Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bearing All & Being Alive

So W the T has given me an assignment. She wants me to write out a list of alllll my secrets. Secrets I’ve kept from her, my family, my cats, my besties, myself; whatever. They can be beliefs I have about myself, ED secrets, a pinch of this, a dash of that, whateva. I do not have to share the list with her right away. I do not have to have the list finished in a week, or even a month. She eventually wants me to complete it though, and then share it with her – she believes that getting the shame out of keeping the secrets will be liberating, and she can help clear out some of the smelly shame I’m dealing with. Kind of like opening up the windows after a cheek-rippling fart.

So I’ve hesitantly began. I have written down a few secrets, and they have all been ED-related. Not sure if I dare to go down the Other Embarrassing Secrets Road, but at least I’m thinking about it. And as I was ruminating about this, I was kinda feeling miserable, and didn’t really want to air out my dirty ranky laundry for all to mock or be dumb-struck. So I decided to counteract this list by beginning a list of reasons I want to live. I’ll be honest, sometimes that list seems short. But as I write down a secret, I also write down a reason to live – kind of like I’m not just focusing on my shame, but focusing on the fact that if I can get rid of that shame, I will have all my reasons right at hand to do just that and move on.

I am not going to share my ED secrets with you, suckas. Never will. This is a pro-recovery and anti-give you tips or ideas about ED behaviors blog. Plus, I keep my secrets close and my other secrets even closer. Right.

But. I will share with you some of the reasons that I want to live:

1. To take Cade to his first day of Kindergarten, and wipe my tears away as I watch my big boy walk into school oh so bravely with his too big backpack bouncing on his shoulders and a smile on his face.
2. To attend his high school graduation. To hug my then-almost-man and reach up to give him a hug because he will be so much taller than me. To kiss him on the cheek, even if it embarrasses him, and tell him how proud of him I am.
3. To keep my marriage intact. To maintain a relationship with Husband that is in harmony, and equal.
4. To go back to school and finish my degree.
5. To have another child.
6. To finish and publish my book. I am working on this currently.

What are your aspirations? Why do you want to rid yourselves of the obnoxious flatulence that is your secrets so you can LIVE?
Do tell.

You know, the whole gas/secret metaphor is a little off the wall.
And gross.
Ha! *smirk* But you know me! Would you expect anything different?


Brandon said...

Baby, I can't wait for the things to happen on your little list, and I know that they all will. I just want you to know I am so crazy mad in love with you. It is honestly disgusting how much I freakin love you. It sounds like you are handling this assignment in a very positive light. I be proud.

Krista said...

Your dad's poem made me cry and your feeding tube frustration made me laugh out loud.

I think my reason to live is 99% about my husband and son, but I've managed to come up with a few that fit in the 1% left over category.

*I want to feel physically not so damn tired all the time.

*I want to enjoy making new traditions with my family (ok maybe that goes in the 99%)

*I want to go to Egypt. I have a weird fascination with mummies and pyramids.

*I want to write a children's book.

*I want to fix up and old motor cycle with my werewolf friend and then go cliff diving.

Lou Lou said...

wow! what kind of book, you are a hillarious talented writer, i love this post and all of the stuff you are looking forward to. your blog is s funny, even when dealing with some really hard realities, you are so inspiring to always see the brighter side, and write with humour.

brie said...

Krista, love your reasons - especially the last one, it totes tickled me. ;)

Lou Lou, yes I'm writing a book, and it will be hilarious and I hope insightful, and i will give you a FREE autographed copy. ;)

B R I T N E Y said...

I have so much to live for that I don't know about.

**I would like to get married - sometime before I get too old haha

**I have epilepsy - and I want to get to the point where I don't have to take pills anymore.

**I want to see my best friend get married

**I don't know if I will be able to have kids or not, but I would like to stick around to find out...

I've been enjoying reading your blog... I'm already an open-book as is, but you help me to be even more open and honest with what is going on with me on my own blog. Hope you are having a great day!!

kristin said...

I have quite a few aspirations including going back to Japan, finding my place and doing something I love, and visiting historical sites, especially those on the east coast. However, I am not quite ready to rid myself of my secrets. I haven't quite made it to that place.

Maeve said...

I want to rid myself of my secrets so I can laugh with friends without feeling like I am hiding something.

There are quite a few things I want to do with my life and during my life (the list is miles long). There's desires for travel and family and crazy as adventures. Really though, there is only one reason why I want to live.

I want to live so that I can one day discover what it means to feel happy.

Suzi Q said...

What a great idea! Way to balance the positive with the not so positive. :) Here are a few of mine, I want to live to have a family, i want to travel with my hubby, I want to be an artist, like a real one, paint, sculpt, sketch, etc. One day! :)

brie said...

