Top 30 Anorexia blog

I opened my blog email yesterday to something that’s pretty amazing/unexpected/humbling: my blog has been chosen as one of the top 30 anorexia blogs by Feedspot.

I’m still in a little bit of shock. When I set out to blog three and a half years ago, I never imagined it would grow to where I am today. I’m not one to be concerned with numbers in terms of popularity, but knowing that this blog has reached (and hopefully helped) more people than I ever imagined is pretty great. I’m so thankful for each person who has read, commented on, and liked my posts. I love interacting with others and hearing what you think.

I’m so excited to see where this blog will be in another six months, year, two years, etc. I hope to continue regular posting for a long time to come. I truly have found an incredible amount of joy on my little piece of the web.

If you would like to read the other blogs on this list (which I definitely recommend!), the link is here. I also have posted the badge with link on my sidebar.

Treatment update – IOP round 3

I have a whole ton to update on and a couple posts I’ve drafted, but first I want to touch on a difficult subject that came up yesterday. I’m still trying to accept my new normal for the first few weeks of the semester.

I had an absolutely wonderful day at clinical orientation in the children’s hospital. I’m very pumped for it all. I left in a great mood and just felt positive, but then I looked at my phone. I got an email from R that was a little shocking and very upsetting:

K and I talked and we would like you to be at x exchanges before you stop coming to IOP.  We will extend your time in IOP to 2/15.  If you haven’t been able to reach x exchanges by then we will need to look at having you go to a higher level of care like PHP to stabilize. So,  work hard this week to keep moving forward!

Now I want to back up a little bit. In the beginning of January I stepped up care, attending more groups and eating lunch at treatment. I didn’t consider it IOP because I had other appointments while I was there. I quickly realized that being there the whole time IOP is going on still means I’m in IOP. I think it’s been good for me to get out of my dorm and try to work through some of this. The one thing that hasn’t truly improved (okay, I did have half an exchange increase from 2 weeks ago to last week) is my eating and subsequent weight loss. I don’t know that I’ve had this much trouble getting out of restriction before.

IOP is going relatively well. I’ve had a ton of challenges and mostly stepped up to the plate. Last week Monday ended up being the most exchanges I’ve had in months, thanks to increasing for both my meal and snack at IOP. Even though I do love the therapists and some of the activities, I don’t want to be there any longer than I already have been. I’m ready to focus on school instead.

Originally I was supposed to attend full IOP this Thursday and R would let me know on Monday what the plan would be. Unfortunately, that wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I’m not at all happy with this arrangement. I cried and felt generally terrible upon hearing the news.

I decided that yesterday I would allow myself to wallow. I felt all of the negative emotions that came up – guilt/shame, frustration, fear, hopelessness, a little anger, sadness. I didn’t try to push them down. At some points I felt genuinely sorry for myself. It honestly was a bit miserable. As hard as that was, I believe it definitely benefited me. I got out those feelings in a more healthy way. I didn’t focus on acceptance, which may seem a little counterproductive.

Today, I will attempt to end the wallowing, rationalizing, and planning about how I will get myself out of IOP for the next 2.5 weeks. As my best friend said, arguing against it may result in my team feeling I’m not in a good enough place to continue in this level of care. I really can’t have that happen. (side note: any other form of treatment absolutely will not work with my schedule)

Today, I will work on acceptance. I want to go into tomorrow with the best possible attitude. If I’m going to be forced into IOP, I want to actually gain something from the experience. We’ll see how that goes considering how stubborn I can be (and how loud Ed is now).

I am not where I wanted to be by the time spring semester started. I am not where my team wants me. I am (probably) not in a stable enough place to handle everything. I need to change this so I can be in the best possible place to thrive and not just survive.

This is obviously not the update I wanted to make, but it’s where I am. This won’t be where I am going to stay.

Throwback – 2014

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my blog started and what it’s become today. I first began writing over 3 years ago, just after I finished my first treatment experience – partial hospitalization at FV. Last night I ended up diving in and reread all of my posts from 2014. It brought up basically every feeling: pride for how much I was fighting at the time, longing for some relationships that were integral in my life back then, disbelief over the similarities and differences of where I am currently. I decided I want to share some of my favorites from that year in this post.

