I used to laugh at this kind of happiness

September 17th, 2018

All this happiness is new to me. It scares me. I don’t know what to do with it. I might just curl up into a ball and keep it all to myself. 

I’ve never been this happy in my life. This is the kind of happiness you feel deep in your gut. Sometimes it’s stronger than others. Sometimes it bubbles up out of your stomach and into your throat, and you cough it up when you’re in the car sitting next to someone you love yelling the lyrics to your favorite song. Words cannot describe this wholesome happiness. I’ll try my best. It’s the sun shining on your bare arms. It’s the way a loved one says your name. It’s the way the sky looks when the sun is setting; pink, purple, oranges, blues wrap themselves around you.

It’s the kind of happiness I laughed at when someone would tell me “it will get better.”

The time I spent ill was time lost. It was not time wasted. Without those days, weeks, months sitting couch-ridden and sick, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the way my body feels when I get out of bed in the morning. The little things bring tears to my eyes. I can swim and surf again. I can go on walks and hikes. I can live again.

I often took for granted the little triumphs, like taking my dog on a walk, or laughing with a loved one, or being able to walk up stairs without the threat of fainting. But there’s something in every little action that gives me life. It helps me carry on.

This year has been the longest uphill battle of my entire life. But I think I’ve finally reached the top of the hill. And you know what I see? I see a perfect sunset over a field of bright yellow sunflowers, and it goes on and on forever.


This is what my anxiety sounds like

It’s 9:55 PM and I am having an anxiety attack.

I’ve been feeling this bubbling up inside me all day. Everything was making me feel anxious. I resented it at first, wishing that I had never been born this way. Then, I forgave myself for something that is out of my control. I felt the anxiety crawl back into that deep dark cave inside me. I felt relief.

“I forgave myself for something that is out of my control.”

But it’s back again. It’s coming in waves inside my chest—pain, discomfort, like somebody is sitting on me. The horrors of yesterday—which mind you, did not seem like “horrors” at all, until now—keep creeping into the front of my skull. My body is urging me to react, to mull over every single little detail. 

This is what my anxiety does to me. It pulls the past back into the forefront of my mind and twists every little detail into something awful. It feels unbearable. It lures me to my bed, begging me to succumb to this feeling of pure panic and give up.

This is the part where I stop resisting and let myself feel.

I cannot breathe. No, I don’t want to breathe. My eyes are stinging, and I’m afraid if I close them to find relief I might let everything that’s haunting me right now play out behind my eyelids. I feel like a ball of chaos right now, but I think I look calm on the outside, and I think that’s really interesting. This is becoming too much, I think I need a break. 

It’s the next morning, and I feel much better. But looking back at what I wrote reminds me how absolutely debilitating anxiety disorders can be.

Through all this debilitating anxiety I can learn something: I am valid. My anxiety isn’t a call for attention. For years, I have felt like an attention seeker because that’s what many people around me chalked anxiety up to be. A cry for attention (which I find very ironic because the very last thing I want in the midst of an anxiety attack is for people to be giving me extra attention). But that’s not what our disorders are. They are something inside us that we must learn to coexist with. They make us feel something so real that there is just no goddamn way we’re making it up for attention.

I think that no matter how many coping skills we learn, how well we adapt to our disorders, or how much we work on ourselves, there will come a day where anxiety wins the battle (but not the war). Through all of this I must remind myself that, although I have given it my best shot, it’s okay to succumb to the panic. It’s okay to let myself feel. As I always say, tomorrow will be better.

Songs that make me feel something: May

This playlist is not cohesive, but I guarantee it will not disappoint.

