Please Send Me Some Magic Dust…

There are nine weeks left. That means that I have sixty-three more days to try to keep myself from sinking inside my own head.

It was a Wednesday afternoon, the last hour of my Composition class before Spring Break would begin. I was dog tired as I sat alone at the far left side of the classroom, all the rest of the students spread out into the other areas. I sat patiently listening to the instructor while my eye lids became heavier with each breath. My entire week of respite was already reserved for studying for my second Anatomy & Physiology exam which I was to take the Monday upon return from our little vacation from school.

For the past eight weeks I’d been busy trying to juggle six classes and thirty plus hours each week of the PM shift. My time was not my own and it was starting to take it’s toll. I’d finished my research essay on time management, I’d kept up with all the online assignments and weekly tests and quizes… I needed a week off from classes, but what I didn’t need was more homework. I sat expressionless as I heard him assign the first fifty-eight pages of a small novel. There would also be a quiz which I would have to take before classes resummed on the 18th of March. I’d already checked the website and found more assignments for my A & P class, I felt myself filling up with anxiety from every aspect. The seconds ticked away and with each one I felt myself exploding from the inner most part of my core. There was nothing I could do about any of it.  So much for vacation…

I left the classroom and headed for my car parked in a frozen ice laiden, snow covered lot. I started the engine and let out a pletheral of pent up frustration in the form of a scream. Holding onto the steering wheel, I white knuckled it all the way through town, manageing to hit each and every red light. I was going to be late for work…The pressure inside my mind was ravenous. I have never in my life felt so much stress nor have I ever wanted to end it all the way I did that afternoon.

I will get through this, and on top of all the homework, I will continue to try and keep the snow from blocking me into my own garage. I highly doubt if I’ve ever shoveled more snow than I have throughout these past few months. As I shovel, I let out my aggressions. I brought it all on myself, I did it to me, no one else is responsible for what my life has become. I’m still trying so hard to learn how to live alone and not let my eating disorder take control of what I have left. Yet, in the past few months I’ve fallen so blatently flat on my face. I am having a difficult time trying to reload my ammunition to fend off the little bastard, but each day I wake up and see that God has given me another chance, I feel like I should try a little harder. Two steps forward, three back..three steps forward, two back…I need a small envelope of magic dust. I need to sprinkle it onto the ground before my feet so it will lead me into the right direction.

In the past I’ve tried to keep myself busy in order to fend off the enemy, yet I’ve come to know that being busier doesn’t keep the eating disorder from moving in on my mind. As a matter of fact, I’m begining to realize the busier I am,  the harder ED works on trying to find her comfort zone inside my busy little world.  I’ve been given all the necessary tools to help me through the chaos of ED. I’ve come so far. I will try harder, and I will give myself a hug.

There will be a day in my future when I will be in harmony with myself as never before. Then I will rest.

A Time For Concentration

I’ve been so busy trying to stay ahead of my game. I’ve become a person who is led by the demands of those in charge: my employer, and my instructors. The amount of free time I have is an absolute joke. Never, could I have imagined what I was in for when I registered for college classes last June. I’m beginning to understand the crucial importance of time management. Reality is, my time is not my own anymore.

In only a few short weeks I will be taking all the finals in my first semester. Have I grown as a person? Dare I say yes…or should I be prepared to say, it’s been a rude awakening. My youngest son put it this way, “I know you have a lot on your plate right now Mom, but in the end it will all be worth it, you’re just building character.”

“Building character”,  hmm…As I build character, under the stress of the situation, I seem to fall back into my old habits. I’ve stumbled, and because of it, I’ve beat myself up. Yet, in the middle of it all I’ve managed to get back up on my feet. I’ve managed to face another day in the classroom. I’ve managed to work my shift another night, and I’ve managed to finish my homework assignments with a few minutes to spare. This has been the hardest, most grueling year of my life. One thing I must hang onto is the fact that I am living alone, and I have not allowed the eating disorder to take control of the situation.

Stumbling is something I may very well do for the rest of my life. However, to be able to shut down the thoughts and demands of ED while trying hard to deal with what appears at times to be a hopeless situation, is more “character building” than my boy will ever comprehend.

I made it through Thanksgiving with a bit of secret suffering. For the next few weeks I will try to concentrate on my grades instead of my eating disorder. I find that the more I concentrate on other issues, ED has a way of lying on a soft pillow against the wall…always peering over at me, yet jumping up only when I give her a chance to speak. At this point, I choose to keep her quiet. I don’t need the baggage of ED to drag me down. I don’t physically have the strength to keep up with a full-blown relationship with my eating disorder right now. With the help from God above, at least for the moment, she will have to stay out of my path.

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.

Monday Morning Blues?

I can’t remember the last time I looked so forward to Monday morning. I looked forward to my commute to the treatment center where I’d be able to focus again and be free from the feelings of being alone. I found myself almost impossible to be with for the past two days. I woke up late, skipped my schedualed meals and starred out the picture window while curled up in a ball on the recliner. I thought about my life and how it’s such a mess. I thought about all the mistakes I’ve made and it overwhelmed me with grief. I tried hard to get myself to accomplish something but failed to do so. I spent my forty-ninth birthday crying in the presence of my youngest son, he now, trying to take care of his own mother. Yesterday I waited patiently for the sun to go down so I was able to crawl into bed at 6:30 pm, pretending it was already nine o’clock at night. What becomes of my life is all up to me.  I pray I’ll be able to see through the mistakes to try to make sense of my next step. I wish so bad I still had my mother to talk to. She was always able to help me through the mud in one way or another. For now I have to rely on myself…I have to come to grips with turning the page to a completely new way of life. I want desperetly to practice all I’ve learned the past couple months, however when my entire life is up in the air I simply don’t know which way to turn.

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…

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.

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.

Do Over…

It’s a new day, therefore I am able to start fresh. The sun continues to shine, and my flowers continue to grow. I have the world in the palm of my hands in comparison to some. I’m going to have to change the date of my massage as I’ve lost count at how many times I’ve stumbled. I so thought that if I opened up my secrets to you, it would help me to stay focused. It’s a new day, it’s a new start…Dear God, catch me before I fall too far.