Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today in retrospect... Honest internal reflection... Yikes!

28Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding.

29He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound].

30Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted;

31But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Isaiah 40: 28-31

13Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money.

14Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].

15You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing].

James 4:13-15

When I first read these passages, I coudn't help but think to myself, "Praise be to God who WILL strengthen me," because I felt pretty weak and tired from this fight... I was also reminded that I need only look at today - rather than at the remaining part of this very long journey...

As I got started with today, I managed to pull my food together for breakfast and made it through... I then got ready and headed out for a session with my therapist...

As I drove to my therapist's office, I became somewhat overwhelmed as to where I'd begin today... I had so much going on in my head... Overall, I felt very perplexed because over the past week (since my last session), I've realized just how right my therapist was in saying that I basically have NO freedom because ED is SO -- SO -- SO in control...

Over the past week, I spent time putting together a collage that depicts why I still feel like I need my eating disorder ~ a collage that depicts some of the comforts and promises I still feel like my eating disorder gives me... I did this because I've been struggling to find words to express all that I feel my ED still offers me...

As I looked at the collage this morning, I realized something that I didn't intend to realize... I began to recognize that I still have a deep rooted belief that I can live my life AND practice my eating disorder too (both at the same time)... Actually, that's all I've known! The rational side of me tries to grasp a hold of the truth that what I am believing isn't really true... I began to feel frustrated that I felt so stuck and also that my eating disorder still has such a hold - or rather, a tight grip - on me... Arghhh!

Something that happened yesterday reinforced to me just how strong my eating disorder really is... So... I don't mean for what I'm about to share to be triggering, but I am going to mention a few numbers... So, yesterday I was at my parents' house trying to put my lunch together... I've been used to eating a whole grain tortilla that has 80 calories, 12 gr. of fiber, 8 gr. of protein, and 1/2 gr. of fat... The one in my mom's pantry had 130 calories, only 3 gr. of fiber, 2 gr. of protein, and 3 gr. of fat... I started to freak out so badly inside... All I could seem to do was try and figure out how I would cancel out and/or balance out my calories for the day... AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I had such a hard time dealing with it... It bothered me all day...

With that being said, counseling was good but kinda hard today... ED was confronted quite a bit, and I was challenged in many ways... My therapist told me that as I go through this week, she wants me to think about things I enjoy (not in relation to food)... She wants to take some mental space away from ED...


My therapist also challenged one of my patterns of thinking today... Most of the time when I am talking about recovery, I say, "I am trying to trust...", "I am trying not to manipulate...", "I am trying not to restrict..."; she challenged me to say, "I am trusting..." She also reminded me of the importance of staying present and of taking each day in stride as it comes... ONE STEP AT A TIME! and ONE MOMENT AT A TIME!

I've tried to do that throughout the rest of today... I've been trying to take today in stride and do my best to work recovery... Speaking of which, I guess I better wrap this post up, so I can figure out how to finish all of my remaining exchanges for today...

Blessings to all of you on your own journey!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

To this point... I am grateful for...

Truth be told... The journey continues... BUT... It continues quite slowly - with a few steps forward and a step back from time to time... I am trying to be patient with the process and not expect perfection from myself, but that is easier said than done!

It is a moment by moment and bite by bite journey... It is very difficult, but I am determined to try to press on and not fall into a place of self-sabotage like I have during all other previous "attempts" at recovery... Even though recovery still scares me, I am trying to work it, especially in terms of my meal plan...

I am trying to be brutally honest with myself and with my treatment team... I am trying not to have secrets that only keep me trapped... I am trying to trust my treatment team and this process to a certain extent even though I still don't trust the whole idea of recovery yet...

I am choosing to believe that as I keep doing the deeper work with my therapist, trust will increase, and I will slowly but surely start making more consistent progress...

I am trying to embrace each day, each step, and each moment as it comes and deal with each one to the best of my ability...

I am grateful for a few very supportive friends that love me right where I am and encourage me to keep walking this journey...

I am grateful for my parents who have shown me immense support and have shown me that they have placed my recovery as a priority... Even though pride tries to ward off the help they offer me, I am deeply grateful for the love they have shown me and all they continue to do for me...

I am grateful for my professional OP treatment team because I know they do really care about me and want to see me walking successfully... I know they want to see me walking free from the bondage that ED still has on me... I know they speak truth (even very hard truth at times) because they want to do their part to help me...

I am grateful for a strength that God has built up within me to keep showing up day in and day out... I am grateful that His mercies are made new every morning... I am grateful that God has given me a certain measure of hope and joy on the inside of me to propel me onward in this journey...

I am grateful for my job and for all of my students... There is a piece of me that comes alive when I am teaching that doesn't come alive at other times... I am trying to let my job be a motivation for me as I try to work recovery right now - trying to accept the truth that I really can't be the teacher or mentor my students need me to be if I am not willing to do my part of recovery...