Young Blood – The Districts

Partner In Crime – Ocean Alley

Boys Wanna Be Her – Peaches

Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest – The Babe Rainbow (aus)

Maybe – Jurassic Shark

This Is America – Childish Gambino

Walk On By – Thundercat, Kendrick Lamar

The Passenger – Iggy Pop

Edge of Darkness – Greta Van Fleet

Suicide Saturday – Hippo Campus

TV Off – Max Wonders

Memory Room – Crystal Stilts

(follow me on Spotify @alexlynn)


I miss my eating disorder

There is something missing lately. I feel a sense of emptiness deep within me. I keep mistaking it for something I desperately need as if I’ve lost a key component to who I am. I find myself searching to fill this void, to make myself feel whole again.

I think the thing that I am missing is all the sorrow I was weighed down by for the past couple of years. I miss the ongoing and consistent darkness I carried around with me every day. I miss my eating disorder.

“my eating disorder and constant anxiety and depression gave me something to do, something to be.”

My eating disorder and constant anxiety and depression gave me something to do, something to be. The line between who I really am and who my eating disorder made me become was growing indistinguishable. For years, I struggled to understand my true identity—which I am certain is ever-growing and ever-changing—so I created this sorrowful being that I could count on to define who I am. I sat inside this costume of who I thought I was, or who I thought I should be, for years. And now I’ve decided to take this costume off, and I feel raw and naked. I feel on display.

“I am never going to be the same me I was yesterday.”

I find myself wondering who the hell am I without my emotional baggage? And I really don’t think there is much of an answer to that question, mainly because I am never going to be the same me I was yesterday (if that makes any sense). So here’s a list of who I am now, because I want to remember:

I am uncomfortable when people look at me.

I am sleepy when it’s cloudy out.

I am in love with the morning and I resent the night.

I love the feeling you get right before you fall asleep, when you feel so safe and cozy and vulnerable.

I love it when people smile at me for no reason.

I love frozen fruits, but I hate being cold.

I’m afraid of gaining weight.

I am in love with so many people and things, it’s so hard to focus on it all.

I am happy.

This isn’t to say that I am always happy. But I know that the old me is gone, and sometimes I really miss her.

I’m afraid to put on my clothes

I don’t want to put on my jeans. No, actually, I’m scared to put on my jeans.

The idea of recovery is always so glittery and inviting. You can get out of this hell inside your body, be free, feel beautiful, and so much more! But they don’t ever talk about what happens between being the anorexic girl and being the free girl. They definitely don’t tell you that you’re going to be afraid of a piece of clothing.

I can only compare it to the feeling you get going through puberty. Your body is changing, everything is all off balance, and sometimes you really hate yourself. If you’re like me and have been suffering from an eating disorder for so long, you have to learn how to deal with your body as well as your diet. I feel like there has never been a time in my life where I have had a “healthy” diet or a healthy way of viewing myself.

Weight gain or weight loss is inevitable when recovering from an eating disorder (I emphasize the fact that weight loss can also occur, some people suffer from Binge Eating Disorder). I have to keep reminding myself that my body is not a work in progress. Weight will fluctuate, and so will my diet, and so will the way I view myself. There is only one end goal here: health.

And while I have a lot of tools under my belt to be able to talk myself through weight gain and my body changing, I still find myself scared to put on my clothes. How do I take back my body and stop letting a clothing size define who I am?

I like to post on here. I enjoy writing. I am in love with the idea of helping others. I want to be as positive as possible because for so long in my life I have been enveloped in negativity. But, I don’t always have the right answers. Sometimes, I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing (mainly because there is probably no right way for recovery).

So, today I just wanted to say that I cried because I had to put a pair of jeans on. Today, I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t bring myself to push through and say “I love you.” Today, I let myself feel the negative feelings about my body that always seem to pop up.

I think a lot of the time, we think the right path to self-love is just forcing yourself to say things like “I love you” or “you are beautiful” to yourself in the mirror. But I feel better now that I let the bad stuff in. I didn’t have to agree with it, I just let it in instead of stuffing it all down. Maybe the key isn’t stopping the negative thoughts altogether, but rather learning how to coexist with them. Maybe then they’ll move out and leave us alone for good.


I am never satisfied, but I am suffocating under useless objects. But I still want more.

