Monday, October 31, 2011

Inspiration in coffee, chocolate and pastry...

No inspiration is better than the inspiration I provide for myself, all by myself. I found inspiration today. I found it during my third bite into my second mini Hershey's chocolate bar post-mini coffee cake...

I semi-randomly found myself at a quaint, eclectic coffee shop behind an overrated Starbucks late this afternoon. I knew I wanted coffee. I knew I needed to wind down after my work day and before I would be able to concentrate on my pressing paper. I saw hand painted signs to this coffee shop located behind the Starbucks-plus-some plaza. I went for it.

At this adorable coffee shop, I was served a freshly brewed cup o' joe in an equally adorable mug rather than the typical hoping to be recycled, recycled paper or, worse, the un-recycle-able styrofoam to-go. I was also served the yummy mini-coffee cake I mentioned on a mini-glass plate. Water was available near cream and sugars; this water was serve yourself out of a glass carafe style into real glass...nice. Speaking of sugars, they were served, not in to-go throw aways but, in glass syrup style servers. I hope you can see it just as it is...

While sipping my 'joe and nibbling on chocolate and pastry, I had a thought... an evil, unwelcome thought:

"Ehhh, I don't have anywhere to really dress up and go this week so, it (this pastry and this chocolate) is okay..."

I literally "PSSHHHH'd" myself.

Some of my most powerful words to myself: "Psshhhh, get the heck (more like fuck) outta here."

Of course, I'm talking to her when I speak these powerful words to myself. I am talking to her because she is no longer welcome here. She is no longer welcome nor accepted here. This I choose, daily.

I choose to remain myself as myself, NOT as herself. I choose to remain in my own own perfectly imperfect, God-given, beautiful existence. I decide that she and her self-righteous, selfishly self-loathing, distorted existence is NO longer welcome in my repertoire. She is no longer in stock nor of things available. She is sold out; I sold her out.

So, goodbye to you, her.

I won't see you later, she.

Good fucking riddance, bitch :)

(...sorry for the language but, that feels phenomenal...)
[And, for any of you who may not know, I have historically written/spoke in the 3rd person regarding my (former) eating disordered self.]

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who am I to dwell...

Who am I to dwell on cellulite?

Currently, I am working as a clinical case manager at a mental health care agency in Tampa, FL... if you are a regular reader, you know that :)

Gosh, I love my job... some days are rough but, there is nothing like someone who was homicidal/suicidal yesterday look at you in the eyes today through two decade growing and flowing tears say, "Thank you, Jessica, you help save my life."

Now, who am I to dwell on cellulite? Who am I to dwell and to take issue with not being physically "perfect".

There are people in this world with broken hearts and shattered spirits. Some of those people are the people I work with. Some of the people I work with have had their hearts broken and their spirits shattered by unspeakable traumas... rape, molestation, pain, violence, neglect, murder and otherwise serious abuse and wrongdoing. These people are broken and shattered now. To some extent, some of these people are broken and shattered beyond repair.

Now, I have to ask, who are they thanking? Me? For what? For listening and empathizing and meeting them where they are emotionally? Nah, I should surely be the one doing the thanking. Thank you, to my wonderful but sadly broken and shattered client today that provided me with a big, bold check mark I so desperately needed this week.

Yes, indeed... Thank you to my anonymous client that put me in God-sent check today.

Who am I (or you) to dwell on physical appearance. Who am I (or you) to be so shallow?

My cellulite knows nothing of their trauma. Cellulite? I say cellulite because that has been my biggest personal issue with my body for as long as I can remember. Who am I to dwell on cellulite? I have never been raped, molested, neglected or otherwise abused...

Who am I to dwell?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pressure busts pipes... no pressure, no busted pipe.

Ever heard that expression? Pressure busts pipes?

I have mentioned the mentioned expression before... it is very fitting in the world of eating disorders. It definitely was for me, anyways. Over time...seconds, minutes, days, weeks... pressure, pressure, pressure then, BUST. Pressure busts pipes. Then, you have a catastrophe on your hands. But, it doesn't have to be that way...

