Day 20: Weekend Recap, Epic Fails, and Falling on My Knees

This weekend was one of the most triggering and difficult weekends I have had this year thus far. Besides being on that time of the month where there is World War Three in my uterus, my self esteem was shot the entire time. ED always seems to pick the time when my emotions are so high and out of my control to crawl back in. All weekend I literally wanted to crawl in a hole with a bag over my head and just remain there for the entirety of the weekend. Obviously that didn’t happen, but that was where my mind was the whole weekend.

This was a home game here this past weekend which brought about tail gating, which is not one of my strong suites. It caused a wasted day, and a whole string of negative emotions. You know those times where you just feel so discouraged and hopeless that you don’t share it with anyone because you want to continue to appear strong? That’s how this weekend was for me. I did make the mistake of allowing ED to crawl enough back in to make a few body-bashing comments which broke my heart. This year is supposed to be about renewal and allowing myself a new beginning. Here I am, in SEPTEMBER the very end of September and I allow body bashing.

Sometimes I wonder if there will be ups and downs like this forever, then I realize what this weekend was lacking: a focus and reliance on God. This whole weekend was focused on the things of this world, not the things beyond. He has never let me down before and the only times I really struggle are when I walk away from Him or like Peter on the water, begin to fear and doubt that He can and will save me from the waves. He allows this struggle because this is part of the story that is written for me. I am meant to share my story to help others and to glorify Him and here I was so wrapped up in the negative aspects of it all this whole weekend.

I won’t sit here and say that my recovery is perfect, but this weekend was disappointing for even me. No I was not acting on symptoms, but in my mind I was. For me, that is the same thing. I know that every new dawn brings a new beginning from Him and for us through Him. I just need to rely on Him today and allow this weekend to be in the past.

Anyway, I woke up today completely exhausted having not gotten the kind of rest, physically or spiritually that I needed this weekend, but I know I must and will make it through this week. I am determined to make this a great week for myself as well as for those around me. What is a bad few days if not motivation to have good days to follow? So while today’s post is a little short, the prayer portion will probably be a little longer because I just need to focus on talking to Him, asking for help because I know I cannot do this without Him.

Dear Lord,

I pray that You hold me close to You and teach me to rely on You more. I also ask Lord that you help me in the moments when I am too weak to do this on my own. I know You gave Your Son to forgive my sins, past and present and future, but Father I struggle with that concept. Some days I wake up and feel the weight of all I’ve done laying on my chest and I struggle to bring it to Your feet. Sometimes I just feel so ashamed, like I can’t lay myself and my baggage at Your feet. But Jesus, I know You are greater and bigger than anything that was and is and is to come. Help my faith grow each and every day to center my life around You and healing and spreading Your love across the people in my life and across my campus. Father, I fail You daily, but I know You still love me and still forgive me. Just take my back to baby steps and teach me to rest in Your presence as I once did, burden free, taking on Your yoke instead of my own. And thank You Father for loving me and always being there for me, even when I least deserve it. You are an amazing God, then, now, and always. Help me to never forget that.

Amen.

Day 19: Running in Heels, Raining But Not on My Parade, and Blood Drives

Wow! Today has been quite the day, but I am laying in my bed feeling accomplished as heck! The day started off at a slow then speedy pace. I actually woke up early before my alarm and rolled with it. I got to make coffee and enjoy it while getting my outfit prepared. I got to wear the new sweater I just bought the other day which looks fabulous, by the way. Needless to say, I started off the morning feeling like hot stuff. Honestly, more like comfy ‘hot’ stuff. Let’s just say I was enjoying being cute and covered up nicely!

I walked out of my apartment to see the bus having come early was already done picking people up and I had heels on. Running after the bus in heels? I was confident, but not THAT confident. Although, now that I think about it, it might have been a good butt workout. But that is completely beside the point. I drove my car and parked where I usually do on Tuesdays and Thursdays and walked up hill briskly and up some stairs to get to class. By the time I got there I was overheated but early enough to the class to get settled in before the professor started talking.

Class went well and as soon as I got out, I got multiple compliments on my sweater! Heck yes, I made a good fashion choice! I’m so excited to see that I’m finally making good fashion choices. My mom is finally coming out in me. Also, with so many compliments, I could tell ED to shutup even louder when he tried to make comments about the way my shirt or pants were fitting. No, I haven’t had time or made time to go to the gym. But, I do walk up hill both ways and work way more hours than I should on the weekend apart from taking 19 hours and interning three days a week at an elementary school apart from volunteering on weekends for Camp Spearhead Programs and working with SDAP students whom I love. I would say ED can suck my left toe because I am a rockin’ person or am at least doing my best to make a positive influence on the world. If I died tomorrow, no I would not be my smallest size or in my best shape but I would be happy, on good terms with my family and friends as well as God and I would leave a trail of bright colors and loud sing-songy attempts at imitations. And I am pretty darn proud of all that.

