Speaker 1 00:00:04.2300000 You learn to love food because of him. And I learned to release the pressure on myself for working out that it was okay that I didn't have to go run or work out or whatever. And I lost interest in working out. I didn't want to go to the gym. I didn't want to run. And for an entire year I did none of it. And that was because I, I tried fixing it on my own. I tried still eating healthy and, and it wasn't until I met him that I released that intense control.
Speaker 2 00:00:40.7800000 Welcome to freewheeling with carton. This podcast share stories of people with various disabilities and shines a new light on accessibility topics. Our goal is to knock down barriers so we can roll through life a little easier and build a community to do this together. Please rate and follow this podcast or text card at (470) 588-1215. With comments and suggestions. We welcome you on your journey towards inclusion for all. And now your host card and Wyclef global disability advocates and wheelchair warrior.
Speaker 3 00:01:13.3100000 All right, welcome back to another episode of free wheel and with carton. I have Emily Dukes joining with me virtually. Hey Emily. Hi. How are you? So how did that, you're here. Nice to meet you personally, as well over the internet. It's kind of crazy how we could do that. This time. I'm honored to be a part of this. Well, great. I'm so happy that you're here and I'm just sharing your journey and your story. Um, my sister actually was the one who referred you to me, just you guys went to college together. So talk a little bit about your journey with eating disorders and self love and all of that.
Speaker 1 00:01:53.7900000 Yeah. So I started college, uh, and I went out of state my first semester. So being new to, you know, totally different environment, as well as new people living on my own for the first time. Like, of course you just get thrown off all of your groups. And I remember struggling in high school with a semblance of, you know, of course self worth and body positivity image, all the things. But college was when it got worse. I started photography in February of 2016 and I started modeling and I think that's when everything shifted because I started seeing myself differently. I saw <inaudible> in a, in a bad way and in some ways good. I think later on it got better because now that I've gotten comfortable with myself with being in front of the camera, aye, I see myself the way that I actually look because you see good angles.
Speaker 1 00:03:00.2800000 Do you see the good lighting? You don't see like the bad mirror, like reflecting back at you because demonize the mirror more than anything. So I started out and I was obsessed with following different models. They looked way skinnier than I did. Um, and there's a, there's a lot of trigger points. And of course I want to be respectful of that for who listens. Um, but there are very specific things that could trigger me. And especially with like my particular insecurities about my body that I just zeroed in on. And so through sophomore year until about now, it has been extremely prevalent. And it's not that I've been ashamed to talk about it because people know or even ashamed about posting, but I'm very vocal about my struggles with depression and anxiety. But this one, I want it to be in a bit of a more solid place before I started talking about it, because I didn't want to just rant to the internet.
Speaker 1 00:04:02.5600000 I wanted to at least provide something, if not a little bit of hope from my journey. Yeah. So you talked a little bit about like how it started and obviously this is a journey that you're always on, right? It's not something that you can see that ever is going to be ending. Is that what I understand? I think, I think it will always have the triggers because I think when you've struggled with some form of trauma and even when you do heal, even when you are on the medication, even when you are doing all of the right things, you could still fall back into it. If you aren't careful, if you aren't staying vigilant with yourself. So this journey that you've been on in the last few years, starting in college, especially, I mean, in college, that it's a time that you're learning about yourself and who you are, who your identity is you as a person and kind of also like finding your friend group, determining what major you want to go in.
Speaker 1 00:05:01.2900000 I mean, there's so much going on and besides the CA you're, you're taking up modeling and you're seeing yourself in a way that isn't how you think you look and what are some of those other thoughts that are going through your mind? Well, so I actually have a question for you and you're welcome to cut this out when you need to, but do I need to preface anything with trigger warnings or how much detail am I allowed to go into because I'm uncomfortable too. But if that isn't it going to be a productive, please let me know. I would say people gravitate towards more deeper, like getting to know you as a, I mean, just be as comfortable as you want to share as much as you want, if you want to go in the nitty gritty, like sure. I think it's better to just talk about it because there are so many other people I'm sure that are going through what you're going through and are scared to talk about it. Okay.
Speaker 1 00:05:57.7200000 So being on my own, living on my own, I moved into my first apartment with just one roommate. I was out of the dorm. It was great. Uh, but that was when my relationship with food shifted. And it started with food obviously, because just being in college and not really having a strict workout regime, I, the easiest thing to control is what you eat. So I remember distinctly starting to have cravings for say a burger or Chick-fil-A sandwich. I remember sitting in my apartment in the dark, my roommate, wasn't home and calling my mom on the phone. And I was so hungry, but I didn't want to go get the food because I was afraid I would be fat. I had this irrational fear of becoming massively overweight, like the 600 pound life overweight. I don't just mean like a couple of the extra pounds.
