Remixed Chicken Alfredo

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Now, I will start off by saying that it tastes like alfredo to me and everyone who has tried it (lol). It is very simple to make and I can usually throw it together in about an hour and a half.

Ingredients:

1 Can of cream of mushroom soup

3/4 C of sour cream ( I use light sour cream)

1 Box  (about 80z.) of spaghetti noodles ( you may use whatever type you prefer)

1/4 C milk

1/3 C grated Parmesan Cheese

3 C (one small bag) of frozen broccoli (thawed)

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cubed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cook Spaghetti as directed and drain. Also the chicken while the pasta cooks.
  3. Mix soup, sour cream, milk, and cheese in a bowl. Then combine with the spaghetti and chicken. It may  be more beneficial to use a casserole dish.
  4. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until dish is completely heated throughout.
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Make Yourself Proud

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First and foremost, I’m a completely and utmost loving and caring person. Even the people who have done me wrong, I still care about their well being. I won’t necessarily do things for them, but I do care and always will.
Second, I’ve overcome an eating disorder. Some may say that I brag about it, but that is far from true. I’m proud of the fact that I didn’t let it take my life and I told my eating disorder to fuck off.
2011. I was diagnosed with anorexia and exercise bulimia as well as severe anxiety and depression.
With the EDs came starving myself. I measured out everything. From a cup of cereal to counting raisins. I’d eat high fiber foods because tbh it’d make you shit. I memorized the calories of nearly everything. I’d drink a liter of water before every meal to fill me up. I made sure each “meal” took no less than 20 minutes to eat. Id thrive& get a high off of eating less than 500 cals. After “dinner” I’d always throw on my exercise belts and start working out or running til I thought what I’d ate was burned off. I’d skip going out with friends because food was involved. If I knew I was eating out I’d “save” my cals til then. I’d put on 6 layers to run in 10degree temps because being cold burned more cals. I’d only eat healthy foods but then eating a whole banana became too scary for me. Food became my enemy. Then it later turned into exercise bulimia. I could down 2 whole pizzas or over 4,000 calories and then run for 10+ miles & stayed at a size 1-2. I’d gotten so small that my hair fell out, I froze in 70 degree weather, I’d get bruises from just sitting in a hard chair, I’d hide under big clothes. It was a living hell.
With the depression came sadness. I hurt inside day in & day out. I’d cry myself to sleep every night. I never wanted to go out because I wanted to just lay in bed all day. I was alone yet surrounded by people. I wanted people to feel just how bad i felt inside every day. Depression is depression.
My anxiety was the worst for me. I’d tell myself I had to eat, but it’d tell me that I couldn’t because I’d get fat. It made me want to always have someone’s attention because if I didn’t it meant I didn’t mean anything. It made me ask questions about everything because I needed to know what was going on & had to know everything. Going out in public was horrible bc there were so many people. It made me feel like even those who loved me, hated me. It made me feel victimized & like everyone was out to get me. If I made one mistake I’d feel bad abt it for a long time. Perfectionism was my life. Arriving on time was arriving 15 min late for me, so Id have to arrive anywhere 20+ min early. I had to have reassure that what I was doing was right.
But once you add all of those together…it’s a complete and giant mess. I’d want to make others feel bad bc I hurt so bad that I wanted them to feel my pain. But I also never wanted to intentionally hurt someone especially if I loved them. Id make up lies to make people feel bad for me. I’d make things seem worse than they were. I’d panic about the least little thing and have the worst panic attacks. Id planned out to kill myself 3 times with pills. I researched how many it’d take to make me stop breathing in my sleep.
Eating disorders aren’t about weight. It’s about control. I wanted control over my life. And since I couldn’t control how things were going, I could however, control what I did or didn’t eat.
I just wanted someone to prove to me and show me that I was worth it. I wanted someone to fight to be in my life because they really loved me. I wanted someone to love me in the way I couldn’t love myself. I wanted someone to stay forever and keep their promises to me.
I decided to chose recovery because I hated seeing it hurt my friends and family and knowing they couldn’t do anything about It. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. “Ana” had become my best friend. She was the reason I got up every day and moved. She told me I had to move bc that meant burning cals. She was the one I turned to when I felt like there was no one else. Ana was my entire world and I loved her. We were one. But I knew I needed to let her go because she wasn’t good for me. I tried. It was SO hard. It was a constant battle to not listen to her. But I slowly did it. But I found that I was fooling myself. Everyone kept saying I “recovered” from an ED, but I knew I wasn’t because it was only getting worse in my head. Everything was changing, things were happening, and I felt like I was losing everyone I loved dearly…I didn’t know what to do. I was just sick in the head and pushing people away was my defense mechanism because Ana was the one I really needed to thrive. And thats when I needed someone to be there for me the most. Ana was slowly taking over again and no one realized it bc I didn’t look like it from the outside.
Looking back, I have no idea who I was during that time. It’s a time I don’t like to dwell on because the past is the past and I cannot change a thing that happened.
However, in having and eating disorder, it taught me so much about life. It made me appreciate everything even more than I already did. I learned to love and appreciate every day I’m given to live on this Earth. I had a purpose

