My final thoughts: Voting 3rd party, Rape, and the end of this election.

Today I lost two friends to political intolerance. It still baffles me to think about it. I tend to be a peace maker. I have sat on the fence my entire life. I have never identified with Denumocrats or Republicans. I have been a registered Independent for my entire adult life. It is very difficult for me to take a stand one way or the other way because I see both sides of almost every issue. I take voting very seriously. You can ask my dad, my friends, my husband, and my sister about the many, many phone calls and text message conversations where I pleaded with them for help figuring out who to vote for. I wanted someone to peacefully debate the situation with me. I got the best advice from my dear friend Jacob who said, “Vote and then don’t tell anyone who you voted for.” I obviously didn’t take that very wise advice, but I wish I would have to a certain degree.

I have always been very open about my life on social media. Growing up with a mom who had cancer and then no mom from the age 14 on, I never felt like I had anyone to talk to about the important life things. I have been so blessed to have so many moms and confidants through the years, but I’ve always felt this giant missing piece where my mom should have been. Facebook kind of became that outlet for me. Some part of me thought that maybe if someone out there felt the way that I did, we could connect and become each other’s “person”. That happened in so many more ways than one. I have gained so many wonderful friends and learned so much about my current friends from being open and honest about my life. Is it embarrassing? Yes. Am I too much sometimes? Oh yes. But is it worth it to put myself out there when someone comments or messages me and says, “Thanks for saying that. I feel that way, too.” Absolutely.

I say that because what I’m about to tell you is too much. It may trigger some of you, and I apologize in advance for that. Dad, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. But I want to be honest about my feelings with this election. I want to make my voice heard because if my past experience says anything, it’s that there are those out there that are just like me. My experiences are not unique. Here goes nothing.

***Stop Reading here and continue after this paragraph if you don’t want to read about rape.***

Back in 2012 I was raped. It was not violent. I was not left with bruises or scars. I was not tied up or any of the other horrible things that you hear about. But my body was violated without my consent. A man much older than me took advantage of my trust and naivety. He forced off my clothes, held me down, and took from me what I had been so desperately clinging to. After I told him,“ I don’t think I want to do this. I’ve never done this before.” He continued and told me to relax and enjoy it. Since he didn’t have a condom, he pulled out and proceeded to finish on my face. He got up, dropped a towel on my face and showed me the door.

***Continue here***

I am sorry to paint such a graphic picture, but I think it’s important that you know the details of my story so that you understand that when I heard a man that is now the next president of the United States say, “Grab her by the pussy” it affected me in a very real way. To hear people say, “It’s locker room talk” affected me even more so. It wasn’t just locker room talk because it happens. This happens in the world today. I am careful. I’m full of anxiety and overly cautious. I knew this man for a long time before I went over to his house. I trusted him. But he didn’t just talk about having sex with me. He got on top of me and forced his way into my body without my consent while knowing that I was a virgin at the time. That mixed with the countless other things that Donald Trump said made him an impossible candidate for me to vote for.

As for Clinton, I was not a big fan of a lot of her policies and there were just too many questions and uncertainties surrounding her. I didn’t have a good feeling about her. I wanted to vote for a woman. She made me want to vote for her when I watched the debates. But that was more Donald’s doing than her doing. I didn’t support her. I couldn’t vote for her.

However, that’s when a third option became available to me. I, personally, think that Gary Johnson is kind of a clown. I don’t agree with a lot of his policies, however, I read something that gave me hope. Remember earlier when I said that I have never felt comfortable labeling myself as a democrat or republican? Well it turns out there is a third party voting system here in the US. This year, Gary Johnson led the third party as a Libertarian. I knew going into it that my vote would not make him president. But I wanted to vote and I wanted my vote to count for something. In an article from mintpressnews.com titled “Greens and Libertarians Rally To Secure 5% Of The Popular Vote Ahead of Election Day”, it reads “[An] … analysis of polls which include all four candidates, which was last updated on Wednesday, suggest Johnson would net 4.1% of the popular vote and Stein could get as much as 2.1%. If either candidate can net 5% of the popular vote on Nov. 8, they’ll unlock up to $10 million in additional federal funding for future elections. That money could unleash more political power by enabling the Greens or Libertarians to reach more potential voters.” (Kit O’Connell). This was good news to me. Even if I didn’t agree with this particular Libertarian candidate, my vote for him could mean more funding for those to come after him.

