“But you’re not sick anymore so no reason to worry about Ensures”

That statement should make me happy. The fact that my mom thought I was well enough to not torture me with threats of Ensure as we passed them in the store is no small miracle. And yet, here I am, laden with extreme guilt.

I am not okay. The rational part of me knows this. If I was anywhere near okay I wouldn’t be throwing out meals and restricting and everything else. I wouldn’t let the scale determine my days. I am pretty far from okay. I know, deep down, my mom saying this is so bad because she has no clue at all of what’s going on.

Obviously, there’s a lot more to my mind than just the healthy, rational thoughts. These Ed thoughts interpret the statement so differently. It’s amazing that my parents suspect nothing. This means I can continually follow Ed as long as possible without them knowing. It excited me in ways I prefer not to describe and am a little ashamed of.

More than any amount of good thoughts this could bring me, the guilt is almost overwhelming. I feel like I’ve cheated on a test or gotten credit for a project I really didn’t do. I’m getting praise and recognition when the only thing I have accomplished is deception of everyone around me. That’s not something that should warrant any positive reinforcement.

Now that my suspicions of my parents being clueless are confirmed, where do I go form here? I don’t know. As much as it hurts I feel the need to continue the lies until its too obvious to hide. It’s bad for me but at the same time I don’t have self-love or motivation to do anything else.

Finding an answer isn’t required today. I want to pray on it and get some advice. I need clarity that the ED thoughts are currently not allowing.

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Processing

Jenny said it in session yesterday and I think it’s a good way to describe what I’ve been doing the past day or so. Even as I’m here living it, it’s hard for me to understand what is going on in my life and why. I certainly don’t have clarity on that yet but I feel like maybe I will.

The first thing Jenny and I talked about was my eating. I attempted to distract her first but she knows how to cut through my crap. I honestly kind of surprised myself by not holding back. I said what it is and left it all out there or her to make sense of it. The verdict isn’t what I want to hear. She’s worried for me. We talked pretty extensively about what road I’m headed down. She thinks I’ll end up dead if it doesn’t change (I don’t believe this of course).

“Hospitalization is the next step.” That killed me. I know I miss Forest View at times and it definitely was a powerful and overall good experience, I just can’t go back. I am FULL of excuses but to spare you all of them the main reasons why not now include money, timing with school, and hopelessness about recovery. She isn’t going to force me in this second (thank God!); however, she does have the authority to breach confidentiality if needed so I can be safe. I hate that she even has to mention it. I probably am in denial, but I don’t feel “that bad” yet. Sure I’m eating about the same as last summer but I was way thinner then and had time for treatment. I’ve made it my goal to do just enough to stay out of the hospital the next four weeks while I have school.

Another statement Jenny made was how it usually takes more than one go at treatment to fully recover. It’s hard enough thinking I wasted my parents’ money and time and everything to get help once. The reality of having to do this all over again is scary and frustrating, She didn’t explicitly say it, but it sounds like no matter what I will be in treatment again. I didn’t really know what to do with that until I came home and just cried.

My homework for this week is to try and find out what block is keeping me from trying to recover now. I’ll sit down or a meal and get ready to try only to give up right away. I have no motivation to work hard or do this for myself. It’s more effort to choose recovery then this disorder. I used to push past the thoughts during those solid few months and now that’s impossible. I hope I can search and find the answer. A teeny tiny wants me to get better and that’s all it takes.

Kim and I had lunch today at her house. I had texted her earlier saying how she wasn’t going to be a fan of my lunch (big mistake apparently) so she decided to “surprise” me with a sub. I so badly wanted to run far, far away, but by the time she gave me the sub we were at her house and I couldn’t really leave. I wanted to throw it away except for whatever reeason the guilt in doing that after someone buys food “just for me” is far worse than what I would experience in just eating it. Plus if I threw it away I have no doubt Kim would resort to extreme measures and buy an Ensure or something like that. I felt horrible after eating half the sub. My stomach hurt so badly and I had guilt and I could feel the fat growing on me. I told Kim all of this which just made her say how I wouldn’t feel so bad if I was eating better. She was right. As far as eating goes, the rest of our time together didn’t involve any more and we got to talk about some things.

