September 9, 2012
I am not feeling well. And the twins are sick – beginning of the school year typical stuff I assume. But when I am sick, I am always a tad more introspective. I realized it’s coming up on 2 years since I started recovery – also known as 2 years since I downed a bottle of Xanax after drinking in hopes to … I don’t know, I still don’t… stop the pain I guess. 15 years of being bulimic and anorexic can take it’s toll on a person. It’s also been almost a year since the kids and I left my marital home. I thought I was handling all of it okay, but I am not so sure now. Maybe it hit home more after the exhausting legal process was over in May. Or maybe it’s because Fall holds a lot of uncomfortable anniversaries of sorts for me. Or maybe it’s because the holidays are coming. No matter the reason – I feel like I am walking through a fog. Most days I would rather just stay in bed. When my ex has the kids, I mostly spend the day shut in the house. I don’t want to see anyone or do anything – not so much that I am isolating as that I am exhausted. Exhausted on every level. I don’t remember being this tired since I gave birth to Talia after a very long and painful labor. When the kids are in school, I try and sit down at my laptop to write for the sites I freelance for, but often I end up in tears or start frantically cleaning – as if I could earn my “housewife” status back by spit-shinning everything (I feel like there is a joke there, but I am not in a joking mood).
There was a point to this and it is – regardless of the severe depression I am trudging through right now (yes, I am seeing a doctor), there is no part of me that wants to go back to starving myself or purging on a regular basis. I am human, I slip up every once in a while – but I have no desire to go back to that way of life. It was miserable, a death sentence and in the end, it never served me in a positive way – no matter how hard I tried to tell myself it worked.
No matter what you are going through in your life, put your recovery first – you cannot take care of your family if you don’t take care of yourself first.
In other news, I found out this week that my friend Amber’s baby boy has cancer – Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. She and I went to high school together but reconnected the past 2 years when her other son and my twins were in the same preschool. As a mother, I can only begin to imagine the horror she is facing. I can barely stand to watch my kids when they have a cold or the stomach flu. I know not everyone is in the position to donate – but even if you cannot do that – read about Hudson and send some positive energy, prayers and love their way. Here is the Facebook page dedicated to Hudson and here is the link to the fundraising page.
August 23, 2012
Hello old friends. Summer kept me a tad busy with 4 kids who were either sneaking coffee every morning or just have boundless amounts of energy naturally. I am approaching 2 years in recovery – I honestly cannot believe it’s been that long. It seems lately though that my ED behaviors of purging and starving (rinse and repeat) have been replaced with intense anxiety that messes with my head. I am aware enough to know that this is ED just trying to regain some control, but that also means I need to work that much harder to manage the anxiety without returning to my old coping mechanisms.
This past year has had many challenges (mainly handling all of the logistics, fears and emotions that come with a divorce and becoming a single mother of 4 kids), but through it all I have learned more about myself and how to get my needs met. I hope this can help some of you.
Tips for Managing Anxiety in Recovery
1. Exercise – Now, I know for some of you, this is an ED behavior, but I am not talking about running 12 miles everyday and twice a day on the weekends. I am talking about exercise in moderation. You know in your heart what the right amount is for you. For me, it’s 30-45 minutes a day – some days it is running and weights, some days it is yoga and some days its a really long walk. Listen to your body and do what’s right for you. Exercising releases the stress hormones that build up in my body. It slows me down and clears my head. I enjoy it now more than I ever did when I used it as a tool to fuel my eating disorder.
2. Alone time – Again, everyone is different – if your habit is to isolate in order to sink further in to your eating disorder, then don’t misinterpret me here. I spend 5-6 days a week taking care of 4 small children and while I adore them, it drains every ounce of energy (mental and physical) that I have. For my sanity, I need to take advantage of the time I have without the children home, by actually being alone. I need the quiet to recharge so I have the strength needed for the next marathon with the kids. So learn to say NO, don’t take on too many commitments and spend time alone.
3. Journaling – I, like any of you, spend a lot of time trapped in my head. The best solution for that is for me to get it all out on paper. My intention is to wake up every morning at 5:30 a.m. (an hour before the kids) and spend the quiet time journaling and meditating. And while this doesn’t always happen, I feel so much more clearheaded for the day when it does.
