Pray For Me

I found this poem at weighingthefacts.blogspot.com and it is as though the author reached into my brain and pulled out these words. Though the numbers (weight, height, etc…) are different, this perfectly describes my emotions right now. I emphasized parts that particularly stood out to me.

*Warning: Poem may be triggering

Pray For Me

this isn’t one of those poems about recovery
this isn’t one of those poems about how beautiful I know I am
this isn’t one of those poems about how I overcame the odds
this is one of those poems about how I didn’t
I spent my life trying to fit into this picture
Aryan brothers and sisters standing
5 foot 6
115 pounds
I am twenty years old and I long for the androgyny of adolescence
I wish I could will away the curves on these hips
the prominent bulges of double D tits
and pants size weighing in the double digits
I know I was meant to be “curvy”
my body was built to wield the twists and turns of a full-figure woman
and standing at 5 foot 3
weighing 173 pounds
I look every bit the plus size woman
that was meant to reside in this skin
but god
I don’t want it
bless another with this body so vivacious
and give me something devoid of interest
I want flat-chested brilliance and a size two waist
I used to be beautiful, you know
a long time ago, when I gave up living
I starved myself for just a little feeling
and I guess I did it wrong
because I can never go back
I have to eat now
every bite filled with resentment as I force it past these lips
but I do it because I have to
I look at you and I pray to god that I can one day stop
stop the madness reeling inside me that prays for just a little death
just a little decay
a taste of the impossible
for these improbable lips
screaming for mercy and begging forgiveness
I want to be healthy for you
but some days it’s hard to breathe
cold sweats cover these sheets as you slumber away
pretending that I’m okay
some days it bothers me how you don’t seem to notice
but other days
I’m glad you can’t watch me fall
it’s selfish, the way I torture myself
because I know I drag you with me
but I’ve spent a lifetime tearing myself down
and I’m not sure I know how to stop
but for you, baby
I’m willing to try
throw myself into an empty sea
where empathy used to live
and I’ll wait for my salvation
By Alana Rosen


“For the vast majority of eating-disordered people, it is something that will haunt you for the rest of your life. You may change your behaviour, change your beliefs about yourself and your body, give up that particular way of coping in the world. You may learn, as I have, that you would rather be human than a human’s thin shell. You may get well. But you never forget.”

Wasted – A memoir of anorexia and bulimia (Marya Hornbacher)

If this were the 70’s I would now proceed to talk about my oral fixations and a complex description of my mother being the root of all evils in my life because of the deprivations and neuroses she caused……

but we now know that Freud had no empirical evidence and so that is not what this post will be about.

No, this post is about my mom and I’s communication problem and my mother’s lack of ability to communicate with me in a way that encourages health. Ohhhh the many things I could share with you, but instead I want to share with you an encounter we had on Saturday.

Now, if you follow me on twitter it’s pretty apparent that I’ve been struggling lately. If not, let me catch you up. My depression is OUT of control. A combination of living at home, isolation from friends, a job I hate, and an inability to secure a real job have all joined forces to give a crippling power to my depression. My anxiety is also pretty bad, but mainly is centered around my body and ed related things right now and this makes is more “manageable.”  Anyways, my mom LOVES to talk about deep emotional things and I DO NOT. We are very different personality-wise and have very different communication styles, and love-languages. Because of this I have learned to be very careful about what I share with my mother.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my mother and I think that she has done a wonderful job with my father raising me in a nurturing and loving environment. However, because of my unique differences, sometimes the ways in which she tries to love me actually hurt me. I never talk about any of my mental illnesses with my family and in general we never talk about emotions period. I guess you could say we are a stereotypical stoic German family. We plod on, supportive, but no touchy-feely crap.

Because of my depression lately, I’ve been feeling pretty vulnerable, and because I am isolated from my friends and therapist I decided to reach out and share some things with my mom. We were starting out our convo on the way to Target in pretty safe familiar territory, my job search. This bridged into my feelings about not finding a job – short answer it makes my depression awful and I feel like a worthless failure, whose life has reached its culmination.  As I tried to explain these emotions and cognitions to my mom it only became worse and worse.  I became increasingly frustrated because I didn’t have the words to explain and my mom kept trying to “get it” and have answers for everything.

By the time we were on our way home it had progressed to me trying to explain black and white thinking to my mom. Seeing as she has a non-crappy brain she has not problem loving herself, seeing gray areas, and thinking rationally. As I tried to explain to her that my brain doesn’t work like that, that the wiring is messed up and that I literally have to challenge every automatic thought and that it is incredibly hard for me to see inbetweens she became increasingly silent. We arrived home and went our separate ways and I could tell something was wrong. I thought maybe she wasn’t happy that we hadn’t “ended” our discussion and so I went to my parents room and asked if she was okay…..

