I ever have been. A year and a half ago, Derek Saunders (Mayday Parade) wrote out a tattoo for me. On Monday, I have a consult for it to happen. I vowed that once I reached a year clean, I would get it. AND I AM. 

Countless relapses. Failed recovery attempts. Hundreds of appointments. Tons of clinical checks. Multiple doctors. Endless days. I want this to end so badly. And it will, eventually.

a searching.

Recently, I’ve been longing for some place to write. Share my dreams, thoughts, likes/dislikes. I have this vision for my future but it’s going to take a lot of time, patience and effort to reach that point of life. And to get there, I’ll have to give up parts of my life that I love just to find my own little piece of the universe. I have a lot of ideas that never get shared because to share them would be letting others in on what my mind looks like; a mess tbh. So this is a space for that I guess. My own space. My own piece of the universe.

I’m currently tucked into a small study space meant to be sat at but instead sitting on the table, my mother has just texted me to let me know that my pup was put down this morning, and I just failed a midterm. I guess you could say this is really not my day. But I take it all with a grain of salt because I know that everything happens for a reason and whatever this reason may be, I’ll roll with it. If I’ve learned anything in the past six years, it’s that rolling with what comes takes patience and strength yet in the long run it’s the best idea yet.

I am reaching a milestone in 2 weeks. In 2 weeks, I will be one year self-harm free. Ask me in high school, if I could have reached this and I would tell you it’s impossible. It still feels impossible. But I’m doing it. I’m reaching that point because I know I need to stop harming myself. It’s not to say that I’m anywhere ahead of where I’ve been the passed few years. My mental health; a mountain side of sheer ice and my ice picks are just barely breaking through right now. Who’s to say I won’t fall at any moment?

Yet here I am. Trying again and again. My dreams are not too far off. There is so much I am doing to grab just a little bit of the universe that I long for. Just under 10 months of 2017 left to get my start on things. I finally left the program I’ve been stuck in and got into my top college for next year. I’m still waiting on some other things right now but I am insanely excited for what is to come. The summer of adventures and road trips that I am planning. The year of self-recovery and exploration that I am taking. So much is happening and so much will happen.

It’s 2017 and I vow to live in the word of God. To live by his word and know that what happens is by His actions. I am only given what I can handle and if this is that, then that is His word and I will live by it.