Who’s in charge here!?

Could you tell tell I was having a hard time last week?

I was.

Yesterday, Dr. J didn’t bring instant relief. When I walked in she said she could see which ribs were out, just looking at me (yeah, because I lost 11lbs in the past 6 days!) She also said my c2 hadn’t moved. I even made her double check 3 times! She worked on my knees and hips a lot, put all of my ribs back where they belong, then, of course, did my elbows… And tried to feed me cheese- which I declined.

When my ribs are in place it is easier to breathe and less uncomfortable to eat. So, even though she didn’t move my head, it still helped… just not as fast.

Next week, I have lots of plans! I never in a million years imagined that I’d have a social life to interfere with my practice schedule! Wednesday, I get to go Zentangle again! Thursday is trivia (more on this in a bit), and Friday is a party at yoga- all classes canceled! I knew I needed to regain some kind of order so I can enjoy everything coming up.

This morning I went to RAM, it’s an art and farmers market held every Saturday under a nearby bridge. It’s always a lot of fun. I got an eggplant and some local honey. I even tried the three kinds of honey he had before picking one! The one I chose is called Gallberry, I’d never had it before. I’m not always very good at describing the way things taste. But he called the orange blossom honey “sweet” and the gallberry honey he described as “light”.

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I also got an eggplant. Now, I kind of have rules about eating foods that are blue/purple. So, I don’t really know why I decided to home with big purple veggie today… But I did.

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my eggplant joins my fruit bowl

I breaded and baked it

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to keep it gluten free, I crushed up baked Lay’s instead of bread crumbs

Avery likes to help me cook

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even though it’s out of focus, I just love her crossed eyes here!

I made stacked the eggplant with fresh tomatoes on some zucchini noodles (just julienned zucchini). It was really good… But the skin was still too much to deal with. I cut it all off.

Thursday, I’m going to trivia with some friends at a restaurant downtown. There will also be people I don’t know. I promised my friend two things when we made the plans:
1) I promised to eat something… But it doesn’t have to be from that restaurant
2) I also promised that following #1, there would be no doing “bad things”

I’m really scared. No matter what I do, I’m meeting strangers, who will instantly know that I am a freak. If I order food there, I’ll have a normal kind of unknown food meltdown. And if I whip out my usual 8 frozen grapes for dinner, they’ll be like “who eats grapes for dinner??” Froot Loops is the best stranger food, because they can be sorted and played with for a looooooong time. But I wouldn’t actually eat them. Nor do I want a box of sugary, toxic, GMO, death crispies anywhere near my living space. AND, they aren’t gluten free. I kind of need to decide what to do tonight, because my family is coming up tomorrow, and then once I’m into the work week, I won’t have time/remember to revisit this predicament until it’s too late to be proactive about it.

To review:
• I already looked up the menu where we are meeting. Of course I did. I love menus, right?! There isn’t anything that I’d eat.

• If I eat 8 frozen grapes they’ll think I’m crazy (which is kind of true, but I’m also working on changing that… Most days).

• I can’t eat Froot Loops

• We are meeting on Thursday- which means I will probably be the silent passenger in the MV car just doing whatever I can not to self destruct before getting to Dr. J’s office first thing Friday morning. No matter what I’m doing, it’s always 200 times harder on Thursday nights. For example, this week, trying to run a bubble bath was curl-up-in-a-ball-and-cry worthy by Thursday night.

• SC knows and loves me, and she said even if she hadn’t already known that I was anorexic, she would have figured it out after watching me eat.

• I don’t want the strangers to think I’m a freak.

• I should probably just cancel with them

If you have any ideas….

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We’re just chilling here, open to suggestions.

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Untangling My Zen

Last weekend, my friend invited me to a “zentangle circle” that she was organizing, at a bookstore, plus, it would coincide with this other thing, which would be cool. I agreed without requesting the specifics…

Like:
What is Zentangle?

Where is “some bookstore”?

What other thing?

Why?

I did, however, ask if there would be food. (Go figure)

It turns out Zentangle involves drawing.

“Some bookstore”, just happens to be downtown.

The “other thing” was a HUGE street event with about seven and a half million people attending (I live in a BIG city… I also make up numbers).

Wanna guess how much I freaked out???

I am not artistic. I suck at drawing. I have horrible fine motor skills. I can’t draw tiny lines. I can’t draw straight lines. I can’t think of designs in my head. When I do think of things I’d like to create, the brain-body connection is non-existent and I only end up frustrated.

