Thursday, July 31, 2008

organizing my life..

I'm here, I'm alive, and I have a number of partially-written posts to be finished.
This past month has been really insane, and I apologize for ill production.  This post-college lifestyle is taking some getting used to, especially where I am not used to working more than 25 hours a week and I have been pulling 40-50 hour weeks.  I may have to start scheduling in blog time, as opposed to jumping on my Blogger Dashboard when I have the energy to, which is rarely as of late.
I have received comments from people on a few occasions about how I may not let my readers into my life as much as it seems.  Well, readers, you asked for it:
My job means feeding people, which is ironic and often raises the question of whether or not I'm okay to be doing so.  We have been through this; I am mentally "okay" to be doing anything.  Yes, serving - once upon a time - tipped the scale (no pun intended) and send me into my first stint of residential patientry.  (Not a word.. should be, though.)  Anyways, the bottom line of this is that I spend hours and hours on my feet, get teased by my managers for needing both my knees wrapped at my age, and eating more Mexican food than a white person should probably eat.  I tell people I'm surprised I haven't turned Mexican, but I'm Jewish, so turning time is probably much longer than average.
If you live in the Boston area, I highly recommend you come down to Margaritas, grab some food, and sit in my section :)  I'll even give you a sombrero.
Consuming-my-life topic #2 has been my apartment search.  I don't think I've ever discussed it on this blog, but it's all up on my more personal site.  Bottom line, I found one, was approved on my birthday (turned 22 on Mon, 7/28!), and am moving in this weekend.  Yes, talk about last minute.  My mom will be here in an hour to help get this whole apt shoved into tiny alcohol-branded boxes from the packie down the street.  So.  Freakin.  Excited.
CML topic #3 is working on going back to school.  I'm meeting with my original admissions counselor on Monday about being *re*admitted into the Graphic Design program.  The good news is, the process should be faster this time around because they already know me there.  Apparently, there is also a rather large discount for students who return to complete a different program.  This time, however, there is no parental help, financially.  I have to learn about loans and payment plans and all that good stuff.  I'm scared about going back, especially because I am only doing the part time program (approximately 18 months) so it will take over a year to complete, take up time that I could be doing shows, and possibly hurt my income.  On the contrary, it will definitely help my income in the long run because finding GD work is a million times easier than finding photography work right now.  It seems like *everyone* is looking for a graphic designer.
So, that's that.  I promise I will be back on a more regulated posting schedule after I am moved in to my new place.  I appreciate your patience and I hope you're all doing well!
Peace out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

a new perspective: callisto.

My first willing participant has stepped up to the plate. I have received e-mails from this reader before and I really appreciate her offering up her artwork for my blog.  She's extremely talented which, mind you, is not the point of recovery-art.  I don't want anyone to be deterred from sending me the work they've done because they're not "an artist".

Here is what she had to say:
I've never done art therapy for my anorexia. I draw a lot, though, so I went and did a bit of research on art therapy for anorexia and then looked through my own work and, wow, it was quite an eye-opener. I noticed that I tend to draw delicate things chained, bottled or tied up, and a lot of elaborate designs that look tangled, but don't touch. I'm not sure what this means, but it's interesting to look at my own work with this new perspective. I usually draw things without giving it a second thought. Now I'll be contemplating, "What the hell was this supposed to mean, anyway?" I'll have to talk to my therapist about this, and maybe she can shed some light. Thanks for giving me the idea of using what I already do to help myself.
"faerie in un bottle"
© callisto 2oo8

© callisto 2oo8

© callisto 2oo8

"capture me"
© callisto 2oo8

"let me go"
© callisto 2oo8

Sometimes, I think the way an artist titles their work is just as intruiging as the work itself, especially in this case.  The last two drawings she did are titled "Capture me" and "Let me go."  Isn't that just the epitome of an eating disorder.

Thank you, Callisto.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

rediscovering the passion.

a few days ago, over on the new f-word forums, rachel asked me something i was surprised to never have answered before: "Have you found that art therapy has helped you considerably in your recovery?" i'm not sure why, but as soon as i read this, it was promptly followed by a flashback of groans and desperate pleas against art therapy group that i would hear on wednesday nights. it was certainly not a favorite amongst my treatment group, but i loved it. i was forced to pick up a drawing utensil - in a safe environment - and reconnect with something that was once such a huge part of my life.

here was the response i gave to rachel:

i've been drawing since i was a little kid; i always loved it. however, as my eating disorder took over, it became extremely difficult for me to do any form of art. everything i did was "useless", "terrible", "talentless".. i would become so incredibly angry with myself at a crooked line, an imperfect curve.. i eventually stopped drawing altogether. i couldn't deal with the absolute self-hatred that came with doing something i once really connected with.

through art therapy, i was able to rediscover myself and my love for drawing again. i used it to practice letting things go and working on my irrational strive for perfectionism. if i messed up a line, i would be immediately inclined to crumble the paper and trash it, but i started to force myself to stop, look at it for a minute, take a deep breath, and continue with my ideas.

the more i was able to do it, the stronger i felt myself becoming in my fight against unfounded ideals. i began to really fall in love with drawing again while i was inpatient, and as i continued through the rest of my treatment at walden, art therapy helped me grow so much in so many ways, let alone reunited me with an old passion.

i wrote an entry that started to go into this a long time ago. it was actually about a friend of mine from treatment who helped me work through art therapy when i was first fighting it.

i found it odd that most everyone hated art therapy so much at walden. i never knew if it was just that they weren't the drawing types, or if they didn't feel any emotional connection to a cray-pas, or if it was the same reason it was so difficult for me to keep my sheet in one piece after my hand would slip on a wrong angle. only one other friend of mine was really into it, and rightfully so. kiersten has quite the talent and i'm hoping she might be willing to share it more.. *hint, hint*?

what were your experiences with recovery through art therapy? if you hated it, how come?

