Not Running Day 1:

I guess the best place to start is with me having a “Come to Jesus” meeting with myself. It hadn’t been scheduled on my calendar, on the contrary, my calendar said I had my dietitian appointment in ten minutes. I was in a terrible mood. There is so much going on, my eating disorder is so angry and freaking out, there are so many uncertain things going on, I feel like I can’t catch a breath or have a stable stone to step on.

My goal sheet had stated it clearly last week though, “Either bring shoes and laces next time OR come up with an action plan to address exercise (that you are willing to do).” Well, we’ve been there and tried that. Action plans never seemed to work. Try only running X days/week. Try only running X miles when you run. It snow balled and I never wanted to follow that. So I knew my other option was to hand over all of my shoes. Go all in, try something different. 

I didn’t want to do that, I wanted nothing to do with that. I wanted to cancel my appointment, pretend like I never saw that goal and push it out of my mind.

So, here I was, sitting in my car staring at the building, building stories, with nine pairs of running shoes in my back seat.

Stories about how I just wasn’t going to go.

How I was going to be late to the point of her texting and checking on me.

How I was just going to get up and leave mid-session because I was so over it.

How I SHOULDN’T go, because I was in a bad mood and was going to tell her off.

Then my meeting had promptly started:

“You do not need to be a bitch and take your emotions out on her. She has done nothing to you and is only looking out for your best interest. You can go in there, be a bitch, regret it and feel bad about it later, or you can be honest about how you’re scared, worried, angry and be slightly more productive than telling her to go fuck herself.”

With that, I got out of the car and walked to her office. Dragging my feet and walking slower than I ever have. Slowly trudging up the stairs, making my way down the hallway.

 

“You’re quiet…. You’re quiet because you didn’t bring any shoes with you…”

I responded, “They’re in the car.”

I felt like a lot of session was me staring at the wall, trying to not cry and still somehow trying to get out of this entire situation.

We talked about something my best friend say just the other day about me giving up running, “I don’t want you sad, but I want you healthy.”

Acknowledging that I really needed to give up running in order to fully recover, but feeling so unwilling and so unready to give it all up.

“It just doesn’t feel worth it. The last time we tried this I ended up going out and buying another pair of shoes because I just couldn’t do it. I’d rather not try than risk failing.”

Panic sets in when I think about giving up running. It’s the NEED to run, the panic if I don’t, the “what ifs” if I don’t. Panic of being a failure. Panic of gaining weight. Panic of giving up running.

I sat there, trying to numb out. Staring at the wall, trying to find something to count, repeating the decimals of pi in my head, ANYTHING to help with the thoughts and fear of all of this.

She mentioned how I was the last patient of the day, and she pushed the topic of my shoes again.

“So what do you want to do? You put them in your car this morning. Did you pack up all of them?”

I told her yes, and shrugged, because I knew what needed to happen, but I still wanted no part of it.

“If I walk you out to your car will you give them to me?”

Fidgeting with my ring, I looked up, “yeah”.

That is how my dietitian left with nine pairs of Nikes in the back of her vehicle.

I got home, wanting to isolate, go to bed at like 6, be upset, have PB&J for the third night in a row.

Instead I curled up with a book and read, trying to keep my mind busy.

At about 6:30 the guy I’m talking to asked if I wanted to get dinner.

Every ounce of me screamed no. “Why does he want to hang out with me?” “Why does he want to see me?” “I don’t want to eat!” Instead, I put pants on, and met him for dinner.

It was nice, we talked, I found myself get panicky about the food. I think a lot of it is just how stressed out I am and everything else that is going on in my life, that eating (and eating out) was just another thing on the list of shit that is stressing me out.

We had a nice time though, he walked me to my car and gave me a kiss.

Overall, I feel like today wasn’t too bad as far as not running since I kept myself preoccupied and went out and stayed busy. I know it will get harder before it gets easier.

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Exercise: The thing holding back my recovery.

I haven’t written in what feels like forever.

My life feels like it’s changing, and I don’t handle uncertainty well.

It feels like all my symptoms are at bay. I’m eating well, eating pizza, fries, and usually I’m really okay with it.

The thing holding me back is my exercise.

There is too much exercise and not enough self-compassion happening right now.

I thought I was doing better, I went through a phase where my dietitian had my shoes in order to help me not run and exercise. It didn’t work, I couldn’t sit through the discomfort and went and bought another pair of shoes.

It feels like ever time I try, I fail miserably. I do okay for a week, maybe two. Then I start jonesing. I get another gym fob, I buy another pair of shoes. It feels safer to not try, then to try and fail for the tenth time.

The thought of giving up my shoes, running and the gym is enough to make my eyes well up. That thought terrifies me, but so does the thought of staying where I am and being stuck on this merry-go-round from hell.