I shared basically everything Jenny and I talked about in therapy. God was it hard. I hate that I have to worry her and burden her. I hate the look on her face when I showed her my list of safe, unsafe, and scary foods. As much as that part of her being supportive in my recovery/relapse/whatever’s going on sucks, I am forever thankful for Kim. I get to have someone I can be honest with and who can give me advice and prayers. I got to process and talk through more feelings and thoughts therapy stirred up. We talked about my parents and how the pressure they put on me to not need treatment anymore is so guilt-inducing. I also am so incredibly proud of her own progress against Ed. I see such a difference compared to when I first found out about her ED. That connection we have because of these terrible diseases is something I treasure and thank God for. Someday I hope we can have recovery instead of active disorder as a common thread.

I can’t tell you how I stand right now. I see what I should be doing and what others want of me and what they think I deserve but my brain is just messed up. All I know is I absolutely cannot jeopardize school or let my parents down or give up on other commitments right now. It’s a lot and I don’t have a plan I’m just going to survive the best I can.

This was all written really late last night and then I fell asleep before posting. My eating was better-ish today but then guilt hit me so hard and I couldn’t stop myself from using behaviors and going on bad websites and other self-destructive things. I’m not feeling too optimistic about waking up tomorrow. I’m really worn out and sick of all of these things. I want a break from my thoughts too.

How I’m REALLY Doing

This past week, maybe even a little before that, I have been transported back to Summer 2014. My eating, or lack of, is out of control. I have no energy. The main difference from then to now is the fact that I am 30 pounds heavier than I was.

There are many more differences than just my weight and I will get to them as well. My weight now is allowing me to hide. I don’t look sick. You could put me in a line up with other healthy people and I don’t think I would be picked out as the one with the eating disorder. Now I know size has absolutely nothing to do with how much someone is internally struggling, but in my case it’s the only real symptom I show. My parents never believed I truly had a problem until suddenly my hip bones were clearly visible and I didn’t fit into my clothes anymore. Being at a heavier, normal weight now means that they suspect nothing. Heck, my mom even suggested cutting back or ending therapy which I absolutely still need.

It’s hard to admit, but my eating is out of control. I literally can’t tell you how it happens. One moment I am sitting and doing something else and then my parents leave for a little and I run to make it look like I ate a meal and just throw it all out. In those moments I blank out. I am powerless against the thoughts. Same thing goes with exercise. I start and continue to push, push, push, until I am beyond exhausted and in pain from running. I don’t allow myself to enjoy the run or any food I actually do get in.

It’s hard to actually speak about how little I eat. I don’t realize how bad it is until I see the sad and worried look in Jenny or Kim’s eyes when I am honest. Just today I wanted to cry seeing Kim react. I mean this is more than just restriction. It’s skipping meals and entire food groups. It’s running on the lowest amount of calories and food intake I can bear. Today I had just three bites of sloppy joe after Kim begged me for a good 15 minutes and I felt like exploding. I have moments of clarity like then where I see this is bad but I don’t really want to change.

I am scared. Actually, make that terrified. I owe it to Kim and Livvy and Lily to tell Jenny the truth. She already heard it last Wednesday and told me the next step would be IP at Forest View if I didn’t improve. I don’t want to go back, not now. I really can’t go back. I have five weeks left in this semester and if I don’t finish my parents will kill me. I have to finish, there is no getting around it. Telling Jenny how I have been struggling would mean possibly losing my chance to finish. Although I am in full denial that I’m as bad as she thinks, I can be forced against my will if she believes I need to. I’m also worried that even if I do go to FV again it won’t help. The words of T who was been in and out of treatment for 15 years always remind me how IP is a bandaid to make you stable not to cure you. What if I go and waste more money we don’t have and then I’m not better?

