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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

gainfully employed

I got the job!  I am now a stay at home mom by day and an employee by night!  I will be working in the bookstore of a local college.  The fun part of the job, the last job I worked before retiring to motherhood was at a bookstore.  The person who I will work with is a friend of mine who I actually worked with at the old bookstore.  If I go to the main campus to work, I will also work with my old boss from the bookstore.  It is a small world indeed.

I will still be home with my boys during the day and this job is (usually) 2 evenings a week with opportunity for more hours right before terms start. I could squeal!  Plus since my family will be in bed when I get off of work, I can stop by the gym on my way home for a bit. Thanks for the prayers, good thoughts and finger and toe crossings!  I start work on Tuesday :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

my saving grace

Today I was thinking about the things (well people really) that have carried me through the last year.  I realized how grateful I am for so many people who held my arms up when I couldn't do it myself.

Hubby has been so wonderful to me.  I was looking at him today thinking how blessed I am to have him.  I explained orange thoughts.  It is a much easier way to talk in code.  He has been through so much through all of this and yet he has remained strong and still loves me.  I would have never sought help if he hadn't told me I needed to.  I would have never stayed in treatment.  I would have never even tried to stick with recovery if not for his love and encouragement. 

My dear friend K.  I have known K for 23 years.  We were close when we were kids.  When my struggle with orange became severe she stood by me.  She gave me incredible words and follow up actions to those words.  She said she had no idea what I needed from her, that she didn't really understand what I was going through but that she wanted to walk through it with me.  K asked questions and listened to answers.  She didn't judge, she wasn't harsh. And we talked about other things beside my battle with food.  Some days I needed to talk about my struggle.  Some days I needed to not talk about anything.  Some days we talked about our kids.  Some days we talked about the recent grief in her life.  Some days we talked about therapy.  Some days we reminisced about our childhood days, the books and movies we loved to share with each other.  Some days we vented about our mothers.  Every single day was different but the fact remains, she has been there for me every step of the way.  I would say to anyone who doesn't know how to help someone, learn from K.  She told me she didn't know how to help or what I would need but what I needed was someone who didn't try to fix me but was willing to love me and walk with me on a really lonely and difficult road.  She gave me the freedom to hurt and the freedom to heal.  Thanks, K.  I love you and you have absolutely no idea how much you have given to me this past year!

And my blogger buddies.  I wondered today how I would have gotten through the loss of a friendship without you to let me cry on your shoulders and offer encouragement.  I wondered how I would have made it through the lonely nights without knowing someone else was fighting too.  I wondered if I hadn't found you as my recovery support, how much further my addiction support would have taken me.  I'm glad to know others feel like I do, though I wish for each of you that you didn't know this struggle!  I'm grateful to not be alone but I wish you could see in yourselves what I see in you and wish you didn't have to walk this road also.  (I'm talking to youyouyou, you, and to you.)  You are amazing women.  I'm glad to know others are fighting also and not just giving in.

MOPS.  Wow, I don't think I could say how great you gals have been.  I went into the hospital the week that MOPS was starting.  I got out the day before our first meeting.  I went, simply because as part of the leadership, I had a responsibility to help set up.  You ladies encouraged me consistently.  Steph, you were my security blanket when I just couldn't stand in the food line and be ok and you also called me out when I needed a butt kicking.  You never let me "get away with it".  Thanks for loving me in the middle of your own pain from the journey you are on.  I don't know how it is possible to have that many women in a room and feel supported and loved rather than feeling the catty backstabbing atmosphere that usually accompanies a large group of women.  Thanks ladies for your kindness.

And God, thank you for putting the people in my life who I would need.  Thank you for carrying me through when I couldn't have walked through on my own strength.  It is only by the grace of God that I stand.

(I know, I totally sound like I just won a Grammy or some such nonsense with this post, but it had to be said.  I was just in such awe tonight as I thought about all the people who have poured into my life during the most difficult year of my adult life.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

things I am thinking about tonight

  • looking for a new church, maybe.  I love our church.  The sermons are awesome and the people genuine.  This morning, for the 1st time, I checked the distance bc I was running low on gas.  Our church is 20 miles away!  And every week my kids are asking if they have to go and if they can stay with Grammy while I go.  Praying about that one.  Really want God's direction.
  • I interview for the job tomorrow morning.  While on one hand I feel fairly confident, I am all kinds of butterflies in my stomach about it.  My work experience for the last 9 years has been rearing children not earning a paycheck.  What if I have totally forgotten how to present myself as an asset to a company and bomb the interview?  
  • if I get the job, I will soon need new clothes.  My current "work" clothes are shorts, tank tops, sundresses and jeans.  My work as a mom requires comfort not closed toe shoes and shirts that cover up my tattoo!  
  • I have a lot to get done before I have people over to my house on Wednesday for a girls night out/Miche purse party.  Wishing I had a house elf!  
  • Tomorrow after the interview I have a planning meeting for next year's MOPS.  I'm beyond excited to have accepted a new position in MOPS but also nervous because it is both a new position and a new(er) group.  I am leaving my beloved group that I have been at for 8 years and going to help out my friend who last year just started a new group at her church.  
  • I wonder if my kids are going to melt down tomorrow with doing a park with my friend while I am in the interview and then doing a park VBS in the afternoon while I meet about MOPS.  Tomorrow night could be an ice cold beer for mamma and early bedtime for kiddos kind of a day!
  • and a closing thought that has been on my mind all day, God is faithful even when I am not.  His faithfulness does not depend on me being faithful, it does not depend on anything I do, it does not depend on how much faith I have.  His faithfulness is constant and never changing.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

