Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's All About You

You'll have to excuse the lull in posts recently. My dear grandfather passed away the week before Christmas. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and were able to cope with any problems, triggers, and/or circumstances that came your way. I thought some of you might be feeling down, or overwhelmed, or anxious, or all three. So...

Write yourself a letter. Don't over-think. Don't over-analyze. Don't DO anything but write. Talk to yourself. There is only one rule: do not use any negative words (i.e. fat, ugly, stupid, bad, etc.). Speak to yourself as you would to a little girl who had been crying because she was so desperate and upset that she didn't know what to do or where to turn.

If you would like to share with me, I will post your Letter to Yourself here. Sometimes seeing your own words in print somewhere other than where you put them is an embodiment of strength.

And of course, I will first share with all of you.


What can I best do to comfort you? Come here. Lay your head down on my lap and let me tell you what a good girl you are. Cry if you need to; I won't ask you to stop. Sometimes crying helps get out the bad to make room for the good. If you want to hold my hand, I will leave it out and open and ready for your grasp. Breathe, Arielle. Let it all out. Make room for the good. It will be okay. You have so much power inside you. You have the power to make everything okay. I will help you. You don't even have to ask. If you want to be silent, I will wait with you and our hearts can be the only sounds in the stillness. If you want to talk, I will listen. Relax, Arielle. Lean against me. You don't have to hold yourself up right now. Rest against me. Get warm. Feel loved. Don't worry. Don't be afraid. I'm right here and I'm not leaving. I'll take you anywhere you want to go.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

"I invite you to live."

The world is waiting for you. It's waiting with open arms and a smile. All you have to do is live.

Though this attempt to live can be the single greatest thing you ever do, it is in fact probably the most difficult thing you will ever do. You may even think you are living right now. And perhaps you are. But I can tell you, if you do not feel "alive," you are not living. If you are not nourishing your body and your soul, you are not living. If you are not being honest with yourself, you are not living. If you are hating yourself, you are not living. If you are not breathing, you are not living. If you are weighed down by a variety of things, you are not living. If only one of these things is true, you are not living.

This is not to say that "living" requires complete happiness every moment of every day. Living life means experiencing the bad with the good, but when the bad consistently and greatly outweighs the good, you are not living. You may be trying to live, but you are not living.

Do not confuse existing with living. The two are very different indeed.

Somehow, we forget to live. Really live. It's difficult to even pinpoint exactly how this happens, but it does. All too often. And before we know it, we are lost in the crowd, lost in the troubles, lost in the pain, lost in the life we think is a life simply because it is a reality. Maybe no one ever told you this, but...

You can change your reality.

I invite you to live.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Crazy Little Voices

Something I wrote 4 years ago...before I realized I was NOT alone.

Crazy little voices

Tricky little words

Something in my corners

That looks to me absurd

I travel in a triumph

I whither in the rain

Cold white bone beneath

The tightening skin and pain

The somethings all around

Blare up like heinous horns

I hold my ears in horror

While my little sore heart mourns

The trees are standing watch—yes

The eyes are all on me

And are they coming closer

To see what they can see?

My face looks like a child’s

My mind feels like a stone

My body is a battlefield

And here I stand alone

I think sometimes the scariest part is that we feel we are trapped and alone. But the truth is, there is a way out and it just takes time to find it. There are a lot of people who deal with the same pain, the same circumstances, and we can help each other. You've got to use what you've got inside--what you've dealt with so far and are continuing to deal with on a daily basis--and you've got to consider it an advantage, a wisdom, and a power. Instead of letting it bring you down, rise above.

Much love,


Monday, December 10, 2007


Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving like a flash of light

That shone once and was gone.

Safer to go than to stay,

Better to learn than to wait,

I’m going. I’m flying.

Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving and I’m coming back

A new woman.

Out of my life and into my dreams,

Born once again,

I’m running away.

Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving like a gust of wind

You feel only for an instant.

I’m ready to jump,

I’m ready to fall,

I’m ready to go.

Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving and I’m coming back

A new woman.

To care for myself,

To leap into the unexpected,

To grow like a flower in the rain.

Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving like the moon leaves

In the morning light.

Like rain that falls from full clouds,

My thoughts cascade and flow

Into carved paths time digs into the ground.

Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving and I’m coming back

A new woman.

Leaves fall and bloom again in spring;

So do our spirits fall, only to again

Be replenished with happiness.

Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving like the seeds

Leave the swaying trees.

Like a seed, bursting from earth

So I have grown too,

A flower not yet fully blossomed.

Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving and I’m coming back

A new woman.

Promise is there—

The promise to experience

With a face upturned toward the sun.

Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving like yesterday

That turns into tomorrow.

Exit—here I go,

I’m leaving and I’m coming back

A new woman.


A poem I wrote 2 and half years ago. Hope everyone is doing well.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Holidays are Upon Us

To all:

The holiday season can be a tough season. It's often full of family, food, and obsessive behavior. I'm writing this to let you know I understand. The holidays can make you squirm and wake up full of dread each morning. But you know what?