I honestly can’t say what the next few days will bring. Tomorrow school starts again for the week so I at least will have some distraction. I made a promise to Kim to work harder this week. I meet with Paul tomorrow (not looking forward to it one bit) and since it’s also going to be the last time I see him ever I don’t plan on mentioning the restriction at all. Maybe if he asks specifically but I just don’t feel like it. He’ll just give me another “You should consider Forest View” talk which I already got from Jenny. Wednesday I meet with her and I may or may not be truthful. If I can do better with food until then I probably will be. If not then there are no promises. My number one goal right now is to stay in school. Five weeks is all it takes. After that, who knows.

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.

What They Didn’t Tell Me About Recovery

Quick announcement – I have some blog posts coming up that I finally have time to write since I’m on break! For sure will be one on recovery like a where I am now and what I have learned, my time in treatment, my time in Disney (and how bad Ed was). Basically all the things I’ve wanted to say but haven’t yet!

Anyways, onto this post. I seriously wish that the second you choose recovery you are magically overnighted a “What to Expect in Recovery (Every Single Thing)” book. That would be so beyond helpful it’s not even funny. Unfortunately, this just isn’t realistic.

My own “start” (I use quotation marks because I truly didn’t have real recovery then) in recovery began with Forest View. Those previous 4ish months in eating disorder therapy with Sue and two months working with Paul? Not even close. Of course, then I thought that I already was on my way and would be 100% okay by the end of the year. Oh man do I laugh at that thought now.

My first few days at FV were a whirlwind. I was in this new and scary world of weigh-ins, blood draws, talking about my feelings, saying the word anorexia out loud, seeing so many sweet sick girls around me, learning about ED behaviors and how the other girls would tattle, Ensures (DISGUSTING SO SO DISGUSTING), cursing every dessert at lunch, and otherwise getting used to everything that was eating disorder treatment. At the time, other than sweet I, I was both the youngest patient (range from 36-55 in the others) and the one with the shortest marriage to Ed. Every other girl had been through treatment before and sadly, they didn’t clue me in too much. I have learned basically all of what’s coming in this post on my own. I want this to be a resource for anyone new to recovery because I know it can help.

Without further ado,

What They Didn’t Tell Me About Recovery

Refeeding syndrome: it exists, and it sucks. I am honestly surprised that no one ever mentioned this in treatment. It was talked about a tiny bit, but never by name. I didn’t learn of it’s existence until I went on huge internet searches (probably should make a post about that too). Even then, I didn’t believe it could ever apply to me. When I went from eating as little as possible to what they tried to force into me in treatment, my body honestly didn’t freak out that much. Looking back, that definitely had more to do with me not following my meal plan AT ALL and continuing to overexercise than me being lucky enough to evade RS. The only minute mention of RS was when my phosphorus dipped very low in my second week. The doctor told me it happens when people start eating again and that I may have to take supplements. Never was the syndrome mentioned. Not even when T had edema in her legs did they give it a name. I believe that by ignoring this “side effect” of recovery FV did me and the other girls a disservice, which is why it is the first point I want to make.  For me, refeeding has brought a sense of lightheadedness that rarely goes away, a slew of GI problems, what I have found are huge dips and jumps in glucose levels, palpitations and very fast heart rate, mood swings like crazy, increased anxiety, confusion, acid reflux so bad I can barely eat some days, and general malaise and feeling “off.” It’s been a grueling few weeks. I never imagined I would feel this bad after I signed the divorce paper. I have no clue when it will stop, but I am hopeful (after researching about 200 different websites to confirm it) that it will. I have to keep pushing through all of these crappy days to get to the good ones. You can do it too! Going back to Ed behaviors only increases the chance that you can have more RS symptoms and nobody wants that. Hang in there because even though I can’t yet vouch for it, refeeding will get better.

Note: My experience of RS has been with AN, and I am sure it’s different depending on the disorder you have and each person, so please look into other resources to see all that RS can be (here is a great one). Also, please don’t follow my example. I have and continue to make excuses why I don’t need to see my doctor. This is beyond unsafe for anyone in recovery. If something doesn’t seem okay, go to the doctor. It’s better to be worried for nothing than miss something dangerous to your health.

