Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Questions and Topics

I’d like to have a place where people can ask me questions.  This would be that place.

If you have a questions about ME, I will most likely answer it here.  If I want to delve deeper into a theme, it will become an entry.

I’ve cancelled out my <B>Topics</B> page, since the two were so similar.  So if you have any Topics you’d like to see me discuss, I would be glad to take them up in my blog (if I feel they’re appropriate)

These are things I will not answer:

How “sick” I was.

How much I weighed/How much I wanted to weigh/How much I weigh now/My height.

How much I exercised/What I did to exercise.

What I ate/didn’t eat.

I will not tell you what you should weigh or how much you should be eating.  That should be determined by your treatment team.

I will not answer any questions about what medications you should try.  Everyone reacts to meds differently.  There is no exact science to this.

I cannot tell you what your next step should be.  I am not a professional.

Basically, I have no definite answers for your course of treatment.

What I will answer:

Steps I took that I found beneficial to my recovery.

Hurdles I had to get over to get to where I am.

All of the various “is it worth it” questions.

Anything pertaining to my cats.

Really, I will answer questions about me, the steps I took to get better, and what it’s like now without the eating disorder. I think if you’re here, you know what an eating disorder is, so I don’t need to tell you the symptoms or the hellishness or the horror stories.  I can give you my reasons for recovery, but bear in mind my reasons may be very different than yours.

<I>as for suggested Topics:</I>

the same holds true as before.  I will not discuss or go into a history of how hellish eating disorders can be, etc.  There are enough blogs and books out there that do that.  Topics that concern eating disorders, body image, media influences, and recovery in general are all up for grabs.  Leave me a comment about what you’d like to see discussed.  I copied and pasted the comments from the old Topics page to these comments so you can see what has already been asked.

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45 Comments »

  1. i want to know all about your cats. i love cats.
    what are their names? how old are they? what kind of cats are they? where/how did you get them? do any of them have a cool back-story? ^__^

    Comment by paxton | July 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. This is what people NEED to hear, though not necessarily what they want to. But it’s an absolute necessity because there are really two ways the situation will go if you give that information. One, people will either take what you’ve said as tips and tools to become Anorexic even though you’ve said a thousand times that’s not what you are here for. Or they will take what you’ve said to mean that unless they are at that exact point that you were, doing that exact same thing, then they are no sick. Both being insanely dangerous. Beyond that,numbers in relation to weight & size are completely unnecessarily for telling your story or getting your point across. The same thing goes for pictures. News & media want these things in their articles & their stories because they know it will bring in viewers, most of which being the eating disordered masses & it sickens me because they know 100% that people will watch or read & use it for inspiration to stay sick. I’m so glad you have the wherewithal to know that it’s not good to do. I know for myself, as a woman with an eating disorder (albeit a woman who is not easily triggered), it would still bother me to read about numbers and such. This is GREAT 🙂

    Comment by Lizz | July 12, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hey Alexis,
    I was wondering when the health ‘switch’ clicked.. Were you doing outpatient? I’ve always felt like IP never helped, and am trying to do this outpatient now (with a great therapist!). I know some people say that they learned how to love themselves while in intensive treatment. I am currently at a fork in the eating disorder world and have been for awhile, and I guess I just need to know that it is possible to collect the tools for health while being in the real world. I don’t know if this really made sense or not…
    Oh, and your cats are adorable! I have an all black cat, Fiona, and two Shelties, Teddy and Kadie =)

    Comment by Meagan | July 12, 2009 | Reply

  4. I think there were multiple “switches” for me. The first was when I was IP and someone asked me what I did for a living and I said, “I’m in grad school.” And then I realized that I couldn’t really call myself a grad student if I had already missed two months the previous year and was having to withdraw from the current semester. And I realized that I didn’t want to be that person anymore. That if I told someone I was a grad student, i wanted to be a grad student.

