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

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I've been posting more on my other blog lately. This one still feels like an old friend though. I'm lonely. Very very lonely.

Anxiety has been really high recently and has been manifesting itself in social anxiety. My staff Christmas party, team meetings, the ladies Christmas tea and even just sitting through church have all been incredibly difficult. Even posting to Facebook feels vaguely uncomfortable and far too social.

I do love my job but I'm struggling to go. I don't want to leave my house. I feel comfortable with Hubby. I feel known. I feel less lonely with him. I just want the anxiety to go away. I want it to go away so that I can function without huge discomfort every time I leave my house.

And I'm still lonely.

Monday, October 28, 2013

how anxiety affects orange

My anxiety has been really high for the past month or so.  Last week it caused me to call in sick to work one day.  Something needs to change.  I need to be fully functional.  As anxiety mounts, it becomes increasingly easier to not eat enough.  I'm still eating, don't fret.  It's just easy to not eat as much as I should.  My stomach is so twisted in knots that eating is actually difficult.

I'm saying this not to make you worry, but to hold myself accountable.  I have found a natural supplement called Confianza that helps tremendously with the anxiety when I take it.  I need to start taking it regularly again.  I let the anxiety get so high that I am incapable of getting up and going to grab it out of the cupboard.  Hubby has a few times asked if I needed it, grabbed it and brought it to me when I can simply nod with tears flowing down my cheeks but can't move to get it.

I need to start taking it daily again to help bring the anxiety down and make my life functional again.  I need to stop waiting until I'm hyperventilating and starting to go into panic mode to take it.  What's the phrase, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

I most definitely need to get the anxiety under control, anxious thoughts also make orange thoughts really loud.  It seems so easy to try to gain control through food.  Though I know fully that not getting proper nutrition makes the anxiety worse, sometimes in the midst of it that is hard to remember.  Just because I know this doesn't seem to mean that is how I handle it in the actual situation.

I am grateful for the prayers.  I can tell you there have been days that I am certain it was God's grace through the prayers of others that has carried me through the day.  I know this too shall pass.  I also know the longer it takes to pass the harder it is to wait for the light at the end of the tunnel.  This has been longer than usual and standing strong is getting harder.  Please pray that the peace of God that surpasses our understanding will guard my heart and mind.

I am still recovering, although I hate that fact.  I want to say 3 years should equal full recovery but I know that isn't true.  The healthy times are easier and not usually a concentrated effort.  The hard times are still a struggle though.  A struggle that I had hoped I'd be past by now.  I'm trying to be patient with myself. I'm trying to be patient with the work that God has started in me because I know He will carry it through and not leave me stuck in the middle.

I love you guys.  And I love the role you have played in my recovery.  Thanks.  Let's keep recovering together.

Monday, October 21, 2013

When feelings aren't truth but they feel like it

The text said fml. I acknowledged that I don't actually believe that.  But it's how I feel right now.

I love the people in my life. I'd take them out of that equation of the text.  I love things about my life.  I love being wife to Hubby. I love being mom to my Littles. I love my job,  even though today I was too overwhelmed to go to work and do my job.

So when I look at it logically, I really wouldn't say fml. I love my life.  But I hate my emotions.  I hate that with a life full of love,  I still struggle to see hope.  I hate that anxiety sometimes cripples me.  I hate that depression sometimes makes me feel emotionally bankrupt. 

Food is hard.  Not my because of my body but because of my emotions. I want control.  I want to feel the surge  of euphoria that being hungry gives.  But this time there is no euphoria only the empty darkness that usually comes when I've fallen too far.