In many ways, recovery is mechanical right now and feels more like a "have to" than a "want to" or an "I deserve to," but I am trying to believe that is okay for now...

I don't want to fulfill the definition of insanity of doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result... I have spent too many years doing that!

I do want to experience something new and something different... It is a foreign concept for me in many ways, but I am trying to embrace the opportunity for discovery...

Hmmm... I adopted a new affirmation/mantra today as I spent some time reflecting upon the value of each day... Here goes...
"Today is a gift... I will receive it... I will accept it... I will be open to all of its possibilities... I will be thankful for what I find as it unfolds...
No matter what!"
I am going to try and start off each day with my newly written quotation, even when some things seem the farthest from being a gift... I challenge you to do the same...

Be blessed in your own journey! Keep on keeping on! Don't give up!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A very LONG day!

GoOd MoRnInG!

So... I just walked into my therapist's office, and for some reason I am kinda nervous... I guess part of the reason is because I haven't had the best week in regards to working recovery!

Deep down, I know I should talk to her about my Miralax issue (taking a little too much sometimes...), about my binge/purge episode, about slightly restricting, about all of the extra fiber, and about the urges I have regarding exercise...

ED is fighting me hard right now - I can pretty much feel that he is trying to get my mouth clenched shut, so I can't/don't talk about what's going on with me, but I know I have to stand up to him!

I know I need to share with my therapist that I gave myself a counseling/art therapy assignment and why! I know I need to try and delve into all that is keeping me from letting go of ED and putting myself fully into recovery... Arghh!

I am also terrified of what may come up in me...

(Written after my session...)

Well, I faced it! I opened up... I didn't keep it all in... I have so much going on in my head right now... My therapist told me that i am not experiencing any freedom and that my eating disorder is completely controlling me... That confrontation came when I said that one reason I am afraid to throw myself into recovery is fear of losing control... She said I have no control and that ED is in control... Arghh! I know I probably needed to hear that, but man! It sucks!

I know I want to try recovery - that deep down, I really do! I am frustrated that I can't trust this process... My therapist said that at the core of me is a deep/big trust issue that keeps me from trusting in recovery - from trusting those at the world-renowned-hospital from which I was recently discharged from treatment - from trusting one of the top dietitians in the state of Texas - from trusting my body... AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

ED says I should've kept my mouth shut... Yet I know that's really a lie... I kind of feel stuck - at a loss for words... My mind seems very jumbled right now...

I am able to recognize a few things that are better than they were, but I still don't really feel good about anything I've done regarding recovery... My therapist wants me to explore why I can't feel good about the things that are going well in recovery - why I don't feel good about positive steps taken in the direction of recovery...

There's so much more I feel I need to get out right now, but I don't even know how! I mean, in the moment, I am just reminding myself to breathe... TO PRAY AND TO BREATHE as I wait to see my dietitian.

Oh, I'm not the most excited about this one... Especially after the counseling session I just had... I feel anxious and want to run... Run away from it all!

Truthfully, besides taking a little too much Miralax last night, the past three days have been positive days that are leading in the direction of recovery... But, I don't know... I feel defeated and stuck!

My therapist reminded me earlier that my dietitian wasn't changing my current meal plan because she wanted me to learn to trust it and wants to see how my body will respond to it... My therapist said that if I can't work recovery in regards to my meal plan, then my dietitian can't see how my body is responding... True statement! Hard - but TRUE!

I feel like I just need to take a deep breath now!

I guess what makes me feel so defeated is that the truth is that I can't work recovery "a little bit" and practice my eating disorder just "a little bit"; I am either working RECOVERY or ED is working me! This is what I am struggling to believe right now... I can accept it as truth, but I am having a hard time letting it take root in me and really believing it to be true for me! I guess that goes back around to TRUST -- trusting recovery - trusting my dietitian - trusting my meal plan - trusting my body - trusting God with my body... AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Okay, that's all for now... More to come I'm sure... I'm about to see my dietitian...


(Written after my session with my dietitian...)

So... Truth is that I kind of entered my dietitian's office with clenched teeth... Part of me didn't want to see her... However, I am very glad I did see her! She is really an amazing woman!

When I first entered her office, I am pretty sure she knew I was entering reluctantly... She asked me if I was angry she wouldn't let me exercise (specifically, run!)... Deep down, I am trying to believe that it really isn't ok for me to run right now... I kind of feel like a time bomb is continually ticking down, and before long, I am going to have to go for a run whether I have permission or not... But, I also know that I have spent countless years teetering and tottering back and forth between all of my ED behaviors... I don't want to fulfill the definition of insanity and keep doing the same things over and over expecting a different result than what I have yet to see... So... That means that I have to try and trust this thing called recovery...