I hopes this help – if not – “take what you can use and leave the rest.”
March 20, 2012
I posted this to my new site (natalielubrano.com) but I wanted to share here as well since I know the new site doesn’t have the same followers:
My partner-in-crime (or co-dirty rotten scoundrel) and I (she’s done all the work so far;), have started a non-profit to promote Eating Disorder Awareness – No More Whispers.
The site is still under construction, but we are taking submissions (anonymous if you’d like) for recovery stories – there’s a link to submit on the site. And we have the info on our local meeting on the site as well.
So check it out, bookmark it, and I will update as the site progresses:) Thanks!
No More Whispers
March 4, 2012
As National Eating Disorder week wraps up (ok, it wrapped up yesterday – but I got a tad behind on my work;) I have one more great article for you to check out. I firmly believe that the first step in the fight to eliminate eating disorders, is helping those who aren’t suffering with the disease to understand what it is and how deadly it can be.
What it’s Like to Live with an Eating Disorder on Betty Confidential
“There are many misconceptions about eating disorders,” explained Susie Roman, Program Director of NEDA (nationaleatingdisorders.org). “But the myth that they are a lifestyle choice, rather than a serious disorder, is very dangerous, and one of the key reasons we hold National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Education about the fact that they are complex, biologically-mediated illnesses with serious health consequences is vital for getting people to the help they need.”
February 28, 2012
It’s 5:30 on a day that the kids are with their father and instead of doing absolutely everything on my to-do list… I have done a whole lot of nothing. Okay… not NOTHING, I did some cleaning because a kid-free house makes cleaning 5x easier. But I decided to do some writing and step work instead of my usual approach of DOING ALL THE THINGS. And maybe it’s because I have reached another step that is a bit grissly – Step 8 – or maybe it’s because the kids have been sick, I haven’t slept well and my energy tank is running on fumes – doesn’t matter – time to H.A.L.T.
We talked at the meeting last night about a classic AA phrase, “Faith without works is dead.” And that can mean different things to different people. Even the word “faith” can evoke different feelings across the board. For me, it’s a reminder that my Higher Power (and my guardian angels – don’t even try and laugh) are listening and doing their part, but they certainly aren’t going to do all the work – they aren’t genies! I have to keep staying in touch with my spiritual side – and in this house, in my life – that requires planning. I have to go to bed at a reasonable hour so I can wake up early and meditate, do my Artists’ Way morning pages, journal, do step work etc. Lately, I have noticed a gradual progression away from that routine. Part of me says, “it’s fine, you’ve got some recovery under your belt, we can get back to it later.” (And I say it with a British accent because my inner monologue has always been British, maybe that’s why I love Downton Abbey so much! What was I talking about…). But that’s exactly when it’s most important – recovery and the 12 steps aren’t something that you ever really finish. Getting too cocky with your recovery progress could easily land you back in the midst of your disease. So I started Step 8 over again since I had been sidetracked a few months ago. And I have been practicing H.A.L.T. – Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? a lot more these past 2 weeks. I am not just navigating recovery, but I am working through some other big life stuff – fun stuff – like a divorce and short-selling a house (both equally as agonizing, oddly enough) and all that “big life stuff” can give ED just the push he needs to initiate a relapse. So it’s imperative that I remember to check in on myself when I notice I am feeling more anxious, more like jumping on a plane to Italy, more like shutting down. And these tips aren’t just for those of you recovering from an eating disorder or another addiction – these are how everyone needs to treat themselves- Take care of yourself; love yourself – no one else is going to do that work for you! Today I was angry and tired so I chose to safely manage that. That’s what doing the next right thing is all about.