I don't want to fall but I don't want to fight either.  I just want to give up.  I won't give up, I just want to.  Hubby is keeping me accountable.  He knows where I am and he's holding me up.  I know this too shall pass.  Until it does, I'm really grateful for those who hold my arms when I'm too tired to fight.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

fighting side by side

We're all in this together right?  We are here to do life together, to encourage each other, to bear one another's burdens, to restore each other.  We fight together through this mess of life.  Today I want to fight alongside someone whose battle I've never personally fought.  Just because I haven't fought it myself doesn't mean that I should hole up in my corner of the world and only pay attention to the battles that have affected me directly.  Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day.  If you have a moment and you want to hear the story of an amazing woman, strong and beautiful beyond belief, please check out:

Heather, I'm glad you are cancer free.  I'm glad that you are encouraging others in their fights around the world.  I'm glad I can share your story.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

a walk through my mind

I have mentioned recently that I am noticing the healthy thoughts getting louder.  I'm back at a healthy pre-relapse weight.  I'm usually engaging in healthy behaviors rather than disordered behaviors.  To the outsider, I don't look the part of someone recovering from an eating disorder.  Even to my friends, I look healthy and therefore most people think that the eating disorder has gone away.

Sometime the noise in my head gets loud though.  Sometimes I look healthy but my mind is screaming inside of me for relief.  It has been one of those times this past week.  Like the day I ended up wearing an extra tank top when I met up with friends simply because I was unsatisfied when I looked in the mirror so I was trying to hide my body.  There was also the shorts day.  Oh my, the shorts day.

My shorts that I have fit in for the last 2 summers have been too tight this summer.  Yes, I know, that is a good thing.  But it doesn't feel like a good thing.  It doesn't feel good to realize that pre-relapse weight also means another clothing size bigger.  I've settled it by not wearing shorts rather than buying new clothes.  But this weekend was hot and my friend had given me a pair so I decided to wear them.  They were a bit too big but too big is better than too small and they were just long enough to cover the space on my thighs that touches again.  But my body felt clunky in them.  I felt like the hips were huge and the thighs accentuated.  How on earth do women wear shorts and not feel like I did that day?????  I applaud you if that is you.

Yesterday I changed clothes 7 times before I finally realized that the problem was the mirror not the clothes.  And then after realizing that, I still changed 2 more times. 

The healthy days are regular and beginning to feel consistent,  which is nice.  But that doesn't mean the disorder is completely gone either.  Days like yesterday take every ounce of my strength,  lots of prayer support and truly God's grace to hold on to my recovery.  It is awkward to still struggle when I look like I'm all better.  It is frustrating to fight what is a now an invisible battle.

I'm doing better.  I'm still recovering though and it is hard to remember that I still need help,  that I still need to give myself grace and that recovery is a journey not a quick fix.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

anniversaries and healing

Today I want to celebrate a little bit.  It's an anniversary for me but not one most people would celebrate so just bear with me a little while I explain.  On this day 3 years ago relapse hit full force.  Typically one doesn't remember the day things started going south but I do.  I had been allowing disordered thoughts, actions, and habits for more than a year but then something snapped.  July 24, 2010 I drove to the airport to pick up a friend and suddenly every single calorie in my drink attacked my brain.

I panicked and restricted.  I restricted severely.  I exercised until my body collapsed.  It wasn't pretty.  It was among the darkest times of my life.  So why on earth would I want to celebrate the anniversary of the day relapse became official?  Well, because I don't remember the date that I started recovery.  I can celebrate today because I can clearly see how different my life is now than it was on this day 3 years ago.

That is part one of this post.  Where I was then.  And now for where I am today.  

I recently did something brave, something really brave.  Something I thought was a gift for my husband but turned out being a gift for myself as well.  I did a boudoir photo shoot for Hubby's birthday.  This is the 3rd time that I have purchased a package, and the first time that I finally had the courage to actually use it. I just have never been able to convince myself that my body is beautiful enough to take pictures of it.

In a random and quick burst of bravery I called and made the appointment.  Somehow I made myself  show up for the photo shoot.  I'm not particularly modest but I am uncomfortable in my skin.  How on earth that happens I don't know.  My hesitation wasn't about posing in my underware, it was about not liking my body. I'm not really sure if that makes sense but it does in my head.

