24 and Chronically Sick

It’s finally 2019 and while I use to waste the first month of every year trying new diets and starving myself this year, I decided that I would not waste my time on such a pointless pass time. I’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t need the year to change to make a change. Based off of my history of treatment, possibly the biggest change anyone can make, I always seem to take that challenge head on in the late spring/early summer.

My plan was to take the new year easy, try to avoid as many weight loss ads and diets as possible, and to prepare for the start of the spring semester but one thing I always forget when it comes to life is that it never goes as planned. On the 7th I finally got in to see a rheumatologist after being on a waitlist and was told that thankfully do not have another autoimmune disease to accompany my Hashimoto’s but that I do have Fibromyalgia.

At the moment I’m not sure how to feel. I think for my own sanity I’m trying to stay numb to the whole situation and focus on the few things I seem to be able to control in my life, school. When I do allow myself to process what’s going on, I’m heartbroken. Growing up you are taught as a child that you might wake up one day and have an illness that has no cure and will never go away. That when you’re in your mid-twenties you will be in pain every day and every morning it will be hard to simply sit up in bed and there’s nothing that can make it better. In fact, not much is known about this illness at all and because you are fat you are going to be dismissed by everyone under the damn sun and told to just lose weight, count calories, exercise.

Family, friends, strangers already tell me to lose weight for any and every reason but now my pain, exhaustion, frustration will be dismissed because of it and despite having been to inpatient treatment 3 times for an eating disorder, it doesn’t matter. Thinness is all that matters. It matters even more than my health mental and physical. Who cares if I work out and then have to take a 90-minute nap afterward so I can carry on with my day? Who cares if a doctor who knows Fibromyalgia tells me that I need to start small and work my way up with exercise because doing what I use to do will only make anything worse? Who cares? Thinness is the only thing that matters.

 

Welcome to 2019.

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Where Do I Belong?

I haven’t written in months which seems like nothing new. I’m a full-time student and it seems that all my spare time goes to school, work, or health. I’m still tired most of the time, exhausted exactly and now with added pain that doesn’t ever seem to go away but does thankfully dull occasionally but I have an appointment with a specialist in January, so I only need to survive for a few more weeks and then I’ll have answers! I may not be pain-free or feel any better but I’ll be making progress.

As of today, I have finished my third semester at my university for Christian Ministries. I have never been more interested in a major and in many ways, it challenges my first love, writing. Writing has always come easily to me. I remember being my third-grade class and being told with each essay I wrote my teacher, Mrs. Ells-Scott that I should be a writer and decided that I would never stop but Religion, Christianity, and God make me think harder than I ever have.

My faith and Christianity make me question everything and I’m sure plenty of Christians, many from my old church will tell me it’s wrong to question God but that’ how I grow. Being able to question how our world works and the humanity God made makes me a better person every day. Plus, my unanswered love for history has been sparked and I love reading about the time of Jesus, the dead sea scrolls, and everything else that has influenced the Bible and Christianity as a whole.

I do have fears that I will spend all of this money, go into debt by the thousands to just be end up rejected by the church. First, I’m a woman and woman are not meant to be in leadership despite Jesus treating woman as equals in the Bible and actually broke many laws by simply speaking to women in public. A vast contrast to what was later written by a man who benefited from women being oppressed and was not perfect and a very flawed, sinful human like us all but I won’t go there.

Besides lacking male gentiles, I also do not dress as some think women in the church should. I LOVE MY BOOBS. It’s the only part of my body I actually like and I refuse to cover them when it’s the only thing that gives me a hint of confidence. It has helped my recovery from my eating disorder so much and I’m not willing to back-track for others. (Also, there’s this crazy concept that women are more than sexual objects.) Add a million other “flaws” like my tattoos and piercings and my chances of working in a church seem very slim.

I want to write, I want to speak to others and help them learn from my mistakes but the idea of being rejected for simply being myself is heartbreaking.

Peace&Love,

Rai

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Late Night Thoughts

When you wake up alone

And your chilled down to your bone

So you swallow some fire

Hoping it will light the emptiness inside

Yet smoke fills your eyes

And all you find is all the reasons you want to die

 

So you cry out in pain

And in fear you’ll just disappear

Realizing you’re not special

But at least alive

 

Because a driving force

You can’t explain

Makes you inhale each new day

With hope you find rest

And time to smile

 

And even with crooked teeth

And cracked, chapped lips

It is the most beautiful thing

The world has ever seen

And the greatest gift you can give

 

So stand proud and strong

You are worthy of space

Take as much as you need

Do not apologize

And learn to live.

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Fat People Have Talent

I was watching America’s Got Talent tonight, one of the many reality TV shows I am addicted to and as always there were amazing acts and some just as dumb ones that make you question why people would waste their time auditioning. About an hour into the two hours show a fat woman came on stage to audition. As a fellow fat woman I watched with a sense of nervousness for her. Would she be talented and applauded or be used as a poorly constructed joke to entertain dim witted viewers? I was pleasantly surprised. Her name is Christina Wells and she is an amazing, gifted singer but her story is heartbreaking and all too familiar to fat people.