With my eating disorder, also came the loss of friends who said they’d be there for me forever. I never thought recovering, would come with a cost like that, but it made me even stronger in the end. Not to mention, so much happier. It’s never easy making your mind comes to terms with what your heart feels, but you have to do it for yourself and to better your own life.
As odd as it may sound, my eating disorder was a blessing in disguise. It almost killed me, but I came out alive. The only thing I count these days are reps. I eat whatever I want  I’m confident in my body, I love myself, and I have a desire to live life to the fullest

The saying the strongest warriors come from the hardest battles can come into play here. My ED lead me to realize I have so much potential and will go on to do great things and that I don’t need anyone to make me happy as long as I make myself happy. I’m studying to become a psychologist and eventually  an ED specialist. I have forgiven myself and others and life is amazing and I’ve never been happier.

My Before Is Here To Stay

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Here’s why I won’t boycott the before.

I’ve seen the hashtags floating around Instagram and I looked it up to see just what it was about. I started to understand the point they were trying to make, but it just didn’t click well with me.

Some of the reasons why people were boycotting the before was because “it’s triggering to others,” “it makes it seem like it’s all about weight,” “it makes people think they aren’t sick enough,” etc.

Valid reasons, I suppose. But are people not triggered when they see the ungodly amount of weightloss products when shown across their TV screens. Are they not triggered when there’s thin models on the cover of nearly every magazine? Are they not triggered when restaurants have calories listed beside every item? Are they not triggered when they look online at pro Ana/Mia websites that the interweb won’t shut down? They are SOO many more triggers than just a transformation photo of someone proud as fuck that they are recovering or recovered from their eating disorder. If you want to know why society is not changing and why recovery is hard, look at the society you live in. It’s extremely hard to recover from an eating disorder in a society promoting thinness literally everywhere. So when I see someone rejoicing that they’re happy again and kicked their ED to the curb because they didn’t let weight, etc affect them anymore, it’s all smiles from me.

If anyone has ever had an eating disorder or picked up a psychology book, they KNOW it’s not just about weight. Never really is. It’s usually a combination of wanting control, poor body image, and let’s not forget to mention the risk factors that are also involved. If you take the time to read most of the captions on these photos, or learn about the person posting them, you learn that it’s not just weight gain or loss. It’s a mental transformation more than anything. In the photos I see, I sometimes see a 2 lb weight gain for some who’s underweight and could use it or a 2lb weight loss from one who’s suffering from BED and is working to better themselves. But they talk about how they’ve changed mentally and I’m rooting for them all the way for feeling better about themselves and not letting their weight difference affect them. They are even some who’s weight has not changed at all and they post about their mental transformation and kudos to them too.

In regards to the “sick enough to having an ED/seek help” part….I have this to say. If you have/had an eating disorder, you should know that you seem to never think that you’re sick enough. It’s usually not until you’re faced with the hard facts or the idea of dying that you finally realize that you are sick enough. You don’t even have to look at someone else to think that, you just think it of yourself usually. I used to look in the mirror and see myself as fat and think I needed to lose weight if I was really going to fit the diagnosis of Anorexic. Mind you that I didn’t have any social media during that time in my life because it wasn’t healthy for me (unless you count Pinterest crafts). My doctors even suggested limited social media time since there’s a deep and dark ugly side to it.

Some people will actually hate before and after photos because they are still so unhappy within themselves and desire to be that level of happy and content again. That is not a problem for the rest of the world and social media to fix, it is theirs. And when their time comes, it will be amazing. I used to be that person until I found the light and I understand how great they felt in sharing it and their positivity about recovery.

People also argue that you’re promoting such and such when you post ED transformation photos. Yeah, I’m promoting recovery and in each photo I talk about my story and journey and for them to not compare themselves to me. But I note that recovery is possible and worth it. Try encouraging people to not compare themselves to others, that’s a major part of the problem as well. Relaying messages is important. I always say that recovery is not linear, that you are sick enough to get help and to begin recovery(a certain weight or size won’t determine that for you), and to work hard every day at loving themselves little by little.

