child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Thursday, December 30, 2010

should, need to, and survive

I haven't blogged for a bit.  I could say that it was because of the holidays, which would be partially true.  I could say it was because hubby has been on graveyard shifts for the past 3 weeks, which again would be partially true.  I could even say that my kids have had a heck of a time going to bed with daddy gone and bedtime has taken hours every night, which, once again, would be partially true.  Or I could just tell you the truth that I am in survival mode and don't really feel much like exposing my heart right now.  I am eating dinner tonight at the request of should's and need to's and love for my husband.  I have however passed the point of caring about dinner.  Should have eaten before date night, I suppose, when I still wanted to eat.  Food is a daily decision for me.  I liked the days when it came naturally better.  Making a concentrated effort to eat regularly is getting old.  I guess maybe should's aren't always a bad thing; after all, they have me eating.......or at least trying.

Monday, December 20, 2010

But I'm a mom

So today I was given the assignment of finding ways to pamper myself to help prevent the anxiety from becoming full blown.  Ideas included a hot bath, listening to music, and anything that is done for ME.  So I came home determined to do something for me.  And so I sit here typing with the fingernails on my right hand "Honeymoon Red".  Why just my right hand?  Well any mom can tell you that to paint both hands while the kids are awake will most definitely end in disaster and ruined nails.  It's been years since I've painted my nails.  Why?  Because I just don't have time in the midst of taking care of everyone to worry about my nails.  But I am sending my kids a very wrong message that I don't need to be taken care of.  Of course I have responsibilities and need to care for my family, but what do I teach them if I never take the time to take care of myself as part of my family?  So it may be one hand at a time and rather slowly, but today I'm going to have bright red Christmasy fingernails.  Why? Simply because it made me smile to buy nail polish called "Honeymoon Red".  I hope that counts as pampering me because it surely feels like a big splurge!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I've been having panic attacks the past few days.  Only one was really bad to the point of having vision changes and hyperventilating.  I have, however, had to concentrate a lot on breathing lately.  I feel the panic coming on and have to remind myself to keep breathing steadily.  Hubby thinks food is a contributing factor.  How do I tell him I know it is?  Food has been a difficult subject for the last couple of weeks. Not nearly as bad as I was when I went to the hospital.  Not counting every calorie and freaking out about it.  Just not feeling like eating.  Not actually trying to deprive myself but not feeling like indulging myself either.  I don't really want to talk about it either.  If it stays in my head, it isn't real.  Yet here on paper, I can glaringly see how real it is.  I want to hide inside my shell and pretend it is still all ok and still getting better.  It would only be pretending though.  I know its not ok, I just don't want to acknowledge it yet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

expletive not deleted

I need to be in the car taking my son to school but I was just overcome by such powerful emotions that I had to take a second to breathe.  First let me tell you that if swearing offends you, skip this post because I am going to write it as I just said it to myself.  Last night my mom cornered me to talk about generational curses again.  She started talking about shame and disgrace towards women.  I started shutting down, smiling and nodding.  This morning in the shower my mind replayed her saying that.  And this rush of words came tumbling out of my mouth....

You have no idea what shame and disgrace is.  Shame and disgrace is being violently fucked over and over as a child.  Shame and disgrace is living in constant terror of someone who should be safe.  Shame and disgrace is an asshole threatening you that he will tie you up naked on the swing set and leave you there if you don't comply with his disgusting demands.  Shame and disgrace is taking a double portion, in front of a girl younger than I, to protect her from his hands.  Don't talk to me about shame and disgrace.

I am shaking with rage.  These emotions are almost overpowering.  And all I can think is, "How DARE she talk to me like she thinks she understands when she doesn't even KNOW most of it!?!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

the quiet voice of courage

I bought a magnet at the bookstore last week.  It says, "Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says 'I will try again tomorrow'."  Today courage speaks quietly.  Today there is no roar.  Today if I didn't know courage could be quiet, I'd be entirely certain that I have none.  Tomorrow I will try again.  Today I failed miserably but I will choose the courage to keep on trying until it is no longer a battle to triumph.  I don't for a second understand why people tell me I am courageous.  I feel like a coward.  I guess I'm just shocked that people think because I share my story that I have courage.  I certainly don't feel like it.  Today I feel like a failure, like a coward, annoyed, violated, insecure, and exhausted.  Tomorrow, however, I will try again.  Tomorrow I will get back on my horse and ride again, even if I fall off tomorrow too. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


spending the day listening to "Beautiful" by Mercy Me.  Words I need to hear!  It isn't days will come when you don't have the strength, it's days are here.  When all I hear is "you're not worth anything".  Trying to keep in mind today that I am treasured, I am sacred, I am His, I'm beautiful.  Some days repetition is the only hope I have to get it through my thick skull, today is one of them.  If you come to my house today you will see a mess and hear the song "Beautiful" over and over and over again.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10 lbs, seriously??????

Quick update as to direction for prayers.  Today I went to the doctors for a med's check.  First of all the nurse had to ask if I was breathing when she did my oxygen levels because the levels were low.  I wasn't breathing, I was panicing.  She had just weighed me and I have gained 10 lbs since my last visit in early October.  How on earth???????  My doctor says I am in the normal range, perfect weight.  I reminded her that I was in the normal range last time and that was 10lbs lighter!  She told me that I was in the very low end of the normal range then and now am smack in the middle, right where she wants me to be.  It may be healthy, but it is still scary!  I was honest enough to tell her my meds aren't working the best.  One of them I hate and only take a couple of times a week because I hate how it makes me feel.  And oddly enough I even told her of some of the stuff that stays in my head, not for public viewing.  She decided that it sounds like I need to try a new med.  I should be doing well not just barely stable with some great days and some extrememly low days.  My good days are still really good, my bad days are still really bad. Meals have already been a struggle for me for the last week, today did not make it any easier.  I have been eating when my family is eating but I don't make anything for just me during the day.  I am tired.  All the time I am exhausted.  Food doesn't seem to be the bigger priority at the moment, I'd rather sleep.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

If they truly saw your heart

Writing.  Hmmmm, that's been a big subject lately.  Seems like so many people are asking me about writing.  Why am I afraid of my writing?  It is easily my biggest outlet and source of comfort.  Carol asked if I have ever thought about my writing helping others.  Hubby asks why I am afraid of being published.  Is it simply a fear of rejection like they both say? The song "Beautiful" by Mercy Me comes to mind.  The line that says

if they truly saw your heart, they'd see too much

I reveal quite a bit of my struggle in my writing.  Yet there is a huge part that is withdrawn.  If you think you know me because you read my writing, you do.  And you don't.  There is so much within my heart that I do not write.  There is so much within me that I just don't know how to express on paper.  Maybe that is the raw, unprocessed me since writing is how I process life.  Writing also makes things so final.  Like for instance, dealing with depression and anorexia was only a battle in my mind until my medical chart said it.  Now it is on paper for any of my doctors to see.  It doesn't by any means define me but it does add a certain amount of hard reality (as opposed to mental reality) to my life.  If I write the things in my heart, they are no longer things in my heart, they are hard realities.  How is it possible that I can be so open and yet so closed at the same time?  I freely give the information when asked, but I still hold a large amount sacred inside my heart.  I give information like it is a fact but not with the emotions that are felt.  The emotions are reserved for when I am alone.  The story is for anyone to see.  How do I bridge that gap?  And is writing really my calling and I'm just afraid or is it just my outlet to help me process this crazy journey?

told you today would be better

Yes, it is true, today is much better than yesterday.  I feel less like a Scrooge and more like myself as far as Christmas is concerned.  I have been able to bless 3 different people today with random acts of kindness.  We spent a good portion of the day as a family with our friends.  The time was refreshing, not to mention productive.  I am still annoyed but I'm not angry.  I woke up this morning before the kids and hubby was already awake.  I looked outside and mentioned that I really wanted to curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a good novel.  Instead this morning I was annoyed with my kids that the house was such a mess that I couldn't feel right about sitting down to read and annoyed with my circumstances because I wanted to read for fun and yet the book I am reading right now is one Carol gave me to read and it is for recovery not entertainment.  Haven't had much desire to eat the last couple of days but haven't specifically avoided meals either.  I have missed a few but I have eaten when I'm with people.  Rough? Yes.  Managable? Yes.  God is still good and still on His throne?  ABSOLUTELY!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today sucks

