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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How does she do that??????

I planned on skipping lunch today.  Yes, I am flat out admitting that I had every intention of having a low intake day.  I have been once again fighting the voice in my head (or maybe indulging the voice in my head) that swears that I can both live and restrict.  That voice is trying so hard to tell me that I can still be me, that I can still be a great mom, wife, friend and employee without the assistance of food. 

Let's be honest for a moment, I know the voice is lying and yet I still feel the need to listen when it speaks.  I still feel like I could be the different one, that my disease wouldn't steal from me.  I still feel like if I could be down x pounds before my doctor's appointment that I would be "happy" with myself. 

And then my work friend happens along on the days that I have no intention of eating and she just seems to KNOW.  Once it was a friendly, "Hey, have you taken your lunch yet?"  Last time it was the one I blogged about with a touch on my knee and a "You ok?"  Today it was the offer of splitting the cost of Chipotle.  How did she know?  How did she know that today was the day that I needed to eat, that today was the day I had not one intention of indulging in lunch, that Chipotle was probably the only thing that could have tempted me?

I don't know, but I'm grateful that she brought me out of my head.  I'm grateful that she gave me perspective enough to see the faultiness of the voice in my head.  And I'm grateful that she went and got the food.  God must have known that I needed someone here who could pull me out of my head once in a while.  There is no other reason that I can think of that the only times she has mentioned food to me have been the days that I have really been struggling!

Monday, July 23, 2012

life continues

I'm ok.  I'm hanging in there.  I didn't eat much or sleep much this past weekend.  The helicoptors were flying right over my house while they were providing 24 hr live arial coverage of the crime scene.  It was hard to sleep.  I had been struggling to eat anyway.

I realized that for several days I hadn't eaten or had barely eaten.  Yesterday I realized my head hurt and I was just so hungry.  It was hard to eat.  Eating felt so trivial, so normal.  And in the face of the evil that has happened, normal every day things didn't seem to matter.

My kids have been asking me questions.  They need me to help them process their feelings.  My oldest is angry.  REALLY. REALLY. ANGRY.  My middle doesn't realize that he is both relieved and scared.  He keeps mentioning that he was there just a few hours before the shooting. 

Yesterday I just didn't want to go home after church.  Home felt stifling at that moment.  My oldest suggested Toys R Us and I thought it sounded like a great idea.  It was refreshing to see some innocence.  It was healing to see my children playing with toys and making birthday and Christmas wish lists.  It was wonderful to see them with their innocence in tact even though I know the weekend stole some of their innocence.  It was a joy to watch them being little.

And today we get up, dust ourselves off and keep going.  Today I, like everyone else here in Aurora, put one foot in front of the other and continue doing the normal every day things.  It is hard.  For some of them, their worlds are completely shattered and it is devestating to think of life continuing when their lives have stopped.

But if we all let life stop, then the shooter will have won.  He will have done what he came to, he will have broken us.  I'm not going to be broken.  I'm going to come alongside of those who I love and we are going to grow stronger.  Once again, we are not going to let the evil of one man, the darkness of one put out the light of many. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

a picture is worth a thousand words

 From across the street from the theater, last night.

doesn't even begin to do justice to seeing the crowd, hundreds gathered to pray and sing

blurry, but those are the cops sitting at the corner of the building.  moments earlier they had been looking at something on the ground with 3 other cops

media station on the other side of the theater

"Our Theater" deserted, damaged, bloodied and taped off.  So devastating

surreal, until it is real

Yesterday was about keeping it all together.  People I love needed me.  I didn't have time to fall apart.  And honestly I wasn't ready to fall apart.  I was shaken but I think I was in shock still.  The shock was too great to allow the emotion through.  I chatted online with my friend.  I told her I felt guilty for feeling so shaken because there are so many people who have more right to be shaken up than I do.  She responded with, "When it happens in your backyard, you have the right to be shaken."

My backyard.  Almost.  If I walk to the corner I can see the mall.  The theater is in the mall parking lot.  My Girl called last night (she needs a name, I talk about her far too often to keep calling her my friend.  For now she will be S until I decide on something better).  She asked if my boys were asleep.  When I said yes she asked if she could come over.  She wasn't hysterical anymore but I could hear the tears in her voice.

She walked in and I pulled her into my arms and held her while she sobbed.  And then I heard the words I hoped I'd never hear.  "Micayla is no longer with us."  I didn't know Micayla but S did.  Micayla was part of the group of friends that S was supposed to be with to see the movie.  Seven of her friends went, she was supposed to go.  Only one was physically injured, the one who died. 

