Feeling The Loss

My heart seems to go into hibernation for a split second. It’s as if I have a mini heart attack, momentarily, quick and short. My mind takes me to a place that I don’t want to go, yet the urges to roam into that direction are far too strong to ignore. The reality of what my life has become is too much to bear at times. I feel the pressures of paying bills that seem to arise when I least want or expect them; the ones that pop up out of nowhere when something goes wrong with the remodel plan making it impossible to bypass.

It’s been close to three months since I left my husband and my home. At this point I know my reconciliation with him is only another dream which will never come true. The process has been draining, although it’s been an experience I’ll never forget. I chose the right contractor for the job and have been able to develop a solid friendship with him who is soon to be my son’s Father-in-Law.

They’ve been my only companions for the past several weeks. They start the day with a friendly hello, and continue on with the task at hand. Now that the end is near, I sit here in a beautifully remodeled home…alone, with absolutely no one to share it with.

My lonesome soul is aching for human touch. I’ve never in my life felt so completely alone. I’ve even longed to be back at Melrose Institute for the pure satisfaction of being with people who understand me, and people who will take care of me.

Eleven pounds have melted off my body since the day I moved in. Food is no longer a staple in my daily routine. I tend to eat my scrambled eggs with cheese, or a simple  smoked chicken, deli style, on wheat bread. My freezer is full of the foods I planned on preparing for myself. I had good intentions of freezing individual portions of roast beef and potatoes, roast chicken, spaghetti, and the like. After my first attempt at a home-made dinner of Lasagna, I managed to rid the first portion the old-fashioned way, undigested, and flushed. The remainder made its way into the garbage can, so I was not tempted to do it again. I stumbled, and once more I’ve become afraid of my kitchen.

I need help, and I don’t know where to turn. The pressures of being alone are weighing heavily on my mind. The dark place is gaining ground and I am fighting with all my guns loaded to fend it off. Dear God, please don’t give me more than I’m able to handle.

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Once Again…

More than once, Tom Petty said it best, The Waiting Is The Hardest Part….even though I’m living among the addition of furniture and fresh carpet…. the waiting is still the hardest part….still don’t know what lies around the next corner…just waiting, and it’s the hardest part.

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm  Comments (1)  

Following My Gutt…

For weeks I’ve been passively sitting back, waiting for the results of the remodel. In the same breath, I’ve put my time in, doing what I can on my own to save a buck. My sister has worked her tail off trying to finish painting the outside of my new palace. Sorry to say, she’s done most of the work on her own, without my help…and I ask  myself “why would she do that for me?”

In the midst of this nightmare I’ve been living, I have to sit back and relish the love I’ve received from so many, many people who are a part of my life, some male, some female…it doesn’t seem to matter, they all care. These people all care about me, and they think about me in ways I never understood nor comprehended before.

For so many years, I’ve shut people out of my life. I’ve shut down friendships and relationships that could have melded into lifelong treasures…I shut them down because I wanted to seclude myself from others to keep my strong relationship with my eating disorder…it held all the power and made all my decisions for me…

I’m finally cutting the ties with the distorted behavior…I made a rash decision today to take the afternoon off and spend it in the paddle boat with my most dearest and loved friend in my world…I paddled around the sparkles with my sweet sister, I listened to her talk about her son’s wedding we celebrated just this past weekend…I smiled, and I relaxed, and I loved my life and what it was…food was not on the front burner of the conversation, and it wasn’t on my mind to get rid it in the fastest way I knew how…

The longer I stray from feeding the desires of the eating disorder, the harder it seems to be to get through the day…yet, the longer I’m free of the behavior, the more I realize the hard part is figuring out how to deal with the way I COPE!!! My coping mechanism has always and forever been food…too much…get rid of it…too little…get high on it….food has run my life since I was fifteen years old…I think I’m starting to realize that it’s time to graduate.

I want to be a honer student…hail to the student who puts her best foot forward!! From here on out, I’m shoot’in for straight A’s

Now that it’s in print, I’ll be more apt to follow through…By the way, I scored 100% on my acuplacer test today for college classes..kudos to me…whoopwhoopp:) All the bad crap happened in my past, only rainbows ahead, if I look at it that way…

GOD IS GREAT!!

 

 

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm  Comments (2)  

Hmmm…

If time heals…how come it’s so difficult to trudge through time…healing hurts, time passes too slow…I’m running on empty.