Your body will recover WAY faster than your mind. Weight gain is a part of recovery. I’ve heard this so many times I can’t always hide my annoyance when people tell me this. I know I can’t recover but stay at the weight I was in my sickest. I just wish there were a way to gain weight only as your mind starts to recover. Sadly, another wish of mine that isn’t ever going to be possible. When your body and mind aren’t on the same page, it so easily becomes a very negative situation. Ed is constantly whispering that all you’re doing is becoming a huge fat whale and that it’s all you’ll ever be unless you follow his demands. You hate your changing body because you aren’t ready to accept it. Another way this comes into play that I didn’t expect at all is when it others see your body change. Once you start to be at a healthier weight, suddenly those around you assume everything is fine. News flash: you cannot tell how much of an internal struggle someone has with an eating disorder based on his or her appearance. It is so hard to keep going at this stage. No one around you believes you are sick but you still deal with Ed thoughts constantly. Your mind WILL catch up, I promise. As for the people who now become skeptical of your sickness, do your best to ignore them and lean on others who support you.

Committing to recovery doesn’t make it any easier – at least not at first. I don’t know about you, but the day I first thought about recovering I imagined it being a smooth process from there on out. I always figured in a few bumps in the road but my visions were absolutely opposite of what I got. Recovery is HARD. It’s choosing to fight every single day even when you’re worn out and your body feels like crap. You can’t half-ass recovery. A lot of the times it just sucks. There’s no way to sugar coat all of the bad days I’ve experienced. Here’s the thing though: it will get brighter. I have noticed some changes in myself already and others around me always comment on how much brighter and full of energy I am now. A few of these came from people who never knew about the ED, so I definitely believe it’s true. I have a ton of bad days, but I also have experienced some of the best days in years. It’s a rollercoaster of thoughts, feelings, and emotions but it is worth it. I can’t entirely vouch for that one yet but I know I’ll be able to one day.

It’s not always best to surround yourself with fellow eating disorder sufferers. To put it plainly, being surrounded by people who are going through the same thing as you can be quite triggering. Between Tumblr, Instagram, and here, I follow hundreds of girls and guys trying to recover, in recovery, and still deep in sickness. For me it can be so inspirational to see someone I feel a connection with eat that pizza or throw out a scale. I love reading all the positive things. Like I said before though, recovery isn’t all fun and good. There are far more negative and triggering things posted and said than positive ones most of the time. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be part of the recovery community or support friends who are in the fight along with you. I actually feel that is one of the most helpful tools available. Feeling like you aren’t alone in this is so very beneficial. For example, I have Livvy, Kim, and Lily who are all at varying stage in their recoveries and it i amazing to lend them support and receive it. I don’t think I’d be at this point in recovery without that. I also benefited from the recovery community before I even believed I had an eating disorder. The thing about having so many people around on social media or in person is that it can be detrimental to your own recovery. Pouring yourself into others is great but not if it hurts you. Following these people on social media is great until you reach a point where all of their posts become huge triggers. It’s hard to do, but I have had to hit the unfollow button so many times I’ve lost count. It’s for my own health and good, even if I felt a little guilty. I have also set some boundaries in a few of my relationships with friends and people I met at FV. That was harder than clicking unfollow but has benefitted my recovery. I haven’t blocked anyone out of my life but now it’s not so much an “I’ll give everything I can to help them even if it’s unhealthy for me” kind of relationship. As I’ve cleaned up some people who weren’t such a great influence on recovery, I’ve found tons more positive ones to “replace” them. I follow a ton more fully or nearly fully recovered and also ones who will, like me, try to not post triggering things. It’s so much better scrolling through my dash or IG now. It may take a bit of effort and hard decisions, but you will be so much happier once you find a balance of who you keep in your circle when it comes to other recoverers.

