Giving Thanks – Nov 10-14

Playing catch-up from a very busy/long week. The rest will be done soon

Today I am thankful for: MY CAR.

A year ago, when I was having a bad day or an anxious day or a day where I just wanted to get away from school, I couldn’t. I only was able to come home when my parents drove nearly an hour each way to get me. I went to 2 ED support group meetings total last year, and it was only when a sweet lady from FV picked me up. I was dependent on everyone else. While I appreciate every ride I’ve had, I hated feeling like a burden.

Last year I wasn’t ready for the responsibility and blessing of a car. I can only imagine how bad that would have been. God knew, even when I didn’t, even when I was so desperate for freedom. With the waiting has come growth. This year has prepared me and allowed for many of my fears to be lifted.

I drive more than the average on-campus student (I know because 95% of the cars in the parking lot never move while mine is gone). I probably drive more miles too. Those miles take me to places that comfort my soul, give me love, build me up, and provide the items I need/want.

Without my car and without driving, I would miss out on things I value most and ones that make me happy. A small list: spending time with my family, church, bible study, FV support group, all sorts of store runs. I am so grateful to have these opportunities and blessings.


Today I am thankful for: ENCOURAGEMENT.

Today, and every day, I receive prayers, physical support, professional help, etc. I’m not sure that I could ever make it without these people who truly care. The list is a long one.

L has been amazing with encouragement. I felt like I had a terrible week following my meal plan and fighting ED thoughts. I was so convinced she would be disappointed in me. Her reaction was the opposite. She was proud for all of the successes I did have. Every time I would say something negative, she countered it with a more positive view. She pushes me to go towards recovery but isn’t expecting me to be perfect. We talk each session about goals I can set for the next week and try not to focus on what I couldn’t do. She believes in me and is becoming one of my biggest cheerleaders. Fun fact she actually was in cheer 🙂

L was definitely the best example of encouragement today, but I can never forget those who are there every day. My mom, Livvy, Lily, the women at bible study, people at church, S, and Lauren have a special place in my recovery and life too. I have c a constant stream of support coming in different ways from these lovely people. I could write an entire post (or more) on all of this, but for now I’ll leave it here: I couldn’t have a better team of supports that impact my life in all sorts of ways.


Today I am thankful for: NOAH.

This little boy made my day 1000% better than I imagined it would be. Weekends are rough most of the time. I was somewhat dreading parts of today to begin with. I had decided to mope in our recliner and play Sims/watch TV. His family came over and he was quickly attached to me. He crawled up on my lap and cuddled while playing a game on my phone. It was one of the best parts of my entire week. Knowing that a tiny human truly loves me is heartwarming. He doesn’t care what size I am, that I have scars, or suffer from mental illness. He looks up to me anyways and sees me as an amazing person.

Today a three year old made me love myself a tiny bit more. He allowed me to be joyful and laugh. He took me out of my dark shell. Noah was everything I needed. I can’t wait to spend more time with him and neither can he 🙂


Today I am thankful for: MY CONVERSATION WITH LIVVY LOU.

This was a rough day. It involved lots of eating struggles, feeling like death, a panic attack from misophonia, parents yelling at me, a brief consideration/want to go inpatient for a few days, crying through a meal, missing treatment, driving home in a terrible emotional state, and skipping church for feeling too broken/messed up to be there. When I finally got back to my dorm, Olivia agreed that I could call her and talk. It was the best 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 3 seconds I could ask for.

I started off extremely freaked out and upset. There were so many feelings and I felt like my entire life was just screwed. I maybe could use treatment, didn’t want it too much, it wouldn’t work out. I didn’t and still don’t know what to do, so I asked her that approximately 2000 times. No answer there but that’s okay. I will figure it out.

Some of her greatest skills include being an amazing listener, peeing positivity, being a voice of reason. She used them all today.

Once I had finally calmed down some, we began talking about anything and everything. It was great to get my mind off the crappies in my life. Who doesn’t want to talk about native american stories or recite biology notes?

We don’t talk on the phone very often or at all really, so it was truly special to do so again. I’ll always be thankful for my person/bff/twin/Livvy Lou.


Today I am thankful for: SMOOTHIES.

Weird? Maybe, but smoothies are my favorite. It can be really hard getting in the exchanges my body needs. I love that I can add multiple types of exchanges to get what I need in a meal. They also taste amazing (especially the berry kind). I’m glad I got on my smoothie kick at residential and haven’t looked back since.

I woke up sick and I had little energy to even go to the dining hall, so my smoothie was a saving grace. It included most of what I needed for the meal, so I only had to add a few things. It was great for my throat that’s still hurting too.

When I need to fuel my body and other food is hard, I can sometimes make a smoothie so I can avoid an ensure. Anything that provides nourishment without being in a tiny bottle of chemicals is absolutely wonderful.

Giving Thanks – Nov 2

Today I am thankful for: MY MOM.

This morning I called her to ask what to do about having therapy tomorrow. I went home today and I was wondering whether driving home at night or 7am the next morning was better. Moms always have the answers about things like that. I got her take on it, then we chatted a bit. Next came a question for my end: “Are you really doing okay? I saw that you bought Ensure.” I have to admit, I was terrified. My fear is always hurting her. I do hide things at times because I want to avoid just that.

I am thankful for my mom because she is forever there for me. This morning wasn’t an exception. I explained why I felt the need to get supplements and she listened. She was proud of me for doing so and told me that it’s okay to use them. How could someone feel proud when I still had so much guilt? By being my mom, that’s how.

Her support continued as I came home. We ordered pizza, which was much harder for me than I expected or wanted it to be. She was patient, encouraging, and only wanted the best for me. It felt like food police in a way but I know that her intentions are from the incredible love she has for me.

