“I have never been married, but I am happily divorced.”

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Woohoo it is yet again the 2nd day of the month which means today is two whole months since I filed for divorce from from Ed (and one month for Kim, woot woot!) In the words of the fabulous Jenni Schaefer, “I have never been married, but I am happily divorced.”

Signing that paper didn’t magically make everything better, that would have been way too easy. Though it wasn’t sudden perfection in recovery (which can’t happen anyways), I do consider that decree to have done amazing things in my life. I jumped off a huge cliff that Tuesday two months ago into true recovery. I am learning to fly. It hasn’t all been easy or good, but this is okay. I am learning more each day and when I do fall I get back up. I have changed so much and I am incredibly proud of that.

I am leaving Ed behind and transforming into the Emily God called me to be. The benefits of real recovery are overflowing. I am closer than ever to my Savior. I have so much energy. I am able to give my all as a youth leader. I can actually focus in class. I don’t have to constantly count calories. My body is beginning to trust me again. I have amazing opportunities with school next year. Social gatherings aren’t as scary as they used to be. My moods and emotions are vastly different and happier. Depression and anxiety have lifted some. I am starting to accept myself just as I am.

I still have bad days and use behaviors and feel miserable. I see now that although I have these times in recovery it’s still worth it. I also have hope that they will only get fewer as I continue on this journey.Psalm 118_13, NIV

One thing I’ve loved about this month in particular is how much I have studied scripture in relation to the divorce and recovery. I loved our camp theme verse (Psalm 118:13) because it completely explains how I felt prior to and after signing the decree and committing to recovery. I also found the quote by Charles Spurgeon to really confirm that I needed to get away from Ed so my relationship with God can thrive again.

Transformation Tuesday / Then vs. Now

This post will be divided into two parts. First will be my own version of Transformation Tuesday and the second my therapy homework in a Then vs Now assignment.

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Left: end of June 2014 Right: Christmas Eve 2014

This is the first time I’ve put together pictures of me at my sickest in Disney last summer (although this is still above my lowest) and a picture from when I fully committed to recovery. There’s a huge physical difference obviously but there’s so much more than just weight between the two pictures. On the left I have huge dark circles under my eyes. My hips, sternum, ribs, collarbones, and just about everything that is usually covered by fat/skin wasn’t. That smile is so fake. I couldn’t get over how fat I thought I was. I was freezing even though it was 95 degrees. My eating was terrible. I isolated from most everyone. I spent hours each day crying over food and weight. My anxiety and depression were insane. I passed out or fell over nearly every day. I was miserable and I was dying.

I am not the girl on the left anymore and I thank God for that. I have gained weight and it’s hard to accept; however, I’ve gained so much life that it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. I am learning to love myself and my new body. I am fighting Ed each day instead of embracing him. I smile and laugh and live joyfully. I push through my meals and fight any urges. I am being transformed each day. I think I actually love the girl I’m becoming.


Then: pre-divorce

Physically

  • no refeeding symptoms (probably because of false recovery)
  • no energy from lack of food
  • felt light headed, weak, low concentration, etc

Emotionally/Mentally

  • moods pretty low
  • never truly happy
  • gave up whenever it got tough

Social Events

  • church dinners = absolutely freak out and could barely survive
  • distracted, tired, dead at Awana
  • never would recommend going to froyo/food for YG outing
  • Dinner with Pilieci’s included skipping out on a lot of food, anxiety, panic, need to exercise

ED Thoughts/Behaviors

  • always thinking of food, calories, etc
  • lied to parents/Kim/whoever all the time about what I ate
  • skipped meals all the time
  • exercised all the time
  • calories counting without trying
  • weighed myself constantly

Recovery

  • barely reaching out
  • felt insanely disgusted with myself
  • hated hated hated my body
  • not committed to recovery
  • hopeless about ever being recovered

Eating

  • school: maybe 60% with Erin, 0-40% without
  • home:
    • breakfast: throw out most of yogurt; not enough dairy, protein, grain
    • lunch: 60% of meal tops
    • dinner: 60% of meal tops
    • overall: not enough protein, dairy, or grains; no snacks

Other

  • very, very limited food choices
  • fear foods = mashed potatoes, roast, potatoes in general, milk and most dairy, cheese, anything greasy, bananas, rice, white bread, meat in general, etc
  • felt unimportant/far away from God
  • no trust whatsoever with parents

Now: post-divorce

Physically

  • refeeding can be hard at times
  • not great energy on bad days but much better on good ones
  • not ever very dizzy, able to do things and not pass out

Emotionally/Mentally

  • better moods, occasional depressive/anxiety thoughts
  • experience true JOY
  • try to push through the hard days

Social Events

  • church dinners hard, not impossible
  • excited for Awana to start again and feeling more confident
  • recommended and looking forward to having froyo on our girl’s day
  • Pilieci’s over = fun, fellowship, eating enough, NO ED ISSUES

Ed Thoughts/Behaviors

  • Ed thoughts are still there but I have moments/days without
  • for the most part eating a good amount = no need to lie
  • do pretty well and at least attempt meals
  • less exercise (partially due to foot injury)
  • no calorie talk/thoughts
  • haven’t weighed myself in a long time