Hey Maeve--

I believe you will be happy. One day, you will. I promise. :)

Kerri said...

I just want to know what it is like to be able to say I am happy and content with my life. I don't think I have ever felt that- at least not since I passed the childhood stage where a popsicle could make my week, lol. I would like to drop the social anxiety off the face of the earth- I wouldn't miss that...along with all of my other fun mental health issues (sigh). It will happen. It has to.

Anyway- can I request an autographed copy of your book?? I will be one of the first to give you a kick ass rating on amazon too, k? :)

Kerri said...

Oh- and what were you taking in school? Just out of curiosity. I am struggling right now to figure out what to take. I was in nursing school but had to drop out and now am just terrified to go back. :( Right now I am trying to figure out if I can handle it, or if I should find something less stressful..

standing in the rain said...

numero uno~

to LIVE real life. not this pseudo-drama-filled, dull, blah life. nope. a real one. full of the mundane. and simple. and complex. and joyful and sad, and all of it. just to BE. ME.

brie said...

K, my major is American Lit with an emphasis in writing. Along wtih publishing a book of my own, I'd really love to go into publishing and editing, as well.

Eating Alone said...

Your brave to even consider it. I could never write out my secrets.

I hope it helps.

nurse122705 said...

*I want to travel the world with my husband
*I want to build my water front dream home
*I want to finish my degree & be nurse practitioner
*I want to work with girls/women who have eating disorders at some point
*I want to make some beautiful babies with my husband
*I want my children to have everything I never did. I don't want my children to know the pain of growing up with an anorexic mother-like I did.

Angeline said...

What to live for.....

-I want to meet the day I am no longer struggling with my horrible incurable skin condition.
-I want to live to see the day when a pregnancy test turns positive and my husband scoops me up and covers me with kisses.
-I want to live to see the day when my sisters find real love.
-I want to live to see the day when I am no longer an assistant but rather have an assistant of my own.
-I want to live to find a talent that is still buried deep inside of me and has yet to surface.

.....the list could go on and on.

Cammy said...

I think this list thing is a great idea, both the secrets and the reasons to live. You deserve everything on that list and more, and I have no doubt that you're strong enough to pull ahead and grace the world with your healthy presence and talents. Working through the secret list is surely going to be challenging, but I'm so glad that you're taking it on, it's really critical to clear the air with yourself in order to move forward permanently.

Keep swimming!

Amber Larsen said...

Okay, so my list I made for my recovery wasn't really anything big and monumental, but my reasons were big to me. So,

*to make sugar cookies with my kids and not stress out about having one, or tasting the dough/frosting (weird, i know, but that always topped my list)

**to enjoy the idea of a picnic or cookout with friends or family without stressing out about what i can eat or who is going to be watching me

***to be stable and strong so that my children never know how truly insecure their mama really was, or at least live in a way so that their truth is that mama felt that way once before but has since never looked back again!

****to be able to have a SIP of someone's drink when I'm SUPER DUPER parched and not have a heart attack if it doesn't appear to be diet... (LAME!)

I can honestly say that even 2 years ago it never felt possible for reasons 1, 2, or 4 to come true, but I am pleased to say that I am living those dreams and I guess my kids are the only ones who will someday be able to profess to number 3!

brie said...

all of your reasons for living are giving me ideas of why i want to live, too. so, maybe literally, you are all lifesavers!

Will said...

In response to your assignment...I have to agree. Any secret that we sort of hold onto...b/c bigger than it is.
And really anyone in a crummy situation (ED, addictions etc) could happen to anyone! I think anytime you share something you are embarrassed about...and don't get the reaction you were expecting someone to freeing.
But b/c you have held onto it and made it larger and a bigger deal in your seems more powerful than what it is.
Most ppl are not shocked with "secrets" again, they are things that others have prob. done, will do, or have thought about doing.
I can only speak from experience that the one thing I was most shameful about....came to light with some new friends and not one person judged me or had a negative reaction.
I think they knew it was only by God's grace that they were not in the same situation..and that it could have easily happened to them.

It's hard to realize this until you start sharing. Maybe you can't share the whole list with her right away...but I am guessing that just saying one thing would be freeing for you.
Good luck with this journey!

bananas said...

Writing out all your secrets -- wow, what a ginormous and interesting (and scary!) task. You are brave to do this!!!!

Steph said...

This post makes me happy. I have a lot of reasons for living but my biggest is to love and grow. I live to laugh and to make people laugh. I live for the connections I make every day. I live for all of the beautiful experiences in my life. I live because I choose to love and not fear. I live because I want to walk in happiness every single day.

Cammy said...

