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Mental Health

No, How to say no, Saying No

You know what no one teaches us as children? How to say NO! Sure we may say “no” for a few years in obstinate defiance as children but soon, that is beaten out of us ( not literally but we are told over and over again that it’s not nice to say no!) We are taught from the time we are toddlers that to be pleasing in word, deed and action to those who surround us. We are even urged to look pleasing. Inadvertently, we are turned into yes to people. We are taught that to say no is to be disagreeable. “No” comes with a metric ton of guilt. But what no one tells you is that  “no” can be empowering. We all need to learn how to say no, not feel bad about it and carry on. Guilt is overrated. I have enough guilt from drinking the Kool-Aid that’s told me there is such a thing as the “perfect parent”, when we all know the “perfect parent” is no more real than unicorns.

I’ve spent my entire life trying to fit in. That is what society dictates. To be “pleasing” is not the same as coloring my world all unicorns and rainbows but it is also not in your face instigation. I assume it comes from growing up in a household and a society where I was told regularly to ‘be quiet” as to not rock the boat or cause discourse. Why the fuck is it so important for everyone to like what everyone else says or wants? Once I really thought about it, sure who doesn’t like to be “liked” but then I thought, if I’m always saying yes to shit I hate, it’s all a big lie anyways and no ones pleased really; not the people I am saying yes to and certainly, not me. Not to mention, saying yes can become overwhelming and you will find yourself bogged down with things that you don’t want to do and missing opportunities that would be better suited to your life. This can happen in your career, school, family or friendships.

I’m sure the people pleasing started when I was a child. I wanted to make my parents happy like all children. I wanted to feel special among the 6 children they had. My claim to “special” child was pleasing disposition and great grades. I said yes, I did my chores, I did my homework and I strove for perfection in all areas. I thrived in the praise of , “Good job, Debi!” But then it was never enough. Parental approval became like a drug and soon I found myself feeling let down and never able to meet the standards.I just kept saying yes to please people, even though I was becoming completely miserable. In fact, I found myself finding excuses to refuse offers to go or do things because I just felt like me not wanting to was not a valid reason. It seemed selfish and warranted disapproval.

Why can’t we all just have our feelings without seeking validation from others. I have friends that I love but we don’t agree on politics or religion or even the color of the sky but we are friends still; we agree to disagree. I respect them as people and I respect their right to their opinion even if I don’t agree. I like hearing their perspectives. Hell, maybe I’ll learn something or they will point out something I never even thought of. I would never want a friend who only always said yes because if they only ever agreed with what I said, I’d have to wonder if they ever had a thought of their own and if they were genuine at all.

I know all this about myself and I am trying to break the involuntary response to placate others without ever considering first what I want. Still , on a regular basis people ask me to do stuff that I don’t want to do and do not benefit me in anyway and I say yes because I don’t want to hurt feelings, piss people off or I simply have no excuse to refuse other than I just don’t want to. Saying no doesn’t make you selfish. People do huge life changing things for the wrong reason all the time because they are afraid to say know. People marry the wrong person, take the wrong career path,stay in a marriage and even have children because it was what was expected of them. That is just not a good enough reason.

Who says no because they don’t want to unless they are a two-year-old throwing a tantrum? I am an adult and somehow saying no feels petty. Who wants to be thought of as petty? I often find myself frustrated and doing something I didn’t want to do but didn’t think I had the right to say no. Why can’t I say no? I don’t want to do it. I am an adult. I have the right to make a choice. The right to refuse. Remember to consider if when you say yes to others are you saying no to yourself? I am saying no from now on when I don’t want to do something and I refuse to qualify why to others.

Last week, it just clicked for me and someone asked me to do something that I didn’t want to and before I could even think about it, I said no. I caught myself and I felt embarrassed and guilty. It was a simple request from my husband to help him shovel the snow, during the blizzard. He never asks me to but there was a LOT of snow. But I was cold and the thought of shoveling snow that was 14 inches high and still falling felt too daunting a task and I wanted no part of it.I said no and I meant it. I think I shocked him. I eventually acquiesced and we shoveled together. Thank God, it may have killed him shoveling al that snow by himself. But when I said no, you can’t believe how happy it made me to say it out loud.

It starts with little things like, “Come on try a piece of this or that, just a taste.” You want to say no but why bother it’s only a small piece but then before you know it, it’s your virginity, your career, your happiness. It’s your life. When does it stop? We get into a habit of avoiding conflict and just saying yes. Say NO. What’s the worst that can happen? You inconvenience someone else? So what. Isn’t your happiness just as important as theirs.

