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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I haven't had enough to eat today.  That is a statement, not a question.  The old habits are hard to war against, they pull against my soul with a fierceness I cannot explain.  I need to go have dinner but I'm afraid to.  I don't even know what I am afraid of.  Afraid I might get better?  Afraid I might live my life? 


Afraid I might like the taste of food?  Afraid I might never stop if I start eating?  Afraid that I will lose the thing I can control?  Afraid that I might have to feel my feelings?  Afraid that I might have to acknowledge my inadequacy?  Afraid that I might not be worth the effort I put in to recover?

** K, I needed to hear you say I was weary while I was writing this post.  I was looking for scripture reference about being weary and this is the one that jumped out at me.

Isaiah 40
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
   Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
   and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
   not one of them is missing. 

 27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
   Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
   my cause is disregarded by my God”
28 Do you not know?
   Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
   and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
   and increases the power of the weak.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I can't do this

I had a rough day today.  My kids are back in school now and to be honest, I miss my 6 year old.  He is now a big 1st grader and is in school all day this year.  I didn't think I would get lonely but I miss the sound of his laugh and the zillion ways he makes me smile each day.

Work went well, until the end.  A former co-worker is helping out with fall rush this week and while neither of us dislikes the other, there is an awkwardness that feels nearly suffocating.  My last 45 minutes of work seemed to last as long as the rest of the day had.

I came home cranky.  It wasn't until after my kids were in bed that I realized food (or the lack thereof) is why I was cranky.  By that point I really didn't want to eat.  It was too late for dinner.  Only half joking I asked my friend if a beer was enough calories to be considered dinner.  Apparently not :)

I heated up some dinner.  I poured the beer into a frosty mug.  I tried to eat.  I ended up crying instead.  I DON'T WANT TO!  I managed a tiny smaller than normal amount of dinner through my tears.  I hoped the beer would make the dinner seem more appealing.  Not the case.

I realized that when I am at this point, hoping for happy seems so far out of reach that numb feels like the best  I could achieve.  Tonight I long for numb, for a place where the hurt can't find me.  Tonight I am pissed off with recovery and am ready to say take this recovery and shove it.  While I know this is not a permanent outlook, tonight I could care less if I ever get better.  Tonight I long for numb and I know restricting brings me numb, even if only for a short time.

Tonight is another night of crying through the bites.  Another night of wondering why I keep on going.  Another night of wishing it were easy.  Another night of being angry with myself for not being able to just suck it up.  Another night of wanting to be anyone but me.

I just received this text message from my dear friend. Isaiah 46:4 even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you.  I will sustain you and rescue you

God, sustain me.  Carry me.  Rescue me.  For I am too weary to fight on my own right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

delusional paranoia

I work at a college bookstore.  Being the nerdy type that I am, when we are slow I like to read text books.  I know, I know, I could stop right there and you would have had your daily laugh.  I mean really, who reads textbooks for classes they are not taking?  I do.  Usually psych books.  On any given day you could find me reading Abnormal Psychology or The Complete Textbook of Suicidology.  So given my lack of college degree, and my greatest bit of knowledge on the subject from a textbook I'm reading in my free time, I find it funny that I decided today to diagnose my mother with delusional paranoia.

Now I didn't tell her she is delusional.  And I didn't tell her that she is paranoid.  But I am telling you.  She watched 2 of my kids today so that I could take my middle one to the eye doctor.  When she was leaving she saw 2 books near the door.  The top one was a library copy of Julie Andrews' Home and the second was a borrowed copy of The Help

Wait, I think this story deserves some background.  My mom is a nanny.  Now honestly I don't know why this family still employs her.  Their son is in college now and their daughters turn 16 this fall and will be driving.  I think they just enjoy having my mom around so they find odd things for her to do to keep her.  She has been with them for 13 years. 

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled story.  So when my mom sees The Help she asked "Isn't there a movie out about this one?"  I confirmed.  Then she told me that her boss had asked if she had seen the movie or read the book.  My mom told me she doesn't know what boss is worried about with her, like they have some big secret or something that she might spill.

I must have cocked my head, because my mom continued to explain that she thinks the reason her boss mentioned it is because they are afraid my mom will go and tell people all about them.  Now first of all, they are awesome people and very, very good to my mom.  They are very kind people and while we all have things we prefer to be private, they do not have any obvious "baggage".  What could my mom possibly tell about them?  That they have ridiculous amounts of money but don't act like it?  That they are unbelievably kind and generous not only to my mom, but to everyone they meet?