Right now I am sitting in my bed. From here I can count at least twenty different objects that I have not touched or used in the past five months. Twenty. But I still find myself starving for something more. The next meal, the next pair of shoes, the next outfit, the next iPhone.

I am searching for ways to improve myself and my life. I came across the minimalist movement a while back. I always thought it was something interesting (in all honesty, I always thought to myself, “props to you guys, I could never live with just the bare minimum”). The past couple of days I have been noticing different aspects of the tangible items I surround myself with. I noticed there are only a couple pairs of pants that I wear on a regular basis. There is an overflow of t-shirts stuffed inside my dresser that have not seen the light of day in months. There are books I started reading, hated, and never finished. There are empty school binders collecting dust.

I figure that there are things that I want and need in my life, but none of them are material anymore. I want happiness and health. I want family and friends to love unconditionally. I want clarity and I want freedom. The idea of Minimalism is that you can reach all these things easier when you clear the fog of excessive material items. The more I think about this concept, the more I realize that the only way I can quench my hunger for more, more, more is to realize that I’m not even hungry at all. I’ve been conditioned to feel like life is all about collecting; that the more you have, the more you’re worth.

So, I came across a website with a 21 day plan for Minimalism. I figured I would make a post including the raw journaling of Day 2. I challenge you to ask yourself these questions too, even if you aren’t looking to minimize your life.

What is standing in the way of my musts?

A lot of things are standing in the way of my musts. Or at least it feels that way. Right now, I feel like my eating disorder is standing in the way. My anxiety is standing in the way of my musts. The path of life society says I must follow is standing in the way of my musts. In some ways, those around me are standing in the way, too. I feel restricted in my life right now. I feel as though I have the capability to do so many things, but I am letting so many things stand in the way. 

When did I give so much meaning to my possessions?

Growing up in Calabasas, material items have always been a huge part of the lifestyle. I think it’s not so much the meaning, but more the want. I always find myself wanting more. More shoes, more clothes, etc. And then next thing I know, I’m surrounded by all these things I don’t need. But then I can’t seem to give them up. What if I need them or want them in the future? Isn’t giving these things up a waste? My parents/I worked so hard for these things. It’s that mindset where I find myself suffocating under material objects. It’s dissatisfaction mixed with guilt and regret.

What is truly important in life?

Love. Happiness. Family and friends. It’s really never tangible objects, is it? All I think is important is finding love and happiness within ourselves and others, and I think we’re lying to ourselves if we think the next iPhone is going to help us get there.

Why am I discontented?

Because I have been taught that we must strive for more. More clothes, more money, more friends, more success. I have not been taught to be content with the bare minimum. I have been shown that things other than happiness, love, and health are most important. I have been conditioned to believe that being dissatisfied is a part of the human condition, when I really don’t think it is. I have let myself be defined by these ideologies. To live by them, as if they have ever worked for anybody else.

Who is the person I want to become?

I just want to find happiness within myself. I want to love myself. I don’t want to feel as though I am any less than somebody else because I don’t have meaningless objects in my life. I want to be content with the beauty of life and nature. I want to be free.

How will I define my success?

I will define my success by the happiness those around me and I feel. For the love I feel towards everything. By the people I help, and the lives I improve—including my own. I will be ultimately successful when I am no longer constantly hungry for more. When I am finally content.

How will my life improve if I own less stuff?

I will not be suffocating beneath material objects. I will find use in everything I own—nothing will go to waste and cause me to feel guilty. I will have clarity about what I truly need. I will be more at peace. I will be free from dissatisfaction. I will be free.

Check out The Minimalists. 

I am a victim

I am a victim of myself. 

I need to admit something: today I terrified my family. If someone had said or done to me what I did to my family today, I would have had a heart attack. I won’t get into details, but I can assure you it was messy, dramatic, and definitely uncalled for.

I sat down with my boyfriend, and we chatted about everything that had gone on.

“I feel like I’m a burden.”

“I feel like I can’t tell anybody my troubles or else they will get too stressed out.”