  • My choice
    • This was written right after I finished treatment and I talk about realizing that recovery is in my hands
  • One month
    • a reflection on my treatment experience and how it impacted me
  • Dear Ed,
    • two letters to Ed – one from PHP and the other my first assignment from my new therapist
  • I am a youth leader and I have an eating disorder
    • an overview of telling the youth pastor about my eating disorder. Side note: I completely miss being a youth leader
  • What will you gain when you lose?
    • I believe my first post where I aim to debunk myths about eating disorders/diet culture/etc
  • Recovery milestones
    • some positive steps I made at the time (also I use the word jank 4 times in one paragraph haha)
  • A prayer for my youth girls
    • this was written specifically for my sweet girls, but I feel it can apply to any girl
  • On recovery
    • talking about how I feel about recovery not being this linear thing where it continues to grow easier each day
  • December 2nd
    • this is a day I’m really proud of – 1 year self harm free and the day I signed a divorce from Ed
  • Refeeding…
    • in Fall 2014 I decided it would be a great time to start eating better again on my own, which led to me experiencing refeeding syndrome
  • We survived
    • an end of the year post encouraging everyone who has battled mental illness(es)
  • The happiest place on Earth with an unwelcomed guest
    • my experience at Disney World in summer 2014, in the worst depths of my ED
  • 2015.
    • an honest recollection on my thoughts about making it to 2015

I definitely want to continue revisiting old posts on my own. I think it might be cool to have something similar to this for different time periods. Would anyone be interested in reading them?

The Cracked Pot

I would like to introduce you to my new roommate, Simon. Yes, I named my plant. I really like him so I clearly had to 😊

Simon has a special story to go along with him. It started on Monday when we went during experiential to pick out succulents. I really like the way this type looked and apparently it can also flower. We worked on the second half of the project yesterday.

If you look at the pot he’s in, you’ll notice that it looks cracked. We made them like this to represent ourselves in a way. K read us the following story and then we talked about what our cracks were.

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master’s house it had leaked much of it’s water and was only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

I love this story and what it can teach us. It allowed me to look at some of my qualities that may be seen as cracks or weaknesses but can actually create goodness in my life and the lives of others. I am very stubborn, which can definitely be a bad thing if you’re my therapist and I really don’t want to do something, but I can also use it to pursue my goals no matter what. My eating disorder and mental health are struggles I never would have wished upon my worst enemy. Without them, I wouldn’t have a story to share, a drive to promote awareness, or a level of compassion and empathy that can only come from someone who has lived through very hard things. Being a perfectionist means I am hyperaware of how I do every little thing and that if it isn’t perfect, I can’t even consider it good. Dr. C often tells me she’s glad I have the detail-oriented traits because it will truly take me far in nursing.

I want to set an intention to embrace these flaws more. I am broken, but beautiful. So are you ❤

What are some of your cracks and how could you embrace them?


TFHR – 1/16/18

Yay its the return of one of my favorite types of posts! It’s hard writing about every detail of my life here, unless you want to read a novel. I like my format because it gives insight on how I’m doing, what I’m struggling with currently, things that may affect me, and the good stuff, too!


  • Lots and lots of thoughts regarding if I am “bad enough” to be in relapse, need to change, etc. That’s a whole long post here
  • Finally things at home are better and I am not the problem. Naturally, eating disorders and mental illness can cause a ton of stress for both the one who has them and people close to them. I feel like for years I have been the person who causes so much conflict in our family. It’s frustrating to feel all of that guilt and shame. Now, I’m not the one causing stress. There are some other things going on, there always is, but it doesn’t stem from me. Maybe this is selfish, but I am so happy to be on good terms with my family.
  • I am taking possibly the best interim course possible. We have a J-term where you take a “fun” class (usually) for 3.5 weeks. This can also be abroad or otherwise off campus. This year, I’m taking psychopathology in film. It’s been great! My prof is the best ever and we basically just watch films all class. Considering everything else that’s happened this month, I’m happy to at least relax in that regard.
  • I wish recovery was easier. There’s a whole ton that I could talk about forever, but I think I’ll save that for another post.


