I have learned so many important lessons and revelations in the course of my interminable healing from anorexia, but one stands out above the others: I cannot take a day off from eating disorder recovery. Sometimes I want to, of course. Sometimes I'm convinced that enough time has passed since my life was at risk—or I have enough experience and self-awareness at this point—to ease off the accelerator and simply coast for a while. Sometimes I even feel confident that I am fully "cured." But the truth is, I need to be vigilant and intentional about my healing at all times. I don't have the luxury of checking out periodically. This might be an option for others, but it's never worked for me. The minute I grow complacent, I start to notice those restrictive anorexic tendencies creeping back in. If I want to avoid a relapse, I cannot take a day off from eating disorder recovery.
Yesterday, I noticed an eyelash on my finger. I asked my husband Tom if wishing on eyelashes amounted to magical thinking, even though I already knew it did. I just wiped the eyelash away instead of wishing on it. I am trying to stop most forms of magical thinking.
Last time, I wrote about setting goals and using tasks to focus on to help channel my anxiety. But what happens when things get less busy in my life and it is time to relax?
I live alone with bipolar disorder, and recently, someone asked me how I do it. I have rarely thought about such a thing as we all just work with the life with have, but let's talk about how I survive as a person living alone with bipolar disorder.
How often have you heard people say or imply that suicide is selfish? Well, if you are a netizen like me or have lost a loved one to suicide, I am sure you have been exposed to this line one time too many. Not only is this statement hurtful, but it is also completely untrue. I want to be clear: #suicideisnotselfish. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
As my school year draws to a close, the notion of letting go is front and center on my mind. May is always a poignant month for a teacher, but this May has been particularly heavy as I prepare to leave the world of education behind and embark on a new career path. I will miss my students dearly and the person I have become under their tutelage, but as we march toward the last day of school, I am more and more ready to let go of who I have been in order to make space for who I will be.
Most of us have "open to criticism" on our resumes. But truth be told, receiving criticism, especially if it is negative, is not one of our best moments. Criticism can hurt our self-esteem if we're not careful.
Though our society has come a long way in the perception of mental illness, stigmas around this topic are still alive and well. Stigma can be blatant or subtle; sometimes, it’s as small as an individual word or phrase. Here are some tips for choosing the right words and using language to fight mental illness stigma.
While doing a few mental health presentations recently, I was surprised that not everyone knew that hallucinations could originate from any of the five senses (taste, touch, sight, sound, smell). There are many different types of hallucinations. I have experienced hallucinations from every one of my senses except maybe taste (gustatory). My most common hallucinations are olfactory (smell). I frequently smell chemicals or something burning when there is no source for either one of those things.
This year will be seven years since my cat died, and I’m still not over the pet loss. My cat was a part of my life for 17 years, and it doesn’t seem big enough an expression to describe her death as something that rocked me. Will I ever get over it? I have no idea, but I’ll highlight a couple of reasons preventing me from getting over the loss of my pet.
Thank you so much for reaching out to share your experience. As the blogger here at "Surviving ED," as well as someone who has dealt with anorexia for almost 20 years (the last five of those years spent in eating disorder recovery), I can empathize how you feel. I know how much courage and vulnerability is takes to be honest about where you are currently at in the healing process. I also know how uncomfortable it can be to submit to the advice of a therapist or nutritionist when you have been living with the mindset and behaviors of an eating disorder for so long. The ultimate decision to heal is yours, but I would encourage you to continue seeking out the help of trained clinicians and listening to their expertise. I understand this is hard, but I want to commend you for making an effort. If you would like more information or resources, please check out the HealthyPlace Eating Disorders Community page (https://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders) or our list of confidential hotline and referral numbers (https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-refer…). Once again, thank you for sharing.
"Surviving ED" Blogger