Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Un-glamorous World

You know what I see when I look at these photos? Not
the awesomeness of my last recital or
 college graduation.
The first thing I see is how big my calves are. 
So. Let's get candid.

As I have said before, I have an eating disorder. I am really sensitive about my eating disorder. I desperately am searching for some sort of solution and closure to it. And I think that is all any of us (eating disorder or not) can ever do in our lives. We've talked about my eating disorder before.

People ask me how I'm doing. I'm doing terribly.

I cry. I weigh myself. I work out. I dance. I work hard. I do not indulge.  And I do not lose weight.

I'm ugly. My clavicles are too boney. I'm too fat. My ribs are too wide. I'm too short. I'm scarred. My butt is too big. My thighs are too round and they double in size when I sit down. My boobs aren't big enough. My stomach's not flat enough. I'm broken. I'm just not good enough.

The first thing I see here
is how there is no curve to
my waist
I can't keep track of any progress because I also have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

Let's talk about how hard it is to have BDD. I may wake up, look in the mirror, and think, "damn, girl, you look pretty good today." Then I'll get dressed and the hell begins. I may not even make it out of my bedroom before I cry. If I'm lucky, I'll pick an outfit and I'll make it all the way to work before I feel like a beached whale.

 My view of my body literally changes before my eyes. I have no perception of how my body looks. I don't know which view is true, which is accurate. I have tried everything to figure it out. I google women my height and weight and they all look different (God bless diversity). I have honestly no idea what I look like on a day to day basis. My entire perception of my appearance is based on the scale number, because I can't trust my eyes, my feelings, or the mirror. When you make fun of me for taking a selfie, I am probably just trying to figure out if I am bulging out over anything.

Which is also why my goal weight is so important. That stupid little digital number is the only thing I can use to cling to any sanity. Being told I look overweight is devastating because if they're right, my whole day has been a lie. My perception and self worth just got shattered.

I pride myself on being somewhat of a fashionista. I always have my makeup done. I always have some sort of cute outfit and jewelry on. My hair is always done. ALWAYS.

And why?

Because that makes me feel good. It makes me feel prepared. I don't dress to impress anyone. I dress to make myself feel halfway decent.

Because those external things are things I can control. I developed those skills out of feeling like crap all the time. I learned how to dress any shape because I don't know what shape I am. It's different in my eyes every day. So I have to be armed to confront that. And it sucks.

It's hard to live this way. Damn hard. I don't know if it will ever be easier. I don't know if I will ever completely take my life back from my critic.

This is a modeling shot I did this spring. The first thing
I see is how round my face is and how big
my arms are. 
BDD might be even harder to face than bulimia. I haven't purged in a month. And that feels good. But without the purging, my method of coping with these feelings are gone. I have to find a new way to cope with feeling fat and unattractive. And I haven't found it yet.

I love and embrace who I am as a person. I hate that advice. It's the outside I don't like. How am I supposed to feel like my body's a temple when I feel like I have let my temple fall into disrepair? People underestimate how much self-hatred it takes to make yourself throw up.

The captions on my photos are what go through my mind every minute of every day. Every time I see a reflection in a mirror, a window, or a puddle. But it's a journey. It's a process. Everyone faces different trials. And these are mine. And I am lucky to be able to share my journey. If I were able to affect change in just one person's life by sharing my story, play by play, ugly details galore, that makes my whole experience worth it to me.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Let's All Do The Limbo!

Sometimes being at home is really hard. Like really hard.

I graduated from the University of Idaho on a high note. I received my degree. Costumed a show, danced in  a show, and performed not one, but TWO senior recitals. I spent a lot of time with my best friends, and then I moved home. Post graduation adjustment is really a challenge. 

I like being home, don't get me wrong. I love being with my family. But.  

I was in limbo. And limbo really sucks. 

I spent some time crafting, working out, writing, dancing, and doing a lot of netflix watching. And that was nice. I even slept in really late some days. I told my parents I was catching up on for years of lost sleep. 

I was unemployed, stressed about bills, trying to help pay for my guest house remodel, and it just wasn't happening. The place I felt I was guaranteed a job at wasn't calling me; they kept telling me, "In a couple weeks, we'll have a job for you in  a couple weeks." And nothing. 


And more nothing.

Zilch. Nada. Zip.


Then one day, a beautiful Friday, I was helping a friend with her kids at the theme park. Out of the blue, we got talking about the daycare (where I had worked in high school) and I made a joking comment about whether or not they were hiring. 

Turns out they were! Now I'm employed, playing with babies every day for waaay more than I made as a waitress. I love going to work, except for the shifts that start at 7 am. Those are a little tricky. 

