Halloween Special Destroying Female Stereotypes

These four young girls are AMAZING!

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Day 37: Recap of Deliriousness, Morning Struggles, Reflections, and Me Time

I could have easily written something last night about yesterday, but chances are that it wouldn’t have made any sense. Not only was I running on about three and a half hours of sleep, but I had twelve hours of class yesterday. By the end of it, I was completely delirious and could quite literally not walk a straight line no matter how badly I wanted to. A group from our class stood around afterward while we were waiting on the bus and just kept each other entertained and said and did some of the goofiest things ever, even for me. Maybe it’s the changing of meds, by adding on the new neurology meds and doubling my anxiety meds, or maybe it is the change of my parents moving, or maybe it is my sleep schedule that has seemingly become off. Whatever the reason, my appetite has decreased and it is like someone pressed an on button for my emotions.

Now, yes I am human and I am a woman so I have emotions and I feel like everyone else. But I have trained myself to not feel as many emotions because it is more comfortable that way. But now it is like there are so many emotions that a normal person would have no trouble processing and communicating that I am quite literally just at a loss. I am trying to avoid emotions at all costs and I know that is the worst thing that I can do. I know that is what I did through my eating disorder, and I am not using my eating disorder to do that anymore, but I am also not currently asking anyone for help. So I guess that’s where being honest with whoever reads this comes in, that I’m scared to death. I don’t know how to feel emotions without wanting to numb out. Yes i’ve felt emotions throughout this past year because I have been symptom free and have worked through stuff, but that was also when my family wasn’t officially moving out of state, or when I got to be so focused on taking care of other people that my heart and my emotions were secondary problems. And it is not like all of the emotions are large in themselves, it’s the fact that I have learned not to deal with them collectively and so they have built up and now I’m finding myself hermiting in my room or consuming myself in so much school work and social activity that I don’t have time for literally anything else including sleep. But luckily, I’ve managed to keep my eating disorder on track, and for that, I am thoroughly grateful.

So I guess this morning, because class was cancelled, I am just taking time to try and figure out how I can go about this without not only not going crazy, but also without being completely and totally overwhelmed. As the classic phrase goes, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So where do I start in this giant elephant of emotions, and how do I even begin to approach things that have been scary to me since I can remember?

Well, I guess it kind of just hit me when I heard my roommates talking about how they were going to miss the bus. It starts with realizing I can work through my everyday stuff by showing the love of Christ in each and every moment that I find possible. We find Jesus and His love through seeking Him and how can I seek Him if I am remaining dormant in not only my emotions but my faith? I almost apologized when I sat back down at my computer for taking so long to finish the post, for I had dropped my roommates off at class, gotten a dozen bagels, made a bagel, and was returning all the ‘happy halloween’ snapchats that I had received from co-counselors. Then I realized, I hadn’t posted anything yet so you had no idea that I had left the computer. ANYWHOO, I realized that it isn’t about waiting for the waves of emotions to pass or to try and go numb again, because that is a life that I left behind.

That is the difficult and beautiful part about recovery. You are taking on a brand new you, the true you. You are shedding the old skin of the eating disorder and truly owning each bit of yourself: the good, the bad, and the seemingly ugly. But that is just the thing, God didn’t make any part of you ugly. It is what we tell ourselves is ugly. Emotions are not ugly. When used properly, I know I can make amazing poetry out of my emotions and it works out just fine. I just get scared to feel. But I guess that is the best part about recovery, fear becomes something that will be the fuel and no longer the driver of the recovery vehicle. There is no greater time to jump off the cliff and just live in freedom than now. The longer I live, we live, in fear, the harder it is to just embrace what it feels like to live on the other side. I have spent so much of this year growing and I refuse to stop growing now. There is nothing standing in my way besides myself and I refuse to be the one thing that stops me.

So here goes, I have already been honest with you guys up to this point but if the next few posts get more emotional, it is because I’m going to face my emotions and start disecting them. I am going to try and tap back into my poetry writing, and who knows, maybe I will start writing more of it again, I truly do love writing. But whatever method I choose to take, it is going to be genuine and I am going to let God take the emotions and the rawness and shape me the way He first molded me out of clay and breathed life into me in the beginning. If He can form me from nothing in my mother’s womb, he can certainly take all that I have and all that I am and make it into an even more beautiful masterpiece to glorify Him and His name.

God, I just want to thank You for mornings like this where it may take a while, but I finally realize why things happen. I know I get scared and sometimes I run and hide, but thank you for providing light and paths for me to get back on track. Thank you for loving me and holding me in the darkness and I praise you for the dark is not dark to you. Lord, I am so grateful for that. Keep holding me when times get hard for I know I cannot do this on my own Lord, nor would I ever want to try, ever again.

