Tuesday, December 30, 2008

As 2009 approaches, I feel the need to reflect on the past year before I make resolutions for the year to follow...

What a year.

In 2008 I....
Officially graduated with my BA (I had already finished classes).
Had 32 hours of reconstructive surgery, including some pretty large complications.
Met my "big sister"
Started sitting with my teacher
applied to grad school
moved to NYC
Started Grad school
Got elected the first year Rep for my school
Had a vocal concert for the first time in years
went sky diving
got my yoga teacher certification
started working as a therapist

WOW! Looking back, it has been an amazing year!
Im proud of myself. I had no idea I had done so much. It has been an intense year. I have grown immensily in so many ways.
With my first surgery and the months of complications that followed, I had quite a dark night of the soul experience, which always provides for change.
And so, moving forward, what resolutions do I want to make?

I want to stop letting go of the things that others do that bother me because I dont want to cause drama. I still think it is wise to pick battles, but I do not want to let myself fall prey to the rules others create without my input.
I want to own and live in my vulnerability
I want to speak the truth, no matter how much it hurts, both my own and my experience in relation to others
I want to stay connected, no matter what, to the people I care about
I want to keep getting involved with OT and see where that leads
I want to explore the scary places and work through some of this old trauma so that I can live in my truth that is real in 2009
I want to apply to the summer research fellowship I am coveting with the kick ass research proposal I am working on.
I want to remind myself that stress is not necessary to success
I want to continue to work on and MAKE this AspirED event happen with Stephanie and others who wish to be involved.
I want to take myself seriously as a professional in my current truth and not without it or despite it or ignoring it.

Also, Ive noticed some fun body oriented resolutions that have nothing to do with weight!....
Body Resolutions

I probably wont post until 2009. I plan to ring in the new year with the two women I lived in the transition house with for almost a year. My true soul sisters. That is after meeting up with a teacher who had a profound impact on me back in high school.
Then the 1st, I am waking up earlier and driving up to santa barbara to spend the day sitting with my teacher and playing and living in the Shakti.

Blessings all
My inner child is having a temper tantrum over something my adult self has decided.
And alas, I am experiencing early, what I told I would by the therapists in my life...
the ultimate occasion inwhich the therapist decides to go back into their own therapy.
Of course, I have MANY feelings about this.
However after that physical trauma regression the other night, I know I need to do something.
In talking with my old therapist, it is agreed that more talk therapy at this point would be unhelpful, but rather I need a way to surpass that.
so, either, EMDR, yoga therapy, Somatic Experiencing... something like that.
Anybody out there have any experiences with the above?

Meanwhile, I am still home and still alive, although there is an inner shadow of self leaning on the self destruct button. Im hanging on though. I had a short run earlier that helped.
All we have is this breath... I live on the wind that creates me...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I feel the need to write. I have for days, but what to say I am not sure.
Being home has been an amazing vacation. I have been feeling somewhat held, nested, in a safe place, which LA never was for me before.
I have spent time with my old community/treatment center. I have realized that they really truly are my family, just as much as my genetic family here. They are home.
It is in their arms that I feel cradled, supported, seen and understood.
The law of living that I am attempting to subscribe to more and more these days is "Stay connected, no matter what" which is a tennet of a group I am becoming actively involved with in NYC. I find it is the most painful, but most fulfilling and growth supporting way to live.
There was someone with which I needed to do this intead of running away, and I did and I feel much better now. I think this staying connected thing is big for me. I am quick to trust, but just as quick to assume I cannot trust if trust is broken, even if I dont understand what happened.
Not getting responses to my emails and calls came down to a lot of things, but the true answer felt both good and bad. Part of the response was on a personal level, that she almost quit because she was working 12 hour days then going home to answer emails, and hearing this truth of her life, made me feel much more connected... the hard part was that she said she only answers the ones she needs to to put out fires and that resonated with something I have fought hard. It echoed the "Rachael is always okay and always will be" thing that I have had to fight so hard to learn to feel again. I understand it and at the same time, it keeps me from getting what I need. Regardless, hearing that I was loved and cared about was all I needed.
Being home again and sitting in groups has led me to see my own growth and I am rather proud and blessed to have kept traveling down this road further into the journey I call my life.
I also got to hang out with my oldest friend who is currently in treatment where I was. I blogged about this awhile back, but it was really good to see her and to feel her new energy in this place. I am hoping that this experience of such a magical place brings us closer together and in a way I feel like it already has. I am hoping that it is one more thing that we share that is special in our hearts.
What else?
I had more surgery yesterday. My surgeon wanted to fix something and I told him he could only do it if he didnt put me out.... and so he didnt... which was insane!
Im not in much pain at all, but I still cannot believe he operated on me while I was awake.
It was secretely kind of cool.
I pretty much just went into a meditative state until he had me all numbed up, put my Ipod on and talked to my buds there while listening to music while he worked.
What else have i learned since being home?
I am sometimes naturally quiet and am fulfilled within myself this way
I am sometimes a loner of sorts
comiting to connection and speaking things begets relationship.
My story involved food and body, but much much more as well
Alas... I am falling asleep...
Goodnight sweet world

