Tag Archives: Jenni Schaefer

How x Saved Me From My Eating Disorder

A few years ago, during my second last relapse, I used to imagine writing a book about my recovery. It would be titled “How Saved Me From My Eating Disorder”. That’s a pretty boring title. Maybe that would be the subtitle, with some catchy one word title like “Starved” or “Bones” or “Batshitcrazy”.

Anyhow, the stood for any number of things. At one time, the title even made some vague reference to how one eating disorder saved me from another. I was constantly searching for that one thing or another that would SAVE ME. I read Life Without Ed and Goodbye Ed, Hello Me and Unbearable Lightness (Trigger Warning) and Hungry (Trigger Warning) and Wasted (Trigger Warning) and any other recovery book I could get my hands on (all the while pedalling maniacally on the stationary bike) looking for that one thing. That one thing would never come. I had to save myself.

There were many things that helped me save myself, however. Some of them were pretty standard: therapy, yoga, friends, family, the usual, but some of them were a little out there. Over the holidays, I’m going to make an effort to write about those various random things. I don’t know whether any of these things will help you, but it might get you looking at things in your life differently, learning how to find help in the strangest of places.

In the meantime, here’s an article I found on Huff Post Women. It’s a very brave, and very smart how to: Holiday Eating: 17 Things To Consider When You’re Obsessing About Food And Weight. It got so much positive feedback on my Facebook wall, that I decided to share here. Happy Holidays, all. Be safe.

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Filed under Blatherings, Tips and Tricks (The Healthy Kind)

Day 7 – With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

“4 Books”

My Favorite Book Series

Oh, asking me to choose four books would be like asking Liza Minnelli to chose four sequined garments . . . there are just too many to choose from! I think I’m going to pick four categories, and pick a favorite in each . . . or at least attempt to.

1. Favorite Inspirational: Fierce Medicine by Ana Forrest – Yes, Jenni Schaefer’s books have helped me through rough spots, and The Language of Letting Go is my daily read, but Fierce Medicine is such an incredible story. Part memoir, part yoga, part surviving life, anyone can get something wonderful out of this book. It will literally change your life.

2. Favorite Childhood story: Foo by Richard Thomas – This book has always been a special one for my dad and me. It’s the story of a girl named Jesse, who blows “foo” kisses to say goodnight to people far away. We still send foo kisses to this day.

3. Favorite Fiction: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – Such a good book. A commentary on religion, women, family, and how much our thoughts determine our lives.

4. Favorite Non-Fiction: Unbearable Lightness by Portia deRossi – A beautiful, raw, honest memoir of what it means to struggle with an eating disorder, and that it’s possible to one day be free.

Again, I could have picked 20 more books in each of these categories. I’m always on the lookout for a new read. Toss your favorites in the comment box if you dare!

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Filed under History Lessons

It’s “later” . . .

If you’ve made it to the “About Me” page at the top of my blog, you know a basic outline of, well, me. Since I am a big part of why I’m blogging, I’ll attempt to shade in the outline a bit, to give you a little background. Otherwise, you might get lost in the blatherings and rantings. Not your fault . . . I generally need a map to my mind, too.

The main reason I decided to start a blog has to do with a little fucker named ED. If you haven’t spent half your life in support groups, and are unfamiliar with the writings of Jenni Schaefer, ED is an acronym for “eating disorder”. For 15 years, more than half my life, I’ve battled many incarnations of ED, mostly anorexia. I’ve been hospitalized twice, and am currently fighting to keep it from being a three-peat. This particular relapse has pretty much stripped any semblance of a life from me (some would be surprised to know I ever actually HAD a life to begin with), and left me with a lot of time on my hands. As I mentioned in my last post, my time-laden hands have spent a lot of time on my computer keyboard, surfing the internet (internet surfing is ok, cuz it doesn’t count as exercise).

The internet, like most media, is full of what we in the ED world refer to as “triggers” . . . things that make us generally feel like shit, and either inspire or encourage the symptoms and behaviors associated with our disease. In another time, I would have accepted these crazy-makers as a part of life and listened to their propaganda as truth. Yes, evil media machine, I WILL starve myself, because it DOES look like that 12-year-old heroin-addicted model has a better life than I do . . .

Nowadays, while the 12-year-old probably still does have more fun, I’m ready to fight back. Eating disorders are notoriously shame-inducing, which means that most of us who suffer from them do it in silence. I listened to people for years who told me my acting career would be over if I “came out of the closet”. Well, my acting career is now over (on my terms) so I don’t have to shut up anymore.

If I can use my voice (which, I might add, has been trained some of the best vocal coaches in the business) to speak for those who still are imprisoned by their shame, to shed a light on a rather dark disease, and be a catalyst for change in the way the world looks at its round belly (located somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, if my geographic memory is correct), then maybe something good can come from the “not good” years.

In the words of Miguel de Cervantes, as his character Don Quixote, in the musical Man of La Mancha (you’ll get a lot of theatre references in this blog . . . deal with it), “This is my quest . . . ” Won’t you be my Sancho Panza? Or at least the teenager forced to read Don Quixote in high school English? I promise not to ask for a book report . . .

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Filed under History Lessons