Transforming Tuesday, Emotional Walls, Working Through It and Late Night Homework

So I feel like this new migraine medicine is affecting every part of my life. I know that sounds silly because it is only supposed to take away pain in my head. But, the neurologist had told me that it might affect how I would think and it might affect my appetite. Well you were right about both of those things. Thank goodness we have a doctor in the house who knows what he is talking about. My appetite has been dead so if I don’t have time, I don’t eat until I do. I don’t mean that to be triggering because TRUST ME, I eat. But as everyone who is struggling or who has an eating disorder or who knows someone with an eating disorder, we know it’s not about the food. But my thoughts just seem more jumbled than usual. I can’t seem to keep track of time and it seems like all of the days are blurring together. Emotions are just becoming one giant blob and no it is no longer world war three in my uterus so there is nothing going on with hormones there. I am rightfully just wondering if I should just do a cleanse for my body and get rid of all medicines and do an all fresh food and drink thing and see what happens. I think with all of what I’ve been trying to do this past year, sort out migraines, stay fully in recovery, turn twenty one but not get drunk, have healthy relationships, sleep, get good grades, not go broke, handle emotional things appropriately, my mind and body are just like: UHM WE DONT DO THIS, WE ARE JUST GONNA SHUT DOWN, K THANKS.

That is literally the last thing I need right now, but I feel like that is where my body and mind are. Not to mention that it is that time of the semester where everything seems hard, even when it isn’t. So this is when my knees hit the ground and I just stop and ask God to help me. This is when the rubber meets the road and I truly find out how dedicated I am to my recovery and being true to me, who God created me to be and following the path He designed for me. With all that being said, I am finally listening to God and I’m going to share my testimony. I don’t exactly know how or when it is going to play out, but I am starting it and already have a rough draft typed out. For me, I have been sharing my past and my journey like it was a story, detached from it most of the time, but just telling it like it is every time. This time it will be a completely different challenge because I will be stepping out in faith and using it as a way to help show people God’s love and hopefully bring some people if not just one to Christ. I have always wondered what the purpose for going through all of this has been in my life, and I think that is it, to show God’s mercy and love and how He was there with me through it all. The purpose of sharing my testimony isn’t going to be about talking myself up and being like ‘whoa look at me and look at how far i’ve come, I’m so awesome’, it is going to be about the truth and about my heavenly father and about how pure and honest His love and grace is.

With all that testimony talk, it reminded me of why yesterday and today have been such struggles. Yesterday evening was more of a struggling day for me. I wish I could say why, but ED has just been trying to ease his way back in since right now is when I’m most exhausted out of any time in the semester. Today was not any less exhausting. Yes, I did get to see my kids and it felt nice seeing them, but I think that they could also tell that something was off. I made a few mistakes with them, which I’m not used to making, and I even almost lost patience with one of them which is something that I hold myself to in high regard. I realized today that more was going on than I wanted to admit. So, last night the guy that I’m ‘talking’ to or however the heck you want to word it, cuddling with, see on a somewhat regular basis, whatever, well anyway…him, we had a conversation yesterday when we shouldn’t have. Neither one of us were in a good mood or physically feeling very well to be honest. Long story short, there was a misunderstanding and I walked away thinking that he had just called me damaged. That word is the only word he could have said that would have hit me that hard. Granted, he didn’t mean it directed at me, but because of my state of mind that evening, I took it that way. So all last night and all today, I was walking around holding on to that past core belief that I was damaged, that I wasn’t good enough for anyone and that even God couldn’t save me or wash away my sins.

WHOA WHOA WHOA.

Now I KNEW something was wrong. Look at that last sentence again. “…even God couldn’t save me or wash away my sins.” Was I smoking something today and just didn’t know it? How in the world could I let one single word hit me like that? A word, that after a talk today I realized that he wasn’t even meaning it that way. Heck, I’m not even dating the guy and I don’t even know if we will date. How in the world did that bring such a dramatic drop in my moral and core belief? Because, that was the word that used to separate me from God before. That was the one thing that I had refused to lay at God’s feet before because I didn’t think that He could fix it. I used to look at myself in the mirror and not like what I saw. Eating disorder wise, I would pick apart the outside, but truly, I was picking apart the inside, ripping at the scars until they bled because I thought that my Heavenly Father couldn’t and wouldn’t accept me for who I was.

Now THAT is damaged talk. After my talk with my christian mentor on campus today, I not only realized that this was God’s smack in the face of, do not put so much focus on earthly things and earthly relationships for this is not my home, but it was also a reality check of how quickly things can spiral. How fast did just the word damaged bring me to my knees again and leave me cowering in the corner too afraid to look God in the face? I am a child of God, we are children of the Most High and nothing can ever separate us from His love. How silly of us to ever think that something just as simple but yet detrimental as the word damaged could cause a significant rift in such a strong and powerful love and grace.

Sitting here tonight I am in awe of the lessons that He continually teaches me. I swear, sometimes He just wants to smack me in the face and tell me to get over myself and to just slow down and bask in His presence. Honestly, I feel like that is a lot of times what He wants me to do. Especially right now when I am running fifty thousand miles an hour or cowering in a corner running from myself and from Him. Your scars make you beautiful because they remind you of where you’ve been and what He’s brought you through. You are never too far from His love or His grace and mercy. That is something that you should never forget.