Long story short I am NEVER talking about emotions with my mom again. She started freaking out. She just could not wrap her mind around what I had explained and was thinking that I was suicidal and really messed up. She blew what I had said to her WAY out of proportion and was super upset. This is why I don’t share things with my mom. I was simply needing a sounding board, a little support, and instead I ended up having to be the parent. Calming her down, reassuring and explaining again. Seriously, it was ridiculous.

Okay, this was mainly a vent and may not seem like a big deal to you. But my mom is a big trigger in my eating disorder, so this was a big deal. No matter how much I’ve tried to explain and use my “skills” I learned in therapy to communicate with her, she never understands or supports me in the way that I need her to. On another note, this week I’ve purged for the 2nd and 3rd times.😦 I’ll post on that later, probably thursday.

If you read this whole thing congrats! Thanks for all of your support and I hope that all of you are healthy and well.

“The bragging was the worst. I hear this in schools all over the country, in cafés and restaurants, in bars, on the Internet, for Pete’s sake, on buses, on sidewalks: Women yammering about how little they eat. Oh, I’m Starving, I haven’t eaten all day, I think I’ll have a great big piece of lettuce, I’m not hungry, I don’t like to eat in the morning (in the afternoon, in the evening, on Tuesdays, when my nails aren’t painted, when my shin hurts, when it’s raining, when it’s sunny, on national holidays, after or before 2 A.M.). I heard it in the hospital, that terrible ironic whine from the chapped lips of women starving to death, But I’m not hun-greeee. To hear women tell it, we’re never hungry. We live on little Ms. Pac-Man power pellets. Food makes us queasy, food makes us itchy, food is too messy, all I really like to eat is celery. To hear women tell it we’re ethereal beings who eat with the greatest distaste, scraping scraps of food between our teeth with our upper lips curled.

For your edification, it’s bullshit.”
— Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)

Sooo. I was always at a healthy weight for most of my life until my sophomore year of high school. In connection with an unhealthy diet, coupled with an inactive lifestyle due to my chronic pain, I started gaining weight. Now I was already unhappy and isolated because of my chronic pain. But after I gained weight I remember being totally uncomfortable in my body. It felt to foreign to me and I remember feeling so self-conscious surrounded by all the other skinny high schoolers. I felt obese, when in reality I was only 10 or so pounds over my set weight. Here is a picture from this time.

This continued over the summer and into the beginning of my Junior year of high school. Here is a picture from a Thanksgiving trip to Texas. Around this time my chronic headache situation was totally out of control and I was feeling helpless. My weight still bothered me and I was determined to do something.

For Lent the spring of my Junior year I gave up inbetween meal snacks. This slight lifestyle change brought quick results and by the end of Lent I had lost about the 10 extra pounds. Happy with these results and still unhappy with my body I continued to eat healthy and started exercising, riding my bike a lot. This picture is from the beginning of the summer before my senior year of high school. I would say that around this time I was definitely involved in disordered eating and on the brink of an eating disorder.

The fall semester of my Senior year was a quick descent into an eating disorder, specifically anorexia nervosa. I restricted more and more to the point where I was eating no breakfast, a 150 calorie lunch (mini bagel and sugarfree applesauce), and a dinner of around 300 calories with my family. I was afraid of any food that wasn’t one of my “regular safe foods” and never ate fat, desserts, chips, or any other fear foods. I thought that I was in control of my life though I still was unhappy with my body. In the following picture I distinctly remember how fat I felt at our family Christmas picture and how I thought that everyone was staring at my gross rolls and muffin top. When In actuality I was about 15 lbs underweight and the only thing my family was staring at were my protruding bones.






This descent into anorexia continued and overshadowed my entire senior year of high school. Each day was a battle, I would hide out in the library or chapel during lunch so that I wouldn’t have to make excuses about my now non-existent lunch or shrinking body.  I was lieing and throwing out food, things I would normally never do, but I wasn’t really me anymore. My eyes were vacant and I barely have any pictures from the late spring of my senior year. here is one from march, but I didn’t get down to my lowest weight until late May.  But I have no pictures from that time. 


This next picture is from the end of the summer before I went to college. I had gained back some of the weight over the summer under the threat of postponing college and was beginning to reach health again. I haven’t been at this weight since that time.

I continued to gain back the weight, though in an unhealthy manner unfortunately. I spent my freshman year of college restricting and then bingeing. The bingeing would come on suddenly, I would steal friends and roommates foods, eat vending machine food, anything. The binges were uncontrollable.

My sophomore year of college marks another peak in weight, it was the closest I’d been to my high school high weight due to the bingeing and lack of exercise again. I had never really dealt with my eating disorder and had simply let it morph from anorexia to ED-NOS and now to bulimia. I started purging and going fasting following binges. My weight pretty much plateaued from my Junior year till the present. There have been gains and losses but never dramatic enough for people in my life to notice.

fall break sophomore year of college

Spring of my Junior year of college

new haircut during the fall of Senior year of college🙂

Finally, a pic of me today. A few weeks ago on vacation in Michigan hiking.