Not everyone you tell about your eating disorder will be a viable support or understand it. Oh goodness have I learned this one the hard way. I have gone through a pretty good number of support people (many of them “support” sadly) in the past year or so. I picked up a few when I started self harm recovery (including TJ who was amazing for the self harm for the first few months. He was exactly what I needed even if we don’t talk about it now), dropped off one or two after that, added a couple more once I realized “oh wait maybe I have an eating problem,” tried to frantically find more who would understand as I slipped deeper into the ED, lost all physical support and basically everyone online/out of state except Livvy and Lily, found people in treatment, and finally, finally, finally solidified support in person with Kim and eventually went on to reach out to more people like the youth girls and Christian fellowship members. It’s been very hectic figuring it all out. I think I’ve learned a ton about what to look for in someone who can be support and also some red flags that someone wouldn’t be great at it. Hopefully my advice can help to avoid the bad kind of support. One of the most important traits is someone who is mature, emotionally/mentally stable themselves, and not shy about talking of these type of things. Hint: don’t try to blab emotional things and blurt out to your best guy friend you have an eating disorder when he has never been there for you emotionally and always shies away from that kind of talk. He and I no longer are even friends, and it’s mostly because he a) didn’t know how to handle it and b) tried to tell me I was faking it and wanted attention. I may be a bit biased but girls/women have done much better in my experience than guys. It probably has something to do with my friends’ personalities, but I also think eating disorders are incredibly complex and just something most guys won’t understand. I do have three wonderful ones who have been great for me though. Another thing when finding support is making sure you’re comfortable sharing things with them. Eating disorders are deeply personal and it’s not always easy finding the right person you are willing to share with. It will be uncomfortable sometimes but it shouldn’t be to a point where you don’t feel you can trust or talk to them. If you are lucky enough to know someone who is recovering or has recovered these type of support help so so much with the right boundaries. I cannot say enough good things about my three. It’s a complete blessing to not be in this fight alone. That being said, anyone can be there for you, not just fellow fighters. Also, please don’t feel down on yourself if you lose support after a while. It happens. It hurts. I truly believe the ones I have broken contact with are gone for a reason.

You may have to switch therapists, doctors, dietitians, etc a few times but having a great treatment team is KEY. I have been to three therapists, my doctor and then a psychiatrist for meds, and finally a new doctor who will help me keep my health in check. Although I don’t have or feel the need to get a dietitian on my team, they too can be great tools. At the very minimum a therapist and good doctor should be on your side. It’s okay and normal to have to “shop around” a bit when it comes to these people. It isn’t about not wanting to hurt their feelings or being worried of switching. In the end it comes down to YOUR health and the professionals who best get your situation and can help you. Trust me, all the hassle of finding the right ones is so worth it in the end.

You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Okay, so you don’t technically have to be, but it certainly would help. Nearly everything about recovery is uncomfortable. You eat as Ed is screaming at you every bite. You have refeeding symptoms. Your body image makes you see yourself as a potato, at best. Urges to use behaviors are constant and fighting it takes 1000x more effort than giving in. Sharing feelings and struggles with others is never very easy. Getting rid of those who are toxic to your recovery and health is hard. Admitting you need help is one of the most challenging but worthwhile things you can experience. Basically everything you do in recovery is fighting the voices in your head. It’s getting up every morning and yelling at Ed to shut up. It’s conflicting emotions and feelings. It’s fighting like hell. All of the bad is beyond worth it when you picture the freedom and life beyond your eating disorder.

I truly hope at least some of this will resonate with you. Also, a point I find so important is that I don’t want this to scare anyone away who is contemplating recovery. In fact, I hope that it insteads prepares you pretty realistically for what comes ahead. The positives far outweigh anything else that comes in recovery.

To anyone who read all of this, you’re a champ! 😉

Refeeding…

is making me question recovery.

I already feel incredibly uncomfortable with my body right now. Divorce from Ed or not, I knew that was coming. I have dealt with it pretty well actually. I’m using coping skills and Ed thoughts in their tracks and just everything else I’m supposed to. I’m reminding myself at least daily (sometimes each meal) that food is fuel and medicine and weight gain doesn’t matter. I truly am trying my best and succeeding!