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hello All,
I feel like I have an update brewing, but I am tired and taking care and pampering myself.
Still shedding.... still recharging...


Monday, December 22, 2008

Im home in Los Angeles atlast. I slept 14 hours last night and would have slept longer if I hadnt had to be up. I feel like I am shedding so much. I feel like my body and perhaps soul is going through a much needed detox. I got to LA and started having stomach problems, cramps, and now a headache. I think I am releasing months of energetic weight.
I saw my diatician today. I have a secret. I only see her for her hugs.
We actually had a good talk about how the interplay of trauma may be coming up in unknown ways in reaction to working with other people's trauma. I have a way that I have always been able to seperate my stuff from other people's and I may be doing this in a way that is inauthentic to my unconscious. She feels that a meal plan would be retraumatizing but also knows that there is almost nothing she can do to help otherwise.
I havent thought about what I want to do yet.
I went to my old alumni group tonight. I had a lot of anxiety about it because of a specific staff member who hasnt spoken to me eventhough I have sent several emails. It was fine and I actually felt more myself and more in my truth in the moment than I ever have before. I was able to talk about things in a way that was true without doing that thing I do where my life seems perfect and I walk away and feel like I drew a pretty picture of myself and left my emotional truth half way in the dirt.
I also went to the old house to visit my oldest/bestie who is in treatment there now. It felt good, but difficult at the same time. I was fine but when she spoke about the pass I am taking her on on saturday, she mentioned planning snacks and meals and said that we should decide where we were eating so the diatician could tell her what to order.
Someting in my heart almost broke open and poured tears. I so desperately want the safety of somebody doing that for me. I want the safety, the cradling, the "holding" that that would provide, just sometimes. I also want the life I have, but I so crave the care and safety that I would associate with that.
And so I am here. I have doctors appointments tomorrow... a follow up with my surgeon and then my regular doctor. Im having sushi with my dad tomorrow night.
And so here I am... home... shedding, sleeping and hopefully renewing soon.
Im here, going back into the embryo... the coccoon... in hopes that I will reemerge again shortly with the vigor and verve I had at the begining of the semester.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Do you ever feel like you have a whole hell of a lot of nothing to say?

I suppose nothing I say is nothing. Oh dear.
Anyway, Im done with this semester, as I said.
Ive actually been having a weird time without school. Ive found myself obsessing about food a lot more than usual, which is scary, and is also amidst a lot of "drama" with my nutritionist, if you will.
I talked to my first roomate/housemate/friend from treatment last night. I freakin love the girl. She, too, is doing eating disorder research, looking at a way to redesign the eating disorder screening systems to apply to men with eating disorders. Shes applying to PhD programs. Im so proud of us.

She and I have a lot of the same feelings regarding a lot of the same things currently... dietician... old treatment center where we are still involved, etc and it was REALLY good to talk to someone about it who has the same relationship to it as I do.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh! and to whoever asked what book I am reading now that I have time...

