I guess I don’t really need something dramatic to fill up this space every time I write. I notice that is usually when I write-when shit hits the fan. I’ll write about family today, and the aspect that everyone seemed to negate in my life namely therapists.

I’d often complain or be sad that I don’t have a family, saying that’s who is supposed to help me through the rough times. Therapists always gave the generic, “Your family’s toxic, you need to find friends who you can utilize as your support system”. Then I went to Denmark, and prior to my arrival, during my last appointment with my dietician, she said I could stay here (at the treatment center) for a really long time, and that I’ve built a support system here.

I told her that I’d be living with a host family and she said, “That’s not the same, they’re not going to be your family.” Those words dug at me deep because I knew that DIS (where I study abroad) hooks students up with amazing host families and that the experience was more than a traditional host family (not that I’ve had much to compare to).

Still,  I didn’t have much to retort with to her aside from, “it’s different”.

Fast forward to four months later, my last night in Denmark before I was leaving on a short break. I walked through the doors after completing my last final exam and found that my host grandpa died unexpectedly. I felt compelled to stay and not leave the following day, though I had business to care of in the US.

Before she went to bed, I gave my host sister a present. Her mom, “our” mom Katja was around as I gave the gift.

Months earlier, Victoria had seen my harmonica and really seemed to want her own. This was the gift I gave to her that night.

Katja began tearing up, saying that her father played the harmonica. I had unknowingly kept a tradition going while making my 9 year old Danish sister satisfied.

Serendipitous moment.


I can’t say why I feel how I do, completely disconnected, completely detached…

Surprisingly, nothing terribly significant has occurred lately. I briefly mentioned recently that the study abroad committee overturned their decision and are allowing me to pursue studies abroad this Fall in Denmark.

A health care panel which I organized without being asked to is taking place next week. My favorite doctor is attending and speaking at this, I have no excitement.

When talking with my advisor about my course selection and other opportunities this Fall she said if I could afford to do so, I should stay to visit medical schools abroad.

My response-,“I’ll talk with my banker.”

She gave me a puzzled look and then I said, “Oh yeah, my dad”.

She was like “Yeah I was thinking, dang, I wish I had a banker.”

I replied, “You have a dad though right?”

She nodded her head.

Before thinking, I replied, “…and he loves you right? He gives you emotional love.”

She nods, smirking a little (not in a sarcastic way) “Yes, he gives me emotional love, no money though.

So my life security pot is intermittently filled with monetary love and hers is emotional love.

We win some, we lose some. It’s really perspective and framing it into context. I would love to have a parent I could go to for any type of emotional support. That does not exist. I can’t even talk with my brother, for one because he’s hard of hearing, only getting worse. For two, he doesn’t consider me a part of the family.

Passover has officially concluded and I figured with my extremely limited vegan diet, the change to non-Passover food wouldn’t be drastic. Yeah, I was wrong, and I completely lose control anytime I’m around any type of vegan food. You want to tell me that this has nothing to do with being horribly neglected as a young child, unsure of when my next food would be? I go into survival mode with food and then absolutely regret it. All of my hard work down the drain. Yes, there can be fat vegans and I am an example of one of those. Granted, I’ve just begun the lifestyle, however I just keep stuffing my face over the past few days. And I’m not ok with that. I’m not ok with the numbers on the scale or the total loss of control. So, I did what makes the most sense to me, something I regret far less than overindulgence; the word starts with an “l” and ends with an “e”. It’s one of the tags to this post if you still can’t get it.

I have constant word recall challenges. I’m not depressed. I’m distant, disconnected, numb. Another way this disconnect is apparent is by my absolute lack of consideration for myself in terms of divulging anything relatively pertinent to a conversation. I’ve told many people multiple aspects of my life I’d usually keep to myself.

I was reading that this could be attributed to narcoleptic symptoms, a problem deciphering reality from dream. Well, I do think I know where that differentiation occurs, and yet I still don’t feel right. I don’t consider myself a danger to myself of others, just lack emotions of any sort.

I’m estranged from all the world, myself included.

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Love this phrase, all too often someone says he or she will do something, and behind the scenes another person comes to find the inaccuracies between what one is saying and what one is doing.

I now try to avoid people who cannot or do not live a generous life face-to-face AND when no one’s watching.

Let’s face it, someone or something is always watching. No I’m not going to preach religious or spiritual beliefs, all I’m saying is, don’t you count? Aren’t you watching yourself, holding (or not) yourself responsible for actions, words, etc.?