  • Worried. I am not in the greatest place. It’s crunch time with less than 2 weeks until the semester starts. My treatment team is not at all convinced that I could handle it at this point. I’m so terrified that I won’t be able to do enough before then, or at least not enough to convince them I’m okay.
  • Guilt. This has a lot to do with food – restricting, not exercising, eating fear foods, lying, on and on.
  • Shame. The guilt almost immediately turns into shame. I feel like I’m wrong. I am not worthy. No one should care about me. These thoughts and feeling come and go but are always there in some way.
  • Tired/exhausted. Physically this probably has to do with the ED (although it’s currently giving me so much energy, it’s crazy.). Mentally and emotionally is worse. I’m doing a ton of work with being at iop and trying to fight. Ed is strong. This means I reallky have to step it up if I want to get past this and live my life. Unfortunately, being drained means it’s hard to fight more, leading into a bad cycle.
  • Sad. I’m not entirely sure where all this is coming from, but I think realizing where I am now is contributing to it.
  • Anxious. There are a million and one what ifs going thro ugh my mind constantly. Sometimes that makes it hard to focus on anything but the things that could happen in the future.
  • Depression. Along with this has come hopelessness, or maybe one causes the other. I feel just beaten down and that hasn’t helped.
  • Grateful for: my treatment center, new psych, K and R, health , nursing, IOP even though I don’t want to be there or think I need it, en ouragement, Livvy, my team, a fun class, being pushed (although not in the moment, haha), this break from real classes. I find it better to focus on these things sometimes than always get caught up in what’s wrong.
  • Conflicted. I want to be one foot in, one foot out of the eating disorder. Wht should I give up what’s seemingly making me happy? At the same time, I know that staying in the ED even somewhat is a dangerous spot to be in.


  • My interim course is the absolute best thing ever. I have my amazing prof from last spring. The class is Psychopathology in Film, so we basicallky sit and wattch movies without much homework at all. It’s n ice to have a break.
  • As fun as break as been, it’s also hard. I’ve continued to struggle a ton. I’m trying to turn this around in the best way I can.
  • I switched around meds and it seems to be working without side effects! I’m so thankful for that. The one I was on can cause problems with your liver and is even banned in most countries. I’m happy with the new psychiatrist too.
  • I’ve been practicing yoga everyday and it’s my favorite thing. It calms me and is a way to exercise that isn’t completely terrible to my joints. There are some issues with overdoing it, but that doesn’t take away the love I have for yoga.
  • I’ve talked some about this, but I have the new treatment protocol for interim now. I attend IOP (Yes we’re actually calling it that now) Monday and Thursday with appts with my dietitian Monday and therapist both days. It’s exhausting and frustrating and just hard, but I realize it’s the best. This isn’t how I want to spend my time but I need it.
  • This is in-between thoughts, feelings, and happenings but I’ll put it here. I am so lucky to have good vets. My chinchilla, Milo, has had teeth/mouth issues for well over a month now. It started with drooling, not wanting to eat enough, and losing some weight. We took him to the vet in town and got medicine, but then he stopped eating completely. We now have a vet in GR who did his x-rays and then surgery to file down his back teeth which were very overgrown. After having to syringe feed him for 2 weeks and give lots of medications (not fun, if you were wondering) he is finally on the mend. His surgery was a week and a half ago and he’s made so much progress. It’s crazy how different he is. He’s gained back most of the weight he lost, bounces around the cage constantly, actually finishes his food, and overall is so happy. It was a huge effort from my whole family to get him better, but now he is. It was worth all of the tears and frustration.


  • I hate driving in the winter. Snow is pretty terrible and black ice is way worse, but what’s absolutely killed me is other people’s driving. Some people are ridiculous!! I can’t count how many times people have pulled out in front of me when I was super close to them, or how others will purposely speed up when you have time to make a left. I don’t understand how everyone forgets how to drive that quickly. I’ll be happy when it’s spring and I have to just deal with rain and wind (although it does snow in the spring sometimes because Michigan)
  • Although I’m happy about this new med, there is one possible side effect I’m terrified of: weight gain. Technically this is ED talking anyways, but it is so real. I don’t think I would truly be able to handle it if this happens. I’m convinced I would need to quit it then and there. I just want to be okay since the med does seem to help.
  • One foot in, one foot out has been my pattern for a long time now. I don’t like it one bit. I wish I could push myself and go all the way in with recovery. I’m stuck here instead. It’s uncomfortable. Some days I don’t know where I want to be, but I think that staying here forever isn’t a good option. I really hope I can try to decide which side I want more. My therapist told me that there isn’t actually a happy medium between recovery and eating disorder and that it’s just ED having control over you.
  • I don’t want to go into politics, but my Gog there is a certain human cheeto who’s infuriating. Some things he’s said are just unintelligent, racist/misogynistic, and just mean. Whether you voted for him or not, I think this point has some truth. Even, and especially, his tweets are offensive. He is someone who is affecting others and influencing how people view America, but this is not being done in a positive way.


