My Road to Recovery - Anything but a Straight Line

 

                                        

 

TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.

Over the past four years I have been admitted to treatment six times, had my parents bail me out of jail four times, ruined countless relationships, and lost faith in myself. Not only have I been in a decade long battle with anorexia, I also developed an addiction to alcohol in my early twenties.

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What We Gain

What We Gain

I have to admit, dear reader, that I have struggled and struggled and struggled with this post.  There were so many important things to write: about body image, about recovery, about fighting the good fight against this insidious, downright abusive thing we call ED.  And then this tiny voice, deep inside, whispered: write about what you gain, when you let go.

My Father Oinked While I Ate

          

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TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.

I want to talk about body image. It's something that affects everyone to some degree. Having said that, some of our brains have developed neural pathways that hone in on what others wouldn't even notice, such as a look or a comment made by someone else. 

Beauty Ideals: A Look At The Bigger Picture

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If we were all programmed with the same exact genes, experiences and interpretations, I suppose globalized beauty ideals would be adequate goals to reach if they represented all of us. But, do they? Well, what beauty ideals do represent and where they come from have numerous theories, which all seem to have a valid point to make.

Beauty depends on the angle from which it is explained. It involves attraction to posses, hold, value or admire attributes that are recognized in oneself or elsewhere, whether it is a landscape or a face.

Will the Real “ME” Please Stand Up? – A Holistic Approach to Self-Discovery and Self-Acceptance

        

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So, what’s in a plan, anyway?

In short – the answer is NOTHING. But, it took me a while to realize and fully understand this.

I thought that my plans defined me, and when I deviated from them it automatically meant failure; as a person, in my beliefs, and every part of my being. My plans were what made me proud, made me feel like I was successful, and made me feel complete. 

Fitbit Shackles, Candy Crush, and Dopamine

             

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I was watching my doctor type when my heart dropped. Around her already slim wrist, just under the sleeve of her white lab coat, was a black Fitbit.

I felt physically sick.

I’ve seen my GP for a few months now and overall I really liked her. She listened to my needs, didn’t have the fake “concerned” face when I described my struggles, and laughed when I made stupid jokes. But seeing this Fitbit? I started to re-evaluate everything.

Wife No. 3 in Abu Dhabi - Bulimia and Broken Dreams

                                              

                                                  Photo taken by Maha Khan in Abu Dhabi.

TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.

I had a very strange childhood. I was born in Belarus and raised in the UK by my father’s mother, and learned many life lessons in very hard ways. I was raised by a grandmother who lived on benefits(British welfare) and enjoyed watching EastEnders (a British sitcom) all the time. She was an addict. My father eventually remarried and was absent from my life. 

The Silent Shame of Bulimia

                

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TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.

Unlike anorexia, which is characterized by discipline, restraint, self-sacrifice—traits that society upholds as virtuous—bulimia traffics in a consuming, corrosive sense of shame. After all, there is nothing respectable about gorging yourself past the point of physical discomfort. There is nothing dignified about jamming your fist in your mouth to induce vomiting. Habitually wrapping lies around your self-destructive behavior is far from honorable.

In Defense of Obsession

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TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some, please read with caution.

When I look back on my life, I am amazed by some of the things I did and said when I was affected by anorexia. During eighth grade, I became a vegetarian for half a year. While I told my parents it was for humanitarian reasons, it gave me an excuse to only eat the side dishes at meals. 

Writing My Recovery

 

I recently decided to tackle the subject of my eating disorder in a play. I signed up for a weekend workshop and committed myself to exploring an idea about developing a one man show. Now, over the 10 plus years of my journey with this eating disorder, I have tried this before. I’ve always felt the desire and drive to write a show about this profound experience of being at war with myself – but I’d never managed to do it. So often, the material was just too close; I was still too deep into it. I couldn’t find a voice that had any perspective. It all came out cliché, or every word was so laboured over that it didn’t sound like me.

 

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