Temporarily Done!

Ten weeks ago I placed a request for some magic dust. I needed the help from someone divine to get me through to the end of the semester. My magic dust arrived in the form of my youngest son. He seemed to know all the right words to say at the time I needed to hear them most. My son knows me and he knows my heart.

During one of our intense conversations, there was a moment of silence…”Are you still there?” I asked. Michael then made a comment which I will never forget. “Mom, I don’t think I’ve heard you say one positive thing about this class since it started.” He wasn’t afraid to tell me that I had best change my attitude or quitting would be my only option.

I can say that I hung up the phone, tucked my tail between my legs and retreated to my dark bedroom to try to muddle through my attitude. I really didn’t like who I had become. I had nothing inside my mind but the horrifying realities that before too long I’d be tested again on things that just don’t come easy to me. Six classes, all expecting more out of a person than it may seem possible at times. Yet, somehow I managed to do it.

Three Saturdays ago, I sat down to compose a research essay. I took the entire day and did my best. I had to include references and quotes from others. It’s not the kind of writing I enjoy. Sunday morning arrived and I was about to put the finishing touches on the last couple pages. I turned my head to the left, looking for my notes, then turned back to my computer which was suddenly a blank screen. The small words written in the center inside of a box read, “pages has unexpectedly quit”… Due to a malfunction in  a computer program, I’d lost a full days work. My heart sank inside to the bottom of my bowels, I screamed a wretched scream that seemed to come from somewhere in another universe. Choking on each word I tried to type, I spent all day Sunday rewriting my once nearly finished essay, and therefore, was forced to put all other studies on the back burner.

The week started out with a swift slap in my face, and continued through to the end without losing a beat. By the weekend I had experienced a tire blow out, and, I was also locked out of my own home. I had to crawl through the attic via the garage, find the trap door in one of the closets inside the house, then maneuver my fifty year old frame down the nine foot drop to the floor without breaking a bone in the process.

Two weeks were left of the semester, and more studying than I knew what to do with. My son and his beautiful Bride stayed with me the night before Mothers day. I was up early studying for my final A&P exam I was to take on Monday morning. Tears continued to fall and I continued to try to concentrate on the insane amount of information I was to be tested on. Mid morning Michael walked past the living room where I sat with my open book. “Good morning…Happy Mothers Day…what’s wrong?”

“I think I’m having a nervous breakdown.”  He walked up to me, gave me a warm and inviting hug, and he said, “Put that book down.” He convinced me that I did not need to pressure myself as much I do. “A”,”B”, and “C”, are only check points. They mean only what you want them to mean.

We spent the afternoon together; we went to Fleet Farm and I purchased forty-eight bags of top soil to fill in sink spots in my yard. He took me to lunch to a nice restaurant, we laughed and I was in seventh heaven. Later on that day I received a call from my oldest boy who was in transit from Florida to Minnesota. I thank God for my boys. Spending quality time with them is actually more therapeutic to me than anything one could ever pay for from a professional in the medical field, if you know what I mean.

Monday morning came, I sat down in the same spot I’d claimed as my own since day one of the semester. With only a pencil in hand, I began to feel the pressure. It was go time, and I did my best using my power of elimination for most of the exam.  I looked over the exam only once after I’d filled in all my chosen answers. I changed nothing, and I reluctantly placed it on the desk at the front of the classroom. I never looked at the instructor, my chin sank to the “superior” portion of my chest. I was done. I was thoroughly and utterly finished, spent, and positive I had failed the exam.

I earned a C, I made it. When all was said and done I had somehow, by the grace of God, earned the final grade of “B” in the hardest class I’d ever taken in my life. I worked harder for that “B”, and lost more sleep over that “B”, and spent more time than humanly possible worrying about that “B”, than anything else…ever. Funny thing, For seventeen weeks that “B” kept me more captivated than my eating disorder.  That damn “B” almost caused me to lose my mind, but it also gave me something to be proud of.

Throughout the semester, I stumbled several times with ED. I stumbled and I cried, and I felt more failure than I have ever felt in a way that I have never experienced before. Yet somehow, someway, I have now come to the conclusion that I am far more capable of attaining a bench mark than I ever knew possible. As far as I can tell, ED will always be there in the shadow of my accomplishments. But I can also say with a gust of fresh air from deep within my soul, that ED will not gain control of the power over the rest of my days.

I am woman, hear me roar…

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…

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.

