Tuesday, 1 December 2015

My Final Surrender

This post is long overdue. Especially seeing as I graduated from Renfrew in August. But anyway, if you have ever been a patient at "the frew" then you know what surrenders are. For everyone else, it is when you decide to give up something that harms your recovery. On my last day, while meeting with my therapist, I wrote my very last surrender and promised to hold myself to it. But I haven't done very well on that promise. So, I am going to type it below and hope it helps.

I surrender using the sentence, "I can't". With this surrender I decide that I am capable of achieving the things I want in life. I acknowledge that I do not deserve to fail at everything I attempt. Not all things will go as I hope or plan but it is better to try than to never know. I accept that I have potential in this life and refuse to not explore it. I surrender setting myself up to fail by setting the lowest possible standards. From this day forward, I promise to myself to give me a chance. Not in school or activities. But to give myself the opportunity to always be who I am without apology. With this signature I commit to living a life goals, opportunities, and chances.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Wow. Just wow. I don't even know how to explain this thanksgiving. I'm three years clean from self-harm. I sat at the table the whole time. I ate breakfast today. I didn't reach out to a treatment team member. I only body checked for maybe 10 minutes. I would be lying if I said that I didn't have a bunch of thoughts go through my head. But it was just so amazing to not want to scream and pull my hair out. For once, I don't plan on restricting today to make up for the meal. I enjoyed Black Friday shopping. And I'm kind of excited to have leftovers for lunch. I had water at the mall. I don't know where this is going. But it feels really nice to know that I got through thanksgiving on my own. Yeah. Life is good. 

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 20 September 2015

I Apparently Have Things To Say

Two posts in two days?!? What is this sorcery! 

So. Today I actually told one of my new friends that SURPRISE Im incapable of feeding myself properly. And she didn't run away screaming. I'm so excited. Like thank goodness. That was crazy nerve wracking. But it's all good. 

That actually wasn't the point of this post though. The point of this post is that today, i ate three meals. Like holy shit! I'm so proud. And so freaked out at the same time! But like yay. Yes. I kinda wish I hadn't. And yeah I have slight self harm urges. But I'm not gonna do it. I'm gonna be awesome and watch a movie with friends and maybe...maybe...maybe eat cookies and brownies with them. I'm not sure. Probably. Cause I don't wanna seem awkward. And like normalcy is probably the way to go. We'll see. 

Anyway! Thanks for reading my ramblings!

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Saturday, 19 September 2015

I'm So Proud Of Myself

I don't think I've ever said the name of this post and actually meant it. But today...today I mean it. After 6 treatment stays. Including two this summer. Barely eating my first week at college and exercising more than allowed. I finally have it together. I have been eating. Having some water. Kinda. Exercising like a normal person. I even joined things that don't include exercise. I've made friends that have no idea about my eating disorder or my self harm past. And even though days are struggles still and a lot of the time, I'd rather not eat... I still do. I guess the moment for me that I realized I needed to write this post was when I drank normal soda the other night and didn't freak out. Not only that but I chose to drink it. For the first time in 6 years, I have friends, im eating, I'm caught up on school work and I'm happy. Life can be so good. Just let yourself have it. 

Stay Strong
Xo Aria

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Time To Be Transparent

I never thought I would write this. But I guess this could be good for me. There are things I need to tell people about myself. Beware. All the walls are coming down. 

I do put on a wonderful front. It has a purpose. That way nobody can hurt me and I can't be disappointed. If I pretend that everything is ok, then life is ok. It takes away the need for emotion. I hate crying. I find it creates vulnerability and I don't like that. This my first time really being single since 7th grade and it's terrifying. Maybe that's a good thing. But I'm not sure. I know my obsession with exercise is unhealthy. I just can't seem to stop. I only worked out for 45 minutes today AND got injured but I still feel guilty because I'm allowed to work out more than that. I constantly feel like nobody hears me. And that makes me not want to share. Why share if nobody wants to hear it. School terrifies me. I can't focus and when I read, I mix up letters and words. Which makes textbooks SO hard and reading out loud makes me want to vomit. My anxiety causes me to feel sick and like I'm having a heart attack. It's the worst. I want to lose weight so badly right now.But I won't. I can't keep going in and out of treatment. That I know. I'm so scared of finding out who I am. What if I'm a horrendous person that nobody likes. I don't tell people when I get hurt. I never have. When I was little and would get a cut, I would run to my room and hide it from my parents. Once I bled for an hour. When I sprain my ankle, I don't wear braces. I don't like to be seen as less than perfect. I was bullied too long for that. I was the girl in middle school who people put notes on her locker calling her a whore. I'll never forget that. I pretend to be stupider than I am. It works for me. People never think I'm smart. It's just not a thing. Which is probably good. I love gymnastics with all my heart. But there is definitely a part of me that wants to leave the leotards behind. That's normal. Judaism is so important to me. Like ridiculously. Not sure why. 