When she heard of the shooting, S called her good friend.  He described the horror of a 6 year old girl screaming hysterically and the frantic rush to try to get out.  On the way out the 7 friends were separated.  He thought everyone was fine.  Then later he told her that Micayla was missing.  And then later she was confirmed dead.  My sweet S was supposed to be there.  It could have been her.

As I walked her to her car I was thinking how much I love her.  I introduced her to my dear friend and now neighbor. S tried to shake hands but my friend shook her head and said, "No, Honey.  You get a hug!"  As they embraced the emotion finally came.  I pulled S away and held her tightly.

We both sobbed.  I told her how much I love her.  I told her how relieved I am that she is safe.  I told her that I have never in my life been so glad that she was too tired to hang out with friends.  I told her that I can't imagine a world that doesn't have My S in it and that I'm so glad that I don't have to.  I didn't want to ever let her go.  Suddenly the reality and depth of my emotions hit me full force.

I slept poorly.  Guns and blood and bombs and screams filled my dreams.  I woke this morning to the sound of helicopters.  They have been flying over non-stop providing live aerial news coverage.  Helicopters and sirens and ambulances seeped into my sleep.  I was grateful this afternoon for a reprieve from the sound of helicopters.  The sound is disconcerting.

We had to tell our kids last night.  It was hard.  We had to tell them though.   The mall was closed.  Streets that we travel regularly were closed with police tape.  People in our church have lost loved ones.  They will hear about this, we wanted it to be from us.  Parenting is hard.  Telling your kids about bad people who make evil decisions is hard.  Reminding them that there are far more good people than bad people in this world is hard.  I have squeezed them extra hard today.  I've hugged them every chance I've had.  Tomorrow is not a guarantee.  Do the people you love know how much you love them in case tomorrow never comes for you to tell them?

Friday, July 20, 2012

we're safe

I was awakened by a phone call around 4:30.  My dear sweet friend.  The friend that a few weeks ago I told you was being evacuated from the fire area.  It's 4:30, of course something is wrong.  No one calls at that time when things are ok.  She was hysterical.  I couldn't understand a word she said.  After several minutes I finally was able to gather the story.


Yeah, I said it.  The shooting at the Aurora theater that you are waking up to hearing about, it happened near my house.  She was supposed to be there.  Her friends invited her.  She contemplated it and then decided tonight that she was too tired to make the hour drive tonight to come up to hang out with her friends.  After all, she would have to make the hour drive home as well because she has to work this morning.

My husband and younger boys were at this theater just hours before.  Logically my mind says that my family was fine.  The shooting happened during the premier of the new Batman.  That in a sick and twisted way can make sense.  No one is going to start shooting in Madagascar 3, that doesn't make sense in any way.  But I still feel stunned and shocked.  What if it had been my family?  What if it had been 4 hours earlier when my family was there?

I feel sick.  My oldest son saw the new Spiderman movie a couple of weeks ago at this theater, late at night with a friend and his family.  What if it had happened then?  12 dead.  10 died at the scene.  2 died in hospitals.  50+ wounded.  They are reporting that the youngest patient is 3 months old but people are spread out in hospitals across the city.  That may not be an accurate statement.  But several eye witnesses said they saw a baby get shot.

A baby.  My friend's friend who was there said the worst part was a little girl, maybe 6 years old, screaming and crying hysterically.  What is wrong with people???????  The suspect is in custody. I'm glad he is custody.  I live far too close to feel ok with a roaming suspect.  My family is safe.  My friends are safe.  And I am not ok right now.

I'm praying right now for the families who had to say goodbye far too soon.  I'm praying for the people who were injured.  I'm praying for the people who were there who were in different theaters.  I'm praying for my friend who was supposed to be there.  I'm praying for peace.  I'm praying for the words to say when my kids ask me about this.  I'm praying with a very broken heart.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

are they really watching my plate or is it all in my head?

Yesterday was a working lunch.  In other words, my work provides lunch and we eat while we continue our meeting.  I hate working lunches.  I despise them.  Yesterday had me desiring to run away, to cry, to swear.  Thankfully I was at a table of people I'm fairly comfortable with which eased my tension a little.  I always feel like people are watching me eat and it makes me really uncomfortable.  Which really, especially here where no one knows about my past, probably isn't happening.

At least this meal was Panera so it was sandwiches and salad rather than pizza or bbq.  Having healthy options should have made it easier but for some reason yesterday's lunch was still harder than usual.  My friend now works with me.  She sits in the cubicle next to me.  I really like having her there.  I was scared at first to have her there because having her there crosses the line of keeping work and personal separate. 