During a period of anorexia or a lull before a binge, I restricted. Like, seriously restricted. A cookie was NOT just a cookie. When I didn't allow myself to have the one cookie I wanted, when I restricted and demanded myself not to have even one... that had "pressure busts pipes" written all over it.

If you disallow yourself of something with such strong focus and cerebral demand, when you (inevitably) eat a cookie, what else can you call it at that point except an utter fail. According to your determinant demands, you failed... you ate the cookie. Instead of a cookie, it is now a catastrophe. Because it's a catastrophe, instead of one cookie, it will probably turn into a box of cookies, which will probably turn into a box of something else... ---> Binge.

But, what if it wasn't a failure? What if you stopped telling yourself what you absolutely cannot eat? What if you stopped trying to restrict, restrict, restrict and control, control, control? What if you stopped all of those mind games and, when you wanted a cookie, ate a cookie...

How different could giving into one cookie be? How different could that feel? How different could that be for you? Could you just be Eating to Live, not living to control what you eat...or, more accurately, what you don't eat? Could you just be Eating to Live, Not the Alternative?

If there was no pressure, wouldn't it be much less easy to "bust pipes". In other words, if you put less pressure on yourself, wouldn't it be much easier to keep from cyclical & catastrophic failures?

For me, personally, this epiphany (that may sound obvious or menial to some) was nothing short of a miracle in my recovery. Now, when I want a cookie, or whatever, I eat it...just it. Not a box, not a binge...just it, whatever it is. And, I'm good. I enjoy it. I like it. And, that's IT!

...It's a miracle, truly. Try it. Try letting go. Try removing the pressure and, just eat it. 

Cheers to Eating to Live, Not the Alternative.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What a prescription without psychotherapy did for her... Nothing.

I remember it vividly. I always will. I was a wreck. A not-so-hot mess. I was devastated and I looked devastated. I had been battling something I didn't understand for a while at this point of my devastation. Somehow, I made a decision... I was going to seek help. So, as a USF student, I called and made an emergency appointment at their counseling center. I was scheduled with a psychiatrist whose name I don't care to remember. Her name isn't worth remembering, not for anything positive.

So, I came to my appointment with my boyfriend at the time. I was scared and ashamed and nervous and, like I said, a not-so-hot mess. I was given intake papers to fill out with all sorts of protruding questions to which my answers made me more upset; I realized then what I already thought: I was a sick, devastated young woman. I now know that these questions were part of a screening for co-occurring disorders. Oh, I was definitely co-occurring. That is for damn sure. I was depressed. I had an eating disorder. I was a full-fledged depressed bulimic.

When the psychiatrist was ready to see me, I was called into her office. I consented to bringing my boyfriend in with me. I'm sure he never really understood. All he knew is that I was devastated. As soon as she started talking to me, I bawled. I cried so hard I could hardly speak. I told her about what I did and what I was doing on a daily basis. I was binging and purging, regularly. I was also ruining my relationship. I'm sure he far from enjoyed any of it.

I told her my binging and purging secrets. My deepest, darkest, thoroughly embarrassing and devastatingly overwhelming secrets. I told him too, as he was sitting right next to me most likely feeling just as overwhelmed. I told her I felt hopeless and sad and that my thoughts were no longer mere thoughts, they were obsessions. These obsessions were running my life; correction, these obsessions were ruining my life. These thoughts were controlling me and no matter what I tried, I could not control them. I had totally lost control and I was admitting it through gasping tears. It seemed like I cried for hours in her office. But, let's be real. She is a psychiatrist. I probably saw her for a maximum of 20 minutes.

Here was her lofty conclusion: a prescription. An anti-depressant. A pill. A fucking pill.

Let me switch gears here for a second. I don't regret what I have been through. It has provided me with priceless education and extreme humbleness in my grateful recovery. Without my experiences, I would not be who I am today. For that, I thank my past and my battle and my suffering. I embrace it now. I talk about it. I blog about it. But... I wonder...