That's all I've got for now. 

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Margo. Roth. Spiegelman.

Margo is the main character of John Green's novel Paper Towns. If I'm going to be honest, I didn't totally understand the paper metaphor when I read the book. But now after seeing the movie, I understand the metaphor and Margo Roth Spiegalman more than I ever thought possible. Because just like her, I'm a paper girl. I'm not real. People think they know who I am. They've constructed this image of me in their heads and that's who they see. But it's not who I am. I don't think. I don't even really know who I am. I feel like I've spent so long pretending to be someone that others created. A girl that I don't even know anymore. Maybe Margo was right. Sometimes you just have to run away and figure it out. I don't know if I'd physically run away. Granted, I'd love to actually find an adventure or have an idea and just follow it. I love uncertainty. Maybe you can run away without a bus ticket though. Maybe you just have to get away from the things that make you , you. Find new friends, new hobbies, new places to go. Let go of one identity and run away to another one. One that isn't paper. I don't know if I'll ever find my W or my Agloe but I sure hope I have the chance to make some non-paper memories along the way. 

We are all Margo. 

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Monday, 20 July 2015

Why I Hate Dietitians (part 2?)

I'm like 90% sure I wrote something like this on my original blog. So let's go with part two. The fun part is that this one is about a different dietitian! Woohoo! Anyway on the point of this post. So, the dietitian that I am currently seeing in treatment and I are definitely on different pages. But like the problem is that I don't think she trusts anything I say. And she definitely isn't a fan of gymnastics. Not shocking. But still. Like my weight has gone up MORE since being here. And that wasn't even necessary. If anything I could lose weight and be ok. The last thing I need to lose my ability to exercise. Especially since it helps me deal with emotions. I don't know. Plus like I don't need to drink liquids. I choose not to and I'm ok. Granted I've been like crazy dizzy lately. That's a secret between me and you my faithful readers. I honestly think that she thinks I'm playing her. Like when I asked about the point of water. Or when I talk about how I grew up learning about exercise. Like I don't use exercise machines. I didn't even know they showed calories until that time I went to crossfit. I just. I don't know how to say the things without being judged by her. Which is a big reason I have friends with eating disorders because when I say those things, there is no judgement. 

Just accept that you can't change how people view you. 

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Update: I'm literally an emotional mess and it's midnight and I'm crying. So here's hoping they don't make me talk during program tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Does Pain Exist.

Tonight at practice I did a lovely job of splitting the beam and tearing up the back of my legs. Like sitting is uncomfortable. But I got up and finished the last 1.5 hours of practice. Eventually my legs went numb. No big deal. When I told my non-gymnast friend, she asked why I didn't just sit down and leave. And that just doesn't make sense to me. You fall, you get up. Conditioning makes you cry? Sucks. I don't know. Maybe I just don't feel pain anymore. Or maybe it feels like positive thing. Pain isn't a deterrent. So does it even exist? Like I don't feel pain from my legs. I just feel discomfort to be pushed through. Honestly, not worried that my thighs were bleeding. More concentrated with having to sit at treatment tomorrow on this. 

Maybe pain is just a figment of our imagination. 

Stay Strong 
xo Aria

Update: I cried in the shower. Still. Could be worse. 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

"Sick" Clothes

I have piles of them. Hangers full of them. Cabinets stuffed with them. All of my "sick" clothes. Clothes that have followed me in and out of treatment stays. Clothes that I bought while there. Clothes that I can't bring myself to wear anymore unless I feel like being tortured. Tonight o decided to bag them up. Get rid of them. One problem. I don't have anywhere for them to go. My best friend wants to go through and keep some. And I said okay. But the idea of seeing them for her and look good on her makes me nauseous. I don't know what to do anymore. Someone help? 

Get rid of the things that hold you back. 