After I came back from class and had toured Watauga Opportunities for one of my other classes, I decided I was going to find my missing packages that my apartment complex has managed to lose. I have three packages that were all apparently delivered that they can’t tell me where they went. I was investigating doing everything from talking to the woman in charge all the way to going down to the post office to try and get some answers. Nothing was found and so apart from getting really frustrated,  I submitted them all as lost and am getting all of them shipped again. If they get lost again, I am making my apartment complex pay for them, it’s as simple as that. Don’t lose my packages and you won’t have to pay for them.

Despite all that frustration, I managed to take a twenty minute nap before getting a phone call that my night class was cancelled. And two more calls after that from amazing classmates making sure I knew that class was cancelled. At first I was really excited, but then I received an email from my professor that he has been very sickly the past week and a half and was pushing himself too hard so he couldn’t recover. Boy did that sound familiar. Shortly after, I received a text that one of my campers has breast cancer. God has truly laid the power of prayer on my heart. I know You can do anything, God, and I ask You to heal them and bring them closer to You.

Maybe it was talking to God, or maybe it was fighting against ED earlier, but something made me want to do something that made a difference today. I remembered we were having our annual blood drive today! I drove on down there and waited two hours but found out my iron was really high and I could give blood! My blood pumped out all in about five minutes or less and I was ready to go! It is so crazy to think that I can make the healthy decision to go and supply my universally donated blood because I am healthy. No matter what ED says, I make a difference and I matter and I am worth the fight as well as the people who get to receive my blood because I am healthy. Who says being malnourished is worth it? I am so glad for days like to day that remind me that my recovery effects more than just my own daily life.

Lord, help me and others who are in recovery to realize it is not just about us. It is not about the food, it is not about the weight, and it is not about the size. It is about taking control over ED and our lives and helping those around us. Lord, lay on our hearts the meaning of who You created us to be and how we can use that to glorify You and Your children. Amen

Day 18: Fashion Tips, ‘Aha’ Moment, Soy Pumpkin Lattes, Cleaning Out My Closet, and Fire

This morning started out like a typical Tuesday. I was absolutely exhausted and was fighting to get out of bed. Little did I know that today would turn into one of the most freeing and much needed days I had experienced in a while.

I went to my first class an we watched an inspiring video about a child with Autism that developed it and was not born with it. It was an amazing film that showed how this one little boy, through the help of his family and those around him, worked his way back to communicating and socializing as close to when he was young as possible. Things like that always make me stop and think, if he can be victorious and gain so many strides with something like autism, I can surely kick ED to the curb for the entirety of my life, and especially for a year. I walked away from that class a little less tired and a little more determined to make a difference.

I looked at the clock, I had free time so I drove back home to change. Even though it’s fall, Boone has this fabulous way of making it feel like winter in the morning and summer in the afternoon. I was not about to sweat it out wearing pants in my fourth grade classroom. I began looking through my closet and realized (and please excuse the TMI) that I am bloated because I am about to have world war three in my uterus and so none of the clothes were going to fit the way I wanted them too. I could feel ED beginning to poke that sore spot. It is not like this is something I can change about my body, nor do I want to resort back to being so malnourished that it ceases to happen. BUT, it is just so darn uncomfortable and annoying when it comes to having to dress up for an internship and feeling like you wanna wear sweats and a bag over your head for the next week. I couldn’t find a fancy bag in my closet…I was SOL.

I threw a few things on and realized one of my roommates, the apparel design major was still home. That was it! I could ask her for help, a. because I didn’t feel like picking out my clothes and b. because she wouldn’t lie to me. Her major is apparel design. She wouldn’t purposefully make someone dress like a hideous, ugly, gross thing. She was more than willing to help and in just enough time to make it to my internship, I was dressed and confident that other people could not tell I was feeling a little balloonish today. I just kept telling myself that I am beautiful no matter what time of the month it is. Being healthy and nourished is as gorgeous as I could ever be.

The day was going back and forth, but I was determined to make it a good one overall. Before my internship, I GOT A SOY PUMPKIN LATTE!!! I literally have no idea how an individual could drink that and not be happy. It is everything good about fall in a cup. Not to mention the cup that I was given to drink it out of was gorgeous and it gave me just enough energy to get through the rest of the day!