As we talked, I shared all of the ways that I've subtly been practicing my eating disorder (at times subconsciously and at times with much rationalization)... I also briefed her on all that took place during my counseling session this morning...

Before we could get too far into the session, I just had to know what my body has been doing... Of course I didn't need to know numbers, but I felt like I needed to know if I've been gaining, maintaining, or losing... I feel like I've been ballooning! Well, when I asked her what had happened since being discharged, she told me that I have lost weight... ED is super HAPPY about that, and I feel like a part of me is too... I am still not okay with my weight...

When I asked her about my weight, she had more leverage to use when she talked to me about running... Okay... So, physiologically, I can't afford to run yet... For me, that sucks! I want to soooooooo badly! However, as I talked with her, some rational thought somehow surfaced... I realized that if I were allowed to run right now, it would become my life again... Each day I would have to run further than the day before, and it would soon completely take me over as it has before... SO... with that being said, I guess I am going to try and wait to see what my body is doing and trust my dear dietitian...

I feel like I have so much more to get out of me regarding my appointments today, but I am absolutely exhausted... I guess to wrap this post up I will say that I was told that my meal plan is a non-negotiable... It is not to be tweaked or altered... I need to finish it EVERY DAY! Also, another non-negotiable is to take ONLY the prescribed dose of Miralax... (I will see her again in a week and a half...)

To make a long story short... The journey continues...


Sunday, August 21, 2011

In Retrospect... A Poem and Some Reflection...

Brand New
By: Kim Hembry©
August 21, 2011

As my eyes opened, defeat set in -
As I reflected on the ways I let ED win.

Tormenting lies invaded my mind,
And condemnation rose up inside.

I felt overwhelmed; wasn't sure what to do,
But in the nick of time, God's TRUTH broke through!

I was drawn to my knees, to repent and confess -
As I let it all out, tears fell down my chest.

I was met with mercy and showered in grace.
As new mercies came, I lifted my face.

As tears were released, I began to realize -
The choice awaited - to leave yesterday behind.

Though I had fallen, I chose to rise up;
For forgiveness was mine because of His love.

By the grace of God, I chose LIFE today,
And it is only in Him that I can say -

I'll keep walking this journey; I'll choose to press on;
I won't give up; one day I'll OVERCOME!

This is a poem I wrote as today was winding down... Even though I had a rough night last night and woke up feeling defeated, today was not ruined! My God rushed in to save the day! He freed me from yesterday's chains! He helped me make good choices so far today! I was reminded that I don't have to walk this journey alone! He desires to walk it with me, and He even brings a few amazing people alongside me for support! Hallelujah!

Getting to go to church this morning and again this evening was a huge part of the successes I've experienced today (up to this point!). I was reminded of the value of my relationship with the Lord. I was reminded that legalism, law, and religion only separate people, but that relationship brings people together. I was also reminded that religion diminishes passion, but that my passion increases as I walk closely with my God, and that as my relationship with Him becomes more intimate, I am blessed with JOY! LIFE! and FREEDOM! My relationship with Him makes all the difference in this journey!

I was reminded that no matter how rough and difficult my journey has been (or is currently), Jesus desires to meet me RIGHT WHERE I AM! He looks on me with COMPASSION! He looks upon me in LOVE! He desires to meet with me - to relate to me in a very intimate way, yet He doesn't desire to abuse me! He desires to come alongside me and satisfy the deep needs and longings of my soul! The only question is, WILL I LET HIM?

I was challenged today to recognize that both the doors of COMPASSION and LOVE are bridges on our journeys, but that the door of JUDGMENT is a wall on our journeys... I was challenged to think about what's been offered to me... I was challenged to think about what I offer others... And I was challenged even further as I thought about what I offer myself... As I thought about this last one, I realized that I continue to walk in an immense load of self-judgment... I continue to tear myself to shreds and pick myself apart... I continue to reject the woman I see reflected in the mirror... I continue to compare myself with others which always leads me to feeling less than... I know it is a process to break this cycle, and I guess it will take some time, so I will try to extend patience to myself!

I was also reminded that in the midst of great blessing, sometimes there is great pain, but that even in the midst of pain, we mustn't suffer alone... And that God doesn't desire for us to stay in a place of pain, but rather, He desires to bring forth healing! There is nothing impossible for Him! NOTHING! This is important for me to keep in mind as I keep working with my outpatient team... As deeper issues are brought up within me... As I face some very hard and painful memories...

So... The journey continues... It definitely isn't easy, but I am doing my best to believe that it is POSSIBLE!


So... Last night I fell into my ED in some pretty big ways... I've been struggling quite a bit since leaving treatment, but overall, I've been able to manage things pretty well... I was very frustrated with myself, and I felt completely defeated... I was very disappointed in myself and couldn't believe how much I let ED take me over...

