Taking Life One Mental Breakdown at a Time

Sometimes in order to feel better you just need to cry.

Lately I have been feeling like the world has been crashing down on top of me. I feel guilty for working all the time and lacking on other stuff but I feel guilty if I take a day off and try to catch up on the work I’ve put off. I’m sure some of you can relate; it’s a never ending cycle of feeling bad.

I’ve felt bad about my weight and how I look. I’ve felt bad about the ways I’ve been eating. I’ve felt bad about the lack of motivation I have towards school. I’ve felt bad about just about every aspect of my life. It’s even come to the point where I feel bad about other people and take on their problems like it’s my own.

The other night I sat in my car under a street lamp in the school parking lot bawling for an hour. I just needed to cry and get it off my chest because almost immediately after I was done I wiped my soaked cheeks, started the car, and drove like nothing else happened. That’s when it finally dawned on me, don’t ask me why it took me 21 years to realize this, BUT if you don’t talk about it, it’ll never get better.

I have always been the type of person to take on other people’s problems as my own. I’ve also always been the type of person to hold in my own problems because I don’t want to be a burden to other people. I’m also positive that there is someone who is reading this that also is the same type of person.

So whether it’s one person or one thousand people that relate, let me give some advice.

People want to hear about your problems. It sounds crazy but people want to hear what’s happening in your life; the good and the bad. Sometimes people want that power of giving advice to you. They want to be able to hear what you’re dealing with. They want to know that you need help and that they can be there for you.

Showing your emotions is normal. I like to keep my emotions to myself because I’ve always thought it was a sign of weakness. Showing them is a sign of strength. Everyone has emotions, bad days, times where they do nothing but cry. EVERYONE. Showing that you can make it through the worst days just like you can make it through other days shows that you are capable of handling yourself. No matter how strong you thing someone is, chances are they were also crying the other day because they didn’t feel good about themselves.

You aren’t a burden to other people. It might be hard to see that but I can promise you, you confiding in someone does not make you a burden. It goes back to people wanting to hear your problems. People want to know what is happening, they care about you and love you. If you were actually a burden to them, you wouldn’t want them in your life to begin with.

If you don’t talk about it, you can’t heal. Talking about how awful your life has been lately or how bad you’re feeling isn’t always easy. You might not know where to start, where to go, or how to finally stop talking once the words begin. I get it. I’ve been there. In order to heal and start to see a clearer, brighter path you have to get it off your chest. It’s hard but I can also promise you that once you talk about it you will start to feel better.

Take it one day at a time. Happiness or a brighter path might not come right away but it will come. Not very often do I cry and immediately feel as if everything is behind me. I cry then realize that eventually it will get better and I can now see more ways of making my life better. You have to understand that too. Don’t take one giant leap, start with a few small steps and see how you feel.

It takes some work. It would be a miracle if all of our problems went away every time we shed a tear. You have to put in the work to change your life and make it the way you want it to be.

You will be okay. You will be okay. I can’t repeat it enough. Life is fucking hard. It will knock you down 100 times and then some but you have to be willing to stand up and push past it if you want to live in the life you’ve always wished.

To anyone else struggling; it’ll be okay. We can do it together. I’ll always be here to listen to your problems.

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Eating with an Eating Disorder

When I was in eighth grade one of my family members told me I had thunder thighs. I was 13 at the time so I didn’t really know what that meant but I figured, hey, if someone else can see it and I can’t then it’s a problem. I exercised and ate healthy and lost five pounds which worked out because it was right before a family vacation.

I should’ve known I was headed down a dark path because for the entire week I was on vacation I couldn’t put a piece of food in my mouth without thinking about gaining those five pounds back. As soon as we got home I weighed myself and I mean as soon as we pulled into the drive way I ran into the bathroom.

I had gained all the weight back and then some.

At the time I just had the “whatever” mentality and thought I would be able to lose it just like I had. Little did I know it would spiral me down a hole that I wouldn’t want even my worse enemy to fall down.