I think the point I am trying to make here is that maybe limbo isn't all bad. At the very least, it has an end. It gets better. And I know I forget that. I think, "OH MY GOD THIS IS NEVER GOING TO END" and I sit and I stress and I get anxious and I pray and I just hope that there's a light at the end. 

And there always is. Whether the light is candle, a table lamp, or a chandelier, there's always a light at the end. 

I know that most people, myself included, forget that. I try, after my summer of discovery in Moscow, to keep in mind that things happen. Shit happens. And that doesn't mean that we've been forgotten. It means that something is trying to block us from whatever our exciting purpose is. And I find that exciting. 

Everything I have been through -Matt's drowning, the stalker, the abusive boyfriend, the crazy roommates, the abusive teacher, the eating disorder, and scores of other crazy things - really have just taught me a lot of lessons. They were hard and crappy beyond measure. But I learned a lot. 

Limbo is when we can be taught the most lessons. If we can be quiet and just wait, it's when we can learn the most. It's the intermissions to the shows that are our lives. The chance to stretch, get up and pee, and read the informational booklets that are provided in the lobby. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Keep Calm And Spring Will Come

Today was, for me, the first day that really felt like Spring.

I know we have been having some warmer weather for quite a while at this point, but spring break starts tomorrow and things just seem to be lulling down. 

I gave my first senior recital in the lovely Pearl Theater in my hometown. And that felt great. Sure, there were things that could have gone better, but that is live theatre. And it is a beautiful thing. 

Even though I felt really blue today, for some totally inexplicable reason, it just felt nice to be alive and in the sunshine. Today I was struggling with resisting purging (which I'll have you all know, it has been a couple months since the last incident) and I was just feeling really unappealing and overweight. I think with the recital over, I have less to distract my mind with and those old fears are coming back. 

I have been dumped by two different guys in the last two months and that took a little bit of a toll. But with the recital, I didn't have a whole ton of time to linger on it. One guy dumped me because he just liked another girl better and the other one dumped me because he was too happy and he didn't think there was any way for us to work out in the long term. Ouch. But healing is possible and healing happens. At least I'm dating. I'm not sitting around being mad at Captain Douchebag anymore and that is a really nice feeling. 

So yeah, no matter how blue I get sometime, it's just nice to be here, in this beautiful town, and it's nice to be mostly healthy.

I love walking to school, without my big jacket, or driving with my windows down. There is something about singing in the sunshine, or in a sun-filled practice room that is just better than it is in the snow. 

Today, I have an Outfit of the Day post. Which is extra exciting because I got to take my pictures on the balcony instead of in my bedroom or in my bathroom or inside at all! 

Today, I wanted to channel a comfy casual look. I wanted a few layers, just in case it got chilly (and since it is always about 60 degrees colder in the shade).

I went with a dinosaur tank...

A polka dot sweater...

Basic cuffed jeans...

And black oxfords...

Very comfy and cute. And it was perfect for today's weather. We had a high of 52 degrees in my lovely little city and it was just a nice day. No matter how blue one feels, the bright warm sunshine can brighten any day. 

Enjoy the sun!



Friday, January 17, 2014

Pocketful of Sunshine

I have another DIY post for you! 

My friend and I did a craft day last week!

I have already talked about a few of the things we did that day here: if you want to read up on them. 

But we also made pocket shirts!! 

This is a really easy craft and it doesn't take long at all. 

tee shirt
a scrap of fabric - I got mine from the remnant bin at Joanne's
sewing machine (or needle, but a machine makes it faster) 
Lace or any "notions" that you might like to use

Step One: Design your pocket pattern. Shane and I cut it out of the fabric like a Valentine. You know when you're in the first grade and you learn how to cut out hearts by folding the paper in half and so on? Fold your fabric in half and use a pen or a marker to sketch out your pocket shape. This is definitely a measure twice, cut once sort of step!! Just trust me, go slow and make sure your lines are straight before you cut the pocket out. 

Step Two: This is a personal preference, but I then ironed and folded and pinned the edges about 5/8" so the edges would be finished and look really neat and tidy. I then did a nice, tight stitch to secure the hem. 
Step Three is an optional step! I put a little strip of lace across the top of the pocket. Pin and stitch! 

Step Four: Try on your shirt and go look in a mirror. Find where you would like the pocket to be and pin. This is where having a craft buddy comes in handy, because, for me at least, pinning something in a mirror is really hard! 

Step Five: Stitch on your pocket. Make sure not to stitch through both layers of shirt, because stitch ripping sucks. 

And then you have a pocket shirt!!! 

 Now, I wouldn't exactly call this project "inspired" by this song, but we did watch this movie while we were working on them. And we sing this scene whenever we see each other. And we also wore our shirts yesterday and sang it across the building to each other.

So this song definitely makes pocket shirts exciting!!