To my eating disorder … Go away !

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If only I could tell it to just leave. Leave forever and never come back. Don’t linger here thinking you will get a hold of me again.

This morning I had to get my yearly referral for my psychologist. New GP. So I had to explain my story all over again. Where do I even start? When I was 14/15 bla bla bla bla.

Of course she has my file but I still have to explain. So the waterworks started. Memories are back. Feelings are here. I am 28 now and I still cry when I have to re-open the wound of my eating disorder. Quite frankly, I want it gone. Everyday I struggle. When I make it to bed without having restricted, purged or binged. It is my victory.

Lately there have been more victories. I love that. I love my life and I am liking myself. Hey ! I am not all that bad.

I am here to vent. I need to vent. I need to tell eating disorder voices to go away. Leave ! you have no audience in my head and there is no space left for you in my life.

You all know it is not as simple as that. Even so, today I am victorious again.

xoxox

i.

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From bingeing to sleeping

Sometimes I wonder if I am clinically depressed. I know I am dealing with some lows, disapointment and insecurities. To the point where I never want to get out of bed. I procrastinate my work. If I am out, I cannot wait to go home, hide and escape under the covers. Sometimes I cry. On my knees in my bathroom floor, in my bathtub, curled up under my covers. I cry out of desperation, grief for my father’s passing, impatience, hopelessly dreaming for a better life. i cry. This is my week, my month. Am I depressed?

Gladly I am not bingeing so much anymore though. May be twice a week. I don’t fear food but the excess of it. The loss of control. At the same time I never want to go back to being too in control.

Today while talking to my therapist I thought I had figured out why I would not get out of bed. Not couldn’t but wouldn’t. Last night was I only fell asleep at 3 am. i just could not stop the thoughts, worries and feelings. They tormented me all night. UsuallyI would eat and eat and eat. Then fall asleep from the guilt, shame and physical pain. These days. My body is so broken. It cannot take anymore of the abuse. So while I tossed and turned. I was sure to have figured out why the abuse of sleep. I thought I had the answer: “i am scared to move out of my appartment, to travel back home”. But when I started my little summary of the week attempting to reach that conclusion. My argument lost its logical sense. He, in his trained professionalism, immediatly said that the sleeping, overeating, seeking for security is all a way of escaping the major decisions I need to make. The changes that my mind and body is longing for buth that I keep denying. I love arts, creativity but I never learnt it. I like law because I studied it and I am attracted to the theory of justice, of upholding the rights of citizen. Unfortunately the legal profession has been toxic to my mind and thus my body and soul. Arts on the other hand makes me whole. So even though it might be easy to say: then be an artist, be creative. I am terrified that O have wasted my life studying and dreaming about law. Was that all a waste? Or does God really have a plan for me? As my mother believes strongly he does, at least for my legal career.

The decision pending for me is whether I want to do the bar exam. Whether spending that time and energy is worhtwhile and something I honestly want to pursue. All I know is that it might be. I also know now that I cannot live without art.

Unrecognisable

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Monday it rained. Charmingly grey outside.

I took the day off, because I worked all week-end. I did not binge, I was bored, I overate in the evening.

Tuesday, still raining. The grey in the exterior seeped into me.

I went out to shop for my brand. I saw a glimpse of myself in the store mirrors. I am unrecognisable. I have never been this fat, this sad. To get out of bed in the morning I have to practice a lot of self-affirmation. The “you can do it” and the “you are worth it” are my good morning kisses. It helps. Sometimes but not always. I am applying for a vacancy in a lawyers chambers. I don’t know if it worth it. I won’t find out unless I try. So here I am trying. When I want to curl up in bed. Sleep away my self-hatred and low self-esteem.

Just for today I wish London was sunny. Maybe that light would seep into to me.

izaotee

Rain

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When London rains, I reconnect with the city. The double decker buses shine their devilish red just enough below the gloomy skies. The sounds of rain drops camouflage the urban noises that sometimes clouds even the clearest summer days. Everything slows down for a breath of life. The city finds its right pace.

London was designed for its rain. They compliment each other like a dress that fits perfectly on the right silhouette. Without these tears from heaven the city  has no soul, it is out of control. Red bricks clash with the grey concrete of all too many street, too busy, too much, too harsh.

I am relieved that it rained today. I have gone two days without a binge and one overeating. The past two days I drew, collaged, paid bills looked for a new appartment and drew some more. I felt alive again. Those were sunny unfamiliar days. Thoughts did not consume me. I was shining inside. The rain drew me closer to the world. It made me want to get out of my bubble with enough safety that I could belong just for a moment in London. But I didn’t instead I used it as an excuse to stay inside one more day.

This morning it became more challenging to move past the anxiety and worries. I have not binged or overeaten. But  I need some space. Time to contemplate. I wanted to go out view some appartments and pay more bills but deep down I do not feel motivated. So when it started raining, there I found yet another excuse to stay in.

I loved the rain more from inside my appartment.

So here I am admiring the city under its rain drops trying to stitch my mind and body so that it does not tear apart and crave for an escape because of unresolved real and unreal conflicts that I deliberately ignored.

There lies the struggles today

Izaotee

Those who work at starbucks …

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Lost in deep hesitation that lasted a whole day, I stayed in my appartment.