Today I feel angry.  I don't care if it isn't one of the primary emotions, it is a very powerful secondary emotion and I feel it!  I guess I should start with saying that nothing new has happened to cause me to be angry.  Today I want to throw a temper tantrum.  Today I want to cuss.  Today I want to isolate.  I went to my dear friends house today for a half hour.  It was a well spent half hour.  This morning we both felt like crawling back under the covers and hiding.  Sounds like a perfect time to get together.  That was my attempt at not isolating.  I thought I had a bunch of big stuff to deal with but have come to realize that I have more to deal with on how the big stuff was handled.  I want to hit something.  I want to yell.  I want to scream.  I got a letter from my former therapist saying that she was leaving the EDC to go back to inpatient, adolescent care.  I even felt angry about that.  I wanted to rip the letter up.  I was angry with the way she had handled me.  I was annoyed that I felt disrespected and minimized when I saw her.  I was annoyed that when getting help was at a crucial point for me, she was who I found and she didn't help me at all.  I'm annoyed that everyone is happy because though I want to have Christmas spirit, I am finding myself in a funk.  I really want to be an enjoyable person.  I really want to love Christmas as much as I know I do, I just am not feeling it at all today.  I'm tired of working to get through it.  I want to wave a magic wand and be better.  Why does everything worthwhile take work and time?  Today sucks, tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

helpful resource

Just as I started to blog, I hear the sound of my little one overhead, climbing out of bed.  So instead of blogging, I'm just going to link and go get my guy back to bed.  Carol gave me a website with lots of valuable information on eating disorders.  I particularly like that it states that the symptoms are not always obvious and that an anorexic could be overweight or a compulsive eater underweight.  The outside appearance doesn't always reflect the internal battle.  The website is  I am not typically a fan of websites and I would say use a search engine only with extreme caution but I did check this one out since it was referred by my therapist.  It is very pro-recovery.  Very validating for those of us who struggle, and very informational for those who love us and desire to see us get healthy again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I had never thought of it like this.  I don't update often after I ask for prayer.  I was told this week by someone that she gets annoyed praying for people sometimes when she never hears any follow up about the person she prayed for.  It wasn't directed at me but it did inspire me to update here.  I am so very grateful for all the prayers that have been offered up on my behalf.  I can definitely feel them!  The day titled "trigger day" ended up to be an ok day after all.  I felt peace that I shouldn't have and was fully aware of and comforted by the Lord's presence. 

I don't feel as alone as I did.  I even called my pastor's wife this week when I started feeling alone just to ask her to pray for me.  Six months ago I wouldn't have asked for prayer, I would have isolated even more because I wouldn't have wanted to admit my weakness.  I would have been certain that I was alone in my battle and never asked for help.  I still hurt.  I still struggle.  I still have days that hungry feels better than full.  BUT I also have days that I know God is in control.  I have days when I feel peace.  I have days when full feels better than hungry.  The good days aren't constant but neither are the bad ones anymore.  It's baby steps but it is still steps. 

Thank you for going on this journey with me.  Thank you for praying for me.  Thank you that I'm not alone on my journey.  Thank you for showing me God's grace and love when I hurt.  And thank you for believing in God's power enough to not decide that I'm a lost cause.  Someday I will be on the other side forever and will see the beauty He created in me and it will be because someone like you lifted me before His throne when I couldn't make it there on my own, because someone like you loved me when I was unloveable, because someone like you interceded on my behalf.  Thank you now and thank you in advance for the amazing role you play in this journey!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Have you ever smoked and tried to stop?  Although every ounce of will power is telling you that you don't really want that cigarette, your body still tells you that you do.  Have you ever thought that drinking was killing you and you need to stop, but to stop means to sober up and to sober up means hangover and your body definitely doesn't want to deal with that?  If you have never faced addiction, it is impossible to understand fully my day today. 

My brain is saying, "Go get some breakfast."  My heart is saying, "Let's conquer this and be healthy."  My spirit is saying, "I want to glorify God with my body." But my body, well that's a different story.  My body is saying, "I like this feeling.  It feels good to me when my stomach feels a little bit of an ache for food.  I don't care if it is destructive, it feels good to me right now."  I have smoked and quit.  I have drank and quit.  And I am even more addicted to starving myself than I was to either of those things.  It is truly a battle of addiction and old habits are hard to break.  My body wants to keep feeling hungry.  My heart wants to be more than a conquerer. 

So today, I am thankful for God's grace.  I need His strength to do the next right thing.  I need to surrender my addiction to Him and allow Him to heal my body.  Today I am so grateful that He is bigger than my physical ailments and that He can carry me through.  I'm headed off to go make breakfast and do the next right thing with His help.  Someday doing the next right thing is going to get easier, right?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

pissed off

Tonight hubby read an article in Sports illustrated.  You can click it to read the full article but the short version is that a highschool girl (cheerleader) was sexually assaulted by 3 guys at a sports party.  She reported it and sought to press charges.  In the lapse of time between the event and justice, she was cheering at a game that one of the attackers was playing at.  When he went to the free throw line, instead of cheering for this boy, she quietly stepped back from the line and didn't participate in that part.  She was kicked off the cheer squad.  Her dad was almost instantly in the principal's office defending his daughter.

Hubby told me if we had daughters and someone, especially someone in authority at a school, treated our daughter the way this girl was treated that I had better bring bail money with me.  I think he's serious!  Actually I'm nearly postive that he is.  I can actually visualize my hubby jumping across a desk and beating the crap out of the princinpal.  Hubby was furious with the school, why did they allow sports to be a bigger priority than the mental and physical welfare of this girl?

As we discussed this situation, far removed from me and my life, I must have made a face.  Hubby asked me what and I didn't answer.  Finally he said, "Ok?  Talk to me gorgeous, what are you thinking?"  I finally told him that I was angry, no furious, no just pissed off.  It wasn't that she wasn't protected, it was that I wasn't.  After I was attacked in highschool the first time, my parents were in the principals office nearly daily trying to get consequences for the boy who attacked me.  The school gave him a couple days in school suspension but left it at that.  Buttons were torn off my shirt, my bra straps were broken, but he said he couldn't help it, that's just the way he is and the school bought it.  Finally after 2 months, my mom went over the principal's head and within days this boy was expelled from the school.  It took 2 months of fighting with the school that a 2 day in school suspension was not appropriate consequences for sexual assault of this magnitude, of having to look my attacker in the eye everyday, of having the whole school talking about me, before someone finally protected me.

By the time the school acted, there were several vicious rumors going around about me, and also several other younger than me girls had asked if I had mentioned them when I talked to the administration.  They were relieved when I told them no, but had I known in advance that I was not the only person this boy attacked, I would have most certainly told about these other girls and would have pressed a lot harder to get justice.  I should have pressed legal charges.  These other girls should have pressed legal charges.  But we all felt so uncomfortable with how the school handled it that we didn't want to hear one more person question if it had really happened (afterall, he was a fairly nice and well liked boy).  My parents should have pressed charges, even though I was scared to.  They shouldn't have left the option to me.

I felt vulnerable.  I felt weak.  I felt unprotected.  I felt livid to read about another girl who should have been protected and wasn't.  That article pissed me off royally, but not just for this girl and the lack of action from the school, but also for me and the lack of action from my school.  My emotions are so haywire with it.  Hopefully a good night's sleep will bring clarity with the morning.

encouraging thoughts this week

It has been a pretty good week, but the reason it has been good has been simply remembering encouraging thoughts when I feel really low.  I've definitely had some low days.  So here are the 3 things that carried me through the rougher days and the days when food was more of an obstacle to me.

1.  Last week I told Carol that I wasn't making forward progress but I was also not falling fast as I had felt the week before.  She told me something interesting.  In the wonderful world of mental health, if you are not making backward steps, it is considered forward progress.  So in other words, just holding on is still considered going forward as long as I'm not going backwards!  That one saved my sanity, not gonna lie, a few times.

2. My husband has a favorite thing to say.  "It didn't get broken in a day, it won't get fixed in a day."  When the house is a complete disaster, he reminds me that it didn't get blown up in a day and I shouldn't expect to fix it in a day.  He reminded me 3 different times in my life that it took 9 months for my body to grow a baby, it will take more than a few days for my body to go back to being mine.  He reminds me when our check book is overdrawn or really tight that we didn't get into finiancial difficulty overnight and we won't get out overnight either.  You get the point, it wasn't broken in a day, it won't be fixed in a day.

3.  I have a wonderfully dear friend who went through a very very very dark time in her life.  Along the same lines as the one above, she made a series of poor choices for a long period of time to fall to her lowest point ever.  As she started to get her life on track, it still took years for her to be the amazing Godly woman that she is today.  In her 12 step program, her mentor used to tell her to just do the next right thing.  Sometimes I cannot look at an entire day, sometimes I just need to look at the next 5 minutes.  Sometimes I can't think about the future right things, sometimes I can only take the step directly in front of me and do the next right thing.  Eventually it gets easier and easier to do the next right thing because you have been getting lots of practice.

Those things have helped me tremendously this week.  Knowing that if I continue to just do the next right thing, that the problems that weren't caused in a day will likely not be fixed by days end and knowing that stabilty is forward progress makes, me feel like I'm getting it!  One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.  In the immortal words of Dory, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming........"

Georgie Porgie

Usually when I go to see Carol, she asks how my week has been going.  This morning, however, she asked, "So what's on your mind today?  What are you thinking about?"  I laughed.  It's random, REALLY random.  Her eyebrow raised and she told me to go for it.  Well, here is what I was thinking at that exact moment, Georgie Porgie was really a bully.