I didn’t steal a vote from Clinton. I didn’t give a vote to Trump. If I hadn’t voted 3rd party, I would not have voted at all. My conscious would not allow me to do it. I don’t feel like I should have to vote for the “lesser of two evils”. As an American Citizen, it is my duty, just as it is all of our duty to vote for who we think will give our country the best shot. For me this time, I voted for the future. I voted to be able to have a chance to one day look at a candidate and say, “That is someone that I can stand behind.” Voting for the possibility of a three party future, where everyone can feel represented, was to me an act of hope, and if there is one thing that the political process can use more of, it is hope.

As for those of you that are rolling my eyes and saying, “Of course you feel that way. You’re white. You’ve had everything handed to you your entire life. You aren’t negatively effected by anything that’s going on.” I can tell you that first of all, I am a woman that has been raped and sexually assaulted. The market crash in 2008 devastated my family’s income. We lived off of donated food and I have worked from the age of 16, sometimes two jobs at once, to support myself. I didn’t have health care from 2008-2012 and only got it then because my employer provided it. During that time, I had mono, swine flu, and had to be hospitalized twice. My medical bills were astronomical. I didn’t qualify for AHCCCS because I made too much money at my minimum wage job. I am in no way complaining about my life. Compared to a lot of people, I’ve had it pretty good. We all go through challenges. I am not LGBTQ, Muslim, a minority, etc, but I have experienced hardship and pain directly caused by our political leaders. While it may not be the same, I can empathize with your fears and heart ache.

To sum this all up, I think we all did our best. I think that all of us want what is best for our country. It is such a hard issue because it is so divided. There is no convincing one side that they’re right and the other side that they’re wrong. It’s a matter of how, where, and when you were raised. All we can do is be informed. I am happy to peacefully debate any subject with any of you. I am not as informed as I would like to be. I know that some of my logic is flawed. But please don’t yell at me and say hurtful things because you disagree. We can have a conversation without hate. I did the best that I could with the information that I had at my fingertips.

Well, I obviously am in part writing this to explain myself. But I am more writing it for the people that are just as hurt and confused as I am with all of this misdirected rage. If you made it through the full five pages, I congratulate you. It’s farther than I would have read on yet another political post. I love you all. Please let’s spread peace, joy, love, and optimism. I think we all really need it at this point.

To all of my friends that are suffering at this time, I mourn with you. My brain is going with a million and one things that I want to do to make this world okay. The following is a charity that Benn and I support. They are dedicated to protecting human rights.

https://donate.hrw.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1908&ea.campaign.id=32607

I am cautiously optimistic that he will listen. At the RNC, Trump said the following, “Only weeks ago in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by terrorists. As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens.” (Donald Trump, Republican National Convention). Could it all just be a show? Absolutely. But I am hopeful that he is listening to us. I am hopeful that he will listen to our concerns and support the American People. Even those that are not Republicans.

I’ve ended this 900 times. I just have a lot of feelings. Also, I’m sorry that I was too lazy to look up how to properly site people and articles. I’ll at least post my sources below. Thank you for reading! Sorry it was personal and hard to get through.

  1. https://www.mintpressnews.com/greens-libertarians-rally-secure-5-popular-vote-ahead-election-day/222066/
  2. https://www.google.com/amp/www.thewrap.com/donald-trump-embraces-gays-in-historic-shout-out-at-republican-national-convention/amp/

Step four: Truth

Hello again.

I feel like I just updated this. But I guess that’s what happens when you’re 4 days late on updating. This week didn’t go much better than last week. I lost a total of .7 of a pound which is better than nothing and much better than gaining. So that was a blessing. However, I didn’t do much to change my attitude. I was still obsessing over losing weight. I had forgotten the whole reason why I started this journey in the first place- to be healthy.

