Browsing Tag

eating disorders

Guest Posts, Self Image, Self Love

Loveless at 34

July 12, 2017
garbage

By Shauna Lange

The day I found out I was having a heart attack, was a day like any other.  Other than the radiating pain in my arm and chest every time I moved, it was a fairly average day.  I smoked my two cigarettes on the way to work.  I typed my spreadsheets, drank my coffee, enjoyed some laughs with friends, binged at every meal, and smoked my last 2 cigarettes on the way to my second job.  Most importantly, I spent a good portion of the day internally bullying myself for every calorie, every mistake and bullshit excuse, with the good old stand-by “I’ll just try again tomorrow” – rationalizing every ugly moment.

Since complete self-loathing accompanies the decision to eat a few too many McDonald’s french fries, sans ketchup (to save some calories) you can only imagine my emotional state when the ER doctor came to me later that evening.  With a look of shock on her face, she told me that I was having a heart attack. As the tears streamed down my face, with a gaggle of hospital staff staring at me, paralyzed by my meltdown, I realized how truly broken I was.

I felt rejected by my own body.  How could it do this to me?  Stupid heart.  Lazy ass.  Ugly idiot. Fucking food addict.  I stayed up all night in the hospital in this state of anger and loss. I cried or I berated myself.  I sat there for hours and tried to figure out all the things I had done that lead me to that moment.  The years of poor eating and binging, the avoidance of exercise over the last year, the decision to take myself off my diabetes meds while putting myself on birth control to avoid my fear of pregnancy, all the way to the final cigarette I tried to have in the car as I drove myself to the hospital with pain shooting from my chest to my arm.

March 22, 2017 was my day of reckoning.  It was time to pay for my sins.  At 34 years of age, I was now confronted with the reality that all aspects of my life needed to change.  Each health issue needed to be addressed; each coping mechanism needed to be taken away and replaced with something healthy.  And while I had spent the last four years of my life making some healthy strides emotionally and physically, it was time to take off the kid gloves and dig into the mess.  Quit smoking, control my diabetes, exercise, and most importantly, finally deal with my compulsive eating.

I spent the first few weeks after getting out of the hospital lost.  For me, it’s been difficult not to blame my own actions for my heart attack.  “If only.”  The words circled around in my brain every day. While I was able to quit smoking and start exercising fairly easily, the food continues to be a struggle.  For the last 15 years, binging has been a way of life.  Food is used to celebrate or mask all emotion.  Hating myself for eating is an automatic response.  Choosing to eat poorly is easy, and frankly, safe and comforting.  Once that food is shoved into my mouth, an insult immediately follows.  With each bite I take, I berate myself, and imagine years of fast food piled on top of each other, an impenetrable wall in my stomach while the self-hate has created a wall around my heart so I feel loveless.  No love can get in, and no love will come out.

Where did my love go?  I don’t have problems expressing love, or cheering people up.  In fact, making people laugh is my favorite thing about life.  Making someone truly laugh is powerful.  So, why do I stop the love from penetrating my heart?  Where is my self-compassion, my patience, my own truth?  Even when people asked me how I was doing, I replied very upbeat and excited and made sure to reassure them that I was good.

I finally admitted to myself that I failed.  Not at losing the weight, or taking care of myself, or listening to the experts, or any of the shit the world throws at you.  I failed at loving my body, inside and out.  I became loveless at 34. “You gotta love yourself first” they say, right?  Fuck that. You have to love period. I realized that so often, I’m not actually sad or mad or angry.  I THINK I need to feel this way.  That my life should have some drama in it, or it’s not worthy.  But when I asked myself – “Worthy of what?”  – I came up with a lot of bullshit and decided enough was enough.  I admitted that while I can enlist the help of family, friends, doctors, nurses, nutritionists and therapists, they can’t do the work for me.  They can love me, and I can love them, but I still need to love myself.  This is starting to sound like an ad for masturbation….Let’s move on.

I admitted that regardless of the number on the scale, size of my boobs, the strength of my arms, the color of my nails, or the shininess of my hair, what is actually important to me are the beating organs that keep me alive. The gifts of the senses.  The ability to sleep and dream and wake up rested and ready to take life by the proverbial lady balls.  My body is not a garbage disposal, a punching bag, or a broken piece of glass. It’s fucking beautiful, in all its messy, fatty, sexy glory.