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Wednesday, 8 July 2015


Okay. Pasta will be what kills me. Today in treatment was like a pack your own lunch. And I thought I could handle pasta. And I ate it. But holy anxiety. Growing up a gymnast pretty much puts certain foods off limits. Especially high carb items. In early high school, my friends and I would go out for pasta after practice as a form of rebellion. Looking back it wasn't all that rebellious. But it sure felt like it. So, now there is pasta in me and I'm not practicing tonight. Which may be a good thing considering they could probably see the pasta in me. I just. Want. To. Work. Out. But I am so freaking tired. 

I don't know what to do. Do I work out? Do I not? Do I ever eat pasta again? 

Sometimes the aftermath is the worst part. 

Stay Sateong
xo Aria

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

My Sport is Weird

"They call us the survivors of our sport because it pushes you to your physical and mental limits. "

Gymnastics is such a weird sport. It teaches you to push through crazy pain. It teaches you to question how certain people's bodies do this sport. It teaches you that your body isn't yours. It belongs to the sport. To your gym. When you're little you cry through conditioning and then laugh about it because it's normal. When it's older you no longer cry but after is for complaining. Your body is tired. Your mind is tired. Has practice ALWAYS been this long?!? The answer is yes. It just seemed shorter. Things were easier. It was all for fun. Now it's a question of whether or not to hang up your leotard. But you know you won't. What else would you be doing? How else would you have time for yourself. How would you exercise. How would you live. The younger girls are surpassing you in skill but you're too poud of them to walk around feeling bad for yourself. That's for after practice chats. 

The weirdest part is here I am at 11 PM eating snack because o at the gym from 5-830. And I should be focusing on my gym accomplishments but my only thoughts are about that I didn't even practice for an hour of it because a friend and I were talking. I didn't even work out enough to justify this food. 

Gymnastics isn't a sport. It's a lifestyle

Stay Strong. 

Xo Aria 

Monday, 6 July 2015

Recovery...Does it exist?

The first time I went into treatment, in 2011, a staff member told me that I would never recover. That I would be a chronic case. I wanted so badly not to believe them. But now, 4 years later, I'm on my fifth stint in treatment. My second this summer. And I'm starting to realize they were right. Here I am. A chronic, albeit failing, anorexic. I mean seriously I've been out for a month and haven't lost a single pound. That's the worst thing I can imagine and it's true. Like I just don't know anymore. Part of me is pretty convinced that by now I'm just kinda a hopeless case. I have everything in the world. Except a normal home life. But more on that later. Meanwhile, I just can't seem to like myself. And obviously suck at feeding myself. I don't even know where this rant is going. I guess...I've lost my sight on recovery. Or the lack of its existence. 

Onto a new topic. My family. My brother is going nuts. He freaks out about everything. And hits things. And threw his phone at the window and broke it. Then he climbed into the car trunk. And then he jumped out of the car, it was stopped , and ran away. So, needless to say, my treatment is definitely not first priority. Hence why I drag friends to support groups and not family members. It's not worth the effort. 

At least my July 4th was decent though. My friend and I spent all day together and made blue cupcakes. I even ate pancakes. And yet I question why I haven't lost weight. Wow. My life is a joke. 

Don't bother reading into any of this. Some things are just surface level. 

Stay Strong 
xo Aria

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

There Was Once A Jewish Girl

There was a Jewish girl. Born with the light of Shabbat candles in her eyes. She went to Sunday school and could tell you the alphabet backwards and forwards. She could read in her people's native tongue. She never knew what she was reading. But that didn't matter. She could pronounce the words and sounds. After awhile, Sunday school became something to dread and her friends were just pulling her for the ride. She forgot how to read and the words no longer formed delicately in her mouth. Fast forward a few years. The girl has her Bat Mitzvah. Everyone is so proud. But why? Did they know what she had read? Did they understand the importance of those ancient words? Or were they simply happy that she made it through to the words "Thank you"? She'd never know. The day after, she swears off Judaism. She's done. There's nothing interesting and her love for it was long gone. Fast forward a few more years and she's in high school and running for board of the youth group out of her old synagogue. She wonders every day how she got there. Why she's there. Senior year and she's president of the group. Everyone is so proud of her. But the questions and comments she gets are not about the Judaism or politics. They are about how it will look to colleges. If it affect school. Flash forward. This time just a month. She's now been to Israel and back. She fell in love with the holy land and seeing the Shabbat candles glow. Her story feels as if it has come full circle. But nobody at home asks about how it affected her religious stance. Or what those candles felt like. They ask about the views and the partying and the wars. Why. Why she wonders. Don't they care about the beauty of the people? Don't they wonder about why religion is so pretty despite the destruction it is causing? Come into the present. The same Jewish girl feels awkward and out of place in her religion. She wants to return to Israel but doesn't know how. It's expensive to find herself. There's something missing from her life. She's beginning to wonder what can be seen in Shabbat candles. Maybe it is time for all of us to look closer in the flames. 