They're not supposed to. That's not what the holidays are all about.

They're about a thousand things and none of those things should be negative or unhealthy or depressing. The question is: how do you get yourself into the right mindset?

You have to psych yourself up for it. You have to be positive and remain positive despite all the negativity you might feel closing in on you. You have to worry about YOU and not about others. I know it's hard--many times those "others" are your family or your close friends and you feel conflicted or manipulated or overwhelmed. Those feelings are okay and completely natural. All feelings are--because they're what you FEEL and they are honest. But you've got to do what's best for yourself and sometimes that means thinking only of yourself at a given point in time.

I know it might sound strange--me telling you to think of yourself during the holidays, when everything else out there promotes goodwill toward the less fortunate and giving to others besides yourself--but you have to consider that if you are first good to yourself, you will much more easily be able to be good to others. You have to start with yourself and go from there. It sounds so simple and so difficult at the same time, doesn't it?

I once had an aunt comment on what I was eating at a family holiday dinner. I had put some things on my plate and had handed it to her so she could add something to it that was nearest to her. "That's not YOUR plate, is it?" she'd said.

I just looked at her.

"I mean, you don't eat all that, do you?" she asked.

It didn't matter why she said it or what she meant by it. It was too late; the damage had been done. She'd gotten the message from my silence that I was shocked she'd say such a thing to me (for at the time, I was very very thin), but when my plate was handed back to me I didn't feel like eating. I'm sure she had no idea what she'd done to me with that short conversation. But there was a lot wrong with that conversation.

For one, she'd drawn attention to my eating. Second, she'd commented on the amount. Third, she was clearly surprised which made me question myself and what I was ready to eat.

In short, that small incident completely ruined my day. And if I'd had the right mindset at the time, it wouldn't have. Now, I know there are situations you will all deal with over the holidays that will be worse than that...or even less severe than that...that will irk you, upset you, and make you miserable. This was just an example. The point is: don't let it upset you.

As usual, it's easier said than done. But all you have to do is TRY. Just try. When something upsetting happens, or you see or hear or feel something that triggers you to do whatever self-destructive or eating disordered behavior you typically fall back on, DON'T DO IT. Don't let it get the better of you. Don't give in to pain and sadness and frustration. Use your anger or your emotions to build yourself up. Do what's healthy and what is good for you. Be good to yourself. Think of yourself. Don't think of someone else's comments or the way someone else looks. Don't think of all the food and how you shouldn't eat it. Don't think of the obsessive behaviors that may have become natural to you. Think of you and the child you once were that is still a part of you. And give her/him what she/he wants. You are allowed to indulge. You are allowed to nurture. You are allowed to FEEL GOOD. You are allowed to BE HAPPY.


Write a note to yourself. A short one, a long one, a sentence, a few words, or whatever you want. But write a note to yourself that is positive, that quickly reiterates that you can get through things. Maybe it will say: YOU CAN DO IT! YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR! Or maybe it will simply say: IT'S OKAY. But whatever it is, write it. To yourself. On an actual piece of paper. And keep it. And put it in your coat pocket, or your purse, or your wallet, or something you almost always have with you. And when you're dealing with some holiday stress or you're feeling overwhelmed, take it out briefly and look at it. Reassure yourself. You will thank yourself later. Maybe later that day. Maybe later that month. Maybe later that year. Or maybe even years from now. But you will thank yourself.

Do you really want to have miserable holiday season? Or one filled with grief, obsessing, nervousness, anxiety, pain, etc? Of course you don't. And you don't deserve to. You deserve all the good things the holidays can bring. I know you can't get rid of all those bad feelings and behaviors in one day--or in one holiday season. But you can START.

Start now. Start with THIS holiday.

Best of luck to you all. You can do it!


Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Happiest Girl in the World

Wrote this almost 3 years ago in a reflective mood. It's not much, but it does speak for the way I was feeling at the time, and I know that many can relate to it. It's fairly self-explanatory, so I won't dilute it with a preface.

Genuinely listen

And you will see me there,

Eyes connected to ears

As always

Like in the days of the past

When I thought I was the

Happiest girl in the world.

Remedial treatment

For my worn little heart,

Bandaged and battered

And I flip the page

Because I don’t want

To see what’s written there.

Bounding out of the house

And up the tree,

Like a scampering creature

And not a girl,

I remember being fascinated

By the audience I saw

In the people that passed me on the street.

Brazen beaten blue eyes,

Characterized by flecks of blurry beauty,

Media-nurtured and alarmed

At the magic I found within myself.

Brown hair flowing from my head

As I looked in the mirror,

“Raw deal” I said, “raw deal.”

Don’t they always go for blondes?

No faith in my future of love,

I could not laugh.

My skinny limbs seemed pretty,

But my dark curls seemed wasteful.

Who would touch them? Like them?

Don’t they always go for blondes?

Hopeless little assailant, always beating on herself.

In later years the small breasts

Were just the icing on the cake.

And then, like a woman being

Cranked out of the tiny form of a girl,

I began to see that I was adequately recognized

And pleasantly perceived.

But it took too long.