Freshman and sophomore year of high school were the two worst years. To keep this post from becoming too long, I’ll spare the little details. I was in a new school, my old friends had left me for new people (one of them even looked me in the eyes and said “I don’t want to be friends anymore.”) I didn’t feel pretty or smart or popular like I had wanted for so long. I started to lose weight by eating exactly one cup of Cheerios in the morning, 4 sliced strawberries for lunch, and 1/2 of whatever was for supper. Then it became no breakfast, no lunch, and the smallest portions for supper. I was eating 800 or less calories a day and weighing myself 4 or more times a day.

I remember when I started down this ED path I weighed 132 pounds. At my lowest point I was nearly 110 pounds. I remember once seeing 107 on the scale and that being my happiest memory from that time in my life. I’m six feet tall which goes to show how severely underweight I was.

My junior year of high school I continued to battle this disorder but it was also when I started to win the battle. One night after destroying my diary with hateful words to myself, I cried myself to sleep. I remember screaming silently into a pillow and screaming so hard I could feel blood vessels popping. I woke up the next morning and realized I couldn’t keep living like this.

The rest of my junior year and into my senior I started to add in more calories. I felt guilty at first but would also lightly exercise to ease my mind from thinking a banana and an apple at lunch was too much. I ended my high school career with what I thought to be one of the best moods I was in. I wasn’t so sad and depressed; I didn’t hate my body quite as much as I did.

Here I sit, four years free from those events. But I still feel bad. I don’t feel bad for what I put myself through oddly enough, I feel bad for not keeping up with my eating disorder.

I know that sounds insane. I couldn’t go a day without stepping on the scale, without feeling bad if I didn’t write down every.single.calorie. I couldn’t go a day without comparing how ugly I was to every pretty girl around me. But I miss it. I miss feeling skinny, feeling in charge of what I ate, feeling light.

The thing I wish people would understand about eating disorders is that those feelings don’t go away and you are never fully “cured”. It’s been years and I still can’t look in the mirror without seeing a side of me that is 200 pounds over weight and full of fat. I still can’t eat without thinking about how many miles of a run it would take to burn it off. Sure I have my days where I don’t care what I eat (partially thanks to Aunt Flo coming for a visit) but more often than not, I struggle to eat. Eating in front of people is the worst. I feel as if everyone is judging me and what I’m eating; as if the spotlight and everyone’s eyes are on me.

It’s just a struggle for me. I wasn’t healthy back then; my period didn’t come until I was 16 and some months old, I didn’t have the confidence to do anything, I was stuck on getting to a number, I forced myself to look at pro-anorexia photos, I wrote hateful messages to myself, and I hurt myself physically and emotionally. I want to save this for another post, but when I didn’t see the pounds drop I would cut myself. I had so much going on and didn’t know how to stop.

I’m scared now. I see myself falling back into these tendencies and my old ways and I don’t want to go back there but I don’t know how to stop. This past summer I was 1 year free from weighing myself and the 366th day free I broke it by weighing myself. Last week I weighed myself three times. I’m scared and I don’t know who to reach out to because I don’t want tell anyone I failed them or, even worse, failed myself.

Does anyone else feel this way that has or still is recovering? What are your ways of distracting your brain from these thoughts?

Day 238: Am I Normal?

Another realization during my “time” as an adult: it sucks.

I knew becoming an adult meant having to the typical life things: work, paying bills, in bed before 10. I didn’t know that it would be so hard to figure out what I wanted to do with adult life. Where do I want to work? What do I want to do that makes me happy? Is there something that makes me happy?

I’m manic. I’ll admit it. I go on stretches where I am so incredibly happy and think I have everything planned out, it’s going smooth and I never want it to stop. Then there are days where I dramatically crash and can’t even bring myself to get out of bed even though it’s early afternoon. That’s the difference between yesterday and today.

Yesterday I was so happy and excited about upcoming events in life. I made plans to go home decor shopping, I was talking about buying a dress for graduation and, believe it or not, I actually thought I knew what I wanted to do in life!

This morning I woke up and got mad at myself because I couldn’t figure out if I wanted Cheerios or a granola bar for breakfast.

