Empty

I look out my picture window and witness the world moving outside. I see cars in the near distance making headway to and from their next and last destination. I walk through my home from one end to the other looking for something to keep me occupied, yet I have no desire to accomplish anything at the moment. My neighbors come and go frequently, why are they always on the go? For the past four months I have been buried in my textbooks, up to my elbows in homework, and trying my best to do a good job at work. Now after the rush of the Holiday season, my life has come to a stand still…I’m having a difficult time trying to keep myself grounded.

Since the winter break, I’ve organized my basement. I set up my sewing machine, and I also created a space for painting. Today I purchased two 24×36 inch canvases so I could put my creative mind into gear. Suddenly the fear of failure came over me like a swath of locust. There seems to be a hole inside my heart that I cannot put my finger on. I’m empty. I’m lost in my own mind, trying to figure out how to get through the rest of the winter without relying on someone to keep me happy. I have never felt so completely alone.

For decades I’ve lived a lie. I’ve hidden my eating disorder from those who know me best. I’ve danced around the truth to myself about who I am and what I do to myself when no one is watching. At times, I just want to go back to Melrose Institute so someone else can keep me in line and I don’t have to do it by myself. I lay in bed unable to turn off my mind, yet all I want to do during the daylight hours is shut my eyes and sleep the minutes away. My appetite is disappearing along with my ambition.

When I think of going into the second semester of my college education I can barely tolerate the idea. I know how difficult the past four months were, and I am well aware that my upcoming classes are even more challenging than the last. I managed to pull off “A’s” and “B’s”, but will I be able to maintain that GPA? Maybe it’s the anticipation that’s killing me right now. Maybe once I get the ball rolling again my thoughts of self defeat will pass. I’m scared and I don’t want to fail… My past has proven to me that even with the shoulders of someone else to lean on, I’ve failed in so many different areas of my life. I’ve relied on someone else to keep me standing, however; I’ve still managed to fall on my face. This epiphany only tells me that in order for me to get through the gray areas of this thing called my life, I have only myself to count on; I am going to have to trust myself and my own decisions. Maybe I need a day or two to do nothing but watch the cars come and go on the other side of my picture window. Maybe I need to get to know the real me in my downtime, and what I’m like when I refuse to let ED destroy my day.

Calgon…take me away.

Treatment?

Since my eating disorder began, we’ve seen many changes in the way our society works. It started back when my only form of transportation was my white ten-speed bicycle, when the only phone we had, hung on the wall in the living room; I had to stretch the cord into the closet if I wanted to talk with any privacy at all. My alarm clock was a clock radio, not a smart phone with a GPS.  There’ve been several trips to the moon and countries have been to war…yet the blasted eating disorder has been able to live through it all, alongside me each and every step of the way.

I’ve struggled for thirty-four years. Three days ago I was admitted into the Melrose Institute for Eating Disorders in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The minute I walked in I wanted to run for my life. I wanted to go home and try to conquer this on my own, I felt I could…just like I’ve thought for many, many years. Fact be told…I am not as strong as the eating disorder. I’m getting the treatment now, which I should have had thirty-four years ago. I can’t go back in time, the past is gone.  I can only take one baby step at a time right now in the right direction. What I’ve learned this far is that I’m able to eat food and my pants still fit me…I wonder what I’ll learn tomorrow.

There were many different forces that led me to this place, sometimes when we continue to pray for help, God works his magic in mysterious ways. I praise him for all the grace he’s given to me.

Holidays…

Each year since the death of mother, the holiday season has brought on a measurable amount of stress, and underlying depression. I want this twenty-first consecutive year to be different. As the Holidays approach, closer with each passing day, I will try to stay in a positive frame of mind. If the thoughts of positive energy are front and center, stress and underlying depression will certainly have a more difficult time settling into their same old comfort zone.

My life has been on an uphill swing and I refuse to let anything stand in the way of overcoming the steady path I’ve been climbing. Holidays are hard for all of us dealing with an eating disorder. The temptations are staring us in the face from sun-up to sun-down. Temptations shouldn’t be so difficult, what tends to stand in my way is the sadness I feel for all those I’ve lost in my life; some to cancer,  some because we have simply moved on to a different area of the state, and some to unforeseen circumstances. I feel lonesome for my boys on the Holidays, and tend to try too hard to make things like that of a Martha Stewart Christmas…whereas, my good intentions always tend to fall short.

