In the Burning Phase of My Life.

To befriend the shadow girl in the mirror…


I have come to realize something about myself.

I am not very good at relaxing.

I think it could have started at birth. After all, I was born more than three months before my projected due date. Apparently I’ve always been more than a bit nervous, and just a little bit in a hurry. Those who know me would consider this a humorous understatement.

While I was at Rosewood Ranch for eating disorders for inpatient anorexia treatment, I found out that the way that I had been living for the two decades previous was exhausting at best, and extremely dangerous at worst. Big news, this??? I think not. If my life construct had been ticking along on all cylinders I wouldn’t have been busy dying of a disease that was completely out of control. I learned many tools that rattled around in my brain as revolutionary, but really had no time to resonate since each day was so packed with new stimulus, new connections, and new information. It seemed that time would tell what would stick and what would simply slide off of the Teflon coating inside of my skull.

The year since leaving Rosewood as a person in recovery has been a mix of so many things. The perfectionist in me has refused to see that each day will be up and down, sometimes minute by minute. But I’m tired of the perfectionist quacking at me all the time. What has She done for me except nearly killed me on several occasions? There has to be a better way.

I have, for better or for worse, gone off all of the cornucopia of medications that I was placed on while in treatment. The antidepressant that I was prescribed in massive doses for my OCD is very harmful for my bipolar disease. Who wants to stay on a medication that can forcibly send you into higher manias? This is something that I am trying to prevent. The two drugs that are meant to manage the bipolar disease artificially spike my appetite. As a longtime sufferer of anorexia nervosa, the very idea of having my physical appetite out of my own control is a rampant poison that I cannot drink. I found myself in the uncomfortable position of deciding what was more necessary…addressing the bipolar disease, or preserving my sanity and easing my eating disorder. The eating disorder won.

There was an interesting side effect, aside from the obvious physical ones, to going off of all of my meds.

I began to FEEL things again.

And this, for me, is not as simple as it sounds. I am used to being tired and sedated. Good thing? No. But predictable? Yes, indeed.

There came a day a couple of weeks ago that I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I’m usually pretty good at that. But an internal check didn’t help. Then it occurred to me.


I was looking for something, and nothing was there.

This was new to me. I sat down and stared at the wall with vicious intent for several full minutes. And still, nothing popped up.

I was just having a day.

Like the whole rest of the world, I was just living. No big whoop, nothing to report.

ohmygod, I can’t handle this there’s got to be something to FOCUS ON…!

Nope, wasn’t going to happen. It was then I realized something huge. I had been living a crisis-based life for as long as I could remember. This phenomenon extended far before the time when I was legally allowed to drive a car. It most likely even went back to the time when I was still growing in permanent teeth and playing in the sandbox. I knew no other way to be. But here it was…just a day. Then I realized, once the internal cogs of panic stopped turning after finding NOTHING to panic about, that this was going to be fine.

Not everything has to be about putting out emotional fires. I was allowed to just be. This may sound simple, but for me it is astonishing.

This blog is a part of that. Not everything needs to be perfect. Not everything needs to be “just so.”

Sometimes, it just is. And I am learning to be okay with that. Save the drama for your mama. I’m just going to put my thoughts down and see where they go.



‘Nuff said.


March 11, 2010 - Posted by | Deep thoughts with a side of coffee. | ,


  1. I completely understand! It is strange and wonderful all at once. Enjoy moments/days like these and I hope you have many more coming!

    Comment by Carrie | March 11, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you so much…it still is a muscle I have to flex, it’s not second nature yet, but it’s a revelation worth keeping, for sure.

      Comment by Jen Kamerman-Jenkins | March 11, 2010 | Reply

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