Monday, July 7, 2008

it all came out, just not in words.

i finally had the chance to take shots of the stuff i've done in the hospital and "digitalize" them.  they're not as straightforward and/or eating disorder related as my last entries were, but they were part of my recovery.  i either drew them specifically for an art therapy group, or on my own time to help hold myself together.

for some reason, during the export, my images always lose color.  i haven't figured that out yet, but these are slightly duller than the actual drawings.

[for those of you who aren't Jewish, this is a "chai".]
[it means "life" in hebrew.]

if anyone else has art of any form (drawings, collages, writing pieces, HIPAA-friendly photos**, etc) that they wouldn't mind sharing, i would love to see them.  and, with your permission, i'd love to do a post sharing what other people have done to help them use art to work through their recovery.

you can e-mail them to me at
all rights will remain yours.
if it makes you more comfortable, you could even send me a post of your own blog featuring your work, and i will simply link to that post.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

6 going on 26.

[the following post is in response to a facebook note, posted by kathleen, called "high heels for babies? yes, it's true."  in case that link doesn't work (due to facebook's privacy controls), here is the note:

Read the article below and take action if you'd like.

The designers of Heelarious are American and can be reached at: ---you can check out the story behind the shoe
If you do contact the makers of Heelarious shoes, please do so with tact and respect. They are most likely not going to respond to contempt or vehement please be compassionate if you choose to write them a letter.
I encourage you to talk with those you know whom have young girls...if it's not Heels for babies, then it's lacy black underwear for 9 year-olds...have a discussion, raise awareness, and begin a discussion.
Kids need to have their role models talk to them about this stuff before the media does.
peace, Kathleen

Heelarius high heels for babies go on sale
By Rupert Neate

High heeled shoes designed specifically for babies have gone on sale.
The tiny stillettos, called Heelarious, are intended for babies up to six months and come in hot pink, black and leopard print.
Britta Bacon and Hayden Porter, the American inventors of the footwear, said the heels are only for show and will collapse if any pressure is put on them.
Christopher Cloke, head of child protection awareness at the NSPCC, said: "This is part of a worrying trend of inappropriate clothing being marketed at young children."
Miss Bacon said she hit upon the idea for the shoes while walking to her daughter Kayla's 4th birthday party. She said: "It would have been hilarious if I could have brought Kayla to a party in high heels when she was a baby."
The $35 (£17.80) shoes, which come in six different styles named after the inventors' children, are on sale at over 50 stores in America, Canada and Switzerland. British parents can purchase them from internet retailers.
In April supermarket giant Tesco was criticised for launching padded bras for girls as young as seven. The "bust-booster" bra, which costs £4, was sold alongside vests in the supermarket's seven to eight-year-old range.
It was the latest embarrassment for Tesco, which in 2006 removed a pole dancing kit from sale after being accused of "destroying children's innocence".
Asda was also condemned for marketing black lacy underwear to nine-year-old girls.
Last year the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said children were being psychologically damaged by inappropriate "sexy" clothing and toys.

Story from Telegraph News:
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alright, now hold on. first and foremost, for the record, the following is strictly my own person opinion. kathleen, i have the utmost respect for you and what you stand for; i do want you to know that. however, I feel a slight reality check is necessary.

let's look at the facts, which begin with 2 woman thinking it would've been funny for a baby to show up to a women's party in "heels". It's really just a baby outfit with a little sense of humor. of course, everyone's initial reaction is "heels = sexy clothing.. add in babies = WRONG", but have you really thought about it? c'mon, you have to admit they're kind of cute and it is a funny concept. they're not meant for walking in and - here's the important key - they won't be in them when they *do* start walking. now, if these ladies decided to invent "training heels", our society would have just lost substantial amount more of my already dwindling respect; that would just about level out with decking your child out in makeup for the little miss 6-going-on-26 beauty pageant*, which i despise for a million different reasons. not to mention the physical health problems that come with young girls wearing heels. no, scratch that.. that come with anyone wearing heels.
however, this is not what the creators are selling. they're selling a funny gag idea for a baby's party outfit that the baby won't even remember by the time they can walk.

as for the rest of the article, yes, now i'm disturbed. padded bras and black lacy underwear for children????? now, i know there's something in the water that's been starting girls' periods as young as 7, but come on now. this is really too ridiculous to even be upset about. obviously, if someone thinks this is okay to market, we're not dealing with a full deck. and where do we start dealing with a problem like this? yes, the perv who wants to help pre-pubescent girls get it on is certainly a good starting point, but i'm inclined to think there's a bigger problem when there are parents buying this stuff for their daughters.

have you ever tried to think about the verrry beginning of time? like, where the earth came from, what set off the big bang theory, what was there before.. thinking about things like that makes my head actually hurt because the human brain does not have the capacity to think that broadly. that's kind of how my head feels when i try to think about all the damage in our society that needs to be corrected.
*the "little miss 6-going-on-26 pageant is not a real pageant.. it's just meant to stand for how i see the idea of all children's pageants. i mean, seriously, have you seen those girls?
oh, texas..