It means that someone in my office knows that some days I don't eat.  It means that someone in my office not only knows about it but was the one to get the text saying that I was in the hospital under 72 hour watch nearly two years ago.  It means that someone at work knows about things I don't want to share at work about my past. 

It also means yesterday when I was staring at my food contemplating for a few moments running away, that I got a quick touch on the knee and a concerned, "You ok?"  Wow.  That was a life giving moment.  I still excused myself to my cubicle to cry for a minute or two but I came back to my meeting and was able to eat the lunch.  That simple gesture helped me bring my head back in the game.

Maybe I still feel like everyone noticed my plate because I noticed someone else's.  I noticed the woman who ate only half of her sandwich (which they were half sandwiches to begin with) and gave her salad away and never ate dessert.  Maybe I feel it because I couldn't stop my leg from shaking violently once the food time arrived.  That was probably more of a tell than my plate.

I feel vulnerable.  Not necessarily in a bad way but still vulnerable.  I feel like there will come a point that my story is going to be asked about and as I've said before, if you ask, I don't lie. I am a little afraid of that but I'm learning that I trust majority of the people in my office.  I want to be known and at the same time I want to be invisible.  It is a scary spot.

I also yesterday realized that I think God brought me here to prepare me for what is next in my life.  I hope to work with this organization for a very long time.  I love it, I'm passionate about it, I feel called to be where I am.  I also feel like the stretching and growing that will happen here is to prepare me for the next step.  I don't know if that step will be within this organization or outside of it but I feel fairly convinced that this is training ground.  That is exciting and terrifying all in one breath.

And today I can eat lunch alone if I wish, with no one watching me.  Even if I do eat with others, knowing I don't have to eases the anxiety a hundred times over.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

depression and recent observations

I'm really struggling right now. Depression has creeped into every inch of my soul. I want to be ok, but I'm not.  I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other but right now it is incredibly hard.  I don't want to get out of bed in the morning. I find myself praying on the way to the work that the chit chat is minimal and the phones are quiet just so that I don't have to talk to anyone.

On another note, I've been observing people a lot lately.  I've had questions. My friend and I have been discussing what is beautiful.  Like for instance the photo below.....

Once being curvy was a sign of wealth, it meant you could afford food.  Now being curvy is seen as a disgrace.  Why?  When did being a walking skeleton become better than looking like a woman?

I'm not any different.  I think those skinny gals look amazing.  I envy them.  Until I see Keira next to Marilyn.  And then I wonder where we went wrong as a society.  Marilyn Monroe must be the sexiest woman in history and by today's standards she would be a plus sized model and second class to the likes of Heidi Klum, Kate Hudson, Keira Knightly.  Why?

My friend posted this old advertisement.....

My friend made the comment that the skinny girl in the ad, looks miserable and hungry.  How true. My lament was that now we are trying to lose those same 10-25 pounds that women 50 years ago were trying to gain.  It isn't about being healthy, it's about being skinny.  If it were about being healthy, we wouldn't be afraid of carbs or every single calorie.  We would be balanced and sometimes chocolate cake would be ok.  We would eat real food and we would look like women not sticks.

And another thought.  Why are we as women so obsessed with getting the pre-pregnancy body back?  Nothing about our lives is the same as before pregnancy, why do we expect our bodies to be the same?  Why do we expect the body of a 12 year old instead of the body of a woman?  Why are we so damn afraid of curves?

Better question, why am I so damn afraid?  I see the walking skeletons, I don't think they are gorgeous.  But I still end up envying them.  I struggle to eat because I'm depressed and food seems so trivial right now.  I have found myself not even getting hungry and eating simply because oh yeah, it's 2 o'clock and I haven't eaten anything yet.  I just don't care.

I'm trying to care.  I'm trying to hang in there.  But really I want to crawl under a big rock and not come out.  I want to hide.  And I just want to sleep for a million bajillion years.  I'll be ok, I always am.  I've noticed a pattern, it is always worse in summer and near Christmas.  It will get better.  I'm ready for it to get better now.

Sorry if I rambled.  I'm tired and over it.  That is usually the best time to write to clear my head but also the worst because I verbally vomit all over the place. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Be The Change You Wish to See

It isn't ok.  Assault is never ok.  Bullying, whether it be in the form of words, physical actions or sexual assault is not acceptable.

So I've told the story before, as least I think I have.  When I was in high school I was attacked by someone who had been a friend of mine.  We were alone in the chapel (private school, remember?), it was fairly dark with worship music playing.  He called me over to where he was and asked me a question.  We talked for a few minutes.