Published in: on June 24, 2012 at 12:51 am  Comments (1)  

Twenty Five Days

I drove the Tahoe, pulling behind me an enclosed trailer full of boxes filled with all my personal belongings, two patio chairs, and an air-bed, still in the box it came in. I left early, before the daylight was able to show itself. As I drove, I cried. I cried because of the finality that had set into my psyche. My twelve-year relationship with my husband was now severed from the likes of an unnecessary divorce.

I tried to save my marriage, I tried but I failed. My husband was adamant about ending our marriage for the sake of saving himself from any more financial ruin that may occur in the future, should we have another unforeseen episode of irreconcilable differences. My heart was broken, so was his. We had lived a very fulfilling life together. We had traveled to both far and exotic places together. I was adopted into his family as one of their own, always feeling the warmth of  welcoming open arms from the moment I’d met them. My life with Ken was picture perfect.

The funny part of the scenario, is that regardless of how picture perfect my life had become, I had an emptiness inside my heart for something I’d lost in the past. Not only had I lost my self-respect at the ripe old age of fifteen, I’d also lost my boyfriend who basically walked out of my life without my desire nor my consent.

Throughout my life I carried that empty feeling along with me wherever I roamed. I married a man who is the father of my two grown boys. For many years I held on to the comforts of my family life, paying very close attention to my boys but disregarded the love of my husband, thus the marriage dissolved. Throughout the entire time, my eating disorder played front and center fiddle, taking up almost all of my free time, and kept me busy enough to stay clear from any close friends and or acquaintances. You see, it never seemed to matter how much love I was given from anyone else, it was never enough, because I had no love for myself. I hated everything about me due to what I did when no one was looking. I hated my life and how I had no control over what I did in secret. No matter how hard I tried, the eating disorder had all the power, thus I was left with no self-esteem, and a hatred for myself that simply would not disappear.

When Ken entered my life, I felt everything would be different. I was happy, I was loved and I had no needs that were not met. We melded together like cold butter on hot toast, his sense of humor was astounding and very infectious to me. We shared likes and dislikes and lived together, giving one another strength through the loss of his beloved Father.

All the while, my heart was still aching inside. I’d moved away from my boys to marry Ken. I had a feeling of failure inside my soul out of guilt from abandoning my own offspring. I’d left my Dad, my sister, my brother and I’d left my career. I left everything behind to start over in a new city with a new man who was going to turn my life around, and I was going to be able to leave the eating disorder behaviors behind….not so…

As it turns out, the only thing I was able to hold onto after the move, was the eating disorder. Not only did it follow me to my new life, it also became stronger and more pronounced than ever before. Over the nine-year period which I lived with Ken, he became more and more aware of the strength that the eating disorder had over my psyche. He stood beside me through some very difficult times, always making sure that I had all the help I needed right down to the dental reconstruction of my eroded enamel from years upon years of self-induced vomiting.

Sometimes I wonder if I had it too easy with Ken by my side. I find myself looking back at what I had, and how I took everything for granted. I took the love from Ken and stuffed it inside myself somewhere, unconsciously trying to make more room for the behaviors that continued to feed me regularly, my eating disorder. You see, if I tried to refuse the commands of ED, nothing else seemed to function. Yet, in like manner, if I listened to the voices of ED, nothing would function in long run anyway. My life was unmanageable no matter how I tried to live it. My frustration level inside myself was as combustible as a jet engine in flight. I fought hard with my own thoughts daily, always falling short of resisting the behaviors of the dreaded ED.

About seven months ago, that old boyfriend who had walked out of my life when I was fifteen, re-entered and open Pandora’s box. My heart was jump-started, and that emptiness I’d felt for over thirty-four years was filling fast. We communicated via telephone, reconnecting just where we’d left off so many years before. All the while, I knew in my heart of hearts that I was a very happily married woman, yet somehow I couldn’t resist the temptation to talk to my old love that I never was able to forget over the years. I was suddenly more engulfed in my anorexic behavior than ever before. The less I ate, the better I felt. Before I knew it, Ken had me sitting inside the office of my old psychotherapist, who in turn, convinced me to admit myself into a treatment center for eating disorders as an inpatient.

My husband was at his wit’s end, now wanting nothing to do with me other than to make sure I had the help I needed. His intentions were to get me the treatment I needed, and then wash his hands of me. After hearing those very words come out of his mouth, I was convinced that my marriage was over, I had to regroup and concentrate on what was to be my next chapter.

I continued to converse via telephone with my old flame, becoming more convinced each day that he had entered back into my life for a good reason. I suddenly felt whole for the first time in years with the addition of his presence again, thinking that this was the end of the full circle battle which I’d been living for years. With the completion of he and I being able to finally re-unite, my eating disorder was certainly going to be silenced for good. I had no desire to continue the relationship with ED, as the eating disorder was finally losing it’s power.