I may want to run away. I will stay. I can use my skills. 
I may cry. I will accept it. I can let my emotions come without judgment. 

I may struggle (a ton). I will use this as an opportunity to learn. I can give myself grace. 

I may not finish. I will celebrate each bite. I can ask for help. 

I may need a supplement. I will drink it. I can remind myself it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. 

I may panic and need a break. I will check in with my needs. I can take a few moments to just breathe. 

I may freak the F out. I will try to stay grounded. I can use mindfulness. 
I may not do well. I will put in my best effort with where I am today. I can stop it from becoming a pattern. 

I may feel like a failure. I will focus on the positives. I can be kind to myself no matter what.  

I may be stuck in my head. I will work to stay present. I can use conversation to pull myself out. 

I may have overbearing Ed thoughts. I will try my hardest to fight them. I can reframe thoughts out loud to K.

I may want to give up. I will accept the challenge. I can give it my all. 

This is not meant to be easy. I am having lunch with K because I’m not ready to do it with IOP group yet. No matter the outcome, it is still progress in my recovery. I don’t have to be perfect, even though I’ve always felt supplementing or not finishing means I am a failure. My goal is to work towards being able to eat with the girls in a week. I know K is one of the best people to support me in getting there. This is a positive step. I will get to my goal if I trust the process and do what I can. 

My grieving process

This has been in the back of my mind for a while now. I always wish I could talk about it, but whenever I do nothing comes up. This leads to guilt and shame which then causes me to not want to mention it again. I am choosing to write about this because it is time to not fear what I am feeling or not feeling.

My grandpa passed away this past June. I was one week into residential.

I knew, leaving for treatment, that this would be a possibility. My grandpa was sick for a long while. He nearly died from pneumonia 3 years ago, went to a rehab unit in a nursing home, then lived in senior apartments for just about 2 years. We were lucky to have that extra time with him. He started getting sicker in 2017 and ended up moving into the nursing home then. In some ways, I think he gave up hope once his independence was gone. I visited him at least once a week, even when I was in school. I remember hating it sometimes. I just wanted to relax, not spend 2 hours at his apartment or the nursing home watching him sleep. Now, I’m glad I had that time.

I was in session with my therapist when the house manager knocked on the door. She went outside to talk to her. I didn’t even have to hear the words “That was your dad. Your grandpa passed away this morning” to know what happened. I broke down and cried for a while. The girls and staff all were wonderful and took care of me that week. Every single staff member was made aware so that I was met with constant support. I needed that. God knew exactly where I should be when it happened. I was unable to fly home for the funeral, and I’m not (completely) ashamed to say that was the best decision too. Instead, my dad skyped me so I could watch it. He started the video when he was in a room with all of my family, which was harder to watch than the actual funeral. I was allowed a little bit of time after it ended. I cried for a bit, but then went back to the group, where I received more support.

I still have some guilt and shame from wanting to be away from my family, but now even my parents agree it was for the best. When I heard my mom say that, I was so thankful. It was like she released this cloud hanging over me.

Ever since then, the guilt and shame have multiplied. Unlike my mom, I don’t think about him all of the time. We have his cat living with us now and I don’t even correlate him with my grandpa. It doesn’t feel like he died, just that he’s completely gone. My mom has reacted much differently than me. She cries all of the time. The holidays were extremely different without him there. Almost every day he is brought up. It is her dad, so that makes more sense. She’s also been one to show her emotions relatively strongly. Sometimes I get so annoyed. I just want her to stop. I want a break from hearing about it. Does this make me a terrible person?

I have not cried at all since the funeral. I am void of feelings. There is just nothing when someone brings him up. I feel numb. It’s like he didn’t exist. Nothing phases me. It’s actually made it hard to even support my mom. 

I don’t get it. Why don’t I feel something, anything? Am I just abnormal? Cold? Wrong? I know that grieving is different for everyone with multiple stages, I just have a hard time accepting where I’m at. 

I’m not sure where to go from here. Should I work through my non-feelings? That seems almost ridiculous and definitely unnecessary. I do need to come out of this shame train (residential term). I know it only feeds into the eating disorder and depression. 

It feels good to put this out there. Talking about it means that I can (hopefully) make some change soon. It’s a step to being ready for that.