Speaker 1 00:06:54.4200000 I mean, like the excessive amount. And I think that's, that was also coupled with my depression and anxiety. And so it's just such a bad trio to have when your mind is just attacking you on all sides. It's like, it's attacking your body attacking like your mental health as well as like your soul part. Like, were you feeling anxiety and unrest with every part of who you are and their thoughts? Yeah. And so like being on the phone with my mom and I'm saying, Oh, I can't go get this. Cause I'm just, I'm going to gain weight. And she's like, you're not going to gain weight. It's one burger and you're fine. And Oh, I would just eat in your bowl of cereal. I would start with myself completely. So I started resorting to restricting the food that I ate. So instead of throwing up or instead of that's some of the other research that I've done particularly about anorexia, I definitely lean more toward anorexic tendencies, especially with the mental side of it.
Speaker 1 00:07:57.4400000 And, uh, with the relationship with food, I've never had a problem with overworking myself out. But when I did start working out and coupling that with the healthy food and then throwing in the other Instagram and YouTube influencers who are like, here's what I eat in a day. And here's how I look. And I would stare at their legs and their legs would be so skinnier that their sides would be so skinny. Those were the two that I gravitated to the most. I, it was almost OCD, like tendencies that I'm obsessive. We thinking about it. And obsessive, we looking at myself in the mirror obsessively filming myself, like just taking like different videos of myself and the phone and my phone, like checking to make sure my face hadn't gained weight. I'm checking, uh, to see if like my legs touched. If I looked okay in my clothes.
Speaker 1 00:08:44.9600000 And I, it's funny that like in the four years of college, despite how my eating habits have changed, I still wait the same and I may look only slightly different, but even looking back at the photos, like I can see myself looking healthier. Now I can see, uh, the differences, but the fact that that number is the same, despite me eating or not eating their burger, I think is what really F's with your mind. Mmm. And I think that's where it's the hardest with an eating disorder because it is in your mind. And despite what people are telling you, you're still going to be ruminating on that. And it's that rumination that we'll really get to. And where do you go for, like, how do you get out of that? Or can you at all, is it just a mindset shift? Is it things that tools that you see was, is it therapy?
Speaker 1 00:09:40.1400000 I mean, other people like how do you get yourself out of those cyclic patterns? So that's, what's hard for me that I, I think my situation is unique in how I got out of it and, or rather how I started getting out of it. Cause of course I'm not out of it. I still struggle with it, but I'm stronger in it now. And just the one year of shift that I've seen, um, I met my boyfriend and he's, he's older than me by seven years. So he has a little bit more life experience on me, which is good. And I appreciate that in him because I think the depth of our conversations, I know that he can handle it. I'm like some guys our age. Um, but he loves to cook and he loves to make drinks. And when we met, he just started making things for us.
Speaker 1 00:10:28.0900000 Nice. Um, so that was good because I learned to love food because of him. And I learned to release the pressure on myself for working out that it was okay that I didn't have to go run or work out or whatever. And I lost interest in working out. Um, I didn't want to go to the gym. I didn't want to run. And for an entire year I did none of it. And that was because I, I tried fixing it on my own. I tried still eating healthy and still allowing myself some snacks. But even when I would go babysit, I'd like, I'd be sacking because I didn't want to commit to like one food or one carb, but I would still be snacking. Um, so it was this like really awful cycle that I was so unforgiving, no grace for myself within it. And it wasn't until I met him that I released that intense control and allowed myself to enjoy the food that he would cook for us when he wanted to cook for us or that we went out for dates, um, allowed myself to enjoy desserts more.
Speaker 1 00:11:35.1200000 And he knows, he knows my struggles with it. I'm incredibly open about that. Mmm. And I, I can still get triggered. I CA I still have to like watch myself, especially, I think right now with Instagram influencers, I can not, will not follow anyone who posts about their workouts or what they eat, because that's not healthy for me that doesn't help me. I have to be careful with scrolling my explore page. Uh, especially if, if I see a before and after picture, those can be really triggering because in my mind, my deepest fear is losing control of myself. And I think that's very interesting when you dig down into the nitty gritty and you know, why you're leaning toward that or why you're trying to control that thing. I know mine is because I'm afraid of being out of control. And with him, I felt safe enough to allow myself to release some of that.
Speaker 1 00:12:36.5300000 And by doing that, I started learning to love, just eating again and eating pizza and listening to my body for when I was craving something. And with quarantine having been going on for the last three months now, I just started walking because I was desperate for movement. I didn't have anything else. And I, I knew it would make me feel better. And now I have a really sweet, really healthy relationship with just walking. I don't force myself to run. In fact, I don't want to, and I don't walk in order to shave off the pounds of what I ate. It's more, I want to get out and move. I want to be out in nature. I want to soak in the sun and I, and those two things have come about in this year after having released those others over a year ago. And I'm so thankful to be in that place now, but I don't think I would've made it there without him. And I don't think I would have made it there without my best friend. And had I had the money. I totally would have been with a therapist talking with her about that.