It’s Day 3 of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and I am thrilled to see the Empire State Building has been lit with NEDA’s colors to help spread awareness. And high fives all around again to Tumblr for banning ANY self-harm content or blogs – no more Pro Anorexic, Pro Bulimic or Thinspo blogs on Tumblr – which is huge because those images can be very triggering to anyone battling this disease – whether at the early stages or in recovery. The fact that instructions on how to be a “successful” anorexic or bulimic are out there for public consumption isn’t that surprising – I remember searching for them in the past – but it is something you can work to stop! Click for more info on NEDA’s Media Watchdog Program – or to report any content that you consider Pro Ana or Pro Mia.
And lastly, check out Operation Beautiful – what a great way to end negative self talk!
More than usual I ask you to share this with friends and family, to continue to spread awareness this week because … Everybody Knows Somebody.
February 27, 2012
It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week – Time to spread the word! The theme this year is Everybody Knows Somebody – which to me means, it’s worth learning the facts! Check out NEDA’s website for information and resources to educate yourself and find help. Follow me on twitter for more NEDAwareness week updates – @feedingnat.
We had such an awesome turn out at the walk on Saturday and raised over $60,000 in the Tampa Bay Area. Just as last year, I was so impressed by Bailey Monarch who started the walk in Tampa last year (and she made Amy cry again;). Bailey has turned her struggle into a vehicle to help others – what an inspiration! The President of the NEDA, Lynn Grefe, was at the walk and one thing she said really stuck with me. When she took the job ten years ago (after being a mother looking for help with her daughter who was struggling with an eating disorder), other parents would approach her to ask for advice – but in a whisper – and she said “why are we whispering?” Well, why are we? There’s nothing to be ashamed of – especially now – help is out there – call the NEDA information and referral helpline 1-800-931-2237 today whether you yourself are struggling or you are a friend, parent, grandparent, sibling, husband, wife, teacher, coach of someone who is suffering from an eating disorder.
Thank you again to everyone who donated! And thank you to my best friend, who’s support and encouragement have meant so much to me over the years. Here’s a picture of Amy and I at the walk – we realized we didn’t have any recent pictures of us (and by recent – I mean any that aren’t from 10 years ago!).
February 10, 2012
Man. I am sorry I haven’t been posting regularly – it seems that going through a short sale and a divorce is actually a rather unpleasant full time job (and I kind of already have a MORE than full time job, not to mention some rather neglected part time jobs). But hey, who doesn’t love jumping through hoops for a mortgage company with really no guarantee that it will actually work out in the end… wait, I don’t. But enough about all that ….
Here are some articles I think are worth reading that some EDA friends informed me of:
Lady Gaga admits eating disorder
The science behind the serenity prayer
And it’s almost time for the Tampa Bay NEDA Walk – February 25th – if you are local and would like more info check out Bailey Monarch’s website Fight Eating Disorders. If you are not local but want to get involved more or find a walk in your area than go to NEDA for more info.
And of course, if you haven’t already donated or heck just want to keep on donating;) then you can click through to my personal walk page. We have a great team signed up – I can’t wait!
January 15, 2012
A friend at my EDA meeting informed us of a new app for your phone created to help encourage and support those of us recovering from an eating disorder. What a great idea! No one loves making lists and checking of tasks more than I do – and I know from experience that OCD and over-achieverness runs in the eating disorder family – so this is a great tool. A 25-year-old student out of Australia invented the app after watching her friend battle ED for 10 years – you can read more on that here.
The app lets you log meals, binge and purge incidences, feelings, and thoughts. You can pair up with a buddy to aid in recovery and it even gives resources for finding an eating disorder specialist. All-in-all, a welcome tool as you “trudge the road of happy destiny.”
January 7, 2012
That title gives me a visual of an ole’ west scene and the dusty sheriff has rounded up all the eating disorders and is planning on having them drawn and quartered… Ah, if only.
Here is what I am come across on the web lately that I think is worth a read.
I am sorry I have been a little absent – I am working on developing my main site (oh and there’s that other thing I do all day what with the kids and the laundry) but I love you all the same.
My Master, My Scale
Sex, Love and Food
10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Eating Disorder Sufferer
Weightless – Intentions for 2012
And I know this isn’t an eating disorder post, but I found it helpful – so if it applies, click on.
Divorce – It’s more than just a break up
Full moon tomorrow night – I hope everyone has been reading The Power Path.