Late.

Late.

It’s been a while since I’ve cried in my car. It used to happen all of the time but today I broke my 6th month streak of no car crying.

All day I had been running around. It started at 7am this morning and continued through rushing to my 3:30 therapy appointment. Although my therapist was apparently running around too and our appointment didn’t start until 4. So I had to run to get to dance on time. And even though I was trying my best, it wasn’t enough. I was two minutes late to dance and they didn’t let me in.

At first I was angry- seriously, they lock me out because the class technically started two minutes ago? I hated the receptionist who came to the door and told me I couldn’t come in. I’ve seen them let other people in 5-10 minutes late. It felt personal. I wanted to quit the studio and never come back.

But then I realized that my anger was really masking my disappointment. I had tried. so. Hard. To make it to dance on time. It was important to me to get to dance today. I had injured my foot and hadn’t been able to make it to dance in a week. Maybe Ed was the one who wanted me to go. Maybe I just wanted to finally feel relaxed. Maybe I still am inherently resistant to change. Maybe it was a mix of all three. Regardless, I was devastated. And as soon as I got into my car to go home, approximately three minutes after class had started, I broke down. I really wanted this. I had been planning on this. I had been busting my ass to get here. And it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough.

I could hear my mother whispering in my ear that I should’ve done better. That I could’ve done better.

But the thing that was different this time was that I didn’t allow it to consume me. I hated the world for a few minutes. I cried for a few minutes. I felt all alone for a few minutes- certainly I couldn’t tell anyone about this failure. And then I realized I was probably crying because I hadn’t cried in 6 months. At all. I hadn’t even realized I had been bottling up my feelings but I definitely had been. I needed this cry.

And I also needed to have compassion for myself. It’s okay to make mistakes I told myself. And then I opened up my phone and started typing this up. Writing is my coping mechanism. It allows me to express all of my feelings and I always feel better once they’re off my chest. This time was no exception, I almost immediately stopped beating myself. Stopped hating the poor receptionist. Decided my mother’s thoughts didn’t matter and that I would just try to get to dance tomorrow. Because that is all I could do.

So I took some deep breaths and as I finished writing my final sentence, I let my ball of self hatred, frustration and anxiety go.

Everything was going to be okay.

-X

Melody

Melody

Over the past six months I’ve changed a lot- for the better. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve healed a lot. And I think that music has played a large role in my healing journey. And even though my music taste is all over the place (seriously, I listen to basically all music genres expect classical/opera), I wanted to share some of the songs which have really helped me heal from relationships, anxiety and Ed over the past six months.

So, in no particular order, here are the songs that I’ve had on repeat:

  • Bathroom Floor (Maddie & Tae)
  • Good Things Fall Apart (Illenium & Jon Bellion)
  • Miss Me More (Kelsea Ballerini)
  • my strange addiction (Billie Eilish)
  • Bad Time (Sabrina Carpenter)
  • Red Ribbon (Madilyn Bailey)
  • I Forgot That You Existed (Taylor Swift)
  • Mess with My Head (Miranda Lambert)
  • Slide Away (Miley Cyrus)
  • Death By A Thousand Cuts (Taylor Swift)
  • Good as Hell (Lizzo)
  • Priest (Julia Michaels)
  • all the good girls go to hell (Billie Eilish)
  • Pill for This (Sam DeRosa)
  • Nightmare (Halsey)
  • Unholy (Miley Cyrus)
  • Right Words Wrong Time (Carly Rae Jepson)
  • Broken (Kim Petras)
  • bad guy (Billie Eilish)
  • Don’t Worry Bout Me (Zara Larsson)
  • LockDown (Destiny Rogers)
  • GIRL (Maren Morris)
  • Dog Days Are Over (Florence + The Machine)
  • Last Hurrah (Bebe Rexha)
  • What a Time (Julia Michaels feat. Niall Horan)

X

Gap.

Gap.

Potential trigger warning to anyone living with an eating disorder

Thigh gap. These are the words that Ed has been playing over and over in my mind the past month. I’m loosing my thigh gap and Ed is convinced that it is the end of the world. Hell, sometimes Ed even manages to convince me of this- until I pull myself back.

Realistically I know that just because I’ve probably gained a little weight, that does not mean that I’m going to keep gaining weight forever and ever until I balloon up and eventually explode. But with Ed in my head, it feels that way.

So outside of the world of Ed, what is my real fear? Certainly I’m not afraid of my thighs themselves, even though sometimes it feels like it. In actuality, I’m afraid of not being good enough or worthy of love. And somehow Ed has managed to equate being worthy with being a stick figure. He’s convinced me that I will only be loved if I’m a thin perfect paper doll.

