Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moving in to College

So, I've arrived at college.

Yes, it is kind of freaky, I must admit. I'm completely moved in, and everything looks pretty good, I must say. The only negative part of the environment is that my parents (and I) bought two large pieces of carpeting from this vendor who was selling rugs for dorms, and we lugged them into the room and set everything up.

I personally thought it was really nice (a wonderful change from Brown's sticky, cold, disgusting gray floors, in my opinion) but my roommate seems to be really displeased, saying "It'll be hell to clean," "I thought you were just getting an area rug..." and "Why don't we remove the rug when it starts to get warm again in Spring?"

So that kind of ruined my mood (and generosity, since my family was the one who payed for it!) But oh well. I like it. She can deal with it. The room looks pretty good, anyway.

I'm in two minds about the whole moving away from home thing. At first I was extremely excited to be studying away from home, living in the US again, and being independent. But now I feel extremely... odd. A feeling of loneliness is surreptitiously creeping up on me. I kind of miss my parents being around, hanging out with them, listening to poppy make dinner and listen to the news, talking with him about some random political issue I'm not interested in but that I talk with him about anyway because he likes it. I miss being able to cook food for myself, to wander around the house freely, and sit outside reading while having lunch.

I have a feeling I'll soon be annoyed with constantly being with other people. I am a very solitary person, really, so this should be a change. Random teens walking around the hallways, walking into our room, talking to my roommate J, etc etc. I'm used to living only with adults. The only teens I spent time with where my friends at school or at horse riding.

I also miss the luxuries of home - my own room and bathroom. The latter being clean, luxurious with nice soap, towels, perfumes; a space that was my own and which I could leave my stuff in - now I have to learn to live in a place that is not mine, that I do not own.

Anyway. I have to go to some mandatory meeting for my unit about alcohol and whatnot. So I leave you there.

I just hope the loneliness recedes and the joy of learning and being with new friends comes forth to replace it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Birthday in boston

So today is my birthday, and I'm sitting at a Starbucks in Boston typing on my new iPhone(!) in a bad mood, actually. As usual on my b-day my mom spent forever getting ready, and my dad and I waited for hours for her to be ready. She didn't bother reServing our rental car till this morning (my bday) and it just all culminated in my familiar sense of my bday being ANOTHER disaster. Oh well.

I've been reading some inspiring and uplifting blogs, which have made me feel better, so that's good. Now I'm just waiting for my parents who decided to walk over to the car rental place and sort things out. I SHOULD be looking forward to school, and moving in to my dorm tomorrow! And I am excited about it. It's just that that excitement has been slightly eclipsed by this sudden and inevitable sense of disappointment on my birthday. Oh well.

Writing this has been cathartic, I must admit. So Hopefully my parents will return soon. We're planning on going to a museum this morning, and getting organic (yes organic!) facials this afternoon (my mom and I.) So hopefully the day will turn around. I'm also kind of annoyed we might bot go to this cool restaurant which had awesome lunch options (omelettes, bagels, spinach pasta...) because it's so late (11:00). We did go to a great restaurant last night though, and I had a diving baked spinach dish .

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Feeling beautiful

I feel beautiful today.

New clothes, new makeup. It will make you feel divine. I bought a gorgeous navy crew neck cable-knit sweater from Ralph Lauren yesterday. On sale. For $40. I also got some really awesome oxford shoes. Also only $40.

My mom and I went to Benefit the other day while shopping on Fillmore street in San Francisco. She got her lashes dyed for the first time, and a makeup artist gave me a makeover. I felt so beautiful afterward. I bought the Yourebel tinted moisturizer and the concealer he used. Simple. Basics.

Today I put everything together, cable-knit, oxfords, tinted moisturizer, concealer, and some blush of my own before going out to the Asian Art museum to see the Shanghai exhibit. I had my hair in a preppy ponytail. I felt wonderful. No shame about my figure, only pride. I encourage you to go out and do some sartorial upgrades! A few superficial items to enhance your appearance will make you feel great, I promise.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dead Certain

Thursday (08/12/2010) was a pretty busy day for me, and it certainly had an impact on me.

I started out bright and early with the first jog since my surgery. Actually, it was more like a walk/jog, because a) I haven't completely healed, and didn't want to compromise my recovery and b) after a week without jogging, spent mainly lying down or going on long walks, I was pretty out of shape.

Isn't that funny that when we're recovering from something like surgery, or cancer, or some other 'common' or 'normal' disease (aka that happens to, I wouldn't say everyone, but most people) we do everything we can to ensure a proper and speedy recovery, whereas with an eating disorder, we cling to our disease like starved beggars pulling at the rich man's cloak with vain hands, desperate to stay sick.


