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Saturday, April 27, 2013

What I (Didn't Know I) Love About Me.

Have you ever had a dream that something about your physical appearance has changed and you woke up relieved that it was just a dream? That's happened to me before, but it's usually something like my hair or teeth all fell out or I'm drastically overweight. Last night was different. I dreamed that I'd been in an accident and after facial reconstruction my nose was different and my jaw was less pronounced  They weren't "worse" or "uglier," just different. But I was so sad. I even told several dream-people, "I know it doesn't look bad, but I used to have my dad's jaw. I used to have my mom's nose." My dream-self was so sad that a visible physical connection to my ancestors, my parents, my siblings, was gone.

I learned two things from that dream.
One: I really do love my nose and my jaw. I love them the way they are. I love that all of the Kuhns Kids have the same jaw. I love that when we smile people can tell we're related. I love that my nose is like my mom's. Genetically I had about a 60% chance of having just a HUGE schnoz and I'm glad I don't. Not that there's anything wrong with big noses, I'm just glad that I don't have one. (I hope that doesn't make me shallow or offend anyone).
Two: Jaw and nose are not what make me beautiful. At least not in my dream. In my dream, no one really noticed. And those who did notice didn't care. My jaw and my nose did't effect my personality, and in my dream it was clear that my personality was the thing attracting people to me. Granted, it was a dream, but I woke up knowing that the principle is true. No one enjoys being with a physically gorgeous mean person. Or a physically gorgeous boring person. Or a physically gorgeous insecure person. Or a physically gorgeous uninteresting person.

Anyway, I'm interested to see if anyone else has had this kind of dream? Is there something your subconscious loves about you that you never realized?? Actually I don't even care about that! I want to know what you love about you and why. Leave it in a comment, email me, text me, whatever. I want to hear about it!

Strong Jaws :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Sister's Appearance

At Remuda we have a group devoted specifically to boundaries. It's called Boundaries Group. I’m pretty sure everyone in the world should attend. I had no idea I was so clueless about them/bad at them. I’m afraid of boundaries. I'm afraid of hurting people's feelings by setting my own, and I can be offended or hurt when people set them with me. This lovely picture illustrates my lack of knowledge/desperate attempt to learn:

There are several "Boundary Laws," but I'm only going to extrapolate on this one today:
 Law #8: The Law of Envy/Comparison..

True or false: envy and jealousy are synonymous. 

So Let’s have a little vocabulary lesson, yes? Jealousy is when someone has something that is/was yours. Which is why in the scriptures God says, “I am a jealous God.” It doesn’t mean we have something He wants, it means we are HIS. Sometimes we act like we aren’t because other “gods” have a hold on us. Like the God of Materialism. The God of Vanity. Or in my case, the Gods of Gym and Body Obsession aka Frank. When I'm wrapped up in Frank, God is jealous because these false gods have possession of me, though I don't belong to them.

Envy is when someone has something we want. And Coveting is Envy on steroids.  I've struggled with this boundary with my little sister, Sarah, since before I was old enough to know what I was doing. I coveted her looks. She has legs for days, straight blonde hair and big blue eyes. And I don’t. And I never have. And I never will. I dwelled on that for years, not realizing that my covetous attitude was hurting HER. Im sure it felt terrible to have her big sister put her on a pedestal for things she has no control over. 

This boundary law really hit me over the head because I realized that I’m breaking a commandment: “thou shalt not covet.”

What was I coveting by clinging to my eating disorder?? I was coveting every body shape I wished I had been born with. I was coveting a naturally emaciated, boyish body that I was not born with and that I’ve never had. I was not appreciating the gift God gave me; I was destroying myself wanting something else. And it poisoned me and my life. God knew what he was doing when he gave us those commandments. That one especially I think is to save us from our own selves.

The steps for turning envy into gratitude are:

  1. Grieve what you don’t/and can’t have. I can’t have an emaciated body and be healthy. I can’t have blue eyes and blonde hair like Seth and Sarah and Mom. I can't have 10 foot long legs like my sisters Sarah and Jess. I can grieve that, and then I can move on and love what I do have. Thick hair, green eyes, legs that carry me around.
  2. Take responsibility for your own misery. It is not Sarah’s fault that she was born with a look that I want. It’s not her fault it made me sad. The circumstance itself was not responsible for my misery; it was my thoughts about the circumstance. Not having blue eyes didn’t make my life miserable, but dwelling on it certainly did.
  3. Actively seek what you can have and go after it. I should say actively seek what you can have as your healthier self and go after it. I can’t have skinny long legs, but I can have strong legs that let me do things I love. I can’t have blonde, straight hair, but I can nourish my body so that my hair is shiny and thick and pretty. I can’t look like my sister, but I can look like me and I can take care of me and I can learn to appreciate me.