It was a different experience than I could have even imagined.  It was actually fun.  It was empowering.  I felt pretty even in my own skin!  I didn't tell Hubby I were I was going.  I didn't even tell him after I had done it.  For two weeks I kept the secret.  Finally the day of the consultation I had a friend watch the kids, told Hubby I had a surprise for his birthday and drove him to the photographers.

He was SHOCKED.  He was amazed.  He loved all of it.  And then I was able to finally tell him what had happened to me through the experience.  I was able to tell him how I thought I was giving him a gift but how I had been able to relax and be ok  with my body during the shoot.  I told him how healing this experience had been for me.  I don't know if I can even fully express the healing this brought to my soul.  And at that moment he informed me that I was the best gift I could have ever given him.  The gift wasn't the pictures, the gift was me.  The gift was seeing me smile.  The gift was watching me begin to heal.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


So I totally overreacted to something stupid.  I made a big deal over what was meant as a joke.  When he looked at me confused, wondering what could have possibly done to warrant my reaction, I started talking.  I talked myself into a corner.  And then I did it.  I blurted out something I didn't even really realize was in my heart until the words tumbled out of my mouth.

I now feel like I overshared.  I shared where my safe spot is.  I told him what I dreamed of when I was a little girl and needed to escape my reality.  I now want to rewind time and leave those words unsaid. I want to keep that spot only in my head.  I want it back.  I want it to be mine again not ours.

 I feel vulnerable. I feel guarded.  And I feel those things with the person in this life who loves me most of all, with the one person that I don't need to feel guarded with.  And feeling those things makes me feel lonely also.

I want to crawl into my head and stay there.  I don't want to be vulnerable.  Even though this vulnerable is safe.  I want to protect my heart but I'm trying to protect it from the wrong thing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Speed (up)dating

In the 5 minutes I have before I leave for work, I'm going to update. I have noticed some really healthy things going on in my brain.  I weigh the most that I have since before relapse.  Let's face it, I am back to pre-relapse weight.  In some areas that is very scary.  I feel like I'm one brownie away from being post-baby weight again but I know that is perception not reality.  I've heard things come out of my mouth like....

This summer I am working on accepting this new body.

I'm trying to find clothes to fit my body rather than make my body fit my clothes.

and the best one yet.....

Please don't edit my birthmark out of those pictures.   I need to be able to be beautiful just as God created me and I need to be ok with that "flaw" on my body.  

It isn't all easy-peasy.  There are days that the fact that my thighs are beginning to touch again really bothers me.  But as a whole, the healthy voice in my head is starting to get louder than the unhealthy voice which is, in my book, huge progress toward healing. 

That's all for now, must head to work.  Love you friends!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What's posture got to do with it?

I have so much going through my head.  So much that God has been working on in my heart.  And I sit down to write about it and the words just won't come.  I can't tell you how many times I've started a post  only to backspace the entirety of it.  It all makes sense in my head but the words sound jumbled when I try to say it.

God has been dealing with me on things like my hatred of a set schedule and why I feel so strongly about it.  Things like having gained weight since last summer and trying to keep a healthy mindset about accepting my  new body.  And things like understanding what posture means to me and how my posture reflects my body image.

Yeah, strange huh? I slouch to avoid standing out.  I just want to blend.  I just want no one to notice me.  And yet I want to be known.  Not noticed but known.  And I just can't have both.

I think I'm ready for another blog challenge.  I need to get out of my rut.  I'm thinking deep but I'm writing not so much.  I just can't seem to quite embrace the words right now.  I want to hash it out but I want to hash it out by talking rather than writing this time.  It's getting late and my brain is starting to wander. 

What about you?  How are you doing right now?  What is important to you?  What to you want to talk about or write about?  Are you realizing new things about yourself? 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


My insurance agent made a mistake and didn't switch my bank account on my life insurance when we changed banks.  He switched it for my car and home insurance, he didn't get the life insurance policy switched.  It lapsed, I realized, I panicked.  He told me reinstating it  was easy, just fill out these forms.