I had some very unhealthy moments this week. I was feeling overwhelmed and was still having a hard time eating healthy. Everything tasted horrible and I was still gagging on everything I put in my mouth. I cried at the drop of a hat. On Wednesday, everything came to a head and I had a complete and total mental break down. I could hardly eat at work that day. I felt sick to my stomach and gave myself a hunger head ache. I came home and laid around until Benn got home and cried because I didn’t know what to eat for dinner and I felt so sick that I didn’t even think I could eat. Then, I decided that I needed to eat something, so I tried to make a smoothie in the magic bullet and the stupid thing untwisted while I was trying to use it and got purplish green slime in the motor. I threw myself back onto my bed and sobbed into my pillow. Benn came in and said, “What’s wrong now?” Because that is the proper response when your wife has been crying for the majority of the time that you’ve been home. “I can’t even make a stupid smoothie” I said into the pillow. “It’s okay. It’s not easy.” He said being the super nice guy that he is. “I’ll finish it for you.” I continued to sob into my pillow until he brought over a giant glass of afore mentioned purplish green slime. I tried to drink it, but it tasted so terrible that I couldn’t put more than a half a glass down. So of course, I started sobbing more. Benn quit trying to watch his show and came and lay down next to me in bed. He consoled me and I just continued to sob and sob and sob. (I’m very dramatic.)

In that moment though, I realized that I wasn’t crying because of the food or because I wasn’t feeling well. Those were all cover ups for the real reason- I was terrified. I was so afraid of failing. I have tried so many times to diet or make a life style change or be healthier. I always ended up back in the same spot. I always ended up quitting and binging. I did not want that to happen this time. I wanted to succeed so badly. I wanted to be healthy and feel good. I wanted to be free from my addiction.

Once I had finally cried all the tears that I could produce, I picked my face up off of Benn’s chest and apologized. I don’t know if I was apologizing for crying or for over-reacting, or for the nice mixture of snot tears that had now plastered his shirt to his body. Being the amazing, sympathetic man that he is, he just hugged me close and told me everything would be alright. And that’s what I need to remember this week. Everything will be alright.

This week’s step is Truth. This is a hard step. Basically I wrote down everything I knew to be true about myself- a moral inventory of my entire life. I learned a lot while doing this step. I pride myself on being fairly self-aware, but I tend to blame others for my mishaps at times. It can be hard for me to admit when I’m wrong, and so I use other people as excuses for my bad behavior or my failures.  For example, the reason that I told myself that I ate was because my life was just too stressful and I needed an outlet. It may be true that food is an outlet for me, however, that’s not why I initially started eating. I have always been very self-indulgent. I binge on everything from television to naps. It’s no surprise that I would binge on food as well. I’ve learned that what it comes down to is, I lack self-control.

I started looking at other areas of my life where I lack control. My anxiety and even my depression stem from this. * I can remember feeling really low and this tiny voice in the back of my head just kept saying, “Snap out of it Chelsy. Just suck it up and be happy. There is literally no reason for you to feel this way.” I ignored that voice, though, because what it came down to was, the natural man inside of me wanted to be upset. I wanted to mope around the house and eat my weight in ice cream for no other reason than I wanted to. I didn’t have the self-discipline to snap myself out of my mood.

I’m messy for the same reason. I leave my stuff lying around everywhere because cleaning up a mess Is so much less fun than making a mess. I binge watch television because it’s easier than getting up and going to the gym or developing a new hobby. I cancel plans because I don’t want to make myself wash my hair and put on makeup.  It’s just an endless list of times when my natural man overpowered my will to be a better person.

This realization was so powerful to me. I have power over my mind. I can overcome my cravings. I can say no to my addiction.  Especially when just the day before, I was driving home from work and I knew that there was an Arby’s coming up on the left. I made a split second decision and pulled into the left hand turning lane and drove my car straight into the drive through before I could talk myself out of it. Not even that, I ordered the entire menu. A dr. pepper (my 2nd one that day) a medium roast beef sandwich, a medium curly fry and a 4 piece cheese stick. I got home, turned on the Mindy Project and ate until I felt too sick to move. And then I ate more because I only had two bites of my sandwich left and three cheese sticks and I really didn’t want to waste them. (AKA I really wanted to taste them.) I rolled my body into my bedroom and laid face down on my bed. I felt so ashamed, so full and just like a complete failure.