orange or not orange, that is the question

Overall, I am in a fairly good place right now.  Come on, today I bought new shirts AND I had a piece of cheesecake tonight with hubby.  To shop and eat in the same day is a good place :)   And somewhere in the back of my mind the orange voice talks again.  Getting healthy me is enjoying that I can enjoy life again.  Sure there are rough times but I can feel again, I can talk to my hubby again, I can play with my kids again, I can concentrate and read again.

And yet I hear that nagging little voice in the back of my head wondering how much weight I can lose before my physical next month.  Orange (aka anorexia) is telling me that she misses me.  Orange is wondering why I've not joined her for our summer rendezvous.  Orange thoughts are torturing my trying to be healthy brain.  Orange is trying to promise that it could be different.  Orange wants me to not have hips.  Orange despises that I have the pooch that all women have where our reproductive organs are.  Orange is fighting hard to be heard. 

I guess that means that I have to fight harder to not listen.

Friday, June 24, 2011

social ineptitude

I have a question for you guys that I have been meaning to ask but today the need to ask seems suffocating.  I love my friends. Earlier this week I got together with 5 other ladies to celebrate the impending birth of one of my friends 3rd baby (also known as a baby shower ;-)  ).  I love these gals.  They are wonderful and yet I still felt socially awkward and inept. I feel so out of place anytime I am with a group of people.  One on one, I'm great, in a group, I feel so out of place.  I know that is common with eating disorders, to isolate.  I'm reading a thousand other blogs from others who deal with eating disorders who talk about how difficult it is to be around friends.  What I want to know is does that ever go away?  And does everybody feel like that?  I felt it long before I struggled with anorexia.  I remember feeling that way in elementary school, awkward in social settings.  I have always attributed my early social anxiety to the abuse I went through as a child but what about now?  Is this my eating disorder that makes me uncomfortable.  I sat at the table with the other 5 and wondered if any of them felt like they didn't really belong.  Was it just me?  Do normal, not traumatized, people feel like they don't really fit in too?  I want to hear it from all the sides.  Tell me how ed has effected your social life.  Tell me how being "normal" has effected your social life.  Tell me that other people are insecure and timid while pretending that they have it all together.  Please tell me I'm not the only social freak!

intentional parenting

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do a post on what intentional parenting looks like for me.  That was a hard question for me because I don't feel like I parent intentionally though I am working on it and want to.  Yesterday hubby and I had a really long conversation, the type that makes you feel as if everything in the world is going to be ok again.  He asked me 3 questions.  What do you want out of marriage?  What do you want out of being a mom?  What do you want out of life?  I really had to analyze that.  It reminded me that I have been pondering for a couple of weeks what I want being a mom to look like.  So here goes......

The mom I want to be:
My kitchen is clean.  I enjoy teaching my kids the basics of life, how to fold laundry, how to cook, how to load the dishwasher etc.  I play Monopoly with my oldest, do puzzles with my middle and color with my youngest.  We work on the summer homework daily so that it isn't a huge amount at the end of the summer.  I listen to my kids intently.  TV time and video games are limited and earned by doing chores.  When my kids catch bugs I help them to learn about the bugs they catch.  I talk to my kids and uphold our family's no yelling rule.  My youngest recognizes his letters.  My middle can read.  My oldest knows how to use the computer.  I encourage my kids to come to their own conclusions and to ask lots of questions.  I am genuinely interested in their thoughts, ideas, questions and dreams.

The mom I am:
There are usually dishes in my sink.  Because of the mess in the kitchen, I tend to yell at the kids to "get out of my kitchen" when I am trying to make a meal.  It is just too crowded to have mom + kids + mess so the kids are the ones I kick out.  I have taught my kids to unload the dishwasher but I still don't have them load it.  I once started working with my oldest on folding laundry but found it is easiest for me to do laundry when everyone is in bed.  My son has a bike that he got for his 7th b-day.  He is turning 9 in a couple of months and the bike has still never been ridden.  I wanted to teach him but never found the money to buy a helmet so I just didn't teach him since he didn't have the helmet.  My kids have learned to recognize letters from preschool.  My youngest can recognize his name but other than that, any letter knowledge is from TV, Leap Frog toys and preschool.  I get flustered when my kids ask lots of questions.  I want them to be inquisitive but I have a hard time explaining some of the things they want to know about.  My kids have summer homework packets that have to be turned in on the first day of school.  Oldest has 22 pages of math, middle has 19 pages of math.  Only 2 pages each have been done.  The required summer reading hasn't even been touched.  My kids wake up much earlier than I do.  They play Wii and watch cartoons until I wake up around 8ish. I am genuinely interested in their thoughts, ideas, questions and dreams but I probably don't convey that very well.  I have to remind myself often that they won't be little forever and that they need me to pay attention to them.  Sometimes it is hard to slow my brain down and focus on just what they are saying and nothing else.  I fear sometimes that I give the same impression of being indifferent to their words as my mom did to me.  I usually have a reason why I cannot do something right then.  Oh, I can't look at sports cards right now, I'm making dinner.  We can't play a game until we get cleaned up (which would be fine but we never seem to get cleaned up). 

