Today I am Unbroken

•September 13, 2012 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone! I recently entered a scholarship contest for writing/activism and I need your help, please! Whoever gets the most votes for their essay will advance to the next round. Not only will they receive the scholarship, they will also be given the chance to have their “how you plan to use your education to help others” come true! This could mean me being able to bring my activism/awareness project to a bigger level, such as radio and television! If you would like to help, please go to the website below and click “vote.” Thank you and my heart goes out to all of you for whom I am still fighting. Stay strong and remember, hope lives in the ashes. ♥

http://www.wyzant.com/scholarships/v3/essay60564-Hot_Springs_National_Park-AR.aspx

Graceless addict, is that what I am? Addicted to its bittersweet agony, I crave its debauchery. Dare I claim I am happy, living life at my own will? Or do I say that I am lonesome, dusting off my boots a solitary thrill? Lonely miles it is travel, but complain I do not. For you see, I am content inside the misery of life, uncomfortable off of my knees. It is this discomfort of liberation, however, that I must learn to sustain. My prayers they come in haggard whispers, farther apart they seem to linger on my tongue, not daring to pass my throat. I try, I truly attempt with all my might to keep what I bestow, but pain attempts to induce me in a most seductive manner. Sometimes, It wins. Other times, I become the defeater, raining victoriously for all to witness.

Ha, I lark at the sordidness with which I write. For I wonder now, how could one being, so insignificant in regard to the billions who reside here, believe they are changing the world? Silence! I must stop this thought right here—it is not my own. It is the whisper of a dying voice within my head, the seductive pain with its masochistic lies. So long was it that I bowed to this demon, relishing in all its mendacities and falsehoods that played like broken records in my head. But I gave up this battle not long ago, gave it to the Sun that shines before me, who enwraps me in a bath of warm rays that flit like diamonds on my now porcelain skin. And the rain, it falls, like drips of immaculate renaissance. I am reborn each time I step beyond the walls of this two-story house, surrendering the control I seek to the Higher Power in which I have chosen to believe.

It tries to torture me with the mistake I made two days ago, seething its words of self-hatred and compunction at my feebleness in the face of the knife. It knows my distress with accepting inadequacy, failings, and all the other normalities of this entity called life. It knows where to raid when I am already wounded—It knows all of me entirely. Hitherto, I could not see that this monster is a liar, a dying agonizer of my mind. It is now that I believe, with all my being, that I have brought victory over this evil. I am reborn in the dawn of each day, casting my hope unto others with a luminous air. I am defectively unsullied, a wonderful creature in my Creator’s eyes. And this is something with which I have the most trouble believing wholly, but I am learning, one day at a time.

Courage

•September 2, 2012 • 4 Comments

Courage sleeps

atop the grave

of fear’s disease

its mascarade

the lotus bloom

in muddy ponds

of traitor’s gloom

devil’s errands

hope breathes

inside her lungs

of shining leaves

lightly hung

the girl will smile

in spite of fear

of tomorrow’s trials

and Voice’s sneers.

–July 16th, 2012

The harder I work, the harder It must work in order to attempt to remain the forefront of my mind’s eye. Faster, louder, harsher, The Voice will lash, attempting with It’s mighty will to lure me back unto its agonizing solace. It ensues to wear me down, presenting me with evidence of erroneous images and proportions of myself in the mirror. Ah, it is this tactic that which I most passionately despise. For how might one determine what is the truth when faced with so much terror? I am unaware of my true appearance; my sillohoutte stares gracefully into this antique mirror. Sometimes, I find myself musing about life in historic days, what it was like to live in a time where no such illnesses, no mirrors, no clothes, existed. Oh! How divine would it be to be fully content with myself, both inside and out. Yet, I know in my heart of hearts the truth about my musing: this stagnant period did not exist.

I feel so much joy, coupled with the overwhelming fear of coming back to my crime scene, if you will. So much seems to be falling into place, which frightens me, as it is this ease at which my life appears to be that is so awfully foreign to me. I do not recall a time that I felt so much peace with my life..an ease with living. I feel the gifts of joy when I think back, back to the broken, hopeless girl I was just a few months ago compared to now. It is now that I feel so..so…incredibly blessed and eternally grateful for my life. It is rather humorous, to me, the fact that less than three months ago I was fully content with ending my life. And to think that I attempted such tradegy, and not just once. But now, oh now it is that I glow with a radiance of a world-full of people who inspire me so! Not a day does pass that I am able to go by without becoming absolutely enthralled by the wonder of the beautiful lives of my fellow beings that accompany this life with me. It is because of others, you see, that I keep fighting.