I called my husband so that I could confess to him. He’s a really good sponsor, though. He soothed away my tears, and then told me that he wasn’t disappointed in me and that he didn’t think less of me. He told me that I was still doing a good job and that I could do better tomorrow.

After I got off the phone with him, I decided that it would be a good time to take a look at the weight watchers web site. I have heard good things from several friends and I was finally able to admit that what I was doing wasn’t working. I needed more accountability so that I could overcome my self-indulgent tendencies. I joined and I’m really hoping that it will be the difference that I need.

Mosiah 3:19

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yieldsto the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the naturalman and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

*I am in no way saying that you can stop being clinically depressed just because you want to or that those that are depressed just don’t have self-discipline. It’s a real, medical disease. These are just my findings for myself.

Step three: Trust in God

What a week. I’m going to go ahead and tell you that the diet went out the door this week. But that’s okay. Even if it’s not okay, I’m saying it’s okay. Because it’s okay to me. I needed it. I don’t feel like a failure because I’m not quitting. I took a small break and I’m ready to get out there and try again next week. So that’s my preface for this chapter in my life. Here’s what my week was like.

Sunday was fine. I spent the morning at church with my husband teaching a brand new crop of 4 year olds about Jesus. That’s always a blast. You know what’s kind of sad? I always get nervous around kids. Especially that age. I can’t tell you how many times I have been babysitting and a kid has told me, “You’re fat,” Not really in a mean way, but in a way where they notice and they want to tell you. Just like one of our primary kids last year raised his hand in the middle of the lesson, looked at my husband and said, “You have a big nose.” Benn, being used to the comment, laughed it off and continued teaching. The kid didn’t point it out to be mean or anything, he was just observing something that he needed to share.  1888503_10202496602910163_473569681_n(photo so you can see Benn’s nose- which I happen to love.)

We came home from church and made lunch for the missionaries. We made my favorite casserole. It’s rice, vegetable soup, and about 2 lbs of cheese broiled on top. It’s seriously the best thing in the world. But you know what? I didn’t eat a bite. I ate my chicken salad sandwich made with an avocado and yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and a stick of low fat string cheese. Benn and the missionaries managed to scarf down the entire casserole, so even if I wanted to cheat, I wouldn’t have been able to.

Monday. Monday was a hard day. I went to work. I absolutely forced myself to eat breakfast. I forgot about eating my snack and didn’t realize until the room was spinning that I had forgotten to take my lunch break as well. I had been so busy that day with work that a natural stopping point didn’t come until about 130. I took my lunch and went and sat in my car for some much needed peace and quiet. We have a break room, but you can still hear the phone ring in there and I just really needed to be away from that.  Benn made this really good rice stir fry with chicken. I liked it a lot, but I was having such a hard time eating it. I couldn’t bring myself to put the food in my mouth. It made me feel so nauseous. I had been having this same problem for a while, but was always able to force most of the food down with out too much trouble. This time, I didn’t even get through half of it. I had eaten enough for the room to stop spinning, but not enough to really fuel my body. Dieting for me is so hard. I would rather not eat than eat healthy. How awful is that? I’m like a petulant child that doesn’t want to eat my broccoli.

I made my way inside after my lunch break and sat at my cubical. Madison, the angel that made my food plan, sits in the cubical next to me. I asked her if that was normal and she told me that on a subconscious level, food was still the enemy. That I was seeing it as bad and that made me not want to eat when I was trying so hard to lose weight. Of course, I’m silently bawling and literally thanking God for the cubical that divided us so that she couldn’t see the tears of frustration rolling down my cheeks. I asked her if I was trading one eating disorder for another. My biggest fear at that moment was that in my quest for health, I was becoming anorexic. It made me realize just how closely related all eating disorders are. The desire to control. The need for comfort and stability and the realization that you have control over what goes into your body even if it means nothing goes in. I had to change my thinking real fast.

