How do we reconcile a multi-million dollar mental health campaign with corporate accountability?
I press each finger into the mat. My fingers are sore from writing essays and scribbling notes. My knuckles crack as I press into them. I push back into my hips and feel my calves stretch. My tendons tighten as I stretch into downward dog. The instructor conducts our breathing. I’ve been going to the free yoga at the university three times a week. I’m finally back in my body. Paying attention doesn’t hurt the way it used to. We’re a team.
Today I was stuck on the train while police tried to save a girl from committing suicide.
How can I live in such disconnect? I want to travel and write and maybe even help people, but I also want to throw up my food/ lose weight/disappear.
I slipped into therapy like you fall asleep or in love, meaning it started slowly, then all at once.
I stood on a balcony feeling the breeze of an evening on the Amalfi coast. I watched the waves and the boats and a silhouette go down a water-slide. I saw a blue and purple sky dotted by the moon. I'm not one to happy-cry (that's not usually a depressed person's thing) but my eyes welled up with tears. I felt the ache of knowing there is so much of the ocean I've never seen.
In university, I learned that I liked eggs (at least I learned something). Every weekend, my haggard friends and I would hit up a cheap diner after one of our nights out. We would discuss who had slept with who, who got the drunkest, and how sweaty our one friend got when he danced (he knows who he is). But mostly, we’d devour our eggs and bacon and hash browns and as hungover as I usually was, I probably would have poured grease into my mouth if it was socially acceptable.
I did an interview!!
Sheer desperation caused me to take antidepressants. I hated the idea of taking them. Well, at least the idea of me taking them. Outwardly, I was a gong-ho supporter of mental health campaigns, tweeting #BellLetsTalk, and dutifully listening whenever one of my friends felt down or stressed. But there was a dissonance between my superficial support of mental health and my utter denial of my own issues.
My therapist told me I needed to raise my quality of life through self-care. At this point, I couldn’t even care about myself enough to eat, so this seemed like a pretty big joke. I held back my cynical cackle because I thought inappropriate laughter in a therapist’s office would not help my case for sanity.
In Appetites, Caroline Knapp uses her experiences with anorexia to grapple with appetite as a gendered cultural issue.
Marya Hornbacher’s Wasted is infamously canonized as the eating disorder memoir bible. My own copy of Wasted is tattered and dog-eared and stained. Passages are highlighted and underlined, with little notes in the margins. I have read Wasted five or six times. Each time has been during a hostile takeover by my eating disorder.
How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia by Kelsey Osgood is the meta eating disorder memoir. Osgood critiques the impact of popular anorexia fare on already eating disordered individuals and the so-called “wannarexics.” She critiques the moral panic regarding pro-ana sites (short for pro-anorexia FYI) and reveals the perverse relationship vulnerable individuals can have with such materials.
These are the best posts about depression I’ve read yet.