How I am making the transition from who I am to who I want to be:
I am working on slowing down.   I am working on explaining things that need to be explained.  I am working on not engaging with my oldest when he questions every decision I make.  I am working on actually adhering to our family's no yelling rule. 
I am working on making sure that I spend time with them doing something important to them.  This last one is harder than it sounds.  It is so easy to take them along with me to run errands and then try to consider that to be quality time. 
When they make an observation, before I give my opinion or tell them why they are right or wrong, I ask what thoughts led to the conclusion.  (Ok, son, why do you believe there are really aliens out there somewhere?  or Tell me why is it that you think that Anakin made a bad choice on Star Wars?)  It is amazing when I ask them about their thought process how much they enjoy the independence of figuring out things and expressing themselves by themselves.  I never had that and I love seeing how empowering it is for them.
I apologize when I am wrong.  (I'm sorry, Son,  I would never allow you to speak to me like I just spoke to you and it was wrong.  I didn't think before I spoke and I am so sorry that I yelled at you and spoke to you in a disrespectful way.  Will you forgive me?)
I try to let them in on my thought process in an age appropriate way.  My oldest always want to make everything better.  When I was frustrated with one of my kids breaking something of mine, he came and hugged me and told me not to be upset.  I explained that it is ok for me to be frustrated that my stuff was broken as long as I handled my frustration in an appropriate way.  Or when I was hurt deeply by a friend, I told him my feelings were hurt.  He didn't need all of the details of what had happened but he was seeing his mommy cry and that bothered him.  I told him that my friend had hurt my feelings with her action and I was sad.  It helps them to understand and identify their feelings when they see me identify and feel my feelings (which sucks by the way and is really hard!)


So all  in all, I don't have this parenting thing mastered at all.  I have discovered that being the parent is much more difficult than I ever thought.  I thought I knew so much from all the time that I had spent working with kids and nannying.  I was wrong!  Deciding what is appropriate for your own child and what rules are non-negotiable is much more difficult than enforcing someone else's rules for their children.  I pray daily that God will bridge any gaps that I have made with my children by my faulty parenting.  I am thankful that His grace covers my mistakes.  I am far from a perfect parent.  BUT  I do love my kids with everything in me and I do my best to become the parent I want to be.  I wish I had known that parenting needs to be intentional when my first was born.  I think I get the most resistance from him out of the three because he lived the longest with the old rather loose boundaries and it is the most difficult for him to adapt.

My biggest advice to new parents or those wanting children someday, is to start before the child is ever born.  Know what things are important to you to pass on to your children.  Know what language, television/movies  you are comfortable with.  Talk together with the other parent to be a united front from day one.  Do you want to pass on your faith?  How will you do that?  Do you want your child to know or not know certain things?  What does that look like to you?  Talk together about how you want to handle the birds and the bees talk.  Trust me, it arrives much sooner than you will be prepared for and you need a plan.  Who will have the talk, how much detail do you give at each age/stage, what will you call body parts?  How do you feel about pre-marital sex and homosexuality and how will you relay that to your children?  Be intentional.  If you want your kids to know something, make sure you are the one to teach them whatever it is.  Don't wait for someone else to share their faith with your child, or their views on sex, or their thoughts about the world.

Other advice, not along the lines of intentional, but still critical to successful parenting.  NEVER, EVER, EVER undermine the other parent in front of the kids!  If you don't agree, talk later, in private, NOT IN FRONT OF THE KIDS!  If they think that you are not united, they will take full advantage of that and pit you against one another.

And take care of your marriage.  Kids are a lot of work, especially when they are little.  Don't neglect each other and your marriage during the times of full time parenting.  Someday, those little bundles of joy will grow up and move out and have their own families and then it will be just the two of you again.  Make sure that you still know each other and love each other and want to spend your golden years together.  Do it now.  Your kids will thank you later for the stability that the strength and love of your marriage has brought them.  They are most secure in your love for them when they know that your love for each other is strong. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

random observation and a really good link

I have had a random observation.  Last week when we were at Elitch's I realized that having a tattoo does not make you any different from anyone else.  More people have them than don't, I have come to believe.   Having a tattoo doesn't make you different anymore than having a fingerprint makes you different.  Though everyone has a fingerprint, everyone's fingerprint is different.  Having a tattoo doesn't make me special.  Knowing what it means to me does.  I don't really care if anyone else likes it or understands it.  I don't even care if people think I'm stuck on myself because the words say, "The king is enthralled with your beauty".  I look in the mirror at my tattoo on those rough days and I remember that God made me to soar, that He carries me through, and that He finds me beautiful.  My parents despise my tattoo.  I don't really care.  They don't know why I got it and will probably never ask why or what it means to me.  That is ok because it is not for them anyway, it's for me. I love having a permanent reminder every single day that someone sees beauty in me, and not just anyone, but the Creator of the universe!  I may not always see the beauty, but my King does.  And that is truth. And that is the truth that matters.