    Then after I did IP/PHP, I went through a horrible depression, because although I had given up the eating disorder, I still couldn’t say I wanted life without one, if that makes sense. I was not “doing it for me,” nor had I suddenly discovered this abundance of self-love. I clung to external reasons at first. I wanted to be a part of my nephew’s life. A real part. I wanted to finish school, go get my PhD, and teach. I just kept telling myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    One thing my therapist told me when I said one day, “I hate my body.” He said, “Then change the way you think.” And I said, “I can’t.” He said, “Who came up with the thought “I hate my body.”” My answer: “me.” his point was that if I could voice the thought “I hate my body,” I could change that statement. I’m the author of my thoughts.

    So eventually, that transferred over to listening to other people say I was worth it and believing them and then saying “I am worth it.” There was no “switch” for that one.

    It took time. It took consistency. It took faith. But yes, I’d say that if you are physically healthy and managing symptoms well enough to remain outpatient, you can do this.

    Comment by surfacingaftersilence | July 12, 2009 | Reply

  5. I read your blog occasionally, and really enjoy the things you post. I was wondering if you’ve ever contemplated issues of identity and how those affected your eating disorder and recovery (or where you are currently). I often think about issues of sexual orientation, race, class, survivor status (generally of rape), etc. having a big impact when thinking of these issues…I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of that. Or did I miss something you did write about that?

    Keep on keeping on!

    Comment by S | September 24, 2009 | Reply

    • S, if you look in my archives, you will see a couple entries titled “identity.” Identity has been a recurring theme in my recovery, as I had to give up the anorexic identity and thus learn who I am without it. I think you bring up some other questions here that I will explore in future entries.

      If you have specific questions after reading the Identity entries, ask away!

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | September 24, 2009 | Reply

  6. I was wondering … how did you get from the *lightbulb moment* ‘this isn’t life – I need to not be anorexia to get better to do what I want to do’ to actually *doing* it? How did you get from the wanting it stage to the doing it stage?

    Comment by Abbe | November 5, 2009 | Reply

  7. I was wondering what you think about Alanis Morrisette and other celebrities recoveries from their eating disorders. Often, like in the case of Alanis, they state how they now eat vegan or raw or only x and y foods to stay healthy and in optimum shape. But isnt that eating disordered as well? Many of us go into hospitals that put us on mps that include EVERYTHING… so which way is really recovery?

    Comment by R M | November 15, 2009 | Reply

  8. what do you think of people psting triggering status updates on facebook? i know youve adressed pictures, but when ppl post status updates, often they claim it is for supprt not to trigger others.. where do you think the line should be drawn between looking for supprt and triggering others? youve talked about how NOT to use facebook, how do you suggest someone with an ed SHOULD use fb for supprt? what do you suggest ppl do when their freinds are being triggering on facebook? after all, its not exactly easy to say, sorry girl, youre my good friend, but we can be facebookf friends…

    Comment by ashley | November 23, 2009 | Reply

    • Answered in a post. Great topic.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | November 25, 2009 | Reply

  9. Hi, I was wondering if you can add me so I can follow you.. I can’t find how to do it on your site..

    Comment by Kelsanne | January 2, 2010 | Reply

    • the only way i know to follow a blog is through Networked Blogs on facebook. if you go to my facebook page and add me as a friend, you will see on my profile a box of blogs that i follow (as well as my own blog) and then you add that app and then click “follow” on the blog’s page on the app.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | January 3, 2010 | Reply

  10. all the comments from the old Topics Pages
    1) Your “Aha Moment”, so to speak.

    2)What was recovery like, in the very beginning, and how has it changed for you as you’ve progressed?

    Comment by Lizz | July 17, 2009 | Edit | Reply

    what is your family’s take on your eating disorder and recovery? that’s the part of the story that is often missing. i’m always curious – it goes so far beyond “well, she was sick, and now she’s better”.

    Comment by michelle | July 17, 2009 | Edit | Reply

    I second this one.

    Comment by Andi | August 7, 2009 | Edit | Reply

    FOOD.
    haha, seems obvious and redundant, but what i mean is.. we all know that behaviors and symptoms of an ED and the ED itself is a red herring.
    given that, how do you cope with the very real relationship that food has for someone with an ED, in all stages of an ED: active, in treatment, recovery/recovered?
    describe your relationship with food, now and then, what you found easiest and most difficult in your journey.

