I thought I’d come on here and write out the end.
That’s what you could call it;
Or better, the closing chapter
To a brief, Yet very potent period of my life.
A very heightened, very creative,
Yet doubly self destructive,
and unstable time.
Here it is:
Even though it feels more like decades.
I don’t recognize that gaunt girl,
Who wore the same clothes
Weeks on end, and rambled incoherently.
Who forgot to eat,
and denied that she needed help.
In and out of rehab centers,
Ever since those little pills,
Turned into bigger pills,
And then later into powder.
Since the pencil cases turned into sacks,
And stashes upon stashes,
That laid in my always dark dorm room.
When my downs lasted longer than my ups.
Because bipolar disorder is incurable,
And college frap parties,
and research papers only distract.
They don’t fix the chemical imbalances,
That come with a chronic mental illness.
In which a large part of the battle,
is convincing yourself that you have a problem.
That your mood swings aren’t normal.
And at 18, my definition
Of having these pills “everywhere” was nothing,
Compared to the true meaning of everywhere,
That I discovered at 24.
Everywhere, truly meant everywhere.
There was nothing else.
When a substance encompasses all of your brain,
There is no room for anything else to grow.
This is what desolate means,
I discovered in sophomore year AP English Literature.
I lived the reckless life I thought I wanted.
Fucked a lot of guys,
broke many hearts;
And my heart broken,
many more times,
than I did the breaking.
Not aways by people,
Mostly by things.
Sad songs, optimistic poetry.
It’s hope that crushes,
more than sadness,
believe it or not.
It’s easy to have your heart broken,
When you’ll hold onto anything,
You think will save you.
When any idea can be crafted,
by your lonely mind
into a solace.
You wait to be saved.
But you are your own salvation.
There was no secret to getting better.
I guess I just learned,
to be okay with boring.
There’s nothing wrong with calm Sunday nights.
And popcorn tastes better,
without the lasting taste of chemicals in your mouth.
And you know what?
There is something painfully wrong,
with needing synthetic currents running through your brain,
to make you feel alive.
Because it’s okay to feel unhappy,
and empty sometimes.
But when you’re not okay with yourself,
Bukowksi was right,
truly, nothing fills.
Not God, not drugs, not people,
Not even recovery
The voices in your head don’t stop,
and there aren’t enough pills,
In the whole fucking world,
To make you love yourself.
I’ve been to hell and back,
And I can honestly say,
I choose this.
I choose this.
Someone asked me just now, “Does it get better?” and I wanted to share my response:
In a way. It gets easier. What once was such a fervent screaming in your head dies down into an echo and I think the goal is that that fades away once you immerse yourself into your life again.
It doesn’t go away all of a sudden and I sometimes feel like I’m still so stuck but time really does change things and you learn how to deal with the little bits of life you’ve avoided.
It reminds me of the quote by C.S. Lewis that says, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…”
That’s how it was and still is for me. Now the calories in a cough drop don’t cause me to go into a hysterical fit but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have break downs about how scary real life is.
It’s not that I have no worries now it’s just that they’re different. They’re real life worries but I think that shows growth. So, to answer your question yes, yes it does get better.
10 BETTER BODY AFFIRMATIONS FOR YOUNG WOMEN
1. Your body is in flux for the rest of your life. Think of your body as fluid instead of static — it’s always going to change. So get comfortable with those changes.
2. No one will love you or not love you because of your body. You are lovable because you’re you, not because your body looks a certain way.
3. The most intensely personal relationship you’ll ever have is with your body. It’s a lifelong relationship that’s well worth investing in and nurturing the same way you would with loved ones.
4. You don’t owe your body to anyone. Not sexually, not aesthetically. Your body is yours. Period.
5. What someone else says about your body says more about them than it does about you. Look past the actual snark to the person who’s saying it, because it’s only a reflection of what they think of themselves. That’s when you’ll see how little power their words have.
6. Your body is not a reflection of your character. It’s a physical home for the complex and wondrous and unique being that is you.
7. Take up as much space as you want. You don’t have to be small, or quiet, or docile, regardless of your physical size.
8. Everything you need to accept your body is already inside you. There’s no book, or diet, or workout routine or external affirmation that you need to feel good about your body right now.
9. Your body is a priority. It’s always trying to tell you things. Taking the time to listen to is of the utmost importance.
10. Wear whatever you want. Your body shape does not dictate your personal style, and fashion rules that say otherwise are wrong. Dress yourself in a way that makes you feel happy and confident and beautiful, because guess what? You are.
Although, that said, here’s a cute lil experiment. On the left are two pictures I took while trying to look ‘good’, and on the right are two pictures I took in less-flattering positions / from less-flattering angles. Taken literally minutes apart. See? Big difference between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ pictures.
Every once in a while, I like to take a look over the last three years & appreciate just how far I’ve come. Whilst there’s always room for debate in terms of whether or not it is possible to fully recover from an eating disorder (some believe that it’s something to be managed for the rest of your life, and others believe that leaving your ED behind forever is possible for everyone), I know in my heart that I’ve well and truly let my eating disorder go, and that I’m all the better for it.
Notice the language there; I’ve let my eating disorder go, not “my eating disorder eased its grip on me” (or something similar). Two of the most important things I realised during my recovery process were that a) my recovery was in my hands, and b) that I was not helpless. I realised that I needed to take a deep breath and start tackling my fears and anxieties head on, rather than sit around all day and do research and write diet plans for myself and plan the “perfect” recovery, yadda yadda yadda. No therapist had ever told me this (if anything, my therapists were of the “count your calories and weigh yourself religiously” variety); it was something I had to work out by myself. I had to really, really learn to let it all go.
It’s very important to keep asking yourself the following two questions: "Why does this matter?" and "What am I afraid of?". Ask yourself these whenever you feel the slightest tinge of eating-disordered compulsive-anxiety panic coming on; ask yourself these until you’re blue in the face. Eventually, you will stumble across an uncomfortable truth, and that’s what you need to deal with long-term and manage for the rest of your life - not your weight or your calorie intake, believe me.