When I woke up this morning, I was very tempted to skip breakfast and go for a run (neither of which I am actually allowed to do!), but instead, I made my breakfast and read several of my devotions for the day... I just can't help but post one of them... This one helped me A LOT today!

"With each new day I put away the past and discover
the new beginnings I have been given."
~ Angela L. Wozniak

"We can't recapture what is no more. And the minutes or hours we spend dwelling on what was or should have been only steal away from all that presently is. Today stands before us with promise. The opportunities for growth are guaranteed, as is all the spiritual help we need to handle any situation the day offers.

If today offers us a challenge, we can be grateful. Our challenges are gifts. They mean we are ready to move ahead to new awarenesses, to a new sense of our womanhood. Challenges force us to think creatively; they force us to turn to others; they demand that we change. Without challenges, we'd stagnate, enjoying life little, offering life nothing.

We each are making a special contribution, one that only we can make, each time we confront a new situation with courage. Each time we dare to open a new door. What we need to do today is to close the door on yesterday. Then we can stand ready and willing to go forward.

This day awaits my full presence. I will be the recipient of its gift."

So... Is this amazing or what?

It was for me! It helped me to put yesterday's failures behind me and start afresh and anew! I made it through breakfast! Then my best friend came to go to church with me, and we had lunch together...

To be completely honest, ED is screaming and shouting very loudly right now as I write this and as I consider the rest of my evening, but I know I just need to take it in stride...

Friday, August 19, 2011

An internal reflection brought forth in words...

So, the truth is - it's been a kind of rough week in regards to following my meal plan. I haven't been perfect, but I am trying to learn and remember that I don't have to be!

Last night I had "Meet the Teacher" at school, and to my delight, it went very well! I really felt like God shielded me against and protected me from what I was so fearful of encountering! Hallelujah!

In regards to recovery, it is surely a rough journey right now... I kind of feel like it is a journey on which I have taken a couple of steps backwards, but I am not willing to quit! I will keep fighting even though it is hard - VERY HARD!

I went to my best friend's apartment last night after I left the school. She could tell that if it was going to be up to me alone, I wasn't going to eat, so she invited me over to have some dinner with her... While I was there with her, we began talking about a lot of different things, but we talked in depth about recovery - about the process of healing... As I talked with her, I realized that I really never have been willing to truly shelf my eating disorder and give recovery a chance. Deep down I know this is what I want to do this time around, but it is almost as though I am instinctively led to self-sabotage at this point.

I was doing my best to work recovery while I was in treatment, and I have been trying to work recovery after being discharged right at three weeks ago. However, as I talked with my friend last night, I began to realize that in many "small" ways, I have been acting out in my eating disorder... Part of me is frustrated, and part of me feels like I'm doing the best that I can right now... I don't know though!

One thing I did realize as I talked with my friend last night was that because I have never really been willing to try out recovery for real and have always kept ED in my life - kept him in my back pocket - and practiced my eating disorder in some way, shape or form, I have no faith in nor trust in recovery! I am also terribly afraid of what it means! I am afraid of the unknown!

Somewhere, deep down inside of me, I am trying to believe that recovery is really what I want - that it is really so much better than what I have known up until this point in my life. However, I am struggling to see how truly ugly ED is. There still seems to be certain incomparable comforts in him.

I have made many recovery collages and posters that somehow seem to capture the idea and dream of recovery. I seem to depict recovery in a very positive light. However, as I present it as positive, I also present it as very rigid... As very strict... As very black and white... As all or nothing!

After talking to my friend last night and after talking to a blessed friend who is working her own recovery this morning, I have been reminded that recovery is meant to be a flexible journey. If I keep such a rigid and all-or-nothing-mindset about it, I am not going to be able to do it! It seems so foreign to me to even consider that recovery can be flexible... I have such a hard time trying to believe that it really can be! However, I guess that too, is a process...

As I talked with my friend who is working her own recovery, I was reminded that the journey of recovery is a journey of trust... Wow! That hit home! I am definitely on a journey of trust! I am trying to trust God with my new job as a Spanish teacher... I am trying to trust that He is the King over my finances - my Provider - that He knows how to make ends meet... He knows exactly what I need and has a plan for provision... I am trying to trust that God has put together a great treatment and support team for me... I am trying to trust my dietitian... Trying to trust my therapist... Trying to trust my meal plan... Trying to trust my body... Trying to trust myself! And... It is a scary journey!

As I have been doing my best to muscle my way through my meal plan each day and at each meal so that I can get in the nutrients my body needs, I have been fueled first and foremost by a strength that is not my own but that is from God who lives in me, but I have also been fueled by trying to believe that if I am not willing to follow my meal plan, I will not be able to be the teacher my students need me to be nor the mentor they need me to be!