"Georgie Porgie as in Georgie Porgie puddin and pie??????"

Yep, the old nursery rhyme.  Georgie Porgie puddin and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry.  When the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away.

She laughed.  I laughed.  Then I asked why we teach our children nursery rhymes.  I mean really, Ring Around the Rosie is about the plague!  How bout Rock a Bye Baby where the cradle crashes to the ground?  Yeah, that makes kids feel safe.  Georgie Porgie kissed girls who didn't want to be kissed and then ran off when the kids his size came around.  This little piggy is sending pigs to the slaughter house (that is what it means for a pig to go to market). And London Bridge is really about a bridge that kept falling.  What morbid things to teach our kids and especially in the form of a cute little sing song rhyme!

All of that to say that on the way to therapy today I was thinking about silly nursery rhymes and got rather mad at Georgie Porgie.  I've been kissed and cried.  It is not really fun and yet kids sing that stupid rhyme all the time.  Of course I'm in my 30's before I ever really thought about what the words were saying, but still.......

I change the words to rhymes.  Like for instance,
Rock a bye, Baby
In the tree top
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall
And Mommy catches baby, blankie and all

I like Mommy catching the baby much better than the baby crashing to the ground.  And do you know what I learned about myself while talking about nursery rhymes?  I can choose to dwell on the good things not the bad.  My thoughts do not control me, I control my thoughts.  Hmmmm, suddenly I have a much greater understanding of why the Bible is clear about meditating and dwelling on the Word.  I can choose to believe God's truth and change my thought pattern when the icky thoughts come in or I can let the icky thoughts take control.  I think I'll think on the pure and good things and let God catch me when I'm falling, blankie and all.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Holy cow!  This morning hit a HUGE trigger for me.  It was as innocent as playing with my 3 year old but suddenly images flashed through my head that were less than pretty.  Suddenly I was no longer a mommy tickling my son, I was a teenage girl being attacked.  I know myself well enough to know that trigger days make eating hard.  So, today if you think of me, I would appreciate prayers for grace and strength to make it through the day.  Today I need prayers that I will rely on God's strength, not my own.  I need prayers that I will continue to find comfort in Him not in control and self destructive habits.  Today I need to know I am loved deeply, protected fiercly and safe.  Today I need God.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

generational curses?

Hmmm, I saw my mom today.  She and my dad just went to a Christian conference and are both flying high still.  She mentioned how the Lord had revealed some generational curses to her.  She didn't go into a lot of detail but mentioned that her grandmother had 18 children and must have felt overwhelmed and that her mom had 5 children and felt overwhelmed.  Then she totally skipped over it and mentioned how often Satan attempted my life (I was misdiagnosed with menengitis as a baby and my parents told that I would likely die, I fell out of a moving car when I was 5, I had mystery illnesses that required lots of specialists, blood draws, test and other uncomfortable things just to be told no one knows what was wrong with me).  She doesn't even know the half of it when it comes to reasons I should be dead and God's grace decided otherwise.  So all in all I left her house confused.  Don't all mothers of young children sometimes feel overwhelmed?  How is that a generational curse?  And what did that have to do with the conversation about me living when I should have died?  I'm confused.  Generational curses is something I don't fully understand but my mom talks about often.  On one hand I think that many people use that fact that alcohol, abuse, poor choices are what they grew up with so the only example they have ever known as an excuse to not try to make better choices in their own lives.  This part of my brain doesn't want to believe in things like generational curses.  I mean, really, there is no law saying that I have to parent how I was parented or that I have to make the mistakes I saw my parents make.  But then I get confused again because what about when Jesus was being crucified and the Jews said that this sin, this man's blood, would be on their heads and the heads of their children and children's children?  That seems like a generational curse.  Every time my mom talks about generational curses I leave confused and have a headache.  What is a generational curse for real?  Is being overwhelmed by motherhood really a generational curse?  If so then it has been passed down each generation since Eve!  I think that it is a direct result of the fall of man.  None of us will ever parent perfectly and we all get overwhelmed at times.  That is a consequence for Adam and Eve's sin.  And how is the fact that I am alive but shouldn't be a generational curse?  Huh?  Did my grandmother's and their mothers struggle with depression, and eating disorders?  I want to be open to answers that comes directly from the Word because in all my years, this is the one topic that always makes my head hurt trying to understand it.  Are my kids doomed to make my mistakes unless I pray through and "break the curses" in our lives?

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I have gained most of the weight back that I had lost.  My doctor says I'm at a healthy weight, stay there.  My husband and friends are noticing too and liking the results.  I wish I could feel as good about it as they all do.  I wish my body didn't punish my mind so.  There are days that my body image is torture for my mind.  I am maintaining, not great but not horrible either.  Carol is worried about my medication needing to be tweeked because I can't seem to get past this feeling of just being stable.  I have had a few up days or moments but yet I still feel like I am mearly maintaining not progressing.  My last meeting with her was hard.  I am supposed to be excercising to help my body produce the chemicals my brain needs to get over this hurdle but it is hard.  I just don't want to.  I don't want to move.  I am constantly tired, beyond tired, exhausted. I'm taking my meds, I'm sleeping more than enough and I am even eating but I just don't seem to be feeling better.  I guess when I put it in black and white like this, I see why Carol said it sounds like depression.  As I put my feelings on paper, I am suddenly aware that I think she may be right.  I am tired of feeling like I am on the brink of falling over the edge.  I want to feel normal but I barely remember what normal feels like.  The times I have felt normal have been great, just not often and not lasting.  I hate that I eat, I hate that sometimes I enjoy eating, I hate that my body lies to me and I hate that I always feel down.  I pretty much just hate most everything about me right now, that the skinny pants my friend gave me that were too big in the hospital are now getting a little tight, that I keep eating even though I don't like the results, that I am so fickle as to say in the same breath that I want to get better and yet don't want to eat.  I wish this were an easy road.  And yet I don't.  If I have never known pain, how would I know Jesus to be a comforter?  If I have never known struggles, how would I know the peace that surpasses all understanding?  If I have never been weak, how would I know that His strength is perfect when my strength is gone?  If I have never felt alone maybe I would never have compassion on others who feel alone.  If I have never hurt, how can I know Jesus as a healer?  If bad things had never happened to me, how could I know Jesus as my redeemer? If Jesus could face the cross to ransom me, can I not face my sorrows and learn to lean on Him and learn His character in the midst of the pain?
God, help me to trust you.  Help me to put my hope in you, not in myself.  I know I can't save myself, only you can.  I know I cannot pull myself out of the pit, only you can.  Redeem my life, use me for your glory, and help me to know you in a new way through the valleys that I walk through.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

mood swings

I have had a hard time over the last couple of weeks journaling or blogging.  My emotions have been so up and down and it is hard to express your feelings when you don't really know what they are.  My ups have been wonderful, I feel like me again.  I had forgotten how much I actually like the real me, when she shows up.  My downs have been equally extreme.  Ok, not dwelling on death but really hurting.  Socially, I feel very inept. For instance,  I was doing awesome until I got to MOPS and then had to fight through my emotions to stay calm, not panic and put on a smile.  I haven't called anyone, simply because I am not really sure what to say.  I am grateful for Psalms.  Reading from David is soothing to me.  It is soothing because David's emotional swings are as abrupt and extreme as my own.  I understand in one breath saying that God is faithful, wonderful, and always cares for me while in the next breath asking God where He went and how long I will hurt.  It is a book that shows me that I am human not crazy!  Well, I have to wrap it up to go see Carol.  Not looking forward to it today.  I choose to skip lunch.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm ok

I'm beyond exhausted and my bed is calling my name but since I have had a few people notice that I haven't blogged in a while and were asking if I'm ok, I thought I'd better give a quick update.  The day after my last post, my medicine started really working and I started feeling more like myself again.  I'm eating again and more and more meals are becoming enjoyable.  I haven't hated myself for eating since Red Lobster.  I am learning, rather slowly but still learning, to give myself the grace I would give to my kids.  That is a hard task!  I am looking at some relationships in my life that have been complicated and trying to figure out my feelings.  It is hard when I feel positive and negative emotions towards a person I love in the same breath.  It is a bit confusing at times and emotionally conflicting.  How can I love and resent someone to both extremes so much? Anyway, that will have to do for tonight.  To wrap it up, yeah I am ok and thanks for checking up on me my friends :) 


Monday, October 4, 2010


Leaving my kids unattended upstairs for too long could be a bad idea so I'll make it quick.  The past 2 days I feel like I am barely hanging on.  I feel like I am on the verge of being overwhelmed.  I have to blog or I'll end up sobbing over something stupid.  I am looking at the list of feelings that Carol gave me.  I feel a lot of them. At this second in time I can mark off
anxious                confused
defeated              dependent
depressed           discouraged
embarrassed        empty
exposed               fear
grief                     guilt
helpless                hopeless
humiliated             hurt
inadequate            insecure
invaded                isolated
lonely                   nervous            
overwhelmed        sad
scared                  shy
tired                     trapped
unsure                 vulnerable