    Comment by janie | September 25, 2009 | Edit | Reply

    This may or may not fit into your personal blog entries since it’s not a specific question about you, but…

    Sexual orientation. I’d like to know if you think it and eating disorders are linked. I’ve come across a few people struggling with both – and I have yet to find decent information about it.

    Comment by Jen | October 1, 2009 | Edit | Reply

    What do you think of a person naming the eating disorder ED or any other names? I’m not sure what I think about it but it seems lately I’m seeing more and more people do this.
    On one hand, I think what ever helps is ok, but I’m not convinced it’s always healthy. Just wondered if you had any thoughts on this…

    Comment by unknownperson | November 5, 2009 | Edit | Reply

    I recently learned there is a high correlation between those who have experienced rape/sexual assault or domestic violence and those who have eating disorders. I wonder why this is not addressed more often when talking about eating disorders – is it something you’ve heard talked about? How can we (as people who want to make change in our culture/world/etc.) work to address these issues? I’ve been frustrated lately because I was raped and then developed an eating disorder but feel this was never addressed in any of my treatment (and though I recognize it not as solely causal, I think it is important to recognize as there is such a high correlation)!

    Thanks! I ❤ your blog!

    Comment by S | March 3, 2010 | Edit | Reply

    Comment by surfacingaftersilence | March 18, 2010 | Reply

  11. i’m with above comments. i want to hear about the “ah-ha” moment and more about the cats.
    i want to also tell you how much i love the title of your blog. surfacing after silence is so perfect. kudos to you for continuing to write after recovery.

    Comment by marisa | May 24, 2010 | Reply

  12. My question: When will the recovery weight stop feeling like you’re walking around in a fat suit?

    Comment by Lily | July 6, 2010 | Reply

    • new blog post just on this topic

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  13. Hi,

    There is a girl who volunteers where I work part-time. I see her about once a week. I don’t know her and do not really interact with her, but I’ve noticed a dramatic weight loss in the last year. She is starting to appear sick, in my opinion. I find myself watching her from afar and I feel upset. I think this is because I had anorexia for some time in my late teens, and although I don’t KNOW this girl I am worried. I wonder if I should say something…to her or to her supervisor who I’m sure must also be aware of the drastic weight loss. What would you do?

    Also, do you find that most people who have had anorexia relapse in the future? With myself, I had some behaviors around age 29 and dropped weight. The eating disorder coincided with trying competitive running again and dealing with marriage problems. I lost weight–not nearly as bad as when I was younger–but I tried to maintain an underweight body for about 2 years. I wasn’t as thin as I was as a teen with anorexia, but I knew I was underweight and it was purposeful.

    After this time period of 2 years, my behavior normalized and of course I gained back what I lost. I am now 35. I find I have no desire to be a competitive runner because unfortunately for me it seems to stir up body image issues, perhaps due to my first episode of anorexia as a teen. I am at a healthy weight now and do not restrict. I also am not exercising that much. One thing I notice is that seeing a very thin girl upsets me. I guess this girl at work strikes a nerve because I don’t want too see others go through this.

    Comment by Carla | July 21, 2010 | Reply

    • I’m actually going to reply in a post. This is a very important question and issue. multiple issues. thank you.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | July 22, 2010 | Reply

  14. I am inspired by you.

    I am 23 and in recovery from anorexia.

    After several months of treatment IP and in Partial, I now only have a therapist, yoga instructor and nutritionist that I see.

    Do you think that groups like ANAD or other eating disorder support groups are useful?

    I worry that if I am around people who are struggling, I might be triggered to go off my meal plan and restrict again.

    Your thoughts?