So... I hit this place in which I find myself at a crossroad... It is a place that reminds me of a place I have visited many times before... There is one thing different though... This time, I actually realize that I am at a crossroad - that what happens next is partially up to me... To a certain extent, it is a scary place to be... I think that in the past when I have visited a place that seemed similar, I have always been launched into a flight mode - entirely too afraid to keep trekking forward... However, I don't want to take flight this time! I am tempted to, but I know that I can't keep running from the painful things that rise up inside of me... If I choose to run from the rising pain and discomfort I feel within me, I will never have the chance to walk in freedom... However, I am terrified to leap fearlessly into a trust fall... The trust fall is RECOVERY, but I am afraid of what I will find as I walked forward into the free fall...

For only the choice and time will tell...


I will choose to believe: Healing is HARD, but it is not HOPELESS!

I will choose to say: God in me is my HOPE of GLORY!

I will choose to take the next step... One small step in the direction of LIFE!

Will you join me?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Victories and Challenges... Stuck in between... And a poem...

"When a woman has love, she is no longer at the mercy of forces greater than herself, for she, herself, becomes the powerful force."
~Veronica Casey

"Often when we're being touch and strong, we're scared. It takes a lot of courage to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be soft."

~Dudley Martineau

"Letting others see who we really are alleviates confusion, theirs and ours. We no longer need to decide who we should be; we simply are who we are. Our choices are simplified. There is only one appropriate choice to every situation - the one that is honest and wholly reflective of who we are at the moment."

(Taken from the devotional,

"Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women)

So... This last quotation that I shared reminds me of what my therapist told me this morning when I saw her. I was talking to her about the reservations and fears I have in regards to Open House and "Meet the Teacher" tomorrow night... She helped to calm me down a bit... I shared with her that I was afraid that the parents would bombard me for evidence for a long list of "credentials" (which I don't really have! Because of my ED, I have never been able to finish college!) as to how I became a Spanish teacher at an elite private school... I know that God has equipped me for the position, but I didn't feel like that alone would go over too well for these parents who pay around $700/month for tuition... She told me that all I have to do is tell the truth... She kinda helped me get a script put together in my head... Here goes... "Well, I excelled in Spanish throughout High School and continued to excel in the Spanish classes I took in college. Later I was given the opportunity to live in a Spanish-speaking country where I had the privilege of teaching English. After returning to the US, I began tutoring students in Spansih, and shortly thereafter, I was invited to join the staff here at BCA." (SO... What do you think? Sound okay? Haha!) Phew! I will be running this through my head a few more times before tomorrow night! I know it will all be ok!

I am also experiencing fear about what some of the parents (who have known me for a while) will say to me... Since being home from treatment and starting school, I have had several people comment on my weight loss, and I have frozen up and not known how to respond to them... So, in regards to this fear, if someone confronts me or comments about my weight, my therapist told me to change the topic ASAP! I really hope I don't have to deal with this one, but I guess I will have to take the whole evening in stride!

On a slightly different note, I've made it through my first two days of teaching, and they have gone pretty well! Praise God! I feel like God has given me much grace to handle all of these changes! It is surely ONE DAY AT A TIME and ONE MOMENT AT A TIME! However, I have been relieved to see myself staying rather calm and peaceful in regards to my teaching position and my classroom management and all... I am still not sure why God has brought me back to the same school where I went for both Junior High and High School, but I know that He knows and that He has a plan! He has a good plan - a plan for a hope and a future!

In regards to ED, he has been and is fighting hard and screaming ever so loudly! However, I am trying to stand up to him. I am trying to follow my meal plan, learn to trust it, and respect my light exercise privileges, but there is so much raging within me...
I know that in some ways I am just muscling my way through the eating part - which is quite mechanical, but both my therapist and dietitian told me that they are just glad that I am doing my best to work recovery at this stage - even though I am eating pretty much the same thing everyday which is the lowest meal plan I can be on right now... I know that I have to at least get myself to do that if I am going to have enough strength to teach...

Now I can't say I've walked perfectly...

I know there is still such a battle going on in me between recovery and my eating disorder... I have acted out in some small ways but have also protected myself and stood up against ED in some pretty big ways! I am not sure how much longer I can fight the urge I have to go running though... I kind of want to bargain with my dietitian to try and get permission to run... I don't know though... Argh!

Also, I am completely terrified of tapering off of the Miralax I've needed to take for a while now... I haven't been asked to taper down below two doses a day, but I know that I probably need to try... I am so afraid that I will balloon (even more than I feel I have!) if I stop taking the Miralax...

Oh... I don't know...

