Sunday, July 31, 2016

30 day challenge

30 days.  No purging.  I really want to do this!  I can't do it alone though.  I can't tell you how many times I've attempted to last an entire month without purging.  Ha!  But this time, dammit, I'm gonna do it!!  I got all inspired when somebody on MPA suggested it for the month of August.  I wasn't gung-ho at first because it seems like such an insurmountable thing to accomplish....and I am the master of self-sabotage.  I had a horrifying last hurrah, soaked up some recovery vibes at Tiger Mt for alumni day...and now I'm feeling all courageous and balls to the wall. Normally I don't tell very many people (if any) when I decide stuff like this.  This time though, I'm screaming it from the rooftops.

I spent Friday at Tiger Mt.  I almost didn't get to go.  I overslept (too much benadryl the night before), and then my car wouldn't start.  After a mini melt-down while sitting in my car I put on my game-face and decided I HAD to get there.  I found a battery starter thingy in my garage and jumped my myself to Auto-Zone to buy a new battery....and sped off to Tiger Mt.  Literally.  On the way I prayed that God would influence our conversations.  It was pretty obvious how that was happening throughout the day.  :)  I got a chance to talk to two girls that I haven't had many long conversations with before.  It got deep, fast.  We talked about the spiritual side of house cleaning and how that sometimes is blurred with the physical.  We all shared some common experiences.

Before I left, Michelle and her husband Freddie prayed over me.  I'm not even completely sure what I believe anymore about spiritual warfare....but it's becoming obvious that it's a "thing" whether it's in my head or not, doesn't seem to matter.  That doesn't change that it's a "thing."

I'm not sure what the last hurrah was all about yesterday.  I wanted to?  I still had a stash of binge food and I was hungry because I didn't eat anything all day Friday...except for a few pieces of an orange that friends handed to me.  I had a strange experience while purging.  I'm extremely visual anyway, but this was more intense than normal.  I could see (in my mind's eye, not literally) darkness swirling above me and around me in my bathroom.  There were eyes in the darkness and it was very chaotic.  I heard growling.  I was a little scared.  All of a sudden I had an awareness that there was a sexual component to this, as though that's where this darkness came from or started...I'm not totally sure.  At one point, while I was throwing up, I could see the darkness coming out of me but it wasn't in a good way.

I don't entirely know what to do with this.  My knee-jerk response is don't purge!

I realize that there are parts of this personal challenge that are a bit unrealistic.  A month of not purging is both necessary and unrealistic...too big of a goal and yet too short sighted.  Nevertheless, I'm going to attempt it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Today my mom and sister are updating and putting final touches on my sister's will.  I'm not okay with this.  Not even CLOSE to okay with this.  All of a sudden it's real, the fact that my sister could die soon.

I'm terrible with goodbyes.  Yesterday was the last day of one of my favorite coworkers.  She's been here several years and she's quite the character.  She is DID (dissociative identity disorder) and very open about it.  The day I met her, she told me she was batshit crazy.  I belly-laughed right away and told her she was welcome to crash my crazy world with her crazy world anytime she wanted.  We bonded right away.  I've known for two years now that she was planning to move out of state.  I've been avoiding her for the last week.  :(  She went out of her way to hunt me down and she wrapped me up in a huge hug and we cried.  And it sucks.  I hate that she's leaving.

So.  My sister.  At the moment I'm just numb.  I almost don't even feel like I'm in my own body, like I'm just staring into the bubble of someone else's life.

I woke up feeling super weird about today.  Like I'm dreading something.  When I realized that I was actually alive, that my life isn't just a dream...that's when the dread began.  I have this overwhelming feeling that I need to FIX something, but I don't know what it is that needs to be fixed.  It's intense, like I would do just about anything to avoid having to actually "walk out" this day.

I remember feeling this way a lot in highschool, summer mornings, days that I had driver's ed.  (cuz driver's ed is pretty damn traumatic ya'll)  I dreaded facing the reality of my day.

Maybe all of this stuff with my sister is getting to me, combined with the fact that summer, in itself, is a big trigger?  Right away this morning I decided to restrict food as much as possible.  Not just one skipped meal, and not just for a day.   Somewhere in the back of my head, this is a perfectly logical plan.  THIS is what will fix whatever needs fixing.  It's dumb and it isn't real.  I know this.  It's still hard to shake off though.

Monday, July 25, 2016

finding my passion?

Today (this weekend, really) has been odd.