I will never boycott my before. Never. If it wasn’t for the me on the left, the me on the right would have never made it this far.
The me on the left hated myself. I constantly just wanted to die and even contemplated suicide several times. My depression kept me in bed wanting to sleep my life away. My anorexia was what got me up to exercise and decide what I wasn’t going to eat. My anxiety was what made me get up and do things so that people wouldn’t think something was wrong with me (when there clearly was). I went from being content and carefree to miserable, starving, freezing in 80° weather, having my bones ache and clearly visible in some places, losing my period, and having my hair fall out.

It was Hell on Earth.

But if I hadn’t become that eating disorder ridden girl who hated life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It is due to my eating disorder that I am finishing up a degree in psychology at one of the best colleges around. It’s why I’ve decided to go into counseling to help others and work towards being an eating disorder specialist. It’s why I have such a different outlook on life. I wake up each day knowing I have found my purpose and I work towards my goals. I’m so incredibly happy. If it hadn’t been for my ED, I’d probably always have had a problem with food. Since my eating disorder, I found my love of fitness and wanting to help others and eat whatever I like. I can go out and enjoy myself with my friends and not think twice about it.

In having eating disorders, I found who I was and I’ll be damned if I’m going to boycott my before. The ED ridden girl is just as amazing as the after photo, always has been.

I actually LOVE seeing ED transformations because I’m so unbelievably happy and proud to see them working towards a better them. I really wish I saw MORE of them to be honest. It makes my heart so happy to see them getting better and being happy again. Heck. I love seeing people post photos of their weight loss because they’re so proud of it/themselves and they’re doing it for no one but themselves.

It just baffles me that when I first came into the ED community years ago, people were so encouraging of seeing others overcome their EDs and share their stories and photos and now people just want to say it’s triggering and whatnot. Anything can be a trigger, but it is up to the person being triggered to step away from it.

I can see how it might affect some people, but it’s so empowering and encouraging to others at the same time. If it affects you negatively, take a step back and find your support system. Recovery is different for everyone and if something on social media bothers you, such as someone being proud of their recovery and sharing it, maybe it’s not them.

So many people get caught up on social media . Like I get that people want more body positivity and self love in this world. But boycotting before photos? Come on….. Especially when people want to talk about it/their journey (NEDAs theme this year, ya know). It makes me wonder how many of those people are actually and actively doing something about it and aren’t just ranting on their social media platforms about everything that bothers them? How many are doing research on the subject matter or finding out what improves body satisfaction. The answer is probably not very many. (People should really look into cognitive dissonance).

For crying out loud, if someone is sharing their photo and story and it’s a happy moment for them, celebrate it with them. Don’t tell them that they’re trying to “validate” themselves with likes and support and triggering to others. It really irks me to know that people can’t just be happy for someone sharing their journey through recovery because they didn’t seem to get the same support, say it’s doing more harm than good, or even haven’t reached the same level of happiness yet.

But as for me, I’ll continue to share my story and transformation photos to show others that there is happiness and light at the end of the tunnel. Recovery is cool and we should embrace it, even if it means posting transformation photos. And that goes for anyone recovering from anything. Eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, accidents, etc.

#RecoveryIsCool

Garlic Parmesan Chicken with Spinach

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I found this recipe online somewhere a while back and decided to try it. I ended up tweaking it a little though.

Ingredients:

Boneless, skinless chicken breast chopped (I just used one since it was just for me)

About 2 cloves of garlic (the original recipe called for 6, but that seemed a bit much to me)

Roughly 2 TBSP of butter.

1/4-1/2 C of Parmesan cheese

2 cups of spinach

Directions:

Place the butter in a pan along with the garlic and saute.

Then add the chicken.

Once the chicken has cooked, add in the cheese. Make sure the cheese coats the chicken. I found that if I added too much cheese at a time, the cheese would clump up, so just add a little at a time.

Once the chicken is coated with cheese, add in the spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted.

BAM. Garlic parm chicken with spinach.

 

(I also had a side of a sweet potato with peanut butter. I wrapped it in foil and placed it in the oven at 450 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Once it was cool enough to touch, I added peanut butter on it.