I went home and laid on my bed and just cried. I was shaky again and knew that I needed to eat something, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I texted my friend Nina and she assured me that it was withdrawals from the  bad food that I had been eating and that I would be fine once I got over the hump. I have never felt so low. I mean, I’m sure there have been worse moments in my life, but in that moment, I realized exactly what I had done to myself. I had spent so much time worrying about abuse that I may or may not have suffered in the past and worried about all the emotional strain that I had been under that other people had caused me over the years and didn’t even stop to consider the way that I had abused myself. I had eaten myself into a position where I couldn’t even eat healthy without having legitimate withdrawals. I had lived such a sedentary life style that I couldn’t even walk around the block without feeling winded and exhausted. The way that I chose to comfort myself, was actually killing me.

Nina told me to stay strong and put my feelings into words. She said that of course I feel awful. I had completely changed the way that I was eating and the only thing that would make me feel better in that moment would be to go back and continue eating the way I had before. The thing was, I didn’t even want to eat the way I had before. I didn’t want to eat anything. I wanted to die. I wanted to bury myself in blankets and just stop existing. Not out of depression, but out of embarrassment and it was just too hard. It was too hard to be healthy. Nina, bless her heart, took it upon herself to fix me from all the way in Nebraska. She texted me an hour or so into my pity party and told me that she bought me Dr. Phil’s diet book and an herbal cleanse.  Of course I started bawling again. But this time, out of gratitude. It wasn’t even what she bought for me that lifted my spirits, but the fact that she cared enough about my health and well being that she wanted to purchase and send me tools that she had used to help her. That meant she believed in me. That meant that someone 1,200 miles away that I had never even met in real life, believed that I could turn my life around. And if she believed it, I could too.

Of course, I have so many supporters. All of you reading this and my husband and family. I’m so grateful for all of your support. After I wrote the first two entries and received all of your encouraging words and realized just how many of you are going through exactly what I’m going through, it really changed everything for me. I knew that I needed to do it, not just for me and my health, but for everyone else that was trying and felt like they couldn’t do it. Because that’s where I am. I still don’t know if I can do it. I have hope. but I’m terrified of failing.

I realized in my moment of despair and uncertainty that I could not do this by myself. I couldn’t even do this with Benn who makes all my food or Nina who sends me care packages. I need God. I should have realized all of this before hand, but to quote Forrest Gump,  “I am not a smart man.”

I have had many “come to Jesus” moments in my life. Recently, I was crying in the shower, something I do often because I just cry all the time, and I was praying about what I could do to make it easier to go to work. I was really, really, really hating my job at the time. a thought popped in my head, just matter-of-fact enough that it had to be my mother that said, “Stop crying. Are you reading your scriptures? Are you saying your prayers? Nothing is going to get better until you do.” I did the best I could for the next week and things did get a little better. Of course I had slacked off since then and have had many ups and downs, but I know that my life is more stable when I make the effort to do those simple things.

So I made the decision to re- dedicate myself to Christ. In the interest of being honest, I’m going to tell you that this has been a slow process. On Sunday, for example, I didn’t even go to church. It had been such a trying week and all I wanted to do was lay in bed and sleep. So I gave that to myself. I probably shouldn’t have, but I allowed myself the time that I needed to hit the reset button.

Last week wasn’t so much about turning my life over to God as it was about learning that I need God in my life. I can’t do this without him. So I used last week as a prep week, if you will. Lots of internal processing and quiet time. I also took the opportunity to spoil myself. I went to Sephora and splurged on some foundation. Eating healthier has made my face, if possible, more red and I’ve started breaking out like a teenager. I know that this is just the detoxing process, but I had zits in my armpits, for crying out loud. Life style changes suck at first. They’re hard and do terrible, gross things to your body. But I know that they can also do awesome things and that’s why I want to pursue this.