I hate driving. I hate driving downtown… In any town, not just my own. I lived in the upper keys for a while after high school. Now, listen, I know what you’re thinking, just get out of Miami then Duval Crawl not so much, folks!!! It’s still THREE HOURS from the upper keys to the Southernmost Point. Regardless, when people came to visit, the trek was inevitable. I hate busy city driving so much that I would park on the island before Key West and force my guests to walk across the last bridge (not the 7 mile one, don’t worry). I hate parking. I hate driving around looking for parking. I hate 1 way streets. I hate the crazy flip the direction of the roads that our city does. I hate the smell of coffee. I can’t parallel park. I am scared of huge crowds. I’m scared of losing my car. I can’t follow conversations when there is lots of background noise or distracting visual stimulation.

But I really love this friend– I am not going to explain. The only relevant point is that the whole thing originated from HER specifically.

So I decided to go anyway.

I drove there!

I parked!

I figured out how to get to the meeting place!

I found her!

I met her friends!

We met a dude in a van.

I shook his hand!

Then it was Zentangle time. She showed me where to sit at the table- in a corner, on the end, and right next to her. It was perfect and “safe” for me. I was still nervous about drawing though. It took e v e r y t h i n g I had not to resort to finger sucking as a coping mechanism. Yeah, I totally do that when I’m nervous.

She handed me my square, pointed out the supplies on the table, and left to find a noodle truck. I started reading through some of the books she’d brought about zentangle. I considered a few if the step-by-step lessons, then decided against using one, because it’d create an expectation and I knew I’d end up disappointed.

Instead, I thought about the words in the book, the purpose of the art. I picked out some stickers, and just started tracing them. I used a ruler at first, but it was cumbersome and made me feel kind of pressured and anxious. So I abandoned it and just drew.

Me! Perfectionist, anorexic, obsessive…

I drew lines that were crooked in a strange place, surrounded by strange people, music, and FOOD!

Slowly, the most incredible thing started to happen… The world sort of fell away. I left texts unanswered. I left expectations. I left thoughts. I my mind and body quieted in a way unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.

Eventually, my friend returned, with her box of truck noodles. She has the most amazing magnetic personality, and the world is naturally drawn to her. As I colored, I listened to her explain (repeatedly) what we were doing to people who passed by.

“This is called Zentangle. It’s only for women, who are survivors.” She’d explain, then pause and wait for the blank.

“Survivor?” Each person would inevitably ask “like cancer?”

“Like anything.” She’d answer with a warmth that said I can sense your struggles and I support you without judgement and they’d tell her. Every single person she spoke to answered immediately.

I met so many strong, brave, beautiful women tonight. I was completely blown away by the honesty and courage each new friend brought to our little Zen table.

“Here’s the deal,” my friend would continue after hearing each woman’s survival story “you make one and on the back you dedicate it, to surviving.”

I listened. And I colored.

And I cried.

Non-stop.

These women, were so brave. Without hesitation, one after another, they picked up pens and laid down their secrets out on our table.

No one asked me. But I thought…

How could I possibly answer that question here? I am sitting here coloring with people who have survived rape, cancer, violence, abuse, terror (ok, she wasn’t actually at the table but she was the inspiration). I’m surviving anorexia. I’m proud of that. I’ve worked hard. I am still working hard. I struggle daily. I fight myself, for myself every single day. I don’t question the validity of my own survivor-ness.

But I cried.
I’ve never said it out loud. I was afraid someone would ask and I’d finally have to.
I was afraid of the judgment- because people don’t understand. Eating disorders are only for overly vain, spoiled pre-teens, right?

I cried for my dad, my Jordan, Jarrett and John. I have survived of so much loss.

I cried for my ears, and my spine. I survived a devastating and life altering boat crash.

I cried.

And drew lines.

And untangled.

It was the most powerful, amazing, moving night. And we get to do it again in two weeks!!!!

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My Zentangle

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Working away (PS- that’s a girl Jordan 🙂 )

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Some finished ones

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My beautiful friend, who organized everything

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This incredible performer singing in the street as part of the other, huge, simultaneously occurring event.

Tonight was perfect.

Tomorrow is the big day!

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Tomorrow is THE big day!!! I’ve been waiting more than half my life for this moment and it’s FINALLY here!!!

Wedding?

Nope! Bikram Advanced Class!!! I’m sooo nervous! I’ve read every blog I can find… I’m not expecting to go in and rock it or anything.

My goals:
* Appreciate the moment, I have devoted hours, upon hours, upon years for this.
* I am ALREADY successful, my goal was to be invited to advanced, not be perfect at it.
* To try as much as possible
* To watch and be inspired by others who love this yoga with the same depth and passion as myself

Tonight I went for a short skate, stretched gently, picked out clothes, washed extra towels, fixed a light dinner and I’m already in bed with the lights off (it’s only 8pm). I am intentionally falling asleep with a bit of a caloric deficit to make sure I don’t wake up with a heavy tummy in the morning. Tomorrow, I’ll fuel up with a small yoga-safe breakfast of citrus, peanut butter and, of course… Skittles (I have 6 before every practice)!!!