He told me he liked me and wanted to know if I would go on a date with him.  I told him no, I was seeing someone else.  Before I knew it he was kissing me.  "Well now how do you feel about me?"  I wanted to scream,  "I HATE YOU!  I SAID NO!" but instead I just froze.  I tried to tell him again that I wasn't interested.  And in moments that happened so quickly I am not entirely sure how it happened, I found myself on the ground pinned down. 

I didn't know it was possible for anyone to have that many hands, they were everywhere.  I couldn't move.  He was still kissing me, I couldn't pull away and I couldn't even scream.  As he tore the buttons off of my shirt and broke my bra strap, I knew he was going to rape me and in my head I said, "God, help."  Suddenly my attacker was against the wall as if he was being held there, staring at me with a blank "What just happened?" kind of a look. 

I seized the opportunity and ran, clutching my shirt closed.  I wore my coat for the rest of classes.  I didn't tell anyone at first.  I was so scared and so ashamed.  A couple of days later, I told a youth group leader and she gave me the courage and even went with me to tell the school administration. 

Here is the surprising part.  The school did nothing.  First they said I must have been mistaken.  Then they finally called him in and he admitted to it.  They gave him a one day in school suspension, which basically meant he did homework in the office instead of going to classes.  I felt really devalued.  My parents were pissed.

Now I know I don't always have great things to say about my mom and that I struggle with her a lot, but this time she did right by me.  She went in to the principal's office for two months until that boy was kicked out of school.  He said he couldn't help it, that was just how he was.  They tried to tell us that.  My parents would hear none of it.  My mom finally went over the principal's head to the director.  Finally they acted.

A year or so ago I read an article in my husband's Sports Illustrated about a girl who had been sexually assaulted at school and the school refused to protect her.  Her dad stood up for her.  I remember reading it and being pissed that once again the school protected the attacker not the victim.

And folks, it is happening again.  Read this blog.  Ok, so Lillian wasn't sexually assaulted but she was still assaulted.  She was hurt at school from bullying, hurt enough to need medical intervention and the school is protecting the wrong person.  Her mamma and auntie are tough cookies though and they are advocating for her.  Her story has moved like wildfire across the country. 

I can't make every bully stop bullying.  I can't throw every starfish back in the ocean.  But I can make a difference for one.  WE can make a difference for Lilly.  I know first hand what it feels like for the school to say it wasn't a big deal, that I was exaggerating, that I was lying, and that he couldn't help himself.  I know what it feels like when the people who should be there to protect you end up protecting the person who hurt you AND IT SUCKS. 

I've written to the principal Nick Johnson ( as well as to the superintendent Dr. Johnny Scott (  I also wrote a note to Lillian to let her know that I stand with her and that she is worth fighting for.  I'm tired of hearing about bullies being protected or rewarded.  It isn't right.  Tonight I decided to do something about it.  It may only be one, but I'm going to stand up for this one.  And if I hear of another who needs support, I'll stand up for them as well.  Someone needs to change the world.  Why not us? 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

confused and angry

It has been a rough couple of days at work.  I've spent Monday putting out fires, which is fine, that is basically what my job is - to put out emotional fires.  Today was a tear filled day.  Today I don't understand God's plan.

I talked for a half an hour to someone with a very broken heart.  Someone she knows and loves just lost her toddler daughter to an "undetermined cause of death".  The child was too old to be considered SIDS and yet no one knows why she died.  And I am broken.  I don't understand why a mother has to continue to get up and take care of her other child and go through the motions when emotionally her heart has stopped beating.

I don't understand how God uses things like this.  I am mad at Him.  I am angry at God that children die.  I am angry that another baby was born addicted to heroin while many of my dear friends who long for nothing more than the feeling of their own child in their arms are losing their babies in utero.  And I want to say I feel God's peace and I want to say that all the Christian cliches are enough but the reality is that I don't feel it and they aren't enough.

Times like this make words like, "God will work this out for good", "God has a plan", "God was trying to spare her the pain of life", and "At least she is in heaven"  painful and frustrating.  Will He work this out for good?  I'm sure He will.  Do I want to hear it right now? No.  Do I still believe that God is good?  Absolutely.  But can I tell you a secret?  Sometimes I even though I KNOW that Hubby is a good man, I still get angry with him.  Sometimes even though I KNOW that Hubby loves me, I still get my feelings hurt or feel lonely.  Sometimes even though I  KNOW it, I don't feel it.  And sometimes I feel that way with God too.