Logical me know. Logical me rounded up my shoes to give my dietitian next week. Logical me is so tired of this and knows this is the one thing holding back my recovery.

Ella and the Non Verbal Child

Friends of mine typically know two things about me: I have a three legged dog, and my typical, daily extreme dislike of people.
Today was different, since it was raining Ella and I didn’t do our normal routine of going to the dog park. Instead, I spent over an hour in That Pet Place. The look of fear I get from some people due to the fact that Ella is a German Sheperd kills me. She is the sweetest baby ever, but yet people still avoid the two of us, as if somehow Ella is going to viciously go after them and their small children.


I met a mom and her two kids, one of her daughters has nonverbal autism, seizures, and cerebral palsy. Seeing that Ella had three legs, the mom made a statement of her daughter and Ella both having disabilities.


The daughter, Bri, quickly fell in love with Ella. She copied Ella by panting with her tongue out, squealed, held Ella’s tail, pet her ears, and shook with excitement when Ella soaked her face with kisses.

Was I scared that Bri would reach for Ella and was going to fall out of her wheelchair onto the floor?

No….. I was terrified.

Image may contain: one or more people and dog

I knew my dog better than anybody in that store, and knew nothing would happen. I could feel my anxiety rising, I hated being out, in stores, around people and my very vocal dog for any amount of time. I lived for the fact that I could run in and out of stores by the time most parents got their kids out of their car seat.


This family and I walked around the store for about an hour, letting the other daughter walk Ella, while we trailed behind. Listening to the excited squeals coming from both Ella and Bri. This was an amazing rainy Saturday, that warmed my heart as I watched this little girl shake, squeal, laugh and reach for Ella out of pure joy.

This was the Saturday that absolutely melted my heart.

I Have A Special Secret

You, yeah you reading this.

I hope you are sitting down for what I am about to tell you, but not driving, that’s an entirely different sitting. I mean, I guess you could stand, but be careful walking and reading. What if you bump into someone and that person is having a bad day and picks a fight, and you are all, “Yo, I’m really sorry! I was reading this girl’s blog and bumped into you.” Then that person asks what blog (which could really work to my advantage).

Anyway, you, you reading this. Whether you are standing, sitting (not driving), kneeling, laying down, squatting or jogging, I have some news for you.

You are not special.

There, I said it.

Much like that person you bumped into while reading this, you may be ready to pick a fight.

The truth of the matter is, you are not special. Whether the person who told you this was a mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparent, (pssssttt, that isn’t true).

You aren’t the only one who:

                                Dyed their hair a crazy color

Got a tattoo in a weird place

Speaks a foreign language

Likes food others find repulsive

Now, I know we all want to think that we, as an individual, are special. Not sounding haughty of ourselves, but just “individual enough” to stick out. This could actually serve as a barrier between us and others, us and building relationships, us and our worthiness.

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If we believe we are special, then we are also different and unique; meaning we may interpret that as not being relatable. I could be out in left field somewhere, but by also having that mentality, it can also be thought of that you are the exception to the rule or are somehow undeserving.

You aren’t the only one who:

                                Has divorced parent

Are divorced

Struggles with a mental illness

Struggles with self-harm

Had an abusive childhood

Deals with alcoholism/drugs/addiction

But by believing you are somehow special or unique, you separate yourself from others, believing you are somehow different than everyone around you.

This mentality is a huge factor, I believe, in being open and vulnerable.  If we are unable to discuss our struggles and shortcomings, it makes it that much more taboo when someone finally does open up. We are able to see that “I’m not the only one struggling with _________.” Yet, if we all walk around stoic, others may believe they are the only ones and find it more difficult, maybe even impossible, to open up if they feel like the people around them can’t relate.

I found this to be true during the support group I attend. If we keep the conversation shallow, I leave feeling unfulfilled and like it was a waste. Yet, in front of four new people I talked openly about my urge to self-harm and purge. Realizing that more people can relate than they initially acted. One lady in particular, was quite, until I mentioned my struggle; she opened up about how she copes and what works for her. It was great to see strangers who were able to come together over one very taboo struggle and talk openly, because I know, I am not the only one.

 

Trust the Process!

XOXOXOXO

Relationships

Slightly drunk, sitting on my knees wavering back and forth, watching him clean up the dog shit off the carpet, it was then that I realized, he was too good for me.

If there was ever a competition for who has the worst choice in men, I’d probably come in top ten, somewhere under Charles Manson’s wives, Hitler’s wife, and those cliché women from those Lifetime movies.

Ever since High School, my chose in men was much to be desired. The hot football player with a temper who would smack me for sassing. A drunk who also fell into drugs, but was there when I needed him, except that he drugged me and took advantage of me.

Ok, maybe he isn’t “too good” for me. Honestly though, I just don’t think I am in a place where I can accept someone’s compassion and thoughtfulness towards me.