I applied for jobs, worried  about my bills, my uncertain future, and tried to continue my design project. My body wanted to get out. My mind refused, finding the stupidest excuses. You could binge you know! You are too fat! Too ugly! Too lazy to put on some clothes and walk out! People will stare at you when you get there! People will wonder why you are still eating when you are already that large! They might wonder why you are drawing, writing and all alone! Stupid thoughts ! I ended up working on my design in the safety of my appartment. Opened the door to my little roof top. Stared at urban pigeons feeling free to parade before my eyes. London was sunny today. Beautiful and sunny. How could I let those hideous voices take over me? I walked out to the nearest starbucks, ordered a frapuccino and here I am writing on my phone feeling comfortable. As I walked in I looked around. People don’t care. They are just there some studying, others writing, franctically on their laptop, reading or tchating. No one was explicitly judging me, noone said any hurtful words to me.  At that moment, their thoughts were just theirs. I had imagined it all. Unable to hear them, they were harmless. Thoughts won’t kill me.

Today I became one of those who work at starbucks. Freed from the chains of my hideaway appartment. It felt fine.

Izaotee

Sleepless night

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23 43 – sleepless in my London appartment.

Thoughts invading my mind. Suprisingly I am not drowning in the urge to escape them. I had my dinner and am satisfied. Ignoring that little voices accomplice to my food splurges. The one that says well it is only just another muffin, you went a whole year without one.  That may be so but an extra muffin is only temporary bad quality plaster to my wounds.

I had an interesting afternoon at the Victoria and Albert  museum visiting an exhibition on the glamour of Italian fashion with my shortcourse classmates. Negative thoughts, guilt, regrets and sadness was still more present than ever. The fifth student actually, as I tried my best to concentrate on the research process. The class was uplifting in the end. Here I am at home, tireless but stronger against the urges to binge.

I realised during the sunny days wasted in bed that fo a while I will still surely be ambivalent about the fashion industry and the legal world. What my therapist would say “one foot in, one foot out”. May be I am simply one of those who cannot choose and will not choose between two great lovers. At least for a little while. The dream is to be able to do both. The reality is the inability to do either.

The lack of satisfying opportunity to be exact. I wish my creativity took up most of my time and generated sufficient financial returns. Sadly as I enquire more from professionals and others, it seems law is my safest bet. When I make that choice, I realise that I will have to accept it. I also need the time to allow myself to start and trust the decision. As I am writing this a rush of anxiety moves from my stomach to my throat.

While comparing myself to others, as I am used to doing. Bad habits die hard. I also observed that I am able to move forward when I accept my life, choices and body. Just own it all. The trick is to stay tuned with who I am and not fall in the trap of being a people pleaser when it is neither useful nor necessary. To get to acceptance comes with its challenges. Somehow when I acknowledge my present a giant weight lifts off. Such acceptance is only felt when I am being creative.

Right now, I wish the reasons giving this inner strength not to binge. This reassurance that nothing will harm me tonight. Not even myself. I wish these reasons were spelled out. This mystery that turns my shadows into light would be exposed. Brought to the open so that I can catch it and feed off it when I am lost, disconnected and in denial.

Sleepless. I still am.

Nothing will harm me tonight.

izaotee

A thought for my father

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If you have been reading the previous post. You would know that I walked out to the nearest starbucks for breakfast this morning. You might think it would be a trigger. Yet, I learned that it only becomes a trigger if I walk in while in a vulnerable place inside. So fragile that all I would want to do is escape. Reach for that fix. Run away from emotions that make me human.  I only needed a change of scene. I stayed in my apartment all day yesterday and it smelled like regrets, guilt and binge.

No make-up on, hair like a cave woman, clothes not matching. I needed to get out. Get some perspective. Get some space from my space. Then, after my little morning outing and grocery shopping. I came back to my niche. I broke down crying while printing images for my design research and listening to music. I cried because I missed my Dad. The thought was triggered as I was processing the bad news I received on tuesday. My cousin past away and lost her battle with breast cancer. She was only 32 years old. Diagnosed at 27. She left her husband and two boys of 9 and 7.

I wasn’t really close to her at all. My family always teased me about looking like her. Especially as she gained weight. To who-else compare the newly chubby girl than with the old chubby girl? I hated that comparison. She was also the youngest and only daughter. Any death is sad though I was never very close to her. Even so, it made think about my father and his passing. The void that he had left. Times I wish I spent with him, words I wish I had said. I never allowed myself the right to grieve until I started therapy again about a year ago. I thought that just like my mother, I was at peace with his departure. A lie. I was tirelessly restricting trying to be the perfect daughter.

Now, I let myself, miss him in the comfort of my room or my apartment here in London. Away from the stares and opinions. I truly miss him. I wish he was here. I wonder how things would differ if he was. Would I have held my ground and kept myself together? Would I have continued to keep a facade, try to the best of my ability to make my parents and brothers proud? Or would the real me, denied of the rights to freely live still push itself out anyway and demand its place in my world?

In a way, I believe not much would have changed. I would still discover my love for arts, face my struggles with food, continue to doubt my abilities to deal with those in the legal field. With or without him. Even if he was and always will be a part of me and has left an unforgettable print in my life, I cannot help but become the true person I am meant to be. Denying myself the right to “be who I am” in his presence or absence would still lead me to self-abuse.

Caught up in my overthinking. I miss my father. As simple a thought as that.

xoxoxoxo

I.