I can make myself a sammich (Meal Prep Breakfast sandwich

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I’ve been eating cereal for breakfast practically everyday since I transferred to the college I’m at now. With 8am classes and no close access to a full kitchen, it can be hard to make anything else for breakfast. (My dorm only has microwaves on each floor…lame, I know). I relish in the fact that when I go home on breaks that I get to cook breakfast each morning (mostly). However, I decided to try making breakfast sandwiches that I could just pop in the microwave, and not have to worry about cereal anymore.

I searched and searched to find a good way of making them, as well as being able to keep them for about a week.

And I can happily say that I have finally found a great way to make them!

Here are the ingredients that I gathered:

-whole wheat sandwich slims (thins) (You may use English muffins or croissants)

-eggs

-slice of cheese (you may use your preference of cheese)

-turkey bacon (may substitute with actual bacon, ham, sausage, etc)

**You may use any brand you feel comfortable with; since I’m rocking the college life, each of my ingredients were the Kroger brand

The steps I found to be most useful:

  1. I started by cooking my turkey bacon (in a pan sprayed with cooking spray). For each sandwich I used one piece of bacon that I ripped in half. I then placed them on napkins to soak up any grease.
  2. I then laid out a piece of saran wrap(cling wrap) and placed the opened sandwich slims on them.
  3. Next it comes time for the eggs. Thanks to the Pioneer Woman, I decided to make “egg crepes.”

-All you need to do is crack the eggs into a bowl, add a splash of water and salt                            and pepper (If you’d like) and whisk it.  I found that they do better is they                                  appear to have frothy look on the top.

4. Use cooking spray and spray a small pan. Then pour enough egg mixture into the                pan that equates to about one egg.

-It should take about a minute to cook on one side and then you may flip it.

5. Next comes the assembly step! Place the egg crepe onto one half of the sandwich                    slim and fold it as needed. I then placed my turkey bacon on top. ( I was impatient to assembly them after the egg cooked so I used the bacon to help hold the hot egg  crepe into place). Once I had placed the bacon on, I layered on a slice of cheese. Of course, the top of the sandwich slim comes next.

6. Once you have layered your sandwich, use the plastic wrap you laid the sandwich slices on to wrap up the sandwich. I wrapped each one individually and then let them set a few minutes before placing them into a larger bag and putting them in the freezer.

** I have read that they will keep for several weeks (up to 6) when placed in the                        freezer, but I only make enough to last me through the week.

When read to heat, place in the microwave for about a minute and 15 seconds and BAM.        Easy to grab breakfast sandwich!

$$$$$$$$- I found this to be more cost effective and filling than my previous cereal option. When I bought cereal, I was spending about $9 for cereal a week. ( I would buy two half gallons since I would typically run out and would get two boxes of cereal because I like to mix it or change it up). With this meal prep, I ended up only spending about $7 for an entire week and a half of sandwiches.

Sausage and Cheese Heaven

Long story short. My grandma used to fix this meal for me because it was one of my favorites. Turns out that it only has a few simple ingredients and I can make it myself.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 Package (16 oz) of sausage ( I used Eckrich Smoked Sausage brand) cut into slices

1 Pound of Rotini pasta

1/2 Cup chopped red pepper

1 Small bag of the frozen broccoli cuts (thawed)

16 oz. (1 jar) of a cheese sauce ( I used Ragu’s four cheese sauce)

1 Cup (or so) of Cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Lightly spray a baking/casserole dish with cooking spray

Combine the pasta, red pepper, broccoli,  cheese sauce

Add in the sausage slices however you may like ( I placed some in and then mixed the rest in)

Bake for about 20-30 minutes and BAM. Deliciousness in your mouth!

Why I’m Thankful for my Eating Disorder

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Shocking, right?

I’m sure most people will ask me if I hit my head by saying I’m thankful for my eating disorder. I mean, who would be thankful for hating their body, starving themselves, exercising for hours, and obsessing over numbers. Well, I am

I’m thankful for having Anorexia and Exercise Bulimia because it taught me life lessons and things about myself and the people around me more than anything in this world possibly could.

