Remembering.

It’s so easy to remember the bad days, the embarrassing moments, things you’ve done wrong. Thinking about the past almost always leads me to one of those times. It’s miserable, truly, to have all negative experiences in the forefront of my mind. Here are just a few examples that have stayed with me: the time a boy on the bus called me owl eyes in elementary school, my “best friend” telling me I had gotten a boob job when I really had major chest wall surgery, the first time I wanted to kill myself in sixth grade after some girls at school decided to make my life hell, my stupid and embarrassing speech topic choice freshman year, making my mom cry after pointing out my hipbones last summer, my ex boyfriend telling me to suck it up when I let him know how much I was struggling. I could go on and on. The thing is, if i were instead told to think of happy memories it wouldn’t come as easy. I want this to change.

I  have started making small changes to help me remember the good things just as much as the bad. This blog is definitely a big help in that. I can look back and read again what I felt during whatever event it was and smile. I also have made an effort to write at least one thing in my happy journal per day. It’s another way to find the good in even the bad days. I have used my phone too, either capturing pictures of things that made me happy or screen-shotting conversations hat make my heart swell.

Probably the most important and hardest change I’ve made is to remember the good that came out of the bad. There are some things that really don’t have that at all, but many of them do. For example, instead of remembering the misery I felt when girls at my school were teasing me, I think about how much I pushed through during that time. Even if it was painful and terrible I am still here today even so. Another tactic I like to use is balancing the bad memories with a similar good one. I may have done terrible in my speech my freshman year, but I did amazing on my TED talk about eating disorders senior year.

Some of my current favorite good memories to dwell on: conversations with my best friend, great days in recovery, how far I’ve come the past few months, the special bond I have with my girls, photographing Michigan’s beauty, all of the moments when I feel loved, cuddling sweet babies, graduating even while having Ed controlling my life.

I’m not perfect at only thinking of the good yet. I wallow a ton still. It’s a habit and takes time to break. I am, however, proud to say that I am doing better with it each day. I can think of and smile at many positive memories now, and sometimes that’s all the difference when it comes to getting through a bad day.

What are some of your favorite memories?

How do you keep the bad memories at bay?

Blergh day

I always said I was going to be honest on here since there is no reason not to be and it’s the best thing, so here goes.

Today I lied to Erin when she asked how things were going. I told her I was fine, that I didn’t need a dietitian, that I could manage all of this. While I am definitely in a different place than before, I’m not “fine” by any means. This whole day is proof of that.

This morning I decided to weigh myself. I know this isn’t a big deal to someone without an ED, but I was once at a point where I would weigh myself a minimum of five times a day. I broke this habit after FV, reducing it to maybe two times a day. In the past few months I had completely let go of my scale obsession. The last time I was weighed before today was in November at a Dr’s appointment.

I’m not going to give specific weights because there truly isn’t a reason for it, but I am extremely confused at what the scale said. I have gained just a few pound in over two months. I don’t get it! I should weigh 15+ pounds more than this because of how I’ve eaten and not exercised. Ed has hijacked what should be a good thing (since EDs don’t like weight gain) and convinced me that I must have gained a ton of fat and I must be huge.

I’ve spent all day feeling miserable. Ed thoughts are loud. I’ve hurt my body today and used behaviors.

I think the right thing to do tomorrow would be go into therapy and be honest with Jenny about what happened. Ed is telling me to use this as a way to restrict and hide it from her and everyone else. Knowing Jenny and my other supports, they will probably end up detecting there’s something wrong anyways. If I don’t tell her it will make this next week worse. I won’t be able to do my schoolwork and be the youth leader I want to be. It will send me into a spiral and I just can’t handle that right now.

So, regardless of what Ed says I am going to speak up. I want to reach out this week. I need and deserve to get help from others.

Thoughts and things. (also Pows & Wows 1/26/15)

If I had to describe the thoughts I’ve had lately, I’d definitely use disordered, depressive, anxious, and at times out of control along with a few sprinkles of positivity and worthiness. And unfortunately, when I say few I really do mean few. Urgh.