I fill out said forms which ask  questions about physical and mental health within the last 5 years.  Well, you can't lie, that is insurance fraud, and I do have things on my medical record that weren't there when I first got my policy.  Things like an eating disorder and a stay in the mental hospital.  Things like suicidal ideations, Major Depressive Disorder, anxiety, and PTSD. 

Apparently insurance doesn't like those things.  They asked more questions.  I answered them.  Yesterday I received the letter stating that my request for policy reinstatement was denied.  I have no life insurance anymore.  I am not insurable anymore.  And I lost my coverage all because of a clerical error.

I have a myriad of emotions about it.  The first was anger.  And let's be honest, I'm still pretty hot about it.  I felt a little bit of overwhelm.  And I also feel a bit like Marshall in the episode of How I Met Your Mother when he is imagining bears jumping out at him in NYC and attacking him.  Ok, so that last one makes me laugh so at least when I feel the pit in my stomach growing I can switch gears and laugh for a moment.

One more thing that this eating disorder has taken from me, insurability.  I don't know if I'm most angry at my agent for the error, at myself for not catching it sooner, or at Orange for stealing one more thing from me.  I'm going to get better.  I'm going to prove them wrong. 

And now I need to take a deep breath, finish getting ready for work and take this day one step at a time.  I will trust myself to my Creator, both physically and emotionally.  He sees it all and He is here with me, even here, even without insurance.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

worth it

The depression has been dark.  Hubby has been kind.  Yesterday was one in a series of days that he took care of me both physically and emotionally.  In the quiet darkness of our bedroom, I lean into his arms.  I whisper thank you for taking care of me today.  He brushes hair from my face, leans into my ear and whispers back the last words I heard before sleep came, "You're worth taking care of."
Words he repeated again by mornings light, just to make sure that I had heard them.  I shake my head, I don't understand.  But I am grateful that he does.  I'm worth the effort, even though sometimes it is great. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm a guest blogger, I'm no longer MIA and I'm hanging in there

I have been reminded that it has been a while since I have updated.  Now that Hubby works from home and I go to out to work, writing has been something I unintentionally shift to a back burner.  My preference is to write with a quiet, preferably empty but I'll take sleeping as well, house.  I go to bed before Hubby now that he doesn't need to be up in the middle of the night for work.  I get ready for work while he takes the littles to school.  I have no time to write.  Well, that is not true.  I just don't make it a priority or time block for it anymore.

I'm doing ok.  I'm not dealing as much with food panic right now but I am still walking through the heavy mud of depression.  Some days have been dark.  Some days have been bearable.  Few days have been wonderful.  I'm trying hard to not isolate, though there is nothing in the world that sounds better right now.  Work has been a good distraction from focusing on me and my own pity party.

Today my father in law has surgery to remove the screen that they put in his lung to trap the blood clots.  I'm trying to trust the doctors when they say it is a very basic surgery with low risks.  It is hard to trust that when just a couple of months ago we thought we were going to lose the man I love so much.  He is a pillar of strength to me, to my husband, to our entire family and the mere thought of anything going not as planned makes my heart quiver with anxiety. 

Hey, if you have a moment, go visit Brittnie at A Joy Renewed.  She is doing a great series on life with an eating disorder and today my very dear friend Amy's story is posted.  My story, *gulp* will be posted tomorrow.  I know I'd appreciate some support from those of you who know me and love me because it seems scary to guest blog.  Why?  No idea, I already lay it all out here but for some reason it is different laying it all out on someone else's blog to friends I haven't met yet.

Love you guys, sorry I've been MIA, I'll try to be more intentional and not block y'all out!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Swearing inside my head

This morning I am silently cursing the breakfast that stares me down. The breakfast that is one peach slice smaller than intended because of the panic in my head.

Yesterday I silently cursed my own body. The way it bruises too easily. The way it left evidence of the anxiety that I took out on it.