And he’s started obsessing and overanalyzing everything. The way my clothes fit. The way I look in the mirror. The way I look next to the other people in the room. The way I look in the window of the store I walk by. The way I look in pictures.

None of the times I look good are deemed to be accurate. Only the times where I look bad. And then there’s Ed whispering in my ear again that if I just skip one meal, I can start to fix it. Except that’s a slippery slope. With Ed it’s never just one meal. Ed’s a greedy bastard- he can never get enough.

So I keep reminding myself: the mirror isn’t always an accurate representation. It can easily be distorted by my feelings. And even if I have gained a little weight it doesn’t affect who I am as a person. It doesn’t make me any less worthy of love. And it doesn’t mean I’m going to gain weight uncontrollably forever. It just means that I’m happier, stronger and more energetic. And isn’t that why I started recovery in the first place?

-X

Healing.

Healing.

I’ve been focusing on me. On learning to let the past go and to not hold it in resentment. On seeing both the good and the bad in the people who hurt me- not solely focusing on one or the other. On not forcing everything in life to fit into my tiny boxes of perfection.

Now, my moments of anxiety fade back into moments of calm. I almost never feel like I’m spinning out of control. I’m collected. I’ve stopped having nightmares about my ex-best friend. And it’s taken a lot of work to get here. And I know I’m not perfect, and I’ve finally stopped trying to fit myself into the box of perfect. And it’s been not only healing, but freeing as well.

Today, my healing was truly tested. I opened Tumblr for the first time since May. What’s the big deal you ask? Well, I originally got Tumblr as a way to communicate with my ex-best friend. So she could send me cute animal videos. And after the whole saga with her this spring, I decided that in order to truly heal, I needed to delete Tumblr off of my phone. And so I haven’t opened Tumblr since. Until today.

For some reason, today I felt like I was in a good enough place to open Tumblr. I didn’t feel like seeing her name would break me. Seeing her name wouldn’t cause me to spin out or restrict. It wouldn’t send me into an anxiety or panic attack. My worth and value as a person was no longer tied to whether or not she had messaged me. I wasn’t so wrapped up in my own resentment toward her that I felt like I was in danger of lashing out at her for all of the hurt that she caused me. So I logged on.

And I saw two messages from her. And I took a deep breath and opened them. They were cute animal videos from about two months ago. Now, I had to decide whether or not I wanted to respond. Initially I didn’t. But then I thought about how I would have felt if I had sent her something as casual as an animal video and had not gotten a response for two months. And I thought about the fact that, even though I don’t know if I ever want her in my life again, not responding to this would be basically shutting it down forever. My choice would be made for me. And I wasn’t ready to make that choice yet- so I responded.

“Hi I just saw this and wanted to let you know that I wasn’t ignoring you- I deleted Tumblr off of my phone. Anyways, the elephant is adorable! Thanks for sending”

It took me ten minutes to hit send, but I finally did. It was nice enough and would ensure that doors wouldn’t shut before I was ready for them to shut. Who knows what will happen now? And for once, I’ve made my peace with not knowing the future.

-X

Sentence.

Sentence.

I’ve taken a beat. I’ve taken a minute to step away from everything and really focus on me. And granted, by “taken a minute,” I definitely mean “taken a month.” Details.

I’ve reflected a lot on the last three months. On how much I’ve changed as a person. On how I’m in a place in my ED recovery that I never thought I would be. Even though it’s a daily battle, it’s a battle that I’m winning. And I’m proud of that.

But, whenever I’m least expecting in, everything that happened with my ex-best friend in March rushes back into my mind. Don’t we love it when that happens? I’m fine, and then all of a sudden I’m remembering how hurt I was. I’m remembering how hurt I was, compared to how much I loved her and all of the good moments that we had had. I was torn. I had no idea whether or not I wanted to let her back into my life. I didn’t know whether or not I would ever feel comfortable around her again. And then I had a moment with another friend.

One of my other friends, lets call her Friend X, has a close friend, lets call her Y, who suffers from severe anxiety. One day, Y completely went off on Friend X. And when I say completely went off, I mean completely went off. Everything Y was saying was completely ridiculous and off-base. Not to mention hurtful. It was very apparent to me that Y was having an anxiety attack. I was easily able to recognize it. I’d definitely accused others of similar things during an anxiety attack. But how Friend X reacted to Y’s barrage of hurtful messages shocked me.

Friend X was hurt and furious. Understandably. But I advised her to take a minute before responding, and not respond in the heat of the moment. Something that I’ve learned all too well at this point. And Friend X decided to take my advice, and then she went a step further by herself.