I will not lie and say that this is easy, nor will I say that recovery is not a struggle. Every day I am faced with the decision to follow my meal plan or not, to look into the mirror and know that my appearance does not define me. It gets easier, it truly does, but it will never be easy, as they say. I do not know what the future holds for me, nor do I want to know. All that I know is that today, right this second, I am okay. I may not be the happiest person ever, but who truly is? I am living, and this is my life. My life in recovery. ❤

 

Guess Who is Back?

•August 30, 2012 • 6 Comments

As many of you already know, I am back after my 72 day stay in residential treatment. There are no words in existence that can express how eternally grateful I am for each one of you reading this. Your support, encouragement, love, and random acts of kindness are what keep me going, even in the difficult days. Words, also, will fail to describe my experience at Shades of Hope. I can now firmly and joyfully say that I am in recovery. I can now say that I am on a meal plan designed specifically for my body, and I am the healthiest I have ever been. I feel amazing, inside and out. I learned how to deal with my abusive past, carried emotions, and how to express feelings—I learned how to truly feel. I accept my flaws as part of me, and my scars remind me of my past and my journey. Oh, if I could draw a picture to illustrate to you all how miraculously different my life is now..the beauty that would be present in that piece! I guess there is not much more to say, other than once again, thank you. I will be returning to school September 10th, as the transition home ‘thus far has proven rather challenging. It is hard being back in the real world, but I could not be any happier to be back to you all. I only hope that I can continue to share my experience, strength, and hope with you guys and remain present in order to remind you of your worth in my eyes. I say that with all my heart, as cliché as it may seem. My amends, also, if I am slightly out of contact for the remainder of the week. I am trying my best to write/text/call everyone that contacts me, but being back home is slightly overwhelming. I have not slept since 4 am Wednesday morning! However, I am not ignoring you, but rather my fingers are just a little too slow. All my love and best wishes, Candace. ❤

This is it: My final evening before the flight that will change my life.

•June 16, 2012 • 2 Comments

As I pack away my last item on Shades’ “packing checklist,” I feel a prodigious flurry of emotions come over me. Among them: fear, anxiety, worry, anticipation, weakness, excitement, joy, relief, hope, faith, strength, and so many others. Potently, however, is the indescribable feeling brought to me by all of your support, reassurance, and love for me during this time. In all honesty, coming out with my story was something I thought I would regret. My social life was impaired enough from my illness, and I thought that by putting out so much honesty about something very people can understand would only make people think I was even more of a pessimistic, shy aberration. Never, in my wildest of dreams, could I EVER have imagined that I would be writing this today, thanking not only those of my community, but absolute strangers across the globe. I could not have asked for a bigger blessing than the feedback and results of my honesty. I wrote/spoke to you that first time fearing what would happen, yet feeling compelled in my heart that I needed to do it. Now, look at what has become. Furthermore, although riding the waves of hope with which you all had provided me since my first video/post, I have only further deteriorated, as you all well know. In brutal honesty, I know that I was not about to stop fighting, but I also know that I did not have much longer. I can feel my body shutting down, my heart taking much too long between beats, my aching muscles as they break themselves down for energy and all of the other grotesque details and consequences of the life of an anorexic. I knew that between the insomnia and depression, my self-harm was way out of control and who knew if that would only speed up the process. Secretly, I was visualizing who would show up to my funeral, and crying at the disappointment everyone would feel that I wasn’t—like you had told me—strong enough to beat this. Then, astoundingly and entirely unexpectedly, my mother and I haphazardly turn on the TV to Dr. Oz and find that the episode is on anorexia. My mother, who thought watching it would only make me upset, advised me to not watch it; yet, I went upstairs with my curiosity at peak. Through the anger, frustration, and overpowering sadness conveyed during their topics, the founder of a treatment center spoke at one point. Already having called EVERY ED center in America, I was certain that this one would be no exception to the ridiculously costly rates, and frankly, I just could not handle that devastation that day. Later on, however, in midst of my monotony, I decided to check it out. Originally, I had never looked in to it before because it advertised as an “addiction treatment center.” Sure enough, though, a short browsing on their sight gave me some seemingly promising prices to relay to my parents. Three phone calls to the admission/financial lady and one day later, it was set: I was flying out this Sunday (tomorrow) evening. At first thought, I was uncertain. Despite my parents’ eagerness, I did not want to further dampen their financial woes. Four hospitalizations, weekly therapy and doctor appointments, plus my youngest sister’s spleen/gallbladder surgery this coming Thursday—the bills were already insane and no way would another $30,000 one make things any more manageable. They promised me, though, that it was okay; what I needed to do is go get control of my life again, so that I can change lives and follow my dreams. So, to sum up, as I spend the next handful of hours waiting for my flight, I know that I was given this chance for a reason, and I will not let anyone down. Going to residential does not mean I will come back “cured,” because anorexia does not work like that. It is a life-long battle that I will have to fight for the rest of my days, but this treatment will provide me with the tools I need to FIGHT and WIN. I will slip up and have rough days, I will cry and want to quit, and there will come a point when I don’t feel I can carry on; but, I will not let those days, nor my ED, define me. I will fight for every single person struggling, no matter their situation or how difficult it may be. I have never been a believer in hope or faith in darkness or that good things can come from ruins. I have now learned, though, that hope is always present, we are just blinded from it at times. And I have also learned that beauty, in all its complexity and pureness, truly does live within the ashes. All my love and warmest of wishes to you all, until my return. ❤