Recovery

  • learning to use support on bad days
  • proud of how far I have come
  • still don’t like body but more okay with it most of the time
  • committed to recovery
  • hopeful that i can recover one day

Eating

  • school: plan on trying each meal and using supports if needed
    • ie TEXT KIM
  • home:
    • about 80% of each meal
    • slightly lacking in protein and grain, dairy still hardest

Other

  • slightly more food options
  • same fear foods but have eaten a few
  • relationship with God strengthening each day
  • mom and dad trust me more

Divorce: one month out

Today marks one whole month since I signed my divorce papers. Whoa. I have to admit, this month went by way faster than expected. I had a feeling it would be slow and grueling with everyday a challenge, but it simply wasn’t the case.

I had bad days and good ones. The thing I’ve noticed the most about the days themselves are that most bad days didn’t dip as low as before and they were fewer. I have worked harder than before to combat the Ed thoughts and use coping skills or distractions. Most of the time it works. Sure, there were days of restriction and overexcercise and complete lack of control but I had days nearly without Ed too. Sometimes it seemed worse than before but I completely believe that’s because I’m finally fighting back. I have no doubt that if I keep going strong and don’t give up it will get easier.

One thing I’ve learned through all of this is the need to be patient with myself. I can’t be perfect in recovery or otherwise. I have to just try hard each day and take it slow. This also applies to my body. I can’t expect it to put up with all of the abuse I gave it and bounce right back. It stinks but I have to give it time. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to look back in a few years, completely recovered, and see how short the hard parts of recovery really were compared to the life I’ll get to have afterwards.

I think it’s very fitting that Rick, Kim, and their family are coming over for dinner tonight. I can’t wait to remind them what a huge day it is and celebrate all I have overcome to get here. It’s also my chance to prove to myself and them that I can survive a meal. Last time they were over I was so engrossed in the eating disorder that I couldn’t enjoy the food or their company. I want today to be different. I am going for balance and peace. I want to have a piece of my mom’s famous stromboli, some salad, maybe a mini sausage or two, and a whole piece of pie. I deserve to eat all of those things. I know Kim will be there supporting me and fighting too. I want tonight to be about fellowship, not food. I know I can accomplish that.

Here’s to a month of divorce and many more to come!

This is what recovery’s all about.

I know it’s only been a day since the divorce, but I seriously feel A M A Z I N G!

Today had so many great moments and it makes me smile just thinking about it. My decision to leave Ed behind has made a huge impact on how today went.

I woke up this morning and, although it took a few minutes of convincing myself I deserve to have food, breakfast went very smoothly. I got in enough protein (that never happens!) and I set off on my day. Class was as usual except for one major difference: I didn’t body check or think of food at all. I didn’t even realize my accomplishment until later but it felt so good to be able to really focus on what I was learning and just have a break.

Christian Fellowship brought yet another HUGE change. Last night as I was falling asleep, I felt what I know was God leading me to do something way out of my comfort zone: tell everyone at Christian Fellowship about the divorce from Ed. I freaked out, I really really did. I went to bed and thought nothing of it, until I woke up and that urge was ten times stronger than it had been the night before. At this pint I was still doubting God’s persistence, but I messaged the group leader (who knew about the ED) and asked if I should share, totally believeing he would say no. He loved the idea, and at that point I internally freaked out. He would never let me get out of that and I knew God wouldn’t stop pushing me either, so I was basically stuck. To understand how big of a deal this was to me, first it helps to know thta for a long time I could count the number of people who knew about my disorder on my hands. Today I added seven new ones and you know what, they were supportive and I didn’t die doing it!

The rest of my day was pretty decent. I ate lunch by my self (and finished it!), had my last chemistry lab, and attempted to figure out my life/future plans. The next huge recovery win came when I went to church for Awana. Tonight was the first time ever since starting to volunteer there that I have not been engrossed in Ed all night. Every other time I have gone, I either restricted all day, body checked while I was there, was completely distracted by Ed thoughts, or any combination of the three. Having Ed completely took the life out of me and I know the kids must have suffered from that. They didn’t suffer tonight though. It’s the first time that everyone got the real me. I was a little tired from school, but I also was able to smile and laugh and have an amazing time. The night went by pretty fast and I had fun. Also, I had some huge highlights. Rick came up to me and congratulated me on being one year free and I showed him the divorce. It was so nice and unexpected too because I hadn’t known Kim told him. The best part of the night was definitely when Kim came. She signed my divorce and we talked some about how grateful I am that she suggested the idea of giving Ed the boot. She also commented on me looking better and brighter. I am beyond excited to be a witness for her divorce decree too! She deserves freedom so much!

One day out and I can already tell the huge difference. I know this was the right thing to do for me and the right time. I will never be fully ready but it was beyond time. It’s amazing how everything has come together the past few months to lead up to yesterday. I am blessed for all God has done and all He has in store for my future free from Ed! I have the best people  I could ask for with me as I continue on this recovery journey.

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!!!