    Thanks,

    JP

    Comment by Jan | September 5, 2010 | Reply

  15. I am 17 years old and I have been suffering from pretty bad ED for the last 3 years, but I was real good at hiding it since I lied to myself and others. Until I ended up going to the emergency room.. I want to learn how to eat again and love myself. I realize now the roots of this disease has been there for a long time and that I must continue with a self inventory as to why I do it.I am wondering how do you remind yourself to eat? or like what steps do you go through everyday? also for someone with ED is it common to “forget” too eat even though I am hungry or is it a habituated way of being? because sometimes i feel there is something real wrong with me beyond ED that I can’t uncover.

    Comment by Carolyn | October 11, 2010 | Reply

  16. Alexis,

    I just read your article from September 2010 in the Columbia paper. I suffered from ED as a teen/20’s and am now sure really how, but I have been fine for several decades. Sadly my 15/yo is now 2-4 months into the grips of anorexia and I feel that every week I dealy a plan of action/help for her is a week I can’t afford.

    I have written a letter to her that I set forth below. I assumed by the article that you live in Columbia, and wondered if you knew the names of the best therapists/nutritionists that I can contact to get my daughter help asap. Any information you could share would be of great comfort to me. God Bless you.My thoughts are with you for all you have endured in the past and for the wonderful life and future you have created for yourself. You commented that people in the ‘field’ say ED people can never consider themselves ‘cured’. I would have to agree ‘in a way’…as I am still that same type of person that I was when I was 19 (cared more for others than myself, anxious, etc.) but I have different coping methods now and am old enough (54) to realize the world will always be a worrisome place….so get on with the living of life! For me I have no doubt that I am cured…and have had several decades now where food/weight have never really occupied my time whatsoever.

    Letter to my daughter:

    Dear J” “:

    The first thing I want to say is how much I respect your strength and the compassion you show toward other people. You truly have a wonderful heart; I know everyone you know knows this about you and loves this about you and so do I. You are not only important to your friends, but you are so valuable to me, dad, D, Grandma and all of the family as well.
    I watch you in your friendships and you take such good care of people you love. My concern is it doesn’t seem like you are taking very good care of yourself right now. I see you eating less and less, and your loss of weight leaves you with less energy for the things you enjoy.
    I have also noticed you don’t want to be with your friends as much as you used to. I don’t know if you are aware of these things or not, I just want to be open with you about the changes I am seeing. You deny concern about your weight and how you look. However, you are a very very intelligent girl Jenna, we all know that. For several years now you have denied whatever things you are struggling with inside and that I don’t know about.
    I know right now that you want more than anything for me to just go away and let you go down this path you have created. I understand that path… as I lived in that hellish world for many years. I am very lucky to be alive today. But as I said, you are very intelligent, so I also know that you know that I love you more than life itself. There is no way in hell that I am going to allow this ‘monkey on your back’ to take down my wonderful, funny, intelligent, zany, clever and beautiful J. Ain’t gonna happen….no way, no how.
    You are a strong, determined person and I know you have the ability to take the first step and talk about this. I don’t want a response from you immediately. I would like to check in with you tomorrow when you get home from school, so let’s plan on talking then. I love you and we’ll figure this out one step at a time.
    I would like for us to talk about these things, and this letter is my attempt to reach out to you and let you know I am concerned. I respect you enough not to force you to talk with me about it, and it is important you know that you must talk with someone. It is not an option to not address this, so whether you want to talk with me, the school counselor, another counselor, our pastor or someone else you might suggest, you need to speak with someone.

    Love, Mom xoxoxo

    Comment by Anonymous | November 9, 2010 | Reply

  17. Alexis and all who may read this,

    At the begining of Sept. my dad came to visit me. With him he brought a newspaper article he cut out of the paper about you(Alexis). Me being a struggling bulemic for almost 15 years, set it aside and couldnt bring myself to read it…until yesterday.

    You opened my eyes yet again to want to get better i just dont know how. Ive tried therapy, antidepressants (and other prescriptions drs thought might help), and just trying on my own. I have a very supportive husband and family who all know what im going through, but dont know what they can do either. Im just to the point where im exhausted. Im sick to death of my ‘safe foods’ and the constant on going voice in my head. If you have any advice it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
    E

    Comment by Erica | November 10, 2010 | Reply

  18. Hey there alexis. Did you ever have sluggish or weak bowels during the time you were anorexic and your recovery, and if so has it gotten better.