Now I realize that some of these may duplicate in meaning but still, that is a lot of emotions at once.  No wonder it feels overwhelming.  I don't even know how to ask you to pray this time.  I hurt.  I need Jesus.  I need hope, peace, comfort.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

random act of kindness

It is amazing how such a small act of kindness can turn someone's entire outlook around.  It has been a sad day today.  I feel like I want to cry but no tears want to fill my eyes.  Yesterday was my oldest sons birthday.  He turned 8.  We celebrated his birthday and my mom's which was today at Red Lobster.  Endless shrimp + recovering anorexic = not a wonderful idea!  I ate more calories last night at dinner than I have probably eaten over the course of a week. It tasted pretty good actually and again I felt guilty afterwards for enjoying food.  I feel like I don't deserve to enjoy what I eat. I am very very very aware that my new medicine is working and making my appetite increase.  I have actually been able to eat quite a bit more since being home from the hospital.  I think it is completely obvious that I have been eating over the last 2 weeks.  Why am I the only one to notice?  My son had a pool party birthday party on Friday.  I felt weird because I could see the belly in my swimsuit.  Hubby said I look great and that it isn't just because he is supposed to say that.  Yet I felt awkward and inadequate. 

My house is a disaster.  I haven't been able to tackle my kitchen in a few days.  My kids haven't tackled their messes either.  It is overwhelming.  Tonight I had a mile long list of things to do and yet found myself watching football and playing my sons new DS instead.  Some kind soul dropped milk off on my front porch and relieved me of the duty of having to go buy milk for my family's morning.  That was the act of kindness to turn my attitude around.  The story is actually kinda funny.  Just before 9pm, my youngest woke up with a bad dream.  I was getting him back to bed and he was just dozing off when my my dog starts barking like crazy and then my phone rings "unavailable number".  I rejected the call, worried I would wake him.  I got out of his room just before my message alert went off.  The message was a voice I don't recognize, again from an unknown number, saying that there was something on my porch for me.  Ok, I don't live in the greatest neighborhood.  It is by no means the hood but it isn't the nicest either.  Just last week one of my neighbors was arrested for having thousands of stolen items in his house that he was reselling.  An annonymous call telling me to look outside on my porch kinda freaked me out!  So I called my in-laws who live next door.  I told them that I didn't want to go to the door without someone knowing so they came to their door also, just in case.  I opened the door and there was 2 gallons of milk on my porch!  My father-in-law laughed and said "Well, guess I don't need this." and showed me that he had come to the door with his gun in hand, just in case. 

So whoever did that both scared me to death and blessed the socks off of me!  You changed my entire perspective today.  This morning I was wondering how God plans to use me.  I was wondering if my life was really in His hand.  I was hurting and tired.  This evening, He showed me, yet again, that He cares for even my smallest needs.  Getting milk wasn't a matter of not having money for it (though we have been in that position before), it was a matter of not wanting to leave my house.  I was enjoying watching the Giants/Bears game and loving the defensive football that was being played.  And yet, God still took care of me.  Isn't it funny that all it takes sometimes is something as simple as a couple of gallons of milk from an annonymous angel to remind me that God does indeed have a plan and purpose for my life, that He really does love me, and that He knows every need I have?!?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

why does the mirror lie?

I asked my best friend yesterday if I had really lost that much weight. She asked what I meant.  People are noticing.  Friends have stopped me to tell me that I'm looking good.  People who know nothing of my struggle are saying how much weight I have lost.  The front desk lady at my children's school flat out asked me if I was anorexic and if that is why the kids missed 4 days of school (when I was in the hospital).  A friend told me the other day that I had lost alot in my legs, to which I responded, "Well, that's debatable." My in-laws joke that when I stand sideways they can't see me and try to give me seconds on dessert when I'm over there.  My husband says that while he still thinks I am beautiful, this thin is not his favorite look on me.  And then I look in the mirror.  Everyone around me seems to see the pounds I have dropped but the mirror does not.  I have gained a couple of pounds back and my stretch marks are no longer loosely hanging.  My ribs are not nearly as prominant as they were a month ago.  So why is everyone seeing that I have lost weight?  Or more importantly, why am I not seeing it?  My friend wisely told me that the mirror is lying to me.  And now I want to know why.  Why does the mirror lie to me?  Why do I see that my thighs are not fit and my belly has a little pooch?  Why can't I see what everyone around me sees?  And why do I hold only myself to this standard?  I don't look at my friends and see their imperfections, why do I see mine in such exaggerated detail?

I was challenged with this, stop looking at the mirror for beauty and truth because the mirror can give you neither.  Look in the word for beauty and truth, it is found only there.  She also suggested I re-read Proverbs 31 and examine God's definition of beauty. 

Proverbs 31:10-30 (Amplified Bible)

10A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman--who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.

11The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.

12She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.

13She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it].

14She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household's food from a far [country].

15She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.

16She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.

17She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.

18She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].

19She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

20She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].

21She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet.

22She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made.

23Her husband is known in the [city's] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

24She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service].

25Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!

26She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].

27She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.

28Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying],

29Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.

30Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!

So that is how God defines beauty?  Not once in those verses is physical appearance mentioned. Her ability to care for her family and those around her make her beautiful.  Her husband trusts and loves her and that makes her beautiful.  Her strength is beauty.  Her desire for the Lord is beauty.  She is beautiful and has not once looked in a mirror.  Maybe my friend is right, maybe I need to not look in the mirror either.  If I desire to see true beauty, it will only be in the eyes of my King, my Savior, my Jesus.  Only He can show me how He defines beauty.  And really, when all is said and done, only His definition of beauty matters.

Lord, today help me to see myself through your eyes.  Help me to redefine beauty in my life to mean what you intended it to mean not what the mirror has distorted it to mean.

Parting thought, Psalm 45:11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Carol, my new therapist, gives me homework.  I don't really like that.  I feel antsy when I talk to her but it is a good kind of antsy.  Remember as a kid waking up with your legs aching and your mom gently rubbing them and telling you that it is just growing pains and you will feel better when your body has grown.  Well, that is exactly how Carol makes me feel, emotionally.  I can feel the stretch and growth but it is uncomfortable as well.  Last week she gave me a list of basic assertive rights and a list of cognitive distortions and told me to go home and mark the ones I struggle with.  There are 11 basic assertive rights and of those 11, I marked 7.  Here's the list (and the ones I marked):

1. right to act in ways that promote your dignity and self-respect as long as others rights are not violated in the proces

2.  The right to be treated with respect.

3. The right to say no and not feel guilty.

4. The right to experience and express your feelings.

5. The right to take time to slow down and think. 

6. The right to change your mind.

7. The right to ask for what you want.

8. The right to do less than you are humanly cabable of doing.

9. The right to ask for information.

10. The right to make mistakes.

11. The right to feel good about yourself.

I was amazed looking through the list how much of that rings true to me.  I don't let myself experience or express my feelings so it is often hard to identify them.  Today she gave me a list of feelings.  There are over 100 things on this list and it is so much more than happy, sad, angry.  Actually she said I cannot use frustrated as a feeling because it is overused and several of the other feelings on the page cause frustration, and I cannot use angry as a feeling because angry is a symptom not a feeling. For instance, I feel angry because I feel betrayed, because I feel attacked, because I feel pressured, because I feel invalidated etc.  Anger is a byproduct of another emotion.  I am so not going to lie, the list is overwhelming to me!  I didn't know there even were this many feelings and yet as I read the list, much of it rings true and I either feel now or have felt.  Words like appreciated, afraid, blamed, cautious, concerned, confident, confused, dependent, devalued, disregarded, empty, encouraged, excited, exposed, important, inadequate, invaded, isolated, justified, minimized, nurtured, overwhelmed, protective, proud, secure, shocked, sure, trapped, used, violated, wanted, weak and worried are all on the list.  I like that the list of feelings is inclusive of good and bad feelings.  I relate with both the good and the bad feelings on a very personal level.

Speaking of bad emotions, today has been a day of feeling very conflicted about food.  My hubby took me on a breakfast date and I thouroughly enjoyed it.  I ate more than I have in a while and I actually enjoyed the food.  That is where I feel conflicted.  I feel guilty that I enjoyed eating.  While it sounds absurd, that is how I feel.  This is going to be a long road.

Monday, September 27, 2010

things I've learned

I am so very tired of dreaming.  On one hand, I have stopped dreaming about horrifying things.  On the other hand, I have had dreams every night about the hospital.  Usually the dreams are harmless enough, going through a group therapy session or doing puzzles and laughing at stupid soap opera lines with my fellow prisoners, uh, I mean patients.  One night the dream was that we had my family meeting (a pre-requisite for discharge) with hubby, the BHA (behavioral health advocate) escorted him back downstairs while I got my things together, and then they informed me my paper work was not complete and I wasn't allowed to leave after all.  In my dream, hubby was waiting downstairs and I had no way to get ahold of him to tell him they weren't letting me leave after all.  I've had dreams that other patients are confiding in me stories of their lives.  I always wake up from those praying for the people I dreamed about.  Maybe I was there for a reason outside of myself afterall?  Any way around it, I am so tired of dreaming about being in the hospital!  Hubby says it would be weird if I didn't dream about it, afterall, it was a fairly traumatic experience. 