Emotional Awareness - By the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman .... its a series of dialogue between one of the foremost emotions experts/psychologists and the Dalai Lama, the foremost Buddhist expert about emotion...
I thought I would sleep better once finals were done, but as tired as I have been, sleeping hasnt been easy.
My (old?) nutritonist and I have been having an exchange... basically, things need to change between us... I need help in different ways and she doesnt really understand... it is kind of a long story, but one of her big things is that my relationship with feeding myself will change when my ability to love myself changes... an idea that is based on a misunderstanding of me...
My response back to her...
Thank you for your response. I will say "no" from now on if it means I would have to sacrifice something that involves me taking care of myself.
I dont have much of the kind of "fall out" that I believe you are refering to. I am curious about some of it, but it isnt an unhealthy curiousity. Im coming to this from a place of love and care and not of wanting a crash diet or a weight loss plan. I just want to find some way of living in a world with food that feels healthy and good and not like it does now. That is all I have ever wanted.... that and a true physical self perception.
There is one peice that is bothering me though. I hear you say over and over that it is about loving myself, and I have a problem with that. I feel like youre missing something about my true self when you go back to that each time as I vent my frustrations about attempting to learn to live with food in a normal context.
Kim, I do love myself very much. My relationship to food is in many ways a way that I have learned to love myself, and I am trying to untangle the impact of a million people who didnt know how best to love me.
The relationship I have to myself, is something very internal and important to me and isnt something I always give voice to, because I dont find it necessary. If this whole food thing were about not loving myself, then I would have given up long ago. It is my love and care and respect for myself that has ultimately gotten me through. If I didnt know I was someone worth caring for, I would have ever gone into treatment. I wouldnt have ever fought, tooth and nail, the last two years to get to a place where I could do what I am supposed to do in the world, follow my path. There have been times in my life where I have been very lonely, even amidst the crowds I often find myself in, and it is my love for myself that has cradeled me and kept me company until things could change.
It is my love for myself that knows I deserve a life without all of the dogma that has suction cupped itself onto my psyche about food and feeding. I know I deserve to be fed. I also I know I deserve the best fucking life I can possibly have and EVERYTHING I have done has been an attempt at that. I KNOW I was meant for big things. I knew that young. That was what got me through not being allowed to birthday parties with pizza. THAT is what got me through the moo's in the hallway as a teen. THAT is what got me through in the harsh world of theatre weighing what I did and THAT is what led me through a conscious journey to where I am.
I want everything life has to offer and I dont want it with food drama attached to it.
I love myself for my ability to hold to the ground when things are difficult and see beauty in the struggle, I love body for getting me through a long yoga class today, I love my brain and ambition for getting faculty sponsorship for my new research paper. I love my heart for being wide open and willing to cry and feel pain if it means I get to love and heal too.
And I even love myself when I dont do the "right" things with food... I love myself enough to ask for help doing what is best for myself.
So I am not sure what is lacking in my love for self as you see it. Perhaps it is my hesitancy to prove to anybody that I love myself, because I dont feel it necessary, but when it comes up time and time again, I do feel that you are mising an essential element of who I am..... and I wouldnt want that for you... I mean, after all... I AM pretty fucking amazing.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I feel accomplished and also like ive been hit with a freight train.
*yawn* bedtime... but pleasure reading first :)

The Shoe Questions

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Its 6:30 in the morning on sunday. Im sitting on the couch, tears streaming down my face, in the dark.
Its a long story. I have been carrying around a lot of pain about something... a group of people really, who used to care a lot for me in my roughest time and have since, more or less abandoned me, despite all the work Ive done for them. It is still a group I am associated with in many ways, and was planning on visiting while im home for 2 weeks this month. I mentioned this on somebody's facebook wall and received a note from somebody about how hurtful that was and how it was only going to push people away from me.
My instant response..... tears... because it made me realize how truly hurt I have been on top of being wrong for writing it out there.
Do you ever just feel stupid?
I have so many emotional responses....
one is this distinct yearning for the crisp clean edge of a razor... the next is that I would never numb myself after desperately searching for a life in which I can feel and cry...
I just hate being wrong. I hate being hurt. I dont know what to do about my relationship to these people. If I cut ties, it feels like cutting ties with a very important part of my journey and a home of sorts.
I dont know what I am going to do.... but for now, Im going to sit here and cry, because I suppose that is the largest testament of all to my recovery and strength of charactor.
I yearn so deeply to feel and I believe this is right....
But I am so hurt... so deeply hurt

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I just returned home from Banana Republic's 40% off sale. I had a gift certificate inhand.
I returned home empty handed.

