Death & ED
Death is a weird thing. The finality and negativity of the word gives me shivers. Death is something that used to scare me. It’s what we as humans try to avoid because there’s so much we would miss out on.
For me I think about my family and friends. I would never want to miss my brother or sister getting married. I would never want to miss watching my parents become grandparents. I wouldn’t want to miss out on the epic shows I get to attend my with dad or the fun girls trips I take with my mom, sister and friends. It’s the little things like watching my parents joke around with each other, the joy my sister gets from her dog, Paxton, beach walks with my Grandpa or watching my brother hit an incredible drive on the golf course which blows my mind each and every time. I’d miss music. I’d miss the feeling I get after finishing a really epic yoga class. I’d miss exploring the big beautiful world we live in.
Life is made up of a trillion gazillion wonderful moments and then there’s those few that suck the happiness right out of you. They deter you for months and sometimes even years. These events are impossible to forget. No matter how hard you try to avoid thinking about them they lurk in the back of your mind like a demon waiting to be triggered to the surface again. These moments bring an insurmountable amount of pain that cannot be cured with anything, but time and even time cannot fully heal you. You realize you’ll never be the same again and you begin to adjust to your new reality. It’s astounding that we can actually survive such events.
My eating disorder was one of those things. I obsessed with what I ate and didn’t eat. I obsessed with my body and how I looked in the mirror. I hated myself for it, but I couldn’t stop. My eating disorder consumed me. Body dysmorphia consumed me. If you’ve been reading my entries lately then you know I was semi struggling again due to depression. I used to treat my depression with food. I ate my feelings. Food was my comfort. It was always there for me even when I didn’t want it to be. When I was anorexic after battling the medical issues I focused on the control of not eating and the working out for hours on end. When I was bulimic I would drink a bottle of wine almost every night to avoid the pain of being a disappointment but then it would lead me to binge again while everyone else was sleeping. Once I slowly tip toed out of my eating disorder I had so much time on my hands I couldn’t believe how much time I had wasted and how many years of my life I threw up and flushed down the toilet.
Losing Jesse is also one of these events that I know will affect me forever. His passing led me down a dark spiral of what if’s, should haves and heaps of guilt I still feel on a daily basis. The loneliness and emptiness I feel everyday surrounds me and then it happened... I had an urge and I acted on it. I stopped after, I looked myself in the mirror and told myself never again. It made me feel worse. The act of purging made me feel horrible. I kept telling myself I would never let it happen again and I let myself down, but what is different this time is that I didn’t let it drag me further and further into oblivion. Instead I wrote about it. I used tools that were given to me in recovery and I focused really hard on what triggered the urge.
I’m not proud of the relapse, but I am not going to hide from it either. I need to be honest and open with myself and all of you because if I’m not then I’m doing myself and all of you a disservice. I realize that some of my feelings of disgust stemmed from the weight I’ve gained because I am not working out everyday like my body was used to, in combination with the changes in my diet while on the road. It has a lot to do with loneliness. Even when I have hundreds of people around me I still find myself stuck in my own mind daydreaming of happier times. I feel like many people could never understand although I know in some form or fashion many people do. The guilt I feel for not being there for Jesse is the main culprit. I can’t stop thinking that I am part of the reason he decided to leave.
After my relapse I did an hour and a half vinyasa and cried hysterically through the last half of my practice. My friend witnessed this and told me that since yoga has such a powerful impact on me that I should be practicing it everyday like I do at home. It’s my way of meditating. It’s my way of losing myself in my practice and truly opening my mind, body and soul to positive flowing energy. It empowers, strengthens and challenges me. It’s my self care. Since that day I have practiced yoga or meditated at least once a day and it’s helped tremendously.
While in India I have decided to also start meditating. One morning in Ooty I had the most intense meditation practice I’ve ever had. I began to weep in the middle of it all and had a reel of happy moments Jesse and I had together. In meditation you have thoughts and acknowledge them, but then you let them pass without dwelling on them. Something came over me that morning and the realization that harming myself and living with all these negative thoughts is not what he would want. It’s not what anyone who knows me would want.
For the past eight months I’ve been asking for the strength to carry on without him, but now I’m asking for the strength to let go. I need to let go of all the pain and guilt I feel. I need to tap into my subconscious in order to be open to seeing him around me. I need to stop wallowing in my own self pity and horrible thoughts. I need to be kind to myself instead of harming myself by reverting back to the way I used to deal with stress, sadness and loneliness. I need to love myself again first before I can continue on this journey. I need to listen to the people around me who are trying to help me on this path and give them back the love and attention they deserve. I need to let go of the guilt before anything else. Letting go does not mean forgetting, it means that it will allow me to continue further down my own path and fulfill my purpose of being here on this earth. My past has molded me, but I will not let it define me. I will not let myself slip back into those terrible habits I once had.
I used to talk to Jesse a lot about my eating disorder because a lot of the recovery steps run parallel to PTSD. Not having him here to talk to about it has shifted something inside of me. I’ve decided to continue talking to him about it, although I make look crazy to others around me when I’m talking to the sky, it helps me control and release my emotions. I am thankful I had him in my life, but it doesn’t make it any easier having to continue on without him. I’m jealous that he’s happy without me, but I’m happy he’s out of pain. I forgive him, but it’s now time for me to forgive myself.
Surviving after losing someone to suicide is confusing. There are countless thoughts that run through my brain everyday. Death is strange. I’m not afraid of it though. After all the research I’ve done I believe the afterlife is a beautiful place. The spirit world is full of wonderful things and I’m happy for him. I miss him, but I will wait to join him because I have too much to accomplish before my time comes. I forgive him, but that doesn’t mean all my feelings will vanish and that’s okay.
As long as I’m gentle and kind to myself and continue to try to live in the present moment I know everything else we fall into place.
Recovery is hard, but it’s worth it. I am in such a better place now than I was a month ago and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made thus far. If you are struggling just remember to be honest with yourself and others because if keep it all in then you are bound to burst and struggle even more.