The thing I never accounted for and am now dealing with is Refeeding Syndrome. You can read more about it here but essentially my body has gone into complete freakout zone since I suddenly decided to feed it all the calories I’ve been keeping from it. To be quite honest, I thought I would be superhuman and somehow bypass this, or at least the worst parts of it. I really didn’t have many signs at first, a little bloating and GI issues but they were so mild I didn’t notice. I wish I could go back to that! For the past few days I’ve had really bad acid reflux  and it’s gotten to the point where I can’t even attempt to eat or drink without nearly throwing up. I’ve gone through an entire box of Pepto Bismol and had to take 3 doses last night just to handle youth group! I also have had a ton of dizziness and a “blah” feeling, along with some pretty bad tachycardia (fast heart rate) and exhaustion (well, moire than usual). I’m actually really concerned something is wrong medically where I could need supplements because the first time around (at FV) it wasn’t half this bad and there I was almost put on them. The thing is, my doctor and my parents both think I’ve been doing well since FV when in reality I’ve restricted heavily for the past few months and just am getting back on track.

I don’t really know what to do. I think I need to get my magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium checked at the very least just to make sure I’m okay. I guess if it doesn’t get better in the next few days I should probably head to the doctor.

December 2nd.

It has been 525,600 minutes, 8,760 hours, 365 days, 52 weeks, and one whole year since I truly committed to self harm recovery.

I really can’t believe it. I consider myself fully recovered. I want to cry because that in itself is so mind-blowing. I definitely can’t take full credit for this year, because I wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for my support system and amazing Savior.

Yesterday I told Kim about the accomplishment and she suggested something that was so scary at the time – committing to recover from Ed today. I may have freaked out a ton just a little initially, but as I thought about it more I realized something: what was I waiting for? I wasn’t in full recovery. I’ve basically been in quasi-recovery for the better part of this year and honestly haven’t made a huge amount of progress. I didn’t tell Kim because I wanted to surprise her, but that night I got busy.

I started off looking at the template on Jenni Schaefer’s website and made my very own divorce decree from Ed


This cause came for hearing on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, upon the complaint of the Plaintiff, and upon consideration thereof, the Court enters judgment hereinafter set forth.

The Court finds that the parties were married on Thursday, November 1, 2012. The Court also finds that the parties are incompatible and that the Plaintiff is entitled to a divorce as demanded.

Grounds for Divorce

  1. Ed is abusive, controlling, and manipulative.
  2. Ed forces the Plaintiff to harm her body on a daily basis.
  3. Ed has separated the Plaintiff from those who love her.
  4. Ed keeps the Plaintiff from growing closer to her Savior, Jesus Christ.
  5. Ed will not allow the Plaintiff to reach her true potential.

Allocation of Parental Rights

No children have been born. Therefore, no communication is necessary between the two parties concerning a child’s welfare. This means full recovery is possible!

Property Division

IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the parties’ marital property and debt be distributed between the parties as follows:

Ed can take his pain, misery, and lies and get as far away from the Plaintiff as possible.

Plaintiff is entitled to all happiness, laughter, dreams, relationships, freedom, and love.

Plaintiff will have a future free from Ed’s Torture.

Plaintiff gives control of her life completely to God.


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Jenny said she had to take a picture of me signing it 😛

I had Jenny and my mom so far sign as my witnesses and I also am having Kim sign when I next see her. (And I got Livvy’s signature printed and glued on, I was just too lazy to take another picture!) Also, I’m super excited to be her witness because she wants to do a divorce decree too!! Love love love how God brought us together and is making us so much stronger through our relationship!

I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling today. I feel empowered, confident, and free. I am thankful for everything in this past year and all that is to come since Ed is not going to be in the picture any longer!!!

On recovery

When I started this whole recovery process, I never thought I would still be sitting where I’m at now. I had some idea about recovery being challenging, but I figured it got easier. I expected it to get easier each day. I thought I would be pretty good by now. I didn’t imagine I would still be in therapy and struggling more now than when I was out of treatment.

