Thursday, July 28, 2011

A poem written as I neared discharge... Gratitude for my peers in the program...

United We Conquer
By: Kim Hembry©
July 28, 2011

Amazed that the time has come to an end -
I'm sad to have to leave my new found friends

These weeks have been hard, difficult, and trying,
But as a group, we keep on rising

So tired from the fight, from the struggle for our lives -
We've decided to stand up, in hope of new eyes

Though I leave the group and head back home,
I'm certain and so sure that I don't fight alone.

My friends are fighting too and cheering me on.
United we stand up saying, "ED, you're on!"

"Recipe for RECOVERY"... Are you willing?

So... I am getting discharged from the hospital tomorrow! That is a good thing! I am excited, but I am also hesitant... I know I have a great support system to go home to, but I know that there is still much hard work ahead of me... Also, I am sad to leave behind the new friends I have made here! However, I will keep pressing on!

This treatment center has given me a very positive experience overall! The treatment team is absolutely AMAZING!

As I get ready to discharge, I am preparing a small card of HOPE, CHALLENGE, and ENCOURAGEMENT for my peers who will remain in programming... Here's part of what I am sharing with them! It is also for me and for you!

Here goes...

A Chance at Freedom
By: Kim Hembry©

A Recipe for:

A dash of HONESTY
A smidgen of FAITH
A smidgen of HOPE

Say "YES" to LIFE!
Commit to the PROCESS!
Embark on the JOURNEY!
Take the JOURNEY in stride:

Preparation time:

ALL who are WILLING!

Are you willing to try it out?

Maybe this little "Recipe for Recovery" will speak to you too! Remember that no matter where you are in the journey, it is worth pressing on and fighting!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Short but sweet!

‎"Act your mind into right thinking!"

I heard this quotation today in one of my group sessions here in treatment... It really struck me because I see that there is much truth in this short statement. Also, I feel like it is what I am having to do right now in treatment... I am having to trust the recommendations of the treatment team even though ED is fighting so hard against me, even though my body is reacting in a way that I am not comfortable with... It is a series of consistent small choices that go against what our eating disorder is saying that sparks the change in our minds... For me right now, I am having to "act my mind into right thinking" in many ways... However, if we are not willing to stand up to ED's voice, we will not see the change we desire...

Remember: You are worth fighting for! Recovery works if you work it, so work it because you're worth it!





Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A little update... It is getting harder...

So... Treatment has been super hard this week... Actually, it has just been super hard for a long time! I knew that coming here was not going to be easy, but the intensity of this battle seems to have increased over the past week and a half... I know that I am making progress each day, but I did not expect to be bombarded with such intensity and torment from my eating disorder at this point... I know that ED is only trying to fight back because I have been fighting against him... He doesn't want to lose any ground in my life...

One thing that has contributed to the heightened intensity of this battle and fight is that my body has been gaining more weight than what would be normal... Personally, I was not okay or content with my weight before I came into treatment, and gaining weight is only making that worse... I am not okay with gaining weight right now... I am afraid that I won't stop gaining weight... I feel like my eating disorder was kinda right when he told me that I would only get fatter by coming into treatment again... However, I know I need to keep battling that thought... I need to reframe it and say that the goal of treatment is not to make me fat but rather to nourish my body and restore the nutrients it needs to function properly... It is hard to say that and even harder to believe that right now, but I know I need to keep repeating it over and over and over again...

Another thing that is still SOOOOOOO oppressive is the voice that says that I am not allowed to eat, that I don't deserve to eat, that all food is unsafe... I am respecting the recommendations of my treatment team and have not thrown a fit about my meal plan, but I have been feeling like more guilt and shame pile on me with each passing meal, with each passing bite... I know that is how ED wants me to feel... I am struggling to break out of this mindset though! I know it needs to be broken in order for me to know recovery and to walk in it... However, I feel stumped to a certain point... I keep saying, "Food is the medicine I need to get well," and "Food is the fuel my body needs to function properly," but the mind transformation part is still super delayed...