“Woke up today, afraid I was going to live..”

•June 6, 2012 • 11 Comments

Suddenly, as though a divergent ray of sun had fragmented through the atmosphere and scuttled itself with a griming jolt into my window, I awoke from my frigid blackness, afraid I was going to live. As indubitably awful a notion as it appears to be, I could not help but find myself musing, hoping that the day would pass by quickly so that I could retreat back to the comfort and detachment of my peaceful blackness. Sitting here now, I chastise myself for these thoughts, knowing that I am only trying to escape the inexorableness of yet another difficult day. Since the self-proclaimed “start” of my recovery, I fear that I may be doing more harm than good, all the while knowing in my core that this simply cannot be the case.

“It’s all for nothing, you pathetic piece of scum. How dare you claim you are done with me? We both know you don’t know how to deal with anything, and nature knows you will not gain even the slightest ounce of weight.”

I perceive these thoughts, I feel their venomous accusations tenaciously drugging my head, and I attempt with what feeble energy I can still muster to rebut them. The manner in which I awoke this morning has been the mundane pattern that seems to devour my life lately: an abrupt annihilation of my subconscious state; ache radiating through my decaying body; and the tender feelings of regret, shame, and so much guilt.

I am failing, in my mind, to hold to my promises. I try but I do not try in the least. I took their pennies and left their buckets empty, and I curse the bloody soil on which I waste. The Voice is lurid, deafening, and it frightens me to no end. I attempt to not let it illustrate its power over me for everyone else to witness. I try to convince them that I am on the uphill stretch. I aim to show them that I am so much stronger than It. I am trying on the outside, but in retrospect I cannot pinpoint anything that I am doing. My weight, health, and sheer capability to put together a thought have all continued to denature, though I proudly quantified recently that I was finally going to fight and succeed.  Am I but just a liar? A traitor in the bloodiest of all aspects? I would desire to hope that I am not. I would like to believe and have faith in my soul that soon enough, I will wake up knowing exactly what my first diminutive step will be and how/where to start it. Unfortunately, I am aware that this is not the case in any gradation. There will be no magic day or time that I will extemporaneously transform into an aggressive soldier in the ED battlefield. I have to just go with what I know, and that is what I am unsure of how to do.

It is not that I do not want to do something, nor is that I am ignorant to the ailments of my condition. In spite of its complexity, the datum of the matter is that I simply do not know how to make myself do what I need to do, much less how to actually do it. Going to outpatient for the past five years has provided me with the groundwork for the road of recovery I have before me: medical knowledge of what toll my illness will/is taking on my body, nutritional guidance and learning, and hours of therapy to sort out how the prior week went and whatnot. The downfall of this cycle, however, is that despite the skills the nutrition and therapy once-a-week have provided me with thus far is not near enough. Sometimes, outpatient is not enough for an ED patient, and frankly, that patient is now me. I have spent my fair share of days running through my preceding day’s intake with my nutritionist, discovering where I slipped up and setting goals for myself in the days to come. With her guidance, I have created meals for me to go home and try and adjusted common fallbacks. When I am in her office, the world is full of possibilities—most notably the belief of my recovery—but once I am back in the comfort of my own home and discretion, however, very seldom do I have the audacity or forte to complete any of my brainstormed tasks and expectations. On the rare occasion that I do try, the after-effects on behalf of the ED are what send me spiraling into a manic urgency to even further restrict my intake. Along either pathway in which I travel on any given day, the irrevocability of guilt bore from my failure to do much of anything only further emboldens the subterranean blankets of my depression to sheathe me in the numbness of it all. The same goes for my therapy. In our weekly sessions, I have uncovered the many underlying reasons my ED has such control and have analyzed certain ED thought processes I commonly entertain. However, I have never opened word to the events of my past, nor am I able to deal with my emotions or events once I step foot out of that crowded one-story building.