I know you've already seen it, it still makes me smile though :)

I was reading the blog of a friend of mine and she linked this blog.  I'm not much on fashion blogs usually.  I tend to feel like they are telling me how terrible my wardrobe is and that I'll just never quite make it in life if I don't do the dishes in heels or chase my kids in mini-skirts.  This blog was different though.  This blog was quite the opposite, actually.  This blog tells the fashion industry, mostly politely, to back off and let women be women.  I really liked the post.  If you have a minute, hop on over and read it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

e.d talks in orange (previously titled: ahhhhh, much better)

Ok, now that my everyone in my house is sleeping peacefully and I can think straight instead of just having random emotions dive bomb me sporadically, I'm back.  My house is quiet, my beer is not quite cold but not warm either, and my brain is focused.

This morning was the follow up to the thyroid check I had 2 weeks ago.  I stepped on the scale, facing forward, confident that I was going to be ok.  The number wasn't actually too scarey.  I half smiled.  Then e.d spoke.  "You know, that number isn't too terrible.  It is only a pound higher than your desired weight and 6 pounds higher than your ideal weight.  That would be easy enough to get rid of."  Wait, where the heck did that voice in my head just come from.  Wasn't I just ok with the number a moment ago?  I had just half smiled because I knew my doctor wasn't going to scold me.  I knew this number was still within my acceptable range.  But for a moment, e.d. told me it wasn't actually an acceptable number.

So then there was actually seeing the doctor.  She was going over my thyroid labs, explaining them to me.  She informed me that we have over-corrected my thyroid and now it is functioning too high (and for anyone out there with endocrinology experience, I do know know that running "high" is actually a lower number and running "low" is a higher number!) .  Grrr, come on body, find your balance!  She asked me a series of questions, the first being, "Have you had any unexplained weight loss?"  Well, yes, now that you mention it.  I did ask my hubby just yesterday if he thought I had lost weight again.  My shorts that fit well just last week were pretty loose this week.  He said he thinks I have, but said I don't look unhealthy at this point.  She concurred.  I am down ____ lbs since March.  She isn't worried.  I'm still within healthy range, though on the lower end of it.  She said it is because my thyroid is running so high right now.

So we are decreasing my dose of thyroid meds, which I'm actually glad about.  I was so jacked the past few times that I have had a thyroid test, that my dosage had gotten high enough that it required 2 pills because I had exceeded the highest dose they make.  I do not mind going down to just 1 pill.  Then e.d spoke.  "You do know that when your thyroid balances out and quits being hyperactive that you will gain weight, don't you?  You know, you could keep taking the full dose.  She would never know unless you told her and then your weight wouldn't go back up."  E.d. lies.  My body won't properly use the nutrients that I give it if I let it continue out of control, and yet e.d tried to tell me that wouldn't be a big deal.

*****in case you are wondering, the voice of e.d being in orange is not a coincidence.  orange is probably my least favorite in the rainbow.  E.d's voice is the color I like least so that I can actually see how much I dislike it!  Yes, my logic is interesting, but it works for me :)

I don't think I actually was able to acknowledge how far I have come until I spoke with the doctor.  It was encouraging to be able to look her in the eye when she asked me questions.  It was encouraging to hear her comment on the difference in me in the last year.  I'm actually making progress!  Yay for progress!

The other things of the day weren't as big as they felt earlier.  I am still discouraged in the taking care of the house aspect though.  I need someone who can help me get through this, someone who can teach me and not judge me at the same time.  In a perfect world I would have someone who was both a professional organizer and a therapist all in one who could help me clean up and deal with whatever the issues are that are contributing to my chaos.  Oh, yeah, and their help would be free because we cannot even afford ANY extras right now!

It is hard knowing there is a massive perfectionist in me when I look around.  Earlier, when I was over the top upset, all I could think of was, "I can't even be a perfectionist right!  What is wrong with me?!?"  Only I would think such a silly thought.

So that was my day.  On a side note I may soon be employed by someone who pays me with real money instead of hugs and kisses.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love getting paid in hugs, kisses, colored pictures and "I love you mommy!" 's, but to be able to contribute to our financial situation and still get to spend most of my day with my boys sounds wonderful.  I'll only tell you more if I get the job (I don't care if it is nearly for sure, I'm not talking about it until it is really for sure!).

On another side note, this morning I told my doctor how much you all have played in my recovery.  The support I feel when I'm overwhelmed, having a rough day, hating my body, or crying when I eat is unparalleled.  I'm guessing that a bunch of people who have affected my story, don't even know I exist.  Not only do I get great encouragement from you guys, I also find that those you follow give me great encouragement as well.  You guys are an amazing support system and I love you all!  Thanks for making the journey of recovery as pleasant as it is possible for it to be.

quick debrief

I don't have time.  I need to debrief in a flash.  Good day and bad day.  Down some weight.  Doc says I'm still in normal but the low end of normal now.  My thyroid is now over functioning.  Fun times. 