During my stay there I learned some things about myself.  I learned am passive and sometimes passive aggressive in my communication.  I learned that I don't feel secure enough to actually say what I need when I need it.  I realized that there are more body image issues than I have ever cared to admit to myself in this battle.  I am fighting for more than control.    I discovered, yet again, how a kind word and a smile can instantly change someone's outlook.  Thanks to the two people who gave me a kind word, a smile and someone to hang out with.  I was terrified when they left and I still had two days to go.  I realized that life has taken a toll on all of us, just some of us handle it less healthily than others.  I was surrounded by extremely hurt people.  It gave me perspective.  What if J actually had killed himself?  Who would have told me on my first day that I had a phone message and asked me to sit with them at lunch?  In the short time I was around these people I wondered how my life would have been lacking if I had never met them.  They were strangers and I felt that way, how much more I would feel it for a friend, how much more it would have been felt for me. 

Perspective is a good thing.  I am currently trying to switch mine.  This week the news came out that a player on the Denver Broncos committed suicide.  That has been difficult news for me.  Not because he is a ball player, not because I know him, not because he lived here in Denver, but because it could have been me that the story was about.  My brother in law was talking about this yesterday at dinner.  He said he didn't understand how someone could get so wrapped up in football that if the Broncos don't want you then you are worthless as a person and therefore kill yourself.  He said true words, that it is a shame that this player didn't know his worth is from being a creation of the Almighty God, not in how he acheived in sports.  True as the words were, they hurt me.  I wanted to pull into my safe wall and not talk, actually I did do that.  I was hurt simply because I suddenly felt like a freak because I have had suicidal thoughts.  I understand hurting so badly that everything seems hopeless.  I understand hurting so badly that I cannot see a way out.  I understand hurting so badly that I just want to die and never have to face life again.  I understand what it is to question your worth, to question God's love and to question if God is really big enough and willing enough to heal you.  The news hurt me.  The news sobered me.  I can't handle the news right now......

I also cannot handle CSI right now, or at least the episode that was on the other day.  It involved a patient at a mental health facility and also sexual impropriety.  I had to leave the room.  It was more than I could deal with.  I made delicious cookies instead while hubby watched the episode.  He's not insensitive, he asked and I said it was fine but that I couldn't watch anymore of it.  I am tired.  I am tired of life taking such a toll on me and on all of my loved ones.  I am tired of hurting.  I am tired of seeing those I love hurt.  I long for the day when all wrongs will be righted.  I long for the day when basking in His glorious presence isn't something I have to work for, but rather the ultimate peace and glory.  I long for the day when worship is more than a choice, a struggle through pain, but when worship easily and freely flows from every fiber of my being.  I long for the day when there is no more eating disorders, no more murders, no more sexual abuse, no more tears, no more gossip, no more bigotry, no more hurts.  Until that day, I will, having done all else, stand firm in my faith.  I know that He will bring beauty from my brokenness.  I know that He will continue and finish the good work He has begun in me.  And most of all, I know He is faithful, kind and good.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

new therapist

I have found my new therapist!!!!!!!!  How did I find her?  Well, the hospital gave me a list of therapist who are in network with my insurance and who specialized in eating disorders.  It was over 2 pages long.  Talk about overwhelming!  I started by crossing off the ones I wasn't willing to go to because of distance or not being familiar with the area.  I put a check mark by the ones I was willing to drive to.  I then prayed over my list and asked that God would lead me to the person I was supposed to see and then started at the top.  I left messages for 2 other therapist before getting ahold of Carol.  She answered her phone and was available in the time frame that was required of me in order to be discharged from the hospital.  Yesterday I went to see her.  You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their bookshelf.  I absolutely love when a doctor has a bookshelf in their office, in a matter of minutes you are able to tell if you are going to like them.  Her bookshelf contained many Christian books that I have either read or heard good things about.  I was encouraged.  Then we started talking.  Carol is grandmotherly.  She has a comforting presence that makes me feel safe.  In our talking she says, "I see you have put on your paperwork that you go to a Christian church.  I'm guessing that means that you won't be offended if I occasionally give you Bible verses?"  As we were finishing up and looking to schedule follow up meetings, I told her Fridays are almost never good for me because I have MOPS.  She smiled and said, "I love MOPS!  I used to be a MOPS mentor mom, it is a wonderful ministry!"  So not only did I feel an instant connection with her, I feel safe, I feel like she can truly help me work through this, and we share a common belief system.  God is so good to me!  He answered my prayer for a good therapist and helped me to find her in a very random way that only He can take the glory for.

Even THERE your hand will guide me

The theme verse for MOPS this year is Ps 139:10 "even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."  While in the hospital, feeling completely overwhelmed, feeling totally out of control, this verse kept coming in my mind and brought me such comfort.  I couldn't remember where it was found or any other parts of the verse, I could only remember "even THERE your hand will guide me."  I knew then that even there, there at the mental hospital, hurting, angry, and confused, God was with me.  Even in the midst of arguably one of the hardest weeks of my adult life, God was holding me fast.  Now I am home and reading the context of the verse.  It is amazing!
Psalm 139:7-10
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

There is no where I have been or will ever go that Christ is not there holding me fast.  In the midst of my panic attacks about food, He is there.  In the midst of my nightmares, He is there.  In my desire for control and perfection, He is there.  In my sin of trying to take His place as God in my own life, He is still there.  On the Beauty Will Rise album that I mentioned in an earlier post there is a song called Jesus Will Meet You There. (turn the volume down on my playlist if you click the link to hear the song or else you will be hearing two songs at once!) I love, love, LOVE the lyrics, they are so hopeful. 

When you think you've hit the bottom
and the bottom gives way
and you fall into a darkness
no words can explain
You don't know how you'll make it out alive
Jesus will meet you there

And when the doctor says,
"I'm sorry, we don't know what else to do"
And you're looking at your family
wondering how they'll make it through
whatever road this life takes you down
Jesus will meet you there

He knows the way to wherever you are
He knows the way to the depths of your heart
He knows the way 'cause He's already been where you're going
Jesus will meet you there

When the jury says guilty
and the prison doors close
the one you love says nothing
but just packs up and goes
the sunlight comes and your world's still dark
Jesus will meet you there

When you failed again
and all the second chances have been used
and the heavy weight of guilt and shame
is crushing down on you
and all you have is one last cry for help
Jesus will meet you there

He knows the way to wherever you are
He knows the way to the depths of your heart
He knows the way 'cause He's already been where you're going

When you realize the dreams you've had
for your child won't come true
and when the phone rings
in the middle of the night with tragic news
whatever valley you must walk through
Jesus will meet you there

So today I will find hope in the fact that even in the midst of my chaos, His right hand will hold me fast.  Today I pray that whatever valley you walk through, whether it is an eating disorder, the loss of a job, finiancial difficulty, illness, grief, depression, anger, disappointment with God, whatever it is, that you will know the love of Jesus and remember that He will meet you where you are and He will never let you go.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

rough day with encouraging spots

It has been a rough day.  I still don't feel like I'm totally adjusted to the new medicine that they put me on in the hospital.  Today was the first day I didn't wake up dizzy since I started it.  I still felt nervous and jittery all day though.  If people with ADD feel regularly like I feel on this medicine, no wonder they can't sit still in a classroom!  I've had a very down day.  It is not a day that the retaining wall on the highway looks appealing, stop worrying!  I started the day a little sad, no reason in particular, just sad.  Then I got anxious and nervous and jittery a little later.  My kids have had massive tudes today and my house is suddenly a disaster again in just a few short hours.  I feel a bit overwhelmed by it all.  Homework tonight took its toll on all of us.  I made my kindergartener take a "brain break" because I was getting frustrated with the homework and with him and with my second grader. 

Today I saw my regular doctor.  I love my doctor!  She started out the conversation with, "How are you?  I have been so worried about you!"  She also spent 45 minutes with me.  What doctor does that anymore?  She is cutting the dose of the med that makes me feel so jittery in half.  I'm pleased about that.  She told me not to take it tonight at all and then start tomorrow night on the half dose.  Hopefully that will help with the nervous energy, tiredness, and anxiety.  She is also a Christian and gave me some great Christian resources on depression.  She also printed out an article about low valleys for me.  I loved the way it started, with an African proverb, "Smooth waters do not make skilled sailors."  I really like that comment.  How do I get good at navigating life if I never experience storms?  It is looking rather stormy for me right now.  Fortunately though, clouds never stay in the same place and eventually the sun will shine brightly again. 