Okay, well my night time meds have surely kicked in, and I am about to fall asleep, so I will wrap up this post for now...

I will keep fighting in this battle! I will not relent or give up! I will press on...


I will try to extend grace and patience to my body as well as to this process of recovery...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some venting after a HARD day in treatment... (May be triggering)...

I'm struggling to be in my skin today - OH SO BADLY! I feel soooooo FAT and OVERWEIGHT! And guess what? Today was cafeteria day and also a challenge food day... I had to get a dessert with my meal... I guess at least I was able to choose some kind of dessert that I actually liked - that tasted good to me...

(Written after facing a very challenging lunch)

One bite at a time, I finished my lunch, but I have so much operating in me right now... I feel like I need to throw up or run or not eat anything else for a while... I was grateful that one of the staff let me downsize my portion sizes from what was served to me in order to more closely reflect the parameters of my meal plan... However, it was still sooooooooooo hard to get all of that food in me! Then... I still had a piece of chocolate cheesecake to eat... At least it tasted really good... However, I feel SO SO SO guilty and ashamed for eating all that I did...

Actually, I feel guilty for eating at all right now - for putting any food in me - for putting any food in my mouth... I still feel like all food is unsafe... And I don't know how to get out of this mindset (which actually kind of scares me). I asked to meet with the dietitian one on one today, and she said we could, but then time didn't allow for it... I know there needs to be a shift in my mind in regards to food because I'm not sure how to view or deal with food right now... I feel like I just make choices based on what food groups I have to cover, and since I feel like nothing is allowed anyway, I just do what's required... Somehow that doesn't seem good enough or like what I need to do to get well...

I also feel like the "to Hell with it all" attitude rises up in me - like I have to eat all of this shitty food that makes me constantly fail, and constant shame and guilt plague me and go with me, piling up with every bite... Like today, I thought to myself, "Well, HELL! I have to eat all of this food anyway, so why not just really do it 'RIGHT' and have the damn piece of chocolate cheesecake as my challenge food (I have to choose a ****in dessert anyway!)... At least it will taste good..." AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Well, I somehow survived and made it through all of that meal... Some anger initially rose up in me as I finished, and I crushed two cups as a positive form of release, but I guess more anger and frustration wound up getting bottled up inside of me... I thought I let it out when I went to art therapy, but at dinner, so much resurfaced...
I struggled SOOOOOO hard to get through dinner... As I was finishing, tears began to pour from my eyes... As the staff and my peers asked what my tears meant, I shared with them that I was continually pissed off that I have to eat so much when I am never hungry, how I feel like I am constantly breaking the rules with every bite, how I feel like since I am not allowed any food at all, guilt and shame have been piled up on me since the time I came into treatment and have made me feel even worse about myself, how I feel like with every meal I am failing, how I am tired of the intensity of the fight and battle, how a peer (who meant well) told me that if I gained some extra weight while in treatment, I could lose it when I get out which caused more tears to come out... I shared how that was not beneficial to receive that feedback, but rather, it fostered fear in me... I shared how I was afraid because deep down I really want recovery and have realized that I've never walked in recovery from my eating disorder... Never in my whole life have I experienced real recovery... I shared how I know deep down, I want life, but that I am afraid if certain shifts aren't made, I won't be able to maintain what's been started and then I will fail my parents and myself yet again... As I shared these things and more, tears continued to stream down my face...

Just as we finished up our last therapeutic meal (aka: dinner) for the day, it was time for the ANAD meeting, which I went to... I didn't talk much, but I needed to be there to protect myself...

I guess all in all, the day was victorious, but I don't feel very good about it...

I will keep pressing on... I will keep fighting... I won't give up...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Overall, it was a pretty good weekend! I went to the art museum and got a special visit from a friend!