Even though I know God is good, I don't understand Him right now.  Even though I know God still loves me, right now my feelings are hurt.  Even though I know it, the feelings haven't caught up.  Right now the feelings are hurt and anger.  And yet, God is still sovereign.  He is still on the throne.  He is still capable.  He is still good even when life isn't.  He is still faithful to His promises and loving toward all He has made.  My anger with Him doesn't change any of that.

Thankfully He is big enough to handle my emotions.  Thankfully my feelings don't change His character.  And even though I can't understand what He is doing or why, I will go back to the song that carried me through days of infertility and miscarriage.

God is too wise to be mistaken, 
God is too good to be unkind. 
 So when you don't understand, 
when you can's see His plan,
 when you can't trace His hand, trust His heart.

Another secret,  I don't understand God's plan.  AND I don't really want to understand His plan right now.  I don't ever want children dying to make sense to me. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I didn't finish the blog challenge in June.  Part of that was every time I thought about mystery I could hear Madonna's voice in my head singing

Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
And it feels like home

Not the entire song, just those first few lines.  And then I would giggle because I'm pretty sure that singing Like a Prayer isn't what blogging about mystery meant.  :)

So now that I've had a chance to think beyond Madonna, I realize why mystery gave me writer's block.  Mystery both terrifies me and motivates me.  The thought that today could be completely different from yesterday scares me.  Knowing that I don't know what today holds, good or bad, is frightening.  I so want to be in control.  I so want to emotionally climate control my life.  And I can't.

By the same token, mystery is appealing.  Thinking that today could be completely different from yesterday also brings a big sigh of relief.  Come to think of it, yesterday was kinda draining.  I'm glad that today has the potential to be different and really it will be different because even if I have a day similar, today will bring different people into my life even if they need a similar solution as those yesterday.

My desire to always be in control makes mystery an enemy but desiring to experience my life rather than endure it makes mystery a beautiful and alluring friend.  How I choose to view it may be different from day to day but in the grand scheme of things, I think that mystery has gotten a seriously bad rap.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Recovery idealistically and realistically

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Just Another Glass

Journal entry from an undisclosed amount of time ago in my recovery journey.  Substance trigger alert, It is a speed bump moment with alcohol.

Just Another Glass

If I have another glass of wine
Would I forget my name?
Would one more drink
Be enough
To finally forget my pain?

Can the sweet aroma 
Carry me away?
Could the smoothness 
Of the alcohol
Wash away my shame?

I know I can't forever hide
But just another hour please
To pretend that I am anyone,
Anyone who isn't me
Another hour to feel anything,
Anything except the pain
That threatens to overcome me

I need to start my period.  This entry isn't too far off from my feelings of hopelessness today.  I need to know if I am hormonal or massively depressed.  This isn't my typical for me but in reading through my journal today I realized how much I feel this poem today.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I'm worried about Niece.  She has been living on the streets and in shelters for months.  She called another family member last week, hysterical because she had been stabbed.  Turns out she wasn't stabbed per say but rather that someone threw a knife at her and it cut her arm.

This other family member went to pick her up and said she looks awful.  Niece has been cutting a LOT and has marks up and down her arms.  She also has needle marks from drugs. 

I saw a picture of her yesterday and wanted to cry.  She was wearing a shirt, not immodestly low-cut but low-cut enough for me to see that she has dark bruises all across her chest and collar bone. I am so heartbroken for her.  I wish I could help her and I know I can't.  She needs divine intervention, it is her only hope.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Swearing at Orange

It is amazing how a habit can suddenly become a trigger, a rule, a stumbling block.  I typically have the same thing for breakfast.  There are a lot of reasons, but the biggest ones:
~taste --> yum
~time --> quick
~cost--> cheap

It is also approved by my nutritionist.  It is safe, doesn't produce guilt.  It is easy to fix and easy to eat. Hmmm, did anyone catch how orange that reason of "safe" sounds?  I never had until this morning.

My body wanted something different than my usual and my mind actually recoiled.  I wanted eggs.  I had a full out, swearing battle with the voice in my head.  Suddenly my normal breakfast felt like a "have to".  I was shocked at the intensity of the argument in my head.  I was shocked that eggs didn't feel safe to me.  I was shocked that I felt that it had to be my normal breakfast or nothing at all.

I finally told orange to f*** off and made the eggs.  Then I had to tell her to f*** off again in order to allow myself to eat them.  It was a victory, I made and ate what my body wanted.  It was also a shocking realization of how much power that voice still holds.  It was a sobering awareness that recovery is still a lot of work, even when I am stable.  And it was encouraging to know that I have the strength to stand up to that voice now.  Eight months ago, I didn't.