Starting Over, Again, Tomorrow

It all began when I was just fifteen years old…or was it when I was two and a half? Either way, the process started early; my thought patterns were forming without my knowledge that they were twisted. My brain was wired to work the way it does. At times my intelligence is incomprehensible even to myself. Yet there are times when my mind tells me to do things that would throw every ounce my intelligence in the trash. I have been trying to overcome this demon inside my head, I’ve yet to be successful. I only want one day free from self-destruction. One day will turn into two, two then, will morph into three. I am striving for thirty days straight, thirty days of concentration and a jump-start on breaking this destructive pattern I’ve fallen back into. I want to wake up in the morning and be proud of myself again. I want to be able to look my husband in the eye, and tell him I’m happy and I am free from the demons of destruction. I want to love myself so I can in turn love those around me…guilt free, without shame.

The past three months have been the most disappointing period of my life since before I started down the road to recovery from the eating disorder that has enslaved me for a lifetime. Depression is settling in, uninvited, but making herself very comfortable. The destructive part of my mind has now managed to outsmart all the road blocks that I’ve used. I’ve tried to barricade the monstrous side of myself to keep me safe from my own self-destructive learned behavior. Dear Lord, I’m running out of strength and I’m running out of time. I pray you will help me out of this mess I’ve created once more. I beg you, Dear God, have mercy on me.

Planting The Seeds For Inspiration

My desire to write has come to a complete stop. I’ve been trying to figure out if my passion for warmer weather and green grass has anything to do with it. The winter of 2010-2011 had to have been the longest, snowiest, coldest and most dreary winter I’ve experienced in years. I took advantage of my time spent inside the warmth of my home, cheating the frosty winds which constantly blew outside the walls that kept me safe. My writing class was most inspirational and managed to keep my creative mind busy and fresh with new ideas along with a chance to set a date for the completion of my book.

The winter has finally passed, whew! Unfortunately, with winters passing along went my desire to sit in front of my desk pecking away at a story that is becoming more of chore to finish than I care to admit. At times I feel it’s unnecessary to write the ending as I feel I’m not out of the woods yet, nor will I ever be. I’ve tried so hard to discipline myself. I’ve tried diligently to overcome the distorted thoughts that continue to haunt me throughout my days. But I’m afraid that the decades of time which I’ve devoted to the unhealthy thought patterns have been there too long. I’m afraid that they will always be there in the forefront of my mind and I will forever be jumping the hurdles that spring up on a constant basis.

I have learned so much, and I have come so far…I resist the temptations to give in to bulimia behavior, although at times it’s still incredibly difficult, sometimes it’s impossible. Will my book end the same way it begins? I certainly hope not.

As I look out the window of my contemplating room, I watch the birds fly around my back yard. I can hear the sound of the chimes as they sway in the warm breeze, I can see the growth of last years perennials making their spring debut. There is absolutely no place on earth I’d rather be than in the surroundings where Kenny and I have made our home. Keeping that thought in my mind is like seeds of inspiration. I have to plant them every day until they are the routine healthy thought pattern which will one day replace the unhealthy super highway I’ve burned for so long.

Placing one foot in front of the other, I pray to God that he will give me strength…

Insecurities…Will They Ever Go Away?

The weather has been unbelievable, the sun has been shining, the temperature above normal…so why am I feeling like I’m on the way down? There’s a familiar heaviness settling in. I have no reason to be feeling depression, yet each breath I take, I can feel it crawling deeper and deeper inside me.

I stood in front of the podium in my writing class this morning. My hands dripping with warm beads of steaming perspiration as I tried hard not to let anyone see my insecurities. It was obvious to all present that I was out of my element while I read ten pages aloud of my personal manuscript to a sea of scholars.

There were ten of us, all chosen by the instructor by choice, after she reviewed twenty pages of our  submitted manuscripts. She did choose me. I submitted my twenty pages and I had to wait patiently for the call telling me I was accepted. But why? Why was I chosen to be part of a select class of  writers when clearly I was so completely unrefined from all the others. One had been a successful lawyer, another was a college professor. An astrologer, a psychotherapist, and a woman who spent time in Irac writing new government policies.  If that’s not enough to feel insecure, one man was once the Dean  in a quaint little college out East that calls itself  “YALE”.

I was the last to read. As I tried to make eye contact throughout the fifteen minute reading, I observed the faces of all these successful people. The looks of concern and empathy were clear, no words were exchanged at the end. We had very little time before I was either in need of feeding the meter down the street or paying a hefty parking ticket…the choice was mine. I left swiftly choosing not to return. As I was leaving, the former lawyer shook my hand, telling me she was impressed, “It’s a very difficult thing to show your vulnerability, but I have to tell you it’s also very important.”

It’s really the only feedback I received, I didn’t know if it was good or if it was bad. The class has now run its course. Twelve weeks have come and gone, it’s possible I’ll never see those people again. I wish I felt better about sharing my story with a real audience…

It’s nearly impossible for me to look at this situation in a positive fashion; “unacceptable” inside this doubtful mind of mine, is all I see. It’s the way I’ve trained myself to think. The other day my husband said,

“Maybe we’ll hire a cleaning company to come in and get all the nooks and crannies cleaned before summer.”