  1. Actions. Not words. I learned that just because someone says they’re your friend and they “love you” doesn’t mean they really are or that they even care about you. Saying something and doing something are two completely different things. You can tell me you love me and will always be there, but if you leave, you’re a liar.
  2. Boys are no help. I’ve had several guys in my life. They all told me the same thing. “I love you” “I’ll always be here for you” “You can always trust me” It all turned out to be total bullshit. My eating disorder made me believe I needed them to feel accepted and worthy of life. After recovering I realized that was far from true. I could depend on myself and love my own damn self.
  3. Real Friends & Family are everything. I honestly don’t think I could have even survived without them. To this day, they are there and still support me in everything that I do.
  4. Fall madly in love with yourself. This is the most important reason why I’m thankful for my eating disorder. Why? If I hadn’t gone through all of my ED, would I accept my body and not shame it. Probably not. Now I sit down and have rolls. I bend over and have rolls. My stomach giggles and you know what? I accept every damn part of me. I never thought it would take an eating disorder to make me love myself and want to live for the future, but it did. We only have one body to live in. So love it, accept it, and fall in love with yourself. Once you do, it’s amazing what type of people you can attract.🙂

Thanksgiving Isn’t Easy For Everyone

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It’s Thanksgiving Day. I used to dread this day the most out of every day and holiday of the entire year.

I used to hope that I wouldn’t wake and didn’t have to endure this day at all. Because when you want to avoid food, dying in your sleep is totally the answer, right? At least that’s how I felt. From the moment my feet hit the floor, I was ridden with anxiety and a fear of the meal that was to be consumed later that day.

I would purposely not eat dinner the night before and would literally starve all day until it was time for THE “dinner.” I use the word dinner in quotations since we usually eat between lunch and dinner time. I would ask about each dish that was to be served so that I could look up a rough estimate as to how many calories I’d be consuming. I would even go as far as cooking a few dishes because I would know for sure what was in it. Those dishes were also under 100 calories per serving and that sounded amazing considering I would only eat half a serving anyway.

I won’t even bother going into full detail about the behaviors I exhibited during that time, but just know that eating that plate would take me about 30-45 minutes and it was pretty much only a spoonful of each thing. Not to mention that my exercise belts, a workout DVD, and about 1,000-2,000 crunches would happen not too long after consuming my meal.

If was the definition of Hell on Earth. I wanted so badly to enjoy it and just live, but I just couldn’t…

Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore. I’ve been counting down the days until I could come home and stuff my face full of food. I’m actually helping to make the food again, but trust me….this time it’s definitely not a low calorie dish.

I’m so thankful that I leave my eating disorder at the front door these days. I like to use this phrase because I leave it behind and completely enjoy myself. I used to let it sneak in behind me and completely ruin my dinners. Not anymore though! She has to set on the porch in the cold while I stuff my face with food and slowly slip into a food induced coma.

Every holiday season, I remember what it used to be like to have to endure the anxieties and fear of the ample amounts of food and treats. My heart is with all of those who will pull up a chair to the table, slap on a fake smile, and force themselves to eat just enough to make everyone else at the table happy….except themselves. I want you to listen to me closely when I say this. That turkey, or sweet potato casserole, or mashed potatoes, or that stuffing is NOT going to kill you. I know you feel like it will and that it will make you fat, but love….it won’t. However, your eating disorder can kill you. It can take away everything you love and desire and it can take away your life. Don’t let your control over food or the scale or even calories take away your life. I know there was once a time in your life where you never feared food. I want that time to be now and forever more too. Eat because you love yourself.

I know it’s extremely hard to do, especially in a time where everyone is bitching to “watch what you eat this time of year” or “you know the average person gains 8-10lbs during the holidays” but screw them. How are you supposed to recover in a society that idealizes thinness and values LOSING weight when you need to gain it in order to live. Our society makes it extremely difficult to recover from an eating disorder given that its focus is on thinness and any new gimmick to help you “lose that fat.” Loves, just fuck society. Eat your meals, look in the mirror, and love yourself. You got this❤️
But speaking of those gimmicks…..screw all of that. Every holiday season it’s cleanse this or detox that or skinny tea this or fat burning pills that..or whatever other bullshit they’re marketing these days. Here’s a secret. It’s literally just several days of nothing but drinking liquids that will make you either piss or shit your brains out. Because….get this. Most of them contain diuretics or laxatives. It’s just helping you to lose maybe just water weight but nothing more. It’s not going to burn fat for you just by drinking it, you actually have to move in order to burn off fat. I mean, if people want diuretics, just drink a few pots of coffee a day and that will do the trick. I know that from personal experience. It does a whirlwind to people psychologically though. You tell them that it’ll help them lose weight and after their 3-7 days are over they automatically “feel great” even though there’s barely any change at all, if any in many cases. I will never condone drinking just liquids for days at a time just to “debloat.”

