An Eating Disorder Relapse

An Eating Disorder Relapse

So here’s to starting over. Here is to day one of being symptom free again.
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I should have called.

I knew he would have stopped me, even from miles away.

My eating disorder and familiar foe, Ed, knew that as well. What was earlier a sweet victory bowl of ice cream in celebration of a symptom-free month soon became a tinted binge. We stuffed and shoveled as a I felt my 40 days free from Ed coming to an end.

I should have called.

But Ed sang his sweet siren song of freedom.

"Purge," he sang. "Purge and be free from the hurt and the fear of being alone after being discharged from treatment."

I should have called.

Each spoonful becoming more tasteless as this bowl of ice cream became less of a late night delight and more of Ed's controlling binge.

I should have called.

He would have stopped me, Ed knew this and sang his siren song louder.

"It's just a bowl of ice cream," he sang. "Everyone eats ice cream!"

"Indulge," he sang. "You deserve this after how hard it was during those 40 days without me."

With that, he captured me with his siren song and I began to eat spoonful after spoonful of what once was a happy childhood treat, now turned to Ed's binge food.

Keep going Ed sang. My stomach tightened and began to hurt from being overly full. Never the less, I kept shoveling spoonful after spoonful until...

My spoon reached the bottom of the carton and Ed began to sing a different tune.

I should have called.

As I stared at the bottom of the carton, I felt Ed’s lyrics of worthlessness sink in. Sitting alone in this unfamiliar house, motionless on the kitchen floor, my world slowed. The realization my 40 days of being symptom free were coming to an end at this very moment.

I was falling too fast to catch myself or even reach out for help.

I should have called.

Ed took advantage of my vulnerability and sang his familiar song louder and louder.

I walked to the bathroom on autopilot. I turned on the sink faucet, drank in the key to my freedom, and felt the defeat as it all came back out. Right then and there, my symptom-free streak ended.

Waves upon waves came out as Ed sang praises to empty my stomach into the porcelain.

And when it was all finally over, Ed was silent, nowhere to be found. Ed left me with my thoughts of despair and failure after my first relapse since finishing treatment.

And that’s when I finally called.

But it was too late, Ed’s siren call had ended.

Ed had left me empty, worthless and defeated.

Causing my loved ones to be disappointed and angry.

40 days of being symptom-free and Ed defeated me with a bowl of ice cream.

After tonight, I can't promise I won’t relapse again.

But I can promise that I will learn.

And what I learned from this relapse is that next time Ed sings his siren song, call.

Ed can not take away my 40 days symptom-free, I won’t let him.

So here is to starting over and to day one of being symptom free again.

He may have won this battle but God willing, I will win this war.

Cover Image Credit: Pexel

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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