Pows & Wows 2/26/15 and a promise for more posts soon!

I’ve been CRAZY busy this week. Busy to the point of not being at home most days forever and having so much homework once I got home that I had no time for anything else. Thankfully today is the last day for school this week and then I have break and I will be posting all about NEDA week and some other updates and all that jazz. For now It’ll be a quick Pows&Wows before my next class!

Pows

  • SO. MANY. MIDTERMS.
  • Finding out I have a Vitamin D deficiency.. yay more pills!
  • Stress on top of stress (thank you busy week and school)
  • Constant headaches and exhaustion
  • Stayed up until 1 or 2 for my lab report draft last night… that I could have been okay not doing.
  • Gave up on my goal of cutting back on pop because that’s not happening in the near future

Wows

  • Therapy is really good and helpful. Not that it wasn’t before but more exceptionally so now
  • I am talking to one of my supports and friend from way back when the ED was starting and I was in recovery from self harm. She is the best and it’s like all the time we didn’t talk never even happened 🙂
  • The Honors Fellows weekend was great! I had a ton of fun exploring campus and meeting people there. I did pretty good with food and the interview went well. I’m hopeful I will get in and super excited/anxious to find out!
  • Kim and I had our book study on Sunday but more so ended up talking about our eating disorders and just realizing how much they’ve taken from us. I was able to help her and it made me realize how much we need each other, not just me needing her. We also made goals for NEDA week for each other which I will post later today!
  • Lunch with Kim and her daughter on Sunday because we didn’t want hot dogs and also heading to Meijer with them. I love them both and it’s always nice to spend time together.
  • We built cars for our Awana pinewood derby on Sunday as well and it was fun to get pictures and fellowship with my awesome church family. Also super pumped for decorating my car!
  • Youth group was good and pretty low-key. We ate dove chocolate and started gluing down some of them to hang in our rooms. I also talked a bit about NEDA week and we made post its to hang up at school.
  • NEDA WEEK!!! I have been waiting for this week ever since I started true recovery. I love love love spreading awareness and this year I’ve done a lot more with opening up. I am posting part of my story each day on FB and IG with my wear purple selfie. It’s hard to do and Ed hates it but I’ve already received positive feedback and support for helping others through my story. I will post those later today as well!
  • I got to visit my grandpa yesterday and he’s doing better which is a relief
  • I photographed my first wedding yesterday! Technically it wasn’t a “true” wedding since it was at the courthouse but it was a good way to try out my new lens and practice more with portraits.
  • I’m going to be helping Kim edit senior pictures she’s taken of her son and also take some myself when spring finally gets here! I am so beyond excited to do my first real photography gig!! Also I offered to do family photos for them. I hope to find more people who want pictures done over the summer too.
  • Rick trusts me enough to give me free reign and create the middle school talk last night. I spoke about healthy friendship and other than the boys being disruptive I think it worked!

Just realized how much that is but I suppose almost two weeks of stuff has to be, right?

What being a youth leader has taught me

Well it has been nearly 6 (!!!) months since I decided to become a youth leader and it’s absolutely on of the best decisions of my life. I am very different than the person I was back then, and I’m proud of who I’m becoming. I wanted to make this post on some of the things I’ve learned since August.

I am trustworthy. The girls have said it. Kim has said it. My friends have said it. This is one of those things that I never believed about myself. I’ve always tried hard to be a good friend and listen, but I never considered me particularly trustworthy. I know I am now, though. All of the things the girls have shared with me wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t have trust in me. I’m so thankful because I wanted that so badly when I first started and i finally feel confident that I can.

I am worthy of love. The girls don’t have to love me and they certainly don’t have to love me. The thing is, they do. My heart swells every single time they say or do something that proves it. If these girls who had no force whatsoever to even like me feel this way, I can’t be as terrible as the negative thoughts say.

I can help others with my story. I was TERRIFIED to share my story with the girls. I remember all of the anxiety leading up to that day and how receptive they were, to my surprise. The small piece I told them about then is nothing compared to all of the other talks we’ve had since. Each time I share more about things I’ve gone through, we grow closer. They’ve even come out and told me that I inspire them because of my strength and that is purely amazing. It may be painful to think about but through my struggles I can help them overcome similar things.

I don’t have to be perfect. I remember my first few small groups. I wrote out everything I was supposed to say and practiced before. I always felt I had to look the part and spent way too long debating over what to wear. I never felt I could share my struggles because I had to be the perfect person to be a good leader. Boy was I wrong about all of it! Our best conversations have been ones where I either use only a few notes or just speak from the heart. I’ve babbled on and messed up words but they couldn’t care less. I don’t have to worry about what I look like anymore because they just want me to be myself, even if that means leading small group after bawling my eyes out at a session at camp. I have no shame in sharing my struggles now. The girls ask about how I’m doing and they want to know the truth, not sugar coated crap. They ask how I got through things in the past that are really messy and hard. They’ve told me that I seem so much more genuine and approachable since they know I’m not a perfect person. Instead of focusing on being perfect I my only goal now is to be the best youth leader I can.

