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).

Giving Thanks – Nov 1

I am so focused on all that happens in my life, good and bad, that I never sit down to realize what blessings I already have. Even in the darkest of night and the deepest valleys, the Lord has provided for me again and again. I take for granted what I have and long for what I do not. If I only step back and open my eyes His gifts will be known abundantly. November is the month of Thanksgiving and gratitude.  Each day this month I will share something I am grateful for. “Come, Let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” – Psalm 95:1-2

Today I am thankful for: GRACE

“Grace that is greater than all our sin

How AMAZING is that? God extends us grace for every sin we have made and will make for our entire lives. There is nothing too big for Him to forgive. We fail Him time and time and time again, but are always welcomed back into His loving arms.

I felt absolutely terrible waking up this morning. It was proof that I had screwed up once again. Eating breakfast would be the first meal in almost 18 hours and I wondered how I could work myself back to a recovery mindset. Before even eating said breakfast, I had already worked out countless ways I should/would/could have done instead of ending up where I was. I sat, trying to right yesterday’s wrongs and not re-wrong today’s rights. I began feeling guilty, disappointed, down, anxious, and hopeless. My hope for the day only existed with prerequisites: do everything right and maybe you’ll be okay.

My eating disorder works like this in many ways. If I am recovery-minded, I will not accept any actions that come from anorexia. Just the opposite is true if I am in my disorder. Either way, I am never okay with what I am doing. I feel like a giant failure. I cannot forgive myself, but instead I  am so hard on myself. I put things into black and white and never offer myself grace. What would happen if I did?

Grace would say: you had a bad day but you are free, forgiven, and today is a new day. Wow. This isn’t something I can truly comprehend. How could everything be wiped clean, just like that?

God give us this grace every day, every minute, every second into eternity. I am so very thankful that He has promised us this by the sacrifice of the Son. He calls us to extend that same grace to ourselves and each other. We are forgivable. We can be free. We deserve a second chance. 

I forget or choose not to show myself even a portion of grace that God gives me. Today, I will believe that I am not a lost cause. I will not beat myself up and play the “should/could/would” game. I will accept my imperfection in recovery. Today, grace will win because it wasn’t mine to take away in the first place.

I am alive.

I shouldn’t be alive right now. These past few years, they should have killed me one way or another. I don’t really want to focus on all of the things that easily would have ended my life, but instead on why they didn’t.

How am I still alive? I went to therapy once a week or more. I was in PHP and IP at Forest View. So many people have supported me through this all. I was monitored and nearly force-fed. My loving Father and Savior has been merciful on my life and kept me going. Regardless of how many outside forces were trying their best to keep me alive, there’s really just one that did it: me.

I am alive right now because I choose to be. I am working hard to live each day, and even learning to thrive. I fight like hell against all of the thoughts that weigh me down. I feed myself and try to somehow make love in my heart for myself. I am growing each and every day because I am resilient. Even on the bad days I am not losing because I am still here at the end of it.

I am so thankful to be alive. I was put here for a purpose. God doesn’t make mistakes, not even me. I want to treat each new day as a gift from Him. I am pushing myself to enjoy every second and learn and move more toward who He desires me to be. Not everyone wakes up. We are never promised tomorrow and recent events have let me see that. Knowing this, how could I rationalize any other way of living?

I am overcome that so much of my life has been spent not wanting to wake up the next morning. I wanted a way out. I didn’t see any worth whatsoever in myself. I couldn’t justify living another second. I didn’t think life would ever get better. I honestly didn’t want it to get better.

Here’s the thing: it does get better. I don’t care what you’re facing or how bad it is. I was there too, but I’m not now. I want to live, and I want to help others decide to live too. When I say “it gets better,” I don’t mean that it gets easy, or that it won’t get worst. In fact, it probably will be worse for a while. You will feel like you can’t even manage another breath, that you would rather choose the easy way out. You have to push beyond it because beyond the depression, suicidal thoughts, tragedies, hurt, years of pain, miserable living situations, self-doubt or even self-hatred, eating disorder, or whatever you may face is hope. Hope that says tomorrow is worth it. Hope that says your life is worth it. Hope that says you are worth it. Hope is right.

Keep living. Keep being alive. I’m here with you.

Thankful from A-Z

I am extremely blessed. All the bad in my life can never negate everything God has given me. Since it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, of course I had to make a post of just some of the blessings I have. It was fun to write the list and pretty hard not to use more than one thing for them all! I hope you enjoy reading!

