Good evening everyone 😃
This week so far is the embodiment of rejuvenation, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I owe this unbelievable trip to the generosity of my selfless grandmother, who is treating her little flock to a vacation in paradise.
The last time I was here, I was grotesquely underweight. My entire time on the island was consumed by thoughts of food and exercise and how I could get less and more, respectively. I scarcely remember details of that trip, a fact which I vehemently regret, as it was the last family trip that we took while my grandpa was still alive. This loss of memory is completely at he fault of ED, and the powerful hold that he had on me during that time.
This week… has been glorious. Not because of my tropical surroundings, or because of time off school. I truly believe that this week has been as enjoyable as it has been due to the fact that I am no longer under the oppression of ED. Although he may rear his stupid ugly head from time to time, I know that I am the one making the decisions now; not him. It’s almost as if I didn’t realize this until I was able to compare this trip to my last side by side, and observe the drastic differences that exist.
I see. I hear. I smell. I taste. For those of you who are suffering, I promise that this is possible for you as well. For those of you un-afflicted by the monstrosity that is ED, I cannot express how happy my heart is to be writing this.
I have taken this week to really, truly have a vacation. In doing so, I have taken a hiatus from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and pretty much the rest of the internet. I have let my brain power down and my body have some rest. When I was ill, I wouldn’t have been able to go a day without vigorous, puke-inducing exercise. I would punish myself with restriction and dark thoughts if I did. This week, as a family, we have hiked, swam, walked, yoga'd… keeping active without stressing my body too much. At times, I have felt that reminiscent urgency to workout in excess or skip family time for the sake of burning an extra calorie. But I haven’t given in. And this, as I see it, is victory over ED.
I haven’t spent much time thinking to deeply about mental health related issues… all part of my healing strategy 😉 However, here is a short piece on depression and the stigma it faces, and the effect that this has on accessing care.
What if it was okay to treat your depression? Like really, really treat it. Like when you have mono and you stay isolated in the hospital, and then later in your room eating ice cream and watching Netflix and letting your body have exactly what it needs to repair itself. Because having mono is okay. For many, having depression isn't. If you were allowed to treat your depression—really treat it—you would be allowed to take a week of sick leave for your brain. You would be given time, without judgement or stigma, to hibernate in your room, watch Netflix, draw, journal, spend time with others, meditate, do yoga, cry, play with your cat... or do whatever it is you do when the hopelessness is too painful to contain. The place you go where you feel like maybe it will be okay tomorrow. If only everyone could go to that place without stigma, depression would not insinuate imminent tragedy, but temporary pain… because right now, it is the stigma itself that prevents many from ever being able to reach their safe place and really getting better.
Thank you for visiting,
I’ll be back in the world on the 14th.
Feel the love,