My Thanksgiving plan & how things went.

No, this doesn’t have anything to do with where I will be physically, what I’m wearing, etc. Having an eating disorder means lots of worry over holidays.

I am going to do my best to take care of myself which requires plans and back-up plans. I will get through tomorrow.

Have set food/exchanges for the meal. L and I worked together yesterday to figure out exactly how much and what I will have at dinner. One of the biggest stressors for me is going into any food situation without any ideas. Realistically I know this isn’t something I can always do; however, this is where I am today. Meal planning is what kept my anxieties down the most in residential and it’s exactly what I need to get through Thanksgiving. I will already have all I need on my plate before I have time to worry about portion sizes.

DBT skills. This is another residential trick I’m pulling out. I need distraction and a way to get through the ED thoughts. Because we have family around, it’s important for these skills I use to be discreet. My go-to use anywhere currently is my makeshift stress ball from CFD. It’s simple, basically rice inside of 2 balloon layers. That thing works magic! The consistency allows me to change the shape and squeeze it in my palm. We made our own during residential, but I actually took this one from the house as well because it’s perfect for me. There’s a very good chance this will be the skill I use at the dinner table. If not, I have travel size thinking putty. I can play with it in one hand while having the other free to eat. Outside of mealtime I have a few options to choose from. I absolutely love using my kinetic sand. There’s something incredibly peaceful about making shapes, writing words, or just feeling the texture. My lentils are another tactile one that instantly brings calm. I doubt I’ll use my large thinking putty but it’s another option. My biggest struggle will be actually pulling out my skills instead of wallowing.

Escape route. I am so thankful we have family over instead of going to a relative’s house. For one, this means I’m more comfortable. More importantly though, it gives me escape routes and places to hide it out. First and foremost is my room. The second I become too overwhelmed, I can head in and breathe a little. My mom will call this “antisocial” but given the circumstances I’m hoping she’ll get it. I most likely won’t close my door or anything, but just getting away from everyone else will be much needed. I can come in and play sims, blog, homework, love on Milo, etc.

Support. I love my mom and she is wonderful, but right now I can’t really go to her for support. For one, I’ve been lying and keeping my real status away from her. She thinks I am doing well and I really can’t hurt her. Given thi, I am turning to texting as a way of reaching out. I have my people (including my person <3) who will always be there. Heck, I am their text support too.

Prayer/asking the Lord for help. I cannot get through tomorrow alone and I shouldn’t have to. He wants to carry me as one of the hardest days of the year goes on. This is a valley for sure, but I’ve got to stay strong in Him.

I had these hopes going into the day that simply didn’t happen. My day brought restricting, tears, isolating, and being the worst person as I let my mom down. I feel like a failure, I really do. What I’m trying to learn, though, is that I cannot fail if I really tried. Eating anything is better than not eating. L is drilling this into my brain.

While I could sit and list off all of the things I couldn’t do, I will instead focus on the parts of my plan that did work out.

My biggest victory was in taking care of my needs via my escape routes. I was having a really hard time being with all of my family. It’s overwhelming even if I’m just sitting in the room where they’re all talking. I stuck it out for the half hour before dinner by distracting myself with my computer and TV in the background. After we ate I went straight to my room. I got some much needed chinchilla therapy and calmed down some. That wasn’t enough because my grandma and others would come in, so I left for my parents’ bedroom. I was able to close the door and just sit on my phone. I watched a few videos and drowned out the noise outside. I know that sticking it out with everyone would have made it all 10x more miserable. I am glad I could recognize that.

I used my skills! My stress rice balloon didn’t really leave my hand the whole night. I was constantly playing with it to get my focus on anything other than the disordered thoughts running through my head.

I may not have come close to completing my set meal plan, but it did help simply to use it as a starting point. I put all of the exchanges on my plate so that I could see exactly what I needed. There was little chance that I would finish it all to begin with, so I didn’t feel quite as bad when I didn’t. Regardless of the percentage I did eat, planning ahead of time helped. I ate more than I would have otherwise.

I am not very proud of Thanksgiving. I wish things would have gone better. My emotional state was terrible and consisted of many crying spells over not being at CFD. ED thoughts were on loudspeaker. As much as I really don’t want to, I am giving myself some grace. I did what I could. The day is over and now it’s time to keep going.


Giving Thanks – Nov 4

Today I am thankful for: HOME.

Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday have one thing in common: I get to be at home with my family. As I write I am sitting with Olive on my lap, watching TV, in our comfy recliner, with my mom next to me. This cannot be something I take for granted.

I would say a large majority of my fellow on-campus students won’t even see their families monthly. Many are international or out of state, who spend an entire semester away. Calvin being within an hour’s drive was the main reason I chose it over similar schools farther away. While some love the complete independence that college brings, I much prefer time here than that spent in my dorm.

Home doesn’t just encompass the physical structure of where we live. It is being in the presence of my family, having our four-legged friends within reach, my mom’s cooking, the place I’ve grown up in, warmth, chats with my mom over our favorite shows.

More and more, I’m realizing that this is all part of God’s glorious blessings. He made my family the way we needed to be. My home isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but it’s perfectly imperfect for me.


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.