Forgo the guilt and soak up the giddy excitement and sheer joy that comes with saying no. It’s invigorating to say no. Now, I understand why the two-year-olds love it so much. The liberation of saying no to something that you genuinely don’t want to do is one of the most . Consider yourselves, your wants and needs before you answer and if you don’t want to do something, feel free to confidently and graciously say no. Grinning and bearing it never made anyone happy and lying to get out of things is exhausting. Feel heard and know that you should never feel afraid to have an opinion. Somethings in life we have to do, even if we don’t like them because they are what is best for us. Guilt should not be a part of saying no.

How do you say no and not feel bad about it?

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keith Vidal, Throat Punch Thursday, mental illness, Schizophrenic teen, Schizophrenia, Bryon Vassey

The family of 18-year-old, Keith Vidal, called their local police for help when their son was behaving erratically during a schizophrenic episode last Sunday night. The 18-year-old from Boiling Spring Lake, North Carolina, was first tasered by two police officers and on the ground when shot and killed by a third officer, Bryon Vassey, from the neighboring town of Southport.

According to this emotional video by Keith Vidal’s stepbrother, Mark Ryan Wilsey, Keith was recently diagnosed with Schizophrenia and was coping while dosing was being figured out.

Vidal’s father, Mark Wilsey, called the police Sunday night because his son was armed with an electric, six-inch screwdriver and was threatening his mother. According to the family the two officers had the situation under control, with the 100-pound Keith Vidal on the ground tasered, when Officer Vassey entered the premises and within 60 seconds said, “We don’t have time for this.” Then he shot Keith Vidal in the chest, killing him. I can’t get the disturbing image out of my head of someone putting down a lame dog.

Officer Vassey first said he was ‘defending himself,” only to later say through his lawyer he was defending another officer. How could deadly force be the only option when there are 3 officers and a Taser involved to subdue one skinny teenager?

My heart breaks for this family. Any person who has ever dealt with, loved with or been mentally ill knows that getting the right meds dosage is critical. Sometimes it takes months or even years to find the right dosage. Meds can alter your state of mind sometimes even worse than the mental illness itself.

This kid was 18-years-old and recently diagnosed. Can you imagine what a pill it is to swallow to be told that you have a mental illness and will be medicated for the rest of your life just to be “normal”? I can. When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar 1, I was at a point in my life where I had been ill for years with no help. No diagnosis. I felt irreparably broken. I felt alone and severed from everyone around me.  I can’t even describe to you what it feels like to feel so broken. The closest I can compare it to would be like living in quick sand and you are being swallowed whole by the disease but the more you struggle to resist, to survive the deeper you sink and the more likely you are to lose yourself. It is terrifying because you don’t know why this is happening to you. Was it something you did or didn’t do?

When I finally got a diagnosis, I was terrified but relieved. Relieved that there was help to be had and to find that I wasn’t so broken as much as really bent. It was a struggle to get back to “normal”; whatever that is. I’m not sure I really know. Normal is relative, I suppose.

It took months of highs and lows. I was originally misdiagnosed as depressed and given enough anti-depressants to kill a horse, which made me ever increasingly manic. In the end, I was at the brink of psychosis. I saw madness. I felt it. Touched it. Lived it. It was the biggest part of me.

Eventually, anti-depressants were taken down to next to nothing; stabilizers and Ambien entered the picture. Where mania once ran rampant, now zombie like living: walking into walls and all-consuming lethargy had become part of who I was. After a few months, I was finally regulated and began to feel “normal” for the first time in years; maybe ever.

It all seems so cut and dry when you write it out but it’s not. The part I haven’t told you that before my medication dosage was right, I was highly erratic. I was like a ticking time bomb. What was going on inside my head was so distracting that it left me annoyed and irrationally angry with myself and everyone around me. Later, through therapy, I realized that the irritability was directly proportional to my mania. My body and mind were pissed off because no one ever turned the lights off. My body and mind were exhausted and there was no off switch to be had.

I did irrational things just to feel alive because I ALWAYS needed to feel alive; I drove fast, lived fast and never considered consequences. I teetered between feeling invincible and wanting to die. I drank a lot. I know now that I subconsciously did that to shut things off. It’s actually pretty common. I alienated family and friends because I overreacted to everything. Sometime between high school and college graduation, I had spun completely out of control. The insomnia was just fuel to the fire.

I fully accept responsibility for my behavior in those days though, honestly, I had no real control over a lot of it. I never wielded a weapon at my parents but I did throw a friend’s belongings off my balcony and came pretty damn close to tossing her as well during a particularly manic episode. I used to be quite good at pushing people away. I think I was afraid they’d see the real me and know something was “off ”. Even before I knew what it was, I knew something wasn’t right. I hoped and prayed that there was a reason for the behavior.