That's pretty awesome.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

There's No "After" Photo...

The before and after... oh how we love the before and after. When I think before and after, something like this usually comes to mind:

Watch the media for more than thirty seconds and it becomes clear that America loves a good makeover. Especially when it involves weight loss. But if you really think about it, what does "Before/After" REALLY mean? "After" implies that something is over and done. "My weight loss is over. Getting "healthy" is over.Changing my lifestyle is over..." ?

I'm definitely reading too much into it. . . .

Anyway, this crossed my mind as I thought about making my own Before/After collage. Then I realized I can't make one. I can't take an "after" photo when I'm still in treatment. And then I realized there will never be an "after" photo. Because there's no such thing as "after recovery." At least not for me. I have to (and want to) choose recovery every day for the rest of my life. And because of that, there's no "after," there's only "during."

In the words of my sister,
And hips. And a tummy. And a life. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Book Of Camilla

I've never started a book and left it unfinished. Recovery is like that. Life if like that. Just keep turning the pages...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Addicted: Food, Exercise, Anorexia, Love.

"Last night I could not stop thinking about a Big Mac. I finally had to get dressed, go out and pick up a guy"
-Samantha, Sex and the City 4.1 

I know exactly how that feels. Well not exactly, but I feel similar. Last night I was in my apartment feeling alone, ugly, tired, and just bad about myself in general. My solution was not to find love through binging (because food loves me back!) but to call a friend and make him come pick me up and drive around with me. Granted, that’s not exactly what Samantha was talking about; there was no sex involved. But I think it was the prudish version of the same principle. Which is:
I feel bad about myself and I need the company of a man who is attracted to me to validate my worth. And my power. And my control.

What better way to show your control then by not eating or running excessively?

Men have replaced Frank. Or maybe they've become Frank Incarnate. I really need to emphasize here that I’m not making out with random men. I have kissed A guy. One. But I’m addicted to love. Did you know that’s a real thing?? They have Love Addict groups and everything. Some of you might be laughing but . . . .  Well yeah it is kind of funny. But also kind of sad. 

I wish I knew how to pull that validation out of myself. To get it from inside me rather than from other people. Because what they’re giving me is not love. Attention? Yes. Validation? Maybe. Infatuation, lust, interest, morbid curiosity?? Most likely. But not love.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What a Lapse Looks Like

This might as well be a video of me having some kind of tryst with an abusive ex. It's evoking those same kinds of shamed feelings. Sometimes a lapse is spur of the moment; crazy, rash, so sudden and wild that I'm almost not present while it's happening. And sometimes it's more like this. I want to be honest. I want to show every side of my recovery process, and it's definitely not linear. I'm not excusing my lapse or downplaying it or pretending it's not an issue that needs to be addressed. It does and it will be (therapy today at 1). There are things I could have done to reach out, but I didn't want to. In the moment you're about to watch, I wanted nothing but Frank.

But you know what?? Today I'm having the same urges and I'm not listening to them. Frank is screaming at me, but he can go to hell. Shut up, Frank. You're not invited to lunch today. You know who is?? Mr. Taco.
Hola SeƱor!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Insulted at the FroYo Place

Insulted at the FroYo Place
This video was made Saturday evening with my sister-in-law at the Scottsdale mall. After I got my yogurt I sat down at the table axross from Jess. i felt so ashamed by the volume pf yogurt in front of me that I turned away from her, put my hood on. and began crying quietly crying
She asked me what was wrong and I didn't feel like I could even say; it was so embarrassing.
I didn't want to eat the yogurt, but I hadn't eaten lunch, and I'd spent money on it so I felt really guilty.

I honestly didn't know what to do. (I know, I have such first world problems)...
Looking back at the video, I think it's a little funny -- actually it's very funny -- but in the moment it wasn't funny at all. I felt trapped... I think this shows how crazy and irrational you can feel when your eating disorder mind is taking over in the moment.