New Blog

Hello Everyone,

It’s been about 4 months. To those wonderful people that have taken the time to read and respond to my posts, I have a new blog. I am sorry that I have disappeared. There’s a lot more than just my ED to feel accountable for now, and my life has transitioned through several changes. 

If you would like to follow my new blog, this is the new url:

http://www.sixtydayswithouttom.wordpress.com

Follow me and I will return the follow. 🙂 I look forward to sharing stories

 

Thank you,

Myownership

 

Advertisements

PMS sucks

But the good news is I’m so down that I don’t even have the strength to b/p. Probably because I have had a poor appetite since returning home. I’m less than a week away from my period so this makes sense…my initial PMS symptoms related to food are to over-eat until my stomach hurts. The depression and anxiety kick in a few days before I menstruate and that’s when every miniscule problem makes me want to hang myself.  Most of the time I experience a pressure pushing down on my chest; a sensation that becomes so awful at times it feels as if I can barely breathe…when that happens I avoid eating altogether. Usually I just go about my day trying to pretend I’m feeling fine, because if someone sees me down they usually request some type of rational explanation. I fucking hate when someone asks me “what’s wrong?” because that, to me, is a demand to justify my mood and I HATE doing that. Especially my mother, who is the last person I need asking me that question… I can expect her to deliver some judgmental lecture about how I need to “snap out of it,” in so many words.

I’m not trying to paint a negative picture of my mother, we get along for the most part, but with the things that are important to me it’s a shame I don’t have her support.

I’m going to rant about what brought me on the verge of tears today…I currently feel like shit about every facet of my life, but this has prompted me to feel sad in particular. Sharing may help…

I struggle with making female friends. I don’t want to even begin trying to explain why, because that’s a different topic for another day, but I do. Almost exactly a year ago I moved to a completely new state to begin my first career out of graduate school and I didn’t know a soul. Such a transition is difficult for most people on some level; however for me it was an immense emotional struggle. Then I met Nina, who is a teacher at the elementary school where I worked. We quickly became close…it was nice to have someone available for coffee or to take walks with after work. I didn’t have to monitor much of what I said regarding my issues related to anxiety or depression due to our sharing a lot of common ground. I could even freely talk about wanting to be “thin” and weight loss without having to confess that I have an eating disorder because we both shared a desire for wanting to be smaller. I know it sounds unhealthy, but obviously with my ED I have a tendency to let feelings of dissatisfaction regarding my own weight slip (even though I try my hardest to not discuss it) and it’s refreshing not to have someone yell at you about being too skinny…it gets rather old.

Ever since the school year ended, we have been communicating less and after I came back from my trip she has not reciprocated any of my suggestions to meet in order to catch up.  All of her responses to my texts have reflected an overall sense of disinterest and when I asked her about her boyfriend she came off as irritated and short…reluctant to share…which is odd because in the past she has always shared, even when things were going poorly in her relationship. I don’t want to immediately assume anything, but the signs lead to things going downhill with her and me . I am positive that if I discontinue initiating texts I’ll just stop hearing from her.

My attitudes and beliefs regarding what is transpiring with Nina are discouraging. In summary, all the evidence points to the fact that people just don’t stick around for the long term…at least not in my life.  The only true friend I have for now is Tom, who I have been best friends with for over eight years….my longest-lasting friendship. But it’s not the same with him because he lives in my home town, thousands of miles away. That being said, I can always share my depression with him as well as my story about Nina and expect to hear something comforting in return. He calls me when I ask him to…I don’t remember anyone else doing that for me or anyone else making me feel worthy and comfortable with making such a request.  For that I’m grateful.

Something is Wrong

I’m ashamed to even talk about this, because that means admitting that I’ve been regressing. I would like to indicate progress…but my ED has been spiraling out of control.  I need to write about this, at least engage in some form of acknowledgement regarding what has been happening.

Something is wrong. I think I could be thinner. 