Animals. I love all kinds of animals, but especially love my pets. Milo is the cutest and fuzziest little chinchilla ever. My cats Olive and Molly always lay on me and keep me company.

Blankets and books. I couldn’t choose just one! Blankets because I am always, always cold and I love to read when I get the chance.

Church family. This church has become my home and the people there truly feel like family. I am thankful for all the love I get from them and how much spending time there lifts my spirits.

D5200. My Nikon D5200 is amazing and the best gift I have ever bought for myself. Photography is my favorite pastime and having a DSLR has helped my interest in it and skill grow.

Early college. These past few years have been very trying and stressful, but through it all I am blessed to be involved in the program. I’m getting my ASA degree a whole year early and for free, plus I was able to separate from high school my last two years.

Forest View. I know I say this again and again, but I am extremely grateful for everything my time there has done, and also for the option of going back if I need to.

Grace. This one has two different Grace’s actually. First is God’s Grace. I am amazed at all He gives me even when I’ve messed up so many times. It keeps me going on my worst days and is the only reason I’m still here. The second grace is Grace Bible College because, if all works out, I plan on attending there next Fall!

Health. The fact that I am sitting here with really minimal health effects from this disorder is a miracle. I have betrayed my body again and again, but I’m still alive and I will get to a point where I love my body again. Regardless, God has kept me healthy and it’s a constant reminder of His love for me.

Intelligence. This is the one thing I can always appreciate about myself. I am so thankful I have this gift and I know God will use it to help me bless others.

Junior. It seems like I’ve been in college forever already and I am so excited to be a junior next fall at a new school. The next two years are going to be a huge adventure and learning experience.

Kim! She is the best support and a beautiful, strong, and inspiring woman of God! So beyond thankful to have her in my life and also for the amazing support she’s been.

Lily!! My amasian big sis who makes me laugh like no other, has a huge amount of fight in her, and astonishes me with her strength and resilience. I can’t wait to watch you beat Ed and take back your life like I know you will!

Mars, Veronica. I had to put this in there because Veronica Mars is and always will be my favorite TV show and movie ever.

Nuss procedure. I had surgery when I was 14 to have two Nuss bars put into my chest for pectus excavatum. Three years later the bars came out. My doctor estimates this surgery added 5-10 years to my life and it has done wonders for my breathing as well. I’m lucky to have had such a great doctor and hospital taking care of me.

Olivia aka Livvy Lou!!! No doubt you are the most influential person in my life this past year or so. I love that I finally found a best friend in you and that you put up with my weirdness. Days without talking to you are basically terrible because you make my day everyday, whether it’s by obsessing over Grey’s or helping me fight off bad thoughts. I’m thankful for our friendship and that you’ll always be here.

Parents. I have put them through tons the past few years and the fact that they still love me and do their best to help is a miracle. I can’t believe all they do for me. They also are a reason for me to recover because they deserve a healthy daughter.

Quotes. I love looking up motivational quotes (and posting them on my wall!). They give me a push through the hard days and are a great reminder for why I’m fighting.

Recovery. I know I’m not as far as I’d like to be and that I’ve had tons of setbacks, but recovery is saving my life. I know I will defeat this illness one day and just knowing that keeps me going.

Shonda Rhimes. I love Shonda so much, mostly because she created Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, my two favorite shows ever! My life and free time are so much richer with awesome medical dramas to watch.

Treatment team. I am blessed with some incredibly patient, supportive, helpful, firm, and overall great for me health professionals. They have been instrumental in all of the successes I’ve had in recovery.

United States. Our country isn’t perfect by any means, but we are blessed to have so many freedoms here.

Vacation Lane. I’ve spent two weeks each summer for the last 14 years at this place. It’s my second home and the families that stay there the same weeks we do are my extended family. The cottages, lake, sunsets, community, and just everything about that place make me so happy. We are so blessed to have found it all those years ago.

Worship music. I listen to Christian music almost exclusively, for hours and hours each day. I love praising God through song and it helps me get through hard times.

eXtra credit. I had to be pretty creative with this one, but it always makes me happy when professors give extra credit so I don’t have to stress so much about my grades.

Youth girls. I have zero shame in bragging them up because I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls to lead. I love being their leader and helping them grow in their faith.

Zzzs. I LOVE my sleep and I never seem to get much of it so it’s definitely a treat when I get enough.