I long for complete healing. To never ever have days and moments of completely overwhelming anxiety that makes eating hard and self harm easy. But since this is a journey not a destination, I will press on thankful that I am further on my journey than I was a year ago.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

a note to the wounded

Wonded One,

Keep fighting.  Keep pressing on.  Keep getting out of bed when it feels like you can't.  We need you.  We love you.  You are not alone.  And remeber when you feel like you have failed that three steps forward and two steps back is still one step closer to your destination than when you started.  You can do this, WE can do this, together we will fight and together we will stand and together we will overcome the demons in our heads.

Much love,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rules and Regulations

I long for freedom from rules almost as much as I long for rules right now.  I am struggling to keep my brain from overpowering me with rules.  Rules, what I can or cannot eat.  How much I can eat.  How many calories I can have.  The order in which I eat and the way I prepare my meals.  The design and perfect order of how my plate is arranged.  I am maintaining a recovery place.  I am not using behaviors that cause me to stumble.  I am also longing for the security that food rules give me. 

I also desperately long to be completely free.  I long for the day when I refer to my eating disorder in the past tense.  I press on in recovery because someday I will be free.  Someday the rules will be the past, someday I will not crave their structure.  For now, I will settle for fighting the longing for their structure and stability.  For now I will just keep fighting. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

containing the damage? I hope so

I wonder if there really is some amount of truth in the thoughts of genetics playing a role in eating disorders.  I mean, it can't all be the crazy messages of false beauty because everyone hears them but not everyone gets trapped in the dark world of eating disorders.  Majority of the women that I talk to are trapped by the messages that their bodies are not good enough, pretty enough or small enough.   But majority of the women I know do not end up starving themselves or purging their ingested nutrients.  Is it possible that like other diseases that there are physical factors that make one more susceptible to an eating disorder?

I have been walking through some big and often scary things with one of my children.  I have only one who I worry about as far as food issues go.  I have one who has for years now been more sensitive about food, body size and weight than is probably normal or healthy for his age.  This is the child who sometimes refuses to eat, claiming he isn't really hungry.  This is the child who talks about losing weight.  This is the child who talks about one day diets.  This is the child who sometimes mentions that he feels a little lighter that day.  This is the child who we are specific in not mentioning pants sizes with because he is an average waist size but his brother is a slim sized pant.  This is the child who the pediatrician specifically has told me to keep an eye on his habits and behaviors to make sure that if he starts sliding down that path that we can help him before it is too late and he is trapped.

Recently he had a school assignment that involved writing about why healthy breakfast is important.  He really struggled with it.  As I dug a little deeper I discovered that he doesn't believe that any breakfast is important at all much less healthy breakfast.  We read articles online about breakfast.  One headline caught his eye about how eating breakfast can help you lose weight.  He looked me dead in the eye and said, "Mom, that doesn't even make sense.  Eating food is what makes you fat."  A part of me died when he said that and I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me.

I helped him look up articles about metabolism, breakfast, fueling the body.  We looked at many that were geared directly toward the nutrition that children need to grow and to feed their brains.  I could see him finally starting to accept some of the information but that didn't happen until we hit WebMD.  That was the only site he was willing to trust somewhat, albeit reluctantly, because actual doctors wrote the articles and did the video interviews.  For three hours we read and talked and hung out together discussing what we had learned.  He finally had enough of an arsenal that he felt like he could do the assignment.

Later in the kitchen he was writing and he informed me that his friend's parent probably don't know the same information that he had just learned.  I asked why and he told me that that these particular parents are on a diet and trying to lose weight.  He said that they usually skip breakfast because the other two meals they have planned for the day are too high in calories and they don't want to go over their amount of calories or they won't lose weight. 

WHAT?????? Are you freakin kidding me?????  Why on earth would you say stuff like that to children?  What part of that sounds like information that growing children need to think about?  My kids are growing.  They NEED the nutrition.  Their bones and muscles need to grow and develop.  Their brains need to be able to grow, to learn, to be healthy.  And all of that includes them EATING.  Why do adults talk about their diets to children?  Ugh, it made me feel a little sick to my stomach. I'm not blaming them for my son's views on food.  I am however annoyed that they fueled a fire that has already been trying to gain ground for a long time now.  I know it was unknowingly done, but I still don't understand talking with kids about diets.  It is information that they simply do not need, they need to concentrate on growing up not on losing weight.