After months of regularly feeding myself in the confines of the treatment center, I became more aware of the fact that I was a very strong woman. I was now able to control the eating disorder instead of the eating disorder controlling me. Yet the world I was heading back into was beginning to unravel at a fast pace. My husband had given up on me, he no longer wanted me as his wife. I ended all communication with my old boyfriend. I had come to my senses, and knew with my whole heart that I was in love with my husband, I’d simply been in love with a memory of the past at the same time: a memory that wasn’t going to be anything more than a memory.

Two months have now passed since I left the treatment center. In turn, it’s been twenty-five days since I drove away from my second failed marriage and the house of my dreams.

I am living in a home under construction, I have no kitchen, and only two patio chairs and an air-bed, now out of the box it came in, all blown up. One would think that with all the depression that has followed me throughout the last twenty-five days, I’d be fully engulfed in anorexic behaviors and hanging on to the voices of the eating disorder as never before. Not so…you see, for the first time in my life, I’ve managed to exercise the tools in which I was given at Melrose Institute. I’ve managed to “manage” my eating disorder and its uncanning behaviors instead of it “managing” me. My focus is now on trying to find my strength to live alone and continue to strive for a successful, fulfilling and desirable future. I have come to realize that pain, frustration, confusion and self-hate is all I ever received from starving myself. Food has become a staple in my daily routine and I now am able to eat freely in front people I have only recently met. If the old me was in control, I’d have resisted each mealtime possible. I’d have had great incentive seeing as I have no kitchen. But I’ve chosen to follow the path in which I will continue to recover: I’ve somehow managed to finally leave ED in the background of my mind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a daily struggle, but it’s getting easier.

I’ve started my new job as a Nurses Aid in The Care Center in Crosby, Minnesota. I’ll be earning Union wages and regular pay increases over time. I’ll receive good benefits and my needs will all be met. I can truly say that throughout all the disruption in my recent past, God has had mercy on me, he has come through on every level. The hardest part is trying to focus on the future, instead of remembering all the good things in my past I shared with Kenny.  I miss my husband, and I miss our lives together, but I’ve come to the realization that we have both moved on in our own ways. He made sure I had the help I needed, then he washed his hands of me.

Twenty- five days…depression has taken hold, but I’ve left the eating disorder behaviors in the back part of my mind. They try hard to make me listen, but I continue to resist. I’ve heard said that inside every grey cloud there is a silver lining. It’s what I have to hang onto at this point. Out of the demise of a good strong marriage, at least I can say I’ve moved on without the eating disorder in center seat. God is good, and I thank Him for his mysterious ways.

my life is a mess

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm  Comments (4)  

Just Wait…

It doesn’t look like much now, but just wait till I’m done! For weeks I’ve been anticipating the demolition and remodel that will keep me occupied, keep my mind tied up so I won’t feel the sadness anymore. In the same breath,  my stomach is churning at the mere thought of living alone. I find myself content with my life and whats become of it, and suddenly out of nowhere I panic from inside of my soul, trying to figure out how I will be able to come home from my new job, and have absolutely no one to talk to about my day. I panic because of the insecurities I still feel that I harbor within myself.

I bought a home, I managed to get a good job with full benefits, and I have a huge project before me. My huge project is to, in a sense, become my own contractor…I’ve hired a great carpentry crew to do all the hard work, but I will be in charge of painting, staining, organizing, decorating and moving…

I walked around Menards one afternoon looking for new toilets, lights and tools. I added up all the items in my mind as I waltzed through the store, when suddenly I had a phone call. It was a call from my old faithful personal Psychologist, Kathy Kater. She was worried about me, I hadn’t yet called her since I was discharged from Melrose Institute back at the end of March. I apologised to her for my distance, not to take it personally. I had been busy taking a class for CNA certification, I’d been busy trying to find a home and it had taken up more of my time than I realized. I assured her that my life was going well and I would certainly call her if I needed to talk to her…She listened and then she spoke.

“Lori, I just hope that you don’t become so busy that you forget to eat and or let down your guard.”

Point well made…I know myself, and I think she knows me too. I tend to get totally wrapped up in a project, and become so fully engrossed in it, that all the bulimic behaviors subside and go dormant. What I fail to realize, is that it is then when the anorexic behaviors excel, it’s then when I am in the most danger. It’s also the time that I most favor. I feel strong and I feel invincible. I feel as though all my problems are gone because I am behaving the way anorexia wants me to behave. When she is control, my life is a perfect and most satisfying place to be.