It has been a few years since I have actually possessed this backward notion. No…what I have been doing up until now has mostly been to maintain weight and cope with other issues in my life, beyond the ED. The past week and a half has been this awful power struggle with my body…myself purging (at least 2-3 times a day) and then my body retaliating in starvation mode by having urges to binge. Ironically, I don’t even know how much weight I have lost because it has been almost two weeks since I have stepped on a scale. I tend to lose weight whenever I don’t have access to a scale…probably because with a scale I can check whether I’m in what I deem my “safe zone.” Without a scale I can’t justify anything I eat because my imagination blows everything out of proportion and I have nothing concrete to counteract my crazy thoughts. According to other people I know who have been to treatment, it is part of the treatment process to throw out the scale…but I believe doing that would make everything worse as it would increase my behaviors, not inspire me to stop caring about how much I weigh. Maybe I’m just not ready for it yet.

Last weekend I went to the water park and, for the first time in a while, was uncomfortable walking around in my bathing suit. 

My question is “what the hell happened?” Before I didn’t heave this much anxiety related to losing more weight, and now all I want to do is lose ten more pounds because I can’t stand to look at myself. I need to figure out how I sank to this low and what I can do to get myself out of it. At least before I injure my larynx and burn a hole in my esophagus.

More thoughts on this later.

Photographs of Masada

Our second morning in Israel we woke up at 4:00 am to watch the sun rise over Masada. It was a rough experience for me, and I was one of the last ones to make my way to the top. My body isn’t in the state where it can perform in very many athletic activities…something I have compromised with my eating disorder. My morning at Masada is an example of one of the few times I have longed to have a strong body. I wish I could have experienced pride in my physical accomplishment, rather than dragging myself, out of breath, up the side of a mountain…being thin just didn’t seem worth it that morning.

image

Hiking up Masada; my camera appears to have captured the sand and dust in the air.

image

image

Sunrise over the Dead Sea.

image

I believe these are the remains of the Byzantine church.image

I’m not sure but I think the archeological remains on the horizon belong to Herod’s palace.

image

Outlook of the western edge of the plateau.

I just want my safe place

I had dinner with my aunts and cousins last night. My oldest cousin, who is rather perceptive for a 14 year-old, asked me why I just ordered french fries and not “real food.”

I cannot express in words or even completely grasp how I feel about her reaction to my decision to have only french fries. I think the closest feeling I can identify is shame for setting such a bad example for a 14 year-old girl, especially when girls are so impressionable at that age. Following the shame, I immediately feel anger at myself for even believing this wonderful girl could develop my sickness. Still, I am anxious it could happen and if it did it would be my fault. My biggest nightmare is to trigger someone for the first time. I wouldn’t be able to bear it.

Right now, I physically feel awful. I only ordered french fries last night, but ended up eating way more than I could handle and I didn’t purge. The worst feeling is waking up in the morning and still having the sensation of food lingering in your body from the night before. I am usually too scared to eat late…maybe my nights in Tel Aviv were just a fluke and it’ll never happen again.

I suppose I could look at all of this optimistically and give myself credit for not purging, but all I can think about is my incapacity to put anything else in my body for at least another 24 hours…I’ll be back in my safe place by then. I wonder why emptiness feels so safe?

In Tel Aviv

It’s been a relaxing few days. On Sunday I took the train from Modi’in where my aunt lives to see my friend in Tel Aviv. He picked me up at the train station on his motorcycle; I had never ridden one before, and I was scared out of my mind! I’m staunchly against motorcycles, but their functionality in cities like Tel Aviv justifies their use a bit more I suppose. Parking is almost impossible with a vehicle and people frequently have their cars towed. Secretly, I enjoyed the adrenaline rush of trying something dangerous…there’s not a chance in hell I would reveal this to anyone!

That night he took me to Jaffa, we spent the evening walking around and I had a drink. My therapist suggested that having a few drinks to relax, especially while eating during social situations, may help the stress of dealing with eating in restaurants in the company of others. initially I thought it was a silly idea, but it worked! I was comfortable and detached from ED…I wasn’t drunk, but relaxed and ate without a care in the world.

