Open Letter To My Husband, Who Lives With Both Me and My Depression

 

Dear S,

I should start by making two things clear. One- you are a wonderful, kind, supportive, loving man, and I hope to be married to you forever. I pinch myself when I think about how lucky I am to have found a husband like you. You set the bar very high in our relationship.

Two- I know you can’t possibly understand what it is to live with depression. I know that. You can learn about it, listen to me talk about it, read about it, study all you can. But you’ll never really know. You just can’t. You’ve come a long way when it comes to being sensitive and knowledgeable on the topic. (Remember when you used to say things like, “I understand, I felt depressed when I went through this or that”?) You simply can’t know because unless you experience it, you just won’t.

I could not be more thrilled about this, actually, because I wouldn’t wish these feelings on anyone, let alone the man I love most on this planet. My heart nearly bounces with joy knowing that you’ll never go through an episode like this. Yes, you will have times of pain, of grief, of heartache, of deep sadness. I can’t stop that. I wish I could, but that’s life.

However, I’m happy to know you won’t have to wake up some days and just want to die, even though you were perfectly happy the day before. You won’t sit down on the couch under the weight of a soul crushing sadness that leaks out through your tear ducts and literally not be able to rise up under the weight of it. You won’t lash out for no reason, after spending days feeling terrified of nothing at all, snapping because you can’t take that pain a minute longer.

You won’t lose days of your life without realizing the time has passed. You won’t know what it is to fall to the bottom of an emotional well and not even want to climb out because the light at the top doesn’t seem remotely worth it somehow. You won’t spend hours and days and weeks feeling worthless for no reason and wondering what the point of all of this is, anyway.

You won’t do that. You are as you should be, as I love seeing you. Full of life. Full of joy. You wake up each day ready to take it on. You’re a nonstop ball of energy, a source of light, an Accomplisher of All Things Necessary.  You’re an extrovert, a dad who plays on the floor with the kids, a husband who works sixty hours a week and still finds time to travel and do half the housework.

I’m in awe of you. Continue reading

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Modeling Post-Eating Disorder

Ever since I shed the oppressive weight of my eating disorder, I’ve assumed my modeling career to be over. Not just because it’s impossible to stay at or under 110 lbs on my frame in any healthy way, but also because, naturally, I’ve been getting older at the same time.

Modeling was never the end game- I always wanted to be an actress forever, a model for now. It was a way to make money without waiting tables. I liked getting photos in beautiful clothes and being spotted by friends in magazines, and I liked having my hair and makeup done and getting into character in front of a camera, but, if I’m honest, really the whole experience was hell.

I was always, always, always hungry. No matter what, I starved before every shoot. Sometimes, when I was busy, I was eating 300-500 calories a day for weeks. I will never forget that first bite of food in the car or on the train coming home from a job- usually a pop tart or something equally bad for me. It was the only food I ever felt I deserved. I worked, I starved, I posed, I was sweaty and shaky- this food was earned. Continue reading

Goodbye Eating Disorder, Hello, Loving My Body!

Want to know something crazy?
I had this eating disorder, right? And I woke up every day hating my body. Barely over 100 pounds? Hated it. Hovering around 112 where I still had boobs and my butt? Hated it. Didn’t matter.
I would wake up every day with one of two thoughts. 1. “I can’t believe I ate so much yesterday! Today, I’m going to finally start being disciplined.” Or, 2. “I lost weight! This is the ONE part of my day where my stomach will feel like this, so flat! I HAVE to keep this up, don’t mess it up, Sabrina! Don’t get fatter again!”
Every day, hating this body that was pretty crazy amazing, in hindsight.
Now, I’m far into recovery, so I’ve gained weight to a healthy point (thank goodness), and then some. I’m still finding my healthy, best feeling place for my body as I practice new ways of living, but it’s safe to say I’ve gained the kind of weight I used to have nightmares about. I don’t weigh myself to know exactly, but it’s quite a bit.
And I’ve turned the corner. All this extra ME here, and I FINALLY, just recently, started waking up every day LOVING my body. I run my hands over my curves. I touch my little belly. I see my face in the mirror and I think I look beautiful, no makeup at all. It’s absolutely amazing!
Loving your body has nothing to do with its size or shape. I wish SO much I hadn’t suffered through my entire life up to now not knowing this. Because WHO CARES what you weigh? It’s your BODY! It takes you from point A to point B, it allows you to do everything! It’s your heart and your brain in there! It’s YOU! We spend so much energy trying to make as little of us exist as possible- body and spirit.
I’m HERE. I have substance. And I’m finally loving ALL of it!
Working out to be healthy? Yes! Of course! Eating clean foods to nourish the body you love? Perfect! Sure!
But, today, put your hands on your body, and really thank it. Love it. Oh, my god. What an absolutely exhilarating rush. Way bigger than all those rushes I got from standing on the scale and seeing the number go down .02 lbs. for the 8th day in a row.
Those highs were always followed by crippling anxiety about “going back.”
This feels like it’s here to stay, somehow…. ❤
Love, love, love, love, LOVE yourself. Please.