I took the week off from my meal plan. I ate with moderation and tried to stay relatively healthy, though I did opt for some rather unhealthy choices on Superbowl Sunday. I decided that I’m not going to push this too hard. I’m not going to allow myself to continue to eat the way that I had been in the past, but I’m also not going to let it consume me. I didn’t go to the gym once last week. I know that I made it my goal to do so, but I wasn’t ready. and that’s okay. It’s okay to admit to yourself that you’re not ready. It’s okay to work your way up to your goals. My mother-in-law told me, and I’m paraphrasing, “It didn’t take you one day to get to this point and so it’s not going to take you one day to get where you want to be.” and that is so true. It’s going to take a while. I probably won’t be one of those girls that loses 50 lbs in 6 months. It’s probably going to take me a little while. But that’s okay. Because what it comes down to is, I’m changing my life. I’m becoming happy and healthy and more centered in Christ. I am changing for the better. Slow progress is better than no progress.

I’m sorry that this is late. I had to work Saturday and it really set me back on everything that I wanted to do. Thank you for reading and supporting me. Last week was rough, but i have high hopes for this week. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

Step one: Acceptance

So let me set the scene for you. After a long day of paper work and menstruating, I stop by the local Little Ceasar’s and invest in a “hot n ready” pepperoni pizza. Gluttonously, I ask the girl at the window if they have Dr Pepper. (gluttonous, because I’ve already had two 32 oz Dr. Peppers today and also, notice how she’s at a window because I drove 5 miles out of my way to go to the Little Ceasar’s with a drive thru.) Alas, “We only have pepsi products” sent me home with an empty space in my heart where a dr pepper would have been.

Upon arriving home, I present the pizza to my husband who insists on making home-made full-fat ranch for me since we had conveniently just run out of the nasty “lite” ranch he had bought at a discount months prior. We sit down on separate couches making sure we have room to spread out after indulging in our cheesy wonder bread. We flip on the most recent episode of Parks and Recreation and just completely veg out for the next 22 minutes. After proudly stopping myself at 3 slices, I prove my love to my husband by offering him the last slice. He eats that and moves on to butter a slice of pumpkin bread. After he starts in on yet another James Bond movie (the guy is obsessed) I heave my body out of the imprint I have surely made in the couch by now, and make my way into the bathroom for a soak.

A couple weeks ago, I bought some bath salts because it’s hard work sitting in an office chair for 8 hours every day…  Funny story about these bath salts, I didn’t realize they had menthol in them. Needless to say, my sensitive bits weren’t prepared for the minty freshness they encountered. After swearing it off for good, being the wishy-washy person that I am, I just had to try it one more time to make sure I really didn’t like it. I made sure to run the water extra hot and added the salts with a lighter hand. The results were magical. Loose muscles and soft skin are all that emerged from that bath. I swear. Not too bad for $3.94.

I added the remainder of said magic salts to my bath and began the soaking-while-viewing-all-social-media process. I somehow managed to wander into the fitness realm on instagram. (Actually, I was looking at Kourtney Kardashian’s account because she’s the smallest, meanest person in the world that likes legos, when my hand slipped and I accidentally clicked on some fitness guru) This girl had lost 55 lbs in 1 year. Usually, I just scroll past these images while guiltlessly shoving “just one more” cookie in my face, but this girl gave me pause. I looked at her before pictures and I saw myself. I was captivated. I have seen before and after pictures before, but this girl seemed different. For some reason, she seemed more real to me. She rocked a sports bra and booty shorts in most of her pictures and looking at how slim and trim her waist is and how defined and stunning her jaw line and cheek bones are just made my heart hurt. I was so amazed that a person who looked like me, could turn themselves into someone that looked like they box jumped their way out of a fitness magazine. I can’t stress enough that my desire is not to be “cut & toned in 30 days” or “Sassy & skinny for the new year” I don’t even want to be “The new you!” I just want to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling like I’m going to pass out. I want to be able to fit into the clothes at forever 21. I want to be able to make the hike up “A mountain” (or A** hole mountain as I like to call it because of a terrible hiking experience last Spring. A story for another time.) I want to be able to do all the things that normal 23 year-olds are supposed to be doing. I no longer want to be held down by the crippling fear that my eating habits are going to cause me to fall dead from a heart attack in the middle of fourth meal at Taco Bell.