A beautiful mosaic entitled: Genesis... Part #1...

Part #2...

Part #3...

This mosaic was absolutely stunning, and as I gazed upon the images portrayed within it, I was reminded of God's promises and of His immense faithfulness which inspired me to keep on keeping on as I take step after step on this long road...

A beautiful painting by Georgia O'Keefe...

It reminded me of the beauty of life
and how important it is for me
to continue to choose it on a daily basis...

A painting of colorful whimsy...

It reminded me of the gift of creativity
and how I am to embrace and nurture
the gifts and talents that God has given me...

A painting by Jackson Pollock...

As I gazed upon the flowing lines and colors in this painting, I realized that there was more than paint splattered... There are actually images in them... On the left, there is a woman... On the right, a man's face... As I looked at this, I was reminded that things are not always as they seem and also, oftentimes there is meaning and purpose in the things that seem jumbled and incomprehensible in life... I never would have chosen to be anorexic or bulimic, but I believe God will bring good out of this battle and fight for my life!

An abstract painting of the Eiffel Tower...

My trip to the art museum was a way for me to take care of myself this weekend... I needed a break after being in treatment for a while now... As I walked through the museum, enjoying all of the exhibits, I felt a sense of peace and a sense of relief and relaxation come over me... That was much needed! After I spent a couple of hours at the art museum,...

My best friend got into town... We got to catch up and have some good girl time together! It was such a blessing to me! Wow! I am so grateful to God for my amazing friend! We have shared several things together over the years, and seeing her was just the support I needed to keep pressing on in this journey to recovery... We went to an Asian Film Festival and watched a great movie there, we did a little shopping, we talked a lot as we got some coffee, and we ate at a Thai restaurant...

Since being here in treatment, I have been transitioned into eating solid foods again... I haven't written about that, but it has been a very DIFFICULT process for me... Actually, it still is... I hadn't had anything solid go in my body or stay in my body since February, so my body has been trying to adjust and wake up over the past few weeks, and it still has a lot of adjusting to do before everything balances out and is restored... I am trying to remember that I need to be patient with my body and with the process of being refed...

Thankfully, my friend and I were able to sit at a table that was very private, so I didn't feel like I was on display as much as a usually do in restaurants... I had to fight ED's voice constantly while I was there, but that was nothing new! He has been speaking so incredibly loud and fighting against me so incredibly hard, but I am not going to give up! I want to live! I want to enjoy life! I want to walk in RECOVERY! For my whole life, I have never walked in recovery, and I am ready to try out something new because ED has only been faithful to give me unfulfilled promise after unfulfilled promise after unfulfilled promise... So... I tried to enjoy lunch with my friend... There are a few pics below....

My beautiful friend with her YUMMY food!

Me with my YUMMY food!

I was terribly nervous and anxious, but after repeating, "Food is the medicine I need to get well" and "Food is the fuel I need to live," I was able to enjoy some delightful conversation with my friend and also get in the food that I needed to... ONE BITE AT A TIME! It may have been a slow process, but I did it!

Lastly, a pic of the two of us just before she left!

I was super BLESSED by getting to spend time with her! I needed that sooooooooooooooo badly!

I hope each of you had a great weekend too!

Back to the daily grind of treatment in the morning... I will keep taking this journey in stride...


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Art Therapy Project...

Breath of Life
By: Kim Hembry©
July 14, 2011

Relieved to pour out what rages within...
In hopes of experiencing the wonder again...

Longing for more than what she has known...
Seeking a respite from ED's strong groan...

Willing to stand and show up and feel...
Excited to discover what seems so surreal...

Taking in all that arises around her...
Dreaming with hope and peace to confer...


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A pretty good but rather hard day in treatment...

So... I will say that I am glad to be able to blog again! Now that I am in Partial and not IP, I get a little freedom!