I had a good food day today.  Great...actually.  I'm not sure I can say I ate "normally" but I definitely ate healthy and balanced.  I was quiet at work.  I spent most of the morning on the verge of crumbling, fighting back tears, thinking of my sister.  I spent half my lunch break eating IN the break room WITH people.  :)  I don't think I'll ever stop getting over the shock that I'm actually doing that now.  Honestly, I needed the time to talk to my friends.  All three of us are struggling with some super heavy stuff right now and it was good to share with them.  They both were needing some distraction and I was really needing to talk and connect with people.  It worked out.  :)

I felt better this afternoon, mostly because I had something to occupy my mind that was thoughtful, related to my own junk, yet outside of myself.  Seems to be the "magic" cure for me.  I spent some time looking at myself from a different perspective in an attempt to help someone else....and oddly enough it passed the time and made me care a little bit less about being my own food nazi today.

On a totally different subject....

I've been crashing in on (with an invitation) a class that my counselor is teaching.  I've been hesitant to write about that here because my online world has started to blend in with my "real" world and for some reason that's awkward for me.  But screw it.  I don't care at the moment.

A few weeks ago I shared my story with her class and...well...we just talked.  They asked questions, I answered them....and rambled.  It was beautiful!  It felt a tiny bit selfish because I think I got more out of it than anyone else did.  I went again yesterday and have plans to do this next Sunday too.  Everyone keeps thanking me and telling me that they appreciate my bravery, and some can relate to pieces of my story.  Yet, I'M the one that is getting so much healing out of this!!

My heart has been consistently nudged toward helping people, but not in the way some might expect.  Most people with eating disorders end up helping others with the same issue.  That's just not my calling, at least not at the moment.  I want to help the helpers.  I want to educate people who might someday be in a position to help someone else.  Or loved ones.  I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing.  In a way, that's becoming my reason to recover.

My therapist tells me I have a black-belt in bulimia.  He's right.  I'm damn good at this.  I'm also damn good at hiding it.  I also don't mind talking about what I do or what goes through my head.  I don't mind when people ask me questions, in fact I love it.  

In a way, I feel like I'm redeeming all of the time that I've spent whirling and toiling in my little bulimic hell.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

bad news...

My sister has cancer.  Stage three.  Breast cancer.  I was driving when she told me me.  Hot tears streaming down my face, desperately trying to hide the quiver in my voice.  People behind me had to honk at me because I kept sitting through green lights.

I don't know what to think right now.  I'm scared for her.  I'm scared for my niece.  I'm terrified of losing her.  

My mind is spinning right now.  My sister's life was already in a state of chaos and disarray...and now she has to squeeze cancer into the mix.  She's in the middle of a bankruptcy.  She's barely skating by at her job because she's called in sick so often with depression, anxiety, back pain, etc.  All of the questioning and turmoil that you guys see me go through over the history with my dad....well, my sister goes through that too.  I know there is never a good time to deal with cancer but, I find myself shaking my fist at the universe and wanting to scream"really??  NOW??"  Why does it have to be my sister?  Why does it have to be my niece's mama?

We've been texting off and on all evening and I'm both laughing and crying uncontrollably.  We're throwing out all of these "horrible" things we've survived together.  I'm convinced that God matched my sister and I perfectly as siblings.  It's also reminding me that I really...really don't want to lose her.  All of a sudden I'm realizing that there are very few things in my life that my sister hasn't been there for, in some way or another.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

the c-word

I'm in a super good mood today...and I have no idea why!  Like...there's no reason for me to be in a good mood.  Does that even make sense?  Some big and scary things are happening around me, in my family, in my my world.  And yet, I'm strangely okay.  That could be just the time of day though.  I tend to be a pretty happy person in the morning.  LOL!  I'm one of those annoying morning people that everybody loves to hate.  :)

My sister had a biopsy done yesterday on a lump.  This thing grew to the size of a tennis ball in the space of 6 months.  It's just on the edge of her armpit, kinda on her chest.  When the doctor opened it up he said it was dark yellow and the consistency of cartilage.  I have no clue what that means, but my mind instantly jumped to the big C-word.  The doctor has been preparing us for the worst and has been talking treatment options already.  My heart breaks for my sister right now.  I want her to be healthy!!  She is the only other human on the face of this planet that really and truly GETS IT when it comes to family issues.  She has been my best friend and my protector, my emotional and sometimes even physical shield.  She even beat a guy up for me once.  Ha!  This girl is made of the toughest stuff around....and it terrifies me to see her so scared and vulnerable.  Of course, she's still trying to protect me even with all of this going on.  So if you're the praying type, please say some prayers for my sister.