I pranced into my internship right on time and was greeted by the smiling faces of the children yelling out to me from the complete opposite side of the hall, “MISS LINDSAY!!!! MISS LINDSAY!!!” Those words are literally music to my ears. There is nothing that could be going on that those voices don’t snap me out of. I swear, they even find a way to give me energy when I think I can’t be awake much longer. These kids I work with are incredible. And the most humbling thing? They could give a rat’s hiney about what size I am or how much I weigh. They care about me being alert and aware and happy and able to be engaged with them and help them when they need it. How useful would I be if I was in my eating disorder and malnourished? I would be about as good as a pencil without led or a pen that ran out of ink.

We went to have the fourth graders read to the kindergartener’s today and that was when I had it, my ‘Aha’ Moment. I say that like I haven’t already realized how much I want to be a teacher. With that being said, this semester has been so intense and busy that I think I forgot the true meaning behind all the reading and the crazy, nutball assignments I’ve received and completed. I could not imagine my life without kids and seeing them make progress academically, socially, mentally, and emotionally. Just watching my fourth graders read to kindergarteners, I was getting as excited as if they were my own kids or as if I had been their teacher all year long. And they love me for me, how humbling is that?

As if THAT wasn’t enough to make for an overall great day, I came home and read about five hundred pages of a book I had just bought and was whisked away to a different place. When I finished my book I felt more refreshed than I have since school started. I decided I would do some cleaning out of my closet so I could donate some things to Good Will. What did I find in my closet, but a final shirt of my ex’s that I forgot I still had. Now at some point I had made the conscious decision to keep it, even though the relationship was the most manipulated and controlled I had ever been in my life, including with my eating disorder. It had been years and I had let him use me, reel me in, throw me back out, lie to me, and just many other things. Needless to say, I was ticked at myself that I still had it. I was looking around my room trying to make sure I didn’t have anything else of his when I stumbled upon a lighter.

Perfect.

I picked up my phone and dialed my best friend that lives in the building across from mine and told her and her roommate to come to my parking lot, I was burning something. They got there and I explained to them that this was symbolic of me taking back control and taking back my life after the past four years that had been spent being controlled, if not constantly but whenever him and I interacted. That sucker burned for about fourteen to fifteen minutes and we sat and watched the entire thing.

It may not be the same for other people, but when I burn something that was once significant to me, it signifies being free. I watched the smoke go in the air and I breathed a sigh of relief. I had taken control back; I had completely taken my heart and all of the emotions back. I was FREE!

It got me thinking that I can’t wait until I can say that I have burned ED completely. I just can’t wait to take back EVERY ounce of control ED has ever had and permanently erase his voice. I know I can do it and today was just another reminder that, as the Sara Evans song goes, ‘I get a little bit stronger.’

FIRE

FIRE

A picture of the final item I had of an individual who has been manipulating me and holding control over me for the past four years. It is finally burned and I am finally mentally and physically free!

Image

Day 17: Case of the Mondays, Determination, A Bible Verse, and Being Humbled

Today has only just begun but I feel I have a lot to share. Maybe that is because I was so busy over the weekend that I didn’t get a chance to share anything, or maybe it is just because there is a lot going on in my head about everything.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you saw that last night I had a bit of a struggle fighting with ED. It wasn’t so much the eating part because it seems like that has been taken care of for the most part for a hot minute. It was the mental fight, fighting for the belief down to my core that I am worth the fight, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made; that I will be and already am victorious through Jesus Christ my Savior. With all of that being said, I quite literally cried out to the Lord last night to take this from me. It is so ironic how the one thing that has made me stronger than anything else I have gone through is the one thing I want God to take away from me. Here I am asking God to make me stronger through Him and to pull me closer to Him so I trust Him more. How on earth can I do that if I have nothing to humble me, nothing to bring me to my knees to realize that my pride and who I am is only made worthy through Him?

It is humbling sometimes in my recovery and life in general when I realize that I can’t do it on my own. Sometimes I just get in these patterns where I feel and act like I don’t need help and that I have it all under control. Those are the times and the days when God just smacks me in the face with reality: without Him I can do nothing, but with Him I can do all things because He strengthens me. What an amazing concept!! I am weak and He loves me anyway, enough to lift me up and hold me close when I feel lost.

This morning when I woke up, I had what I like to call ‘asian eyes’ from them being so puffy and shut from falling asleep crying. They were needed tears because I was crying out to the Lord, but not quite the Monday accessory I was hoping for. Needless to say that it was difficult for me to get out of bed, not just because I was tired but because you could see how tired I am in my eyes. But I pushed myself to get up because I refuse to fall behind in classes or in life because ED kept me up one night battling for the right to fully love myself.

