Santa Cruz part 3

……………We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this news bulletin …………………………………. Ed is driving the bus.

Ed is Addy’s eating disorder. He is vicious and grotesque and cunning and murderous.

Eating disorders are genetic brain based diseases. Getting mad at Addy for bringing Ed on vacation isn’t an option. That would be akin to getting mad at someone for bringing their leukemia on vacation.

And anger rises. It must be because fear is underneath the anger. Fear of death. Fear of a life of sickness instead of freedom and wellness. Reminding myself that Ed is doing this is helpful. Separating Addy from the eating disorder. Addy is not Ed or Ana or Mia. (Eating Disorder or Anorexia or Bulimia).

Addy is sunshine and beauty and free spirited and life giving. The opposite of Ed.

Ed has gotten into Addy’s brain for over a decade now. And it is horrifically unfair.

“I know this rigidity, this feeling that if you eat one thing that’s wrong, you’re full of self-loathing and then you punish yourself,” she said. 

Katie Couric talking about her struggle with bulimia. Parade Magazine 2012

When I learned that binge eating disorder (B.E.D.) is a real medical disorder, it was a huge relief to me. It helped me to finally understand that it wasn’t about a lack of willpower, a quality I knew I had, particularly given my many successes on the court.

Monica Seles, tennis legend Time Magazine 2016

People who need help sometimes look a lot like people who don’t need help.

Glennon Doyle Melton, author and blogger

“I didn’t particularly want to live much longer than that. Life seemed rather daunting. It seems so to me even now. Life seemed too long a time to have to stick around, a huge span of years through which one would be require to tap-dance and smile and be Great! and be Happy! and be Amazing! and be Precious! I was tired of my life by the time I was sixteen. I was tired of being too much, too intense, too manic. I was tired of people, and I was incredibly tired of myself. I wanted to do whatever Amazing Thing I was expected to do— it might be pointed out that these were my expectations, mine alone— and be done with it. Go to sleep.”

― Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

“I am forever engaged in a silent battle in my head over whether or not to lift the fork to my mouth, and when I talk myself into doing so, I taste only shame. I have an eating disorder.”

― Jena Morrow, Hollow: An Unpolished Tale

“Between 10 and 20 percent of people with anorexia die from heart attacks, other complications and suicide; the disease has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Or Kitty could have lost her life in a different way, lost it to the roller coaster of relapse and recovery, inpatient and outpatient, that eats up, on average, five to seven years. Or a lifetime: only half of all anorexics recovery in the end. The other half endure lives of dysfunction and despair. Friends and families give up on them. Doctors dread treating them. They’re left to stand in the bakery with the voice ringing in their ears, alone in every way that matters.”

― Harriet Brown

Brave Girl Eating

“What if I’m so broken I can never do something as basic as feed myself? Do you realize how twisted that is? It amazes me sometimes that humans still exist. We’re just animals, after all. And how can an animal get so removed from nature that it loses the instinct to keep itself alive?”

― Amy Reed, Clean

“Nothing in the world scares me as much as bulimia. It was true then and it is true now. But at some point, the body will essentially eat of its own accord in order to save itself. Mine began to do that. The passivity with which I speak here is intentional. It feels very much as if you are possessed, as if you have no will of your own but are in constant battle with your body, and you are losing. It wants to live. You want to die. You cannot both have your way. And so bulimia creeps into the rift between you and your body and you go out of your mind with fear. Starvation is incredibly frightening when it finally sets in with a vengeance. And when it does,you are surprised. You hadn’t meant this. You say: Wait, not this. And then it sucks you under and you drown.”

― Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

“Starvation was the first indication of my self-discipline. I was devoted to anorexia. I went the distance of memorizing the calorie content within every bite of food while calculating the exact amount of exercise I needed to burn double my consumption. I was luckily young enough to mask my excessive exercise with juvenile hyperactivity. Nobody thought twice about the fact that I was constantly rollerblading, biking, and running for hours in stifling summer humidity. I learned to cut my food into tiny bites and move it around my plate. I read that standing burned more calories than sitting, so I refused to watch television without doing crunches, leg lifts, or at least walking in place. When socially forced to soldier through a movie, I tapped my foot in desperation to knock out about seventy-five extra calories. From age eleven to twelve, I dropped forty pounds and halted the one period I’d had.”

― Maggie Young , Just Another Number

So many nights, I stared out at the inky black ocean, believing that if I could only learn how to eat again and keep my hands out of my throat, that would be enough. I prayed hard and desperately to God and the sun and the moon and the ocean and the universe and every shelter dog I’d ever met, as if they were all genies, that I wouldn’t ask for anything more.
― Shannon Kopp, Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life

However, the fact of the matter is that after sitting in there week after week – you slowly begin to realize how tired you are of your own bullshit.

Sounds easy then, right? Change your life, mate. Change your thoughts- But what “the Muggles” (we watched a lot of Harry Potter – YAY for PG cinema) can’t comprehend is that we’ve painstakingly rewired our brains to only focus on perfection- on flawlessness. On an unattainable idea that our goal in life is to be so severe that everyone around us will look when we enter a dinner party and cower at how in control of our lives we are. (Who cares if we have to excuse ourselves later to puke up that appetizer. WE. ARE. IN. CONTROL. BITCHES.) Lindsey Hall – her blog is titled, I haven’t Shaved My Legs in Six Weeks. She is writing about her stay in the Eating Disorder hospital.

I’ll leave these words and quotes here.

So you can know what an eating disorder can do to a day or a life. To have an inkling of what if feels like. To erase your ideas of selfishness or choice.

Look at these amazing accomplished wonderful people and listen to their pain.

You might ask me how Addy is and see her beautiful blue eyes and think something. I’m not sure what. You might think her disease is in the corner or controlled. But it is on a run with her right this minute.

I have no doubt that Addy will recover. And I don’t want you to worry about me or Addy. We are the same as the last time you saw us. We are the same as the people photographed in my Instagram. Happy, adventurous, bold, and sweet. We are loving California and vacation. And at least we didn’t have to buy Ed a plane ticket. I’m making him ride in the way back seat today.

And now……….Back to our regularly scheduled programming……….

We saw seal lions and sunsets.

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