A friend of mine told me that the new Steven Curtis Chapman album, Beauty Will Rise, is amazing.  I checked it out from the library and am now convinced I have to buy it.  For those of you who don't know, his young daughter was run over last year in a tragic accident and died.  The entire cd is songs about trusting God through the pain.  The lyrics have so ministered to me lately.  The songs are expressing God's faithfulness, His sovreignty, and His goodness, all while still struggling with questions like how could a God so good create a world with so much pain.  It really hits home right now and has taken the place of Casting Crowns as my new favorite cd.

While in the hospital, when my pastor visited me, he read to me from Romans 8.  After he left, I read the entire chapter on my own.  The chapter starts with "therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  The verses he read to me were later in the chapter but that verse stopped me dead in my tracks and made me cry.  I was feeling so guilty over the thoughts that had brought me to the hospital in the first place.  As I'm sure you have probably experienced as well, it is difficult to come to God when you feel guilty.  Yet I felt the Lord telling me that He still loves me and does not condemn me and I can come to Him without guilt.  It is a very powerful chapter.

Today I read Romans 7.  It is there that Paul talks about the law of sin at work in us because we do not behave as we ought or how we desire but continue to sin.  Yep, that is me all right.  Though I am still down, I have found encouragement in the word, specifically in Romans right now.  Thank God that He doesn't expect me to clean up before I come to Him!  Thank God that He does the clean up in my heart and meets me where I am!  Thank God that He is faithful even when I am not.  I am thankful for words like "I believe but Lord help my unbelief."  I am thankful to know that I am neither the first nor the last person to have hurts in my life and that He is willing to bear my burdens.

Now, to get over the guilt I feel when I eat and to realize I am not over indulging by allowing food in my life again........

Monday, September 20, 2010


I've been home 5 days and I still feel like I am adjusting to life as normal.  Hubby had taken off work through Saturday so my first 2 days home, he was here with me.  That was a huge relief to have him here.  His boss has been so gracious through all of this.  His boss knows that I have been having food issues and as far as he knows, I spent days in the hospital due to not eating.  BUT  boss man J told everyone else that hubby got the flu and then the rest of the family got the flu.  No one but boss man J knows that I have been struggling with anorexia and boss man J found a convincing story to tell the rest of the team so that they don't need to know anything more than that hubby wasn't at work all last week.  I am grateful for that.

I had MOPS on Friday.  I am on the leadership team and it was our 1st meeting.  I felt rather out of place because I didn't know who knew what until after the meeting.  I am once again amazed at the level of support and love I have received. 

While in the hospital, my pastor came to visit twice.  The first time his wife came with him and the second time she stayed home with their kids and he came alone.  It was such a comfort and ministry to me to see a friendly face, to know I am not alone in my battle, and to know I am loved in spite of my flaws. 

The hospital was an interesting experience.  Although anorexia was the root cause of why I was at the hospital, no one really acknowledged that I wasn't eating.  Every day I was asked if I had had any panic/anxiety, any suicidal "idealations", and if I had had a bowel movement.  The only thing that was different for me than for anyone else there was that I was never weighed.  Other than that, only the suicidal thoughts were addressed.  I was a bit frustrated by that because the ideas of running my car off the road were really just a by-product of not eating or sleeping properly.  To fix one don't you have to acknowledge the other?

In order to be released from the hospital, I was required to have both a psyciatrist and therapist appointment within 7-10 days of release.  Today was my psyciatrist appointment.  I liked her a lot.  Unfortunately though, I have to go back to see my regular doctor tomorrow for medication management because this woman does not do medication management.  I was told today that I am too smart for my own good and that I have an unbelievably strong will power.  In other words, I know how to find loopholes, how to avoid painful issues, how to "trick" my body into thinking it is receiving more calories than it is, and I'm stubborn enough to have lived my life without seeking help and therefore never have had an actual diagnosis (until last week) of depression, anorexia, or PTSD.  I now have major depressive disorder, PTSD, eating disorder, and chronic mental illness on my permanent medical record.  That is a little overwhelming.  My previous highschool suicide attempts have also been reported on my medical chart as well.  Ok, a lot overwhelming.

I was a little surprised by the behavioral health center (a.k.a the mental hospital!).  I expected something quite different.  Everyone on my unit was a pretty normal but very hurt person.  I was saddened to see how many of us were struggling with past sexual abuse.  In a room of 11 people, 6 of us had been victim to some type of sexual molestation/abuse/assault.  One woman there was 51 and carrying a fair amount of extra weight.  One evening she said to me, "This is what self hate looks like, when you consume a weeks worth of calories in a day."  I lifted my shirt to reveal my ribs and said, "It also looks like this, consuming a days worth of calories in a week."  I realized as I said it that we each had our own way of coping with pain.  One man acted out sexually.  One woman had a rather obvious suicidal attempt scar running across her neck.  One girl picked and cut her skin.  I starve myself.  One man couldn't control his rage in the outside world.  One woman was an alcoholic in because of a DUI.  One man was obsessively jealous.  One man had severe anxiety attacks.  We were all hurt.  We all had issues in our lives that had landed us in the mental hospital.  We all had different ways of coping with the pain, all unhealthy ways which is why we were all there to begin with.  Very few of us had hope.  I am so grateful for the hope that I have in Christ Jesus.  Last week I was exposed to what life without hope looks like and it is not pretty.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

72 hrs (or a rough 5 days)

Again, I am limited on time but I have several people wondering and worrying so I will try to do a quick update.  Last week I started trying to throw up, in addition to not eating.  I have been blessed/cursed with the inability to throw up.  Believe me, I tried.  When I was trying to throw up, I realized that I had lost control of my control. Restricting food is my way to control things, but as I felt compelled to throw up, I realized that I no longer had control.  I had lost control of my control and it was now controlling me.  That absolutely terrified me.  Saturday late afternoon, I had just finished up at a leadership retreat and was driving aimlessly.  I got out 2 hrs earlier than I had told my family and I was just driving to drive.  I was wanting to run away and hide.  As I was on the highway I started thinking how unfair it is to my family to be watching me go through this.  I have lost so much weight and continue to drop.  I am slowly killing my body, and they are watching me die.  It then occured to me that if I ran the car off the road, they wouldn't have to watch me die.  I continued on the highway fantasizing about running the car into the retaining wall for about 20 minutes before I finally pulled off and parked the car. 

I contacted my best friend to take care of my kids, called my hubby and told him I was not ok and that my friend was on her way to pick up our kids.  I made it home with no more thoughts of intentionally running the car off the road but praying for another car to hit me on the way home.  Hubby took me out for a while.  It was a nice distraction.  He also made me promise to tell my friend the real reason she had the kids overnight.  Sunday I went to pick up the kids and told her of my Saturday.  She is a nurse.  She said that I needed to go away for 3 days.  I didn't understand what she meant and laughed asking how I was going to get away for 3 days.  She said the hospital.  I was freaked out and a little annoyed that she would even say that.  She called my hubby and explained, then she called my doctor's office to see which hospital they wanted me to go to.  Doctor said the nearby hospital where my younger two sons were born and hubby drove me there.  I was put on 72 hr hold.

I have friends who know that 72 hr hold means suicide attempt or threat and so consequently, I have had several people worried about me.  I didn't attempt suicide.  I didn't even feel like the world would be better without me or any of those things.  In my mind it was like being told you have terminal cancer and refusing radiation because you know it won't improve your chances of survival.  I felt like, I am dying slowly anyway, does it matter if things go quickly in an "accident" instead of my family watching me die.  The e.r. that I was at transferred me to a behavioral health center.  I was on lock down without my family, phone or any means of communication from early Monday morning till Thurs afternoon.  It was one of the hardest weeks of my life.  My kids weren't allowed to visit until Wednesday evening and then it was only for 30 min and it had to be out in the hall with a nurse overseeing.  It was a difficult and draining week for all of us. 

I am home now. I am doing better than last week though obviously not 100% yet.  I have started a new medication that will increase my appetite but it makes me feel very tired also.  I have follow up appointments this coming week.  Because I was hospitalized, my insurance now requires that my follow up be with in-network therapists.  My family is waiting for me to go out right now so I need to wrap it up.  I just wanted to update because several people who knew about the 72 hr hold thought that I had actually tried to kill myself and I wanted everyone to know I am ok. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010


for the many of you who have been worried and praying for me, I am updating to say I am home!  I truely have only a moment so I will save the story for later.  Thank you for your prayers and support and for loving me even when I don't deserve to be loved.  It has been an incredibly long week and I am simply happy to be home and reunited with my family.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

on counselor search, sleep and prayer updates...

I have a coffee in hand and a to do list half a mile long that must be finished before I leave the house in the morning, and yet, where do I find myself longing to be?  Journaling.  I am however too tired to actually journal so the next best thing is blogging.