There is just so much tension in me... I know I want to choose LIFE and really give RECOVERY a chance this time, but man! Such paradoxical things go through my head! I am so unhappy in my skin... Yuck!?!? I still feel like I need to lose a lot of weight... But, I also don't want to sabotage myself (my therapist warned me against this today!)... I kind of feel like I just need to scream!

Okay, maybe I won't scream... Maybe it will just come out in the form of a poem...

Feeling Complacent
By: Kim Hembry©

August 17, 2011

I want to try and hide-
The torment inside...

I'm afraid to reveal-

How I really feel...

There's so much tucked away-
So much pain...

I'm not sure what will rise-

Or what will surprise-

Me, if I open the lock-

Will I stand in shock?

Will I be overwhelmed if

Finally, I delve-

Into the depths of my soul,

And what lies below-

The surface, the facade,

The sweet grin and nod?

What will rise to the top-
If I take the lid off?

And with just a small thought-

Much anxiety daunts...

I must pray and breathe deep-
As I seek after peace...

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - ... Sigh...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A brief update... I've been MIA... Oops!

So... It has been super busy on my end! I guess that is pretty obvious noticing that I haven't written in several days! Wow!

This past week was full as I sat through teacher inservice all week! I will be welcoming all of my students into the classroom on Monday. I can't believe it is already time for school to start!

Today marks two weeks that I have been home from treatment... These past two weeks have been difficult, but I have been pressing on and fighting for RECOVERY! I have been consistent with appointments. I've seen my therapist, dietitian, and doctor regularly since returning from treatment...

Actually, I met with my dietitian yesterday... I really wanted to cancel my appointment because I was having a hard time pulling myself away from my classroom... I kept finding all kinds of loose ends, but deep down I knew I needed to follow through with my appointment. Therefore, I loaded up all of my stuff as I remembered that RECOVERY has to be a PRIORITY right now - even above my job! I was nervous about meeting with my dietitian because I was afraid of getting an increase to my meal plan... However, the nerves were for nothing because my meal plan was not increased. My dietitian really wants me to have confidence and trust in my current meal plan before altering it. For that I am grateful! I know she is watching my weight closely, so I will do my best to keep trusting her and working with my meal plan... I will try not to veer from it...

The truth is that I still have a long way to go, but I must accept where I am right now on this journey in order to work RECOVERY from this point!

I had fallen prey to intense calorie counting as soon as I got home from treatment, but I have now made it one week and one day without keeping a very rigid and anal calorie log... I know that is a positive step! I am still super tempted to count and restrict, but I am doing my best to fight!

When I went to the doctor this week, I had some number trauma... I always do blind weigh ins when I go to my doctor and/or dietitian. The nurses know not to tell me my weight... Well, at least most of the time! The wise nurse I had this past week when I saw my doctor blurted my weight out after I told her not to... I was pissed! I was terrified! I was overwhelmed! I guess you could say I experienced a certain level of number TRAUMA! I know that I need to accept a healthy number for my height and body type, but it is soooooooooo hard... I still feel super overweight! I still can't stand the number! I guess this is a part of the process that may take a little while longer...

Well, I have to go for now, but I hope that all of you who are walking your own journeys are going strong!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Soak up the moment for all it is worth!

So... I know I have mentioned this before, but I will say it again! One of the most valuable things that I have been learning is the importance behind "staying present." It may sound like an easy thing to do - to focus on the moment in which you find yourself and not get carried away into the past or into the future. It may sound easy, but for me it takes intentional effort! However, I am finding that being able to stay present in the current moment and face each moment's struggles and stressors as they come really is a vital key to trying to walk the road of RECOVERY. Staying present in each moment also helps me not to miss the blessings and victories that come with each moment.

Over the past several days, I have been in need of a reminder to keep me in the present rather than getting anxious and overwhelmed by all that lies ahead of me! Below, I have shared a meditation/devotional with you that I read a few days ago. I have reread it at least once each day since the time I first laid my eyes on it. I hope you are encouraged too!


"Let me tell thee, time is a very precious gift of God; so precious that it's only given to us moment by moment." ~Amelia Barr

Where are our minds right now? Are we focused fully on this meditation? Or are our minds wandering off to events scheduled for later today or tomorrow perhaps? The simple truth is that this moment is all God has allowed right now. It's God's design that we will live fully each moment, as it comes. Therein lies the richness of our lives. Each moment contributes to the full pattern that's uniquely our own.
We must not miss the potential pleasure of any experience because our thoughts are elsewhere. We never know when a particular moment, a certain situation, may be a door to our future. What we do know is that God often has to work hard getting our attention, perhaps allowing many stumbling blocks in order to get us back on target. Being in tune with now, this moment, guarantees a direct line of communication to God. It also guarantees a full, yet simple life. Our purpose becomes clear as we trust our steps to God's guidance. How terribly complicated we make life by living in the past, the present, and many future times, all at once!