Today I’ve managed to remain at a healthy weight following graduating from college. I have started to lose a few pounds lately but I wouldn’t exactly call it  a relapse yet. So, this is my eating disorder story in pictures. I’ve been through the gauntlet over the past 7 years, and I hope that the next 7 are closer to health and less disordered.








Eating Disorder Update

Where to start……All right, how bout a quick recap and then indepth about my current situation.

So when I graduated from college I was doing pretty well. I had mentioned that I went on a lot of vacations and my eating disorder is always better on vacation. Somehow my brain is able to rationally understand that the extreme amount of physical activity (we average 15 miles a day in hikes) and I am able to eat almost guilt free. However, upon returning home I adapted a stupid policy similar to the one in the picture——————————–>

The whole month of July I spent up in my room searching for and applying for jobs. I basically had no interaction with any humans outside of my family and I really only ate 1 meal (dinner with the fam). I was isolating like crazy and my depression and anxiety were spiraling out of control. At the end of July I went to MI for a week and when I got back things just spun out of control.

My eating is completely erratic and always disordered. I hate how out of control my brain is. My eating pattern consists of this:

  • Severe restricting <500 cals a day
  • Running every day for about 45 mins
  • Than I usually spend an afternoon binging/purging/abusing laxatives
  • ….and then the cycle starts all over again

It’s awful and I’m sooo unhappy. What’s the worst though is the overwhelming emotions. I swing from severe anxiety: I’m still looking for a job, but nannying 3 days a week while I look for a full-time “grown-up job”. One piece of advice: enjoy school and being young enough to not have to figure out your life while you can. Usually this anxiety is accompanied by feeling like a lazy failure, who no one wants to be friends with. I’m the last one of my friends to not have a job and I just want to be on my own, in my own apt, free to be able to go back to therapy without my parents knowing.

I’m miserable and figure I might as well be thin and miserable if I’m going to be miserable anyways. Sorry for this downer of a post, I’ll try and be more consistent this week.

Sooo, a lot has happened since I last posted (I believe in April?) For a quick recap and to bring you all up to date.

I graduated from college:

I partied it up, rejoicing in a break from academia

my brother graduated from 8th grade; so we had two graduates in the fam

I went to beautiful Utah for two glorious weeks:

Bryce Canyon National Park

Have spent hours upon hours, searching for and applying for jobs across the country. Sorry no picture of this as it is pretty boring and consists of me sitting in a chair in the corner of my room for hours on end.

Went to Northern MI for yet another week of vacation, soaking up the sun and relaxing.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

After a pretty crazy summer I am trying to find a rhythm of life.

Most of June I was busy, what with unpacking, being in Utah, celebrating birthdays and graduations. July was a rough month. My job searching became a bit obsessive. I basically did nothing except look for and apply to jobs. I seem to have this idea in my head that if I want to avoid absolute failure and have an excuse for being unemployed than every waking hour must be spent on the computer looking for a job. Needless to say a month of this left me emotionally a wreck. I had zero interaction with people outside of my family who I would only interact with after 6:00, I didn’t exercise at all, and my prayer life went out the window. Luckily, the last week in July I decided to go with my family to Michigan for vacation and was able to reflect on what I wanted my life to look like.

I realized a few things there, laying on the beach.🙂

1.  I can not control whether someone will hire me. I have had a half dozen interviews and none of them have panned out. All I can do is apply for jobs, put my best foot forward, and trust that in God’s perfect timing the job that I am supposed to have will work out.

2. I need a more balanced life. Upon returning home from vacation I took up running, something I have NEVER done before. I always hated running. The starting it might have been partly ED’s suggestion, but I am really enjoying it now. I run about 3 miles a day and have the cutest running shoes! I also started going back to daily Mass and getting my prayer life in order.

3. I need to talk to someone about my mental health. Since graduating I stopped seeing my therapist and had not really talked to anyone about my eating disorder, anxiety, or depression. So I sent off an email to my old therapist and we’ve had a few phone sessions. Obviously, this is just a temporary fix. She wants me in a local intensive outpatient eating disorder program, but I honestly don’t think I’m sick enough for that, so we’ll see.

4. I needed to find ways to fill my time. I’ve been helping around the house like crazy: dishes, laundry, dinner, groceries, cleaning, chauffeuring my brother, basically being the mom, as my own is quite busy getting her classroom ready with school approaching. Also, I’ve landed a part-time job nannying a 3 yr old 3 days a week from 7:30-4:00 and picking up her 4 older brothers and sisters from school. It is nice to feel needed and useful rather than a waste of space and a failure. Keeping busy is also a great distraction and helpful for me to get out of my head and into reality.

Whew! If you made it this far congrats! I plan on doing a whole separate post to update you all on the food and other coexisting disorders situation as this post is long enough already. Until then, stay safe, thanks for reading, and know that you are all in my prayers!