I am having a hard time finding a Christian counselor who will accept my insurance.  Most are "out of network" which would mean I'd have to fulfill a $3500 deductable before insurance even begins to kick in.  At around $100/visit, I'd be going weekly for over half the year before my insurance would help me out!!!!!!!  I have been looking into my referrals.  I contacted the first one, she doesn't accept my insurance and though she does work on a sliding scale, she is allowed only a certain number of low pay patients at a time and is currently full. She referred me to someone else who used to work in an eating disorder center.  This woman's bio is amazing!  She seemed like a good fit.  She is out of network though.  She is willing to do a sliding scale but the amount I have been paying is $20/visit and she can't go that low.  I really don't see us being able to do more than that, so I am once again at square one.  One the upside, I still have 3 more referrals to check into before I'm completely back at the beginning.

I have been allowing (more like forcing) myself to drink more milk.  When my bones were aching sooooo badly, and then my bone scan came back ok, I decided to experiment with adding more calcium.  I have to force myself to think of how badly my bones were hurting to keep myself from adding up the calories and cutting back the milk again.  It is helping immensely.  I still sometimes hurt but not nearly to the extent that I was. 

I have been eating a little bit more.  Yesterday was, in my mind, a total binge day.  I didn't realize until I started telling a friend that I felt that way, that I still had significantly less than a normal person yesterday! But it was significantly more than what I have been doing though, so I guess that is good.

I had a dream last night and the night before that kinda bothered me.  I have to be careful of how I word the details because someone I know was in the dream.  I had a friend who I always had thought of as a protector.  He once made quite a big verbal show about something that involved protecting me.  The problem lies in that I have recently realized that what my heart told me then, that it was a lot of words with no punch, all bark and no bite, is true.  In my dream abusive boyfriend had really beat me up (in reality he only hit my legs so no one would see the marks) and I had bruises everywhere.  I saw this friend and he asked me what had happened.  I told him abusive boy had beat me up.  He acted really upset by this news.  His eyes bugged out and he swore he was going to make sure things were "squared up" and that I would never be hurt again.  Then I saw him hanging out, drinking, joking and bowling with abusive boy.  He pretended he didn't see me.  The next time abusive boy beat me up, this "friend" didn't even acknowledge it until I confided in him that the hitting was getting much worse and I was scared.  He accused me of lying about the abuse and then said it really wasn't as bad as I was making it out to be and that the abuser was actually a good guy at heart and probably didn't mean to hurt me.  I stared in shock and disbelief and then as I was feeling the bruises on my face, I woke up.

I did leave out a bit of that dream and the story that went with it.  The whole dream really disturbed me.  Partly because I was dreaming about being hit again, and worse than it actually was when I was in the situation.  But a big part of it was expecting to be protected and instead being betrayed.  I hated feeling like, and knowing there is some amount of truth in it, that someone who I always thought would protect me to the end, be there for me forever and stand up for the truth, was actually just saying words to make me feel better.  I want to be protected.  I seriously wish hubby had been in that dream, I would have felt protected!

So as for prayer needs, still that I would have a desire to let go.  I am very aware of the prayers I have been covered with; though I'm not fully "there" yet, I can feel more desire to be there.  Please pray that I find a Christian counselor quickly who I can afford. Pray that the Lord will cover over and protect my sleep.  I find that dreams for me are often ugly and sometimes unbearable.  When dreams come to me, they usually plague me with horrifyingly vivid pictures that make me despise sleep.  As I get less sleep, or more troubled sleep, the cycle of not eating ALWAYS gets easier.  And one last thing, pray for strength and grace for hubby and kids as they have to live with this and it is affecting them as well as me.  It may be affecting them even more than me, I know it is much harder for me personally to watch someone I love struggle, especially when I can't help them.

Thanks for reading my babbling and for all the prayers and encouragement I have received.  I have been overwhelmed with support and love from so many people.  I am honestly shocked (in a good way!) that I have received support and not any condemnation!  Thanks friends for being the body of Christ and allowing His arms to heal instead of wound deeper. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I battle with myself as to how much I should share and how much I should keep private.  On one hand, I want people to understand the thoughts behind some of the actions of someone going through this.  On the other hand, I never want to say so much that my words cause someone else to relapse or are a "challenge" to someone going through it.  I guess right now I'm just going to spill and then preview and edit before posting.

After carrying three children inside of me, my body responds much much differently to not eating than it used to.  Like for instance, when I was younger I just got skinnier and skinnier.  Now however, as I lose weight, my skin seems to be hanging off of me.  My stretch marks now look funny because they are now loosely hanging instead of stretched across my stomach and thighs. 

My hair is falling out.  Every time I brush my hair, I end up having to clean out my brush.  So much is coming out on my brush and it is happening several times a day.  My hair is so thick that others probably don't notice.  My husband has seen it but I am sure he hasn't yet associated it with anorexia.  He hasn't said anything and he would if he thought it was something to be concerned about.

Once upon a time I could wear my husbands pajama bottoms and tie them and wear them just baggy.  Tonight I put them on and pulled the strings as tight as they go and they are still in danger of falling off.

According to the Wii fit, I have dropped below the weight I held when we got married and have even dropped below my late high school years.  Probably not good, huh?  Of course, I don't believe the scale on the Wii is correctly collaborated so on a real scale it is probably not that bad.

My mother in law lightly smacked me with a paper the other day and told me I had lost too much weight and she was worried about me.  I played it off.  I told her it wasn't that much and that I had gained some of it back.  She gave me the "look". She informed me that I was going to get my resistance down and then get sick and the boys need me to be able to take care of them.  Nothing she said was incorrect, or said in a mean way, yet still, I was pretty upset about the conversation.  I asked hubby why it bothered me soooooo much to hear it from his mom.  His thought is that no matter how much a wife and MIL like each other, there will always feel like there is some minor (or in some cases major) competition.  The two women who love him more than any other, the one who carried him in her body and birthed and reared him and the woman who has pledged her life to him and has carried his children in her body, will always feel to some extent a bit of competition as to who loves him more.  Makes sense, but I don't think it is entirely that.

I think some of it lies in that his mom is Pollyanna.  No matter how bad things get, she won't acknowledge the bad (or if she does it is extremely short lived) and is always trying to make everything better.  She grew up much with a tough it out background and that is what she does.  She just sucks it up and continues her life.  I know it isn't reality, but I feel like I am almost being told to put on my big girl panties and get over it.  I know she is just concerned and I know that she loves me.  I still feel weird about her noticing though.  She has been scrutinizing my dinner plate at family dinner for the past few weeks.  I am very aware of her watching even on the occasions that she doesn't say anything.

My parents however, are as oblivious as ever.  If they suspect or know or have noticed anything, they haven't mentioned it.  And let's be honest, I love my parents to death, but they aren't known for keeping their opinions to themselves.

Ok, I know I have more to say but  I am so very exhausted that I want to fall asleep here on the keyboard.  Sorry if I gave TMI or if I have typos, I'm just too very tired to go over and edit.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

misplaced guilt

Misplaced as it is, I have a very extreme case of guilt right now.  The last couple of days have been easier to eat.  This morning I took my 3 year old to our family's traditional first day of preschool breakfast.  I then, for lunch, proceeded to cave to my beyond extreme craving for chocolate and ate a couple of peanut butter cups.  Tonight I had dinner with my family.  I feel so sick to my stomach and have for most of the day.  I also feel so very out of control.  It seems crazy to say that.  Here I have been saying that I want to get better but then when I make steps to try to achieve my goal, I feel like I'm spiraling out of control and I'm guilt ridden.

I'm sure part of the guilt lies in the fact that thanks to hormones, I have had such an obscene craving for chocolate.  I have caved a couple of times because this is almost equivalent to pregnancy cravings.  It is the kind of craving that is so strong that it makes you feel almost like you will get sick if you don't indulge it.  I cried when my husband brought home chocolate donuts.  They looked so good.  I only had a part of one, just less than half.  I am feeling so very conflicted about food.  On one hand, I have a desire to eat and to be healthy.  On the other hand I despise food and that we are dependent on it.  If I could live a happy, healthy life that never included another meal, I would do it! 

Yesterday was a 10, I desperately wanted to get better at all costs.  Today is a 4, I kinda want to get better but not really too much.  I have started exercising quite a bit more as well.  I am terrified to go back to the body I had.  Sounds stupid, especially if you know me, but it is indeed how I feel. 

So all of that said, I need to go and immerse myself in the truth of the Word.  If I don't the lie will most definitely win this time!  The lies are pouring through my brain almost faster than I can sort through them right now.  Pray for the truth to saturate me even more than the lies have.

Oh, completely random but don't want to forget, my bone scan came back ok.  There is no visable bone mass loss.  Several people have asked so I wanted to remember to update that.

Monday, August 30, 2010

how you can pray

So, last post for today.  Many of you have asked how to help, how to pray.  In my counseling session last week, I came across an area you could pray for me in.  My therapist asked me on a scale of 1-10 (one being not at all and 10 being I'd do anything to get there) how much do I want to get better.  I told her it depends on the day.  There are days that I hate what I'm doing to myself and know that my family deserves better than this and I want desperately to get better.  Then there are days when I don't care if I ever get better.  She asked me about my relationship with food and how food makes me feel.

