Friday, October 12, 2012

A Glimpse

I started this post as an explanation for my previous eating disorder. I know a lot of people get the BUT WHY questions. I'm operating on not much sleep so instead I'm going to give you a glimpse into my old journal. These are taken directly from my journal from the message board I talked about in a previous post. Questions in the comments will be answered tomorrow! :)

During these posts I'm 17 years old and in my senior year in high school. I'm eating 500-800 calories a DAY and purging (throwing up) at least once a day.

I'm just so sick of it all......I'm sick of everyone telling me I'm so tiny but feeling so huge...I'm sick of being so tired and weak because I'm not eating right....but I don't wanna get better....I'd rather be thin and unhappy then fat and least this way I'm attractive...

most of the showers I take are full of tears......I've cried myself to sleep more than necessary lately....I cut about a month ago for the first time in forever....and why? Because I'm so f***ing sick and tired of not making any choices for myself....except about school or eating (not even eating anymore because [ExBF] wants me to eat) and school is stressing me out so much that I dont' even wanna try anymore.... I should be on antidepressants......but they make you gain weight..... my weight is more important to me than my happiness

I'm just giving up the dreams I've had of acting and modeling. The entire time they were talking to me I just shut down and heard this voice in my head saying "just give in and do what they want...forget your dreams...the dreams of acting and modeling are flighty anyway and you'll never lose enough weight to be successful...just give up. Just do what they want. Make them happy. Your feelings dont matter anyway."

*sighs* scared myself today....I was walking down the stairs to leave school ........normal thing right? Suddenly, without anything to provoke it, I get the thought of "I could kill myself....I do have the strength...I could do it...." like, it threw me off so much that I stopped walking and just stared. I mean, OMG. but yeah...I could. I'm so tired of everythign that if I didnt care so damn much about hurting people, I would do it....

I want to die. I really do......the question remains, do I have the strength to live? or the strength to die?

Reading through that entire journal is like reading a poorly written account of someone else's life. Sharing this is HARD. I get that nothing is *truly* private on the internet but the place I wrote that journal felt like a safe haven for me when I was at my lowest points.

I have to hit "publish" before I lose my nerve...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Scars Remind Us...

I am in recovery for a self harm addiction. I am/was a cutter. I'm currently almost 3 years clean. I began cutting in 2000...which means, if you do the math, I've been suffering from this for 12 years. To me it's like being an alcoholic: You don't ever *really* get over it.

Why? Why do that? If you've never done it my explanation probably won't be enough for you. I'm sorry in advance.

It felt good.

Yep. That's the crux of it. I know how crazy that sounds, trust me. I felt totally crazy at the time.

I'll break it down. When you're in pain your body produces endorphins. These trigger a "feel good" feeling that helps you deal with the pain. People that self harm just try to harness that feeling. When I would get overwhelmed or upset I could hurt myself and flood my body with endorphins. It was like doing drugs.

At the same time I knew it would hurt later after the endorphins wore off; so it was a punishment as well. If I ate too much, triggered an argument, got a bad grade, etc... I used it as a way to remind myself of that until it healed.

There was a point in my life (I was 17) when I had over 50 cuts in various states of healing. Fifty. You read that right.

There was a lot of guilt that went with it. There still is some days. There is such a stigma attached to the behavior. It was a crazy cycle. Cut, feel guilty about it, guilt becomes overwhelming, cut to relieve that overwhelmed feeling, feel guilty...

What can you do if you know someone that self harms?

1) Don't freak out. This is the hardest one so I'm putting it FIRST. The last thing they need to hear when they've opened up to you is "YOU DO WHAT? WHY? HOW COULD YOU? YOU NEED HELP!!!" Trust me, they know it's not an okay behavior. They know that they need help. That's why they're trusting you with the information.
What's the "proper" reaction? "I'm here for you. Let's go and talk to someone together." or "How can I help you?" If you can't handle it then SAY SO. "I can't handle this but I'll help you find someone that can."

2) Don't make them promise not to do it again. My ex was bad about this. I said above that there is already a lot of guilt that goes along with the behavior. On the road to recovery there will be slips. Period. You should celebrate each DAY that they can stay clean. Celebrate when they make it a week. If they slip then say, "Hey, you made it a week. Let's start fresh and I bet you can make it 8 days next time."  If you berate them because they "broke a promise" you are just adding to the guilt and can cause a setback.