Yesterday seemed to be a pivotal day for me... The previous several days were super difficult, and I felt so defeated! However, after letting some things that my treatment team told me sink in, after processing some things with the other women in the program, and after a very powerful art therapy exercise, I was able to realize that what was said to me was very true and quite relevant... I was able to see that I have been setting super high expectations on myself and have been letting perfectionism run rampant... I chose to be willing to let go of the unrealistic expectations I have been placing on myself in terms of treatment right now, and in turn, accept that to show up each day with willingness, openness, and honesty is enough! I also committed to doing my best to stay present!

After making that commitment yesterday, I started out my day with this declaration:

I am willing to show up and to be here today. I am willing to face each step that awaits me today. I am open to receiving feedback and being challenged today. I am willing to be honest with myself, with my peers, and with the treatment team. I am willing to stay grounded and to be present today, to take each step in stride, and to stay in each present moment. I am willing to accept the progress that today holds, and I am willing to value even the smallest of steps taken forward. Staying willing, open, and honest are the things I will value today. And they will be enough!

The following devotion really spoke to me today too! It seemed to be very appropriate for me today! "Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you. Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart. I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but that is not My way for you. Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain. The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak. Someday you will dance lightfooted on the high peaks; but for now, your walk is often plodding and heavy. All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction. Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend. Stay on the path I have selected for you. It is truly the path of LIFE!"

I do believe that this time in treatment is part of God's path for me right now... Some may disagree, but I believe that God is using this time as a very valuable tool to save me and to teach me how to live in a way that I have never known. He is desiring to teach me how to love and take care of myself, so that I can truly love and take care of others in a way that I have never experienced before! I feel very confident in the program and in the treatment team, and I am trying my best to surrender daily to what is asked of me and to keep my heart in a good place...

As I read the following passage of scripture today, I felt even more convinced that God's hand is in this somehow... "Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to You. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without You, nothing makes sense... My choice is You, God, first and only. And now I find I'm Your choice! You set me up with a house and yard. And then You made me Your heir! The wise counsel God gives when I'm awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart. Day and night I'll stick with God; I've got a good thing going and I'm not letting go. I'm happy from the outside in, I'm firmly formed. You canceled my ticket to hell - that's not my destination! Now You've got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of Your face. Ever since You took my hand, I'm on the right way." (Psalm 16, MSG) Wow! I am trying to trust Him in a way that I never have before, and honestly, it hasn't been easy, but I know that He has good plans for me, so I must keep choosing to stand up and face each day in His strength!

(Written later)

So... today in treatment has actually gone pretty well so far. I feel like getting myself grounded this morning and choosing to accept my willingness, openness, and honesty as enough for today made a big difference as I reflected on the internal shift I was able to make yesterday...

Each week here in treatment, we have to face either a challenge food or a challenge meal... Well, today was a challenge meal... I didn't know what to expect, and I wasn't sure how to handle it... All food is unsafe for me still... However, though I was filled with anxiety and fear about several things, I tried to stop and reframe what was rising up in me to build me up to face whatever would be sat before me... I keep replaying the following things through my mind as the time for our challenge meal neared: "Food is the medicine I need to get well. One meal will not make me gain weight. I will be patient with myself, with my body, and with the process."

As I neared the dining area, smells gave way to what we were going to have to eat... When we walked in, we were faced with hamburgers, waffle fries, and soda... AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I had to start letting that positive tape replay over and over and over again... Somehow, God helped me to stay present in the moment, to stay engaged in conversation with my peers, and to get through that meal! Whoa! I never dreamed of that! But, I made it... I don't plan on doing that again anytime soon, but there was a sense of feeling empowered as I endured what seemed impossible... Really, every meal made up of solid foods seems impossible to me, but I am trying to view each meal as an opportunity for victory... It is a struggle, but I know I need to persevere!

There is still A LOT going on in me, and there are many reservations I have right now about my meal plan and my weight, but I will try not to let them overwhelm me at this point in recovery... I will keep saying:





Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Treatment Poetry: Poem #6...