I'm sure that you know this, I went to bed emotionally drained and at a loss for words that night.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What if I just jumped in?

Yesterday at MOMSnext (think MOPS but for moms with school aged kids) the speaker posed a couple of questions.  These questions have been gnawing at me anyway but hearing them verbalized quickened the nudging in my own soul.  She asked, What is it that God is calling you to dive into?  You know what it is because it has already been nagging at your brain. What is the voice in your head saying that is preventing you from stepping out into that calling?

I had planned on either not answering or keeping it shallow.  Several ladies that I work with are in my MOMSnext group and I didn't really want to bare my soul in front of coworkers.  But if you know me at all, you know that if you directly ask me a question, I will give you a direct answer.  I don't lie well and I really don't see the point of lying anyway.  I tend to be far more of an open book than is probably beneficial.  So I answered the questions when my coworker looked me in the eye and said, "So what about you Dawn?  What is God doing in your life, how is He moving and how is He asking you to plunge all in?"  And here is the truth about what is going on in my heart.

What is God asking me to plunge in to?  I'm supposed to write.  And over the last year I have been feeling a nagging at my soul that the writing is supposed to turn into speaking at some point. When I came to my current job, I felt very strongly that the Lord was telling me that it is a place where He will grow me and stretch me, that it is to be a training ground for wherever He takes me next.  I don't want to stretch and grow.  Growing hurts.  God and I have been battling that out for a while now. 

What is the voice in my head that is keeping me from doing what God is calling me to?  No one wants to hear my story, no one wants to listen to what I have to say.  That is the voice in my head.

And then there is the fear of the ripple effect of how this will impact the lives of my family outside of Hubby and the kids.  My in-laws are the most private people on the planet and I'm pretty sure that as much as they love me, they think I share WAAAAAAAAY too much.  My parents, well that is its own complicated drama.  I also want to find the boundary of while telling my story, protecting other people's stories.  Other stories play into my story and I want to find a way to be true to myself without crossing over into a realm of gossip and divulging things that are not my place to divulge.

I'd rather follow God's leading in a small and safe area than step out in faith.  I'd rather write on a blog that I don't advertise that each post gets between 5-15 views.  I'd rather not speak at all.  What if God leads me big and I totally blow it?  What if I cause more than a ripple effect in my family and instead of ripple circles, huge tsunami wave wash over us and leave a wake of devastation?

I'm terrified to take that step. I love to write, it ignites my soul, and I have no earthly clue what I would do if more than a couple of dozen people were to see something that I wrote.  I have no college degree.  I'm sure my writing would drive more than a couple of grammar snobs or editors completely bonkers.  It isn't perfect, neither am I.  What if being imperfect is not really what people want to see?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

recovery or recovering

Today I feel like I am "doing recovery" rather than recovering.  I think you have to have experienced recovery in some form for that to fully make sense.  I am tired.  But I'm tired because I'm depressed not because I haven't gotten enough sleep.

Yesterday, once again, I begged God to heal me.  I promised Him the world, just make this heaviness go away.  PLEASE!  Instead He filled my ride to work with songs about trusting God even through the pain, songs about how His love doesn't fail us even through the dark times, songs of reassurance but no songs of healing.

So once again, with a heavy heart, I am asked to trust what I cannot feel.  And I do.  And I will.  Even if the heaviness never leaves, He is God and He is good.

I saw this on Facebook last week.  I have to share it because it is true.

Yeah, I really am glad.  I'm glad you're here still.  I'm even glad I'm here still.  Keep pressing on.  Keep hanging on.  Keep doing recovery even when you feel like you are doing recovery not recovering.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Keep doing the next right thing.  And next year we can all gather around each other and be glad that we are still here.