Something must be wrong with me, but I don't know how to fix it.  Hubby is frustrated over the mess, I genuinely didn't notice it until he pointed it out.  Why can't I see it?  It is like those 3D pictures you have to stare at forever to see the image.  My brother in law has never been able to see the image in those.  I'm like that.  Why can't I see the mess?

More financial bad news hit today.  I'm frustrated.  I'm angry.  Why can't we get our act together?  I need to get dinner for my family.  I'll expound upon my doctors appt, my conversation with e.d., and my life later.  Right now I just had to just say it! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

happy thoughts

Yesterday while out and about with my kids, I ran across a journal that I really liked.  I was going to buy it, even though I really don't need ANOTHER journal right now.  Then they said it was $6 and I just couldn't spend $6 on a journal that I really don't NEED and was thinner than a composition notebook.  So I did what any self respecting cheap person would do.  I took a picture of the cover (after all, it was the cover that I wanted!)  :)

This morning I stopped at a garage sale on my way home from using my Starbucks gift card.  I got a book called The Little Book Of Positive Quotations.  I love quotations.  Plus, the book was brand new and only a quarter.  I'm going to share one that I really like and needed to read this morning.

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.~Malcolm Forbes

Yep that describes me perfectly.  Actually that describes all eating disorders, all areas of perfectionism and  most people in general.  Today I am going to do my best to stop placing value and worth in what I am not, what I will never be, and find value in what I am.

There is a good chance you will hear more of the quotes from my new book.  After all, they are pretty inspiring.  Just thought I'd give you warning :) 

recovery in an email

This evening while clearing out emails I happened upon one I hadn't read.  It was my MOPS weekly e-mail.  Now I realize that MOPS is a group for moms, hence the name Mothers Of Preschoolers, but the email today hit me more from a recovery standpoint than a mom standpoint.  I have to share it.

The God of Sometimes
By Christa Hogan, mother of two

I love being a mom; I love caring for my family. I can’t think of anything more important, anything more worthy of my life. It feels good to be needed.
Most of the time.
But sometimes I wake up and think, “Do I really have to do yesterday all over again?” I want to shout, “Can’t you just do it yourself for once?” A voice whispers, “It’s all up to you. You don’t ever get to rest, because if you did this would all fall apart.”

"He made me to need
him even more than
my family needs me."

Inevitably, these are also the days that someone comes down sick. The cat coughs up a hairball on the carpet. The dishwasher breaks. Life starts to resemble a country music song. “It isn’t fair,” I cry. “Life wasn’t supposed to be like this!”

Then I hear another voice calling. My Savior. My Rock. He asks me to stop squirming beneath the weight of my life and give it to him. He reminds me that I have been trying to do it all again, and to do it all by myself. But he made me to need him even more than my family needs me, except that he never rests. He never tires of being needed. He loves my “sometimes” when I come to the end of my rope because then I remember that I need to rely on him at all times.

Dear God, thank you that you are strong in my weakness. Forgive me for trying to do it on my own. Help me give my family and my life to you

Of course I do feel the pressures as a mom that I have to get up and do yesterday all over again.  I do feel sometimes that if I didn't do it all, then it all would fall apart.  But I also feel it as a woman, as a wife, as a recovering individual. 

In recovery I wake up often and wonder if I really have to do yesterday all over again.  Sometimes the days feel like they are all the same, get up force breakfast, argue with the E.D in my brain insisting that Malt O Meal is making me fat, focus on something else, just keep going.  But the truth of the matter is that it is during those times of weakness that I call out to Jesus.   It is on the days where I dread facing yesterday all over again that I cry out to Him and it is in those times of desperation that I truly surrender to Him.  It is in those moments of surrender that His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Lord, do forgive me for trying to do it all on my own!

Friday, June 17, 2011

hormonal psychosis and other observations

I have lots on my mind tonight.  I guess I should give the warning that I am experiencing hormonal psychosis right now as I am expecting my favorite time of the month in a couple of days.  When I devoured chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies seemingly non stop until they were gone and then felt annoyed and snarfy (I don't care if it isn't a word, I like it, so there!) with my entire family, I counted my calendar and wouldn't ya know, my period is near.  So take everything I say with a grain of salt and realize that while the feelings are probably real, they are magnified by the thousands thanks to stupid hormones and their resulting psychosis!


I have been listening to the Tenth Avenue North CD Light Meets The Dark quite a bit lately.  Nearly every song hits me in the gut right now but this one in particular today.  My hubby and I had one of these conversations before we started dating.  I knew we were close to dating.  I also knew he had to know even the horrible parts of me before I let my heart get too much more attached.  I wanted him to know while he still had a chance to realize who I was and what I was capable of and had the chance to leave without hurting us both excruciatingly. 

I remember it well.  We sat at Village Inn.  I couldn't look him in the eye.  I told him what I have never told anyone else.  He loved me anyway.  He choose me anyway.  He could have picked someone who would have been less of a basket case.  He could have chosen someone less broken, and yet he didn't.  He knew me and still loved me.  And for that I am still amazed and yet so grateful.