We returned to Tel Aviv and continued visiting different pubs and drinking; I haven’t seen as many versatile and alternative-style joints since living in Atlanta. I loved the diversity of the bars and the night life. That night I said whatever I wanted, drank and ate as much as I pleased, all within the parameters of having trust in myself that I would be able to make good decisions and take care of myself. I didn’t feel like one choice I made over-existed in a world of fear and regret. Why should I? Why should I over-think, over-analyze, in a world that will never be perfect?

The next morning my friend went to work so I had the day to myself. I sat down at a cafe for lunch and spent the rest of the time walking around and taking pictures.  I was able to preoccupy myself from the uncomfortable feeling of satiation. I took a nap and then went out again, this time with a small group of people. Interesting topics of conversation were visited, including transportation (“why do Americans insist on driving bigger, inefficient vehicles?”), microeconomics (no such thing as credit here), and pragmatic language (in the military, call your superior by his/her first name, titles are distancing).

I was inspired that night to confide in my friend about my struggle with ED. He was impressed when I told him I was getting help, and did not judge me at all when I confessed that a part of me does not want to get better. He said that dealing with that piece is what makes the path to improvement a struggle by nature.

image

Not the most outstanding photograph…all the ones I like are on my camera, and I haven’t yet been successful at syncing the wifi with my mobile device.  This picture I took at the cafe in Tel Aviv with my ipad. Most of the buildings are old, from the 60s, and made of stone.

image

View of the patio…I loved the neighborhood feel of the place.

15 days

So much has happened during that amount of time.

I haven’t journaled, save for once when taking off on the plane from Newark, New Jersey to Israel. It’s just so difficult being perfect when journaling; I feel like I barely ever achieve what I want with my writing. Needless to say, I was very unsatisfied with my first journal entry on the plane and since then I never looked back. I am trying not to beat myself up though, I’ve still got another week and a half in Israel. I may have not documented as much during the first ten days, but I can document the memories I am making now. If I quit regretting the past, I can still live in the moment…It’s never too late.

Image

This is a picture I took on July 22nd, while exploring the city of Tsfat.  Tsfat is a city of classic antiquity in the northern district of Israel, which has been around since the twelfth century. I was fascinated by the architecture, the buildings and streets made of stone, and the craftsmanship of several local artists who inhabit the city.

Ironically, my favorite part about Tsfat was the Yemenite stove-top bread with cheese, tomatoes, and spices.

image

Four days before my visit to Tsfat I broke my strictly vegetarian diet, as I knew that my only reason for not eating meat was due to it being a “fear food.” I was in the market in Jerusalem and wanted to try the Kube, which is an Iraqi dish that is similar to a dumpling filled with ground beef cooked in a tomato-based broth.  I grew up eating Kube,  and feeling connected to a part of myself that was bigger and more important than ED, I decided to peacefully have it for lunch. I didn’t engage in a dialogue with the Voice in my head, who usually likes to tell me that I’m not in control. I was in the moment, participating in laughter and conversation with my peers. I am not sure if this was a milestone or not, but my goal isn’t to keep track.

As with many other middle eastern cultures, food is a significant aspect of daily living when growing up in an Israeli family with a mainly Sephardic background.  My post so far sounds rather positive, containing several milestones, but I would like to be honest with myself as well and confess that I have been feeling overwhelmed and have experienced more than just a few setbacks and ED-related behaviors. Being around my family in Israel has entailed several activities planned and centered around meal times, and I am just not ready to include food as a recreational part of my day-to-day life.

I try not to think about comments I have received from others related to how thin I look, because any type of reaction related to my appearance, whether positive or negative, has been incredibly triggering. Dealing with what my friends and family have had to say about my weight has been almost as difficult as coping with my Voice.

On rare occasions I have seen myself in group pictures taken by my peers I have traveled with throughout my initial ten days. Looking a those photos has been shocking, almost like having an out-of-body experience. I have a brief (and rare) moment of thinking “am I really that thin?”

I just wish I could see.