“I feel like I need to play the peacemaker.”

“I feel like all I want is to be happy, and I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”

He reminded me of two very important things:

First, there is only so much you can do until it is out of your hands. There are things in my life that I wish were different, but they are out of my control to change. The sooner I accept that and do my best to move forward in a healthy way, the sooner these things I can’t change will feel less important. Less like they’re my fault.

This brings me to the next thing he helped me realize. Although he didn’t outright say this, as he was preaching to me about how not everything is my fault and how I’m allowed to speak up about my needs, I realized that I am the victim. And I hate it. But I love it.

The thing is, I don’t want to be the victim anymore. I think I’ve felt like this for a long time. In fact, I tricked myself into believing that I let myself be empowered, and that I moved on from this role of the “helpless one.” However, this was just an illusion. I have grown so accustomed over the years to being the victim that in times where I feel empowered, I subconsciously freak out and find a way to sink back into that “please help me, I’m so broken” persona. Interestingly enough, most of the time I’m not blaming the world for my problems. I don’t stand and point fingers at others. I stand right in front of the mirror, point directly at myself, and say, “this is all your damn fault.”

Have you ever heard of the Karpman Drama Triangle? If not, let me briefly introduce you to something you’ll probably find yourself caught in on a regular basis (because if you haven’t identified these roles we play in relationships, then you probably haven’t done everything in your power to interrupt these patterns).


The theory is that we shift back and forth between these roles; we’re never just one of the three personas. I’m sure there have been points in my life where I’ve been a Persecutor or a Rescuer, but I tend to find refuge in the role of the little old Victim. And yes, there are people in my life who step into the role of Rescuer or Persecutor to aid in keeping me tied down to being the Victim, but that’s not the point at all. Because, just like anything else, the only way to get yourself out is to do the work yourself.

It is very easy to slip into this role when you suffer from a mental illness, mainly because you desperately need the help of others to lift yourself back up from the darkness (it’s very hard to recover from an eating disorder, addiction, depression, or any other mental illness alone). And don’t get me wrong, others can help drag you down to the bottom of the triangle. People were constantly telling me that it’s not my fault, that I did nothing wrong. People kept telling those around me to be gentle and kind, reducing me to an egg—capable of cracking at any moment if not handled with care. They were absolutely right, I did nothing wrong. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have to do anything to help myself. It’s not up to everyone else, it’s up to me.

I am not a fragile egg. I am an empowered woman suffering from an eating disorder. And I have the power to fight back and make a change. This is how you can drag yourself out of the dirt, pull yourself up from the bottom of the triangle and out. You don’t have to be the victim if you’re asking for help. Asking for help doesn’t make you a weak, powerless egg. Go to the mirror, point at yourself, and say, “you have the power to change things and help yourself, even if that means asking for help.

I find myself bouncing back and forth between blaming others when I engage in behaviors and blaming myself. Today, when I went on a rather large binge, I kept thinking, “this is all your fault, you made me do this, I had no other choice but to retaliate against you by eating this entire box of cereal in one sitting.” And then I’d think, “have all the power to stop this right now, but I’m just not good enough, strong enough, smart enough to do so. This is all my fault.” Never did I think, what can I do right now to help myself get through this? It’s not about stopping the binge/behavior once it’s already began, it’s about supporting yourself throughout it. Taking it one step at a time, giving yourself care and love throughout it all. Giving yourself forgiveness once it’s over and moving on.

We don’t need anybody to save us from our eating disorders. When I was in treatment, I felt like it was the therapist’s/dietitian’s/nurse’s fault that I wasn’t getting better. Or I felt like I wasn’t good enough to recover because if this program is so tried and true and it’s not working, then I must not be worthy of recovery. But the reality is that I wasn’t voicing what I needed or working on what I could change.