My mom and I have been through so much. I brought her through the hell of mental illness, self harm, an eating disorder. We have fought and had problems and our relationship has been strained, but no matter what she never lessened her love for me. I would not be here without her. God provided me with the exact woman I need to lead me through life. She loves ferociously, cares deeply, fights for me, doesn’t put up with anything that isn’t good for me, has been my rock, and keeps my life together when it feels like I’m falling apart.

Thank you, Mom, for all that you are. I love you. I am blessed by you.You are worth far more than rubies (Prov 31:10).

Planning for success at college.

I thought I would take some time to explain all of the resources/plans I have at college to keep me on track in recovery. By no means do I feel it will easily, but I feel very confident that I have the most care and best care available. My opinion on that may change after meeting my new therapist and dietitian. Even if they aren’t the right fit I will work to find someone who is. Anyways, here’s my list:

Therapy 1x per week. This is so essential for me. I honestly wouldn’t have gotten through last year without talking with J each week. Individual therapy is important and allows me to talk through whatever thoughts I have, whether it be ED, depression, anxiety, or even a random SH urge. I also get to check in and if my therapist sees a downward trend she can help me get out of it. I’m also a huge fan of therapy homework. S is my new therapist here on campus and she seems wonderful. I’m hoping she will be a great fit and I love that I get the perks of academic assistance (ie taking a test in a room with less people because 90 kids in a class makes me anxious or even if I need a break from class one day)

Dietitian with weight tracking. Yes, I am seeing a dietitian. I was the girl a year ago who claimed I was above having a meal plan, hated the dietitian I met with, made excuses to never go again, etc. Forest View this time around convinced me to change my thinking. That was actually a big part of why VH let me go so soon. He wanted me on a meal plan and being weighed often so that a relapse could be detected early. It makes sense. I’m open to it and glad to be going. I think since she’s also at the school I’ll have more help with meal planning. Plus I can hopefully resolve my lactose issue or confirm that I am intolerant and plan accordingly. I hope to see her weekly or at the very least be weighed weekly. I’m not sure how that will go but I see her this week.

Following my meal plan (yes for real this time!). I could technically say I folowed my meal plan for about a week last time, but even that’s a streth. Obviously, that needs to change this time around. I’ve had success for the most part so ar. I know it’s not going to be easy, espeically with my lactose resttriction, but I am willing to make it work. I’m hoping that with my dietitian I will hit 90% each week. That’s the goal for now because I know I will screw up sometimes or the dining hall might not have something. I’m going to try my best regardless.

Daily recovery devotional/work in recovery books. Faith and ED recovery go hand in hand. I really can’t tell you all the ways being in God’s word fights the ED thoughts and puts me in better spirits period. It’s wonderful. My goal is to start each mornign in the ED devo book J gave me and work in my recovery workbook daily as well. If I focus on that it will give less time for the ED to take over.

Coping skills. I have so many coping skills this time around. I bought lots of markers and pens and coloring books. I find that to be so helpful. I love listening to oworship music while doing so. Yoga will be a regular part of my day as soon as I pick up my mat from home. Crosswords and other logic puzzles are always engaging. Anything on my computer from netflix to playing sims to just browsing. I have made sure there never will be a time I don’t have something to distract me. This means distraction when I have meals alone as well.

Accountability. I will fill out my meal plan record every week and show my mom, therapist, dietitian. My mom texts me a few times daily to see if I’m on track/having a  hard time, which is wonderful. I’ll have my dietitian and therapist to be honest with. I would love to have someone at Calvin know what’s going on. I’m waiting on that for now but hope to tell someone part of this soon.

Outside support. For now, at least, I’m going to be relying the most on outside support in my mom, Livvy, Lily. It’s hard, but I want to do my best to stay on track and reach out if need be, even though they can’t be physically here.

I have infinitely more resources and options for treatment her. My hope for this year is tgat I get unto a good, healthy groove and use all the help I’m given. As J said at our last session, God put me here at Calvin for a reason. He knew I needed more help and the fact that everything is so close and there are therapists and a dietitian here is amazing. I don’t want to follow the ED’s plan of slipping below the radar into relapse anymore. I have hope that however hard, recovery is still worth it. Here’s to a fresh start and an amazing, healthy, reviving year!

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.

Support group?

Yesterday in therapy we talked a lot about what it looks like when I’m doing good and bad. We came to the conclusion that I do my best when I have the most support. This is very true. When I feel alone I don’t even bother trying to fight Ed.

Because my support at home is usually lacking, Jenny suggested I go to a support group. I had heard about this one before, but I didn’t realize that the place also has IOP and is well known for EDs. Th support group is held the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at FV, which is a 45 minute drive. It’s open to people with EDs or disordered eating and also family/friends/supporters.

I have already come up with quite a few reasons (excuses?) why I shouldn’t go:

  • Karen runs it and she knows me from FV
  • It’s a lot to ask of my parents
  • It’s another thing in my busy life
  • I might be the hugest one there
  • I have gained too much weight to be sick
  • I would be a fraud because I’m not that sick
  • People from FV may be there and they’ll see how huge I am
  • My parents will say no and get mad if I ask
  • I’ll have to go in alone if I do go
  • Going back to FV will bring so many emotions

And reasons I should go:

  • It would give me dded support
  • Karen is very nice
  • It could be useful next year as well when I go to college in GR

I honestly don’t know whether I will go soon or ever. I kind of half mentioned it to my dad yesterday and he didn’t really say no or yes or have any opinion. I suppose that isn’t terrible but not great either. I didn’t really say I was interested either because I’m just not sure. I loved the support I got from other ED patients at FV and I so miss that, but I don’t know if I can go back.

  • 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.