One step, one moment, and then the next step and its moment. How the simple life brings me freedom!

I am trying to fight for RECOVERY!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Standing up to ED by choosing to speak!

Well, I haven’t been journaling or writing much at all over the past several weeks. Part of the reason was because I was in treatment all day and didn’t have time to write, but since being discharged a week ago, writing and journaling has been taking place even less! That is not very normal for me! I haven’t even written poetry in over a week now! I don’t know what’s wrong with me!

Am I afraid to face all that is going on in me? Am I afraid to see my struggle? I don’t know, but I kind of feel like I am drowning...

So... I met with my counselor this morning, which was overall, a very good thing! I didn’t want to talk to her about how much I have been struggling, but yet, I knew deep down that I needed to and that I had committed to talk to her about some of the stuff that lies beneath... ED fought me like crazy as I tried to share about how I’ve been acting out on my eating disorder. However, I was able to let her know that I have been calorie counting like crazy and using it as a means to restrict and manipulate my meal plan... As I shared this with her, a few questions came up on her end that made me stop and think.

I have already mentioned that I am afraid to lose ED even though deep down I know that his companionship doesn’t really offer anything that leads to LIFE, but today I was able to start sharing about the fears and hesitations I have to really choose recovery for the first time!

My counselor told me that I needed to talk to my dietician about all that I had shared with her this morning and that I didn’t need to try and hide it or cover it up! She also gave me an assignment to work on when I am being tempted to count calories...

Well, in all honesty, I didn’t utilize the assignment as a coping tool as I ate lunch. I kept on counting my calories and trying to come up with the lunch that covered all of my exchanges but that had the smallest amount of calories...

However, a change was getting ready to come as I entered my dietician’s office. I had mixed feelings as I walked into her office. I was excited to see her since it had been so long since my last visit, but I was also afraid of what she might want to tweak on my meal plan.

As I sat down in her office, I started to share about the past five weeks in treatment; I began updating her on all that took place. Talking about my treatment experience obviously led me to my meal plan... Which eventually led me into sharing about my number trauma regarding my weight and calories.

As I talked with her, she was very merciful and sincere as she heard me out and listened intently to what I had to say. However, she was not going to let ED get by with anything. She is not afraid to confront, but when she confronts, she does so in love. I really do appreciate her. She does think that my meal plan needs to be upped, but she knew that throwing that on my right now was not the best idea. Therefore, she sat forth the challenge to trust my current meal plan as a base, as a starting zone and to give it a shot, to try it out WITHOUT counting all of my calories and manipulating my intake (or in other words, restricting!).

We talked for quite a long time, but before I left her office, I committed to try it out this week. (She assured me that with my current meal plan, I will not gain weight.)

So... as the time rolled around to eat dinner, I started pulling together all of my exchanges. I was trying to keep track of my calories in my head, but I knew I needed to break out of it... Once I got my dinner prepared, I committed to fight the urge to count calories, and I used the assignment my counselor gave me as the coping mechanism she desired for me. Well, I made it through one meal without writing down all of my calorie counts though I had run most of it through my head. However, I know it was a small step in the right direction.

After getting finished with dinner, I left for a church meeting. There was a single women’s/ladies’ group meeting tonight, and they were starting a new study. I have wanted to get plugged in at the church and find a small group to help me start making connections and getting to know people, but because of treatment, I hadn’t had time to! So... tonight I did! I went and met some pretty amazing people! My spirit got some extra fill tonight which was much needed!

The study we started is called, “Discerning the Voice of God.” I believe this will be a great and timely study for me to use as I am battling ED’s voice in me...

Alright, well I guess I better wrap this up and get to bed so I can keep pressing on tomorrow!





No matter where you may be on your own journey to RECOVERY, don’t give up! Keep pressing on! You are worth it and deserve RECOVERY! You deserve to LIVE!

What will you choose?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The beast is beckoning...

As I start this blog, I wonder why I should even think about posting right now... For starters, I guess it is a good thing that I have gotten in all of the exchanges on my meal plan over the past 3 days... However, on the other side, I have been a calorie-counting-fiend!

I met with my mentor today... She had a lot of hard truth to speak to me... I know I needed to hear it, but I kind of clammed up... I've struggled to find my voice today... (or rather, for the past several days!)

Deep down, I think I know that ED has way more power than he needs to have over me right now... As I've been counting calories, I've wanted to cut them down to a certain number or at least keep them below a certain number...

I still want to lose weight... I feel like I still need to lose weight...

I have counseling tomorrow morning and an appointment with my dietician in the afternoon... Part of me is very nervous about seeing my dietician. I haven't seen her since before I went into treatment... I like her a lot and am glad she is on my treatment team, but I am sooooooooooo afraid she will add more exchanges to my meal plan... I am not okay with the amount of calories I am getting now, and I don't even know how to handle an increase right now...