How do I stop fighting?
Why does the fact that my body doesnt look the way I think it should feel like a social justicy issue inwhich I was denied equity?

I recall thumbing through stacks of magazines as a teenager... Delia's, Girlfriends LA, Moxie and circling things, just like any other teen. I would sit on my friend's beds and we would play the game where you had to pick one thing from each page. Dance catalogs were my favorite.
I would circle things, excited as magazines arrived, but why?
I played a game in my head, hit a magical switch that let me pretend, that only in that moment that there was a chance in hell that those things would fit me. It was common knowledge that they would not. I recall imagining I had a daughter or a younger sister that I had to dress, or atleast a twin who was in the same situation so I would not feel so alone.
I recall, not living in a fantasy world, fore I knew it was untrue, but perhaps 5 or 15 minutes at a time where atleast in my head, I could chose to believe my body was different.
And as I write this, it seems so wrong. So dissacociative. But really, what was I supposed to do? Actually aknowledge the truth? All of the pain? Even now, I know it is there, underlying so much, but when I tap into it, it goes nowhere, because nobody can ever have a childhood reclaimed. Sure, Ive changed, ive grown, ive become the person ive always wanted to be, but I will NEVER have a childhood without what I went through. And in some ways I am thankful.... I do not regret it, but goddamnit I am tired of fighting whe people tell me is yesterday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I thought all night about whether I wanted to tell you this or not.
I wasnt going to. I felt bad about it. Guilty, terrible, weak.
I felt like I gave in. I DID give in.
Okay here goes...
Im going to admit it.
I broke down....
and I bought the Oprah magazine inwhich she talks about her weight.
Why did I do it? 1) I buy Oprah every month and 2) I was genuinely curious as what she had to say.

I am actually quite glad I bought it. With everything she had to say, you could have applied the same thing to anorexia, bulimia, overeating, overexercising, etc.

The media forgot to tell us what Oprah learned.
Oprah states herself that she has learned that it isnt about the weight. It is a sign of something else. She needs balance and acceptance in her life.... she needs to stay aware of her habits before she is consumed by them. She needs not torture herself. She needs hot baths, long walks and time to read.
Sound familiar? Maybe Oprah IS just like us.
Maybe Oprah lives in this same goddamned world and is learning, just like the rest of us.

I, for one, am going to give her just a little more slack.... and FUCK the media who made US all think that Oprah was trying to tell us something else.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You know what I dont want to hear about?

If you read ED/Body image blogs, you already know. GASP, Oprah put 40 lbs back on.
Gee, I wonder why.
Maybe because Liquid fasts dont work.
Maybe because fighting your bodys natural weight doesnt work.
That isnt to say that Oprah doesnt have food issues as she says she does. She says she has a food addiction, and I believe her. However, liquid fasts arent the answer to that.

I dont blame her for the medias obsession, but I am starting to get highly bothered by
A) how she talks about herself
B) What she projects as important

So, Oprah, youre 200 lbs now. Im 195. I wear an 8/10. Im in recovery from an eating disorder. I am told im not fat, have a normal body, and sometimes I believe it.
Am I fat? Am I a fat cow like you are Oprah?
What do you have to say to me, because your media reaches me too. When you are self depricating, you also drag in anybody around to hear it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Bodhi Day!
Traditionally celebrated on December 8th, Bodhi day is said to be the day Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment, and was henceforth known as "The Buddha."

You say: Great TwistedBarbie, but what does this have to do with body image or eating disorders? Why do I care?

A: Well actually, there are quite a few relations between the two, and yes, I mean besides the lucky tummy that the Buddha is known for. Upon his quest towards enlightment, the Buddha attempted to study with several teachers, many of which thought that to end identification with the body, ignoring it's needs was necessary. After becoming emaciated from starving himself and not having attained enlightenment, the Buddha settled on the idea of the middle path. It is not aid enlightenment to gorge yourself on food, as it does not help attain enlightenment to starve yourself of food. Rather, the middle way, or tending to the needs of the body is the only way to enlightenment. Still having not attained enlightenment, the Buddha vowed that he would sit under the Bodhi tree and meditate until he got to the root of suffering and attained enlightenment. Some sources say he was tempted by the Hindu god Mara (God of illusion) while meditating, but held fast to his practice (does this resonate with anybody?). After sitting under the Bodhi tree for a week, the Buddha attained enlightenment and then was fed rice and milk to regain his strength (yes, carbs AND fat).