Here's my answer to that question.  When food is in my mouth, it tastes good.  By the time I have swallowed, it has a horrible taste. I feel absurdly sick when I am done eating and wish I was one of those people who could throw up.  Feeling empty makes me feel empowered and euphoric.  I have never used drugs, but the way I feel is definitely chemical, and what I would guess being high is like.  (Hungry is different than empty.  When I feel hungry, I feel weak.)

She asked if anything else gave me those feelings.  I realized that while some things do make me feel empowered, nothing is as strong of a feeling as starving myself.  She asked me if I'm willing to give up that feeling then.  Here's my answer and where you can pray for me, I'm willing to be willing.  I am not there yet.  I don't know how to give up those feelings but I want to have a desire to.  I guess that is a start, right?  You can pray for me to want to give up the feelings of euphoria and empowerment that starving gives me.

my therapist

I am not entirely crazy about my new therapist. She is not a Christian nor does she have much understanding of Christianity. In our first session she asked me if I follow a faith. I said yes and then proceeded to tell her that I do not believe we can control God with our obedience. If I give enough, go to every church function, pray hard enough and read my Bible every day, I don't believe that means that God is going to give me everything I ask for. *side note- I have said often that God is more concerned with our eternal soul than our temporal comfort. Needless to say, life won't always be comfortable here on earth. That doesn't take away from God's goodness. His goodness is shown in that He is constantly refining us and preparing us for the day when we with be in constant and complete companionship with him.* I told her if I can control God with my actions and obedience, then He is small enough to fit in my box and if He is small enough to fit in my box, He isn't big enough to be God. She looked at me and smiled and I felt like the "yes, dear" pat on the head.

Then last week, she gave me a great analogy. Imagine your favorite pair of jeans, the ones that the moment you put them on, they remember your curves and feel like the most comfortable jeans you have ever put on. One day you buy a new pair of jeans. No matter if you buy the same brand and size, no matter if you spend hundreds of dollars, the jeans need breaking in and are still a bit stiff and uncomfortable. Eventually as you wash the jeans several times and continue to wear them, they become your favorite jeans and you wouldn't trade them for anything. New habits are the same. At first they are uncomfortable but as you continue to "wear" them and "wash" them, over time they become your new favorite habits. I smiled and told her about my old youth pastor who used to say, right choices bring right feelings. Sounded pretty similar to me. If you continue to make right choices even when it doesn't feel like what you want to do, eventually you will feel like doing the right thing.
My therapist was defensive at this. She said she doesn't believe that there is only one right way and she would probably change the saying to "healthy choices bring healthy feelings". Well she may not believe in absolute rights and wrongs but how can you say that what I've done to my body is right?????? It seems so glaringly obvious that I am making WRONG choices right now!

I am grateful for the referrals from friends as I search for a new counselor, one who is a Christian!  I need someone who will point me back to the loving arms of Christ.  There is not healing to be found anywhere else.  Healing is not within me, it's within Him and Him alone.  So I've cancelled my appointment for this week and am following leads given to me from godly sources.  I know that He will direct me to the person He has for me.

angel of light

 I have found that Satan's tricks are not new.  When he tempted Eve in the garden, he simply said, "Did God really say THAT?"  When he tempted Jesus he used scripture.  He sounds good when he starts, but you don't get the whole picture.  Like for instance, I found myself one day thinking about in Proverbs how often it is mentioned that the Lord hates lying lips.  I suddenly thought, if God hates lying lips and I am obviously lying to both myself and those around me, does God hate me? Or what about in our pastors sermon when he was talking about being a Christian means deny yourself (check, pretty sure not eating counts as denying myself), take up your cross (check, I would consider this to be a cross of sorts.  It is definitely a burden).  Hmmm, I guess I've got that one.  But don't forget the rest of it, and follow me (I don't think that abusing my body actually is what God would have me doing and I'm pretty sure since it is sin that it is following sin not Christ). But I just find it to be interesting how Satan will take a truth and distort it.  That seems to be his best line of attack.  "Did God really say........?"  "Well, you know the Bible and the Word does say......."  Definitely a great reason to keep my nose in the Bible and hear what Christ really does say not what my temptations are saying to me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2nd appointment

Hmmmm, I had my 2nd therapy appointment today at the Eating Disorder Center.  I have to do some processing before I update fully, but I think it was a good session.  She wants me to journal more to help pinpoint triggers.  I can do that.  I journal and blog anyway.  She wants  hubby to come with me at some point to share what it is like living with me when I am restricting.  Sometimes it helps, she said, to hear how your actions are affecting others around you.  Interesting, and while I really don't want to hear it, I kinda do.  I don't want to hear how I hurt my family through this, but that is simply because I want to continue to pretend that I'm only hurting me.  So, I'll process and write more later, but for now I'm just glad to be back on my  blog.

Monday, August 16, 2010

honesty and relapse

I started this out thinking that I was writing to share my story.  I have come to realize that I am actually writing because I still need healing.  Someone asked me last night what helped me to overcome anorexia. I answered honestly.  I don't know because I have still not overcome it.  I did struggle earlier this year.  I was getting better and had worked my way up to two meals a day.  I am currently, however,  in the middle of a full scale relapse.  I wasn't planning on writing about it yet.  How can I write about "through" while I am in the midst of?  But this is part of my journey through, so I'm going to write about it as well.

I use my journal for the personal details and the numbers.  I'll be specifically vague here.  Several people have recently been asking how I'm doing.  Some of them know because I needed a safe place to vent.  Some know because the Lord has laid me on there hearts and they called to find out what was going on. So I'm going to lay it all out.......

Several weeks ago I started counting calories.  In a very short amount of time I had lost enough weight for my husband to notice.  The same day that he noticed, I woke up with my ribs aching so badly that it almost hurt to move.  He asked me to get help.  I called my doctor's office and spoke to my nutritionist.  She wanted me to get treated quickly and referred me to an Eating Disorder Center.  After 2 weeks they finally got me in.  I went in today for my assessment.  When my therapist asked me what my goals are for this, I told her my goal is for it to not hurt when my kids hug me.  For it to not hurt to sleep in my bed.  For it to not hurt when my husband holds me.  My bones ache.  Deep inside, almost like the flu but inside my bones instead of muscles.  Some days are worse than others.  She was concerned, very concerned.  She said I am showing signs of early stages of osteoporosis and so tomorrow I go in for a bone density scan.  I'm nervous.

So here's where I am at right now.  My calorie intake is dangerously low.  My clothes are all growing too big and my boobs have disappeared.  I didn't realize that until yesterday when we went to a pool party.  I looked in the mirror and realized that I no longer fill out the top of my swim suit.  Apparently they have been missing for a while because my hubby looked at me like I was crazy that I was just then noticing it.  I don't know what my trigger was this time, which usually I can tell you instantly what the trigger was.  I've reached the point that both my hubby and I realize that this is beyond our ability to fix it.  I guess that is the biggest step, right?  Realizing that you can't do it on your own.

I'm going to make it through.  I'm just still on my journey through.  My therapist said I have a lot going in my favor to get better because I have had 7 healthy years.  Most people don't, she said.  My heart is to help others to not end up walking this road, or to get off of it if they have already started down it.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  It's not a decision, it's an addiction.  I have another thing going in my favor.  I have an unbelievable support network.  No one has degraded me or nagged me about not eating.  I love how my one friend put it.  If someone had the opposite problem, overeating, you wouldn't ask, "So how much have you eaten today?  You haven't had more than 3 cookies today, right?"  I already know that what I'm doing is killing my body.  Feel free to NOT tell me that.  I already know that I need help and that is why I am seeking professional help. 

I have had several people ask me how they can support me.  Well, feel free to ask me questions, just don't freak out with the answers.  Please don't ask me how much or what I have eaten.  That makes it much worse. You may ask if I am eating, but please not specifics about food! I could use all the prayers I can get.  I know that without the grace and faithfulness of God, I will not ever make it through this.  Please don't look down on me or act judgmental towards me.  We all struggle with sin.  We all battle with turning something into an idol.  This is my struggle.  It is not more or less than anyone else's struggle.  We each fight our own battles, the battle set before us.  I'm not fragile.  Just because I am having a hard time, doesn't mean that I don't have time for you, to listen, to pray, to be there. 

I hope that helps a little.  If I think of ways that you can help, I'll let you know.  Right now, just pray for me and love me anyway.  So I guess I'm asking you to join me on my journey through anorexia instead of hearing the highlights after the journey.  I am so grateful that His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is unfathomable.  I don't understand, but I do trust that He will carry me through.

And one last tiny thing, if you are reading this, give me a shout out!  It is always easier when you know who knows what is going on in your life rather than trying to figure out who knows what :)