Trapped in My Skin
By: Kim Hembry©
July 8, 2011

I can't stand what I see
Looking back at me
The reflection is repulsive

I can't stand how I feel
After each and every meal
My body is disgusting

I can't stand being in my skin
I long to be thin
I'm getting even fatter

So many thoughts of self-hate
Still need to lose more weight
The number is too high

I'm so uncomfortable inside
I want to run and hide
I look so unappealing

I'm not sure how to see
My reflection differently
Fear closes in

It's hard to strain forward
In the midst of self-hatred
I feel so drained

My vision is so skewed
By lies I am subdued
I feel so torn

I can't seem to move past
What I see in the glass
I'm so overwhelmed

Will I ever really see
A true reflection of beauty?
I'm in need of new eyes

Only time will tell
If I'll ever be well
I'll try to believe

Treatment Poetry: Poem #5...

(Written after presented with a challenge food at lunch...)

Damned by Pie
By: Kim Hembry©
July 6, 2011

So torn up within -
Like ED's got the upper hand.
I feel so ashamed.
Trying to deal.

There's uneasiness inside -
ED's putting up a fight.
I feel so perplexed.
Trying to cope.

Torment rages in my mind -
ED's brutal and unkind.
I feel overcome.
Trying to stand.

I want a release -
Some respite of peace.
I feel so trapped.
Trying to breathe.

Ate what wasn't allowed -
Can't find a way out.
I feel out of control.
Trying to wait.

Racing thoughts to and fro -
They won't let me go.
I feel overwhelmed.
Trying to manage.

I strain for some truth -
In place of ED's damn abuse.
I feel so stuck.
Trying to engage.

Food is all it was -
So why must I judge?
I feel insecure.
Trying to believe.

I'm strong and I'm able -
Willing, brave, and capable.
I feel torn inside.
Trying to fight.

I'm searching for my voice -
Trying to recognize my choice.
I feel responsible.
Trying not to judge.

There was no way of escape -
To avoid the food on my plate.
I feel so forced.
Trying to forgive.

In need of rational thoughts -
Not "have to's", "should's," and "oughts."
I feel so confused.
Trying to make peace.

To make peace with myself -
With my body and my mind.
I feel quite unsettled.
Trying to press on, in spite -

In spite of the shame -
And the physical pain.
I feel regretful.
Trying to see.

How to extend grace to myself -
Rather than in punishment to delve.
I feel so anxious.
Trying to be.

Gentle and kind with myself -
To extend patience and love.
I feel so alone.
Trying to rise.

Rise to a good place -
Where it is comfortably safe.
I feel persevering.
Trying to let go.

So I'll pray and I'll breathe -
And I'll usher in peace.
I feel willing to -
Stand up to ED's plea.

Treatment Poetry: Poem #4...

Venting the Strain
By: Kim Hembry©
July 4, 2011

My heart pounds as anxiety rises
My tummy can't handle all the surprises

My stomach's enraged by what just went in
ED's taunting words I try to defend

Pain is raging on the inside
I really just want to run and to hide

I'm trying to remember that this too shall pass
But I really don't know how long it will last

My body's rejecting the meal I just ate
I'm getting caught up in guilt and self-hate

For giving in to the weakness of food
I'm filled with rashness; my self-talk is crude

I'm torn up inside and struggling to see
That enduring this day is a small victory

For I hear that I've failed, that I've given in
That I've betrayed ED to another friend

That I'm gaining a pound with every bite
That I'm fat and disgusting at the sight

Of all who see me; they gasp in disgust
At what they see; they surely don't lust

Rather, they condemn the sight that they see
Wondering just how I came to be

Such a repulsion and pain to the eyes
With rolls of fat and juggling thighs

I'm so torn within and can't seem to tell
The truth of life from the raging lies of hell

I'm doing my best to make it through tonight
In hopes that I'll wake up to newness of light

I struggle to keep my head held high
I'm overcome by consecutive sighs

But I won't give up and I won't give in
I'll keep straining forward and slowly confer

To this process of healing - to the journey I'm on
I'll keep showing up; I will overcome

One day at a time, taking each step in stride
In each moment lies the choice to choose life!