Change is not as clear cut as people make it out to seem, nor is the path to happiness. The truth is that it’s messy, and scary, and it feels easier to put the pressure on others to make these things happen. But the truth is: nothing is ever going to happen if you put your happiness on other people. If I can stand up, hold myself accountable, and with everything I have fight for change and happiness, you can to. Be gentle, be kind, be forgiving. You have all the power. 

Living day by day

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha.

We’ve all been there; waking up to a heavy chest and a stomach ache, regret, remorse, anger, or depression clouding your mind. Yesterday sitting at the edge of your bed, looming over your day. We have been conditioned to hold on to negativity, to attach ourselves to the unfortunate events of our lives. It’s odd to think that yesterday’s moments can control our today, but it happens so often that we don’t even notice.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m as unaware most of the time as you all are. But I’ve recently admitted to myself something so crucial: I like to wear yesterday as a jacket rather than trying on a new day. It’s easier to take yesterday into today. Yesterday is familiar, and walking into the great unknown abyss of today with nothing but the clothes on your back can be so intimidating. Not to mention it’s easier to feel sorry for ourselves than pulling ourselves up by the boot straps and making a change.

I am in the grieving process. Not of somebody or something, but of myself. I am mourning the loss of yesterday’s Ally. Somebody I had grown to know so well. Somebody who I hid behind because it was just easier to go along with the same old thing rather than waking up brand new. Some days I feel a pang in my stomach when I think of her; thin and weak, constantly at her breaking point. I had become comfortable with waking up and living by the rules I had set for myself yesterday. Most days it was a caloric limit, some days it was a length of time I set for exercise. A couple times a week I woke up unable to see the new day ahead of me because of a nighttime binge; these were the days where yesterday seemed to never end.

There are ways to give up yesterday and embrace the now. I’m working on these things every single day, and sometimes it feels impossible to not be defined by my past. Here are some ground rules I have set for myself:

Do not think about tomorrow

When I felt like I overate, I would immediately think about how I could compensate for it the next day. By doing so, I had already set myself up for living in the past before the new day had even started. You do not need to compensate for the mistakes you have made against yourself. Forgive yourself. Start over.

Living in the now does not only consist of letting go of the past, but it also entails not thinking into the future. What is a day worth if it’s spent agonizing over tomorrow, too?

Meditate on the new day and set intentions

There are a lot of different ways one can meditate, but I find that using mantras and setting intentions for the day is best when in the healing process. Remember that you are worthy of a new day. You don’t have to be defined by your past choices. Here are a few words that I like to meditate on in the morning:

I am worthy.

I will have a beautiful day. 

I am grateful for everything I have right now. 

Be realistic

We live in reality. You don’t need to act on whim as if there are no consequences to your actions or decisions; practicing mindfulness and gratitude for the now is good enough. Sometimes you’re going to wake up unable to shake off the events of yesterday, and that’s okay. For example, let’s say you have a test. Yesterday you were supposed to study, but instead you sat around binge watching episodes of “The Office.” Tomorrow, you have to take the test. Don’t waste more time pitying yourself or feeling like you’re a failure. Today you can make up for yesterday and study all day long. That’s what it’s all about really: taking action and not letting yesterday define you.

Forgive yourself 

So you didn’t study yesterday. Oh well. That’s in the past. Today, you can learn from yesterday’s mistakes to better yourself. But first you have to forgive yourself. The only way to move forward is by absolving whatever qualms you have with yourself, just as forgiving others who may have wronged you can help you let go. You are worthy of forgiveness, and you are capable of forgiving. Ask yourself this: why do I not deserve the same amount of respect as anyone else? Give yourself the kindness and understanding you would to others.

We do not have to be defined by our past, but we can use our past to create a better now. The only thing that really matters is right now. As much as we wallow in the past, we can’t go back and change it. And as much as we try and plan our future, nothing is set in stone. The only thing you can control is this very minute right now. Take advantage of the power you have been given and make now worth it.

What I eat the day after a binge

The hardest thing to do after a binge, at least for me, is maintaining proper nutrition the day after. Before recovery, I would purge the caloric surplus in some way. Staying away from fasting the following day is so important.

