My recovery is a practice of self-discovery. So is my college major. Both of them bring me closer to my story.
I'm constantly reminded that I don't live in a vacuum. That the various parts of my identity all connect and relate. Embracing this connection, surrendering to the rides: that is what it means to be free.
Much of my recovery depends on attitude and the lens through which I frame a situation. The attitude of play lets me treat my recovery like a game, in which I have infinite lives.
My relationship with my eating disorder is complex to say the least. I often glamorize my eating disorder, romanticizing the "power" it gave me. But I've given it too much credit. It's time to talk about what I've lost. It ravaged all of my relationships and took me out of the moment. I was trapped in a haze of exercise and restriction, and my personality couldn't come out.
It's a rainy Saturday morning. I love the rain. I consider it a shower from the Universe. I would love to have my wedding in the rain. I wouldn't plan it that way, of course. But, if it happened, I would not complain.I would shout, "HOORAY! Thank you, Rain! Thank you for cleansing us on... Continue Reading →
Recovering from my eating disorder required - and still requires - a good PI: the Private Investigator I like to call Personal Inventory. For me, recovery transcends abstinence; abstinence is just one piece of the pie. I can abstain from dieting and restricting and still have disordered thoughts. For me, recovery transcends abstinence. Recovery addresses... Continue Reading →
I believe in miracles. Big miracles and small miracles. I’m particularly grateful for the mini miracles, the ones that occur every day: waking to a message from someone I love, thinking of a person then turning the corner and bumping into them on the street, free coffee from my favorite baristas... Mostly, I'm grateful for... Continue Reading →
It's astonishing how a simple statement like "Prepping for an interview can be a great opportunity to take personal inventory" can be the speech of an eating disorder. Going out of my way to justify how this post will relate to my recovery before giving it a chance to speak for itself, and doing so in the form of a blanket statement which takes the focus off myself, is the disease, not the recovery. It's an act of self-protection so subtle I almost didn't catch it. But, the act of identifying it and exposing here brings me back to recovery.
I read a piece from The Daily Om last week called “Finding Our Life’s Work.” The author, Madison Taylor, writes, “Your most important work in this lifetime may not be your job – it’s a conviction within your soul, recognizable if you allow it to shine.” My life’s work is Recovery and sharing Recovery. So today, I’m here to share recovery.
Before I was anorexic, I was a compulsive overeater; anorexia was my means of combatting that - admittedly, the wrong solution. However, while I've been quite vocal about my recovery from anorexia, I've been fairly silent about my binging. My binge eating disorder is one of the "disowned parts" of my story and myself.
To my nutritionist, AKA my Fairy Godmother: Well, FG, I'll have you know that I'm glowing. Without weighing myself, I know my weight has restored, with the help of midnight snacking (and lots of it; multiple jars of nut butter have been consumed, consciously, and I’m fine with that), sleeping, daily writing of a body... Continue Reading →
"I am proactively healing my body. I am creating a healthy body. My weight is normalizing. I now release all blocks that prevent me from having and maintaining a healthy body, and I am restored to balance."-Bella Florence January 30, 2019: It’s 10 o’clock on a Wednesday morning, day 3 of my sophomore spring. 72... Continue Reading →
I want to see myself in a healthy body. I want to see a world where all are healthy and accept their bodies and appreciate their weights. I want to see a world without eating disorders. I want to see a world where people nourish themselves with love.
Intimacy and consent don't just apply to the bedroom. In fact, in order to make it into the bedroom, they first have to manifest in the rest of your life.
While my goals and aspirations no longer pertain to weight loss, they still risk setting me up for failure. That said, I’m wary of setting them now. But I’m also working on balance, and I’ve come to realize that the key ingredient is intention. Intention is the difference between structure and rigidity, between spontaneity and impulsivity. So that’s what I’ll focus this post on: intention. My current, salient intentions which just happen to coincide with the start of the new year.
I Exploited Myself: Or Did I? "Every day is an opportunity" --B___ A_____. On Tuesday, November 27, 2018 (8 days ago now as I write this), I participated in my college's annual Mental Health Arts Festival. (I say annual, but it's only the second year.) I did so last year as well, debuting "Self VS... Continue Reading →
A letter from my present self to my future self, a snapshot of a moment in time. Thursday, November 21, 2018: Dear Bella: The odds of your forgetting this moment are slim, as you have a stellar memory (although I cannot predict what might become of it in the future), but I shall recount the... Continue Reading →
As someone who's obsessive-compulsive and anorexic in nature, going with the flow is a challenge. In my mind, planning equals rigidity and rigidity equals relapse. But perhaps there's a way to let planning serve me, in a way that is not rigid. No, you know what? Screw perhaps. There is a way, and it revealed itself this morning.
I'm currently enrolled in a college course which explores the role of play in human development, in healing from trauma, and in the making of performance art. Each week has a focus: for instance, puppetry. Several weeks ago we read Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass and were asked to create a puppet that represented our "daemon," or... Continue Reading →
I wrote in a recent essay that recovering from my eating disorder is my greatest accomplishment, and my higher self believes that. But my other self, my darker self, sees the opposite as true. It sees my greatest accomplishment as my eating disorder itself. I’ll never forget the moment—I must have been eleven years old—when... Continue Reading →
On the Vulnerability I Feel Post--Post... Vulnerability is hard. It's really fucking hard. And I experienced it heavily in sharing my last post. When I open up, it's hard to move on. I simmer in insecurity, paralyzed by thoughts of my nakedness. Which brings me to the following question…can we express confidence and vulnerability at... Continue Reading →
It's my anniversary. It's my anniversary and I really need a hug. On October 20, 2016, my dad drove me and my mom to the Louis Armstrong International Airport at 4 o'clock in the morning to catch the 6 AM flight to Miami. I packed an apple and 5 nuts for the plane, the bare... Continue Reading →
In her talk, Gabby mentions that “the other person is you.” It’s a yogic concept, one I’ve heard before, though it never resonated in the past. But now I understand it. I identified to hate in this man precisely what I hate in myself. I projected onto him what I fear I exhibit to the rest of the world, which in doing so, I did exhibit. I manifested my greatest fear.
I should have regained my power over time, but my mindset was permanently altered. In my years of treatment I was wired to believe that I had reason to doubt myself. But this is a new experience; I am in a new space and time. I'm can receive news about my health and decide for myself what it means.
Below is an entry I wrote in July during a crisis of confidence regarding "O Negative." It's a response to some feedback I got at the time. July 12, 2018: I really thought O Negative was good when I wrote it. I really thought it was! And now I'm realizing that I'm just a lowly college... Continue Reading →
In the spirit of counting blessings, I have a story to tell. Last Tuesday, during a bout of insomnia, I called in sick to work. For the sake of context, I work at a bakery, a bubblegum-pop franchise in downtown New Orleans. Many have asked if I find it triggering to work around sweets all... Continue Reading →
Accomplishments, oh me, oh my! I What a beautiful thing to celebrate. I discovered this beauty at Oliver Pyatt, my treatment center in Florida (from which I discharged early, against medical advice). With the help of my therapist Cece, I began a nightly gratitude practice accompanied by an "Achievement Journal." Each night I'd list 3... Continue Reading →
Thank you, Adam Lambert, for giving me my title. You know the age old adage: "Good composers borrow, great composers steal." But let's get down to business. Today I'm hanging with Writer's Block: and I'm ready to rip him a new one. When I think about the universality of the human experience, I feel simultaneously... Continue Reading →