I've been mega triggered lately too...with all of the things coming up about past abuse.  I'm questioning, all over again!  Was I abused?  Did this even happen??  My life and my history seems a little bit surreal right now.  I'm a bit disconnected....floating on the outside and looking into the bubble of my life and just observing.

Anyway.  My break is over, so back to work I go.....

Sunday, July 17, 2016

general update

I seem to be making more of an appearance on other blogs lately, rather than my own.  O_o

Things are....difficult....but I'm handling it all relatively well.  I keep entertaining this idea of writing a meal plan, and now it's turned into a full-blown book idea.  HA!  It would be half cookbook, half warfare against the eating disorder mind games.

I started this post on my lunch break Friday.  It's now Sunday night.  Woops!

I was in a dark mood all weekend.  I went shopping at Sprouts friday night for some "safe" food and was thrilled with what I came home with.  I discovered that I really, really love raspberries.

I spent a lot of time in the shower this weekend....and yet I never once technically showered.  I wasn't doing it for the purpose of cleaning myself.  I was covering up the fact that I was purging.

My sister is not doing well.  She has a lump the size of a tennis ball growing in her armpit.  She's also been taking (and possibly abusing) pain pills.  She asked me to meet her in Wichita (the halfway point between us) to spend the day together Saturday.  I ignored her text completely.  I wasn't up for it....even though I did next to nothing all weekend.

I watched a crap-ton of netflix this weekend, especially today.  I was hit with a super dark mood at about noon today and slammed all my blinds shut, cranked my AC down several notches and buried myself on the couch with my dogs and a big fluffy blanket.  Full-on-hidey-hole mode!  aka: isolation

I watched 5 episodes of Bitten and 8 episodes of Criminal Minds.  I hate to admit that I love detective/crime shows.  They are so satisfying!!  There's always a hero, someone is always rescued, and it's a clean, closed up case in the space of 45 minutes.  I watch Bitten because I love werewolf stories.  :)

Kyle has to work at our branch in Texas tomorrow so he will likely be gone the entire day and possibly overnight.  Not gonna lie....I'm seeing an option to do some really stupid things.

Self harm has been a heavy and looming thought in my head for several days now.  I don't know what to do with it and I also don't want to admit it to anyone.  I'm scared to be honest about that.  I'm convinced that the only reason I have not cut yet is because I'm not drinking....and I'm using purging as a substitute.  It doesn't have quite the same effect though.

Anyway.  I'm off to bed...with the hope that once I get into the routine of my work week, I'll be a bit more sane.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

foooood.....I need a plan! (and ideas...anyone?)

Is it possible to be doing really well mentally, yet horrible with food and eating disorder symptoms?  That's where I'm at right now, for real.  I feel like I'm the most mentally stable I've been in a really long time.  You wouldn't know it by looking at my behavior though.

Maybe the stability has to do with the fact that I am really and truly connected to both God and people right now.  I'm getting better (again) at reaching out and texting or calling for support when I'm stuck in a mental game over food.  Sometimes I feel so silly because the fears I have about food are just NOT logical.  It takes some serious courage to be open about what I'm thinking.  It also takes some intense trust in the people that I'm reaching out to.  O_o

Last night was one of those nights.  It went well, despite the chaos in my head.  I deliberated and agonized over dinner.  I have an ugly mouth sore right now, so purging was just out of the question.  I pawed through my cupboards looking for something safe to eat and nothing was acceptable.  I ended up driving to the grocery store and panic-texting my trusted support people from every stop light.

I came home with fruit and veggies...AND I scored some granola without any disturbing chemicals.  I was pretty pleased with myself.

I want to make a food plan.  Three of my most trusted people have suggested to me lately that I need to start planning ahead for some safe meals.  It's no mistake that this suggestion keeps coming up.  I don't know where to start though.  It's so easy for me to plan a healthy menu for someone else, yet for's such a daunting task.  *sigh*

I considered Weight Watchers.  I love the points system and the idea of getting away from calorie tracking, which can be a huge trigger for me.  I think that the weigh ins and the general focus on weight loss would be detrimental.  I've trolled through the internet looking for meal plans geared for eating disorder recovery....but the majority of what I find is tailored for weight gain.

So.  Help???  I need ideas!!  I'm thinking of making a page on here for a list of ideas and recipes. (still experimenting with the ins and outs of blogger, so no promises)

Monday, July 4, 2016

coffee, conversation...and a dream

Today could not have been more perfect.  I had an impromptu coffee date with two of my favorite people.  We couldn't find a coffee shop that was open so we crashed into ihop and basically had the place to ourselves.  It was fabulous.  We drank coffee like it was going out of style, we shared honestly with each other....we cried a bit and we laughed a lot.  Like....a LOT.  It always amazes me how much my tiger sisters can make me belly laugh.  We talked about what we were all doing last year....and how grateful we are that we are not where we used to be.  One of my sisters laid out all of her sobriety chips on the table and we gushed with pride over her.