It’s been frustrating. I am doing most of the right things. I’m eating, probably not enough based on FV standard, but a heck of a lot more than I was before. I’m taking my meds. I’ve strengthened my faith. I use coping skills more. I have good support and actually reach out. I am trying. I honestly am trying more than I ever have but here I sit, with thoughts worse than I can remember at times.

I know recovery is work. I know it isn’t always pleasant. I know it sucks a lot of the time but I just wish it would get a bit easier right now. It’s painful to get up each morning and just know that I will struggle through the day. If I’m being honest with myself, my depression is seeming worse lately. I have a harder time thinking anything positive about myself, which is hurting me as a youth leader in some ways. I am terrified for the future and so caught up in all the ways I will screw it up. I can’t stop thinking how gross I look now vs last summer. Other Ed thoughts multiply each day as well. I have had some thoughts of self harm which hurts me to admit more than anything because I am supposed to be recovered from that.

I’m not sure where to go with all of these things. I could get my meds upped for the millionth time, but I really don’t want to. I am sick of even taking the amount I’m on currently so I don’t think it’s an option. I don’t want to disappoint anyone or hurt those around me by letting them know what’s going on. Isolating isn’t the best thing for me but I hate being a burden more than I care to be alone in this. At this point even letting Jenny know seems desperate. Basically I have no desire to help myself in any way.

The one thing I am going to try is focusing on the positives in my life. I am thankful for my youth girls, because knowing that I have them has truly changed so much for me. I have a reason to get up every morning. They need me. They don’t need somebody else, and even better, they don’t want anyone else. I have messages saved from each of them to remind me why I am still here. I love talking to them and I love how they trust me. I love that we’re finally closer. I could go on and on about how deciding to become a youth leader is the best thing I’ve ever done (and I probably will in a post soon). Other than my girls, I have had a bit of positivity mixed in with the fear of college next year. I am convinced it’s where I’m meant to be and I am happy to finally go next fall. Another thing that gets me through even the toughest days is knowing that I will be at church at least twice a week. I am genuinely my happiest there and there’s never a shortage of love and conversation and cute kids.

I suppose my goal for the week should be focus on the above things and not any bad thoughts I’m having. I want to at least try.

Pows

  • Two tests coming up this week
  • I’ starting to get behind in my classes due to no motivation whatsoever
  • No youth group yesterday
  • Boys are just yuck and mean (not to me currently, ha)
  • All the bad thoughts mentioned above^
  • My friend’s mom and woman from the church suddenly seems to hate me for no reason 😦

Wows

  • I’ve talked to every one of my youth girls this week and given some advice which always boosts my spirits
  • I had some time to play Sims which is always a good distraction
  • I actually kind of enjoyed dodge ball last night, despite being the only girl and not very good at it
  • Yesterday I cuddled with the sweetest babe from church and he slept on me 🙂
  • Got to announce my college choice and had mostly positive responses
  • Super excited for NEDA Week!!

Pows & Wows 1/22/15

Yep it definitely doesn’t matter that this is 4 days late!

Pows

  • School. I am beyond done with being at community and I just want the semester to end.
  • I can’t shake the thoughts that I am a burden, especially with my parents/family
  • Some things I learned about the girls was hard to hear but I am glad I can be there fro them
  • Stress is already piling up like crazy
  • Eating at camp didn’t go too great

Wows

  • Didn’t have A&P lab my first week, score!
  • Awana finally started again! I missed those kiddos!
  • Camp was the absolute best weekend I have ever had.
  • Long talks and jokes and friendship and spiritual growth and everything with my girls ❤
  • Since camp my conversations with the girls have made me cry daily. I have so many screenshots because those words and how much these girls love me and truly want/need me as their leader can turn any bad day around. I have a reason to be here.
  • Finished my first drawing in art and it isn’t completely terrible
  • Committed to Calvin last night!!! Finally gave in and followed the way God has been trying to lead me. (PS this is still a secret since I have a big announcement planned soon!)