Speaker 3 00:13:41.4300000 Got it. So, I mean, it's, it's great to hear that you have, you found someone that is kind of this office, that, of everything that, who you are, who your identity is. Right of. So you, you having this obsessive thoughts about food and then him absolutely loving food and kind of merging those two worlds together, I think is almost ideal, you know, just, um, and like you said, with not having money for therapy, what would you say to others who maybe just don't find a relationship, right. They, they need struggling during that time. Yeah. What are some other tools and resources that you found helpful?
Speaker 1 00:14:22.7500000 So this almost links more to my depression anxiety, and of course, with my eating disorder, this is come into play and helped with it. But I have developed a very strong sense of myself in regards to self care. So I am very adamant about say washing my face, which means taking a shower at night now, instead of in the morning, and this may sound trivial. This may sound like it. It doesn't make sense why I'm even bringing it up, but it's very small things, very small things, baby steps. And it's baby step after baby, step of say, keeping my room clean and not letting anything pile up, uh, on the floor, because that sends me a D into a depressive state. And then that sends me into needing to control something, because it's, if I can't control my mind, at least maybe I can control my eating.
Speaker 1 00:15:16.7300000 And then your white knuckling, the shit out of that in your you're spiraling. And you just keep adding those things on and it gets darker and you get deeper into the woods and you just can't get out at that point. So I, I have lots of protective measures from keeping my space clean, to having essential oils going or taking baths or clothes that feel comfortable. And I've gone through stages where I either have clothes that are oversized or clothes that are form fitting based on how I feel in my body. And it's, it's an acute Tunis to what I need and listening to myself. And I got there. I did go into therapy for awhile for depression and anxiety, but I had to get out of that. And that was after about a year, just because of financial reasons. So when I was on my own, one of the things that helped the most was my best friend confiding in her were very similar.
Speaker 1 00:16:17.2500000 She's a four on the Enneagram scale on his seven. So we have a lot of tendencies that are the same, we've experienced a lot of the same things. And so we, I don't think I've ever had a friendship and will ever have a friendship that dives as deep as she and I do. And I think it's been through those honest conversations of telling her when something's going on, where it shifted from me telling my mom freaking out in my living room, in the dark to sitting in literal light, be it outside or sitting in my bedroom, telling my best friend I'm struggling today. I'm feeling this thing. I put this bikini on, or I put these shorts on and they were tight today. And that's weird or whatever it is, as well as like having conversations about other things. I think it's, I think it's about not letting the skeletons build up.
Speaker 1 00:17:04.8800000 And then if you're afraid of going into your mind start really, really small, because it's not just the eating disorder. At least that was my experience. It's everything is intertwined. I've done a lot of personal work through, um, self-therapy type websites, Instagram posts. So there's like a couple of girls that I follow, like psychologist type women. Um, and they'll post things. I've done everything from pulling my journal out to writing prompts down, to ordering some books off of Amazon about assertiveness to complex PTSD, just diving into my mind and not being afraid to do, because if I'm afraid of my mind, I'm going to sabotage that. Does that make sense where you, you're not on your self's team? And the thing is, is that you have to be on esteem on yourselves team if you're going to get out.
Speaker 3 00:18:05.3700000 Right. Yeah. I really liked how you said don't let the skeletons build up because with that, I think it's just compounding, right? If it's like, Oh, you leave the clothes on the floor. Oh, you leave the bed unmade. I know. And then it just, I even find with myself that, you know, if I leave an untidy room, it just continues to build up. It's like, Oh, well, I'll just keep the dish in the sink. Or like, Oh, I'll just keep the bathroom on tidy. And then like, I come home and I'm like, gosh, this place like it drives me. It makes me anxious. Um, so I can only imagine what those thoughts are like, just compounding over and over again. So making sure that things are kept in line and that you're controlling what you can control. And those are like your physical built environment and the space that you live in.
Speaker 1 00:18:53.1700000 Um, well, and it's creating an environment that you feel safe and because an eating disorder makes you not feel safe in your body, you are literally attached to your body. And if you don't feel safe in that, not going to feel safe anywhere else, necessarily if you don't create the space necessary. And for theirs, it's different for each person. So I wouldn't want to put on someone do this, do this, whatever. Um, if that doesn't work, but it's also experimentation. So I find a lot of peace in discipline and routine. My dishes are piled up currently though. I have not cleaned my bathroom and that stresses me out. Sure. And I know that stresses me out and sometimes they still let those things pile up because I know my body maybe needs something else, or maybe I just don't need to do that tonight. I need to focus on myself or just, I don't have the energy to do it.
