Falling Off the Wagon in Eating Disorder Recovery

So when I started this blog I said this would be a place to come for real talk.

So here goes some real talk.

I’ve fallen off the wagon.

See, the thing about a food addiction, is you can’t just give it up cold turkey. You gotta eat. If you don’t eat, you’ll end up at the other end of the spectrum… Which would still be a cause for a blog about eating disorders in the performing industry.

So basically what I’m saying is, I have to do this crazy thing where I learn how to live my life without food controlling it.

Which I started to do this past May. Which has been so inspiring and enlightening and wonderful.

But what I didn’t realize was that Hawaii was not gonna just cure me in the snap of a finger. Like, it was really awesome to think I was gonna come here and drop thirty pounds and be really tan and always crave kale and come back to NYC in a skimpy shirt and have people hug me and tell me how amazing I look but actually, that’s not the reality I’m living right now. So I’m gonna write about it and actually explain what happens when you come to Hawaii in hopes of healing an eating disorder.

Step 1:

Come to Hawaii feeling really confident and curvy and sexy and happy with the accomplishments that took place in July leading up to touchdown in Hilo Airport.

Step 2:

Go through the breakfast buffet and praise Jesus there’s always a vegetable with breakfast along with a fruit bar. Think to yourself “OMFG I’m gonna lose so much weight without even trying.”

Step 3:

Go without trying the homemade ice cream on property for a good two weeks because you don’t even crave it and you haven’t been hungry between meal times.

Step 4:

Start feeling comfortable in the social environment and completely forget to listen to hunger signals when you’re woofing down fresh fish and orzo with basil pineapple sauce and lilikoi cake with ten people at dinner every night.

Step 5:

Realize that you don’t even always want dessert but that you’re also being a pussy and not trusting yourself enough to know that you can live without it and also not binge later so you take dessert every night anyways.

Step 6:

Start eating when you’re not hungry just because it’s mealtime and someone else controls your mealtime and then also eating ice cream when you are hungry between mealtime.

Step 7:

Finally see yourself naked in a full length mirror and not hate everything that you see. In fact, noticing how great your legs look and your waist looks. But still thinking it’s not good enough.

Step 8:

I’m not sure what happened but I forgot everything I learned. Also, I saw pictures of myself and was completely shocked that I look like that right now. I have the opposite version of body dysmorphia. I see myself as a size 4 in my head. Pictures prove otherwise.

Step 9:

Feel lost. Eat chocolate. Sneak ice cream. Go back for seconds. Crave cigarettes.

Step 10:

Admit that you’ve taken a step backwards and maybe, you have to start all over.

Step 11:

Cry. Breathe. Cry. Wipe your eyes and be thankful for the little things in life – like living in the jungle and never wearing makeup and not having to worry about racoon eyes when you cry. Laugh a little bit. Accept that you’re not done working on shit. Breathe again. Start over.

 

So the thing is here, that in the midst of all the mental and emotional work I’ve been doing – letting go, moving on, feeling pain, and living in the moment – I’ve also been trying to take on this huge fucking project of a) not binging, b) eating healthy food, and c) trying to tell the difference between craving chocolate because I’m a woman with PMS, or craving chocolate because I’m a binger.

As I was so kindly reminded today by my beautiful friend Rachel, maybe, just maybe, I can’t do it all.

I’ve always been that girl with the huge plans. Long ass to do lists. Amazing ideas as to how I’m gonna make it, how I’m gonna do it, and how amazing life will be once I get it all done.

And I have these big plans that seem so simple. You know, like getting up at 6am and going for a bike ride before going to the linai for breakfast at 7:30. And at breakfast just having some eggs and a banana instead of granola, potatoes, eggs, oatmeal, and 8 different kinds of tropical fruit. And then journaling or practicing ballet and then also hitting yoga and then also updating my blog and then also posting a new YouTube video so New York doesn’t forget about me and then also calling my mom and then also making my bed and then also writing a novel all before 9am.

It’s like I never even heard of that fucking mantra I’m always writing about. “Baby steps.” Yea, that one? It’s like I can sure write it down. But I don’t allow it to apply to me. I want it all NOW. I want to be fixed NOW. All on my own. No help. No books. No process.

No process.

Well, see, that’s the thing. What I learned this week is this:

Recovery is a process.

Rushing the process sounds like, super fun. Like, “I beat the system” kind of fun. Like, “what’s next” kind of fun.

But rushing, is not even remotely close to being helpful.

Recovery is a process.

And so in the midst of being very (virtually) bruised from (virtually) beating myself up every single day, I took a pen and wrote “recovery is a process” on my foot today. And I did the same thing last Sunday. And I don’t know how I feel about getting it actually tattooed on my body but it is literally a reminder that I need every day. And just in case you need it every day, I’m gonna say it again.

Recovery is a process.

And if you need to Sharpie it on your mirror, or post it on your dashboard, or engrave it on your iPhone case, know that you’re not alone in needing to hear it every day too. Whatever you’re recovering from – a divorce, an addiction, a career loss, emotional baggage, an eating disorder – just please remember, to stop beating yourself the fuck up.

Recovery is a process. And you are not alone. And life isn’t always peaches and cream, says my Grandma. But that’s okay because the beauty of a life with ups and downs is that you’re reminded you’re alive. And the ups will always feel more amazing once you’ve experienced the downs. The appreciation that comes with the highs and lows of living this life that isn’t always easy, is so fucking lovely.

So. I will continue to share with you the ups and downs of my process. And I accept that it’s okay that I don’t have a positive Pinterest message for you every week full of hopeful solutions and miracles and cheery kale recipes.

I just have a lot of love to put out there in the world and I know that if I keep putting it out there it’ll come back around. And the support of all the love will help me through this journey of mine. And hopefully, by next week, I’ll be writing to you with less (virtual) bruises from less (virtual) beating myself up and I can share yet another thing I’ve learned in this crazy, amazing, awesome, gorgeous journey we call life.

We are so lucky to be able to experience all this shit, man. So lucky. Continue to feel it and process it and enjoy the fact that although sometimes painful, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to feel, let go, and move on.

I’m totally rooting for you.

Also, this:

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Next week’s posting:

Silence

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5 Comments on “Falling Off the Wagon in Eating Disorder Recovery”

  1. Ron Rogell says:

    I believe and you and you know you have friends to be there if you need them

    Like

  2. […] one week, I have gone from pretty low (re: last week’s post) to feeling pretty […]

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  3. […] Forgiveness Falling Off the Wagon in Eating Disorder Recovery […]

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