I should have more confidence. C is constantly getting on me for this. Especially in the beginning I was second-guessing myself nearly every time I would do a lesson or share something personal with the girls. I was also focused on being perfect and that coupled with my lack of confidence made me anxious all the time. I would always ask them a thousand times whether they liked an activity or what I said. Each time they said yes, of course, but I wouldn’t buy it. After a lot of convincing from C in particular and Kim, I’ve gotten over this fear for the most part. I do have days when I have to sit and remind myself of all the ways they’ve shown I am doing a good job but it’s less frequent. I am a good youth leader and I can believe it (mostly).

I have a reason to live. Okay, technically four reasons ;). I wasn’t in a good place last summer when I took this on. I was in an even worse place before that. I still spent the first few weeks of being a youth leader wishing I was dead at times. Once I really started making an impact and loving doing it, everything changed. Those girls are the reason I fought and stayed out of FV. I know I would have ended up there again but always knowing I had to be there for the girls made me so much stronger. I couldn’t be there if I was really sick again. The drive to be their leader continues to push me to fight even on the worst days.

Sometimes the best thing is just listening. I’ve had every girl tell me so many different things. At times I have felt before that saying nothing doesn’t help, but listening is just what they need. I think by really honing in on what the girls are saying rather than continually adding comments I am able to better assess the situation and then give advice. The other thing I found is that getting it out rather than getting advice was what they were looking for.

I would do anything or those girls. ANYTHING. Any one of these girls could call me at 4 AM, while I’m struggling to finish a paper and exhausted beyond measure and I would STILL drop everything and find out what’s wrong. I love them something fierce. I hope they all see that and realize that there isn’t a thing they could say or do that would ever stop that.

God is using me in ways I never imagined. If someone would have come up to me this time last year and tell me I would be a youth leader, I would have laughed at them. I never thought I was a good enough person to have such an important role in girls’ lives. I was too broken and not a good enough Christian. I was too shy. I would never be liked by them. I couldn’t do it. All of these roadblocks I could make for myself have been proven false these past six months. God is amazing. He knew I was the right person for the girls and that I needed them too. I am beyond thankful and blessed that I am leading them in their faith and lives. I can’t wait to see what these next few years hold with them.

Pows & Wows 2/15/15

Pows
– Bad week ED-wise
– Realized just how much my hatred of change can cause havoc for me
– I’ve been super exhausted for no good reason
– 3 appts this past week = yuck!
– Cried for a good 30 mins after church today. I was overwhelmed with self-hatred and doubt

Wows
– Paul was proud of how well I’m doing compared to last summer
– Kim was sweet enough to come have lunch with me Thursday so I didn’t have to do it alone 🙂
– Late night tonight at the church! I miss the girls so much
– Got to go to Christian fellowship this week
– My mom and I are starting to buy things for college (only 6 months!!!)
– I’m glad I visited grandpa even though its hard
– My Honors Fellows interview is this week and I’m both terrified and excited