I cannot help myself but to question how, exactly, do some people recover? Are there some that are just too far gone to be helped? Is it a matter of guts or strength, or is it a sheer luck of genetic code? Deplorably, I do admit that this has been on my mind lately. The difference in me now and my post-social-awareness/inspiration-activism self is that my passion and thereby willpower for recovery is blossoming and interminable: the fruit that which is sure to be manifested hangs effortlessly delicate from a willowed, tethered branch; yet, I am wedged in an imbroglio of roots and impenetrable soil, unsure of how exactly to maneuver my footwork to set me free.

Swallowed my fear; where it will take me, nobody knows.

•June 3, 2012 • 8 Comments

Sitting here alone today, I perched on the edge of my chair before my laptop. My new kitten, Astra, is sleeping in my lap. I hear the distant rumble of the television downstairs, presenting some violent action film that seems just a tad too plausible for my nonchalance. It is Sunday afternoon and the images of this week float around in my head like a swarm of angry bees tipsy off of hundred-day old wine. I cannot seem to stop one, even to analyze it, and it frustrates me to no end. The week began with the awful drone of another “holiday.” However, to my utter and complete relief (sort-of) my family did not have our usual family-get together. In our family, our gatherings consist of mounds upon mounds of food, drinks, and socializing. I always feel the stairs upon me as my family members watch my every move, wondering if I will finally go for my childhood favorite of the potato salad, or resort back to my corner, munching quietly on the carrot sticks I insist cutting up into tiny forkable bites. This year, though, my family stayed home, and grilled out on our porch. After much planning, I had restricted my intake that day just enough to be able to allow myself a few bites of lobster with my father. By the time dinner rolled around, however, I found myself ultimately unable to even go into the kitchen, eventually taking some medicine and going up off to bed. Tuesday went by in a blur. At this point, after much trying and calls, I came to the awful realization that residential treatment was out of the question: the cost was too much, no matter what financial offers the places could offer, because insurance was bound and determined to see to my illness. So, with a heavy heart and clouded mind, I called the numbers of the research universities my OP doctor had given me. After one-too-many questions, the monotonous voices of each facility rejected my eligibility, either for the factors of my age, level of need, or depression/self-harm activeness. Pathetically broken by the harsh reality of it all, I went to bed that night convinced of my inevitable death. My doctor’s appointment that afternoon had suited well in assuring these worries, as a concerned and slightly annoyed team of professionals chastised my severe dehydration, weight loss, and low heart rate. It was in these moments, however, that something hit me. I awoke and started rummaging through old and current photos, watching my transformation right before my eyes. I watched all the family/life moments I had missed out on, either out of the camera’s scope alone or sitting inside on the particular occasion. As I came across a picture from this year’s prom, one where my sisters and I are standing together in front of my mother’s flower bed, a crippling pain shot through my entire being. It is then that I decided I was going to fight, and sure enough, I had a plan. I started to make YouTube videos to document my battle, in hopes of further reaching out/inspiring those around the world. The amount of encouragement and support, the people whose stories I was told, and the utter inspiration from it all was so overwhelming, so surreal, that it helped me in insurmountable ways. I have currently been videoing my every day for four days now. Along with my videos, I have been talking to a number of people who are in desperate need, and helping them get the help they need has been my goal. I adopted a kitten yesterday, after deciding that taking care of something could really prove to my, and her, benefit. I went into this whole activism thing with the mindset that my problems would simply vanish away; I am finding to this to be unbelievably far from the truth. The past few days have been full of struggles, and the depression and self-harm still are burdening each hour, but my mindset has changed completely. I may not be making any progress in my weight or food consumption, but the fact that I am now focused and determined more than ever is progress in itself. That is something that I must admit. I am still very sick, and very, very weak, but I have hope now for the future—my future is set to save the lives of a lost world.

Update/Explanation

•June 1, 2012 • 6 Comments

First of all, I would like to apologize for my lack of posting..the past month has been..wow. I will explain in further detail when I am alloted more time. So, for the time being, I will give you a minute list of what you all should know:

1.  Residential treatment has been officially dubbed out of the question.

2. Research/free treatment programs did not work out.

3. I came out to Facebook about my battles..and made a YouTube Channel..and am now talking to people as far away as a little remote island in the Indian Ocean..so pretty much, my entire life has changed.

4. I am still, very, very sick and struggling immensely. But, I am fighting.

5. I should have time this weekend to write to you my much-needed thought processing and/or update.

6. I am getting a kitty cat.

** The video is my first YouTube video that I shared Wednesday morning. I attached it so you could watch if you please. “Candace’s Story: A Stolen Life”