Treatment Poetry: Poem #3...

(Poem written after sitting in nature for a little while...)

Nature's Peace
By: Kim Hembry©
July 3, 2011

Soothing waters, singing birds
Airplanes humming, insects chanting
Many peaceful sounds I heard

Blocking out the stormy thoughts
Giving way to nature's calling
I found the relaxation that I sought

Blocking out the taunting lies
Tuning in to the humming skies
I felt tranquility deep inside

A moment of peace, subtle relief
A moment in which I got to breathe
Was valuable and gave me strength

To be and to feel in the present moment
To turn off the mind rushing ahead
To view the beauty of today's gift

Treatment Poetry: Poem #2...

Perspective Check
By: Kim Hembry©
July 2, 2011

Feelings of shame rise up within
I feel so fat and long to be thin

It seems that with each meal, my stomach balloons
I just want to get it all out of me soon

I'm afraid of letting go of a thirteen year bond
Yet I know that to ED's voice I don't need to respond

I just feel so overwhelmed with each passing day
Between two desires I continually sway

Sway between truth and well-disguised lies
I'm trying not to be my own sad demise

I know I want to be better - to finally be well
But I feel so torn and can't seem to tell

What will be found as this journey continues
What I will find and what I will lose

I'm trying to let the truth override
I'm trying to feel what's all tucked inside

I'm trying to let my feelings arise
In hopes that maybe I'll realize

What's tucked away and is deeply hidden
What's been suppressed that makes me guilt-ridden

I know it's a process and a slow one at that
I struggle so hard not to look back

I'm trying to focus on the hear and the now
I'm trying each moment to figure out how

How to choose life and care for myself
How to recover and no longer delve

Into the pit of darkness and death
Into the place where I'm gasping for breath

I'm trying to be optimistic and stay positive
I'm trying to believe that truly I'll live

I'm trying to press on in spite of the pain
In spite of fear and tormenting disdain

I'm trying to trust those God sent to help
Trying to remember I can't do it by myself

I'm trying to give up the reigns of control
In search of something more than ED's tight hold

To humbly submit to those walking with me
To trust in their guidance so one day I'll be

Freed from this trap and tightly locked cage
Freed to enjoy the life that awaits

So I will try to pray and to breathe
And step by step walk this journey

Taking each day and each step in stride
Yielding to truth and not to the lies

Treatment Poetry: Poem #1...

By: Kim Hembry©
July 1, 2011

I cannot stand all that I feel
I want to escape to a place surreal

The thundering inside of me strongly sounds
I just ate so much that wasn't allowed

My mind rages with tormenting blame
I'm flooded by pain, torment, and shame

I feel so overcome by what lies ahead
My stomach churns with anxiety and dread

I know deep down that I want to be free
But I'm so overwhelmed by this journey

Part of me wants to run, hide, or disappear
I'm trying to hold in the many tears

I know that to run or try to escape
Isn't the answer - For there's too much at stake

I'm just so tired from this unending fight
Each day it seems harder to fight for my life

I know that's really the only choice I have
But it feels as though this battle will never pass

Even to let up would be a relief
I long so deeply to be at peace

At peace with myself, with my body, and my mind
At peace with the girl I always try to hide

Though this battle isn't easy nor hardly fun
I won't give up but will choose to press on

The fighter within me won't let me give in
But at this point in the battle, I don't feel like I'll win

But I have to remember that it's God's strength in me
That will ultimately bring me to a place of VICTORY!

So I will try to take one step at a time
This journey won't overwhelm me; for I'll take it in stride