After that, it was a rushed trip to a therapist I was seeing for the first time. My whole family went. It was good, because she really explained to them all the intricacies of anorexia, the habits, the rituals, the thinking behind it, which I think my parents were relatively blithely unaware of up till that point. It also helped us establish that I've felt alone, unsupported, and unencouraged in my recovery, and that they really need to encourage me help me eat more and gain weight.
I realized that I need them to make it known that it is acceptable, it is okay, to eat. And particularly, that it is okay to eat this or that food.

That afternoon, we saw the Fisher exhibit at the SFMOMA - what an impressive collection of art! I loved Agnes Martin's subtle paintings, and Wayne Thiebauld's utopian view of San Francisco. Also, I found Cy Twombly's philosophy intriguing: history is fragmented, therefore any understanding of the past is incomplete. Ironically, I disliked his paintings. I found them dark, depressing, almost like Munch's nightmarish paintings.

After a hummus and pita bread appetizer we shared and a spinach and asparagus pasta, we went to Royce Gallery in San Francisco to see a play called "Dead Certain." It was a tiny space, with hardly a classroom size audience (about 30 people) in a cozy, intimate gallery space.

The stage was already set - a desk (with brandy, coke bottles, a first aid kit, play bills, scripts...), two armchairs, book cases, a female mannequin with a bright pink satin negligee, and no curtain to hide any of this.
There were only two actors: "Elizabeth" and "Michael". I won't get into the plot, which is extremely convoluted and mind-warping. I will only say that it was very good.
What I want to talk about is the fact that Elizabeth was in a car accident, and crippled for life. She spends the entire play in a wheelchair, rolling herself around now and then. She feels extreme resent at her handicap, and wants revenge on Michael whom she thinks is responsible (see? Here I am telling you the plot when I vowed not to.)

I didn't think much of it then, but the next day on my jog, I thought, wow, how lucky am I? I can run and jump and live. We, as human beings have been gifted with the faculty to move, to be physically active and capable! Is this not amazing? We are so, so lucky. I thought about Elizabeth, a former ballerina, now chained to her wheelchair, unable to ever get up and walk, play, do anything at all.

I would really go mad if I were in such a position of handicap, sitting at my desk all day, unable to walk down the stairs or move on my own, or shower, or do anything for myself, by myself. Then I thought, but... this is anorexia. When I was in the deepest, worst throws of my illness, I had so very little energy that I could hardly muster up the strength to run, or walk for long distances or periods without feeling utterly drained and exhausted. Even now, in the midst of my recovery, walking around the Museum of Modern Art two days ago completely sapped me of my strength - I could hardly get up off the bench to walk into the next room.

Actually, near the end, I was nearly dead on my feet. So, I want to let you know of a feat I performed. Isn't that ridiculous and pathetic, though, to consider things that normal people think are the easiest and most natural in the world, feats? Anyway, with about 3 more large rooms to go, my mom told me there was a rooftop café, and asked if I wanted to have a drink their to restore my energy.

We forged through the last rooms and I actually got a full-fat hot chocolate. Can you believe it? Every single time I order a dairy beverage (generally my favorite moccha latté) I specify that it must be made with non-fat milk. But this time I made no such specifications, and saw the very bottle of organic clover milk he used. And you know what? It was the best fucking hot chocolate I've had in my life. We sat out on the rooftop garden, lounging, soaking in the sun like deprived iguanas, admiring the various sculptures on display. Perfect.

Okay, where did this digression come from? Anyway, to get back to my point, I see anorexia as a type of chosen handicap, often used to incite compassion and love (I certainly felt so) among other things. We are purposefully restricting our power, our range of movement, possibilities, ability to go out and run and jump and do sports, to goof around and play with our friends, to live. By choosing anorexia, we are choosing to be Elizabeths. We are choosing to be the withered cripple in the wheelchair, whose life holds no hope nor possibilities.

I choose to be the athlete. The person who has overcome their disability with physical therapy. The person who has chosen to live. Of that, I am Dead Certain.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Late night insomnia

So it's 4:30am, and I've been awake since 12:45. What on earth are you doing up, Lexi?! You may be asking. Insomnia, my friends, insomnia. It's been like this the entire summer - waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, then having trouble getting back to sleep - but never this bad.

My problem is that I drink way too much water before bedtime - I have about 2 half-liter bottles at dinner. I have this weird compulsion to drink a sip of water between every one, two, or three bites. It's a way of pacing myself, an anorexic habit to ensure I don't eat too much. But now it's just biting me in the rear.

So there's the drinking thing. The other problem is that, as I recover from I my surgery, I am forbidden from any strenuous exercise. So my daily or quasi daily 30-45 minute morning run went down the drain. The lack of physical exercise - and the ensuing sedentary state before my computer, has made me restless. My body just doesn't feel like it needs rest.

Also, when I wake up, I often find myself extremely hungry. My dental surgery meant that I basically switched to a liquid diet because it was too difficult to eat hard foods. My diet now consists of:

-1 mashed banana
-1/2 cup of oats
-1 cup of water
All heated up in the micro together, then splashed with soymilk

Mid-morning snack got nixed because sans early-morning run, I get up late.