Who is ED to tell me that I’m not good enough or not worth it? Who am I to completely destroy and wreck all the progress I have made over the past nine months because I had a rough night? That is the crazy thing about eating disorder recovery, it is not perfect. That is what I struggle with the most, I think. I want to believe in being completely a hundred percent cured and that is just not the case. There will be days or moments where I struggle, but that is why God is always around, to hold me/us up when I/we struggle. If we could do this all on our own, we wouldn’t need Him. But that is the great news, He is always there for us and will never foresake us.

I had a verse sent to me this morning and it rang so true and was exactly what I needed to hear. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
—1 John 4:18. How crazy is that? I have nothing to fear because God loves me with a perfect love and my relationship with Him is founded in perfect love. Why should I be so worried about my eating disorder and all that is going on with that? If I give up my eating disorder to Him, my recovery, every other aspect of myself, I have nothing to worry about. He will never let me falter or fall flat on my face unless to humble me and bring me to my knees in adoration of Him. In that case, I would need to fall flat on my face to tone down my ego and pride.

But today, although it is Monday and I am completely exhausted from working all weekend, God is here to provide and He won’t ever let me go. So today I pray that everyone’s Mondays are filled with hope and moments where everyone sees God and His glory. I also pray that we are all humbled before Him and rely heavily on Him. Believe it or not, our baggage is not too heavy. He can carry it, and He WANTS to! I will never stop being amazed by that! He WANTS to help us.

 

God, thank you for all that You have done in my life, today and every day. Thank you for humbling me and helping me to realize that I don’t have to do this alone. Help me to lower my pride and let down my guard so that I am not closing myself off to being helped and to helping others. I cannot do this without you. Help me to realize this and hold onto this truth each and everyday. Amen.

Day 16: Substitutes, 1st grade memories, gym sessions, and life stories

So today has been emotional, but in a good way. I think I finally had a day during this week that wasn’t a Monday. I was absolutely relieved when I realized I was finally getting a mental and emotional break after how crazy this whole week has been. It even had a few break throughs both spiritually and physically. My day began with a class that I received a one hundred on a test that I was half asleep when I took. Needless to say, paying attention in all of my classes and having a passion for what I do pays off. Even my subconscious mind can recall information when the rest of me is home asleep.

I left that class to go to my internship, hoping it was going to be better than the rambunctious Tuesday that the class was having. It wasn’t rambunctious, but at the same time it was extremely quiet, and not in a good way. Today we had a sub who did not know how to properly communicate with fourth graders. I witnessed on multiple occasions where she got down in the students’ faces and just yelled simply because she was on a power trip.  Being an intern, I couldn’t say anything to her because it wasn’t my place. At the same time, I went through the rest of my time in the classroom trying to fix the damage she had caused these kids. I talked with one as we walked down the hallway trying to allow him to relieve his emotions and validate that he should not have been yelled at without disrespecting that substitute; that was one of the hardest things i’ve had to do in a while. Surprisingly, the student opened up to me and he is one who does not share emotions or anything further than educational related subjects with people. I was floored, but it didn’t hit me until I got into my car. I sat for a minute before I started driving and was like… “Wow, I might have made part of a break through.” That for me would have been enough to make my whole week better.

But, The Good Lord didn’t stop there. The day got even better. Apart from the fact that my body image was bangin’ today, for lack of a better term, ED didn’t poke his snobby little head anywhere near me today. I cannot explain how much of a relief that was. After having him screaming and yelling in my head all the rest of this week, it felt like my defenses got to take a vacation in the Bahamas. I didn’t have to be on my guard about anything, especially how I felt about myself. It’s almost like the Lord is showing me that when I trust Him and speak His truth as well as my own personal truth, I will be victorious in all things through Him. I guess it never occurred to me what it would feel like when I agreed to let Him take my yoke and my burdens. It didn’t hit me until I took a breath today and realized that I was so focused on living my life for Him and fulfilling my duties as a teacher, a student, and a friend, that I didn’t allow ED to be fed at all.

As if the day couldn’t get any better, I went to CRU this evening and was just in awe of how God is moving our generation in His direction. I got chills throughout the night listening to fellow christians and college students stepping out in faith and loving others blindly while also sharing their faith. It made me think about the even larger picture of how I can just love people unconditionally as He loves us and I have been taught to love myself. Not to mention, one part of what one of the speakers said stood out to me. She said “Who am I to say that the story He has written for me is not good enough?” That blew me away because I realized that is exactly what I had been doing my whole life. I had been handing God back the script of my life and blueprints for my body telling Him that it wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t done right. He is the Alpha and the Omega and I told Him that His creation wasn’t good enough?! Excuse me?! How does that even begin to make sense? Needless to say, I was once again blown away by my peers and the worship that CRU provides.