Lately, out of nowhere,  I panic and I cry and I beat myself to a pulp verbally inside my mind. I have paved the way for my future and it’s all up to me as to how everything will pan out. The cards are falling and I must say that I am scared. I will be as busy as a beaver for the next month trying to put together a little piece of heaven, my own diamond in the rough. I’ll be starting a brand new job, wearing scrubs and entering a whole new world. Among all the newness I have to keep my sense of awareness about me as I trudge through the days. I enjoy hard work, I enjoy a challenging project…but I still have to respect the sleeping bear that is more powerful than I am…With Gods help, I will be OK, I cannot do it alone.

One Day, Three Interviews?

My good friend of whom used to be my second husband, drilled into me the fact that when life brings you lemons, you practice the art of making lemonade. For weeks now, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the idea of being single again. I know myself all too well when it comes to being alone in a world that is constantly dishing out stress, confusion, and missed opportunities. I can look at the world with that same attitude of frustration and self-pity, and my life will certainly follow suite. I’ve come to a crossroads that has been more eye-opening than any before. I’ve come to realize that I am able to trust myself more than ever. I’m not as afraid of myself as I used to be.

Life did bring me lemons, and now I’m making lemonade much the same as my ex-husband has been trying to do in his spare time. Instead of dwelling on everything I’ve managed to lose, I’m trying my hardest to make the best out of a poor situation. A few years back, my husband and I went through the process of building our dream home together; only the best of the best would do. We enjoyed the process and had no problems with the unforseen stress that so many people warned us we would encounter. From day one of our project, we breezed through the process unscathed by stress or frustration. We trusted the builder and all the steps he took along the way. At the end, we moved into the most desirable home I could ever imagine…and it was all ours…it was home sweet home.

However, life does give you hic-ups from time to time. Kenny and I experienced a hic-up out of absolute outer space that we were not able to work through. Since then, I’ve had to begin paving a new road on which I travel. In the past, my intentions were always to have become a nurse. The more time flew by, and I continued to age and turn grey, I put the desire to become an RN on the unfinished list. My days are numbered as I’ve reached my forty-ninth year. Am I crazy to believe that I could one day become that RN I’ve always wanted to be? Well, for starters, I earned the CNA title only a short time ago. I put the cart before the horse, so to say, and purchased a fixer-upper in my old hometown. With no job in hand, I signed a purchase agreement and planned to move back home. Suddenly, I was mortified by the fact that it was possible I may never even get a job, people my age are having much difficulty nowadays trying to find employment, not to mention someone who is young and fresh out of college! Had I made the most monumental mistake in life so far? Had I been out of my mind to put that cart before the horse?

Yet, among all the advice I’ve been given over the past few weeks, I listened patiently, and tried to be calm with my response. I had to bite my tongue and keep my cool when I heard people tell me I was making a giant mistake. You see, there has never been a time in my life that I have ever believed in myself as much as I do right now. For most of my life I’ve not had an ounce of self-respect and or self-esteem. I have relied on others to take care of me because I’ve never felt I could take care of myself due to the distorted behaviors of the eating disorder. I never trusted myself for any length of time to be on my own, always needing the guidance of someone at my side to help me better decide my next move. The funny thing about it is even among the closeness of my marriages, ( two failed ) I managed to sneak in the learned behaviors of ED and give them top priority.

Now after months of treatment and therapy, I’ve come to trust myself and the strength I have inside my core. I managed to make some lemonade and become a CNA, prerequisite to RN if I do so wish to pursue it. Something inside me told me if I had faith in myself, everything would eventually fall into place. I did put the cart before the horse, I bought a house without a job in place to cover my monthly expenses. Even still, as I went through the motions, there was a stillness inside my mind, a stillness that gave me a secure feeling when in reality, it looked to everyone else as if I hadn’t an ounce of it to behold. Somehow, I trusted my gut feeling that I was going to be OK. I trusted my instinct and believed that in good time, everything would fall into place.

On May 4th, I will be signing all the necessary papers and paying the final bill on my new home.  I am scheduled for three separate job interviews on the 26th of April. No, I haven’t managed to find a job yet, but I feel my chances are pretty good. One out of three is a fairly good percentage when it comes to odds. I had faith in myself, and I had faith that everything,  in good time, would fall into place…I’m not afraid to be alone anymore, there’s a new force inside my mind that grows stronger each passing day. I believe in me, and it feels good.

Happy Easter?