I may have a stent in my artery, but that just means I’m one piece closer to being bionic! I’ve got amazing bedhead.  I love my eyes, and sometimes I look at them in the mirror because the color is so unique.  If you ask me, my boobs are perfect.  I hate wearing a bra, and thankfully, my breasts are still a little perky!  My brain never stops, and while sometimes it’s exhausting, I love the constant state of randomness it’s in.

I’m learning to love the bloody, messy bleeding heart inside me.  I want to tear the wall down and build a nice soft pillow to protect it and keep it safe.  My heart is my queen, and she’s getting stronger every day.

I am beautiful, and I am fat. I have heart disease, and I am a diabetic. I am both complicated and simple.  I am love, and I am pain. I am loud and shy. We are all these amazing dichotomies and creations of our own choosing, and I am learning to embrace all the good and the bad, because I no longer want to be perfect.  I just want to be me, and as corny and cheesy as it sounds, it took breaking my heart to find the courage to accept that I want to live a life full of love.

Shauna Lange was born and raised in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. She has a BA in Psychology from Lemoyne College in Syracuse NY. While she dreamed of being a writer since she was a kid, it’s only been recently that she has allowed myself to write, and share it with the world. Shauna can be found on facebook and on instagram. She also loves photography, comedies, and the beach.

 

Join The Manifestation Retreat: Manifesting Under The Tuscan Sun. Sep 30-October 7, 2017.. Email retreats@jenniferpastiloff.com or click the picture above.

 

 

Join Jen Pastiloff at her signature workshop in Atlanta at Form Yoga on Aug 26 by clicking the picture.

 

Donate to the Aleksander Fund today. Click the photo read about Julia, who lost her baby, and what the fund is.

Eating Disorders/Healing, Guest Posts

Wine for Beginners

December 27, 2016
wine

CW: This essay discusses eating disorders.

By Caitlyn Renee Miller

Franzia Chillable Red (Provenance Unclear). $10.99/5 liters

“A light-bodied red that is made to be served chilled … softer than traditional red wines. Pairs well with lighter foods.”

You check out of your eating disorder treatment facility against medical advice so that you can start your freshman year of college on time. You are eighteen, and nothing feels more important than starting on time. You find that you are able to shed parts of the past in a new environment, one with brick sidewalks, dorms, science labs, and a brick dining hall. There are a lot of bricks. They make the campus feel lofty, and you’re sure you’ll learn a lot. Every time you breathe the end-of-summer air, you think it smells like the future. Like promise. Maybe you’ll even learn who you’re supposed to be.

At Christmas, you go to the boys’ dorm across the way from yours. The guy you’ll have a will-they-won’t-they thing with over the next two years is having a few people over for (boxed) wine and cookies. You’ve discovered that you are able to enjoy food if you’ve been drinking. The evening involves him pouring Franzia into your mouth from the box’s built in spigot and ends with you vomiting a bright red stream on his flip flops as he walks you safely home. Continue Reading…

Guest Posts, Surviving, Young Voices

The Aftermath Of Assault Leads To A Call For Help

October 4, 2016
assault

TW: This piece discusses sexual assault and its aftermath.

By Ashley N. Doonan 

I am a doctoral student in Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green State University. I teach Freshmen English as well as take courses within my program. I come from New England, and I have only been in the Midwest for about a month and a half. Unfortunately, my experience here has already been tarnished.

On September 1st, 2016 I was robbed of a vital piece of myself. The violation—the shrieks, the moans, the blood—all as I was forced down and pressed into the carpet rhythmically against my will for what seemed like hours. After that day, I resorted an old coping mechanism of mine—that is, not eating. That numbness, that lapse back into my eating disorder sucked me in almost instantaneously.

Things started to decline quickly, and there’s no doubt that one cannot maintain an eating disorder while simultaneously succeeding in a Ph.D. program. Therefore, I have sought out a dietician who is highly supportive and specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. However, she does not accept insurance and the standing rate for the comprehensive six-month package costs $3,250. “Begin WELL” was the program suggested to me based on my assessment (more information on that can be found here).

As a graduate student, I simply don’t have that type of money nor do I have any financial support from my family. As of today, I have a second job, however, my university limits the amount of hours that graduate students can work. I am extremely uncomfortable asking others for assistance but I know how much I need to be seeing this dietician in order to stay in school and avoid a higher level of care. My dietician is willing to work with me via monthly payments versus paying for the entire package at once.