Do you know what else you can drink to debloat and you can find it anywhere? It’s also less than a DOLLAR. It’s called water. You drink your daily recommended amount and get in a nice cardio sesh and BAM, the bloat is gone or almost gone. People just want to sell you their bull shit in a box or bag and give the impression that it’s a bad thing to be bloated or have gained a few pounds. For fucks sake take a chill pill, people. People bloat every damn day. It’s not the end of the world and it’s not a reason to buy that BS. I become so bloated by the end of the day whether I eat 1,000 calories or 3,000. It’s life, my friends. It’s life. People start preying on others around the holidays because they know people are worried about gaining those pounds that are said to happen to the “average” person. (Also, what is average anymore these days-get real).

Then you have those people fasting several days before Thanksgiving to allow them to eat more and not worry about gaining weight and they sometimes fast afterwards too because people online tell them it “works.” Well, hate to break it to you, but that’s a good way to gain weight and screw up your metabolism.

I’m all for being active and eating plenty to nourish your body, but I’m not for instilling insecurities or shame upon people just because it’s the holidays and they want to enjoy it and might gain a few pounds. Gaining a few pounds isn’t the end of the world. I work out, I eat(I’m about to eat a lot today with no regrets), and I love myself enough to do so. I eat to workout, not workout to eat. Enjoy your meals today my friends and tell everyone that’s saying to watch what you eat or to control your portions or whatever BS they throw at you to just shut up. You don’t have to “earn” that piece of pie, you can just eat it because you want to. Enjoy yourself.💛

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

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Dear 15 year old Ash,

Happy (belated) Birthday! You just conquered your first high school Homecoming dance with your best friend  a week ago and had an interesting night meeting the new guy said friend found. I know how much of a struggle high school already is for you. You feel out of place, like no guy knows you exist, and already completely overwhelmed about your future. You feel like your body is nowhere close to good enough.  I know you hope these next four years of high school “will be the best of your life” like people claim, but you just doubt it all. I know you want to find that love you’ve always wanted and you want to excel at everything you do and just be “perfect.”

I’m here to tell you that you’re not perfect. You’ll never be perfect and that’s perfectly okay. You are you and no one else in this world can ever be you. That’s an amazing thing, you know.

I know you have no idea what the future will hold for you, but I’m here to tell you that you’re strong and good enough and you’ll see it one day.  You may think I’m crazy right now, but you’ll come to understand.

You don’t realize this, but that best friend I mentioned above, will only be in your life for about another 6 months before you realize she’s a different person. That new guy she found will end up being her boyfriend for a few months and….then become your best friend. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy as hell for saying you’ll have a male best friend, but trust me baby girl, you will. It’ll only be for a limited time though.

You’ll make other friends that you never would’ve imagined being friends with. One will become like a twin to you and you’ll spend nearly all the time at her house. You’ll practically do everything together. Hello, taking her photos because you love taking photos, being an extra in a movie, forever having sleep overs, and exploring the woods together.

Her along with several others will be your close friends til about senior year. The masks of your other friends will fall off and you’ll see just what they’re really like. They are not worth mentioning anymore. Don’t worry though,  a select few will be there with you til the end. I won’t say which ones, but I’m sure you can guess. Don’t get your hopes up on some of them though.

That body of yours that you don’t think is good enough? You will start to finally do something about it and lose some weight and start exercising. You won’t believe me, but you’ll eventually start starving yourself and become a runner even though you  used to hate running. You’ll walk out of the Pediatrician from seeing Gail and will feel defeated by seeing “Diagnosis: Anorexia” written on your check out receipt. You’ll spend a year going to a counselor named Jessica once to twice a week…nearly every week. Don’t worry, she’ll be one of the best things that happens to you during this time. You’ll be diagnosed, not only with an eating disorder, but with anxiety and depression. It will feel like your world is ending and the only option let is to die. I’m here to tell you that it’s not and you can get through it. You’re strong and forever beautiful and good enough.

You know how you used to always brag about never having broken anything on your body? That will change come 2012. You’ll be running and tear your hip. You’ll walk around in pain every day for almost a year until the doctors can figure out the cause of said pain. (Hello, spending nearly your entire senior year on crutches or carrying a butt pillow). You’ll learn that you have to have hip surgery to fix a labral tear and shave some of your bone due to your hip dysplasia. Yes, you took after your grandma. Unfortunately, you’ll lose her that same year. Her Alzheimer’s proved to be too much for her, but it was for the best. You’ll get through it. You’re tough even though you don’t think you are.

Don’t lose hope. Come 2013, you’ll be released from your diagnosis of an eating disorder and able to run again. You’ll be “weight restored” but the real recovery from that ED will come later. I know you’re excited about achieving your goal and getting that tattoo you planned with someone special, but patience young grasshopper. You’ll get there mentally. I promise you.