I feel very inadequate, very insecure, and very much like a failure.  Long story short, we just had some financial bad news.  My father-in-law is selling some of his guns to lend us the money to take care of this situation.  I am grateful that we have my in-laws and that he is willing to help us.  I also feel like a complete failure.  We live in a house they own.  He just bought new tires for my car last week because he saw how bald mine were and didn't want me and the kids out on those tires.  We are paying him back a little each paycheck.

And now this.  Now we will owe him even more.  He's not the kind to hold it over our heads and would never mention it even if we never paid him back.  But the problem is that I hold it over my own head.  I thought today that I wonder if we would make it if dad-in-law wasn't there to help us.  I started thinking about my own life.  I lived at home until I got married.  I never went to college, simply because I was scared that I wouldn't make it on my own and was afraid I wouldn't be able to provide, afraid I wouldn't be good enough to make it. 

I got married young and my husband started taking care of me. Financially things have been tight more than they haven't been but still, I'm not on my own.  Hubby is always there, even when things are tough.

Well, last week my friend became a 30-something widow with a son.  It got me thinking.  I am terrified that if my hubby wasn't here that I wouldn't be able to take care of me.  And how on earth would I provide for 3 kids on top of it?  Yeah, I know there is a nice amount of life insurance and our basic needs would be met but what I worried about was if I could emotionally provide.  When I don't understand my boys, I call in Daddy to help me.  When they are being disrespectful, or refusing to clean up, I call in Daddy. 

I am not naturally a clean freak type of person.  My mom used to tell me there was something wrong with me, maybe even on a spiritual level, because I could live with a mess.  Even still, I notice the mess when it is gone and I do enjoy the clean.  Unfortunately though, I can ignore the mess around me until hubby starts to get cranky and then I know the mess has gotten out of control.  Without him, I'm afraid one day I'd end up on Hoarders!  (Ok, that is a slight exaggeration but still.......)

So the feelings of failure and being inadequate are high tonight.  I feel like I couldn't take care of myself if there weren't someone as a safety net to bail me out of my life regularly.  I was so afraid and co-dependent when I was young that now even though I am older and less emotionally co-dependent that I still don't know what to do.

I am afraid of being me, I've always been who someone else wants me to be.  I long for freedom to discover me but still feel afraid to do so completely.  While I am learning to have less concerns about what the outside world thinks of me, I still deeply care what my family thinks of me.  What if they don't like who I have become?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

just like that

I recently saw something on Facebook that shook me up.  One of my friends is a girl who I went to highschool with.  We haven't talked since I graduated.  We seldom talked while in school. I went to one of those really small schools where you know everyone and everyone knows you and she was in the class behind me, so it was impossible to not know each other somewhat.  At some point after school we both got married.  I had three kids she had one. 

I rejoiced via Facebook with her when her Marine came home safely from a long deployment to Afghanistan.  I sometimes see her updates about her son.  She has made a happy life for herself and her family. I've been happy for her. And then it happened.  Her hubby was killed in an accident and now she is a widow.  A thirty something widow with a young son to care for.  Just like that her world is forever changed. 

He wasn't away at war.  He had come home.  They were enjoying life together.  He didn't die at the time she was braced for the call, when she was hoping against the call but prepared all the same.  He died after she had let her guard down.  He's home.  He is out of the line of fire.  He is out of the area where one would not be surprised (though of course the emotions would be just as horrible) if he died.  He was on his motorcycle and a car hit him.  Just like that he's gone.

I'm struck by the frailty of life.  He was young.  He had an amazing life and a lot to look forward to.  She thought he was coming home.  She wasn't prepared at all for the call saying he would never come home.  And it could have been any one of us.  It could be my hubby on his way to work in the middle of the night.  It could be me.  It could be anyone.

This time it was them.  She is left to pick up the shattered pieces of her life. She presses on to raise their son without the help of her best friend.  I nearly cried this afternoon when my hubby turned on an episode of Scrubs.  Turk and JD are sitting with a man while he dies and JD says something along the lines of all you can really hope for (in dying)  is that your last thought is a good one.  I hope D's last thought was a good one. 

It is such a shocking reminder to me that I am not promised tomorrow.  If I died tonight, would my kids last memory of me be hugging them or yelling at them?  Would my husband know how much I love him?  Would those you love know how much you love them if you didn't have tomorrow to tell them? 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Twilight Lover's Annonymous

Hi, my name is Dawn and I am a Twi-dork.  Yes it is true, I love the Twilight Saga.  I am giddy happy today because I just saw the trailer for Breaking Dawn.  I am stupid excited for that movie to come out in November, to the point of nearly wanting to wish the summer away.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I love the books well enough to have read them and re-read them.  I own the movies.  I buy them on release date.