I told my mom her boss had probably brought it up because it is a great book and has been on the bestseller list for quite some time.  My mom got the strangest look and then said, "Well, yeah, I suppose.  Maybe she had to read it for her book club and that is why she brought it up." 

So again, I am not a counselor or a doctor.  Nor do I play one on tv.  I have no training.  I just have a mom who is out there more often than not and an Abnormal Psychology textbook waiting for me when I arrive at work tonight.  And with the help of all of these things, I have decided to, privately, of course, diagnose my mom with delusional paranoia.  :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

friends, new and old

It has been 5 months since I lost my best friend.  I have been blessed greatly by new friendships and one old friendship that have in some ways helped heal the hole that she left. That seriously just sounded like a break up line, but honestly, you cannot have been through 15+ years of friendship and not have a hole in your heart when that friendship sours. And though I am THRILLED with the amazing, encouraging, not let me get away with nonsense, (have I mentioned AMAZING?) friends that I have, sometimes I still miss having her on my side.  Sometimes there is still an ache that she doesn't want to be a part of my life anymore.  I've been asked by a few people why it was so hard to lose her friendship.  Was I holding on to the past?  If she couldn't be supportive of me in this difficult time, do I really want her as my closest friend?  Could it have been the right thing to let go of the friendship?  And my answer is yes.  Yes it was the best thing overall for my heart, for my family, for me and apparently for her as well.  That didn't make it hurt less.

Jesus knew that the cross was what was best for those He loved but that didn't make Him eager for its pain.  He still asked God to take it away from Him.  He still endured humiliation, torture and death, simply because it was part of the overall plan.  Now please don't hear me saying that I think losing my best friend is like Jesus facing the cross.  I'm just saying that just because something is the best solution or the needed solution, doesn't mean it won't hurt.

My heart was torn to shreds when my dearest friend in the world decided that my struggles were finally just too much for her.  I cried rivers.  And though I am in a place of acceptance, sometimes, my heart still aches that, with everything our friendship had endured, it could not whether this storm as well.  But had it not happened the way it did, I would not have found the new friends who are so close and dear to me now.  Had it not happened, I may not have learned some valuable lessons about myself, who I am at my core.  And sadly, had it not happened I would have not learned some valuable lessons about her and her character.

Not to be a downer tonight.  I just was thinking about my friend who I spent the evening texting.  I was thinking about how out of the blue and a true blessing our friendship has been.  I was thinking that I don't feel defensive when she calls me out.  I was thinking that I feel understood and loved for who I am, not for who I could be.  And for a few moments, I was also wishing that I could have felt this loved and accepted by my best friend. 

I am so very grateful that God brings people into our lives in just His perfect timing.  I was thinking how lost and alone I felt 5 months ago and how glad I am to have several people who are true friends now.  I am so blessed to have accountability, love, and encouragement in my life.  I am so blessed to for the first time in a very long time to feel loved for who I am now not who I was years ago and not who I will become and not the image I portray. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

will I be pretty?

I saw this weeks ago and I can still hear it in my head.  I like the idea of pretty being an adverb not an adjective.  (she does use the f-word at one point so don't listen at work or in front of the kiddos!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Captivating book review

This is one of the most amazing books I have ever read!  Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge is by far the best book I have ever read.  The first time I read it I found it to be life changing.  I was in a healthy "recovered" place then but still dealing with thoughts of not good enough, failure, don't have anything to offer.......  Those years ago, reading this book changed my perspective.  Those years ago I came away from this book realizing that God made me to yearn for beauty and that I should not beat myself up for longing to see and experience beauty.  I realized then that God had given me a voice to use, that He had created me for purpose, and that I had something to offer the world.

Now fast forward a few years to the me who lost my way, relapsed big time and is now pursuing recovery again.  I am re-reading the book.  It is still well worth my time, and still life changing even at a different stage of life.  I have to share a small excerpt that absolutely floored me tonight.

The ways we find to numb our aches, our longings, and our pain are not benign.  They are malignant.  They entangle themselves in our souls like a cancer and, once attached, become addictions that are both cruel and relentless.  Though we seek them out for a little relief from the sorrows of life, addictions turn on us and imprison us in chains that separate us from the heart of God and others as well.  It is a lonely prison of our own making, each chain forged in the fire of our indulgent choice.  Yet, "Our lovers have so intertwined themselves with our identity that to give them up feels like personal death...We wonder if it is possible to live without them. (The Sacred Romance)"
 We need not be ashamed that our hearts ache; that we need and thirst and hunger for much more.  All of our hearts ache.  All of our hearts are at some level unsatisfied and longing.  It is our insatiable need for more that drives us to our God.  What we need to see is that all our controlling and our hiding, all our indulging, actually serves to separate us from our hearts.  We lose touch with those longings that make us women.  And the substitutes never, ever resolve the deeper issue of our souls.