Recovery isn’t a path that’s always moving up. That’s not even close to what I’ve experienced lately.

I’ll be the first to tell you that recovery can plain suck. There is no sugar coating my bad days, like the past two-ish weeks. It’s a constant battle that you don’t always want to fight. It’s tons of crying and hating where you are and being uncomfortable. The Ed thoughts can feel so loud and overpowering.

Despite how hard recovery is and has been for me lately, I think it’s important to look at my good days.

Good days pre-recovery meant eating as little as possible. This would lead to me having no energy at all, being moody, and plain miserable. Sure, I was thin. Yeah, I did get noticed for that. In truth, however, I wasn’t happy. It was all euphoria that Ed produced to hide all the hurt I was actually feeling.

Even with how much Ed has been trying to convince me I’ve done well these past few weeks, a part of me knows deep down that isn’t true. I have felt terrible. I don’t have energy for school or my youth girls or photography. I can’t stop thinking of food. I have no hope for the future again. I have lost some weight, but I still hate my body. I am having way more depressive and anxiety thoughts. I am starting to believe it isn’t worth following Ed if I have to deal with all this.

Good days in recovery are what I want to live. Even having part of a day that’s good is way better than my best days pre-recovery. In recovery I am making new friends. I am helping others. I am a youth leader. I am laughing and smiling. I can eat and be okay with it. I can enjoy what the world has to offer.

I want to offer a quick comparison. Last Wednesday, I was at the church for Awana after following Ed all day. I barely talked to anyone. I’m pretty sure I didn’t smile once. I wanted to sleep. People kept asking if I was okay. I didn’t want to be there at all. Fast forward to Sunday and there was a complete flip. I followed my meal plan for breakfast then headed to church. I got more hugs than I could count that morning. I could smile. I paid attention to the sermon. After lunch, I went with the youth pastor’s family to their daughter’s soccer game and then to the church. I laughed so much at the game. I took tons of great pictures. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I ate when we got back to the church. It was challenging, but I had Kim and her daughter there supporting me. I felt good after doing it. Overall, that day was one of the funnest in a very long time.

It’s easy to see that my good days for Ed are bad for me, and vice versa. I want to live again. I want more days like Sunday and far less like Wednesday. I am going to fight this demon.

God didn’t design me to suffer from this disorder forever. I am not going to be 40 and still sick. He has such bigger plans for me that I can’t even begin to comprehend yet. The first step towards them is recovery. I absolutely need to stick through with this. I am going to push forward. One step at a time, I will defeat anorexia.

Late night update

So it’s 11:36 and I can’t sleep, so I suppose it’s a good time for the update I’ve been avoiding.

This week has been hell. I haven’t had this bad of a week ED wise since about three weeks post FV when I had a little slip up. This slip up, well it isn’t so little. Without going into triggering and unnecessary details, I will try to explain how I’ve been. It’s hard to pinpoint a time when I started slipping. It came slowly at first but then I just plunged right back into Ed. He was waiting for me with open arms and I ran to him. I have exercised more than I should, not eaten enough, and used some behaviors and lies so that my family doesn’t know at all. I halfway feel guilty about that but Ed is whispering how wonderful I’m doing. The one way I do see that maybe this is wrong is with how absolutely miserable I am feeling. I have no energy, high depressive thoughts, and no personality. I sat there almost in tears on Wednesday at the church and I never ever am not smiling there.

To say that I’ve been stressed lately is a HUGE understatement. Things on my mind include having to apply to colleges and worry about if I got in even though I won’t know for 2-4 weeks at least, two of my close friends going into a psychiatric hospital in the past two weeks (I’m glad they’re safe but I still worry about them both), having some youth situations this week involving eating and if I will negatively impact the girls with my eating, tests/a lab practical/midterm in my classes, scheduling for my final semester at CC, telling the other girls eventually, and writing a philosophy paper that I didn’t start until today. It doesn’t help that my anxiety tends make every worry ten times worse. Also, since the Ed stuff has worsened I also have all of those things constantly on my mind. This has made it harder to focus at all.

