It’s My Party…

and I’ll tell you to shut the fuck up if I want to, okay Dictator? Good. Glad we’re clear.

My eating disorder is being insanely loud today. Which is particularly obnoxious for two reasons: 1) I haven’t had to deal much with ED thoughts and urges lately and 2) It’s my birthday. And so far as birthdays go, this one isn’t terribly exciting (I worked, then came home and read for fun – a book on the Rwandan genocide). But I’m NOT IN TREATMENT.

Let’s be clear. Treatment saved my life. More than once. I’m glad I went. And I’m glad I’m enjoying my birthday in freedom this year.

But I do wish The Dictator would stop trying to leave his mark on this birthday, too.

Five years ago: The Dictator lies in wait while I go out with my best friends for drinks and a night on the town. It will be the last time we are all together. From here on out, I am not-so-mysteriously absent. The Dictator pokes at me when my friends share pictures: Nice triple chin there, Jess.

Four years ago: I have therapy, one of my last sessions before A goes on maternity leave. I go to Trader Joe’s to get dinner on my way to see a friend. They don’t have the one wrap I’ll eat, so I drive and I cry – upset that they don’t have that wrap and upset that I’m letting my eating disorder get in the way of my birthday.

Three years ago: I have been in treatment for six months, am still in treatment. A friend texts me on my birthday to tell me she can’t be friends with me. I go to an appointment with my outpatient dietitian and fight back tears over the weight that is necessary. I go out to dinner with my church group, trying to salvage what is left of the day and celebrate.

Two years ago: Center for Change, take one. The girls on the unit make me a huge birthday card, which is still in my box of memories today. We have art and I have to begin my emotional self-portrait. I look at the body tracing and burst into tears, telling the therapist how “deformed” I am. I cry for most of the remaining day, but do my best to put myself back together before evening snack. My friends from home have sent a “birthday in a box!” complete with leis, fake mustaches, and a ridiculous plastic goblet for my water.

Last year: Center for Change, take two. The girls on the unit have made a huge banner that says, “Happy Birthday, Jess!” I want to cry when I see it I am so overcome with emotion. My mom has flown into town for the weekend and we go out to dinner, but I make sure I am back in time for our Friday Night Snack and movie. I am so glad to spend my birthday with these girls. I can almost forget the fact that I just hit my goal weight.

Today: I have eaten probably half a chocolate cake over the past five days. The family I have nannied for all year made my favourite meal (baked macaroni and cheese) for dinner on Tuesday and presented me with gifts: a painting from Jbug (complete with tiny easel!) and a Zentangle mandala book. They know me well. By the end of the night, they know me even better as I share my story with them. My actual birthday (today) is a bit lackluster, as I work, then walk, then sit at home alone. It’s lonely and I wish my friends could be here (or that I could be there) to properly celebrate. We will – next weekend.

The point is: Tonight, I am not in treatment.

Tonight, I am eating a cupcake and chatting with friends online and free to do, basically, anything I want.

Twenty-eight has been one hell of a year. In the best of ways.

Bring it on, twenty-nine. You’ve got a lot to live up to.


Secrets and Questions

My HealthyPlace blog this week is about Secrets in Eating Disorder Recovery.  Ohhhhhhh, how my eating disorder loves secrets.  I could ramble on for thirty minutes with secrets that my eating disorder is currently keeping, but if I do that, how will I ever hang on to my eating disorder?!  Which, as my team has pointed out lately, some portion of me is damned determined to do.

Current secrets:

  • I’ve lost every pound I gained in Utah (and maybe a little more).
  • I’ve been on exercise restriction since November, yet still find myself in the gym 3-5 days a week.
  • I keep a box of laxatives in my car.  I don’t use them, but it’s nice to know there’s the option.
  • I’m ace at “meeting” my exchanges while choosing the lowest calorie options possible.
  • I’m still counting calories.
  • I (my eating disorder?) get insanely excited every time my dietitian weighs me and I’m down a little more.


How’s that for honesty?

In other news…

My friend (and music video co-star) Jill over at Lost and Not Found has been having a lot of fun with creating vlogs lately.  You should seriously check out her hand puppet one because it makes me laugh every time.  EVERY. TIME.

She did one this week with Frequently Asked Questions that she gets from readers of her blog.  She gets frequently asked questions?!  She has clearly made it to the big time.  Why don’t you guys ask me questions?!  Lame-o.

Kidding.  But really.  I want to join in the fun and make a vlog with FAQs.  So ask some questions you’ve been dying to know the answer to (they don’t have to be relevant to anything!).  I’m a fairly open book and slightly narcissistic to boot.

Fire away!