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

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.