During my eating disorder in past (you can read more about that here) I found that hunger stole my voice. The year wherein I was too afraid to go to class, when I’d come up with any and every excuse not to go out with friends—I refer to that period of time as “the silent years.” Little did I know, my sexual assault and subsequent relapse into my eating disorder would pull me back into the realm of silence. The work that I do currently involves discussing the rhetoric of mental health—a topic that will likely become my dissertation. I believe that advocacy for mental health issues is one of the most vital things one can do; for me at the current moment, that means vocalizing my story because I know that I need assistance to make it through this. Moreover, I hope to reclaim my voice because I refuse to let my trauma and eating disorder rid me of it.

Even the smallest of donations would be appreciated, as I am doing everything that I can to stay out of the hospital. My GoFundMe page can be found here.

Warmest wishes,
Ashley N. Doonan

 

Join founder Jen Pastiloff for a weekend retreat at Kripalu Center in Western Massachusetts Feb 19-21, 2016. Get ready to connect to your joy, manifest the life of your dreams, and tell the truth about who you are. This program is an excavation of the self, a deep and fun journey into questions such as: If I wasn’t afraid, what would I do? Who would I be if no one told me who I was? Jennifer Pastiloff, creator of Manifestation Yoga and author of the forthcoming Girl Power: You Are Enough, invites you beyond your comfort zone to explore what it means to be creative, human, and free—through writing, asana, and maybe a dance party or two! Jennifer’s focus is less on yoga postures and more on diving into life in all its unpredictable, messy beauty. Note Bring a journal, an open heart, and a sense of humor. Click the photo to sign up.

Join Jen Pastiloff at her Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human in Dallas Oct 22. Click the link above to book. No yoga experience needed- just be a human being! Bring a journal and a sense of humor. See why People Magazine did a whole feature on Jen.

 

Check out Jen Pastiloff in People Magazine!

Check out Jen in People Magazine!

eating disorder, Eating Disorders/Healing, Guest Posts

Losing My Soul Sister To An Eating Disorder

April 6, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Jessica Lucas.

Some of this content may be triggering to anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder.

It was the day of the Leeza talk show taping. The topic: eating disorders. I walked into the Hollywood studio prepared to talk about the one thing that tormented and tortured me every day, anorexia, and I had never felt so overwhelmed, frightened, and ALONE – even as I was surrounded by hundreds of studio audience members.

“No one understands. No one gets it. No one can relate. No one will care. I’ll sound crazy. I’m not sick enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not articulate enough. I’m not thin enough. I won’t make any sense. I am all alone.” The all too familiar harsh criticisms and relentless fears ran through my mind more quickly than I could slow them down or resist them.

As I began to feel like a deer in the spotlights – visibly shaking, paralyzed with fear, drained of all color, wondering what I’d gotten myself into and ready to turn and run away – the studio wrangler led me to my seat near the stage.

Immediately, I was drawn to the woman with the comforting smile, Bo Derek-like braids in her blonde hair, and big blue eyes sitting in front of me. I knew her, but I didn’t know her. I loved her, but I’d never met her. I related to her, but we’d never spoken. We were best friends, but I’d never seen her before. Continue Reading…

Eating Disorders/Healing, Guest Posts, Self Image, The Body, Women

On Being Naked.

February 17, 2015

 

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88

 

By Christine Molloy.

I have always felt awkward in locker rooms. I mean, REALLY awkward. So much so that since I left high school, I have not changed my clothes in one. This is pretty impressive considering how many gym memberships I have had and that in the last several years of going to my current gym, I have been in the gym pool hundreds of times.

I had a strategy for these pool trips though. First of all, I live five minutes from my gym and yes, that is as awesome as it sounds. So I would towel dry off, throw some ratty clothes on over my suit, and head home. Maybe twice I went down to the locker room to use the toilet. Maybe.

In the dead of winter, when it was too cold to do that, I would switch to another form of exercise and just not deal with the locker room issue. However this winter is much different because I have been battling foot injuries in both my feet and on top of a nasty autoimmune illness, the pool is really the only good exercise I can get at the moment. And, I enjoy it. I especially enjoy the hot tub before and after!

