I always feel a little embarrassed when I answer this question because I’m worried I will come off as arrogant :/
I have 3,278 wonderful people following this blog.
Which feels incredibly surreal, because I never imagined this blog ever becoming something that could touch so many people.
It’s honestly a dream come true.
But I. A.M. has never been about obtaining followers.
I would have been happy to have 10 followers if it meant I made a difference in their lives.
So the fact that I’ve been blessed with so many people who are interested in this blog, is something I’m so incredibly grateful for.
That is one of the most heartwarming things anyone has ever said to me in my entire life.
No one has ever told me I make them feel safe.
It’s so hard for me to find people who make me feel that way.
They’re the people I know love and accept me unconditionally.
The people who I know won’t judge me and treat me with compassion and kindness.
They are the people who make me feel seen and heard and validated.
So knowing that I make you feel safe, is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given, and I mean that so honestly and sincerely.
Thank you so, so much.
I’m so honored that this blog is a safe place for you.
Sending you so much love,
I’m so glad that you enjoy reading I. A.M.
Messages like yours keep me writing.
So thank you so much for sharing this.
Sending you a lot of love,
That’s really sweet of you to say :)
Thank you so much for your kind words.
I’m so glad you enjoy reading the posts.
Thank you so much :)
I’m glad you like it!
Thank you for checking in with me.
It means a lot.
This past week I was so busy with school and midterms and studying and homework that I just didn’t have time to blog or respond to people’s emails and ask box questions.
I haven’t been in school for the past two years, so I’ve had plenty of free time to run I. A.M., write blog entries, and support followers. Now that I’m back in school though, I have much less available time, and I haven’t really figured out how to manage my time between blogging and homework.
It’s something that has recently been causing me a lot of guilt because I so desperately want to be there for everyone and consistent post things. But that isn’t realistic, or possible, especially when I’m in school. I’m reminding myself that I can’t support others if I neglect my own needs. So I’ve been taking some time off for myself to regroup and relax after a really stressful week.
If I ever don’t respond to people’s messages or emails right away or even within a few days, it’s never because I’m ignoring anyone or being selective about who I answer—it’s because I’m really busy or struggling with my own demons.
Despite the fact that I run this blog, I’m definitely not recovered from my own eating disorder. I’ve been struggling food-wise this week, and my depression has been really severe and debilitating the past few days. When it gets like this, I become kind of paralyzed. I can’t write or think or move. I can’t pick up my phone to call or text someone for support. I can’t see friends, hold a conversation, or brave going out in public. I can’t do anything, except curl up under my covers in bed, feeling empty and hopeless, drifting in and out of sleep.
So, when I’m like this, I can’t really blog, which makes me really sad.
Sorry for going off on a tangent. I just wanted to explain to you, and others what’s been going on and why I haven’t been posting or responding much :/
I appreciate your support and kindness so much.
And I feel really grateful that people like you, people willing to take a few minutes out of their day to send a stranger some love, exist.
Sending you a ton of love right back,
It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.” —(via she-hulk-smash)
The fact that you reached out is a step you took towards recovery. It’s the first step towards getting better, and it’s something I hope you can be proud of yourself for.
I’m so sorry you’re hurting :(
Being consumed by your eating disorder thoughts and behaviors is awful and terrifying.
You may not be able to control the fact that you’re hurting and feeling a lot of fear and anxiety, but you do have control over how you respond to the values.
You can choose to engage in behaviors and give yourself some temporary relief from the pain, or you can face the feelings and sit with them. You can reach out, journal, use healthy coping mechanisms to self soothe, and hold onto all the reasons you have to recover.
It’s important to remember when you’re feeling an urge to use behaviors that it won’t last forever. The feeling ALWAYS passes. Engaging in behaviors may make you feel better in the moment, but it’s a temporary fix that ultimately will lead you to feel depressed and ashamed, and start the eating disorder cycle all over again.
There is a reason you are having urges. Instead of acting out, learning from them. What need do you have that isn’t getting met? When you identify what it is, you can figure out a healthy way to take care of yourself and get it met.
When you get an urge, try asking yourself these questions:
1. What happened that brought on this urge?
2. How do I feel? (Try to name at least three feelings)
3. Will using behaviors help the situation?
4. Will it make me feel better or worse in the long run?
5. Is there a healthy way I can solve my problem?
Also, I think it’s perfectly normal and healthy to cry, even if you feel like there is no reason to. By allowing yourself to feel your feelings, you are taking care of yourself. If your body is having you cry, it’s because it needs to release things. Don’t hold back. Let it out.
I think the first thing to do is make a list of the things holding you back from recovery.
Whether it’s a free of gaining weight, fear of independence, fear of feeling full, fear of growing up, whatever the reasons, identify them.
If you see a therapist, you can discuss each one with her and come up with ideas for how to overcome these fears.
I think it’s also important to write out a list of reasons to recover and a list of things your eating disorder has robbed you of to keep you motivated when you feel like giving into behaviors.
Remember that recovery is a process. It doesn’t happen over the course of a few months or a few years. It takes a lot of time and hard work and effort. There are ups and downs. You’re going to have slips and fall. But as long as you keep picking yourself back up, you are stepping forward towards recovery.
Don’t allow the struggle to make you give up.
You aren’t alone in what you’re going through and you don’t have to face it alone.
Try to have compassion for yourself. Recognize that you are doing your best given the circumstances, and that’s all you can ask of yourself.
Breathe. Surround yourself with people who love you. Reach out. And keep fighting.
There is always hope.
Sending you so much love,