Photoshoot Flashback

Wow! Something so strange just happened….

I had an audition this morning. When my agent sent the info, I read through everything, but somehow skipped over the word “photoshoot.” They usually send me a lot of commercials, so my brain filled in the gap.

This morning as I double checked all the info before leaving, I saw it. “Photoshoot.” Simple. Something I’ve done a hundred times, probably a few hundred by now, a go see or casting for a photoshoot.

However…it’s been a minute. See, I used to be a full fledged model. Legit, working a lot, making money, the whole thing. And back when I was a full fledged model, I had another little thing: a full fledged eating disorder.

Part of being an actor involves doing photoshoots. I’ve done some recently, sure, especially for publicity photos, new headshots, and a job like this here and there. Not nearly the way I used to, however. A lot of times the castings are in regular casting rooms, little things with a small lighting setup, a quick few photos snapped by a casting director or assistant, close up, full, profile, hands, smile, out.

Today’s audition? In a studio. An actual studio. Like I’ve worked in a million times.

A full lighting setup. A legit photographer. Backdrop. Huge space. Echo-ey. Dark in the cavernous space beyond us….

Something surprising happened. I flashed back to that time in my life. To being hungry. To contorting my body into crazy angles to hide my “fat rolls” or my “round face.” To dreaming about the meal I would finally let myself have once we wrapped, something decadent and terrible for me, something that would taste extra amazing because I had eaten maybe 1,000 calories in the past 5 days.

But here I was, at an audition, for the role of “Mom.” Not in a bikini. Not about to pass out. Not sucking in and twisting around….

I heard the photographer ask for some simple shots. Smiling. Mom stuff. But I was frozen. I couldn’t remember how to do it. It was cold and huge and the lights were in my eyes and I wanted to run. I just forgot everything.

Thankfully, I snapped out of it. I’m not totally sure what I gave him, but I managed some smiling shots, and remembered to put my hand on my hip…

I walked out quickly, in a daze. It’s crazy, when the beast of an eating disorder hits you. It really never totally goes away. It’s a constant conversation. Mine rushed back, today, all at once, and said, “you aren’t this person anymore, and you can’t do it.” It told me I could only function in this space if I invited him in along with me. It hissed, “they all see you don’t deserve this type of work anymore.”

Now, I sit in my car in the parking lot, and I write this blog, because I refuse to sit quietly with a little demon in my ear. If I write it down, I take away its power. If I shine light on it, it can’t live off the darkness it needs to survive.

It’s a lifelong journey, an unpredictable one, but I can confidently say, I’m slowly growing into a confidence ninja. Jump out at me from around a corner??!

WHACK! Bye bye, little demon. No thanks. We no longer require your services here.

My “Aha” Moment- Beginning Eating Disorder Recovery

 

eating-disorder

A few years ago, I read someone’s book about their eating disorder, and saw myself in the pages. I’m forever grateful for that person’s honesty and openness about their experience, because it helped me to finally begin a journey to health and freedom.

It’s now part of my mission to promote positive body image in this world, and face the issue of disordered eating head on. I don’t want anyone to spend one more second hating the body they are living in.

I believe this is a discussion worth having, and that it begins with bravely speaking our own truth. To that end, I would like to share with you a post from a previous blog, about the moment I finally accepted I had a problem and resolved to do something about it. Continue reading