The locker room at my gym was recently renovated and has two showers and three or four toilet stalls. There is a sauna, lockers, and benches. That’s it. Which means there are no changing rooms, unless you use the shower and it is rare for one of those to be open. And here is where we get to the root of my problem with locker rooms:

People will see me naked.

Hey, we all have our hang-ups.

There’s no changing room, no cubicles, not even a more secluded corner of the locker room to tuck away my less-than-perfect body into. Total exposure of a body that many times, I even have a difficult time looking at. One that has the dreaded apple shape, cellulite, and just stuff hanging everywhere. You know how women start to complain about how as they get older, their breasts begin the downward descent into hell and they miss their perky boob days? Yeah, not me. My boobs started at the place that most women dread going to.

I know, I know. I have had people tell me that the other people in the locker room are so focused on themselves that they are not even bothering to look over at me. They are all thinking about their kids or pre-planning their work day in their head. I think that is true for some, but I am not buying that explanation for everybody. People are curious. It is just human nature.

I have not always hated my body and even now, I don’t always look at it in a negative way. But I definitely need more balance and more positive self-talk. This body has seen me through some serious shit and on two different occasions, brought me back from the brink of death. This is the body that has survived cancer, round after round of prednisone and so many other toxic medications, a daily battle with an autoimmune illness, a heart procedure, blood clots in my lungs, and a neurological condition that almost paralyzed me. After going through these experiences, you have to garner some respect for the body that gets you through day after day; but I still criticize my body. I think that is probably the main reason why I do yoga; by doing poses, it helps me focus on not only my strength, but also on the life force inside of me. Yoga reminds me of what I am capable of and the good that my body can do.

But it does make me wonder, when exactly did this start for me? That feeling that my body wasn’t good enough? That I wasn’t good enough? I do know with absolute certainty that there was nothing in my childhood that made me feel ashamed of my body. According to my mom, as a toddler, it was hard for her to keep clothes ON me! And in my household growing up, being naked was not a big deal. We all walked naked from the bathroom to our rooms and back and once the teenage years came for me and my brother, the walking became a fast streak! And a T-shirt for me. As a kid, neither one of my parents every pressured me about losing weight and I was never told that I was ugly by either one of them. Even well into my adulthood, my dad has never mentioned one word about my weight or my eating habits, although on occasion he has tossed a positive compliment my way when a weight loss has been noticeable. Dad, you did well!

Continue Reading…

Eating Disorders/Healing, Guest Posts

Why I’m Fat.

January 21, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88

By Martha M. Barantovich.

Someone has written the opening scene of a horror flick.  Slowly they pan the camera back and forth and find that one thing out of place in the abandoned, dust covered room.  The doll with no head, lying face up, arms stretched out, as if reaching for a hug.  And in the background is the slow pulse of music that sets the tone.  It just moves the watcher ever so slowly, creating a sense of angst.  You’re not sure why you feel the angst, you just do.

The sound of a hum.

Just below the surface, between my skin and my essence, like an internal itch I’ll never reach is where it lies.  For as long as I can remember, it’s been there.  It’s an internal noise.  A buzz, a hum, a constant vibration.  It has taken me forever to recognize it and name it and look at it and feel it.  My whole life has been attached to and driven by the noise.  My whole life has been a search for the name; like a miner hoping to make it rich. And that really is the crux of it.  The naming and the feeling.  Because I have finally found THE WORD.  THE WORD that I need to face so that we can change the dance.

We will get there.  To the naming and the feeling. But in order to name, I have to peel away the layers.  The thick, imbedded layers that need to be torn back and examined and turned over and squinted at and sniffed and held and hidden away in shame.  Over and over and over again.  This is how I always seem to do it.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual 2016 Manifestation September 2016. Email barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being. One spot left.

Continue Reading…

Beating Fear with a Stick, Eating Disorders/Healing, Guest Posts, Vulnerability

About Knowing What I Don’t Remember.

August 26, 2014

By Kit Rempala

I’ve never been “normal” – if that word means anything at all. I see and speak to dead people. On occasion I read people’s minds and have prophetic dreams. Souls and emotions are as tactile to me as the fur on my cat’s back. I hear messages in nature, be they from water or fire or wind or earth or the moon in the sky or the rustling of leaves. I feel everything.