Speaker 1 00:19:51.4700000 So there's grace in that too, but it is the awareness of I'm my most happy when my space is clean, my room is clean. I have my certain elements going, be it like the lighting to candles, to my kittens, walking around. Mmm. And I think that protection helps me. I feel safe enough to dive into the deeper thoughts to meet those skeletons face, to face, to not be afraid of that, to not be afraid of the darkness. And this is of course on top of having my support team of be that a relationship, or if it's just your one best friend that you're confiding in and knowing, and making sure that they're healthy enough to handle that. I remember having a friend who equally struggled with an eating disorder and at that point I didn't realize it, but we were compounding on top of each other and that's not good. It's not going to be beneficial. Right. Of course you can rant about things, but if it's almost encouraging each other to, in it have been at that point, it's like, you're backtracking on the work that you're fighting to do. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:20:54.6700000 And I, I was just, I thought about, you said how your weight stayed the same. And I think that's very anti what I would normally think about what anorexia is. Right. You see all these images on the internet of like what you think anorexia looks like of like bone thin and literally no skin on your bones. And it sounds like that's your that's, you don't fit that mold. So what would you say to, I guess that stereotype,
Speaker 1 00:21:24.4799999 But that's, I mean, that stereotype exists for sure. And I, I do remember my mom saying, you look too skinny and I did have to have a conversation with her about that. That was a big boundary of like, you cannot keep bringing this up to me because if you do, I take that and I don't look at that as, Oh, I need to eat more. It's like, Oh, I'm doing what I need to be doing. I'm staying skinny. And so it's, it's having the boldness to have those conversations in case those do come up, if that comes up. Mmm. But as for the stereotype, aye, I didn't let myself get that far. But maybe that was because I was afraid of going that far because I knew of the stigmatization, or I knew of people who had struggled with it and how to express their struggle with it.
Speaker 1 00:22:16.3400000 So for that one, that may just be different for me, but it's also different for each case. That's going to be based off of your home life experience too, if you're in college or not. So perhaps if anything, just knowing if you're not someone who struggles with an eating disorder, that it could look very different than it does not have to just fit into interact. Sarah bulemia that each person's fear can look very different and manifest differently. Okay. And of course you can have some more things, but even say with depression, someone's depression will look very different from mine and you manifest it differently, as well as the harmful things that you do or the things that you do to prevent it.
Speaker 3 00:23:00.2000000 Interesting. Yeah. This is really great to learn because I didn't even know that was the case, right. That it can manifest in so many different ways, but it makes sense because so many illnesses manifest in different ways. There's never one, just cookie cutter mold of what someone identifies as, um,
Speaker 1 00:23:19.1300000 That type of stuff. I love how society, and especially in our young culture, like be it on Twitter, on Instagram, you see trigger warning. I remember watching this movie that came out a few years ago and it was about an eating disorder and it was the stereotypical bury skinny like bone thin, um, girl, I don't remember what it was called watching that was really triggering for me. But I went into that knowing what was watching versus if you're scrolling on Instagram and it's so much harder to filter what you see on your explore page, like, of course you can just say, see through your posts than this, but you're still going to see things pop up. So I do love that people become more conscious about it. And we'll say trigger warning, especially if they're going to talk about something in depth in detail, uh, the nitty gritty again.
Speaker 1 00:24:10.3299999 Um, so I think, I think we're moving forward into a more aware culture about these things because depression and anxiety, I feel, and I also feel, I can say this because I have it. I've experienced it. Those have become more normalized. I think we've hit a point where it's been talked about enough. Not that you can't stop talking about it, it's that? Okay. We've made it to the point. We know people struggle with this. We accept this. This is good that we're talking about this we've had the good right conversations versus I feel eating disorders are a little more pushed into the closet. There's a lot more shame around those. I don't feel those have been talked about enough. We haven't reached the point of normalizing that conversation. One of the things that I love, I respect her so much for doing this. Isn't Taylor Swift's documentary, uh, and miss Americana when she talks about her struggle with her eating disorder.
Speaker 1 00:25:11.9200000 And I get chills talking about this because I remember telling my best friend, when I finished watching this, I cried that the scene she's in this car leaving New York. And she sees a picture of herself on her phone where it's just an awkward body position. It's just like, that looks weird. That's certainly not me type of thing. And she was like, had this been me a few years ago, looking at this picture, this would have spiraled me. I just would not eat. I thought it was the right size. I was fitting the mold of what everyone was saying that I needed to be. And it was her line. We don't do that anymore. It slapped me in their face and hit me chest. And I was like, Oh my God, that's that I think is the foundation for any form of healing? Sure. Be that in a roar or a whisper.