    SInce I started recovery 5 months ago I have gone from going once every 3-4 days, to going every day. However, most days my bowel movements still feel weak and incomplete. I am hoping it is just something that will take time to improve.

    Comment by JB | November 13, 2010 | Reply

  19. Hey Alexis…
    I guess I’m wondering a lot of things that I’d love your take on. For someone who’s had an eating disorder for years and years and NOT been able to function – not had a job, not been in school, not been engaged much in the world – who has underdeveloped social skills from being so isolated and who also struggles with serious depression that makes motivation/inspiration/passion very difficult and sometimes downright impossible to access – what would your advice be?
    I’m in treatment right now. I want this to be the last time – genuinely. But it feels like such a tricky, scary situation, looking at my life. I’m young and I have that on my side but I dropped out of high school due to this and haven’t really lived a normal life at all since. There’s so much crap, and I don’t know how to take it from here. I know to eat and not do behaviors – I get that – but it all seems so related and anyway, I’d love any advice you might have for someone in this kind of situation.

    Comment by Sofia | January 1, 2011 | Reply

    • I think that your outlook–that your age is on your side is a really positive one. I think a lot of us have to remake or rediscover ourselves while recovering from an eating disorder, and you’re young and you don’t have such a strong “I was X before and now I have to continue that” box, if that makes sense.

      I would start trying new things. Now, while you are in treatment as much as possible. new hobbies. Read books about things you’d never thought you’d read about. Find something that sparks your interest and just let yourself discover as much about it as you can. It may become a passion, it may become a hobby, it may become a source of study, or it may be nothing. But you’ve got to give yourself permission to try new things, explore new fields of thought/study/activity.
      Start taking classes to finish your high school degree. It will get you out of the eating disorder. (when you are out of treatment, obviously) If it’s one course at a time to get used to it and not be overwhelmed, who cares. You’re working toward a goal. While you’re in treatment, look into what you have to do to finish your diploma. That’s working toward that goal, too.
      And I’d encourage you to join groups–online and offline–that have nothing to do with an eating disorder. Join a stitch-n-bitch group and meet with people your age and knit or crochet while drinking coffee. I’ve been to plenty–especially when I moved to DC–and no one thought it odd that I didn’t speak up the first times I went to a meeting. I just sat back and knit and had coffee and listened. Churches/temples/synagogues can be good places if there is a younger social group. Or volunteer one day a week or month at a soup kitchen. My dad goes to the catholic church once a week to bag lunches for the homeless, and he’s not religious. But he likes contributing to the society now that he’s retired. Some animal shelters accept volunteers to pet and feed and, yes, clean out the cages, of the animals since they don’t get enough attention.
      It will all feel overwhelming if you do this all at once. So take your time. Take small steps, build your confidence, and discover what you want to do.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | January 1, 2011 | Reply

  20. One of my friends posted this link on her wall (not sure if you’ve seen this yet): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/04/eat-less-t-shirt-urban-outfitters_n_601096.html?ref=fb&src=sp#
    There is a lot of debate in the comments section. What is your opinion on this?

    Comment by anon | January 26, 2011 | Reply

  21. Hello,

    I’m astonished to have found someone who is “fully recovered” and I felt compelled to ask you a question. I haven’t starved myself for a couple of years now, but I still see the same obese person staring back at me in the mirror. Because I’m eating again doctors have said I’m “cured.”

    Do you still see yourself as fat? Is this ever going to go away for me? I’m a (UK) size 6. So common sense tells me I’m obviously not fat-far from it. But a fatter person is always staring back at me.

    Comment by Emma | April 27, 2011 | Reply

    • My self-perception was badly flawed in the beginning of recovery. To the point where I punched my mirror because I hated what I saw, even though LOGICALLY I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.

      Most of the time when I look in the mirror now, I can see an accurate representation. There are still the days when the image somehow expands. But I know this is normal not just for people recovering from an eating disorder, but for almost all women in our image-obsessed society. As time went on, those “large image” days got further and further apart and now they happen really infrequently. But it took time. I’d say it took at least two years for me to accurately see myself.