I’m not going to tell you I abide by a vegan diet, be really picky at any restaurant we go to, and then go home at night and devour a pepperoni pizza. It’s just not going to happen. I try to live an honest life. I specifically said prior to beginning a vegan diet, I would likely have an exception, and that exception would be frozen yogurt.

Friends continually asked me well, “what about ice cream”? “You can have that can’t you, because it’s close.” Sure, I suppose I could. Will I? Nope. I have tended to hold myself to my words most of my life. I can’t imagine saying one thing and doing another. Yes, I come across unbelievably blunt at times, or emotional, or flustered. Ok, I accept that. That’s me.

So how has this vegan diet been? Hah, I feel like I’m having a one-sided conversation with you readers. Thank you by the way, as always, for taking time out of your day/night to peruse this. I appreciate it! It was an interesting decision to become vegan days before Passover.

For those who aren’t familiar with this Jewish holiday, Passover has a lot of food restrictions, particularly if one is of Ashkenazim descent.

The vegan diet: no animal products or byproducts. The Ashkenazim Passover diet (taken from judaism.about.com) relatively accurate:

“Passover Kitniot

In the Ashkenazi tradition there are additional foods that are usually forbidden during Passover. These foods are called “kitniot” (pronounced kit-neeh-oat) and include: rice, millet, corn and legumes like beans and lentils. These foods are off limits because the rabbis determined they violated the principle of ma’arit ayin. This principle means that Jews should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. In the case of Passover, kitniot can be ground up and cooked with like flour, so they should be avoided.

In Sephardic communities kitniot are eaten during Passover. It is also not uncommon for vegetarians who identify as Ashkenazi Jews to follow the Sephardic tradition during Passover – it’s tough to be a vegetarian during Passover if chametz and kitniot are off the table!”

I didn’t want to delay this diet and constantly make excuses for why I hadn’t transferred to a vegan diet after saying I would the day after returning from Alternative Spring Break and so I didn’t. I also find it interesting that in this description of diet to follow for Passover, it mentions that vegetarians can esssentially change it up. I don’t believe that makes sense. My personal belief about being vegan or vegetarian is just that, personal. No one forced me to do it. My religion which is my culture and arguably engrained in my DNA won’t change even if I convert… my roots, my biological basis as a human is rooted in Ashkenazim Jewish heritage.

So what can I eat? What have I consumed thus far? Unfortunately, my choices are limited but hey, if I think about choice thousands of years ago when my ancestors were effectively wandering in the desert, I am relieved to have as much of a selection as I do. I am grateful.

Thus far, I’ve had whole wheat matzah, fruit, vitamin water (I’m ok with consuming foods or beverages that have no ingredients needing “kosherization”), Jordan Almonds, fruit pieces. Yep, that about sums it up. I do have a plethera of further choices for the upcoming week such as seaweed, kale chips, pistachios, and some products which would require baking (less than 18 minutes of course).

I told my therapist (K) on Sunday that I switched from a vegetarian diet to a vegan diet and the first question she asked, not in a rude way, was “why?” Initially I mentioned the health benefits a vegan diet provides and the evidence showing the benefits of a plant-based diet. Towards the end of the session I told her that it made it a lot easier to merely say I’m vegan than try to explain to people that I’m restricting my intake. I guess that sort of tipped the seesaw for her. She strongly encouraged me to begin attending an evening IOP (intensive outpatient program) to facilitate ways of better dealing with my emotions and those surrounding my weight.

Admittedly, I have lost quite a bit of weight over the past two weeks. I’m not going to put numbers up because I’m not actually trying to compete with anyone (actually reading this). I added the parentheses because I realized that in fact I think I am trying to compete with someone at a subconscious level. First, it was let’s get below my brother’s weight: He’s a mere 160 and 6 feet tall (attribute this to his illness). Then, I’m trying to surpass Barbara’s (I’m her progeny) weight. She nearly 60 years old, 5’6” and 125 pounds. She intends to keep it that way. From what I’ve noticed on Facebook pictures though, she’s likely a lot less (I suppose this is an illness too…. of a different sort).

I’m well-versed in this area. I know what I need to eat, I know how losing weight fast in an instant gratification sort of effort doesn’t pay off in the long run. I know a lot regarding physical well-being. Ironically, I continue to gravitate towards unhealthy coping mechanisms.