Speaker 1 00:26:05.8800000 Yeah. Well, whatever the energy you have just saying, we don't do that anymore. We're not going to do that. That, that, that brings you into yourself. That you're on yourselves team that you're joining with, perhaps say the weaker part of your mind that you feel that struggles with it and taking along saying, Hey, I see you. And I feel for you, we're not going to do that anymore. Do you find that there's other influencers like celebrities that are sharing their stories with eating disorders? So I keep up with Taylor Swift for sure. The most, I don't know if I, I know they do. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but one person in particular, who's been in my circle who I'm friends with. She is an author and blogger based out of Atlanta. Her name is Hannah <inaudible>. She, I remember talking a lot about, uh, her struggle with her body, her struggle with eating. Um, and so she's brought her followers along on her journey of changing eating habits. She's done the whole 30. She's done these different things where those things have been very healthy for her, where hurt putting those limits on herself has actually been really great. Whereas for me, as much as I love and respect her, I know that's not going to be beneficial to me because that means restricting and her struggle wasn't with restricting. So it's understanding what is the core struggle you have. Yeah. And being vigilant with watching what you let into your sphere
Speaker 3 00:27:41.5500000 And with social media, you can obviously control that to a degree because you can follow and follow people that will help bring you to a better place. If you're in a certain, if you're feeling some type of way one day, or you don't talk to your friend about it. And
Speaker 1 00:27:58.7500000 Thank you, being aware of our little shadow sides that even though we do that we follow and fall, we can still check their profiles. I do that. And I have to be careful with that too, where I've, I've gotten to the point. I just block people. Not because they've done anything to me or even know me, but because of that, you don't check. Right. Um, yeah. It's, I think the biggest thing is that vigilance in that if you struggle with that right now, but that's okay. That's just something that's learned over time. Just like you're learning too, ride a bike, or you're compounding your ability to count from one to 10 to one to a hundred when you're a kid it's, it's growth, it's slow and it's okay for it to be slow. It's those little victories that are going to count the most.
Speaker 3 00:28:47.1700000 Right. And your social media, it seems like you talk a lot about your own personal journey and self love and body positivity. So I guess what, tell us more about your mission and your values around that.
Speaker 1 00:29:00.9700000 Yeah. I, it's funny, when you think about a brand, what is their mission statement? I don't necessarily have one. If there were to be one, it would honestly be what's on my profile now and it says, stay brave, little lion. So I have seven tattoos right now and growing, and my first tattoo was Alliant tattoo. I have very curly hair. So I have, of course always struggled with not having straight hair. You know, when I was a kid, I called her, of course, and now I love it. And I would not give it away to anyone, but curl my hair and it worth anything falls out in a second. So I think myself to a lion and adopting those personality traits of the line that they're brave, that they're bold, but also there's a softness to them. There's a majesty to them that are scary, that those things can exist in both.
Speaker 1 00:29:55.6600000 So the state brave little lion mantra, I've had that for several years. It's just kind of what I would whisper to myself, um, and want to whisper out to other people that it's like, I know you're struggling. Stay brave. It's okay. We're going to be okay. Because brave means in the dictionary enduring fearlessly. Hmm. Having the boldness, having the courage, like each of those words have different meanings, but it's, it's the ability to step into the hard shit and yeah, keep going into it. Or if you don't have the energy, your ability to move that you at least stand firm. And then you're like, this hurts. This is really hard facing this. I'm scared of this. I'm scared of myself, but I'm going to stand in this. So be that in my photos, you know, when I've taken photos of cities and when I've, I've been in New York, I love New York.
Speaker 1 00:30:54.8200000 So my love for that city has come out before it, my, my feed has changed a lot. It hasn't stayed cohesive. And I love that you, you can scroll through my Instagram and you can see where I'm at in each stage of my life. And I'd love that. And right now I'm in a soft period where I don't have to quote war to be heard. I know who I am. Um, and of course I'm still learning it, but it's a concept of the, I know who I am. I don't have to roar to know that I'm a lion, if you want to keep using that analogy. Um, so I've been able to work with a couple of brands. That's always fun, of course, but one of the ones that's been my favorite is working with a bra and underwear company because that opened up more doors for me to dive into not booed war photos.
Speaker 1 00:31:40.0900000 Cause that's not what I'm doing. It's just, I feel it's soft photography. I don't even know how to explain it. It's just sure. It's soft. It's loving. It's kind of, I would say it comes off as loving and kind. Yeah. It's not like sexy and luster and stuff. No, I, I get it. I like, Oh, you're really loving yourself. And in even just, you know, Rowan underwear, right. That it's, but I can, I can feel the confidence in my body as a woman that you strip away everything else that my name is Emily, that I'm a photographer. I live in Atlanta. You strip all that away. And it's, I'm a woman. This is my body. I'm not going to be ashamed for this because I grew up in a family and in a very conservative culture that shamed, that, that shamed our body. And perhaps that's where it came from too.