I cried and I sobbed tears which were screaming "HELP ME. PLEASE. Help me..."

She gave me a prescription. An anti-depressant. A pill. A fucking pill...

I can't help but wonder. How different could things have been if she would have done more, suggested more, demanded more? I presented all but verbal suicidal ideations. I was borderline baker act material for Christ's sake.

But, she just gave me a prescription. An anti-depressant. A pill. A fucking pill......

Taking one or a cocktail of pills was NOT an acceptable or worthy solution. No pill could have "cured" me. And, it didn't. I needed more than that. I needed education. I needed therapy. I needed help. I sat there begging for help. And, she gave me a pill.

I wonder how it all would have been different. I wonder how so much of my life could have been different. To this day I catch myself endlessly wondering. Not regretting... I don't regret my experience, as I have said numerous times here on this blog. I don't regret, I just wonder...

Could it all have been different if I would have been given a recommendation for therapy? A demand that I seek therapy? Or, shoot, even if I had been baker acted? I wonder how different it could have all been... my eating disorder, my health, my relationships--my familial, friendly and sorority relationships and, especially, my intimate relationship.

It couldn't have been different though. I know that. It wasn't supposed to be different, not for me anyhow. It was all apart of my divine destiny. I believe that with pure and true conviction. Because it wasn't any different and never can be any different than the journey that it was, it has defined me. It has fueled my passion and predicted my future. For that, I am more than appreciative and I am more than proud. That is why I am able to do this... to talk, to speak, to share...

I know now, for certain. I know now, not because any empirical data says so but, because I say so, because my experiences have showed me so. Drugs without psychotherapy? No. Hell no. Her lofty conclusion: a prescription. An anti-depressant. A pill. A fucking pill... borderline straight up unethical malpractice. I will NEVER stand for that. It was a disgrace. Her and her prescription were and still are a disgrace to the world of "treatment". That wasn't treatment. It was a neglectful travesty.

She gave me a prescription. An anti-depressant. A pill. A fucking pill... What a shame...? Nah, not for me. But, if I can help it, and I will try... that will never happen on my watch. And, the rest of the world, you, you shouldn't let it happen on yours either.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Love is Not...

Love is Not

Love is not just a function of the eyes.
Beautiful objects will, of course, inspire
Possessive urges - you need not despise
Your taste. But when insatiable desire
Inflames you for a girl who's out of fashion,
Lacking in glamour - plain, in fact - that fire
Is genuine; that's the authentic passion.
Beauty, though, any critic can admire.

Marcus Argentarius (20 BC - 30 AD)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy, I mean, Halloween

I have plans to celebrate Halloween this year with my girl friends from High School. I am so excited to see my original crew. We have a costume plan for 5: the 4 of them as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle each and I'm starring as April O'Neil for the night. Gosh, it's been years since I saw TMNT! I couldn't even remember what she even wore. So, naturally, I searched for Halloween costumes. I found April O'Neil and her yellow jumpsuit. I found a lot of other costumes, too.

No matter what the costume type, they almost all had one similar variable: BLATANT OBJECTIFICATION of women.

Now, I am no prude. The people who know me personally know that I like to have my fair share of fun and I can definitely appreciate a sexy outfit. But, I also appreciate class. "You can pay for school but you can't buy class."- Jay Z ...true story, Jay.

Some of these costumes are much more like lingerie than anything else. Halloween is an excuse to wear lingerie in public. I will repeat, I am not a prude, I swear. If adults want to have fun and dress up and feel and look sexy, hey, I'm all about a certain classy extent. I take issue with something else.

Here, I'll show you my issue:



So... you tell me the big difference.
"Adult" costumes on the left.
"Tween" costumes on the right.
...yeah, those are the one's, on the right, that your 7-12 year old daughter, granddaughter, niece, et cetera might wear this year...

They all share similar qualities: super short skirts, exaggerated lace, sexy hose or knee high tights... SEX. They all have SEX in common.