This year I have to go about my Holiday plans with the idea that nothing matters other than the fact we may all be in the same room sharing a homemade dinner and laughing with one another. I’m not going to let the gifts become the focus, my kids are grown adults and the mystery of Santa is long behind them. I want to simply be able to eat a meal with them and relax with the simple pleasures of being together, after all, that’s the magic of Christmas. I want the positive energy to overcome the creepiness of ED…it will happen, God willing, I know it will…

I’ve Earned It…

It’s time to take advantage of my second thirty plus day bonus to myself! My life is on an upswing and I’m enjoying the trek. I’ve managed to span more than thirty days without any sign of bulimic behavior for the second consecutive month now. I’m not a mathematician, but I’m pretty sure that surpasses more than sixty days straight! Maybe it’s my commitment to tread water in a swimming pool that’s taken over, or the fact my future seems to become brighter as each day passes. With the absence of bulimia, I am on cloud nine. I’ve managed to shed a heavy load of shame I carried around on my shoulders that seemed to weigh me down more with each episode I permitted to take place. As for the pendulum that continues to swing, my restriction side has gained momemtum…although I’ve gone out of my way to fight the urges to restrict, I’m determined to feed myself, and stay in this great place of happy recovery for as long as humanly possible. I want to live until I’m one-hundred-five years old and still be able to swim the length of the pool. I won’t be able to do that if I refuse to be nice to myself. I’ll compare it to that of someone who needs to take Lipitor for high cholesterol, it’s a life extending drug for them, just as learning to feed myself regularly is for me. I’m lovin’ life right now, and I’m going to make that appointment for the massage I so do deserve! Thank you God for making it all possible!

Back To Reality

In the past month I’ve traveled from: my home in Minnesota, to Branson, MO, The Big Easy of New Orleans, LA, and onto the Sunshine State in southern Florida. I managed to see things along the way which I’d never seen before. We detoured in the state of Iowa and spent some time at “The Grotto of The Redemption”, and I treasure the memories I was able to make inside my mind. As I relaxed in the comforts of my sweet mother-in-laws home in Florida, I was then able to dive deeply back into my past. She made it possible for me to set aside time each day for me to concentrate on the task at hand. I’ve made progress on my story and also managed to relive parts of my past that I hadn’t let myself feel for a great while. I had the feelings of permanent vacation in a wonderland of diving back…it was heavenly to have the time to concentrate on some of the better things life provides for us, versus the doom and gloom of climbing out of the life that has revolved around a secret eating disorder. I thank all who are a part of my past for providing the material for numerous stories to come.

Although, time is up and now reality has set in once more. I will be back to work on Monday morning, just like millions of others who can no longer let their creative energy do as they please for fear the boss may not allow it to happen. I thank God for the past weeks of my life, a new awakening and something more alive to live for, dueling with past, present and future is more exciting that dwelling only on the past. My life has been rejuvenated, everyone needs a little “vaca”. I’m so thankful I got mine.

Inertia, Front And Center…Again

I’ve been trying so hard to continue my story and everything seems to blow up in my path. If it’s not my laundry, it’s my dirty dishes. If it’s not my dirty dishes, it’s my vacuuming, dusting, etc.etc. When all else fails, it’s a blast from the past. Sometimes I find it incredibly hard to concentrate on the things that I have to do, because I am consumed with the things that pacify my mind, and we all know the mind is a terrible thing to waste…

I have the ending in my mind, but I can’t put it on paper. In my mind it should end on a high note…in reality, I am heartbroken in more ways than I can measure.

Confused and frustrated…but my eating disorder is not getting the best of me…

Let’s Enjoy The Fall

I’ve been quiet lately, only because I’ve been so busy. Autumn brings on an entirely different swing to my step. I’ve always enjoyed the colorful woods and cool nights that only come in the fall of the year. There was a time in my past when a camp fire in the back yard with Mom, Dad and my brother and sister was almost a night time ritual. As seasons come and go I have to reflect on my past as memories are so full of life inside my mind.

I haven’t seen much of my boys lately. My oldest is busy living his life as a young adult, working full time, and paying his own mortgage, while my youngest is attending graduate school, one step closer to placing “Dr.” in front of his name. I have so much to be thankful for and so much to reflect on that at times it’s difficult to concentrate on the here and now. Fall brings me back to my roots, snuggling under a blanket with my mom as we watched television until my bedtime hour. Fall brings me back to carving pumpkins in the kitchen with my two favorite boys, watching them as they slopped the grotesque insides of the pumkin on every square inch of my kithen floor. The brisk air of autumn whispers to me, tugging on my arms to go outside and enjoy the crispness that will soon become frozen from the snare of old man winter. Yes, I’ve been busy…

A while back I had made a promise to myself to be free from any eating disoder behavior. I challenged myself to thirty days of eating disorder sobriety in hopes of rewarding myself with a well needed Swedish massage. I struggled some, although after several starts and restarts, I was able to treat myself to the back rub of the century. In the process of staying away from bulimic behavior, I found myself swayed once more to restriction and the desire to loose weight. Try as I might, I couldn’t stop the voices that lured me into the clutches of it’s claws. If it’s not one unhealthy behavior, it’s the other. As the pendulum sways from one extreme to the next, so does my behavior.