Speaker 1 00:32:30.2000000 I don't know. But Mmm. My goal always with my feet is to not create a space where people would go to where you feel that jealousy, but you keep checking that profile. I would hope my feed never becomes that. Mmm. I actually, I have a friend who was so sweet and her honesty about this, as she said, I love your self love for yourself. And I find myself almost scrolling faster through your posts now because I'm not there yet. And it intimidates me. And I told her, please, no, that if you need to block me, you can do that. I remember my childhood best friend having to do that for awhile that she said, I just want you to know that this is not about you. This is my protection for myself. And I think you were there. You've experienced that as well said when you're honest about that, people will be receptive than you realize that, telling them that if they take it the wrong word, then you know, they're not meant to be at your life.
Speaker 1 00:33:34.3500000 Sure. Yeah, no, totally. And how do you celebrate those good days? Mm, I think in different ways. And it depends on the stage of where you're at. I think right now I celebrate it by telling my friend, especially if I realized something new. So if I come to a new revelation, that's an even deeper level than where I was at. Or I realized this is what's triggering me. Or I found a new trigger or, Oh my God, this, this is why I'm struggling with this because X and Y happened in my childhood. This happened with this person or this person said this, and I've held on to that. And I didn't even realize that something like that, you know, if it's that kind of good day, that victory of like, Oh, we found something, we found another, we've found another like hotspot of what's going on here.
Speaker 1 00:34:30.6900000 Um, it's having the conversations and relishing in that feeling in my body. If it's allowing myself to eat pizza and then that's a victory, I enjoy that. And I'm intentional in my mind to enjoy it as it's happening. That if I hear in my mind, you shouldn't eat the three pieces you shouldn't eat for however many it's telling me in my mind, or, Oh, you shouldn't have ice cream after that. Or maybe you should go walk after this. It's, it's shutting those down and allowing the enjoyment in your bike because we're made to enjoy pleasure. We've been, we were made to enjoy the taste of food and it'd be good food. Um, right. So, and of course I still I'm conscious about things and I feel, I feel equal victory when I eat healthy, but I feel the same level of victory when I allow myself to get PB and J sandwich, because that's what I want for lunch.
Speaker 1 00:35:20.4400000 And that's all I wanted for lunch quarantine or eating a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, because that's what I want. Yeah. Then knowing that that's not going to kill me, or that's not going to make me gain 600 pounds, it's freeing. And I think continuing to dive into to feel that feeling that's, what's helping me. I like how you said, you know, those thoughts. They come in as if they're like clouds in the sky, but then, you know, you just, you keep on doing, you're not ignoring them. You're recognizing them sitting with them like, okay, thought you've entered my mind. You're here. Yeah. But I'm, I'm going to do something else. I choose differently because I protect my own self worth. And Mmm. Yeah. That's I really like that. I think that's a common practice in meditation and also in self, uh, self coaching and self competence, a lot of that.
Speaker 1 00:36:20.7500000 Okay. Those, those thoughts of fear, those thoughts of doubt and negativity and all those bad things they drift in and you're supposed to just sit with it and, and then just continue on because over time they will eventually not be as triggering because the more that you sit with it is the better off that you'll be is what I have found. Yeah. Yeah. Very interesting. Wow. I really, this is such a fascinating conversation. Just diving into like the mind and hearing about how you just, yeah. Everyone's mind is different, right. You think, and you look at things differently and yes. Dealing with how society looks at you and how you look at society. And, um, are you at a stage that, I mean, are you in a corporate world job or no, I'm not so high. I lost all of my jobs. I'm a freelancer.
Speaker 1 00:37:16.6100000 I do photography and videography work. I nanny too. That's always cool. Then on this side to compensate things, but I had been interested in a corporate job. I, but I think it's because I want to try it to make sure that that's a good fit, right. That I am like, okay, do I really want to stay with freelance? Cause of course there's things I struggle with or that I've got my weaknesses with it. Um, there are other things that I absolutely love with it. And I think the, the time that I've had since graduating college to sit with myself the last year, especially because I, I have friends in so many different States, no one is near me other than my boyfriend. And especially during quarantine, dad's been really hard because I've been intensely alone. And if I let myself think about it too quickly, I get depressed.
Speaker 1 00:38:06.3200000 And then of course it starts to spiral again. So it's, it's the awareness of that it's aware of. Sometimes I just need to go be next to him. Not because he needs to give me anything, but because I just need to be near a person. Um, so with having people in different States, too, my work not, could you just be nonexistent right now? I thought about a job and have wondered how that could potentially change or better my relationship with food or routine. Because especially when I have that routine, I remember nannying one summer and it was very consistent every day to where I would bring my workout gear. Mmm. And I would work out like when I would get home, because that just became my routine. And I was easily able to fall into that. Whereas it's, it is harder when I'm freelancing to hold myself to those routines.
Speaker 1 00:39:05 But I think that's okay for right now because I've needed to release myself from those routines in order to feel healthy again. Okay. Two thoughts that popped up like that. And then the first one is how do you feel, or how do you take the difference between being alone and feeling lonely? And then the other one is if you were to go into a corporate world, cause it kind of sounds like it's a little bit on your mind, would you disclose that you have an, you have a journey with depression, anxiety, you need disorders and so on and kind of what, what would you look for in a company that supports them <inaudible> so the difference between being alone and lonely for me, I've thought about this a lot. And I know a lot of people have because of being in quarantine, especially people who came from corporate jobs and were sent home.
