National Eating Disorder Awareness Week: My Renunciation


Eating Disorder Awareness

re·nun·ci·a·tion

rəˌnənsēˈāSH(ə)n/
noun
 
  1. the formal rejection of something, typically a belief, claim, or course of action.

    First of all, I want to explain something. I’ve decided to use this space as a place where I’m going to write as I try to figure some shit out.

    I’ve recently has some sort of weird-life revelation, although I’m not sure if that is really the way to describe it.

    I guess over the last few weeks, something happened that made me really look at my life differently.  To see myself in an entirely different light.

    Maybe “something” didn’t just suddenly happen. Maybe it’s been gradual. Maybe all these years of therapy; and group therapy; and yoga; and meditation; and journaling; and improv have finally decided to come together and pay-off. I can’t remember if I woke up one morning and felt different, or if it’s something that’s been growing in my mind and suddenly decided to procreate and all the conditions were right for make that seed flourish and it was finally time to bloom.

    Regardless, it happened.

    I’ve felt this way a few times in my life before.

    The first time was when I finally decided to give up a fear, and try my hand at improv. My whole life I wanted to be on stage and make people laugh, but I was too insecure. Until I wasn’t. Until the desire to try something so bad beat out my fear to try.

    I had it again when I packed up as much as I could fit in my car and moved from Dallas to Austin. I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. I was self-destructive and depressed. My eating disorder had come back by way of bulimia and I was drinking at every opportunity that I could. I had a job that was just a job. A social life that was just going to happy hour every afternoon and drinking myself until I was no longer there. And I just lost the first person I thought really loved me and went into a deep depression about some difficult life-decisions I was forced to make.

    I chose to leave. I wanted better for myself and I knew I couldn’t achieve it there. I applied to one job, that of a radio producer of a show that I thought was hilarious. I was persistent. I felt like some part of me had awakened and had finally started making choices that would be good for me. I got the job and started performing regularly again. It felt amazing.

    The most recent time I had the jarring desire to change was when I quit drinking.  It was over a year and a half ago but I had toyed with the idea of quitting drinking for at least four years. It even crossed my mind a time or two in college when I had woken up in a random person’s apartment without knowing how, or who, or why. Somewhere deep within my very confusing brain, I’ve probably always known that drinking wasn’t for me.

    The year leading up to my sobriety, I started to slowly pay attention to that voice. I made deals with myself about trying to have better control. I knew that it was affecting my relationships and started to realize that it could have the ability to destroy so much more.

    So I finally really wanted to stop.

    The  last year or so, I’ve come to terms with a lot of things about myself. I started to realize that I make all of my decisions based on my emotions; I have little self-control; I react poorly in stressful situations; I have so much negativity about myself and I don’t cut myself enough slack.

    And also that I am still very much in the throes of an eating disorder.

    I’ve also started to realize the impact of these behaviors. As with alcohol, they are affecting my physical and mental health and have the ability to hurt my loved ones. They make me a dishonest person.

    My eating disorder has made me lie on countless occasions. It’s made me spend money I don’t have on food that won’t even be used to nourish or give me energy.

    Because of the damage I know that it can do to my physical body, it’s caused me appointment after appointment to various therapists and doctors and specialists trying to find something to cure me, a reason to give myself that will make me quit. It made me wish that something would be wrong with me so that I could finally let this go.

    It has caused stress to people I care about. Either because of my erratic emotions or because they know that I have a problem and are genuinely worried about my well-being. It’s cost my loved ones in worry and money. My parents would spend every dime they have on sending me to the right therapy that would make me better, and some months they do.

    My eating disorder makes my boyfriend and I fight. It makes me withdrawal and come up with excuses not to go out with my friends.

    It makes me self-centered, yet un-self aware of how much damage I am causing. It makes me judge. It makes me bitter. It makes me lonely. It makes me not care.

    My eating disorder is a trickster. It has come to me in many different forms and tries to convince me that it knows and wants what is best for me. It is a liar.

    I’m finally realizing that I don’t want this anymore. Or rather that I’m finally ready to do something about it once and for all.
    It might be the 108th time I’ve officially tried, but it feels different now. In the past, I was trying because I needed to.

    This is the first time I actually think I can.

    I’m ready for renunciation. I’m ready to start doing some things differently. I’m finally ready to let go of the behaviors that I’ve allowed to control me time and again.   I’m ready to do something good for myself. And I’m confident I will.

    NEDAwareness_2015_Shareable_Diet

    Feb 22nd-Feb 28th 2015 marks National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
    The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness Week) is to put the spotlight on the seriousness of eating disorders and to improve public understanding of their causes, triggers and treatments. By increasing awareness and access to resources, we can encourage early detection and intervention, which can improve the likelihood of full recovery for millions.

    If you or someone you love is suffering, please know that you are not alone. Find someone to talk to or find support and resources  available online or in your community. There are many helpful resources on the NEDA site . I’ve also found the Recovery Warriors podcast and website extremely helpful when I needed inspiration or to not feel so alone.
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  • gofahne

    This is so amazing Carissa. You have always touched me when you write from this vulnerable place. Talking openly to you one of the brief evenings we met, your honesty sparked me to write about my own body image. To this day it’s still one of the pieces I am proudest I ever wrote. I know you may not have answers yet, but the rawness you speak with I believe WILL provide your answer. Small, intentional steps and brutal honesty. You’ve already come so far, maybe not with food, but with your move and with drinking. Keep talking. Keep trying. Keep succeeding. You provide more strength than you know (and we barely know each other). Listen to the inner voice that keeps calling you to be better.