My whole point for this very long and drawn out story is that if you met me today, you’d know that I’m not the same person I was at 18, 21 or even 25. I am the mother of two, a wife, and even a room mother. I am just like you but maybe I wouldn’t be if someone decided that they had no time for me to get help; to learn to live with my diagnosis. Perhaps, this is the problem with the world, we resign ourselves to believe that those who are mentally ill are dangerous, less than or even worthless. We forget that they are people, just like you and I.Well, more like me than you, I suppose:) My point is that just because someone is mentally ill doesn’t mean they can’t be valuable members of society or good human beings. It only means that they might have a more difficult journey than the rest of us.

Officer Vassey might have been scared and felt threatened because sometimes in the midst of an episode, the person suffering looks scary. The fact remains that if two officers had Keith Vidal tasered on the ground, what possible reason could there have been to shoot him? Unlike me, Keith Vidal is dead and now, will never have the chance to learn to live with his disease; to grow up, to have a family, to be a dad or a husband.

What are your thoughts on this tragic story? What would you do if you were Keith Vidal parents?

 

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ash beckham, closets, truth. honesty, being yoru authentic self

I watched this TedX video of Ash Beckham and she reminded me that hard is hard and we truly all do have our closets that we live in. Me, I’ve had a few. Unfortunately, they shroud you in shame but better the devil you know, right? Rejection is the worst and no one wants rejection. Most of us would prefer to not try at all than to try and fail and that is why we live in closets. Closets are not just about being gay; closets are about being afraid to tell your truth. It doesn’t matter how big or small or what color you paint it, a closet is a closet is a closet. No one should be afraid to tell his or her truth because your truth is what makes you who you are.

In my lifetime, I have had many closets. Thankfully, with the birth of my blog, I started busting out of all of my closets. It was one of the scariest things I ever have done; telling the whole world all of my faults. Most of the time when I hit publish, I feel sick to my stomach and I think that is a good thing. How can I be honest with you, if I can’t even be honest with myself? Now, I wish everyone had a blog to help them bust out of their closets. Hard conversations: mental illness, child abuse, obesity, eating disorders, alcoholism, miscarriage and not being the kind of mom I want to be to my children. I used to hide them deep inside me, because who wants everyone to look at them like they’re a freak? It’s one thing to be crazy, it’s quite another to announce it to the world.

When you spend your whole life pretending to fit in but feeling like you are an imposter in the house of life, you might be living in a closet. Have the conversation and like we’ve all heard, those who matter won’t care. Well, that’s a lie, they might, but they will get over it because they love you. Those who have a problem with you being your authentic self? Well, who the fuck wants them in your life anyways? Not me.

You know. I spent all of my life, up until I met my husband, pretending to be what everyone wanted of me. Good girl, good grades, friendly, attractive, fun-loving and life of the party but inside, inside my closet, I was a hot mess and it was like juggling jello trying to keep myself in the closet while the version I thought everyone wanted to know came out every day all day. I cried a lot. My poor husband, he had no idea what he got himself into.

When you hide in that closet for so long, you become a master of convincing, even yourself, that the performance you give every day is the real you but at night, when you are all alone with nothing but your thoughts, you feel like a fraud and that is one of the worst feelings you can have. You feel like a liar. Turns out, once I came out of my closets and had those hard conversations, I was free to be me and guess what? Anyone who has read this blog and then met me will tell you, I am the same online as I am in person only slightly less in your face. Turns out with the freedom of being out of my closet and living out loud and proud, I am the person that I pretended to be only I don’t need to cry at night because I’m not living in that damn cramped, dark closet hiding like a scared child anymore and it is liberating.

So, watch Ash Beckman’s video and come out of your closet. I promise you’ll be so much happier out in the open. Sure, you might feel nauseous right before you have the hard conversation but that’s because it’s important. Do it anyways. Teach your children to be honest with themselves and the people who love them. A closet is no place for a human to live.

What’s your closet?

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women's issues, body image, self-image, expectations of being a woman

I read a post written recently by Petra Collins titled Why Instagram Censored My Body. You need to read it. Petra’s instagram account was for the crime of posting a photo of herself from the waist down in a pair of bikini bottoms. She had not had a bikini wax. There was no Borat like tactics with rogue pubic hairs escaping at alarming rates but there was a definite shadow at her bikini line. I was not offended. Hair grows naturally; it’s supposed to be there. Grown women are not supposed to have pubic areas that mimic small children. Even though I’d never have the balls to grow in my pubic hair never mind snap a photo and post it to Instagram, I respect Collins for doing so.

We live in a world where women are expected to look, act, be and do things a very specific way. The manual for how to be a woman was obviously not written by a woman. It is very meticulous in the wish list for the perfect woman. Perhaps a teen boy wrote it at the beginning of time. It’s nearly ridiculous enough that I could believe it.