So, to sum things up: I’m pretty darned good at believing in things I don’t see, things I’ve never seen, and things that can’t be seen. Sometimes, I worry I’m too good at believing.

I never believed I’d been sexually abused until my therapist asked me. I thought I’d answer “no” and the session would move on. But instead she asked me another question, one I’d never expected: “Are you sure?”

What did that mean, am I “sure?” How could I not be? How could I not know? How could anyone not know?

Continue Reading…

anti-bullying, Beating Fear with a Stick, Eating Disorders/Healing

The Love Campaign

November 23, 2013

I got this letter from an eighteen-year-old girl after she read my piece on called “Lessons from Middle School We Keep Forgetting,” which I had shared again on my Facebook page.

Hi Jennifer, 
I am so happy that I found your page. I have been silently reading your posts and the responses from your “tribe” for a long time, and when you posted about “the populars” and middle school, I finally had to participate. 

You are very inspiring. What you write is so honest, and I think it is going to help a lot of people. I have dealt with relentless bullying for my entire school life. I am still finishing school; I just started my senior year. When I started school, I was at a very small country school, and there were only about seven girls in my class, and they all just decided they hated me from day one. Everyday, they told me how fat and ugly I was. Whenever my mom came in to tell the teachers about it, they all said how nice and lovely the other students were, and they suggested she get me some help. I got to a point when I was so sick from this, like physically sick. My body just manifested everything that was happening to it on the outside, and I was sick all the time. Finally, when I started middle school, I thought it would be better, and it kind of was because I made a friend, but I was still horribly bullied, and, this time, it was by older kids. 

Finally, when I started high school, I found an amazing group of friends that I am still friends with, and we take care of each other. Of course, there is still so much bullying, but at least I have people who have my back now. I also struggle with what I think is becoming a full-fledged eating disorder because of all this bullying and because of how much like shit I feel all of the time because of what I’ve been told about my body and myself for so long.

I really have to just thank you for sharing your heart and your experiences. Reading your page is making me stronger, I feel. I really hope to keep reading and getting lifted up by them everyday as I finish this school experience and try to move on to better things. I find it amazing that women are fighting so long and hard for equality and rights and a voice, when everyday, really, it is women who are taking away these things for other women. We treat each other like shit, and it is so nice to come to a place on the web where none of that happens, and it is all about helping each other and being loving to one another.

Please just tell me it gets better after high school. 

Thank you, A.

It does get better. My friend Gina Frangello said,

I think there needs to be some kind of campaign like the fabulous It Gets Better one for gay teens; this time focusing on the very real fact that so many kids who are terribly bullied end up being the movers and shakers of the adult world and how adulthood offers those who didn’t ‘fit in’ to narrow childhoods or limiting towns/neighborhoods a chance to allow themselves to shine. So many young women, who at A’s age turn against their own bodies, end up being the most confident and generous women whose lives impact others—like yours, Jen (and other women we know). It’s so vital to hang in and wait for the day when you can write the script to your own life…”

I agree.

I am not sure what the campaign is yet, but it will start here. With you guys, my Positively Positive family. Post a note to A if you like, as she will read this as well. I love that I have high school kids that read me and follow me on social media.

Any of you other kids reading this, yes, yes, yes, it gets wildly better!

Let’s start the campaign right now. Please let A know any experiences you have had with bullying or any sage wisdom or love you can offer. Let’s move from a fear-based world to a love-based world. Right now.

xo jen

poster by Simplereminders.com as usual ;)

poster by Simplereminders.com as usual 😉

Beating Fear with a Stick, Eating Disorders/Healing, Guest Posts, healing

Nesting In Transition.

November 19, 2013

Nesting In Transition.

By Melisssa Black.

I suppose it’s time to use my carefully sculpted sentences and succinctly selected phrases to talk about pain, because contrary to my desperate belief, cutting its vocal chords doesn’t kill it and shoving it in the bottom drawer doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I have come to adore the phrase “I used to feel” to describe my floundering around in pain and overwhelm and vague stagnancy. The thought of my path being unclear and my actions frozen and my past writhing inside of me existing right now is enough to send me away from myself, back into the shackles of the disciplinarian I bowed down to for far too long. Essentially I have been attempting to fool myself in hopes that I’ll believe it’s all decaying underneath my footsteps, and that belief will manifest my salvation. But it’s still swimming.