The crazy part about today is that wasn’t even the end of my great day! After CRU I went to work out with my best friend Bri and her roommate. Not only do we always help motivate each other because we have a routine set in place, but we also spent a lot of time talking through some issues that all three of us girls were having. We then landed on the topic of abusive relationships and pasts. Needless to say, the hair on the back of my neck was standing up and I was ready to go to war once that topic began. It is just a subject that hits home quite hard for me seeing as the relationships I have been in have been anything but healthy. God found a way to use what I had heard at CRU this very night, not even a few hours later. It turned out that my story was needing to be heard by someone in a situation I had put myself in before and am just now getting Christian counseling from a pastor on campus for. Needless to say, God is strong in our weaknesses.

God, I just want to thank You for being so amazing and for loving us unconditionally. Thank You that our stories are written perfectly unperfect and that our weaknesses are made strong in You. Lord, I just want to thank You for giving me the strength to make it through this week and still come out with a positive attitude. God you are marvelous and wonderful and worthy to be praised. Amen.

Day 15: Lack of Coffee, Unconditional Support, Panic Attacks, and Despicable Me

Today has been one of the most emotional days I’ve had in a really long time. I had more emotions today than I thought was possible. I was stressed and overwhelmed for at least the first half of the day and then it completely escalated beyond all return, but we will get to that later. I woke up with a feeling that today was just another Monday; Monday-take-three to be exact. This week is just filled with way too many of those M words. But after my class, I rode the bus back and had some time to do yoga and spent some time with the Lord. Needless to say, it centered me for at least the next few hours which consisted of running into one of my exes, hanging out with a student in SDAP, and dealing with the most disorganized professor I have ever encountered in my life. The caffeine, yoga practice, and devotions could only last so long when it came to my sanity and emotions. By the time I walked out of that disorganized class, I was ready to either pass out or deck someone, possibly simultaneously.

Who would have guessed that I would have been messaged by my dad, not a few minutes later. He was sending me something as simple as the first homemade salsa he had ever concocted. That may sound silly to a lot of you, but the fact that he is many many states away and still thinks to send me a picture and message about salsa that he thinks I would like means the absolute world to me. He even took the time to quickly respond to my email when I told him I was having an off day. That is one of the many things I love about my parents; regardless of when or where something is happening, my parents always love me and treat me as if I were the perfect daughter without all of this past baggage. I could not be more grateful for the family God placed me in or the relationship He has designed for me to have with them.

With that being said, shortly after a message from my father, I went to my final night class. I started receiving messages from someone whom I am talking to that was anxiety provoking, not to mention from an ex I would rather not talk to ever again. Needless to say, as the minutes went by in class, my anxiety went up. As the professor was talking, I could feel my breath shortening and my vision as well as my concentration, diminishing. At one of our three breaks, I walked up to my professor and told him that no matter what was going on or how engaging he was, I wouldn’t be able to pay attention to what he was saying. I was too concerned with not passing out. I guess that comes hand in hand with anxiety that I struggle with.

 

Needless to say, today was a very large emotional roller coaster and all I wanted to do was crawl in a hole when I got home. I felt I had managed to make it through today by the skin of my teeth but while making as many mistakes in my interactions with others as possible. Well what could I do after I had already had my emotions judged and invalidated by someone I had made my first phone call do but call my best friend? I went and vented to her instead of working out for hours and hours like ED was telling me to do. It was almost as though my eating disorder was trying to use my own problems and anxiety to tie into his plan of coming back and taking over my health, or possible future lack there of. But, Bri let me vent for about thirty minutes including yelling and using overactive hand motions as well as just rant. I guarantee that half of it didn’t make sense, but she just sat there and listened to me, and loved me unconventionally. I could not be more thankful for the best friendship we have rekindled after a few years of not talking.

 

After she helped me figure out where my emotions were, how to calm y anxiety and ED alike and to just breathe, we came back to my apartment for a much needed movie night. Yes it is Wednesday, my absolute craziest day. Yes it is past twelve in the morning after having to get up over twelve hours ago and so that makes for a really long day. But you know what? After all is said and done, today has been an amazing day for friendship, defeating ED, and being victorious through the LORD in my friendships, my classrooms, and my ability to stand up for what I need for my health’s sake. Thank you, Lord, for providing me with such understanding best friends, family members, and professors. Without Your perfect plan and unconditional love, I could not be where I am today in my relationships and my recovery. Again Lord, I say thank you, although I know it is not enough.

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