Dear All of You,
Here’s the housekeeping to finish up this round of letters.
Last week’s graphics:
All graphics are published here.
This week’s writing prompt:
What would you do if you weren’t afraid? What can you do now to make this a reality?
I know you guys think these writing prompts are lame, but they provide something to fall back on when nothing comes to mind and also incentive to write when writing is the last thing you guys feel like doing. They even brought about a letter from Cookie Monster, her first one ever. If that doesn’t justify the writing prompts, then I don’t know what will.
Summary of letters (from the last cycle):
Last week’s writing prompt:
What 3 magical and instantaneous wishes would you like? Why is it GOOD that you can’t have them magically and instantaneously?
12/18 Party Crashers: Bingeing Isn’t Healing by Ana (age 25)
- She is frustrated with bingeing
- She acknowledges that not beating herself up for bingeing is a huge step, but letting it happen unchecked is just as bad.
- She says neither of these tactics meets the underlying need: the first gets angry that the need is there and the second doesn’t care enough to help
- She voices frustration with her younger selves for not cooperating and asks them to just tell her what they want so they can stop all the psychological guessing games
- She never got around to answering the writing prompt
12/18 Magic: Why Working Hard Is Better by Twenty-Three (age 23)
- She takes offense that Ana blamed the bingeing on younger parts and portrayed herself as a victim among heathens
- She tells Ana to take responsibility for her situation and stop blaming others
- She answered last week’s writing prompt. Her first wish was to always weigh X pounds no matter what she ate.
- Her second wish was for her psychotic break / manic episode to never have happened
- Her third wish was for things to “just be OK again” (as in not being an antisocial recluse who is dissatisfied with her life – a work in progress that’s come a long way)
12/19 Perfume Farts: Act Now by Unknown
- First, can I just acknowledge the amazingness of that title? Yes, I’m laughing at my own writing. Deal with it 😎
- Also, it appears we skipped Twenty’s (age 20) turn – sorry about that.
- She (unknown) is completely fed up with bingeing
- She criticizes the concept of assigning emotions and impulses to different ages because that just leads to blaming and shirking responsibility
- She reiterates that self-hate and apathy towards binge eating are two sides of the same coin: neither meet the needs the bingeing is trying to take care of
- She stresses the need to take bingeing seriously. These urges are the same ones that drove purging, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation. She cautions that disregarding them will cause more extreme behaviors, like a relapse.
12/20 Far Far Away: Escapism Daydreams by Fifteen (age 15)
- She mentions how the writing prompt got her to write when she didn’t feel like it at all (writing prompt: 1, whiners: 0)
- Her first wish is also to stay a certain weight despite bingeing (although this weight is lower than Twenty-Three’s: she was super into thinspo blogs at the time). She can’t think of a good reason why she can’t have this wish
- Her second wish is to leave her family
- Her third wish is to be attractive to boys and have lots of friends
12/24 Princesses and Witches: Childhood Wishes by Cookie Monster (age 11)
- How did 4 days go by without writing? Lying in bed watching movies and sleeping erratically, that’s how. I didn’t even realize this happened.
- This is the first ever letter from Cookie Monster – kind of a big deal since she inspired the title of this blog. Age 11 is when the bingeing started and I’ve wanted to go back to the beginning of this mess to figure out how to resolve the past
- This further indicates that writing prompts are awesome (writing prompts: 2, whiners: 0)
- She doesn’t provide many details about her wishes and she doesn’t think it’s good that she can’t have any of them. Still – SO HAPPY to get this letter
- Her first wish is to be a witch at Hogwarts
- Her second wish is to be a Disney pop princess with her own TV show
- Her third wish is to be popular and have lots of friends
- Hindsight pondering: escapism and dissatisfaction with life were a big deal even at this young age
Besides just being an indulgence, I think a brief weekly overview of how our external life is going will create context for the letters.
So, my life right now:
I left my job to take the new one, but it doesn’t start until February.
I don’t have to work until then if I don’t feel like it – which is why I spent the last week in bed watching movies (21 total) – but I probably should get some temp work so I don’t go crazy.
I finally stopped bingeing (knock on wood).
It’s been almost 5 days I think – I’m not keeping track so I don’t psych myself out. The weight sliding off is beyond lovely, but I’m forcing myself to not try and rush things. Not eating will put me back in binge mode.
I celebrated my first Christmas away from family (it’s the 26th here now), and it was surprisingly relaxing.
I didn’t get any presents or cards because I have no mailing address, but I didn’t feel too sad about it. Everything I own fits in one suitcase, so I’m not sure what I would do with more stuff. I treated myself to a haircut and (yet another) movie, so I feel pretty satisfied. I worry that not wanting to celebrate with people means I’m becoming so antisocial I don’t even notice it anymore, but for right now being alone and OK with it is really nice. (*Update: I went to a Christmas market and watched a movie (yes, another one) with my future roommate and a few of his friends. Stressful, but not so bad)
Hopeful changes (both for blog and life):
- Keep commenting on other blog posts – it’s getting you to read rather than skim. Plus, you’re interacting with a lot of great people!
- Make graphics with quotes and useful information rather than just using one word.
- Get outside even if you don’t pick up some temp work. You’re moving in with new roommates in a few days, so your creepy antisocial behavior is going to be obvious. It’s not good for you to lie in bed all day, so at least go to a library or something.
- Read books rather than watch movies. It’s hard to find English books here, but you have plenty of audiobooks. Maybe go take a walk while you listen.
- Write more in general. I’ve decided to stop talking about my “book.” A friend told me that the lamest thing someone can say is “I’m working on my book,” when all they do is putter around and never finish anything. I don’t want to become that, so I am going to work in silence.
OK, the end. Best wishes for this week’s letters!