So, while I am a dork and in love with Twilight, I am going to still claim this as a win.  Seeing the trailer this morning was just the thing to put a smile on my face and a little bit of a bounce in my step.  I am stupid excited for the new movie.  Anyway around it, it is something making me happy today, something I can look forward to, something that makes my day smiley and giddy.  I'll take smiley and giddy, no matter the cause :)

do you have any guilty pleasures? Maybe something, like me with Twilight, that you are embarrassed that you enjoy it so much? Any movies coming out that you want to see badly enough to pay full price and see on opening day/week?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I cannot control my tire deciding to blow out on Sunday.  I cannot control my hubby.  I cannot control my children.  I cannot control my mother.  I cannot control earthquakes, tsunamis, and tornadoes.  I cannot control the rate at which our house is sinking into the foundation.  I cannot control when the sun rises, when the stars fall, when my appliances will have their last breath, what others think of me, gravity, the waves that lap the shore, or God.

I have found myself seeking control in an unhealthy way again.  Ugh, it is so frustrating to be back at this point.  I was unreasonably sharp with my kids today.  I just felt raw.  Hubby noticed but didn't say anything.  Then I had a bagel and he noticed that my tone softened greatly with our kids.  Then he commented.  He asked what I had eaten today.  I shrugged and said, "A bagel and some cream cheese."  I was nearly 2pm.  He told me the difference in how I had talked to the kids pre-food and post-food.  I knew, I could hear it in my voice.  More importantly, I could feel it.

So once again hubby is checking in on me with food.  He told me he would refrain from pestering me non stop about food but that he would ask me daily now if I have eaten.  I thanked him and at the same time wanted to scream at him.  He asked if I was mad at him.  No, not mad at him, mad at me.  Mad that I am back at the point of needing to be checked in on that I am eating.  Mad at myself for allowing anorexia to have that little foothold again and how it affects my children.  Mad that I yell at my kids and don't really listen to what they are saying when I don't eat.  Mad that to restrict myself will cause hurt to my kids.  I don't want to hurt them. 

Since control having to do with food is not a healthy or acceptable form of control for me right now, I have to realize OTHER areas that I am in control over. 

Acceptable forms of control:
  • ordering a 12 syllable drink at Starbucks (venti, triple shot, non fat, vanilla latte)
  • which color sundress I want to buy or wear next
  • journaling in colored sharpies
  • the next books I choose from the library to read
  • my sewing scrapbox
  • who I am friends with on Facebook
  • what time I go to bed
  • choosing a font for my blog

a new haircut

every nail a different shade of purple :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

my idol

I am annoyed and convicted about my quest for perfection.  Only one is perfect, God.  Only one man to walk the earth was perfect, Jesus, God incarnate.  Who do I think I am to think I deserve the status of perfect?

Another once wanted what only God had.  He was kicked out of heaven, out of the presence of the Almighty.  By any name he is still the same, Lucifer, Satan, the devil.  He thought he deserved a place that only God could have.

I am my own idol.  I desire what only God can have, perfection.  To be imperfect is to be human.  To hate my own humanity is to deny my creator.  To think that I could ever attain perfection is to say that I think that I am more important than God. 

My body is my idol.  My control is my idol.  I am my idol.  I put myself in a place that belongs to God alone, that is idolatry.  I think I can do it all on my own.  I can't.  I wasn't made to make it on my own.  I was made to need a Savior. 

If I could be perfect, why would I need God?  Why would I need redemption?  Why would I worship anything but myself?  I am not perfect.  I will never be perfect.  And the longer it takes me to accept that about myself, the longer I deny the power of God at work in me. 

Not even God expects me to be perfect.  If He did, He wouldn't have sent His Son.  He would have expected me to make it on my own without His grace and mercy.  God doesn't ask me to be perfect, He asks me to follow Him.  He asks me to trust Him, even when I can't see where He is taking me.  He asks to use my brokenness to allow Him to shine through the cracks. 

God doesn't want me to be perfect, He wants me to be human.  He wants His glory to shine through me, not my own accomplishments to shine. 

And yet I still war with the frailty and imperfection of my humanity......

hope for today

Last night I stayed up late.  It had been a really crummy day with a couple of bright spots (like seeing my MOPS buddies for our end of year party).  On the way home from aforesaid party, my tire blew out.  Fun times.  Hmmmm, I do know how to change a tire but it was 10pm, I was alone, I was wearing a sundress and I was not in the greatest part of town.  I called my parents first.  They were closer and hubby had to be at work at 3:30am.  They weren't able to come over.  I called my hubby.  Like the amazing man he is, he got his mom to sit at our house with our sleeping children (this is one of the moments that I LOVE having my in-laws next door) and he came to my rescue.  Once again my knight in shining armor.

Anyway, last night was rough.  While I thoroughly enjoyed my friends and the great conversations, I struggled through dinner.  Nearly every bite brought large hot tears to my eyes.  I forced them back and not one fell but they were definitely there.  I wonder if it was noticeable to my friends.  I ate.  They all know.  I didn't want the "looks".  I didn't want people worrying.  I wanted them to all think I'm better than I actually am.  

By the time I got home after the tire fiasco, I was done.  D.O.N.E!  I got online and found some amazing blogs.  And here is what I saw. 
  • I am not the only one who cries when I eat. 
  • I am not the only one who thinks I am doing a great job in recovery only to have life slap me in the face and realize that recovery is a process not an event
  • I am not the only one who hates the process of recovery.
  • It is possible to have true recovery.
  •  Even those who are much further in recovery than I am have to battle that inner demon who insists that they are not good enough.
  • No one is perfect and we all struggle with something, for me it is anorexia.
  • I am worth fighting for.
So today with that knowledge, I am going to press onward.  I am going to fight for me.  I don't want to lose myself to ED again.  I want to remember who I am and what I like.  I'm still learning who I am and what I like.  It is a journey of self discovery.  Too many years I have been defined by what I do (and sometimes what I don't do, like eat). 