So what do we, of all spiritual backgrounds, make of this day?
I know for me, I chose to meditate on the idea that only in attending to all your needs (spiritual, emotional, physical) can I find the truth of myself and rid myself of suffering. I know that i must sustain my strength and physical health and must consume a variety of foods to do this and I can be thankfull that at every meal, I essentially eat myself into creation. I also remember that while Mara or illusion or ED thoughts may taunt me, they are not the essential truth of myself and will merely lead me off the path that I wish to attain.

So with that! Eat some food, rub your belly and make of it what you will!
Happy Bodhi Day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I dont have all that much to say, really.
Im on that edge of health where I could say I was sick and believe it, but could also say I wasnt and believe it.
I have that psychosomatic finals cold that a lot of people get, only it wiped me out today.
I got 12 hours of sleep woke up for an hour and then took an hour nap.
I then proceeded to go to starbucks for 5 hours and write a 20 page final.
A friend had a party tonight that I was supposed to go to, but I am starting to appreciate my inner home body.
I came home, lit candles and cuddles up on the couch to watch the first snow!!!

There is something about the natural transitions and how they resonate in my body that I like to be in touch with and tap into.

Something else I noticed today is that I was not remotely interested in food. Normally, in any stage of my ED, I obsessed about food. Even when im totally healthy, I do it often. It doesnt effect what I do with food... just... my thought process.
Maybe it was because of this cold... who knows...
I still ate like a normal person.... which included a vanilla latte because it was snowing and sounded like heaven.
Part of that freaks me out... like OMG shouldnt i eat less when im sick and hardly do anything?
But whatever! Does anybody have any thoughts on that by the way?

By the way, Im kind of obsessed in a girly crush kind of way with Ms Emily of Frozen Oranges.
Shes kind of amazing.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sorry for the lack of recent posting. I am amidst graduate school final papers and applying for a summer research fellowship.

My current thought:
I wonder what it means to let go and mourn the idea that youll ever have the body you want.

The mirror has been attacking me a bit lately. I chalked it up to wearing too many layers, but it does bother me.
I dont want it to bother me. I dont want to care.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It occured to me last night, as my head hit the pillow, that perhaps the problem, the depth is that I am trying to play with guns as if Ive never been to war.
And they say, "guns dont kill people, people with guns kill people"
Yes this is true. But Ive held that metaphorical gun before and I know it's power.
And you take me to a gallery and ask me to pick one. I pick the Bebe, even if I love the feeling of that shiny double barrell on the left. I crave it.
Why cant you use it? Why cant you chose a different one?
Because I have seen its power in the hands of myself. I know the possibility that dwells within it when aimed at the heart, and who is to say that if It misses the first time, Ill be able to put it down?
And so the bebe, I can get used to. I can cuddle with it, play with it. I know that it would take effort to do damage..... and yet, at the end of the day, What is a Bebe when there is a whole gallery before you?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Im so tired of nobody understanding. I talk to my nutritionist and I want her to understand. I want my therapist to understand. But really, how can they understand when I dont even understand whatever this ball of stuff that is left, is? What is it? My nutritionist thinks it has to do with intimacy with self. I think I am pretty far ahead of the general population on that front. I care very much for myself. I talk to myself nicely. I love myself. I ask myself the deeper questions of what I really want and need.
So what is it?
It isnt simple. It isnt "just let go."
I want to let go. I dont want to get stuck in patterns that arent evey "eating disordered," but rather "disordered eating."
But it runs deeper than just playing with my food. It runs deeper than trying new things or old things again. It runs deeper and further back.
This river originates before anybody's knowing.
Part of what is so difficult is that, I feel like when I do make HUGE strides, nobody really understands how huge they are for me. Not healthy people, not even other people who have had eating disorders. I feel like it would take someone with a simalir history to really truly understand, but I have not yet met anyone with a history like mine, and I dont believe I am likely to as Im sure not many exist.
So how do I celebrate these things? I do it myself, but how do I let other people into how HUGE they are for me?
It runs so far back... so much deeper... I know that.
Deeper than what, I dont know, but I know it to be true nonetheless.

I need to be held.