The only person who knows of my struggles right now other than Jenny (she doesn’t know THAT much either…) is Kim. I haven’t even spoken to her since Sunday, but at that point she thought I needed to tell my mom if it didn’t stop this week. Their family is coming over tomorrow night for dinner so I highly doubt she’ll ask there, but I know the conversation is coming. I don’t know what to tell her. I can be honest and probably freak her out and have her tell my parents if I don’t. I’m so scared of that. I don’t want to upset her or burden her with that kind of information. Also, there’s Ed screaming to shut up and keep this to myself. No option looks good right now.

I see both Paul and Jenny Tuesday. Again, I have no clue whether to be honest or not. I always always have been in therapy prior to this. I feel no need to lie when they’re trying to help me. This is different though. If I don’t tell them I can continue like this. I can take control for a while. At the same time, I know my parents will realize eventually. That eventually is realistically only a week or two away at the rate I’m going.

I’m so confused. I want to recover, but that is so low on my priority list right now. I have so much going on and Ed is easier. It’s just like last year. I gave in to Ed then because I felt out of control and I feel that way now too. This isn’t good.

So after all those jumbled thoughts I am going to spend some time in prayer tonight. I need to get grounded again. I also need some sleep after that. I know God is with me, even as I’ve been straying away from Him this week. He will work through me still. I know it. I need His guidance now.

Ed and being close to others don’t mix well

It’s been kind of an odd past two days. My schedule has been flipped around which always bugs me. I didn’t have philosophy yesterday and that was nice but made the day seem longer somehow. After school I saw Jenny instead of today because she was subpoenaed. Then I obviously didn’t have therapy at my usually time today and I just got done with class. Usually, changes in schedule stress me out and in the past always left me clinging to Ed. I am trying my best to keep that from happening.

Jenny and I talked a lot about the homework she gave me. I had to read a poem about masks and then answer questions about my mask. We really got into some things I have always felt about myself and how damaging it can be. She’s also trying to encourage me to let more people in and see the real me. It’s really good that I am going to tell my high school girls because that is definitely opening up and being genuine. Beyond Kim and Rick, she wants more support for me. She wants me to either reach out to someone new or talk again to old support.

The best example of support/friendship that I’ve let dwindle is with my friend Dani. I probably haven’t reached out to her in a few months. She has always been support since the very beginning, but I started feeling like a burden and just stopped talking to her. It’s my own fault that we aren’t so close. I hate it but at the same time I don’t feel worthwhile so I don’t want to have her worry about me. I feel like a nuisance not a friend. Jenny really wants me to reach out to her again. I don’t know how I feel about that. I love her and would love talking to her again, but it seems hard. Jenny suggested kind of saying how I’m doing and that the reason why I haven’t talked to her is because Ed is so loud. She has recovered from an ED so I know she would get it. I don’t want to have to say those words though… Somehow it’s just a lousy excuse. It’s me who’s at fault because I could have and should have kept in contact with her anyways. I shouldn’t be so stupid.

The above is probably breaking Chaplain Roze’s “11th Commandment” – thy shall not beat thyselves up. I know it isn’t good to blame myself for all of this but I don’t feel comfortable blaming the eating disorder either.

I really enjoyed yesterday’s session but I don’t think I’m ready to follow through. I don’t know how. I just feel awkward and worthless and everything else so I don’t want to waste any more of Dani’s time. My friendship with Dani isn’t the only one I’ve let go. I have a few others and I can see that maybe anxiety/depression/Ed contributed to them falling apart. I hate that this terrible part of me had to do that. I have isolated so much. It’s sad really.

Overall I have such mixed emotions. I want to be close to others, but being close means being vulnerable and being vulnerable means sharing this part of me that brings so much shame. I don’t even know how to get close to people again because I’ve had a huge wall up for a really long time. I’m going to think about Jenny’s suggestion/challenge still. Maybe I could get the courage to text Dani this week.