An atrocious amount of time is still spent in front of mirrors, searching, determined to find ugliness, something to improve, some red flag or blemish or untoned muscle that will justify the uneasiness in which I seem to place myself. I still put my conscience to sleep in acts of cruel hatred inflicted upon my own body, waking only to find fingers pinching flesh on my hips, gagging at every angle I can position myself in. While brushing my hair, my teeth, putting on lipstick or glasses, old fiends scratch on my windowpanes, reminding me of every flaw and unrelentingly tossing in images of the tiny body I had not even a year ago like rocks through the living room window. These rocks sink to the bottom of my every attempt to hold my head high and make it out of the grasp of my past.

Eating disorders are an ugly reality. Even uglier, for me, was the depth of the issue, which extended beyond wanting to be beautiful enough to be valued and into the realms of a crumbling identity and empty well of self-worth, which perpetuated into every fiber of my being until I realized I couldn’t escape the notion of “not enough.” It followed me everywhere, and it ate me alive from the inside out until I discovered myself one horrendously grey winter afternoon in Idaho Falls on my yoga mat, mid-crunch, heaving and blubbering the same question over and over: “Where have I gone?”

I had not laughed, I had not connected, I had not felt an inkling of substantiality since I decided that to be thin meant to be disciplined, to be disciplined meant to be good, and to be good meant to be loved by God. After so much unrelenting torture, more emotionally than physically, I had constructed my own make-shift light at the end of my self-imposed tunnel. This work, this dis-ease, this inferiority wasn’t for nothing; I would soon walk through one of my blessed days as a perfect human being and be awarded the love that my ego was promising me. That day never arrived, even when I had enough willpower to sink under 100 pounds and fail to menstruate for a year and a half.

I have healed significantly since then. I surrendered into the unconditional love of my mother’s arms and I opened my eyes and ears to the swarms of friends around me, willing to help and restore the girl that they missed. I turned eighteen and decided it was high time to quit fucking around and declare my own worth and beauty and value, regardless of the ideas I had previously allowed to possess my fragile mind. I wasn’t going to take my first steps into adulthood as a victim, shrinking away in a rotting corner under the pressure of the world’s and my own outlandish expectations. I have kissed my own wounds and I have grown. But I think I have let the virtue of strength possess me just as I had let the fantasy of perfection.

When I start to consider that I may not be exactly where I believed I was on my highest highs, when I spent romantic nights with Bob Dylan and impasto and poetry, indulging in the fantastic beauty I had every right to see in my own reflection, I start to panic. I begin to implement my new methods of beating the sadness out of myself, disguising it as unyielding tenacity. But I don’t want to be proud of my own feet on top of the vulnerability that it takes to express a long-lived sadness. I no longer want to pretend that being unaffected is strength personified. If something hateful is still squirming within me, it is not my job to condemn my own weakness for not having completely overcome it yet – those were some nasty demons and I am and always have been a sensitive girl.

I still see them when I silently beg with every action to be praised by people I don’t particularly like, or when I allow the dark matter of my mind to convince me that if I didn’t burn 400 calories or write a perfect paper, I have lost myself to unworthiness and sloth. I see it when I manipulate people in my cravings for affection and when I whisper stories to myself about others to battle my own insecurities, to extinguish the coals that are still burning within my anger of not having yet reached perfection. These things still trickle up, no matter how impossible I believe it to be in the blissful, fleeting moments of yoga, meditation, or prose fluidly leaking from my fingertips. But the intensity of my highs and lows is so staggering that it’s almost theatrical. Rest, now, is my only option.

I will no longer grapple with my past. I will no longer succumb to guilt. I will no longer condemn myself of ridiculous and fictitious offenses. Instead, I’m choosing to place myself in the ethers of flagrant honesty, and wrap that girl into arms mimicking my mother’s and let her know, with a kiss on her shoulder, that no matter how far she slips back down her own timeline, she is nevertheless welcome home in every moment.

picture015

Melissa Black is currently a student in Littleton, CO, pursuing a career in writing. She is on the road to recovery from anorexia and has found peace through yoga and meditation, and purpose in serving others through prose, art, and random (and frequent) acts of kindness. She aspires to give all that she has gained through her journey inward to those who struggle with eating disorders and poor self-image, and believes connection through writing is a powerful force for reaching out to those in need with compassion, understanding, and unconditional support.