My dear friend once said that she is tired of hearing people say that God will not give us more than we can bear.  It isn't in the Bible anywhere.  He says we won't be tempted beyond what we can bear but no where does it say we won't get more than we can bear.  I think God often gives us more than we can bear.  If I could handle it, I wouldn't need Him.  I wouldn't need a Savior.  I would be my own strength instead of relying on His strength.  His strength is perfect in my weakness.  Today, I have more than I can bear.  Today I will call out to Jesus and let Him be my strength. 

I'm worth fighting for and I'm going to fight.  I'm going to win the war, even if I lose some battles.  I'm going to get back on my recovery horse and keep fighting.  I'm tired of fighting.  I also know the old saying that the one who wins the war is the one who fights 5 minutes longer than the opponent.  I am going to fight and I am going to win with God as my strength and hope.

I cry when I eat

each bite with effort swallowed
thick tears well up
only to be pushed back down
the pain of eating
the anger of my humanity
my stomach growls

i hate myself for wanting food
it feels like a betrayal
that my body still wants more
the bites may bring tears
but they must be bringing more
there must be more purpose
than what i can see
and my enemy is me
not the food i eat

if only's come so easily
what if's run amuck
my mind is trying
so desperately to see
today is a gift
tomorrow is a treasure
one that i want to be around
long enough to enjoy

Friday, June 3, 2011


I have a thyroid check on Tuesday.  I'm not worried about the needle, I'm worried about the scale.  I spent YEARS to find a doctor that I really like and I'm not willing to lose her.  That said, going to the doctor's office where I was diagnosed with anorexia makes the scales really feel like a competition.  I should just stand backwards on the scale so I don't see the numbers but I don't know that I have the strength to do that.  Even if I don't look, the nurse is not even remotely secretive about it and I always see her writing the numbers and the +/- lbs down on my chart for my doctor. 

Though I want to hear that I am still at a healthy weight, there is a part of me terrified to hear that exact thing.  Why do unhealthy numbers appeal to me so?  I don't think they are beautiful but they are so compelling.  I don't like the emaciated look and yet the thrill of the chase makes me want it.  I want to be perfect and I want to be the "perfect anorexic" which I never was.  I consumed way too few calories to be healthy and yet I would read of others consuming less and I would wonder what was wrong with me that I was getting 100 more calories/day than that girl.  Why couldn't I be perfect at depriving myself? 

I may be rambling now.  I am emotionally worn today and this post is evidence of that.  I am conflicted greatly between the desire to be healthy and enjoy my life and the desire to be disciplined and perfect and starving.  The battle is raging in me today.  This exact moment, there are three angelic faces upstairs who need a mamma and an amazing man who needs a wife and that is my sole motivation for even trying to fight this battle right now.  This exact second, they are my only reason to not give in to the illusion of comfort that not eating brings.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Yesterday I did something that I haven't done in probably a decade.  I bought shorts.  Not burmuda shorts, not capris, not pants that can roll up to be capris, but real shorts.  They were on clearance so I could justify it if I never worked up the courage to wear them.  I tried them on this morning and before I could whisk them off again, hubby was complementing me.  He may have known, may have not known that I was terrified to wear them out in public.  He encouraged me to wear them, insisted that I looked great, told me all great things come in pairs, complemented my legs often throughout the day and all the way around was my confidence for the day. 

You see, he saw curves and he likes them.  I, however, see thighs.  I have never liked my thighs.  Even before I ever had an eating disorder and thought the shape of my legs was entirely relevant to everything I do, I still felt awkward and embarrassed by my thighs.  At hubby's insistence that I had to wear the cute shorts I had on, I finally agreed.  I knew I wasn't going to be comfortable in my skin so I added my cute thick wedge sandals.  The wedge would give the illusion of more tone to my legs.  I added a second coat of blue nail polish to my toes.  I decided the fingers could use a coat to match the toes.  I did my makeup.  I did everything I could to keep my focus on things that were NOT my legs.

I wouldn't call it completely successful but I also wouldn't say it was a complete failure either.  I wore the shorts all day.  We went to the museum and to the zoo.  I was able to keep my mind off of my legs as long as I was standing up (which was a good chunk of my day).  I was able to distract myself with my bright blue nail polish and playing with my kids.  I forced myself, though not always easily, to not "hear" the comments that I "know" are being said about my legs and butt.  And you know what?  Gosh darn it, I actually had fun!  Maybe if I can stop thinking about my legs more often, I would enjoy so many more experiences that I worry anxiously over and miss out on. 

And here is the final result......

Me and my boys being pirates

ready to hoist the jolly roger and sail the 7 seas

cotton candy mouth

cotton candy mouth and pirate "tattoo" on the face

the pirate turtle
my fun distraction :)