We all live by these imaginary, unwritten rules, whether we intend to or want to or not. We may wish we did not or pretend that we don’t care but every single woman who has ever lived has known that these rules for how to be the perfect woman exist. We either chose to embrace it, hate it, fight it or pretend to adhere while hiding who we really are and live with the shame of not being good enough. That is where most of us live, in the shame and unhappiness of not being good enough to meet these crazy unreachable expectations. If we are beautiful enough, we don’t feel smart enough. If we are smart enough, we don’t feel attractive enough. If we are thin enough, we don’t feel interesting enough. If we are interesting enough, we don’t feel exciting enough. If we are exciting enough, we don’t feel responsible enough. We never feel completely satisfied with who we are in the world. Do men?

Too much sex; we’re sluts. No sex: we’re frigid. The assumption is that men want to date sluts but marry virgins but no one wants to date a virgin. It’s a woman’s personal choice why can’t we all just have a preference without being labeled? An average sized body is considered too fat. Fat is considered disgusting. Malnourished and eating disordered is considered beautiful, no one cares the toll it takes on that woman to get there. Small breasts are not big enough. Big is never big enough. Damn your back and the fact that you look like a cartoon character. If you work, you should be home. If you stay home, you should be barefoot and pregnant. If you don’t work, you are useless. If you don’t want kids, there is something wrong with you. If you can’t handle your kids, something is wrong with you. If you’re succeeding at your career, you must be shirking your responsibilities as a woman elsewhere; unhappy husband, neglected children or bad hair. The expectation is that the house is supposed to be clean at all times and a home cooked meal is supposed to be on the table no matter what else is going on.

You are supposed to be beautiful, thin, patient and love motherhood. You’re never supposed to rest or complain. You’re always supposed to be happy. If you have an opinion, you are overbearing. If you don’t, you’re an dumb. If you’re smart, you’ve got a good personality but no dates. If you speak up for yourself, you are bossy. If you take a stand, you are a bitch. The world is a masochistic, ironic murderer of the woman’s self. The dichotomy of who women are and who they are expected to be is enough to make the sanest of our heads spin but then if we complain, we must be bipolar, PMSing or just bitter. How sad is it that we live in a world where women commonly use fat as a protection against their sexuality or the sexual advances from others? How fucked up is it that the worst thing a woman believes she can be is ugly or unattractive in any way to men? How sad is it that we live in a world where women still confuse sex as love?

We’ve been forced to stoamch women being treated as less than for so long that we accept it as the state of affairs. The unspeakable is status quo. We have been beaten down for so long that we no longer fight. We are too weak from the fury of fighting just to be treated as equal human beings.

I’m here to tell you that you are….
More beautiful than you can see. Special in your own way. Smarter than you will ever believe. Stronger than you think. Talented in ways you never expected. Perfect just the way you are. Better than enough. You set the rules. This is your life. You deserve to be happy. Fuck other people’s expectations. The only one you answer to is yourself. Choose to be happy. Shave. Pluck and wax if you want. If you don’t, let your bush flag fly but never let someone else dictate your happiness. To truly be perfect, we need to be free to be ourselves all the time without consequence of backlash for being scrutinized for every choice we make.

What is the one thing that You love about YOU?

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Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, VMAs, MTV, Blurred Lines, We Can't Stop, twerking

Miley Cyrus, RObin Thicke, VMAs, We Can't Stop, Blurred LinesOkay, Miley Cyrus, I get it you are not Hannah Montana. After last night’s VMA’s everyone is wondering just what the hell went so wrong in Miley Cyrus’ young life that warranted last night’s performance.  Was she over the top? Absolutely. Was she embarrassingly crass on stage? For sure! Has she not enough bootie to do the twerk justice? Indubitably. But is she some sort of anomaly who has gone completely off her respective Disney rocker? I’m going to say, probably not. Maybe but I seriously doubt it. My bigger concern was Robin Thicke , 36, in a Beetlejuice suit pushing his junk up on a twerking Miley Cyrus, 20. Ewww!!!! Can you say, dirty old man?

In my opinion, Miley Cyrus is not doing anything worse than most girls her age on college campuses and in clubs all over the country. I also have a sneaking suspicion that while “Molly” the lyric may have been banned from the VMAs by MTV, Molly the drug may not have been. The only difference between Miley and other 20-year-olds is that she is in the public eye and she used to be a Disney kid. You can’t be a Disney kid for the rest of your life, even Annetter Funicello got a little down and dirty with Frankie Avalon in those beach movies.Oh yeah, there was definitely some twerking like moves exhibited on the beach in bikinis, no less.