Sorry because I know that was a long excerpt.  This part just spoke to my soul tonight when I read it again.  It seems so relevant to my post a few days ago where I said I want to get better but I don't want to let go of this to do it.  I do seek out my addiction for relief from the pain, it does bring temporary relief and then the chains ensnare me.  I do fear letting go of orange because it does feel like a separate identity and how would I live without it?  And yet, the substitute never does resolve the deeper issues of my soul.

Some book review, huh?  Here I am still talking about me instead of the book!  Well here is the verdict.  Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and buy this book.  You could get it from the library but I highly recommend owning a copy.  My copy has been underlined and highlighted.  It has been re-read.  EVERY woman should read this book.  I personally think men should read it too.  It gives such great insight into the heart, the very essence, of women.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

things I'm pondering

While I was trying to protect her, who was protecting me?  How do I think that by not bringing it to light that I am in someway still protecting her?  Would it actually tear my family apart if I made it public or is that in my mind?  Somehow it seems to be coming down to that age old question,  "If you knew your 2nd child was going to find the cure for cancer but your 1st child would be a murderer, would you still have the 1st child who would cause great pain in order to have the 2nd child who would change the world and bring hope to millions?" 

Is it worth going through my own pain and the pain it could cause my family in order to bring hope to more?  Who am I really protecting, her or me?  What am I afraid of, the backlash to my family or the backlash to me?  Is the backlash worth it?  Would I really make a big difference if I quit hiding or am I making a big enough difference now?  Am I living the life I was called to or am I hiding behind all the reasons that I can't do it? 

doctor update

My doctor appointment on Thursday went well and not so well.  I was down another pound, not so great.  My iron is higher than last year, still no where near where I need it to be though.  Ferritin levels below 13 are considered anemia.  Last year I was at 14.  This year I am 16.  I need to be in the mid 60's minimum to have a reserve store of iron that my body can pull from.

At one point she was pondering some of my labs, why some things were low but not others directly linked to those things.  Then she asked it, "So how are you doing with eating?"  Apparently what I had had on Thursday up to that point wasn't enough to be called a meal much less most of a days nutrition.  Aha, it all made sense to her.

When we addressed my weight, metabolism, strength, bmi, and body fat percentage I started to fidget.  She says, "So you are staying within your normal range on all of these things.  That should make you feel happy, right?"  NO!  I told her about accompanying hubby to his appointment and how his body fat percentage is just barely higher than mine which is highly unfair because I am definitely the one who puts healthier foods in my body.  She told me the explanation for that.  My body needs more protein.  When you are not getting enough food to fuel your body, the body retains the fat thinking it will need the fat to stay warm.  My body is attacking itself in search of protein.  My body is devouring my muscles in search of protein and storing the fat to keep itself warm. Having said all of this, she was rather surprised at how well I did on the strength test.

At one point in the conversation she asked me something that I have been thinking about since.  I for the life of me cannot remember what the question was but after I answered one of her questions, she said, "Do you not want to get better?"  Crap!  That was a whole different can of worms.  I honestly don't know.  I do want to get better.  I just don't want to have to let go of this to do it.  How contradictory is that??????  I want to live my life, not just exist through it.  I have amazing dreams of the life I want.  I am also terrified of that life and like knowing that orange is holding my hand and giving me security of the familiar.

The doctor did start me on a new anti-depressant.  It makes me tired but most of them do when you first start them.  My kitchen will tell you in a couple of weeks if the medicine is helping or not ;-) !  We also adjusted my thyroid again because it is still over functioning.  Hopefully in a few weeks, by the time my kids are back in school, I'll be feeling a little more normal.  Thanks for the comments here, the emails and the texts from those of you checking in on me.  I do appreciate the support and accountability.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Thursday I go into my doctors for my "results of findings" appointment, or in English, the appointment where we go over all the stuff from my physical.  I am going to ask my doctor about getting back on anti-depressants.  My family deserves to have me fully functional.  I deserve to be fully functional.  (though I say that, and kinda know it, I so don't feel it!) 

Wow.  Those words just made me realize something.  I struggle with being on meds because though I want it to be true that I deserve to live a happy life, I don't really believe it in my heart of hearts.  I don't feel deserving, it's hard to take action to correct the situation when you don't feel like you deserve the corrected results.  BUT I do believe my family deserves the corrected results.