While stalking her posts, I found one that said, “What you eat in private eventually is what you wear in public.” While its wording is awkward, the general message in this photo really hit home for me. I don’t know why this particular photo resonated so deeply with me on this particular day, but it really picked at an emotional scab; a deep wound that I tore open that night.

I reposted the picture on instagram (and didn’t even give credit to this girl that lost 55 lbs in 1 year) and talked about how I’ve had issues with the way I’ve looked since 4th grade. I finally admitted to someone other than myself and 3 other people that I have an eating disorder. I was finally able to see that stuffing myself to the point of misery was just as bad as starving myself. I always wished I could make myself vomit so that I could purge after binging. I spent nights curled up over the toilet trying desperately to gag myself so that I could alleviate some of the pressure in my stomach; shoving a tooth brush as far down my throat as I could to attempt to elicit some sort of upheaval. I always only ended up with watery eyes and a sore throat. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I have thrown up since I was eight years old. In fact, if I have told you that I have thrown up, chances are, I really just had the runs. Another confession, I have IBS. I find it embarrassing. I mean, really. Who wants to say, “Sorry, Shelby. I actually can’t go to the mall with you today. I’m too busy spewing hot lava from my butt hole.” That went too far and I know it did. But, public service announcement, Irritable Bowl Syndrome is a real thing that people have and can we please just stop being weird about poop so that I can maintain some sense of dignity while leaving the bathroom after an excruciating ten minutes?

Back to my point. This hit me like a baseball bat to the groin. Repeatedly. Like on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Clip after clip. I reviewed all the times I had smuggled a bag of Arby’s into my room at my grandparent’s house; all the times I stopped at McDonalds on the way home from work just to get a powerade, but ended up with 3 double cheeseburgers and a large fry. As I was thinking about this, I remembered the event that I had scheduled in my iphone for tomorrow: “Big Bad Taco Bell Binge” I mean, at least there’s alliteration, right?

As I was getting out of the bath, my poor husband tried to open the bathroom door (that doesn’t lock) I freaked out at him like I would have when I was a teenager. “BABE! I’m IN here. DON’T come IN!” (Capitalization added for emphasis.) He apologized and shut the door. But the shame that I felt in that moment was so powerful that I didn’t want to be seen or talked to. I didn’t even want to exist. Of course this launched a full blown panic attack complete with palpitations and paranoia. I finally admitted to myself and to my husband that I can no longer do it. I can’t do the one thing that you are supposed to be able to do as an adult. I can’t feed myself.

After I was all cried out, I rolled over and attempted to fall asleep as my husband watched yet another youtuber explain key points of the last Bond movie he watched. I found myself getting more and more irritated both by the sound of said youtuber wafting out of the head phones and the persistent sound of my husband’s breathing that seemed to be getting louder and more pronounced by the minute. I knew that it was just a mood, because can I really justify being angry at my husband for breathing? So  I made my way out to the living room and started typing away. 2000 words later and I’m sure I have bored you all to death, but I needed to write this out. I needed to allow myself to externally process my emotions and figure out what is real and worth worrying about and what is fabricated in my silly mind. (ie, Before writing this, I had to pull up Web MD because my fingernails were blue and I was positive that my hyperventilating had somehow caused my airway to constrict thus resulting in less blood flow to my extremities which in turn would make my fingertips fall off.  Web MD neither confirmed nor denied my suspicions, however it did leave me with the distinct impression that I will probably contract cancer in the next 12 hours. Don’t worry. My nails are fine. After googling it, I remembered that I have this thing called Raynad’s Phenominon which you only know you have if you’re a hypochondriac and go to the doctor for everything. Which luckily, I am. It doesn’t cause any problems. It’s literally just a reaction to stress where the body restricts blood flow to the extremities and redirects it to the vital organs to, you know, keep you alive. Mine just shows up by turning my fingers blue. Harmless, and kind of a neat party trick.) I’m finally ready to go to sleep with the promise of a better tomorrow and the start to a healthier life.

Can my fitbit track a twelve-step program?