I’m starting to feel like either there is a Disney curse imposed on all young stars who dare leave the superpower or Disney is systematically taking all their deserters down. Selena Gomez, you better watch out. You might be next. I mean really where else can you go on the moral spectrum but down after Disney?

Miley Cyrus twerking, I find mildly offensive mostly because she has no ass to speak of but then again, I find twerking in general to be in bad taste. The Chucky Cheese furry leotard she was wearing when she took the stage with all the gyrating teddy bears surrounding her was really something my nightmares are made of but really did she do anything worse than Lady Gaga, Britney Spears or Madonna? Hell, no. She just happens to be a little more in your face about it. Miley Cyrus doesn’t just want to shed her Disney skin, she apparently really wants to full on destroy it, runit over and then back over it a couple of times. She never wants to be confused with Hannah Montana again. I mean who honestly wants to be type cast as everyone’s favorite crooning, saccharin southerner with a penchant for bubblegum snark and getting into I love Lucy like trouble, for the rest of your life?

She is growing up. She is not married. She is young and she was having fun. Not to mention, do you really think this was all her idea? You think she choreographed and put it all together? NO! Some adult, who probably has children themself, is capitalizing on what very well could be her breakdown. Or maybe she is the sanest young star in Hollywood ever. I don’t know. Either way, I love her new song and I found the performance funny and entertaining. She is an entertainer, right? You’ve seen the video? WTF did people expect?

Robin Thicke, however, is a married, grown ass man with a child, he should not have been pushing up onto a 20-year-old. But no one is saying boo about his behavior. Did the penguin suit give him pedophile immunity?Are we really such a woman hating society that instead of feeling sorry for the hot mess Miley Cyrus’ life appears to be, we judge her with impunity.If we really gave a shit wouldn’t someone try to help get her back on track? Where are her parents? Where did her fiance go? Doesn’t she have any friends? Where the hell is Leslie? Can we just stop with all the judging, she is the one who is going to have to live with doing these things.

As someone whose already been through the finding yourself process, I know I did some stupid shit only my “twerking phase” was not televised and exploited. It was limited to a few hundred people at a club or at a frat party but I certainly did some embarrassingly stupid things in my day; way worse than twerking and sticking my tongue out while dry humping a foam finger. As a woman, I know the early 20’s is exactly when this happens. Freedom plus alcohol equals bad judgment.

As a mother of girls, I know this can happen to any of our daughters. Do I hope my girls don’t go through this phase? Yes, I hope they bypass it all together. Will they? Probably not. Will I shame them and mock them? Never. Will I worry? Of course. But most of all, I will be there to catch them when they fall. I will be their soft place to land and I pray it doesn’t all end up on the evening news.

Miley Cyrus is not some out of control twerking fool. She is just someone who is 20 trying to figure out who the hell she is. Robin Thicke, however, has blurred the line between what is sexy and what is full on pervy.

Think what you may, you will not soon forget the Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke VMA performance for years to come and to semi quote Kevin Hart,

“Miley Cyrus might need a pregnancy test after her performance with Robin Thicke.”

 

 

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mental health awareness month, mental illness, bipolar, depression, OCD, PPD, Eating Disorders

You’re crazy! Oh My God, she is acting so bipolar! I can’t go shopping this afternoon, I am so depressed! Get over it. Take a chill pill! Don’t have a panic attack.

We hear these statements made almost daily. For some, they may seem harmless but to those of us who suffer from these diagnoses, it’s far from funny.  It’s serious.

My chemical imbalance is not your bad mood. My battle with eating disorders is not you trying to lose 5 vanity pounds. Someone’s deep depression is not the same as you having a bad day or being sad because things didn’t go your way at the game tonight. My inability to see myself as I am in the mirror is definitely not the same as being slightly concerned with the way your ass looks in your jeans.  Someone’s PPD is not the same as you being overwhelmed because you took on too many things. Somebody’s OCD is not the same as you wanting to wash your hands before meals. Being afraid to take a risk is not the same as being so terrified to be in a room with people that your heart races so fast that you are sure you are having a heart attack.

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loving yourself, self-esteem, self-image, eating disorder, body dysmorphic disorder

Today, I don’t hate my body. I can’t even remember the last time I could say this and not be being sarcastic. It may be the first time since I was about 6-years-old that I didn’t look into the mirror and wish that what I saw reflected back at me was something/ someone else. It’s been happening gradually over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong, this body is not the end result that I am looking for but I am losing that all-consuming uncomfortable in my skin feeling. I don’t loathe the skin I am in today. I don’t feel disgusted by the gentle curves and sway of my body. I feel protective and loving towards it.

