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So, Um… Where Did Joanna Go? A Return to the Middle Ground

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in My Story, New Post | 0 comments

So, Um… Where Did Joanna Go? A Return to the Middle Ground

Back to the Blog It has been six months since I last wrote on this blog. The apologist in me wishes I could offer a great story as an explanation, or some resounding justification for my absence. But as with most of life, it was simply a lot of little things that added up. Recovery update first, since that’s what we’re all about in this little corner of the blogosphere. Relative to my own process, I’m doing really well. There have been occasional slip-ups, of course, and my mind is still not the friendliest place to live...

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The Phantom Pain of Trauma

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, My Story, New Post | 1 comment

The Phantom Pain of Trauma

Let’s talk about trauma. Not all trauma looks like a war veteran who hits the ground when a car backfires. (Although that is very real and very frightening). Some trauma looks more like scar tissue. Or like a vine that has wrapped around a tree trunk. It grows with you, shapes you, distorts the way you branch out into the world. Over time it becomes a part of you. You barely even feel it anymore. There are only subtle traces of it — maybe a nagging ache in an otherwise happy moment, or a dark thought that surfaces from seemingly...

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Three Years in Recovery, and My Remarks from NEDA 2016

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in My Story, New Post | 0 comments

Three Years in Recovery, and My Remarks from NEDA 2016

Three Years in Recovery Yesterday was my “re-birthday.” That was the term a friend used recently to describe the anniversary of the day she entered treatment and began the process of recovery. Three years ago yesterday — December 11 — I entered treatment at the Renfrew Center in New York City for the anorexia and accompanying mental health issues that had gone undiagnosed for more than a decade. Those early days were disorienting. I remember how numb I was when I left my intake assessment. I arrived thinking I needed a nutritionist, and left...

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An Eating Disorder Survivor’s Response to Trump

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in EDs and the Media, My Story, New Post | 0 comments

An Eating Disorder Survivor’s Response to Trump

 The Election of Trump It has been a while since I’ve written. I had a post ready to go explaining my absence, which has been largely due to a new job with ample responsibilities and challenges. But then Tuesday happened, and suddenly my own travails lost their significance to me. There is little else I’ve been able to think about besides the savagely disappointing loss we experienced on Election Day. I was ill prepared for the actuality of a Trump presidency, and even less so for the grief that followed. I understand the political and...

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Fitness Models: The New “Anorexic Chic”?

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in EDs and the Media, New Post | 3 comments

Fitness Models: The New “Anorexic Chic”?

The danger here is that unlike photoshopped models, fitness stars tell you that what they have is real, and that you could—no, you should—achieve it, too I was always “the thin one.” I spent more than a decade wavering between being underweight and being anorexic. Naturally, people just assumed that my body type was slender and somewhat frail. “You look like a model,” people would tell me. More than once, a stranger approached me on the street or in a cafe to ask if I was a ballerina. (Perhaps it is only in New York...

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Medication and Eating Disorders: An “Anti” View

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, Insurance Issues, My Story, New Post | 0 comments

Medication and Eating Disorders: An “Anti” View

A diabetic isn’t considered weak for taking insulin. Why am I looked down on for taking medication to help my mind function? The right to take psychiatric medication — without having to justify it — ranks high on the anti-stigma agenda. There is a long way to go in achieving true mental health parity, but the frequency with which I see this particular plug leads me to believe that we’re making headway. So now I ask that same community of mental health advocates to expand your open-mindedness in yet another direction: my right NOT to take...

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The Medication Game

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, My Story | 0 comments

The Medication Game

I have a longer piece in the works about my thoughts on psychiatric medication. The delay is due to the fact that I have a lot of thoughts on this topic, and I’m trying to pare them down from well over 2,000 words. While editing continues on that front, I thought I’d share a prologue of sorts. The following is a journal entry I’d written months ago and just recently stumbled upon again. I would say the timing is uncanny, given the other post I’m working on, but it’s not really a coincidence when the dice seems to be weighted on this...

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Orlando: the Latest Gun Massacre

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Poetry & Inspiration | 0 comments

Orlando: the Latest Gun Massacre

 For Those Affected by the Orlando Tragedy The news coming out of Orlando this week is heartrending. I imagine I’m with many of you when I say that I feel profoundly sad, as well as fearful of and incensed by the repeated mass gun violence across the United States. I have wanted to post something in response, but I’m realizing I don’t have the psychic energy to do so. When this unfolded, I was in the midst of writing an emotionally heavy post about the Stanford rape survivor, so I have to admit, I’m burned out. I realized,...

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Yes, Recovery Really Does Get Better

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, My Story | 0 comments

Yes, Recovery Really Does Get Better

Pushing Through the Final Phases of Recovery I haven’t written in a while, you might have noticed. I relapsed, and I was too ashamed to admit it here. It was a quick, steep backslide, and the trigger was very specific: I weighed myself. I went home for Christmas and encountered a scale. I thought I could handle the number. I couldn’t. I freaked out. My nutritionist dissected my meal plan in order to show me I wasn’t eating excessive amounts. We discussed the natural fluctuation in weight that bodies undergo. We even discussed weight loss and...

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This is Anorexia

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in EDs and the Media, Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders | 0 comments

This is Anorexia

Oh, celebrity anorexia rumors… they never stop. As I was researching the relationship between eating disorders and social media for a conference I’m presenting at in May, I stumbled upon a rather abhorrent story called “18 Anorexic THIN Celebrities That Need a Few Big Macs!” (For obvious reasons, I’m not linking to it. But the website is called Juicy Celeb, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know.) It’s so frighteningly off-base that it’s not worth the effort it would take to even...

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