When she was nineteen she was in a singing competition, made it to the finals only to be cut, confused as to why she asked for the reason. The answer? She was too big and wouldn’t fit into the outfits the people running the contest had already planned on the winner wearing.

From the reaction of the crowd you could tell that the majority of them were shocked by her story but this is reality for so many people. Fat people are told everyday that they are undesirable. That if they just had more willpower and strength they could be thin and would then be accepted by society but I’ve tried and it doesn’t work! For years 800 calories a day was my life and although my eating disorder brain always responds to that number with, “That’s so much! You should have calories left over and the end of the day! What are you doing wrong?” in reality that is less than a two year old is recommended to eat and a far cry from what a full grown adult needs.

The point is I’m glad that the show chose to show her story. They easily could have chosen another person to focus on and no one would of known any different because fat people are used to being ignored but they didn’t. The best part? She made is through with four yes’! I’m so excited to see her in the next round!

Here is her audition! Please check it out!

 

Also Mel B’s body glitter was the second best part of the show besides Christina’s audition! I love glitter!

 

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Sometimes Eating is Hard

I’ve been trying to write a post for this blog for months but I can’t find the time, more like motivation to write something, anything. In June it will be one year since I re-entered treatment for the third time. Although I can’t remember the exact day at the moment, it was all a blur my first few days there but maybe it’s for the best.

That’s the crazy thing about treatment, people who have never been have their own idea of what treatment is like based mostly off of madly representations in the media but one thing they do get right is that it’s a completely different world. To go there you have to put your life on hold. Jobs have to be quit, school has to be put on hold. You can’t even live at your house or sleep in your own bed for months at a time and the bed at the center is never as comfortable as your real one.

I know I annoy people when I talk about my recovery and history with an eating disorder. I know many of them probably don’t believe me because I am fat instead of severely underweight. I also know that I talk about because if I don’t I will die.

Some people want to applaud me for talking about it but they don’t realize it’s for my own twisted, selfish reasons. I don’t want to die and if I don’t talk about it, how hard it is I know that this disorder will win. It’s easier to talks to group of people in class or chapel, people who I don’t know very well if at all. People who I don’t care if they dislike me for it or think I’m a liar. But with friends it’s harder. People I care about, who know me, they’re rejection would hurt much more. And it hurts just as much when I do bring it up and they don’t know what to say.

I know the situation well. They’ll look at their hands or behind me, peak at their phones and then silence of the worst kind. Then to erase the awkwardness I crack a joke and change the subject let down that they don’t understand but how could they? They’re lucky they can eat like a normal person.

They can eat and I can’t.

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Women are Trees

Women are beauty

With God made thighs carved out of boulders

Rivaling the strength of mountains

They carry us with a grace no man can compete

 

So why daughter do you hide them?

Decorating them ways that were never meant to be there

Learn from my mistakes and sprout wisdom from them

 

Why dear sister do you crave the toxic fear of living?

Of the thing critical to your survival?

I know the high of floating among the clouds is so enticing

But is it worth dying?

 

I know friend that the comfort is exhilarating

But at what cost?

The pain and guilt that shadows you afterwards

And the damning circle that continues to loop is nearly inescapable

Is the lullaby of temporary calmness worth the shame?

 

Too live this life is to endure an exhaustion that carries one to such a deep sleep

A coma that one  may never recover from

 

Do not precious loved ones mistreat your plant of life

With too little sun or too much water

Pamper it as the child it is

Recovery from the blazing heat of illness

And grow into the strong tree you are meant to be

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A Granddaughter’s Guilt

I have so many regrets and they all come crashing down in February when I’m reminded of how many things I took for granted before Grandma Sharon died. My last Christmas with her I don’t think I even realized it would be her last because the reality of her situation, of how drastically my family dynamic would change didn’t sink in until she was place on hospice a month later. When her bedroom in the back of my family home became a tomb.

I get so angry when I think of the things that I’ve forgotten: her smell and sound of her voice, her laugh and calm tone in her words. But I get even more furious when I think of how I acted. Yes, I was only 19 and weeks from entering treatment for the first time but in my mind, that’s no excuse. Instead of staying by her bedside with my mom who was losing the only immediate family left besides kin, an amazing husband, and a loving niece. I hid in my room and did what I’ve always done best. I ate, loaf after loaf of bread in toast form with no shame because honestly who was paying attention to me?

And the night she died I was asleep instead of with her. Even when she was gone I couldn’t grow up and do what needed to be done. I kissed her forehead goodbye more for my mother than me and ran to the kitchen. A turkey sandwich at 2am. I scampered off to my room just as the body bag walked through the front door.

I did her so wrong and treated her so poorly in her weakest moments. I ignored her and shut off from the world and now I can’t remember most of her last 2 weeks and I’ll never forgive myself for that. I sang at her memorial service but was too centered on myself and worried about what others thought of me instead of singing for her.

And in truth I’m crying tonight more than I did when she first died out of sorrow and guilt. A woman who loved me so unconditionally and I couldn’t even attempt to return the favor.

Some granddaughter I am.

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