You’ll graduate from high school with having missed over a month of school and having had people just tell you that you were going to fail. You’ll have over a 4.0 GPA at graduation, I might add. There will be one less person there for you though. Your grandpa. He’ll fall out in your bathroom from an aneurysm and pass away the morning of your senior prom. You’ll run your butt off that day, but you’ll go to after prom because he wanted you to. People will say they’ll be at your graduation in honor of your grandpa, but don’t be fooled. He’s already there with the best seat in the house.

Did I mention that you’ll fall in love? You will. With that aforementioned male best friend from above. You’ll give him your all and love him with everything you have, but he’ll call you crazy, weird, and stupid and want nothing to do with you after 6 years of “loving” you. Be prepared to throw away $1,200 and 52, 560 hours of your life.  I know you’ll feel like you aren’t good enough and feel like there’s only one to get rid of the pain, but you are strong my dear. Years of this may seem like it will be the death of you, but it won’t.  Don’t think this will be the only guy either. There will be several others too. They’ll “care” about you or even say they “love” you, but they all make promises they have no intention of keeping. I’m just sorry you’ll go through that bullshit from each of them and have your heart broken so many times, especially by the one you loved most.

But here comes the great part of this letter:

Not only will you have your hip surgery in 2012, but you’ll also get a little sister. You can thank your mom for that one, lol. You’ll also meet what will become your actual male best friend that summer. You’ll write him and several others during their time in BCT. Oh yeah, you’ll be on the school newspaper and it’ll be the front page article!

You’ll end high school with your two best friends. (You have a thing for Asians 😉 and a few other near and dear friends. ❤

You’ll apply to Longwood and get accepted right out of high school. Yet, you won’t take it and stay at home and commute to Richard Bland for two years.  You will not have a clue what you want to major in until the last semester there and then you will  graduate with honors along side one of your best friends you met there. She’ll be Indian with a British accent. I know it seems kinda sketch at first, but trust me, she’s a good one, lol. Psychology will soon become your life.

Oh yeah. You’ll follow your heart to Kentucky several times. But you’ll also end up going to college there. Hello, Berea College. Don’t drop out from shock. I’m not lying to you. You will. Those times of worrying about how you’ll pay for college are over since you’re aid covered the community college and Berea is tuition free. You’ll meet some of your newest best friends there. You’ll come to live with one of them and eventually just morph into the same person.

So, the moral of the story is….You will face hardship, pain, repeated heart break, and loss….but you will succeed and end up exactly where you need to be. You’ll follow your heart and it will lead you in the right direction. Trust me, young grasshopper. You’ll make it and you’re beyond strong. ❤

Love,

22 year old Ash (sitting in her dorm having almost completed her second college degree)

 

Cat’s out of the Bag: I’m NOT Lesbian!

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My title more or less says it all. I’ve been asked NUMEROUS times if I’m lesbian because I’ve never dated anyone. Well, to be honest….the guys that have been in my life haven’t been all that great..but that’s a story for another time.

I’ve heard “you’re beautiful and smart and amazing, so why are you single?” more times than I’d like to count. I’ve also gotten the question of “When are you going to settle down and actually find someone?”   It’s as though people assume I need a partner to function in life. Welcome to today’s society where not dating a man equates to being lesbian. What’s up with this, society?

Growing up, I’d have friends look at a guy they didn’t even know and say “I’d like to fuck him any day of the week” or anything to that extent. I’d joke and laugh along and sometimes agree, but I surely did not feel that way.

I’d be asked why I didn’t go out on dates with any guys. I was never really self confident around guys, but I really just did not have any interest in going out on a date. Then the dreaded, “You’re *insert age* why have you never dated anyone??” I hated this question the most. There were a few guys in my life, but they never wanted to date me. It seemed like they just kept me around for their benefit until they were done with me. I would’ve liked to have dated them, but that wasn’t in my power.

I’d even have people say “I’ll find you a really great guy” or “I’ll find you a guy with a great dick”…or whatever they thought I was looking for. They’d show me pictures of guys and I’d just have a “blah” expression on my face about it. Don’t get me wrong, I can find people attractive on a standard basis.  I remember when Magic Mike came out and nearly every girl wanted to run to the theaters to go see it. Me? I was repulsed and wanted nothing to do with that movie. Still haven’t watched it and don’t plan on it….I’ve seen a few scenes in passing, but never the whole thing.

Then the day came….Someone finally asked me if I was a lesbian and if that was why I’d never dated anyone or had interest in many guys.