Speaker 1 00:39:59.8500000 Whereas at least for me, yeah, I was going out and doing my shoots, but my routine didn't change too much from what it's been like since I graduated even really before, since I graduated, the difference for me is when I feel lonely and I feel the isolation, I feel the depression creeping in that feels like separating myself from people that feels like pulling back. That feels like overthinking. Hmm. And assuming that they look at me weird almost like paranoia of, Oh, I'm annoying. They don't want to talk to me anymore. Oh, I talk too much. Or you something like, again, it's almost like the OCD thoughts of like you just intensely focused on something. You're repeating it over and over. It's on my mind has always worked with depression. I think that's why the eating disorder with restricting my diet. It's like, I need to do this.
Speaker 1 00:40:55.3100000 I need to do this over and over versus being alone. I have found a solace and peace and safety and being alone, especially with having a boyfriend now that this is my first longterm, uh, like deep, serious relationship. And knowing that it's really important to me to have my independence and my space. It's funny because I am an extrovert very much so, and understanding that is if I go too long without seeing people, I start to unravel physically being around people or especially touching people then the quality time. But because of quarantine, I have learned to tap into my introverted side where I set up the routines, especially my morning and my evening routines and starting to really work on an afternoon, your team that keeps me grounded. Um, so that I have things to do that I look forward to. So, you know, the sounds, maybe Durfee maybe sounds random, but I, I, I look forward to sometimes like waking up to my coffee.
Speaker 1 00:42:04.1800000 Like I normally drink my coffee black and I've suddenly gotten into like a creamer as of late. And for like two weeks straight, I was like waking up really early just because I was excited to drink it. And I'd watch shit's Creek in bed and I'd eat a bowl of cereal and, and I'd get up and go wash my face. And I do my makeup because I just love putting that on. It's been a part of a routine rhythm for me that has grounded me, especially when I feel depressed. It's like, well, yeah, my body may feel really heavy, but at least I'm going to do my makeup because that's a part of my self care. So I, yeah, the alone part is I'm with myself. I get to, I get to cater to myself. The lonely is when I'm laying on the couch, just scrolling Instagram or tick talk out of fear because I don't feel safe.
Speaker 1 00:42:54.8900000 So when everything happened with quarantine and we started realizing just shit was hitting the fan. I remember realizing that I wasn't going to have jobs for April. I had so much lined up where I was going to be okay with rent and it hit me that everything was going to go away. And I broke down like bad, like suicidal ideations for the first time, since I was a freshman since before I was even on medication. So like, yeah, this was the heaviest worst moment where I couldn't stop crying. And it wasn't because of hormones. It was genuinely like, fuck, what am I going to do? And I realized, I was thinking about, you know, you don't have to be able to pay rent or feel like everything is you're losing control, everything. Absolutely everything. Like, I'm not going to have money for rent. I'm not gonna have money for food.
Speaker 1 00:43:54.5300000 I'm not going to have money for all of these other bills. I'm not going to have work. What am I going to do? I'm going to have to go back and did working at Chick-fil-A or target. And I hated working those places, even it was necessary at the time, but that doesn't fill my soul. That doesn't make me happy. That drains me. That doesn't make me more creative. Sure. Or I'm going to have to take money from my parents. I'm going to have to owe it back. And I already have a really rough relationship with my parents. And I just, I was just like, he was just like, what else do you say? What else do you do? So I, Mmm. I remember driving over to my partner's house and was on the phone with a friend of mine who has struggled with like the just intense, suicidal ideations and depression and all of the things.
Speaker 1 00:44:41.1700000 And he's talking to me like a therapist would in that moment is like, okay, I have my friend here. I know I'm not alone, but also I feel so alone right now. I am so isolated. Um, what what's about to happen? We don't know. Can you talk to me down out of it? And my boyfriend just allowed me to space to lay on the couch and nap after that. And you recuperate, you recover, then it's like, okay, what's the next step? So sure. Moving into, you know, the thought of a corporate job. Um, I want something creative. I want something that's going to stimulate me. And of course I miss being with a team of people or even having the routine where almost the time that I've had in the last year, too, ground myself in my morning routines and evening routines. And I know what winds me down and I know what gets me energized in the morning that perhaps that would be great for me.