-soup: 1 can of campbells creamy broccoli soup (oh my god, this stuff is absolutely divine. Seriously. It's my favorite soup ever. It's rich, creamy, and tastes like broccoli. You have to try it.) or reduced fat mushroom soup, or Whole Foods/Trader Joe's butternut squash soup. Obviously no bread to go with that.
-Dessert is either sorbet or apple sauce or a Light & Fit yogurt by Dannon.

-soup again! Or, the past two nights I had refried beans, which were good, I guess, but a large bowl of pure refried beans is also just a bit much. If I could have it with a tortilla or sour cream or guacamole, that would be divine.
-Squash, mashed potatoes, or mashed yams/ sweet potatoes
-Dessert: sorbet or apple sauce

The soups are good, but having them for lunch and dinner everyday for 6 days is just too much. I also generally fit in a jamba juice Berry Fulfilling or a non-fat moccha latté in there, somewhere, too. Either mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

So here I sit, at my laptop, drinking a cup of tea and eating a Luna Bar, trying to satiate my body with the bar and my mind with the tea. This is the first crunchy thing I've had since Thursday 5 August. Well, okay, I had a salad of tomatoes, avocados, and feta cheese last night, which was somewhat solid - and so hard to eat! I had to mince each little piece of tomato or avocado with my front teeth! Terrible.

Anyway. That's it for now. I'm off to... I don't know what.

P.S. Guess what! A stitch just came out! Okay, that was probably TMI, sorry!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Early morning depression and wisdom teeth removal

This morning, I must admit, I was feeling super depressed and was seriously considering giving up recovery, giving in to ED, and just going back to being all skinny and depressed all the time.

I think the reason why this was is because I hardly had anything for breakfast. I had a tiny peach (about 30 calories), 1 cup of Kashi cereal (70 calories), 1 cup of soymilk (80 calories), and a wee bit of flax seed (10 calories). Which equates to 190 calories. I really notice a link between the quality and quantity of my food intake with my mood level. For example, the other night, a friend of ours came over and had dinner with us. We had burgers (healthy ones - I had a portabello mushroom in mine, with lettuce and tomato, no cheese or juicy substances), some sliced zucchini, and homemade healthy oatmeal cookies. I felt so alive and energetic and loquacious. I could think clearly, could respond to what people were saying and provide interesting points (we were discussing the ban on the Burqa and the Niqāb in France). It was great.

On the other hand, this morning, with my 190 calorie breaky, I felt angry, depressed, moody, sad, and was extremely quiet the whole morning. I guess when I eat low-cal or little food, it really triggers me back into my anorexic mindset. In any case, today, this combined with what I perceived to be my father's antagonistic attitude towards me the past few days (I felt like he was annoyed and tired of me, and just hated me) made me fall into the dumps. I was disgusted with my body, which I deemed fat and podgy in my well-fitting Zara shirt and small skinny jeans from Abercrombie. These jeans were perfect for when I was 92 pounds (aka my worst) even roomy. Now, I feel like they are super tight around my hips, they come too low on my abs (seriously, like, right above my pubic hair!), give my stomach a muffin-top, and overall remind me that I'm fatter now than I was then. And my shirt... ugh, awful. It's a tight-fitting, black and white striped, three-quarter length sleeved shirt. And it hugs my no longer perfectly flat (nay concave) belly. I had to constantly be sucking in my stomach, and even then it still showed some hint of bulge. Not pretty.

So, all that said, I was feeling disgusted with my physical appearance. I realized that I would never again get the love, support, concern, and worry my parents lavished over me when I was extremely sick and emaciated, if I gained weight. I will only get that repulsive indifference, or worse, disgust.


Okay, I wrote this last Tuesday (3rd of August) and never quite finished it. I got up for something else I suppose and must have forgotten about it.

In any case, I'm in a much better mood right now, so all's well. Oh, and I got my wisdom teeth removed! My face puffed up like a chipmunk (I literally look obese right now.) I have felt very little pain though (faithfully taking my Vicodin every 4 hours has done wonders) and my mom has been taking very good care of me and loving me to bits, so all is going really well.

I've been on a relatively liquid diet, but composed of healthy liquids, like soup, chocolate pudding (yes I know, crazy right? 300 calories for 1/2 cup!), sherbet, smoothies, mashed potatoes, and yogurt.

I was kind of worried that I would be chained to my bed and fed entirely by my parents, who think I eat nothing, and would starve for about a week, but they've been quite liberal in their feeding of me, and I've actually been on my feet for a while, and occasionally feeding myself.

Another good thing is that, yes I have puffed up like a chipmunk, but my parents still love me and have still been caring for me. I have had a deep rooted fear for a long time that once I gain weight, they'll hate me. But this has kind of alleviated that fear.

Anyway, I'm off for a short walk with my dad.