How I look and feel are two very (very, VERY) different things.

A month ago, I was losing fast. If I had continued for even another week longer than I did in that extreme restriction, I would have been sent inpatient immediately. The ever-growing, disordered part of me wants to be back there. It wishes I didn’t decide to fight this like hell. It craves the bones, the emptiness in my stomach and soul, the sense of power.

Above all, I want to look sick. I want to be thinner. I want my outside to match this inner struggle I face all day, every day. I feel guilty that it doesn’t because that means I am not following through with restriction and ED behaviors. I feel dirty and gross and huge. I feel like I have cheated on this ED.

I know this is irrational. I realize that being thinner wouldn’t be any better than at the weight I am now. But te thing is, my ED tricks me into thinking it would change everything. It says that I’ll love myself more, won’t cry when I look in the mirror, will feel comfortable in a swim suit. Basically, thinness = happiness. I can look back at those times at my lowest and although I remember being more comfortable with my body, I wasn’t really happy. I was too exhausted and numb and near death to truly enjoy it.

The worst part about this period is that I’ve gained some weight back and fixed my eating patterns to a degree, but I am not okay. Far from it, actually. I don’t look sick though, so certain people (cough cough my parents) assume I’m fine. I guess there are “perks” to looking sick but the one I’m really missing now is that my mom doesn’t get how much I still need therapy and support. I am completely freaking out about next fall and finding treatment at college, but she barely feels its necessary. In fact, she told me I should only go once every coul\ple weeks. She figures that since I seem to be eating fine and look normal I should be healed. The words “mental illness” don’t register. It’s hard enough that my body is changing so much faster than my mind. I just wish others would realize my struggle now as much as when I was smaller. I still need help and support and encouragement.

Pows & Wows 3/15/15

Pows

  • Took my night meds on accident before our lock-in Friday so I was barely alive for the first two hours. Whoops
  • Tired/achey/crampy/headachy
  • For the third time in about 3 months, I was hit on by a high school freshman… who thought I was 15. Gahhh
  • Technically hasn’t happened yet, but tomorrow is going to be LONG because I’m not bringing or buying any caffeine.
  • I should be used to it but thoughts are bad and obsessive and I am over it

Wows

  • Lunch with Kim Thursday was really good 🙂
  • The lock-in was amazing and I got to hang out with some of my girls and that’s my favorite thing
  • I slept almost 4 hours after I got home at 7:30 in the morning!!!
  • Stayed in my PJs all of Saturday
  • Church was great because: hugs + sermon + worship
  • Tomorrow I start my yoga class at college! I’ve been wanting to get into it for a long time and I definitely will continue after the semester too
  • I feel oddly anxiety-free about our presentation on bulimia for abnormal psych tomorrow night
  • I got to run on the treadmill while watching Netflix and it was so what I needed

Pows & Wows 3/11/15

Way way way late so this may be ginormous.

Pows (I’ll try to do these in order)

  • My grandpa was in the hospital again almost all of last week. I’ve spent more hours there and visiting him at Pastor’s house than my own. It’s hard. He has congestive heart failure. He is dying. I haven’t shed a single tear over this and I don’t get why. I’m really numb. It’s also been family drama and stress to no end. I just want things to be back to normal again and him to be better.
  • School is stress and I am not doing well in my classes
  • Got the rejection letter from Honors Fellows
  • Not much relaxation during break or at all, unfortunately
  • My thoughts have been worse and worse
  • Today in therapy Jenny said the D word (depression) and also is calling Paul. It was really exhausting too.
  • I feel sick. IBS SUCKS.
  • The last few weeks my middle school group has been challenging. It’s hard to want to go every week when most of them act out and don’t even attempt to learn anything. I have a few who truly do though and hope that the others will change. Until then, I have to be the “mean leader” unfortunately.
  • Feeling overwhelmed in general and all the time

Wows

  • I am thankful for my church so much, especially lately. I feel better when I’m there. It’s nice to feel loved even if I don’t deserve it. I also love the fact that I can change people’s lives with what I do.
  • I am trying to be a better friend. I’m not aiming for perfection either which is unlike me.
  • Kim has been amazing. She always is but this week I needed that push and support to get help. I am beyond thankful for our friendship.
  • I told Jenny, Olivia, and Kim what’s been going on. That was hard. I am hopeful good will come from it.
  • Regardless if they know it or not, people around me who say small things out of love are really making me push forward.
  • Comedic relief was reading a case study on bulimia and seeing that this girl was 100% cured and done with therapy after 22 sessions. I would die if that happened.
  • The bulimia study is actually helping me to realize things I never knew about my own eating disorder.
  • Tomorrow is the last day of school for the week. It’s  been a long one but I can relax just a bit after 4:30. Also, way more awesome than the weekend is that Kim and I are doing lunch. It’ll be nice to chat and help each other a little.

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?

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

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

Pows & Wows 2/1/15

Three cheers for doing this on time for once!

Pows

  • Weighing myself 10+ times a day again…
  • Refeeding issues (I so thought/hoped/prayed I was past this)
  • 2 tests in one day and one tomorrow

Wows

  • Funniest Wednesday night ever with inside jokes and everything
  • Got asked to interview for Honors Scholars and I’m going even though it’s pretty darn scary
  • Rick talked about how much I talk to the girls outside of church and how other leaders need to do it too
  • The girls were really sweet and begged me to stay for Sunday school, which I did of course!
  • Kim and I are doing a week without the scale and a scale smash sometime in the future
  • Survived the Super Bowl party wooo

Now heading to bed and seriously hoping my prof cancels class or the school closes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pows

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

Wows

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

Pows & Wows 1/22/15

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

Pows

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

Wows

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

Pows & Wows 1/11/15

Pows

  • Learning yesterday that negative thoughts pour out at random times
  • Ankle still hurting = no running = stress
  • KILLER headache all day today
  • Professor saying “this class will be overwhelming and stressful the first few weeks or months”. Joys of micro?
  • Winter semester starts tomorrow 😦
  • Stress on top of stress. I’m already feeling it
  • I have zero plans for conquering food this semester other than possibly having lunch with Kim sometimes. Ahhhh

Wows

  • Last week of break was pretty peaceful
  • My new camera lens came (not that I’ll have any free time to use it ha)
  • I asked for more support/help and offered some too. So needed that
  • Livvy is going to treatment even though I’ll miss her she needs and deserves it
  • Today was an amazing start to the week with church, luncheon, froyo with the youth girls, laser tag, and a trip to the pet store!
  • This weekend is camp with youth girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (if you can’t tell I’m so excited)
  • I love being a youth leader. I just really do
  • Church hugs. So many hugs 🙂
  • Recovery perk: not feeling like I have frostbite and freezing my butt off in the cold like I would if I was still sicker