I made a post about what I’m going to do the day following a binge, and one of the things I put emphasis on is not focusing on what I ate. This is key. Pretend like yesterday never happened. Today is a brand new day. 

Breakfast after binging 

major tip: start your day off with a big glass of water! more often than not, anorexia is accompanied with dehydration, and rehydrating your body is going to be a lot harder than you’d think. plus, a big glass of water will help get your digestive track up and running, which is something you need after a binge.

Like any other day, I’m starting off with a juice. Breakfast was the meal that I skipped the most–before recovery I literally never ate breakfast. This has really screwed up my hunger cues, so instead of forcing myself to eat a massive meal that will more likely than not cause me to feel sick, I like to get micronutrients in with a delicious juice.

look how fresh! 

I like to put one whole orange, a couple strawberries, three or four carrots, and a handful of kale into my juice. Whenever I have leftover stems from other green vegetables like broccoli, I like to toss those in for the micronutrients too. I love the taste of ginger, but sometimes I don’t remember to toss some in. Today, I made sure to throw in a little chunk of ginger for the digestive benefits–ginger promotes good digestion and can alleviate nausea and upset stomach, something I typically feel the day after a binge (there is a multitude of health benefits you can get from ginger, as well as all the other ingredients in this juice, just google it!).


Some tea for the soul 

I’m trying to get into the habit of including tea in my diet. There are a lot of benefits to green tea, but on this freezing, rainy day today I’m indulging in a warm cup of tea to alleviate my anxiety. It is said that green tea can increase dopamine levels in the brain! The day after a binge is usually very emotional, so I was in need of something natural to calm me. There is also something extremely soothing about a warm cup of green tea on a cold day.


Lunch after binging

I tend to have salads for lunch a lot because they’re not too filling, not stressful or triggering, and are extremely easy to make. Eating fresh and (if you’re into it) raw after a binge is very cleansing and rejuvenating. Today I had a variation of a salad I love: tofu hummus wraps.

look how beautifully colorful my plate is!

I used two vine-ripened tomatoes, half a zucchini, a bit of tofu, some sprouts, and my homemade, oil-free hummus (will do recipe on that sometime, you’re welcome) all wrapped up in fresh, delicious butter lettuce leaves. I cracked a little bit of salt and pepper on the tofu and veggies. Something to keep in mind with salads is that they can leave you feeling hungry if you don’t add anything of substance, and veggies (although rich in nutrients and such) are not calorically sufficient. Sooo, I like to add hummus to give it a little body. Today was the first time I tried it with raw tofu, and it was delicious and filling!

Snacking is important

I think I’m going to do a whole post on how to prevent binges, but including a healthy snack in between lunch and dinner is extremely helpful. I kind of picked up the schedule of my old treatment program, so I like to have a snack around 3:30-4:00 PM. I try to have at least a handful of almonds a day. Almonds are a good source of protein and healthy fats, which are so important in recovery! Today I paired some almonds with half a perfectly ripe mango.

Dinner after a binge

recovery tip: make dinner a little bigger than the other meals–it’s supposed to be! plus, it will keep you full into the night so you don’t have any triggering hunger pains or binge urges.

I have been eating a sweet potato for dinner literally every night this past week. It’s just that good! The cold weather pairs perfectly with a warm, creamy sweet potato. Tonights variation: sweet potato with mango salsa.

mango salsa mmm 🙂

All I do is microwave a sweet potato for 8 minutes and then pop it in the oven for a couple more on 400 degrees to toast up the skin. Then I slice it open and fill it up with mango salsa. I usually have two of these for dinner, depending on the sizes of the potatoes.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

After dinner, around 8:30 PM, I might have another handful of almonds with a clementine, depending on how hungry I am.

The most important thing in recovery is getting nutrients back into your body. And doing so looks different for everybody. I think it’s really important to have a plan or schedule for your day, and stick to it. Even if you binged.

ps I will be posting some recipes in the future!