I woke up this morning without the enthusiasm I’m accustomed to on Easter Sunday. Every year of my adult life I’ve prepared a giant feast for my family and managed to make it to church to exchange “He is Risen!” with everyone in their Sunday best. This year was different, no family…no excitement…

All I’m able to elaborate on is the fact that ED never won today. I made it through another holiday without the disruption of the unhealthy learned behaviors of the eating disorder takeing control over my actions.  However, I made adjustments to my diet throughout the day, but only because I wanted to have some ice cream for desert…and I wanted to feel good about it… What I know for real, is that I didn’t have any business restricting my food early on. An occational ice cream treat is not something I do often, therefore, there’s just no need to make adjustments. I made the adjustments so I wouldn’t feel the fullness which I simply can’t stand. I made the adjustments because I was listening to anorexia as she silently scolded me as I conjured up the idea of indulgence. I didn’t have to listen to her voice and I don’t have to listen to her complain about the fullness now. I don’t have to….but I can’t shut her down either.

The only way I am able to shut her down is to refrain from purging up my Easter Sunday ice cream treat. I have no desire to give in to the bulimic urges to get rid of it, and I have all the intentions of standing my ground for the rights of me to be able to enjoy something I love the taste of…So shush up anorexia, go to hell bulimia…I’m in charge now.

Yes, I made it through another holiday in spite of my personal dilemma of the demise of my marriage. One step at a time, and a bit of patting myself on the back…I’m extremely exhausted, but kudos to me for winning today.

Healthy Horizons Await

Several days have passed since I last wrote; several days, and numerous life altering changes have taken place. I spent most of the day with my Realtor friend back on March 14th. I searched again, for the house which would give me the gut feeling I was looking for. I wanted to feel the assurance of a lifetime before I signed on the dotted line; I wanted to feel like I was home. Walking through the first five homes, I  tried each time, to visualize myself waking up in the morning, then waltzing into the kitchen to brew that first pot of sensational coffee from fresh ground Caribou beans. One might have noticed a hint of going out of my way to make myself feel the comforts of home, that’s why I knew in my heart, I still hadn’t found the right one.

Saving the best for last, he brought me to the house I’d been waiting for. Knowing well that it needed some TLC, I knew I had found that feeling I was looking for. I had found the house which gave me the feeling of home, and a sence of belonging. I found my new digs.

In the meantime, I was able to register for a Certified Nursing Assistant class through Century College in South Saint Paul. Regardless if I continue on to become the RN I have always wanted to be, the CNA class is a pre requisite for any nursing degree. In a few short weeks I’ll become certified, and will be able to work as a Certified Nurse Aide…the best part, I’ll be enjoying my new career in the comfort of wearing SCRUBS! Yes, I am the proud owner of a set of scrubs. I don’t have any idea why that is so exciting to me, but nevertheless, it is.

My eating disorder is screaming at me from all angles, although, the new activity in my life has been enough to silence the voice of ED to the point of an irritating hinderance I’d like to shut up with a roll of Duck tape. Constant banter is still on the rise inside my thoughts, but somehow I’m able to pass through the temptations of acting on eating disorder behaviors. I still have a hard time trying to feed myself the entire meal plan assigned to me from treatment at Melrose Institute. My thoughts continue to steer me toward restricting more and more each day. Yet still, with that in mind, I am extremely proud of the fact that I have challenged myself, and brought a bag lunch with me to school each day. The thought of actually planning to bring myself something to eat in front of people I don’t know, is more foreign to my nature than frozen ground is to Mexico. Might I add the kicker in this scenario; I haven’t only prepared something for me to eat, I’ve also gone the extra mile to heat it up in the microwave at lunch time, and actually eat it in front of my classmates. This may sound ridiculous to most people, but to me it is a HUGE step in the right direction. Feeding myself and feeling good about it is challenging each time I practice doing it. Yet I have begun to enjoy the taste of real food again, and I am on the road to recovery regardless of how many times ED will try to rear her ugly head.

It’s somewhat hard to comprehend the fact that at the age of forty-nine years, my life is only beginning. I pray the future holds more than it’s fair share of positive energy for me to experience, as my days of wasting time spent on eating disorder behaviors are fading. I’m only scratching the surface of a life filled with pleasure and fulfillment vs silent self-loathing with a trace of happiness trying to emerge in the muck. I am fully aware that in order to stay in recovery I must, and I might add MUST in capital letters, continue to stay focused on my healthy habits. I can never assume that ED has left my side, rather, I must be aware that she is only resting, and ready to come alive full force at any given moment she sees the chance.

Thank you dear Lord for opening the doors for me to enter into the world I’m in at the moment. I can only hope and pray that more doors will be opened in my future which will lead me into the depths of satisfaction and happiness I’ve been longing to find for the better part of my life. God is good.

Published in: on March 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm  Comments (2)