Speaker 1 00:45:34.6900000 Um, perhaps that would be really good boundaries for myself protection for myself. And so in a company that a company that promotes and values people with mental illnesses that doesn't stigmatize it, that doesn't make jokes about it. Like, of course, I think, I think that's what anyone would want. Um, yeah, it doesn't have to be a corporation, that's it? It doesn't have to be a nonprofit this about mental health. In fact, I, I don't have a particularly strong desire to go into a mental health field. It's more, I'd rather have the one on one conversations, or I would rather create a film piece. That's about a friend who struggles with it because that's how I shine best or start a podcast where I say, do what you do, where I interview my friends, that kind of thing, where that feels more like my field than seeking out a nonprofit. But I think that's also because my strength, isn't telling stories and it's telling my story as much as I'm telling someone. Else's
Speaker 3 00:46:38.7200000 Interesting. Yeah. I like, that's why I love doing this podcast is this it's so creative and it taps into that other side that I don't get to do on a daily basis in my day job. So this is a really nice outlet. So, um, yeah. Is there anything else that you want to share just about your journey and what you wanted to shed light on for other people maybe going through a similar scenario?
Speaker 1 00:47:06.5900000 Yeah. I wish I could go back and hug my younger self. I wish I could meet that girl in the dark living room on the phone with her mom freaking out about food and just tell her she's okay. She's okay. She's feeling all the things and she's gonna, she has a lot of things she's going to have to work through. She has a lot of things that are going to be hard to sit with. She's going to have a lot of breakdowns. They just sit with her through that. Because at that point I didn't have the support system that I have now. It's a very small support system. I don't, I don't keep many, many close friends, but the ones that I do have, and very vocal, very honest with, Mmm. I don't want to just throw another platitude of love yourself, accept yourself or whatever like that.
Speaker 1 00:48:02.0600000 Um, but I also know what it feels like to be seeking a lifeline. You just need something, especially when you're in a really rough place and you don't know what else to do then. Maybe if anything, if it's finding someone that you look up to, um, especially on Instagram, at least because this is what helped me. Um, Hannah Brinshore, I looked up to her years before I even met her and became friends with her. Um, I would follow her blogs and I've just read those every week. Cause it has helped me most. And now it's transformed into, I listened to a different podcast about sex and about sexuality and about like coming into my own and understanding what I need and want and awareness, those kinds of things. So there's the shift over the years. But having, having those things that cater to where I'm at, people who are just a few steps ahead of me in their race that I can look to and be like, okay, you see you made it out. You've been where I'm at. I can make it out to Mmm. With 21, pilots is my favorite band. Uh, for a lot of reasons, I actually have their tattoo on my arm. And I normally don't tell people, um, that I have that tattoo. And I don't normally tell people what it means either, but for me the tattoo, I got it in New York and I got it. As things were starting to shift for me, I started seeing something new step in.
Speaker 1 00:49:28.2300000 I think it's snowing that you can hit ground zero, knowing that things can get really dark and they'll stay dark for awhile. But the Dustin Asher settling. And right now you're just waiting for a way out when it does come, you'll be a little dazed and confused coming out of that. But the work starts then that you get to clear the rubble and you get to clear what fell down. And that moment of break down. You get to have a breakthrough with it that once you clear the ground, you get to lay a new foundation. You get to lay down new support, new columns that are going to hold the building up. And all of a sudden you go from ground zero to being all the way at the top and you get to look down and you just get to see the Memorial of how far you've come.
Speaker 1 00:50:18.8600000 And I think that's what, and listening to 21 pilots and the transformation, or even with Taylor Swift and for music or to hint brand shirt with the life she's created to now having a child of her own and getting to see what she's instilling in her daughter. Now, I think all of that compiles into helping me stay alive and not just, I don't just mean in physically saying alive, but mentally staying alive, you keep fighting and keep fighting that fight that sometimes you're required to be on the front lines. Sometimes you're required to get a little beaten up. And then other times is times of peace and it's time of softness. And that perhaps that sounds just kind of out there, but those are the analogies that I've attached with the most. And those are the things that keep me going. Um, I'd write letters to myself, I'd write future letters to myself.
Speaker 1 00:51:14.4900000 I'd date them specifically for like you're out in the future. I wouldn't always do around my birthday. Um, I like to do it around new year's new. Year's just my favorite holiday. Um, just to start up something new is so special to me, but um, sometimes a date, it random dates where I'd write in my journal knowing I would go back months later years later. And it would just be like, dear Emily, I don't know where you're at right now. Here's where I'm at. Um, or speaking words into the future. And so it almost becomes prophetic almost being from, uh, is it just like getting to see how far I've come and remembering that remembering how far you've come and then if you're just now starting your journey with it, you're going to make it out of the woods. My promise. Just keep holding onto that. Wow. I really love that. That's so beautiful. Are they like, just like the restorative foundation that imagery that you created was really nice. Well, thank you Emily so much for your time and just to sharing your journey. I really appreciate you being so vulnerable. Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Speaker 2 00:52:18.0900000 All right. Well, take care. Thank you friends for listening. Please rate and follow this podcast or text card at (470) 588-1215 with comments and suggestions tune in next week for another disability topic. <inaudible>.