Marshmallows

I swear the title will make sense but you need to do that grown-up adult thing and wait. If you need motivation, watch this video about marshmallows and patience. And yeah it’s an LDS church video. It’s not like there’s not things I still love about that church. Uchtdorf’s Mormon messages and talks are amazing he is the best storyteller.

So what was her royal highness up to today? Welll…  I was up late last night trying to cry and binge-watching WolfBloods on YouTube. And then I woke up at 6:30 because my landlord needed to get into her bedroom.

This is a long complicated story but I will sum up. My Tongan roommate moved out right before rent was due without telling me she was going to move and leaving me with no roommate. I can’t afford to pay $800 a month to stay in that room. SOO there is a room that is kind of like a closet/storage room and my landlord said “Oh so someone is coming to look at the room” and then he showed up the next day and said “I’ll take it”

So I stayed up until 2 in the morning moving all my stuff so he could move in because I knew I’d be in class all day. And I’m now living in what is basically a closet because you cannot walk into that room without dancing around the two huge beds there is no walking space okay. And I roll out my mat and sleep there and next thing I know I am being stepped on by the landlady who uses the room as a place to change and keep her extra clothes.

Honestly if the people at the Samoan village didn’t know me and care about me, I honestly believe I would have been kicked out. This is actually kind of them to let me stay but at the same time I am pretty sure if I was any other palagi (white) girl I would have been solicited to move. And now there are 4 men in the house and that is not great for my PTSD and I’m just struggling with the basics and then I have all these grand ideas about “I want to be a soloist in our dance recital in December!” But oh, I hurt my leg again because I haven’t gotten to see anyone to help me with the knotted muscle in the back of my calf. Or “OH I want to learn to speak Samoan since I live with Samoans” and not a word comes out of my mouth and I hate my Samoan class it bores me. I self-study languages for a reason. I learned 4 years of Mandarin in 3 years and I learned a months word of college level Farsi in 2 days. When I put my mind and energy to it I can do almost anything.

But I can’t. F-ing. Sleep. Or EAT! My gosh other people make it look so easy. You don’t count calories or freak out if it’s not whole wheat lavash bread or feel like throwing up if you even dare to look at a cupcake and if you eat a handful of M&M’s you count every single one that goes into your mouth and you KNOW BETTER the whole time but you’re terrified. And I have really really really not been wanting to feel because I’ve been starting to get badly depressed for a few hours every day. I know it was worse hour to hour mood swings before but it scares me that I’ve had so many panic attacks.

I can’t really win. I have to fight this out. I can’t keep avoiding it by not sleeping and not eating and I know that and I know being thin won’t fix all my problems but AGH it’s not easy to learn new tricks right now while I’m being pulled towards school and I’m trying so hard to get some solid friendships going. And yet I still do my eating disorder. And I still avoid sleeping.

I keep flipping between Jaquira and Hellbent. Hellbent is hellbent on getting better and recovering. Jaquira is the one who throws her hands up in the air and says “Kay. I tried. Screw this and let’s go for a run.”

And it just keeps happening. I get so excited. I have my plan. I have my meal plan. I have my weekly planning session. I schedule my time as precisely as possible and I plan on meditation and tea in the evening but I’m human and I have the attention span of your average neighborhood squirrel. Thing is I’m not the only one.

A lot of people with eating disorders go through the same thing. Our entire eating disorder is about restriction to binge and fat to thin and black and white- every extreme under the sun. I eat something too big bam my whole day is gone and I’m going to blow up like a balloon and I pinch myself to check that afternoon, that night, and the next morning.

Typicall compulsive behaviors serve a function. If it doesn’t do something for you, why bother? For instance it almost gets to be a high when you starve yourself for a long time. It is calming to cut. Same thing a lot of drugs medical or no are used for. There’s many healthy things available that in a balanced lifestyle could reduce the urges that lead to addiction but the problem is that when chemicals in the mind are disrupted, you don’t exactly think straight.

What you basically have is a head on top of your body. And there is an “illness” for lack of a better term, that has changed the delicate balance of your mind and rewired it to be constantly retraumatized by an event of over 10 years ago, oxytocin deprived, unable to manufacture seratonin, or any other number of bad side-effects. It is the natural response of the brain to think of a reason why this is happening because it doesn’t make sense. It is the job of the mind to problem solve so then begins the cycle of looking for answers.

Many cultures and people have no real word for this type of sickness. However in ancient Polynesian religion this type of illness was believed to be from several causes such as a loss in the family, an unrighted wrong/a grudge, holding secrets, and spiritual possession. One of the things I have done the most independent research on in my study of Polynesian culture is their healing practices. I have also studied about herbal medicine and healing arts in Japan, China, and India. Acupuncture, massage therapy, hot stones, ti leaves, prayer, meditation- ancient practices.

I really do have issues with modern drugs. But in my experience with people I met who struggle and those who recovered as that their healing was holistic. They tried different medications slowly and with caution. They changed their diet in ways to help their hormones function. They engaged in healthy exercise. And they lived a daily practice of living the most balanced, normal life one can have while suffering with a mental disorder.

In religion and any spiritual practice- and this is something I learned from my Brazilian sensei Isabel- is that it is a daily practice of mindfulness. You pay attention to where you are, your breathing, the living in the moment, and even 10 minutes a day of this practice helps you to nurture your spirit which is neglected in our Western hand-to-mouth lives.

I really need to get back on my daily work and just go day by day with my little post-it-note if I want to stay out of that hospital.

I cannot see now, where I will be in a year. But I made a goal that I will go for a trail run on September 14 of 2018. So that is my goal. If I live better and treat myself with more kindness I know I have a chance to heal even more from this illness.

Don’t get me wrong. I struggle to free myself of addictive behaviors and part of the reasons I have crying spells and take extra sleeping pills and have panic attacks is because I feel like I need to scream for help but I don’t know how. I’m in pain with no apparent cause and I have to express it somehow but I’m not even starting on nothing. I’m on ground zero right after 9/11 and I have to make this work.

Of course I am the Queen. So I know I won’t fail.

But I do need to be patient with those marshmallows to avoid a breakdown. I know this post wasn’t as cute and funny or positive as I had intended. This is what we call #realtalk and I hope someone who stumbles across this will identify with it and be helped by what I wrote. Either way it helps me to write like this because I feel like I can use my voice. I go so quiet when I get called out. I kowtow. I nod and drop my eyes. I flip between being the Queen and being the servant girl pretty often.

But here is kind of my safe space. I can speak. And it doesn’t matter who is listening because I can rest knowing that I said something, that at the end of the day, I stood up for something. I stood up for myself. I spoke up for myself.

For so many years of my life what with rape and oppression and a constrictive religion I was silent. And now I have rediscovered my voice and the world is going to hear it.

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