I’m not sure what changed in my way of thinking or shifted in my perspective but I do know that the other day as I was changing my clothes, I caught sight of my naked body. I stopped and looked at myself; really looked at my body. I’ve been too afraid to do that for many years because it always ended in disappointment and dissatisfaction culminating in anger and frustration. I was never happy with what I saw staring back at me. It made me feel small and defeated because I just couldn’t get it right. I preferred to look in mirrors the least amount possible because it only served as a reminder of my physical shortcomings. Remember, my seething case of body dysmorphic disorder?

But the other day when I saw myself in the mirror, I saw a woman who doesn’t have any wrinkles, only a couple gray hairs and though I am a few sizes larger than I want to be, this body still has some appeal to it. My legs look good, they carry me to all the places I need to be. My arms may have residual wave because I am sporting a slight case of bat wings from weight but these are the arms that allow me to hug and cuddle those people in my life that mean the most; the family I love and the friends I adore. My hips and waist are bigger than I would have ever wanted but they have also carried my babies. These are the parts that my children hold tightly to when they hug me. My breasts are further south than I thought it possible for breasts to go but they have breastfed my daughters; these low hanging breasts have given my girls nourishment and a healthy start in life. I am not my parts. I am the woman who lives behind the mask of my body. I am the great and powerful OZ of myself.

I’m not saying that I am a reformed body dysmorphic disordered woman or that I can just wish away the years of eating disorders but after 15 years of being recovered I am finally saying that what I see in the mirror doesn’t make me want to starve myself, vomit or punish my body into submission anymore. I know that I want to be healthier and I know there are the right ways to do it and I know those options are available to me. If I want it, all I have to do is work hard for it; slow and steady by not giving up, not getting discouraged and not thinking that I don’t deserve the success. I’ve hidden behind the curtains of excuse too long. The body that I have isn’t so bad. My body just needs a little TLC and my heart needs to exercise a little more forgiveness towards my body. I am worthy of love and I deserve happiness. What’s the point of all this misery, anyway? Who is it appeasing? This struggle with my body and my mind is self-inflicted. No one else thinks that the size of my body determines my worth. It’s me. It’s always been me.

You can’t force acceptance. It has to come naturally or it isn’t acceptance at all. Like love, when you are not looking is when you will find self-acceptance and learn to truly love yourself. I am on the precipice of changing my life forever by changing my perspective. I don’t know how this happened or what changed my way of thinking.

I do know that I will not be who I am today for much longer. I am metamorphosing my life from the inside out. I am not giving up my dreams of long lean legs and non-flapping arms (a girl’s gotta dream) but I am giving in to loving myself as I am because just because my body doesn’t fit a mold doesn’t mean that it is not amazing. There is beauty on the inside that surpasses any superficial beauty I could ever imagine. I don’t judge the people I surround myself with by their appearance and I don’t imagine they do me either. We love the substance, the meat of the person, not the make-up, clothes and hair. It’s time I allow myself the same unconditional love that I would extend to anyone else in the world.

What do you love about yourself?

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Throat Punch Thursday will not be executed this Thursday. I wrote a very powerful piece about an issue that is very dear to my heart, earlier this week and would really prefer that you just take a look at that post and please share it. That being said, I am a little emotionally spent after sharing such a personal piece here and am not in the mood to Throat Punch anything or anyone, though I am sure there are many that deserve it. Facing demons is hard work:)

So in lieu of that, please check out my post about my battle with Bulimarexia and stumble it, comment, discuss, pin, Tweet, FB,like, share with anyone that you think might benefit from having this information. We need to change the world for our children. No child deserves to live in a world where we base our worth on our weight, a number on a scale. No child deserves to be put on a diet or suffer shame and ridicule for being overweight. No child should ever feel less than enough. We need to raise awareness. We need to change the world. It starts here. It starts today. It starts with us.

In the meantime, love yourselves, love one another and remember to just breathe.XOXO

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anorexia, bulimarexia, eating disorders, national eating disorders week

Bulimarexia is an eating disorder distinguished by a combination of the symptoms prevalent in both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa; develops primarily in teenage and young adult females. It is hard to treat because of having symptoms of both diseases.

Patients with bulimarexia usually have poor self-esteem and a distorted body image. Women are more likely to develop this condition. The patient engages in an aggressive campaign designed to generate weight loss and falls into a cyclical pattern of disordered eating. This can include prolonged fasting accompanied with the use of medications like diuretics to try and lose weight, followed by a binging and purging cycle where the patient eats large amounts of food and vomits.

Health risks with bulimarexia are considerable. Patients can develop organ damage as a result of the extreme stress on the body along with issues like damage to the enamel on the teeth and reduction in bone mass leading to an increased susceptibility to fractures. Comorbidities like depression can be observed and patients may overexercise, putting additional strain on the body. Patients with bulimarexia can lose weight precipitously and will still report dissatisfaction with their appearance.