In fact, in the row displaying our choices for french maids, the "tween" costume is called: Maid to Tease. What 10 year old needs to be "maid" to tease?!?
And, let's talk about the nurses... now where in the hell have you ever seen a nurse that wears anything like those outfits at all? When I think nurse, I think scrubs... no?
And, wait? Sexy Nem-OH?... yeah... thats right. That one's called: SEXY Nem-OH! What does that "OH" mean to you? Probably not anything you'd want your daughter or niece to know about... And how in the world did media, society and costume designers come up with the idea that an animated clown fish is sexy?

In regards to adult costumes, the blatant polarization of these adult female halloween costumes reminds me of a scene from Sex and the City. Miranda is at a small store in NYC and takes a look at the displayed choices for Halloween costumes: "The only two choices for women; witch or sexy kitten." Truth... that is the damn truth. For Halloween, as an adult woman, you can either be frumpy and witchy or, SEXY in spandex, mini-skirts, corsets and thigh highs. Be it with bumble bee stripes or little red riding hood print, its for sure gotta be one thing: SEXY. Or, you're frumpy. Its one or, its the other.

*Oh, and, by the way, I googled "princess costume". Ya know what came up? A link to free pornography... Note to parents: watch your kids on this world wide web. They don't even have to be looking for porn to find it. I wasn't trying to find it but, I did. I found porn via a google search including the word princess...a term every single young girl knows and probably looks up to. Watch your their unsuspecting backs.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Just For Today" prayer...FROM: NA, FOR: LIFE

"Just For Today" prayer from NA

Just for Today

Just for today my thoughts will be on my recovery, living and enjoying life without the use of drugs.

Just for today I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery.

Just for today I will have a program. I will try to follow it to the best of my ability.

Just for today, through NA, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid, my thoughts will be on my new associations, people who are not using and who have found a new way of life.

So long as I follow that way, I have nothing to fear. 

(keep coming back)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reebok Easy-tones: Wear these & wait...just don't hold your breath.

Anyone ever heard of Reebok Easy-tone shoes? Ya know, the shoes that shape the perfect bottom (whatever that means) and tone the perfect (??) legs? Reebok has called them "your secret advantage". But, is there such an advantage? Their advertisements claim to increase muscle tone anywhere from 10-28%.

This line of advertisements from Reebok is just like many of the mixed societal messages media portrays. They blast ways to "become perfect" but, how do you become perfect when perfect doesn't exist? Perfect...? Says who? Says what? What the hell does perfect mean? As a society, we don't just buy into these perfect ideals, we live for them.

These ideals that are so cleverly designed to appeal... they're fake. A facade. A gimmick.

Is that what you're looking for? Don't be a sucker. It's an overpriced gimmick.

Media advertisement is a multi-billion dollar overpriced gimmick. Ethical issue? I think so... We are taught not to lie, to tell the truth, to abide oaths and follow orders and rules. Where's the rules in advertisements? They don't play by rules. They make their own rules. They make their own rules, their own "perfects"and they do it through false claims and computer technologies, airbrushing and photoshop. Reebok made sure to find "perfect" women to use in their advertisements... I'm sure no woman was "perfect" enough for them, actually. But, they never had to be really "perfect", they just get really touched up.

Is this what you're looking for?

Really Reebok? Really? Seriously? So I just gotta put on the shoes and I will make my boobs jealous of my super toned, "perfect" rear end? Really? This is blatant objectification of women...


Nah, I don't think its sexy. It's blatant and as far as I'm concerned it's blatantly unethical. Don't be a sucker. It's a overpriced, unethical, pitiful gimmick.

Advertisements like these from Reebok are everywhere. Don't buy into it. The Federal Trade Committee ain't buying it. And, you really shouldn't either.

Enjoy that $25M lawsuit, Reebok. You deserve it. And you ain't the only ones who do...

The Reebok Easy-Tone shoe demise

FTC says: Get your refund here