Most women would raise their glass to that statement, but I, on the other hand, heard something all together different. I heard him say, “Man, you’re an awful excuse for a housekeeper, I’m gonna find someone who can get the job done that you are incapable of doing.”

Obviously, I had to rethink my negative thought pattern. My learned behavior of feeling less than, is still so unbelievably strong inside my mind.

For now, my audience is you…please understand that no response is not necessarily better than negative response. Until I’m able to figure it all out, silence is simply the unknown negative.

Counting My Blessings

The other night I sat here in my chair rewriting the last chapter I’d finished to date. I found myself a bit tongue tied, I couldn’t think of the word I needed, I was too spent. It was 8:30 pm when I finally packed it up and hit the hay. My husband had no idea I’d gone to bed. Before my head hit the pillow I was lost in dreamland. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body.

I was awake at 7:30 am by the sound of the morning news on the television that hangs on the wall in our bedroom. I listened with my eyes still closed to the story of chaos in Japan. The earthquake was getting more news time than Charlie Sheen.

As the day progressed, I managed to get boatloads of extra things done at work. I cleaned and organized things and finished all the necessary duties for the day. I felt like I’d accomplished more than normal, maybe because I’d been fortunate enough to get  great sleep the night before.

Throughout the day news of the tragedy in Japan was told and retold. I saw the debris of goopy looking  black water taking over the landscape. Homes, automobiles and buildings of all kinds were being taken hostage in its path. There is little we can do to stop the strength of a hostile mother nature. I feel for all those people in Japan, I can’t imagine the future they have in store. My heart aches for those who have lost family and friends in the disaster.

My thoughts are naturally brought back to my eating disorder. Like an earthquake, an eating disorder takes over the mind and the body of the one its consumed. In many ways they are the same, uncontrollable at first, then you must deal with the aftermath; you must take care of the destruction its left in its path.

The reality in my heart is how very fortunate I am, how fortunate we all are, who have not been consumed by the earthquake in Japan. My eating disorder is so big, yet when you compare the complexities of learned behavior and natural disasters, it brings everything to yet another level. I still have a mountain to climb, but there are hundreds of innocent people who have just lost their chance to live an extra day. Sometimes I have to count my blessings and thank God for all the good in my life. At this time I see the progress I’ve made versus the work I still have ahead of me. I pray for all those who have been hurt by the quake. I beg forgiveness for my selfishness, and I thank God for all the goodness he has given to me.

It’s Wake Up Time

Just when I think I’m beginning to change the automatic thought pattern I’ve burned into my brain, my brain starts to fight back. It tells me, “Just try to change your ways, I dare ‘ya.” It doesn’t matter if I have good news or bad. It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m happily excited about something or extremely upset. I have a one way path inside my brain that I have to argue with when it comes to coping with the daily ups and downs of life. I’ve taught myself to throw up. I’ve turned myself into a human pressure cooker. When I’m too happy, I explode. when I’m too sad, I explode. When I’m just right, I tend to wait a minute, then all hell breaks loose and I fall to one or the other extreme, and I explode.

I’ve been on a natural high lately. I have to admit, ED is so much easier to control when I’m happy. Then suddenly I’ve found myself on the teeter-totter of success or failure. I’m nervous, I’m reluctant, I’m hesitant, and I feel unworthy. I don’t know how to cope with these feelings of confusion and frustration without the help of bulimia. I don’t want her in my life anymore. Sometimes I can’t see through to the other side as well as I need to. I know I have the strength to stop my thoughts. It’s just so much easier to follow what my auto pilot wants me to follow.

God, please give me the strength to do what is right. Please carry me, I’m not strong enough to carry myself.

Another Snow Storm?

So here I sit, inside the warmth of my little room. I feel like I’m cheating mother nature as I watch the snow blow in all directions on the other side of the window. Theres something I like about a snow storm, it’s the one sure way to stay inside all curled up in a blanket without the guilt of being too lazy. Snow storms take me back to my childhood when they would call off school and we were able to stay home and watch television all day long in our pajamas. There was no need to get dressed, we couldn’t go anywhere anyway.

Today I’m taking advantage of the storm, although I’m not in my pajamas. I’m diving deeper into my past and recording it on my computer.  Once again, I’ve discovered a new pattern of my roller coaster life I’ve shared with anorexia, depression and bulimia. It’s just so terribly unfortunate that time has past and I can’t get it back. The unraveling of the mess is becoming more and more clear as I trace my thoughts on paper.

I Hope everyone is happy and doing well, thank you for reading. God Bless