Progress [edited]

Sometimes it’s in the seemingly small things that truly become large before you realize it.

Last week, I picked up my art kit. Inside was an expensive pencil sharpener. I didn’t think off any use for it other than sharpening my pencils. This whole weekend I opened up to the girls about my struggles, gave them advice, listened to what they were going through, and genuinely connected with them; all the while the disordered thoughts screamed at me to stop. Saturday, I caught myself body checking and stopped so I could worship our amazing God instead. Yesterday I didn’t have the urge to hoard away some pills after my dad left out a bottle on accident. Today, I have bounced back to a better eating pattern after a more restrictive diet at camp, despite Ed throwing a fit.

These things wouldn’t have been possible before. Although it’s hard and so weird for me, I am a little proud of myself. I am changing every single day and becoming happier, healthier, and closer to full recovery.


Edited because I totally didn’t remember to put this in… today marks one year since I ended up in the ER on the scariest day of my life. I had ODed (nonprescription fyi) and felt like I was dying. I was in such a bad place that I wanted to die at some points. I am so thankful I didn’t and that I am now not even close to the person I was. I am living. I am starting to thrive and not just survive. This is progress.

Amazing, wonderful, spiritual weekend at camp

Camp was amazing. I am in awe of how great this weekend was and saddened by how fast it went. We spent so much time laughing, had good conversations, worships, dove deeper into God and faith, played games, and just had fun. Other than one girl getting sick and Ed popping up at times, I’m certain it couldn’t have gone any better.

I finally feel like I am a youth leader. Obviously I have been since September, but our time at camp cemented it and showed me thi is what I need to do. We had some really deep and serious conversations on Saturday. I am so glad I was able to help them through some of these things and really connect. I also shared more of my story (including the ED for the two who didn’t know). The girls told me they appreciated that because they don’t feel so alone in their struggles. I love that and I am thankful to be there for them. After our talk, a few of the girls told me how much they love me, that they want me to be their leader the rest of the time they’re in youth group, that they really trust me to share what they did, and that they love what I am doing for them. My heart swells so much every time I think about all of those things. I love them and I love how closer we grew this weekend. I can’t wait until NTS camp this summer so I get to be a camp leader again. I know God is going to use me and is using me in their lives. Even if they don’t fully realize it, they’re changing mine as well.

God was so present the entire time we were there. He was there in our worship time and sessions and everything we did. I didn’t expect it, but there was one moment in particular where I was moved to tears by what was said. The band lead singer was talking about how we have the option of following Jesus or going down the enemy’s path and so often we choose sin. It hit me that what I’m doing everyday (especially the past week or two) is following Satan/Ed as my Father is looking down at me and reaching out His hand. It overwhelmed me the amount of hurt He feels for me when i do this. In that moment I decided i have to do better. I am going to work harder to be resilient and fight the Ed thoughts. Ed was present this weekend but my goal for NTS is to not follow him one bit. I want to give these troubles to God. I need to trust in Him more and that he will catch me, as our theme verse for camp says: “I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.” Psalm 118:13. This was exactly the kind of inspiration and spiritual renewal I need. I hope and pray the others who were there feel the same way.

Overall this was the best way I could have spent the past few days. I never would have seen myself as a youth leader and I never thought I would be the one who impacts other’s live, but it’s happening and I couldn’t be more blessed and thankful. God has so much in store.

Here’s some pictures for you to enjoy! 🙂

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Camp

We’re on our way now and I am equal parts stressed and excited. I hope and pray that when I get there I’ll be so excited that I won’t have time to worry.

Right now the plan is to just try my best with eating and not say anything about the ED. I am not just a camper this time, I have to be their leader as well. I think this will be a huge test of my recovery and faith. I want to prove to these girls and myself I can do it.

I am excited for growth these next few days. I want to grow in my own faith and help the girls in theirs. I also look forward to getting to know these girls better and gross in our relationships.

I know this is going to be an amazing time. I want to enjoy each moment to the fullest.