In many ways, I feel quite defeated right now... I also feel soooooooooo torn... I am trying to believe that ED really doesn't have good to offer me, but I am terrified to let him go... I am afraid to lose him...

Well, this post isn't very encouraging now, is it? I'm sorry for that...

This is just where I am tonight... I just needed to get a little of it out of me...

Monday, August 1, 2011

A brief update after discharge...

So... I got discharged from Treatment on Friday and was able to come back home on Saturday... Honestly, I have mixed emotions about being back. I am glad to be out of treatment, but I miss all of my new friends and the amazing peer support I had while I was there!

Saturday, I didn't quite finish my meal plan, and I was quite disappointed in myself for that... It was the first day out of Treatment, and I had already messed up... However, yesterday I did finish my meal plan, and today I have followed it so far too... I am still getting used to all of this solid food and still struggling with feeling like I am eating WAY TOO MUCH! Not to mention the physical discomfort and complications...

My mom stayed with me both Saturday and Sunday night, so I could have some accountability to get the food I needed to attempt to follow my meal plan and to be with me for the first several meals. I was very glad she came to be here with me!

During my time in Treatment, my lease ended, so I had signed a new lease when I came home for a weekend about three weeks ago, so I have also been trying to get settled in at my new apartment. My mom also helped me to get some things organized and set up in my apartment, so I wouldn't be too overwhelmed. I will admit that I am very glad to have a new place of residence to continue walking out this journey of RECOVERY... I kind of feel like I have a fresh start in it. It doesn't have any bad memories of behaviors and triggers in it at this point, so I am hoping it will be a good place for me to start fresh!

Today was my mom's birthday, so I took her out for a birthday lunch. I am definitely not comfortable eating in public, but I stretched myself for her, and I was glad to find a table that was rather secluded in the back corner of the restaurant.

At Treatment each week, we had to eat either a Challenge Food or a Challenge Meal. During these challenges, we were encouraged to think about the meal/food we were having as a normal meal/food for the majority of the population, even to consider a piece of cake as a normal thing to eat from time to time, especially on special occasions, and not to FREAK OUT about it. Well, easier said than done for sure! However, I chose to give myself a Challenge Food today. Since it was my mom's birthday, I ate a piece of cake with her. I tried to remember that if I were still in Treatment, I probably would have had to have something like that today anyway. I did it!

I will admit that ED seems to be fighting soooooooooooooo very hard against me though. He has been fighting more intensely over the past few weeks... He doesn't seem to let up, but I know that each time I stand up to him and eat a meal, I am being strengthened and he is being overcome -- day by day, step by step, moment by moment, and bite by bite!

This morning I met with my therapist for the first time since getting back. I was delighted to see her! There is still a very long road ahead of me, but I know that it will be ok. I am grateful for the therapist God has placed in my life, and I will keep doing the hard work with her and my dietician. I will see her again on Friday!

There are many things that try to invade my mind to stress me out right now, but I will try to stay grounded in the present and do the right thing in the moment that stands before me. The director at the treatment center said the following statement countless times over the past five weeks, "Do the next right thing!" I want this to be my goal. I want to do the right thing now and then follow it by the right thing for the moment that will come later.

As I wrap up this post, this brief update, I want to say that I am struggling to let go of ED. I am trying to dig deep and believe that he is not what I really need, that it is better to let him go, but I am also terrified to let him go. I know this battle will continue for a long time, maybe even forever... However, I guess what I can choose to do right now - in this moment - is say that I will choose LIFE!

I choose LIFE today - this evening - as I reflect back on the past several weeks! I choose to STAND UP and NOT relent! I choose to go in the direction of my dreams! If you want, you are welcome to join me!

A Powerful Devotion/Meditation...

"... in silence might be the privilege of the strong, but it was certainly a danger to the weak. For the things I was prompted to keep silent about were nearly always the things I was ashamed of, which would have been for better aired..." ~Joanna Field

It has been said, "We are only as sick as the secrets we keep." Our emotional health as recovering women is hindered, perhaps even jeopardized, each time we hold something within that we need to talk over with others.

Sharing our fears, our hurts, our anger, keeps open our channel to God. Secrets clutter our mind, preventing the stillness within where our prayers find answers. Secrets keep us stuck. Our health, emotional and spiritual, depends on our commitment to shared experiences.

Every secret we have and tell someone frees that person also to be herself and to grow. Sharing experiences relieves us of our shame and invites the forgiveness we must allow ourselves.

Steps Four and Five (from The Twelve Steps) facilitate the process of sharing those secrets that block our path to God and to one another. Never can we be fully at peace with secrets left untold. Self-revelation cleanses the soul and offers us life.

I will be alert to the opportunities to share myself and cherish the freedom offered.