Anorexia is…

Doctors visits. The look of fear on my parent’s faces. Disappointing people. Lies, lies, and more lies. Fainting. Not being able to concentrate more than a few minutes. Being cold, even in 90+ degrees. Exhaustion. Hunger that creates such a deep pain it’s hard to describe. Calorie counting. Having to wear leggings under jeans so they still fit. Putting on a fake smile. Heart palpitations. Wasting my parents money on all of my medical expenses. Eating only the same few foods. Hiding ED behaviors from others as much as possible. Relapse. Having the number on the scale determine how much I hate myself that day. Nightmares of growing fatter. Not even knowing what my favorite food is anymore. Feeling bad for lying to everyone but not being able to eat what I should. Crying over meals. Crying at the scale. Crying over what faces me in the mirror. Crying over how much I hate myself. Crying over everything. Therapy all the time. Anxiety. Feeling absolutely worthless. Contemplating suicide. Blood draws. Feeling like a burden constantly. Isolating. Barely surviving church dinners. Exercising at any cost. Constant food/calorie/weight thoughts. Labeled as “the anorexic.” Growing apart from God. Momentary fear of seriously damaging my body. Terrible low moods. Looks of disgust from my brother as I struggle with a meal. Failing at recovery. Hair loss. Wanting to go back to other bad behaviors. Uttering the words “I’m fine” when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Being told I have an exercise addiction. “You look healthy now” being the most triggering four words possible. Feeling overwhelmed. Having to rest after walking up a flight of stairs. Avoiding all social events. Not being the best youth leader I could be. Admitting that I’m sick out loud being one of the hardest things. Self-doubt. Numbness from sitting more than five minutes. Losing friendships. Being told I am killing myself. Sneaking to use behaviors. Dreams of exercise and weight loss. Looking dead and feeling worse. Depression. Feeling the fat forming on my body. No confidence in anything. Perfectionism. Fear of everything. Hurting people. Putting the ED before anything else. Not being able to “just eat.” Having no idea what my body actually looks like. Being misunderstood. Losing hope. Insomnia. Feeling unworthy of God’s love. Avoiding hugs for fear that someone will freak out over the bones. Realizing I have no control anymore. Feeling numb emotionally. Wishing I could just die from this. Letting ED thoughts take over times that are meant to be carefree and fun. Refeeding syndrome being like a punishment when I attempt recovery. Seeing the pain and worry in other’s eyes when I tell them the truth about restriction. Having mom and dad beg, cry, and yell at me to eat something. Feeling like a lost cause. A slow suicide. ED thoughts taunting me. Wanting to do better so badly but not being strong enough. Being alone. Having therapy sessions end with “I’m worried about you.” Anxiety in grocery stores. Throwing away food. Staring into the mirror for hours a day. Something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Reading statistics and physical side effects and thinking “not me.” Being filled with shame and guilt for too many reasons. Lectures from health professionals. Feeling like I’m getting nowhere. Breaking down only behind closed doors. Meal plans. Having no focus for school anymore. Not allowing myself to ask for help. Going right back to ED behaviors when it gets stressful. Being threatened with Ensures. Asking God to just take me. Low blood sugar. Wondering why. Ruining family dinners. Never truly enjoying myself. Taking two steps forward and then ten steps back. Hiding from the truth. Body checking. Being completely absorbed by the ED. Losing all trust from everyone. Asking about the food that will be somewhere before ever agreeing to go. Breaking down after being forced to eat a hard meal. Inability to even function. Not knowing what normal eating is anymore. Becoming a shell of who I once was.


If there’s anything I’ve learned the last few weeks during this relapse, it’s that I absolutely hate anorexia. I am going to come back and work ten times harder in recovery because I want to live. I am DONE with this disease.

Pows & Wows 2/8/15

Pows

  • Ed thoughts are crazy
  • Feeling really crappy/sick
  • Grandpa being in the hospital

Wows

  • Church today. Helping in children’s church, roller rink, and approximately 10,000 hugs.
  • Grandpa is doing a lot better
  • Worked hard on my talk for the girls
  • The fact that I am still here and God still has a plan for me

Undecided

  • Was honest with Kim about my current lapse and restriction

I’ve put a lot of effort this week into the body image talk I was doing with the girls. I had it all planned out. I wanted to share it. Than, life happens and none of the girls or myself are going to youth group tonight.

I think it took that happening for me to realize that I am a fraud. I can put this huge thing together ad preach the importance if loving our bodies and ourselves when I couldn’t care less about mine. I don’t think I could really love myself any less.

I hate living like this. I am slipping and if I don’t stop I’ll be back where I was this summer. Its making me doubt why I’m even here. I don’t deserve all of the love and support that everyone gives me. I should be tossed aside. I shouldn’t be trusted as a leader because I’m a terrible example. I have all of these supports and resources and I am still barely afloat at this point. I have everything I need out in front of me but I am choosing to drown and follow Ed.

I’m scared. I’m scared of what’s to come and I don’t want to bother anyone anymore with my problems. I should be better. I should be healthier and happier but I’m not. I just want to be alone.

Bad thoughts.

I haven’t updated my blog this week much because I am increasingly feeling/doing worse. Fair warning this is going to be negative. Also, if you’re one of my supports you can ignore this post because quite honestly I don’t need anyone to sit here and worry.

Now that that’s out of the way, I guess I’ll go into the how/why of how I am. I think my grandpa being sick and the tests/stress of school really amped up everything. I have a history of not dealing with stress well so it doesn’t surprise me all that much, I simply wasn’t prepared to handle it AT ALL. Other than school and my grandpa, I also had to schedule a doctor appointment for Monday that I wasn’t expecting. I think all of it happening at once gave Ed a huge opportunity to take over.

Basically since the day I made the appointment I’ve eaten less and less. I suddenly realized how much weight and at I’ve gained. I see myself in a way different light and it makes me want to vomit. All I want is to be back at the weight and body shape I was at my open house last summer. It was before Florida and before I was at the point where I scared my mom and treatment team. I wouldn’t consider it a perfect weight but it’s a thousand times better than this.

I feel like I’ve fallen off a huge cliff and went from near full commitment and trying in recovery to relapse. I really don’t care at this point what happens. I just need to be thin again. And have a perfect 4.0 this semester, make it into honors fellow, etc… If you can’t tell, perfectionism is at a high now too.

I don’t know where I was going with this post or anything but I just needed to get some of these thoughts out. There’s no way I’m telling Jenny or Kim or anyone. It’s going to be my secret.