      How long did you see the fake image as real? That habit doesn’t just disappear once you start eating. You have to work on your inner thoughts and internal voices for that to change.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | April 27, 2011 | Reply

  22. Thank you. Just thank you, no need for more words but that you do and have “surfaced after silence” and give us so much.
    Alida

    Comment by Alida Brill | April 28, 2011 | Reply

  23. Hi, I found your blog and i got really surprised, I’m from Brazil and a year and a half ago I had to undergo a surgery to implant an ICD, i’m 17 now and…. well I don’t know what to write, I’m really… I don’t know how to discribe what i’m feeling but, I wish I could have your e-mail so we could talk more about that and know each other, here’s my e-mail ” ngemalneto@hotmail.com ” please, please answer me, and sorry about my write mistakes if I made any… i’m really nervous hahahah xoxo

    Comment by Nelson Gemal Neto | May 8, 2011 | Reply

  24. Hi there,

    As an adult woman (36 years old) now in recovery for almost 4 years (yay!), I thought I’d toss in two resources I used to help me enter (and remain) in recovery.

    1) A group called “The Joy Project” – they have a live support group I went to for a few months, as well as online discussion boards I used for my first year or so. You can find their website here: http://www.joyproject.org/.

    2) Overeaters Anonymous. Many people think that OA is just for overweight people/overeaters/binge eaters/maybe bulimics; but OA really does work for anorexics, too. OA was the group that allowed me to find true recovery; and I am deeply grateful for them for that.

    Just thought I’d share in case some folks reading don’t have the means to use in-patient/expensive resources; recovery IS possible, if the person is willing to work for it. 🙂

    Thanks!

    Comment by S. | May 26, 2011 | Reply

  25. Alexis- I am finding it pretty much impossible to gain the trust back from family members that I once had. I understand how difficult it must be for my parents since I struggled with anorexia when I was living under their roof and became very ill right under their noses without them really realizing. I’m home from college for the summer and things are never easy when I come home. I’m finally beginning to feel comfortable (on most days) with my new “recovery lifestyle,” and have started to become more comfortable with my appearance (I’m not fully there, I realize). Yet, my parents constantly make comments about my weight and eating habits although they are with me for most of my meals. When they bring it up (which they constantly do), I get emotional and defensive because they are minimizing all of the hard work that I do every single day. I go to school about 10 hours away and have continued to be healthy when they aren’t watching my every move, so this is very frustrating for me. In your experience, are you ever able to gain your loved ones’ trust back?

    Comment by AC | May 30, 2011 | Reply

  26. I’ve just recently found your blog and love it. Thank you so much for writing about the RECOVERY from an eating disorder and not just focusing on the symptoms and behaviors of when one is in the throes of an eating disorder. There are countless “recovery” books, blogs, and made for TV movies out there that seem to highlight only the shocking parts of the illness and then end with a half a page or a 30 second wrap up claiming one day they just chose recovery and that was it. You answer the How Did You Get There part that is so often missing. Thank you.

    I have read a lot recently about the biological component of eating disorders and how the current theory is that we may be genetically predisposed to developing an eating disorder. I think this theory is sound but that of course it requires an environmental trigger to kick it off and it is very much a nature AND nuture issue. The general society diet mentality may play a part, a not-so-healthy home environment, a huge stressor or abuse may factor in, etc. but I don’t blame Yoplait or the clothing industry for “causing” eating disorders. It’s not that simple. And yet I get fired up over what I see being pushed and perhaps misunderstood by the folks at feast / ATDT. They seem to believe it is biological only, no fault ever on the part of the parents, family, environment. The eating disorder is simply caused when a child (or adult) goes on a diet or for another reason has a limited intake and suddenly they are out of control with the disorder. I can agree with that to a point, but the theory that the simple solution is to just feed/eat and regain the weight and then POOF the eating disorder is resolved is what infuriates me. (note: not all believe this, but a vast majority continue to push this and yet be dismayed when their loved one reaches weight restoration and isn’t magically cured/) Of course one needs proper nutrition and health restoration in order to be able to think and function normally, but the approach to steer away from any individual therapy, any assistance from an RD, and to believe that the eating alone will resolve all matters baffles me.