Bulimarexia, eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, restriting, body image

The photo above is what it feels like to have an eating disorder diagnosis. You feel alone, sad, your life feels hazy and you become a slave to your disease. You are hungry and unsatisfied. Unsatisfied with your body and there is a hunger within that is never fulfilled. Your disease becomes all consuming.

I hear people throw around the term anorexic and bulimic with no weight. These are two very serious diseases. They are more than simply not eating or binging and purging. They are punishment for a crime we didn’t commit. We punish ourselves for eating; the very thing that is needed to sustain us. It’s self-loathing. Can you imagine how that feels? Can you imagine hating the skin you are in so much, wanting to be in control of your body so badly, that you are willing to go to any lengths and risk any consequence to have that feeling of just being normal?

I do. I had what is now referred to as Bulimarexia for 8 years. I started off like most teen girls, hypersensitive to the criticism of others because of the already established need to be perfect set forth by magazines and television. My dad made a comment in passing that I needed to “run more”. He is an avid runner. This went into my ears, entered my brain and got twisted into ” You are fat. You are not good enough. If you were thinner, you would be better. I could love you more. YOU.NEED.TO.RUN!”

I went on my first diet at 12. I think it was about 5 minutes after my dad made his comment.

This went on for about 6 years. Me fighting my body to keep my curves from becoming too pronounced. By the way, I was 5’7″ and a size 8-10 in high school. I think at my absolute heaviest in high school was about 130 pounds. I thought I was huge.

Then before I left for college, everyone I encountered reminded me of the freshman fifteen (I was too young and naive to realize that the fifteen was caused by alcohol intake, not food) and every girl we knew left thin and by Thanksgiving returned, at least fifteen pounds heavier. This scared me to death.

Aside from leaving my family for the first time ever, leaving my boyfriend, 20 poundmy friends, my hometown and going to a new city, living on my own and being completely out of my comfort zone; I felt out of control. There was no way that I was letting my weight get out of control. I had to control it. I had to control something. I restricted my calories to about 600 calories a day (max)  and proceeded to throw up everything I took in (including water) and exercise for at least 2 hours a day. I remember heading down to the dorm gym in the basement at 10 pm, alone, and not returning to my room until midnight. I did a lot of things alone in those days. This started the fall I turned 18.

This is Bulimarexia

This continued for 8 years.

I was caught by a friend of mine once the first year. My parents found out. All the baggy sweatshirts and loose jeans can’t20-poundweight loss on an already average sized body. I had to return home from school mid-semester.

Even after I was caught, I never quit the bulimarexia. By that point, it was my trusted friend. I relied upon it. It was my routine. It was my safety. I didn’t care about the ramifications. I was in too deep to stop.

I got sneakier. I learned to pretend to eat and move my food around on my plate, eat off of smaller plates. I learned how to vomit silently and hide the evidence. I learned what was easier to digest and what tasted better coming up, what got hung in your throat and what did not. I learned a lot of ways to do this that I won’t share here because it would be irresponsible for me to share the intricacies of bulimarexia with you here. I don’t know who could be reading this and I refuse to give detailed instruction on how to kill yourself.

Eventually, I allowed myself to eat more and vomit more. It became the norm for me to vomit 5 times a day; some days as many times as 10 but usually no less than 5.  I never really ever binge ate. Binging, to me, was weak. It lacked self-control. I remember being tired a lot, cold ( bad circulation and no meat on my bones), hungry (always hungry), puffy (my face would look puffy from constantly throwing up) and having scars on my hands from involuntarily biting down in the middle of a purge. Honestly, I’m surprised I have any enamel left on my teeth at all.

I remember people constantly trying to feed me and telling me that I looked sick. Most people had no idea that I had bulimarexia. I knew how to keep a secret. Every single time they said “you look like you are sick”, I felt validation..someone thought I was skinny. A concerned boyfriend once told me that I was getting too thin. I accused him of cheating. I preferred to give up the relationship with him than give up the bulimarexia. This was a serious relationship, not a casual boyfriend. It didn’t matter.

I stopped the behavior when I was 25. I will write about that in another post.

Bulimarexia makes you defensive. Starvation makes you mean. You’ll do anything to protect the disease. You take comfort in the control. I can tell you about this now because I am not that same girl. I am trying to not let my number on the scale rule my life. I’ve not starved or purged in almost 15 years. In fact, it will be 15 years this fall. I still have times when I consider it for a moment, but then I look at my daughters and I know I want to live. I want to be a good example for them and I can’t do that with disordered eating. I’m sharing this so you can understand that eating disorders are more than someone simply choosing to be skinny. They are not terms to be thrown around lightly because the weight and price of eating disorders is death. I was lucky, I survived my bulimarexia others do not.