3) Don't ignore it. If they told you or let you see (I was very careful about where I cut so no one would notice unless I wanted it) then it is a cry for help...not attention. Most self harmers are not suicidal. There is a difference between self harm and a suicide attempt. Someone that wants to kill themselves usually won't cut for months beforehand. Frankly, they just attempt it. I know that's hard to hear. It's hard to type.

4) Set up a check in process. Even if you just come up with a code you should find a way to check in with them each day. Make it easy. "How is today" and a "good/bad" response.

5) Don't take it on alone. Find someone that YOU can talk to as well. This isn't something that you should handle lightly and is, honestly, something for professionals to handle. After you establish trust you need to help the person find a trusted professional to help them and then you should talk to someone as well.

This was a lot longer than I thought it would be but I think it was necessary. Did I help you understand? If you have any questions let me know and I'll address them in another post.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This is hard

I haven't written in a few days and it's because of a voluntary block on myself.

It's so hard to open up here and tell, what I feel are, my deepest and darkest secrets.

It's easier to share some poetry that I wrote during that time...I'll have a real post tomorrow.

 Behind those gorgeous eyes
There lies a twisted world.
But out here on the surface,
She's an ordinary girl.

 She fights a losing battle,
One she cannot win.
And unlike other battles,
The evil lies within.

 The inches quickly falling,
The pounds peeling away,
 But she still lives in constant fear,
Afraid the weight will stay.

 Glassy eyes are wet with tears,
But she will never tell.
Pain inside won't fade away,
 But still she hides it well.

 Behind these gorgeous eyes,
There lies a twisted world.
But I will never show you,
I'm not your ordinary girl.

Friends keep on asking,
Trying to pull me out.
But I just don’t know what to say,
 Can you hear a silent shout?

 Can you read it in my eyes?
See it on my face?
Deep inside it hurts,
Deep inside there's space.

 Silently I'm screaming,
But don't want you to hear.
Outwardly I'm smiling,
 But deep inside there's fear.

 Behind MY gorgeous eyes,
There lies a twisted world.
And I'm afraid it will get out,
I'm not your ordinary girl.


Slowly breaking down.
Shattered from within.
Reminded of all faults,
Of all pain and of all sin.

 Eyes are shiny glass
Crying harder each day.
Knowing that the pain will last,
You wont let it go away.

 Slowly breaking down.
Broken deep inside.
No one seems to realize
Just how often I have cried.

 Pounds are peeling off
Getting thinner all the while.
But you still dont see
Inside your world of denile.

 Slowly breaking down.
Wanting to stop the fight.
No one can ever know
I'll never be alright.

 Lying amidst broken glass
Screaming out in pain.
But you dont seem to notice
And my bleeding cuts remain

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pro-Ana Message Boards

I've written about pro-ana websites before.

As dangerous as those are I believe the thing that was MOST detrimental was my discovery of pro-ana message boards.

On a pro-ana website you are somewhat limited in the "support" you glean from the person that created the site. They rarely communicate directly with you. It's a one sided sort of relationship. You click and read and that's about it.

A message board is much more personal.

On a message board you get to know people. You get feedback for your posts. This isn't always healthy. Yes, if you decide that you want to go into recovery MOST people will cheer you on with comments like "you're so strong" and "I wish I could do that!"

But what if your post isn't about getting healthy? What if it's just the opposite?

Well you receive support for that too. Not in a "cheer you on" sort of fashion but in a "hey, it's okay" sort of way.

I remember reading where a girl admitted to purging in a car full of people. Her trick was that she feigned carsickness and put her head into a big black trashbag. A lot of the comments were along the lines of "I wish I were brave enough to do something like that." I'm not saying she should have been condemned...but she certainly didn't need applause.

The boards I belonged to didn't allow "tips" for legal reasons. However, I can tell you from experience that you can glean tips from reading someone else's experiences. Like with the above story, she didn't give a "tip" for purging in public but you can bet a dozen people read that and thought "That is so creative!" I did.

I will say I met a few good friends on that board. A couple I'm in touch with to this day. However, some of the meanest people I've EVER encountered were there. The anonymity of the internet combined with emotional issues makes for a bad time.