It makes me question if I’m normal.

Is it normal for two sides of your brain to argue? One side tells me to get my shit together and figure out my life because, before I know it, I will be done with school and on my own. The other side tells me that I’m only 21 and to relax, I’ll get it figured out.

It just sucks.

There are so many people around me who have it going on. They have things planned down to the T — where exactly they will live, the hours they will work at their new job, even the damn pantsuits they’ll wear in their cubicle. Again, I argue with myself about what I want for breakfast so there is no way in hell I know whether or not I’ll be wearing khakis or dress pants to work.

Do you ever feel this way? Please tell me you do so I can tell that side of my brain to shut up.

I guess for now I will keep trying to figure out my plans and where I want to go but I’ll also keep trying to figure out if I want that granola bar or those Cheerios.

Let’s hope it starts to suck a little less.

Comparing Me to Me

I have always had a problem comparing myself to other people.

At the same time, I’ve always had a dislike for the way I look. Putting those two together means I compare myself to others around me just as much as I compare my current self to my dream self.

Everybody has their ideal version of themselves. Some people picture themselves with only a few alterations; a different hair color, a few pounds lighter, a few more freckles. Other people are basically their own version of BeyoncĂ© in their minds. Either way; it’s someone else.

For me, I’m not the 6 foot girl I am now, I’m the tiny 5’8″. I’m not the 150 pound girl I am now, I’m the light 115 pound girl. I don’t have short that makes me look like a Hanson member, I have long and beautiful blonde hair. I look normal and average in my ideal version.

On the other side of the spectrum, I compare the fact that the girls around me are D’s while I barely fit into a B cup (at least I can keep the bras I’ve had since middle school). Girls around me are good at makeup while I can barely cover up my acne (the joys of hormones). Girls around me are confident while I tell my waitress “you too!” when she says to enjoy the food.

And that’s what sucks. I lack the confidence to love the way my body looks because I tell myself I can always be better. I tell myself I can look normal like others.

I lack the confidence to tell the voice in my head to shut up.

It’s still something I’m working on and, honestly, something I will always be working on. You can always gain and lose confidence but sometimes it feels impossible to gain when you think you don’t have any to start out with.

Maybe this is a message to me and I’m really just writing to myself or maybe this is a message to you reading, either way, you have confidence. You are pretty. You don’t want to change those things about you because that is what makes you you.

Rock the small boobs, the pimples, the stretch marks. Embrace the hair cut you once regretted because at one point you loved it. Love the fact you’re socially awkward but can still make your closest friends and family laugh.

Be you. Be yourself because chances are, there’s someone out there looking at you and being jealous they can’t be you.

Day 229

Well, here it goes.

I’ve always wanted to start a blog but I never quite knew what to write about. Sure I thought about the stereotypical “food”, “fashion”, and “look at my wild life of adventure” blogs but then I realized that those aren’t for me.

When I say they aren’t “for me” I don’t mean I don’t like reading them (I enjoy living vicariously through others because I’m a boring old soul) I mean that I don’t follow the same path those bloggers do. 90% of my clothes I find of clearance racks at either Wal-Mart, Shopko or Target, half of the food I eat comes out of a package, and the most amount of adventure I get is a trip two hours away to a decent shopping mall.

When I think about my life and having to sit down and write about stuff, I feel lost. I don’t have any cool stories that will make others jealous, I don’t have relationships with hundreds of friends to talk about amazing parties but I realized that what I do have is low self-confidence, body dismorphia (due to recovering from an eating disorder) and that I am clueless-ly making my way through the world of being a young adult.

I want to write about the troubles I have throughout my days either due to Senioritis as I wind down my college career, troubles with what to or not to eat, or just the fact I have no idea how to do my taxes.

I like to say I officially became an adult at 21 only because this age is when you can get plastered in public and lose money at a Casino, hey, all the cool things adults do right? I have been an adult for 229 days. I guess I’ll just coast through the next couple years until I finally get the hang of being an adult. It can’t be too hard…can it?