After a long time of people saying these things to me and constantly asking me these questions, I really started to wonder “what was wrong” with me.

However, there’s a reason behind all of this. It took me until my 21st year of life to finally figure out that there was nothing wrong with me. I somehow came across the answer on Instagram of all places. There was a picture that was talking about sexuality and upon reading it, I decided to do my own research over the following weeks. It took me some time to finally understand it and tell my friends that I’d found something that finally described me.

I finally realized….I’m demisexual.

I know many people have probably never heard of this term before in their lives, but neither had I until this past spring. In summation, it’s the “sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond.” I did my research and found many blogs that talked of their life as a demisexual and I realized I wasn’t alone.

What is Demisexuality?

Here is a link to a website which can tell you a little more about the topic. I prefer to just stick to how it pertains to my life. In reading the article it will help you to better understand this even more.

However, just as with ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc…it’s different for everyone.

As for me, I have to feel an enormous connection with someone before I even can think about having sex with them. For me, I just am attracted men. That’s different for others whereas they can be attracted to either sex.  An example I like to use is as follows… If Channing Tatum was in my bed right now, and we were both completely naked with his full fledged erection in my face…..I still would not even think about having sex with him. I’m dead serious too.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had sex and all, but I loved the person it was with and they were my world until they left. However, in all honesty…it took me about two years to even legitimately think about physically having sex with them. We were best friends, I loved him, I eventually became sexually attracted to him and it happened. I’m not here to say that I’m attracted to every one of my best friends and want to have sex with them. FAR OFF on that one. Just because I have an emotional bond with someone and trust them, does not mean I will definitely feel sexually attracted to them later on .

There were a few other guys in my life, who I thought I was feeling emotionally bonded to, but the sexual attraction just never quite manifested and I could never actually bring myself to have sex with them. I needed an emotional bond with them that I felt was strong enough for me to accept, and it just never became of anything.

While I’m on the topic of sex, I’ll go ahead and talk about the “M” word. Yes, I’m talking about masturbation. It’s completely normal, people. Since I plan to be a psychologist, I can go into the many benefits that it has for you and it also helps to show your partner what you like, but I digress. For some demisexuals, they are just not into any thing relating to sex and they refrain from masturbation (some for religious reasons). I for one, I am not one of them. After some not so good sex, you kinda have to learn how to give yourself a hand in that department. (See what I did there. lol).  However, I could go without sex. It’s not a big deal in my life, and I know how to take care of any sexual frustration, if I have any, by myself. People ask how I survive without having sex “all the time” and I give them the reply of “I drink water, eat food, and sleep…” That’s how you survive…

Aside from sex, being demisexual makes relationships hard. I don’t enjoy going out on dates with people. First dates are one of my least favorite things. I feel the pressure to make a connection right away, especially if they just want to date, so that I can walk away or not. I just don’t want to waste a person’s time if I already feel like I will never become sexually attracted to them. I just feel like dating is useless to me because I need to become a close friend with them first, but becoming their friend/getting close takes a long time for me to do.

It’s a natural response to want to find someone to be with, but with being demisexual, you really wonder what will happen. Sometimes, some of us just only “choose” several people in our lifetime or maybe even just one person. It’s hard to determine.

Being a demisexual and having had my heart broken makes it even more difficult. The one person I’d had the strongest connection with walked out of my life and broke every promise they made. (it was a HE in case that wasn’t clear from the title).

I’d invested SO much time into this one person. I’d given so much of my time getting close to them, making a connection, and then loving them. I really thought that this was going to be THE person for me. Life had other ideas though.

I’ve had trust issues my entire life. I’ve also been through an eating disorder, and other mental illnesses, but this person was the only one I’d ever felt something for this strongly. I could brush other guys from my life off just like that, but it was so much harder with this one. I’d spent over half a decade making a connection, for nothing to come out of it. When you’re demisexual, that shit hits hard. Really hard. It’s hard enough to become sexually attracted to someone, much less make an emotional bond like that.

It really makes me wonder if I should ever have an emotional bond between someone again and become sexually attracted to them….just to end up wasting my time. I don’t have years of my life to do that. I have education, career, and life goals here people! They come first before caring about making an emotional bond with someone to actually date/have sex with them. I like dick just as much as the next, but I can live without it.

Until now, only my close friends know that I’m demisexual. But now you all know as well. So don’t freak out.  I’m always open for questions about this, especially since I didn’t discuss even a fourth of the many aspects of many demisexuals. It’s interesting to see how other people can relate and how each person has a different experience.