I was pretty tempted to head over to the board (where I still have access) and screenshot a few things to make my point. In the end, I couldn't do it for many reasons...
1) The board owner really doesn't like me. I'm sure she'd love to tear me apart over that.
2) Somewhere inside me I still have an emotional attachment to it. For a long time it was my safe place. When I felt like no one in the world understood me I could go there and know that at least one person did. If only it hadn't also been the place that fueled my disordered thinking at times...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nowhere To Go

He had us parked in the parking lot of my church. I'd checked my cell when we drove up and discovered it was the single spot without service. Looking back I wonder if that was on purpose.

He had taken the keys out of the ignition and put them in his pocket. It's late so I have nowhere to run.

He told me when we drove up that we weren't leaving until we'd resolved things. Little did I know that meant we weren't leaving until he was satisfied with the conversation.

We alternated between him yelling at me and him sobbing with his head in my lap until I finally figured out what he wanted: Surrender.

I gave it to him. I sat and sobbed. I apologized (I don't remember for what anymore) and I told him we could try again. I was crying on the outside but on the inside I felt nothing.

We drove back eventually and the friend I was staying with was livid. She and her grandson had tried to call me several times, texted, and left messages. I didn't get them until we drove out hours later. Guilt rode me.

The next time it happened we were in broad daylight. Again, he picked a spot with no cell service. This time we were at a park that I'd never been to and couldn't have gotten home from...

People walked by frequently. Several times I entertained the thought of jumping out and running after someone and begging them to take me home. At the time I was sure I would have gotten in trouble for making a scene and embarrassing him. I'm sure he would have told my parents that I could have left at any time and he wasn't keeping me there against my will. He was, and it felt that way.

Incidents like this were a huge part of my eating disorder and self harm. I felt out of control and helpless most of the time. Controlling what I ate or my physical pain was the way I chose to cope.

Do you need to catch up? Click here for all of the posts in one place:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

First Time For Everything

There are some firsts that you don't remember. Chances are that you don't remember your first word, your first step, or your first food. Your first day of school or your first crush are probably fuzzy.

There are some things I remember with startling clarity. Even though stress and sleep deprivation have taken several memories from me there are a few things that stick out.

I remember my first encounter with eating disorders. It was a magazine. Teen Magazine to be exact. They'd done an article where they interviewed girls with various EDs. Joshua Jackson was on the cover. I remember because I kept it for years out of some weird sentimental notion. I remember thinking "I like food too much to stop eating. There's no way I could make myself throw up. I hate throwing up." I remember feeling SORRY for these girls and knowing that I'd never succumb to that. Well I did a few months later.

My first encounter with self harm was also a magazine. That one doesn't stick out as clearly but it was around the same time. They'd interviewed a girl that was a recovering cutter. Her first cut was an accident if I recall correctly. Around the same time I knew a guy that drunkenly tried to commit suicide by cutting his arm open (the vein he could see was his goal). The next time I got overwhelmed with anxiety/depression/meltdown I remembered both of these things.

I also remember too clearly the first time I let my boyfriend hurt my soul. He'd found out that I'd fooled around with someone else BEFORE he and I became official (not something I'm proud of by any means but it's the truth). This was after we broke up and he called to confront me and ended up screaming at me through the phone. What he screamed isn't appropriate for this blog but it was profanity with a few degrading terms thrown in. I stood in my room and stared in my mirror and cried and nodded and AGREED WITH HIM because I still loved him. I relied on HIS feelings about me to determine how *I* felt about me.

There are some good firsts that I remember too. I remember the first time Stefan told me he loved me. I remember the first time I looked into his eyes and knew he didn't judge me for my past. Those are firsts that I'm glad I remember.

 Click here for all of the posts in one place

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days Intro

The next 30 days will be hard.

My prayer is that someone, somewhere, will feel touched or helped by my bits of story. I also hope that I can finally find healing through this. The wounds are old and mostly healed but still a bit tender.

Over this month you'll hear first hand accounts of what it's like to suffer from an eating disorder, WHY someone would feel the need to self hard, how I denied for so long that my relationship was unhealthy, and see the pain that I lived with every single day. It's a rare glimpse inside my head.

What is it like doing something like this? It's almost like an out of body experience. I have the memories from that period of time, but reading my journals and remembering feels like living in someone else's body. I am so far from that part of my life that reliving it isn't really's like retelling a story.

There will be hurt feelings. There will be offenses taken. And just about every post will contain triggering material. But I know that when I was desperate to get healthy (and failed the first several times) I would have been ecstatic to come across a brutally honest account of these issues.

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity. Carl Jung


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