Sometimes we find ourselves multiple times over. 

Stay Strong 
xo Aria

Thursday, 28 May 2015

You Will Never Understand

You will never understand this. The feeling of belonging somewhere else. The feeling of losing yourself because you can't get back there. The feeling of knowing you aren't home. The feeling that something else is out there. The feeling that nobody cares because they only see what's on the surface. The feeling of being so misunderstood. I don't want to run away. I want to run home. Run to where I felt at peace. Where I felt happy. Where I felt like myself. I will never be healthy,not truly, until I feel at one with myself. I need you to try to understand that my heart is far far away and so is home for me. My heart lies away from here. And one day I will come back. Because I have a home here. But it will never be where I feel AT home. You have to let me fly. Let me spread my wings. Go where I need to be. You were just like me once. Needing to go. Be where you loved. Give me the same freedom. I will always come back. Always. But give me the chance to choose when that is. Until you can internalize and try to understand this feeling...You Will Never Understand Me. 

My heart lies in Israel

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Why You Should Date a Gymnast

Date a gymnast. She knows how to combine power and grace in the perfect proportion. She will help you see what it means to have a dynamic personality. A gymnast is taught how to have respect for authority without being walked on. She has had to stand up for herself and realize that nobody is listening to what she says. But knows to keep talking until someone hears. She has had spent years learning to push herself out of comfort zones. She has goals and aspirations and wants. But most importantly, she will fight for those wants. Including you. A gymnast strives for perfection and will not accept anything less than what she deserves. She knows what she deserves. Nobody is gifted anything in this sport. She has seen defeat and frustration and has had to pick herself up off the floor as quickly as a human can. Except gymnasts aren't normal humans. They know that each time they land incorrectly is just setting them up for a better finish the next time. Success is earned. In and out of the gym. She will tell you over and over that everything she knows she learned in the gym. From her teammates, coaches and even through watching those on different teams. Best of all, she's learned from watching herself fall short. From a young age the gymnast is taught responsibility and discipline. If she forgets something for practice? That's her problem. She has a school dance on the same day as a meet? Too bad.  She made a commitment. Self-discipline is at the core of this sport. She knows how to keep herself focused. How to fight for her dreams. And how to do the right thing when nobody is watching. So no. Do not date a gymnast because she is flexible or because she can have push-up contests with you. Date a gymnast because she will never leave unless you give her a reason. She's a hard worker and has persevered. And her highs are higher than anyone else's could ever be. 

Gymnasts are super human. 

Stay Strong
xo Aria 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Recovery Means to Grieve

First off, I know it's been forever. I feel like there wasn't anything to say. But now I think about it...I have a lot. I've been back in treatment and it's been a pretty good experience. Minus some major self harm urges that I wasn't expecting. And of course hitting my goal weight was super hard. However, I have some great tidbits of advice for you guys that learned from one of my favorite staff members. 

One of the first things she ever said to me was : recovery is a process of grieving. Let yourself mourn. I thought she was crazy. I mean, I didn't die? But the more she explained, the more sense it made. I was okay not acting on behaviors because I didn't feel like I was losing something. I figured I could always go back. It would always be there, like a ghost. Which meant I could never fully move on. However, once I accepted that it was going away and began to let myself go through the mourning process, only then would true recovery begin. There would be no turning back. 

The next thing she said was: everyone is a failure or everyone defines success in their own way. At first I was super confused. There's only one way to be successful and that's to be perfect. But after finishing the discussion, she might be right. Because nobody can get everything right. You're going to fail at something. And it's possible that your entire life will look like a failure to other people. But as long as you feel successful then that's all that matters. 

The final thing she said is that sometimes you are handed a second chance for a reason. Maybe you are meant to start all over and see what can come. Not everyone has the chance to reevaluate everything so take the opportunity. 

I'm sorry I haven't been around. I've missed blogging so so much. 