Oh wait I broke the rules and forgot to put a list in, sorry:

*discover a new species
*memorize Minuet in G on the piano
*finish my damn novel, or scrap it and write a different one
*have a career that allows me to make other people as excited about science as I am
*design and build my own house (not build it by hand, of course, but have it built)
*be free enough to live in the moment and enjoy my loved ones without any disordered preoccupations

Thanks for encouraging this exercise, Brie, reading over your list and the ones in the comments is definitely inspiring.

Katannah said...

Mostly, I want to figure out what I'm going to be when I grow up. I'm 40 on Monday and I still haven't a clue. But I am determined it will be something fabulous, because that's how I roll. Or at least, how I should.

And the same for you. The thing about secrets is that sharing them is kinda like ripping off scar tissue that hasn't healed the right way. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it's often ugly. But you'll be able to flex and stretch and then you find that the new healing is oh, so much better.

Try it. You'll see. Superb post, as ever.

brie said...

Will, Katannah...all of you.

Thanks so much for your words. It really means so much.

Samantha Kay said...

I want to travel the world.
I want to see new sights, experience new experiences and meet new people.
(I don't actually want to meet them, I just want to people watch people in a new area of the world. I'm more of an observer when it comes to social interaction.)
My main reason to live (this is weird) is to learn.
I want to expand my mind in Every. Possible. Way. Just learn about everything and everyone and absorb it all.
My biggest fear (this isn't one of your questions but I feel an urge to tell you - to get it out there) Is that I'll lose my memory. Like completely. I freak out when I forget things I feel might have been important to me - or people.
I do NOT like forgetting and I am extremely fearful of dementia.
Which completely goes against my "No fear of the future, Samantha" motto.

allegri said...

WOW! So many lovely + amazing "secrets" can I adapt them all? Especially, these 2 from Krista! {
*I want to go {back} to Egypt. I have a weird fascination with mummies and pyramids. *I want to fix up and old motor cycle with my werewolf friend and then go cliff diving. *}

my secret? Discover who I am without ED, and if I really want to be that person.

Just That ZombieGrrl said...

Your list is beautiful, and I believe you'll achieve all of those items. I know you've been through a lot and you're still fighting the battle, but your recovery (from ED, from negative thinking, and from loss) is an inspiration. I don't have an interest in my future, but if I did, your list would make me confident I, too, could achieve my goals.

Thank you for sharing your list with us.


t. said...

i lurve that you decided to do your own list of what to live for in addition to the one you were assigned by your T. i think it's great that you have decided to put the emphasis on the positives in your life!

and i cannot wait for you to be an uber famous author. then i can brag to people, "oh, i knew her when...." coolness by association. that's my plan. ;)

malpaz said...

wow i have never attended therapy for any length of time recovering but i think this is something i need to do. i hold a lot of secrets, shame, and resentment in and i think making a list, even if i dont share it is SUCH a good idea.
I am SO GLAD i read this

brie said...


Glad you found inspiration from this post. I am finding inspiration from all of your comments. :)

Stephanie said...

My darling B,

This was by far one of my favorite posts of yours. Your list almost made this emotionally constipated Ice Queen shed some tearage.. How dare you ;)
I love being able to watch you figure things out, smile with you, laugh (out of control amounts), and wade through all the crazy hard mess that you are tackling.
Im excited for all that is to come in your life. I'm visualizing your future as well and I'm all smiles about it.
I hearts you.

Dana said...

I really needed this today. So here ya go...

*I want to be there for my hubby to help him become the best he can be.
*I want to watch my children grow up. To wipe away the tears through hard times and be there to tell them how wonderful they are in all the great things they will do.
*I want to see the day when I am CONFIDENT and POWERFUL!!!!
*I want to be able to say that I no longer feel the hurt and anger from the violating things that happened to me as a child.
*I want to forgive and FORGET!
*I want to be able to feel real love and not try and shut it out because of fear.
*I want to look back on my life and say with a truthful heart that I NEVER gave up.
* I want to travel all over with my hubby on our motor trike.

Thanks for the reminder!

belinda said...

i often check in but haven't had words over the past few months. you are doing some amazing work & i'm glad you are working on your novel too.

sharing secrets huh?
that does take a huge amount of courage and reading everyone's replies has been uplifting. but also sad because so many suffer.

some of my secrets?

* i also would like to publish one day but lack the confidence to do so.

* to own a big house with a red front door

* to know happiness and contentment

* to accept my grief and know that while my partner is no longer here, we did have love and it is actually my duty to continue on, without him (that's a really big one! and one that i'm petrified of)

* to wake up without sadness

hmm.. ok i'm done for now, off for a dirty cigarette.
keep up the good work hon.