While we were talking, it dawned on me that I don't feel guilty for telling my parents not to visit.  I don't even feel guilty for not explaining to them WHY I didn't want them to visit today. That's pretty unheard of for me as I can feel guilt over the tiniest little thing.

I really have no idea if this is healthy or not, but I think the reason my rehab family helps me so much is because they genuinely need me.  I haven't been able to find that in my church group or even with coworker friends.  It makes me a little sad but I don't know what to do about it.  I love my church friends dearly but I have nothing to offer....maybe because I'm in such a different place emotionally and spiritually.  The ins and outs of my day seems so different from theirs.  It's not necessarily bad, it just...IS.

That said....I have to share this dream.  I told my friends about it today and they both told me verbatim what I already knew it meant.  :)  It was a beautiful confirmation.

I saw myself in a big gymnasium full of people.  There wasn't any event, people were just milling around.  I was playing a djembe.  I was thrilled that I remembered how to play.  I felt really awkward and a bit embarrassed.  I wasn't sure if the drum was right side up or not.  People were watching me and I was self conscious, yet I didn't let that stop me from trying to figure out how to play.

I think this is a picture of where I'm at both spiritually and also in my recovery.  There used to be a time when I wouldn't even attempt to "play the drum" so to speak.  I would not have attempted it alone, much less with people watching.  I'm remembering how to pray.  I'm remembering how to let both God and people into my world.  I'm fumbling.  I'm making mistakes.  ......but I'm still playing.

some thoughts on freedom

Fourth of July is a heavy holiday for me.  It holds a lot of memories.  Here's why: Ten years ago today...

My dad texted me yesterday and asked what time they should be here to visit.  He didn't ask IF he could visit...just asked what time to be here, as if I had no say in the matter.  I was actually getting to a point where I was okay with my parents visiting, but I selfishly wanted it to be my idea, not theirs.  It seems my parents and I are stuck in this weird cycle of control and I can't seem to get the upper hand in it because I'm always in a state of non-action.

I panic texted some trusted people in my life and decided that I would tell my parents not to visit...and I also decided to not lie my way out of it.  I have an opportunity to be honest with them right now....and an opportunity to set a healthy boundary.  I thought about it all day.  Sat at my computer desk and stewed in my frustration, anxiety and guilt.  I acted out with purging, toyed with self harm thoughts and tried to distract myself.

Finally at about 8:30 last night I downed some benadryl for "courage" and I texted my dad and told him very simply "Hope I haven't caught you too late, we have plans tomorrow."  I was about to send some further explanation when I got a "shit just hit the fan" text from a dear friend.   I was literally a 5 minute drive away so my caveman husband and I raced to go get her.  The thought kept coming to me...shit, I really wish I hadn't taken that benadryl.  I was glad I hadn't taken more than I did or I would not have been much help to my friend.  I sat on my couch while she laid in my lap and cried.  I still had puke breath from purging, messy hair, and yesterday's clothes on but that didn't really matter.  I didn't care that my house was in a sad state of dirt and disarray.  I just cared that my friend was safe...and I loved that she was in my house, in my space.  That's a big deal.  I normally don't allow people to see me and my living space in such a raw form....but this girl has a way of crashing into my life and I have never once regretted letting her in.  

So it seems God is at work...slowly redeeming, creating ways for me to experience freedom.  It's easy to not feel guilty about denying my parents a visit when I'm focused on people outside of my little family unit.  For years I've felt an uneasy tension with my dad because I'm simply not willing to support him the way he wants me to.  I'm not comfortable acting in that role for him even though I'm perfectly capable.  At the same time, I get stuck feeling unwanted and worthless.  

One of the reasons I did so well at Tiger Mt was because I was living in a community that needed me.  I had my place in the house.  My presence affected them and so did my absence.  People noticed when I was hiding.  It's hard to explain, but my position there was very different than the position I've held within my biological family even though it looks similar.  Giving myself to my "tiger family" has never been suffocating.  Pouring myself into them has a way of filling me up rather than draining me.  And yet....pouring myself into my biological family seems to just leave me empty and cracked.

So today...I am spending fourth of July loving and supporting my spiritual family in person....and praying that God will provide love and support to my biological family in my absence.