So I'm saying it here, simply because otherwise I might chicken out.  If I know someone is going to ask me, I am less likely to lie my way through yet another appointment.  I'm not really ok.  I am struggling.  And I know that stabilizing my emotions will also help stabilize my recovery.  Feel free to ask me Thursday if I was honest with my doctor.  I'll probably need the accountability.

my favorite day of the year

I feel like I am six because though I have always felt it, this year I admitted it.  Today is my favorite day of the year.  Today is my birthday!  I always hesitated to tell people it was my birthday.  I kinda have always felt embarrassed by how much I enjoy it.  It makes no sense.  I usually want to fade into the background and be just a little visible but on my birthday I want to shout it from the rooftops that it is a day that is important.

So for the first time ever, I have said it out loud.  Today is my birthday and August 6th is my favorite day of the entire year!  It was a good birthday too.  I started the morning with a note from my love, then a lovely picture message on my phone of a birthday card.  (grrrrr, I just tried to download pictures of both and for some reason my computer won't let me retrieve those pictures!)

I had a friend come visit and we went to Starbucks so I could use my birthday postcard for a freebie.  I treated myself to a quad shot vanilla latte, something I have never done but thoroughly enjoyed.  Another friend stopped by with what she thought was an early birthday gift only to be thrilled to realize she was dead on the day.  Her gift made me cry.

I suppose I should explain why it made me cry.  See, this calendar used to hang in her room after she and her husband split.  It was her serenity.  I commented on how beautiful it was when I was helping her move.  I got my wedding gown in Paris.  I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  I sat on the patio of a bistro with a glass of wine and watched the night lights of Paris come on.  Paris holds a special place in my heart.  Paris also holds a special place in her heart, but that is her story to tell, not mine.  I tried to protest the gift.
"No, this is your special lovey!"
"And now it is your special lovey!"
It was more than a gift.  It was a piece of her heart.

Sadly, I did have to make dinner tonight.  But on the upside, I was smart enough to buy thin crust chicken alfredo pizzas at Costco and specifically saved them for a night when I really needed a break from cooking dinner.  Pizza and a beer for dinner and then off to see the Smurfs with my family.  Cute movie, I enjoyed it but even more so enjoyed my kids laughter at the movie!

I finished off the night by using my treat receipt from Starbucks, pictures with my love (taken by my 8 year old, such a sweetheart!), and a ridiculous amount of birthday wishes on facebook.  I was aware of feeling down and at times very lonely today.  But it was still a beautiful way to turn 30-something and even though my feelings don't often feel it, today I realized that a lot of people really do care about me.  That counts for future encouragement in some way, I am sure!

I am so ridiculously in love with this man!

when your 8 yr old is the photographer and the cell phone is the camera, sometimes pictures turn out a bit blurry.   turning it black and white and editing only can help so much!  :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

"real" depression?

For several months I have been stabilizing somewhat with my depression.  The lows still came but they weren't so low that I couldn't remember what the highs felt like and I've been just chugging along one foot in front of the other and making it.  I am aware that the past couple of weeks have been harder to just keep going.  I've been very sad lately.  Sad, even when I am happy.  The lows are sinking lower and are harder to pull myself out of.  Depression severely affects my eating disorder, it's just too much work to take care of me when I'm depressed.  Recovery suddenly becomes an insurmountable task.  Depression didn't cause my eating disorder, nor did it relapse me but it does make recovery so very difficult. 

So here I am again.  Happy because tomorrow is my favorite day of the entire year and yet feeling a weight behind the happiness.  Having managed the depression so well for the past several months and now to be feeling its heaviness on me again, makes me wonder if my mom was right, that this is all in my head.  If you truly have depression, is it likely that you could be off your meds and function well for months and then crash?  Is this real depression or do I just not know how to handle real life? 

My mother's words when I was in high school are echoing in my ears.  "There's nothing wrong with her that a little more prayer and time in the Word wouldn't take care of."  Is that true?  Are my struggles directly linked with my faith?  I mean, I know that God has brought me peace when it should have been impossible.  I know there are times that my issue is that I am not trusting God and I'm allowing fear and anxiety to dominate my heart.  But there are also times while deep in worship, I still feel the weight on my heart, times when I press in hard to my Savior and still ache even as He holds me close. 

Is this me?  Is this my faith?  Is this a lack of trust in the God of all Creation?  Is this all in my head?  Is this hormonal?  Is this real?