Nine times out of ten, when asked to share an interesting fact about myself, I’ll default to “I’m adopted”. Being adopted has become an integral part of my being regardless of if I like it or not. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s difficult for me to reassure kids that their parents will come back. My birth parents abandoned me on a street corner when I was nine months old. Not only was I abandoned, I was also abused by my adoptive parents. I believe if someone loves you, they’ll never leave you or hurt you mentally, physically, or emotionally. There’s no way of knowing if life would’ve been better if I wasn’t given up for adoption, and it’s something I think about on an almost daily basis.
Choosing Recovery is Choosing Life
- Life with an eating disorder isn’t really living… it’s dying
- To be able to enjoy eating, instead of dreading and obsessing about it.
- So I can learn to live in the moment, instead of with negative and degrading thoughts in my head
- To be able to wear a bikini and form fitting clothes out in public, without worrying about what others may think of my body
- No more keeping secrets about food and no more lying about what I did or didn’t eat
- I want to know what it feels like to be genuinely happy
- I have to be recovered from my eating disorder in order to help others who are struggling
- I want to be able to love myself and accept all my flaws and imperfections no matter how big or small they are
- To have the courage to use my own voice and speak my mind, instead of letting my ED do all the talking
- So I don’t isolate myself from others as much
- To have a regular menstrual cycle
- To stop aiming for perfection and realize that perfection doesn’t exist
- To have a healthy attitude toward exercise
- If I keep engaging in ED behaviors, I may jeopardize my chance of having a child in the future
- I want to be able to live my life to the fullest
- To be able to make mistakes and not beat myself up over them
- To realize risk taking is ok and part of life
- To be more in tune with my body’s wants and needs and to honor them
- no more shaking, feeling cold all the time, no more dizziness and better concentration, focus, and memory
- When I’m recovered, I won’t let the number on the scale dictate how my day is going to go, how much I should eat and how I should feel
- I won’t let clothing sizes bother me
- I want to be able to go out to eat with my friends without worrying about whether they think I’m eating too much
- I want to be able to eat dessert without feeling guilty about it
- Being recovered means..no more meal plans
- I want to eat intuitively
- I want to be able to inspire others to fully recover from their eating disorder
- I deserve to recover just as much as everyone else does
- I want the freedom to do what I want, when I want and on my own terms!! I don’t want to keep living as eating disordered
- To be able to speak my mind, without worrying about what others may think of me.
- I want to be more daring
- To be able to find my own voice and use it
- To have more confidence in myself and my abilities.
- To be able to accept a compliment and believe every word of it
- I want to be more spontaneous and less rigid about how I live
- I am more than a number.
- Treatment centers are no fun to be in. I rather be in college making new friends
- Becoming recovered from an eating disorder is something to be very proud of and something I’ll never regret
A Poem About Living With an Anxiety Disorder
I am a prisoner of my own thoughts
A slave to my brain
Anxiety and fear loom over me like a gigantic wave, ready to crash at any moment
I live in a constant state of worry
So many thoughts flood my mind and then vanish before I can comprehend them
I feel like I’m going crazy
Pretending I’m okay
Pretending there aren’t a million voices in my head
Fighting for control over my consciousness
A Critique of the Netflix series: Thirteen Reasons Why
-Suicide should never EVER be used as a plot device. Doing so is in a way sensationalizing mental illness.
-Suicide is not anyone’s fault. Guilt tripping others into thinking they drove someone to suicide won’t make that person come back.
-The show graphically depicts rape, sexual assault, and suicide.
-Suicide is never the answer but the show depicts it being an effective way to get people to own up to their actions. Suicide isn’t about revenge. It’s about feeling so broken and hopeless, that you come to believe the only way to escape the pain is by ending your own life. When you see yourself as a constant burden to yourself and others, suicide can be seen as a way to end not only your suffering, but also the suffering of those around you.
-13 Reasons portrays the therapist in a bad light, which can lead to people not wanting to seek professional help when they need it most.
-There are very few (if any) content/trigger warnings or information embedded in the show describing how to help someone suffering from mental illness.
-Suicide is portrayed as an effective attention seeking method instead of as a devastating result of mental illness.
-Clay implies that he could “love” Hannah out of suicide when that is impossible. You can’t “love” anyone out of mental illness.
-In the show, Hannah essentially became popular after her death; again, glorifying suicide.
-There are other ways to increase awareness of depression, suicide, and mental health that don’t involve a show that uses suicide as a plot device.
Thoughts From a Childcare Worker
I never stop learning things about myself. I’ve recently realized I care so much about children, as a result of my past abuse. Working with children allows me to empathize, love, and care for kids in a way my parents never did, and is my way of giving others what I never got growing up. It’s incredibly difficult for me to tell inconsolable children that yes, their parents will come back. Parent’s always come back. They would never leave you forever. It almost physically pains me to say those words due to my own abandonment as a child. I’m also envious of the relationships these kids have with their siblings and parents; the amount of love and affection they give each other is inspiring. It’s very difficult to let others love me because I’m so afraid of people leaving me. I guess that’s one more thing to work on in therapy.
Thoughts on the New Netflix Series: To The Bone
I’m extremely concerned about the Netflix show “To the Bone”. I refused to watch the trailer due to the fear of triggering myself. While I understand Netflix’s attempt to spread awareness and spark discussions surrounding mental illness, I don’t believe this is the right way to do so. Many people struggle with an eating disorder, and this show could potentially trigger someone . The storyline involves a caucasian girl who gets called fat, develops Anorexia, and ends up in a treatment center. The trailer perpetuates some (if not all) eating disorder stereotypes. In other words, not all individuals who have eating disorders are female, caucasian, and have Anorexia. In fact, a fair amount of individuals who have an eating disorder are in the “normal” weight range for their age and height. Not only did Netflix have the audacity to create “To the Bone”, it also poured salt in the wound by categorizing the show as a “comedy-drama”. There is NOTHING funny about mental illness, let alone one that has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. If you want to learn how devastating and insidious eating disorders are, watch Someday Melissa or Thin. Those movies are documentaries. REAL documentaries. No scripted lines, no actors. Recovery does involve some laughs, but it also involves a lot of crying, screaming, and hitting rock bottom over and over again. Oh, and did I mention Netflix renewed “13 Reasons Why” for a second season?! As if one season didn’t do enough damage. When I signed up for Netflix, I wasn’t anticipating on paying $12 a month for a subscription service that sensationalizes mental illness.
If I cross my eyes just right, the world will blur
Peripheral vision lost
The world, fuzzy like the edges of cotton candy
It’s like a secret superpower
I can shut off from reality
The all-consuming anxiety
Ambient noises cease as the walls threaten to close in on me
Time comes to a screeching halt as I sink deeper and deeper into the abyss