Bulimarexia the Consequence of Impossible Standards

bulimarexia,anorexia,bulimia, eating disorders
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Judgemental Doctors, Throat Punch Thursday, Doctors

Throat Punch Thursday,Judgmental Doctor,doctors, obesity,weight management

Judgmental Doctor You Suck

Tonight’s Throat Punch is brought to you by a judgmental doctor. Don’t get me wrong some of my favorite people in the world are doctors; my brother in law, one of my best friends to name a few. I realize that they are, in fact, human; just like you and I. But I expect a standard of professionalism when they are practicing medicine. What they say at home, that’s between them and their HIPAA conscience. But when a doctor brings assumption and judgment into the exam room, we have a problem .

I’ve been having persistent coughing fits for the past 2 weeks and decided to go to the local RediMed, as I don’t have a GP here yet. The doctor walked in the exam room ( after I had waited 2 hours to see her) with a less than enthusiastic attitude, as if I had done something to deserve to be sick. It was apparent from the moment she walked into the room looking through her nose at me, that she was a judgmental doctor.  Worse still a cold bitch, as the room dropped 10 degrees when she walked in.

She began by asking me the standard questions. How long have you had the cough? Are you feeling any sinus pressure? Are you feeling any pressure in your ears? I say yes. She asked, “Pressure? or PAIN?” Her tone was as if I had misunderstood her question. I had not. She had a very thick accent. I’ve grown up immersed in thick accent as my fathers mother tongue is not English. I don’t usually have an issue understanding accents but hers was quite thick.

Judgmental Doctor, Throat Punch Thursday, Doctors, Body issues, weight, body dysmorphic disorder

Judgmental Doctor You are No Lady

“Do you have any allergies?” Yes, I have seasonal allergies.

“When you cough are you bringing anything up? Yes (I’m assuming she was referring to phlegm).

This is when it all fell apart.

At this point she is looking at me, as if I have totally done something wrong, “You really have to watch what you are eating late at night!”  I eat at 5:30 every night.

I have no f*cking idea what she is talking about.

“You must cut back on the greasy food! Take some Prilosec and stop eating these kinds of food!!!! ” She’s practically yelling. I feel as if I am on trial.

“Stop drinking all the sugar, sodas and coffee at night. You need to watch what you eat so you don’t destroy your esophagus with your unhealthy eating habits.”

I don’t!I don’t! I don’t!

What the f*ck is she talking about? Since when did a cough warrant a scolding on non-existent eating habits?

Judgmental Doctor Say What

Then it hits me like a ton of rocks hurled by sizists at the fat kid. Somehow, when I was explaining to her that when I lie down at night the coughing fits get worse, she heard “I’m a big fat asshole who has acid reflux because I can’t control my binge eating at night. I drink 2 liters of soda and pots of coffee with reckless abandon because I just don’t give a shit about my health!”

She was being very condescending and rude.

I know I am out of shape. I am heavier than I ever wanted to be.

I DO NOT HAVE ACID REFLUX.

I HAVE NEVER HAD HEARTBURN. I don’t even know what it feels like.

I came in for COUGHING FITS not a judgmental doctor with a side of asshole bedside manner. Who did she think she was?

I seldom drink caffeine, never at night. I’ve never been a binge eater. I’m a restrictor. To add insult to injury, I’m pretty sure that the reason I am as heavy as I am now is partly from all the damage I did to my body when I was in the throes of my 8 year battle with eating disorders. Doesn’t this bitch know I have body dysmorphic disorder?

Of course she doesn’t, she’s just the freaking drive thru of doctors and she doesn’t have my full medical records. That insensitive bitch just used her judgmental doctor powers on someone who has to talk herself into accepting herself on a daily basis. I’ve never felt so ugly in my life.

I was deflated. Enraged. Wanted to throat punch her and cry simultaneously. On top of everything else, it’s shark week and I’m not feeling especially happy with excessive water weight that I’m holding.

Thanks for the pep talk, Dr. Kevorkian.My throat Punch goes to the wicked stupid, judgmental doctor with the sizist attitude and atrocious bedside manor.

Hope you will link up your Throat Punch Thursday posts with me. I wanted to extend a personal invite to all of you to link up any posts in which you air a grievance, call out any asshatery,or just dole out a well deserved throat punch to one of societies shortcomings or political douche canoes. If not this week, I do it EVERY single Thursday and would love for any or all of you to join in! All you have to do is grab the Throat Punch Thursday button ( listed under the “about” tab at the top of the page), put it in your blog post and link up. If you’d like to stay in the Throat Punch know, I’d love it if you would email subscribe ( as GFC will stop working soon). Just say No to a Judgmental doctor.

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