    As someone that has truly been there, who has struggled with an eating disorder for some time and then made it to recovery, what do you believe? Where do you fall on the nature vs nuture? What do you think the important components for treatment with the goal of full recovery are?

    Comment by T | June 17, 2011 | Reply

  27. I just wanted to post something somewhere to let you know how much of a true inspiration you are to me. Going back to 2003/04 when you lived in PA and went to church for me, I fell into traps, and because I watched and have followed your blogs and such, I have found that I am stronger than I though I was. I am so blessed to know you, and I just thought I should really tell you this. Love ya!

    Comment by Shannon | June 20, 2011 | Reply

  28. You haven’t written on your blog for >2 months. Why?

    Comment by Tulip | November 3, 2011 | Reply

  29. Alexis,

    I don’t actually have a question, but am just here to comment. You’re blogs are remarkably brave, inspiring, informative, and more than a little therapeutic. I am a 27 year old SCA survivor preparing for my ICD implant in a few days, and stumbled on your blogs while researching what to expect for my surgery. The cause of my SCA is still undetermined, and your posts about your experiences with your own heart health have gone a long way to calm my anxieties.

    Please keep up the great work, and I wish you all the best.

    Comment by Misty | January 27, 2012 | Reply

  30. Have you ever “restricted” sleep almost like restricting intake,as a form of discipline/self-control? I’m trying not to restrict intake, but at the same time I feel like I’m channeling the ED urges into sleep deprivation. I feel guilty if I get enough sleep, as if it were “indulgent”. I “should” be able to run on empty. I don’t “deserve” to take care of myself. But it’s very sneaky in that it hides under the guise of being a “typical graduate student” who never gets enough sleep. This obsession with sleep is also associated with an obsession with time – I can’t “waste” time – I don’t deserve to take a break, I must be constantly working. So I also feel guilty after taking breaks.

    Intellectually I know that I need enough sleep to learn – and that building up sleep debt accomplishes the exact opposite of my goals – i.e. I accomplish much less. I know that breaks (and esp. hobbies, relaxation, etc.) are essential to prevent burning out, and also to fuel creativity and different ways of thinking. But I miss the high of the restriction, so I try to get the high from pushing my limits, from being masochistic in the way I overwork myself. And it’s ultimately a distraction from depression.

    I’m curious if anyone relates to this, because at times I feel “crazy” for channeling the ED in this manner.

    Comment by anon | March 12, 2012 | Reply

  31. I am a participant in the Missouri Urban Journalism Workshop. I would love to interview you about eating disorder treatments and what worked for you.

    Comment by Mikala Whitaker | July 17, 2012 | Reply

  32. I have a question I’m going to look at the center in your jan 2010 entry how was it was it hospital-like was it like a prisoner & you could not walk around & such could you get on your laptop or call home?

    Comment by Stephanie | January 16, 2013 | Reply

  33. DELETED CONTENT OF QUESTION

    remaining content
    I’m tired of hearing of people being cured of eating disorders. There’s not such thing. You may go in remission but you’ll battle your weight for the rest of your life. Eating disorders have been called the most fatal mental illness, and they are. I discovered that bipolar disorder type II is often associated with bulimia nervosa, while bipolar type I is often associated with anorexia nervosa. Schizophrenia is often a co-morbidity. Glad to follow you!

    Comment by cristina indigo | May 13, 2015 | Reply

    • Please see my recent post, but I need to delete the content of your question.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | May 14, 2015 | Reply

  34. Thanks for maintaining such a responsible stance with your recovery blog. Do you do any public speaking?

    Comment by outreachcoordinator | June 29, 2015 | Reply

    • Yes, I do public speaking. I think it’s very important to have people who have recovered speak out about their journey so that people know recovery is possible.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | June 29, 2015 | Reply


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