While my eating disorder is currently like a sedated lion. I’m hesitant that at any moment it may wake up, pissed at the world and I must be on my toes, ready.

So, I don’t want to throw a relationship into the middle of that right now.

We had our first “fight”, even though we are friends. (Everybody knows we are a couple, except us). He asked if I wanted to go hiking on Saturday, I said “sure, just text me”.

Saturday came, I took the dog to the park, went running, met up with a girlfriend for breakfast. By that point he had texted me, but I was enjoying time with my friend.

It ended up getting blown out of proportion, him feeling “disrespected”, “shitty”, etc. I took some time to breathe, and responded the following morning. It was expressed by me, that while I heard what he was saying, and I apologized for not answering my phone, it was also not fair to me to be guilt tripped when no actual plans were made.

There was more, but isn’t worth it. Work has been slightly awkward since we are coworkers, but that is just another reason I’ve made it clear that I don’t want to date him.

Insanity in Group

“Insanity is doing the same thing

                                over and over again

                                                  and expecting different results.”

                                                                                                –Albert Einstein

This isn’t the first, or even second, time I’ve left group and felt like it was a waste of time, effort, gas, and regretted going all together.

This evening was nothing different. It takes the “same shit, different day” motto to the extreme.

I feel like I have been going for so long that I know everyone, their back story, and what they are bringing to the table every week.

She is sick and feels like shit.

She so desperately wants to be in a relationship.

She sleeps all day, and struggling.

Sure enough, I was right, I even called it earlier when I was in my appointment.  

Not wanting to even go this evening, one of the girls texted me asking me to come. So I threw on my Nikes, put a baseball cap on and hid myself under a comfy hoodie and headed to support group.

If we were all making progress or something, that would be great, beneficial, something.

It just feels like something has to give. Maybe we need a group exercise, or an assignment, something to pull us from the perfunctory routine of what seems to be a whiny venting session. Or maybe I just need to quit going so often, that way when I go, it is something new.

I sat there, trying to listen, be supportive, but it was the same things I had just heard the week before. My ass bone grinding against the uncomfortable chairs, and being able to smell myself since I had yet to shower post run.

The thought was even there, “Text brother, get him to call you. That’s your way out. Answer your phone, and leave.” Still, I was trying to give group the benefit of the doubt. I may have said two words tonight. It just didn’t seem worth it.

Same shit, different week.

I could have bitched about my head hurting.

Whined about work.

Praised my awesome lunch.

Bragged about a delicious apple cake.

Instead, I sat there. Knowing what would happen if I opened my mouth. Not so much praised for the good, but fixated on the bad.

I would talk about how I ran today, but how I had a black  bean burger yesterday for lunch. It would quickly become a “How often/much are you running?” “Oh, well are you eating lunch every day?” I understand where they would come from, but it just didn’t seem worth it. I may just be being a stuck up bitch, but lately it just hasn’t been beneficial at all, and I don’t think I am getting anything out of it.

I don’t see me returning for a while. Think I’m done re-living the same Thursday of my life over and over.

 

Self-Empathy & Compassion

Self-empathy, to me, I feel like this is a brand new topic. One read about in fictional tales, along with princesses with flowing locks of hair and birds that make my bed for me.

In Brene Brown’s book, I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t), she goes on to explain the difference between empathy and sympathy. I’m very guilty of using these words interchangeably for years, but now having such a better understanding of the words. I want someone to empathize with me, but don’t want their sympathy. Brenė puts it,

“When they talked about their ability to overcome shame, they clearly pointed to empathy: sharing their feelings with someone who would understand and relate to what they were saying. Conversely, women used words like hate, despise, and can’t stand to describe their feelings about sympathy seeking- looking for sympathy or being asked for sympathy.”

Empathy, is looking for acceptance, and understanding that we are not alone in our experiences.

It has been argued you cannot give what you don’t have, this also including love and empathy, but I respectfully disagree. It is so much easier to give others empathy and the benefit of the doubt. I questioned daily why I was much more able to cut others slack, or be more understanding of others, why I was so hard on myself, and I believe this is a lack of self-compassion as well as empathy towards myself.

I fully believe that everyone has something in their life they are dealing with. Whether it be a sick family member, mental illness, recent death, financial issues, whatever it is, so I attempt to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. That is it though, right there. I don’t know everybody’s story, as much as I love hearing peoples’ stories and hearing how far they’ve come. What if I did though? Honestly, I might be more empathic and compassionate towards them, realizing what they are dealing with on a daily basis. Why is that any different than myself?

I know my story, I know what I have been through. I may not think it is “All that bad” but I know there are people out there who believe I am “brave” “strong” “courageous”. It is the shame of believing the lies I have been fed for years, and internally believing that I am not deserving or worthy. I am much more empathetic and compassionate to those I don’t know their story, than myself.