"Here's to days that turned into nights with friends that turned into family"

Stay Strong 
xo Aria

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Goodbye Glee

I know that in the last couple years Glee has become a major joke to people. But as it has now ended, I'm looking back on why I started watching and why I'm proud to have kept watching the past 6 years. Glee started at the time in my life when I hated myself more than any other time I can think of. It was a weird show that talked about sex and homosexuality and things that I hadn't even started really understanding yet. But what I didn't expect was for them to help me understand who I was. I identified with Rachel and how she felt about her nose. I felt how Karovsky did when he attempted suicide. But I also loved watching them grow up and seeing that even the weird ones can make it through. I was bullied for so long. And it makes you feel so alone and like you deserve it. But Glee showed me that other people get bullied. That I could find people. Musical theatre and just music in general have always been in my life. But my cousin is the one who took lessons and was the "star" of the family. She was going to be on Broadway and is naturally incredibly skinny. Glee taught me that passion means something. That you don't have to go the conventional route to reach your dreams. But most importantly Glee showed me that fighting your dreams is ALWAYS worth the fight.

So thank you Glee. 

Stay Strong
Xo Aria

Monday, 16 February 2015

What I Wish People Knew About Eating Disorder Recovery (My Contribution to NEDAwareness Week)

The more time I spend trying to be in recovery, the more I realize that it isn't about looking forward or backward. It is about being in the moments that recovery shines during. My friends and I like to say "when it hurts to look back and you're scared to look forward, look beside you and you're best friend will be there". I think it is the same way with recovery. Every time I look forward and see how far I have to go, I freak out. I get scared that I'll never see the crazy island that is full recovery. And looking back either makes me upset that I let things happen or makes feel complacent. The complacency sets in because well I've made enough progress. Or so I think sometimes. But it isn't true. I have come a long way. But there is still a long while to go. So, the best way to go is to look next to you. What is happening right now that makes you know that you're human? I had one of these moments on Valentine's Day. I was making dinner with my friend and we were messing up and didn't even know how to work her stove. Normally, I would have been super nervous and freaked out and been nowhere near the kitchen. But this year, I was laughing and throwing food around with my friend. It was amazing. And rather than freaking after eating more than usual, we went and played in the snow and then ran inside freezing. Turns out that leotards don't keep you warm. I guess my point is that recovery isn't just about your past. How many hospitals, how many pounds, how many ANYTHING. But it also isn't about the future, how many pounds, how many meals, how much further you have to go. It's about looking around and enjoying what recovery can give you right now. No matter where you are. If you can't see this for yourself yet, that is okay. It will come with time. Everything does. If you are someone's support, don't focus so much on what they haven't done yet. Most of my recovery successes have been small. But still important. The little ones make up the big ones. So help them look next to them. And make sure they know that you are standing there too.

Recovery shouldn't always hurt. Enjoy the ride.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Poetry is My Guilty Pleasure

As very few of you know, I decided to try art therapy for a while. But the thing I've come to realize is that visual art isn't what helps me. Poetry is. I love it. And it's so great for expressing things. So here is my latest one. Please don't judge. 

Tears flowing
Numbers flashing
World spinning
Ankles collapsing 
Everything is black
Machines beeping
Doctors running
Someone help the girl who can't eat
The girl who won't eat
She must want to be pretty
Her family must be loaded
Maybe she's just stressed 
Or maybe she just hates herself
Hates herself so much that nothing else matters
I'm not a girl who starved to be pretty
I starved because I knew I could never be
Never be what society expects
Never be the perfect girl my parents wished for
So now I'll be nothing at all
And nobody will have to worry
Doctors running 
World slowing
Eyes closing
I'm going to sleep
And when I wake up the numbers will still be flashing 

Don't be afraid to try different ways of expression

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Saturday, 17 January 2015


Tonight I went on a date with a fantastic guy. His name is Dom. Feel free to assume whatever you want regarding his actual name. Point is, I'm really happy about how it went. I've always said that the best part of a relationship is when you can sit in silence and still feel comfortable. And that happened tonight. We sat in his car and listened to music and held hands. The matching callouses were a nice touch. But it didn't feel awkward or like we needed to fill the space with words. We could just be there. And that was amazing. I'd be lying if I said he wasn't a good kisser too. And really sweet. I'm really glad he said he'd be up for a second date. And can't wait to see what happens.

I guess the point of this post is that sometimes what seems impossible...isn't. Don't let some bad relationships in the past ruin the ones to come.

Stay Strong
xo Aria