My most beloved season is upon me as I sit here and peck away at this unending story of my life. I wish in so many, many ways that I could be as happy on the inside as I am on the outisde. I still can’t trust myself and that is a hard pill to swallow. Looking at the beauty in the colorful world around me I have to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and give thanks to God that he’s helped me get this far.

Fall brings along with it the smells of roast beef, carrots and potatoes simmering in the crock pot, homemade bread cooling on the counter and pumpkin pie fresh from the oven. I want the taste of these comfort foods to be as fulfilling to me as their aroma. Yet if I indulge, number one: I may not fit into my pants, or secondly,  I may make several trips to the bathroom to rid my body of the sinful high calorie foods…I’d rather be a full blown acoholic….

Natural Beauty Of Nature

For the past few days I’ve been sitting shotgun in the front passenger seat of the Tahoe, my husband taking the wheel. I’ve witnessed the natural beauty of Gods earth from the Bad Lands of North Dakota to the Rocky Mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana. I can’t help but to revel in the beautiful landscapes that God has created. With each Switchback we both gasped for a bit of new air as we’d have to catch our breath at the new picturesque view before our eyes.

With all the natural beauty of nature, I have to reflect on the fact that he too, made us with his own hands, individually and unique as the lay of the land. He made us in his own image, yet all our own. In the splendor of nature, you will never see any two mountains in identical form. Each one is unique in its own beauty. Just as he’s done with each on of us, we are unique in our own way. As some mountains are spectacularly grand in comparison to another who bears the name of the foothill, we too are made that way. Some of us are grand in hight and girth, some are petite and small. Why then, I ask myself, am I so unhappy with my appearance? Why can’t I be content with my God-given genetics. I should be satisfied with what he provided for me, and I should take good care of it. I should remember always that my body is on loan, I’ll have to turn it in sometime. If I refuse to take care of it, I may not get my deposit back!

I started over with my thirty-day stretch again. I’ve now gone thirteen days straight with no unhealthy coping mechanisms in gear. I will make it this time. If I must go thirty days in order to stop any sort of dependency on any kind of addiction, I will do it now, I’m ready. I feel stronger this time, I feel that I can conquer it this time. My husband is on my side and I guess, so am I. With each day I’m able to stay focused and clear minded, I like myself more. That is a good thing…

Yep, I Think So…Heaven Is For Real…

I’m sitting in my little writing room looking out the windows in front of me. The heat and moisture of the great outdoors is fighting with the air-conditioned coolness of the inside of the house. It’s quite difficult to see anything at this point other than condensation with a hint of green in the background. That makes it all the better to be inside the stillness of my contemplating room pecking away at my story.

I just finished a book that was suggested to me from my stepdaughter, “Heaven Is For Real”. I can’t express enough how powerful this book is when it comes to building faith. There are so many things I’d love to do before I die, I want to be able to bake cookies in my new beautiful kitchen and not be afraid to eat them hot out of the oven. I want to be able to someday have one of my grandchildren perched on a kitchen chair next to me as we experience it together. I want to feel no need to rid my body of something so pure as the pleasure of playing and eating homemade goodies with a grandchild. At this point, I have no grandkids, none of our children are even married yet. Long term, my goal is to be at peace within myself, to feel confident in my own skin and content with my appearance. I want to be happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise. I want to live my life to fullest, regardless of how I’ve wasted so much of the past intermingled with the likes of an eating disorder. In reality according to the book, when I die, there are so many more things I will have to experience.

The past nineteen days have been more successful for me than I’d anticipated. My thirty-day goal is now within reach. It didn’t just happen, I’ve had help. Nothing good happens without the love and support of our great God Almighty. He has made it possible for me to find yet one more tool for my recovery. I have discovered something extraordinary, and yet I feel that I can’t let anyone know what it is until I know for certain it has helped me. Everytime I’ve tried something in the past it has helped for a short while, then it’s back to eating disorder thoughts as usual.

I have high hopes and faith that this new discovery came to me through the Holy Spirit by way of a new acquaintance. Mom always told me, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” I believe that with my whole heart, and I believe in divine intervention…. Here’s to good things and healthy relationships. Here’s to old acquaintances who become new to some. Here’s to feeling better about myself so I can in turn be better to those I love.

Writing And Staying Focused

I’ve been working hard the past few days…happy to announce that I’m on day two of my thirty day goal…Here is a glimpse of page 173 of my book.

 Ten months have past since I wrote this last entry. I find it most difficult to put down into words what I myself have done to the person I am. Living my life as I did was one thing, writing it down in the detail that I must do to understand the healing process is yet another animal in itself. I find it embarrassing to actually put on paper how I’ve lived my life. You see, living it, I simply hid the bad stuff from everyone. Therefore, if no one else knew how I spent my free time I never had to face my eating disorder head on. I was able to bottle up the shame and frustration only to continue to make false promises to myself.  But actually putting it on paper makes it real, it’s no longer a secret life; it’s reality.