Instead of just ignoring Y’s messages, Friend X responded with the following message: “I’m not ignoring you, I just need to take a bit to figure out how I want to respond to this.”

It was just a sentence, but it completely changed my perspective. No one else is responsible for my anxiety, but a true friend won’t mind making certain allowances. Obviously within reason. I’m not talking about anything crazy dramatic or inconvenient here. But I can guarantee you that Friend X’s text was so important to Y. It was only a single sentence but it was a single sentence that made Y feel heard and not all alone in the world. Y was so worried about not being loved, and Friend X, instead of validating that fear in a hostile response, abolished it.

Asking a friend to send a simple, “I’m not ignoring you” text, especially in a highly emotional moment, is not unreasonable. And I realized that if my best friend was truly my best friend, she would not have tried to make me feel like a burden for needing that.

-X

Worth.

Worth.

“If you can’t love me at my worst, you don’t deserve to love me at my best.”

This phrase has been floating around in my head the past two weeks. I’m finally doing okay. My therapist, nutritionist, and psychiatrist have all remarked about how I seem lighter. There’s a bounce in my step. And being okay has given me the chance to really reflect on my relationship with my ex-best friend. Without the rose colored glasses this time.

She made me think that I needed her to survive, and then left me without a warning. All of when I was in an extremely vulnerable place.

I’ve come to realize that she took advantage of my vulnerability. She likes to feel needed, and I needed her. Until she decided I wasn’t worth it anymore.

Honestly though I’m grateful that all of this happened. I’m definitely stronger now because of it. And, more importantly, I know what I’m worth. Yes, when I hit rock bottom I sucked as a human and hurt her. I’m not trying to shrink responsibility for that. But also, I was at my absolute lowest. My brain couldn’t take anymore, and I was out of coping mechanisms. And ultimately the reason I ended up hurting her was because she fostered this unhealthy attachment- this need for her for survival. And when I was at my absolute lowest, instead of checking in on her supposed best friend, who was clearly not okay, she ran.

I’m worth more than that.

I’m normally a kind, funny, generous human being who goes out of her way to help people. Who is a good listener. Who stresses way too much over grades. Who cries when she sees roadkill on the side of the road. Who is addicted to Starbucks. Who is goofy and loves a dance party to Taylor Swift songs. Who buys candles just for their packaging- but never lights them. Who wants to be a teacher purely so she can make a positive impact on her future students’ lives. Who plans on keeping extra food and clothes in her classroom, so her students are always fed and dressed in clean clothes.

And she ignored all of that. All of the positives. All of the, hopefully, endearing weird quirks. Choosing only to see the one moment where I was trapped like a caged animal inside my own brain.

This took me a long time to forgive myself enough to be able to say it, but now I cannot say it enough- I am not me when I am wrapped up in an anxiety attack or panic attack. That does not define me as a person.

And I’m definitely not trying to say I’m perfect or a saint. I know I’m no where near that. But I guess what I am trying to say, is that a true friend will stick with you through the highs and lows. Because they know who you really are. And she didn’t.

She still thinks that we’re friends, but I’m not so sure that I have a place for her in my life anymore. I don’t know if the true her is the her who held me while I cried after I told my parents about my eating disorder, or if the true her is the person who didn’t give a *#$! that I was in pain for two months. The person who kept lying to me.

All I know is that I’m worth more than what she made me out to be. I’m not some broken thing that she needs to fix. I never was.

-X

Socials.

Socials.

“If this post doesn’t get at least 100 likes I’ll delete it.” “150 likes is acceptable, but a good post is 200+ likes.” For a really long time I’ve always set standards for myself on social media. I’ve felt that likes were a reflection back on me. On whether or not I was doing enough. On whether or not I was attractive enough. I’ve let the number of likes on social media posts define me as a person.

But then enter yesterday. When I posted a photo of my dog just because it made me happy. And it only got 75 likes. And as I went to go delete it, I began to wonder why deleting it was my knee jerk reaction. The picture made me happy- shouldn’t that be enough?

And so I didn’t delete my picture. And began questioning why I had even set these social media requirements for myself in the first place. Why did I need to prove that I was worth loving through social media? And the crazy thing is that I know I’m not alone. A lot of people place way too much value on their social media presence.

So I’m trying to step back and be more authentic. Post things that really make me happy, along with the typical iPhone portrait mode edited headshots. And care a whole lot less about the number of likes I’m getting. Because when it comes right down to it, I don’t need validation in order to be happy. I don’t want my happiness to be defined by others actions.

X