So I pray, Father, help us to lay down whatever word or thing it is that separates us from you or causes us to cower in a corner. Help us to realize there is nothing that can take us too far from you. Darkness is not dark to you, scars are beautiful to you. You knew each and everything that has, is, and will happen and you are there every step of the way. Help us to lean on you and to take your yoke for it is easy and your burdens are light. Help us to know that you shed the blood of your only Son on the cross to wipe away anything that would ever take us far away from you and just help us to live each day knowing we are one day closer to being with you. Thank you Father, Amen.

Day 35: Monday Madness, Smack of Reality, Self Defense Punches, Whirlwinds and SDAP

It may not be the most flowing kind of post today because I am writing it in chops. I don’t have huge chunks of time to get everything that I need to get done in addition to writing the entire blog. With that being said, I know that I also need to vent as much as some of you may just need to read something from someone who understands you. Someone who has more than one voice in your head screaming healthy thoughts and occasional or constant unhealthy thoughts all at the same time. Well I started my Monday off kicking and screaming like a little four-year-old. Some of you may read that and think that I am completely exaggerating. For those of you who have ever witnessed me when I am not my usual perky morning self, you know that I quite literally kicked my legs and threw a baby tantrum about having a 9-5 schedule today for class. While that is not nearly as bad as it could be, especially when I become a teacher, something about today was just screaming STAY IN BED. Now, not all negative voices are ED, but part of that was just if you lay in bed you don’t have to eat or interact with people. If you don’t interact with people which means that you don’t have to be positive or motivate people even if you don’t feel like it.

Well I ended up getting out of bed today. I am currently in my fifth and final class of the day and preparing to go home and make cookies with one of my best friends and then make homemade soup for the boy. I would say ‘my’ boy, but we are still in the talking phase and I’m not going to assume that he is mine. Not just because that is an annoying thing that I used to do, but also because if that isn’t what he wants, then that is not what we will become. With all of that nonsense being said, tonight should hopefully be a chill night including cookies, lots of tea, maybe some cuddling, reading definitely, organizing my room, and just some good old girl time.

Can I just go on a rant right now? I know that is what I’ve been doing but I’m just pre-warning you right now that is what is about to happen. I’m about to go on a rant. This weekend I was exposed to a costume that was called ‘Anna Rexia’. Not only did I almost throw my Mac book across the room, but I was just angry in general. What has our society come to that we are making costumes like that? Not only that, but after it has been pulled off the shelf, two years later, it is put back on the shelf. What the heck is wrong with our society, especially our country?! Not only that, but there are those expectations that we are supposed to look like that as anorexics or individuals with eating disorders. I understand that there are always going to unrealistic expectations for women and just people in general in society, that is how our society works. But it is absolutely ridiculous that especially with individuals with eating disorders have expectations about how they are supposed to look and act. Who is society to tell us that even in our disorders, we are supposed to be the same as everyone else?┬áSometimes I just wish that I could expose people into the minds of someone with an eating disorder for two minutes let alone two seconds. Then society could realize how much pressure is put on people in general to be a certain way, especially with people with eating disorders who already struggle with trying to live in this world and be alive. I was talking with one of my best friends yesterday and I think we found the best way to describe it. When you go into recovery, it is almost like getting the chance to reinvent yourself. But with so much pressure to be somebody that your not, it is the most difficult thing in the world to take that first step and take the eating disorder mask off, let alone discover or reinvent who the true you is underneath.

That is what these past almost eleven months has been about. I can’t even describe the feelings and emotions and hard work that have gone into making sure I feel every bit of life from here on out and am content. I spent so many parts of the past nine years trying to avoid life and trying to avoid who I was and who God made me to be, that I am now determined to feel each and every part of life, no matter if it is good or bad. With that being said, today has been quite the struggle getting through everything without coffee until about almost noon. Not saying I necessarily need coffee at this point, but on days like today, when it is gross outside, coffee is absolutely helpful to keep my chin up. After the ‘tantrum’ I threw this morning, I went to my first two classes where my classmates helped me make it through. They helped me get my assignment done that I had forgot about and I didn’t lose any points, Not to mention, I didn’t have to present a project that I was supposed to present. That was such a blessing because I was quite exhausted!

My self-defense class was very relaxing because we got to throw some punches at each other! It genuinely felt great to get into that sort of thing again! I remember in one of my rehabs in Arizona, I got to go to Kick-boxing and it was the greatest release in the world. Today, just punching was a great release of endorphins because it reminded me that I am a strong woman in recovery, and in helping others today and every day. Waking up means it is another day to inspire someone else if I get the opportunity. If the opportunity doesn’t arise, I must create the opportunity. That is the point of being in recovery apart from getting healthy and living the life God has designed for you to live and for being the individual God has created for you to be, being in recovery is to help lead others there. It is to help guide a path so that more and more individuals can learn how to love themselves unconditionally and can accept who they were designed to be and the path they were meant to lead.

I guess because I’m ending my ‘girlie time’ AKA world war three in my uterus, that may be why I’ve had random spouts of emotion today. Like this morning when I just wanted to crawl into a hole and just not come back out because of how much homework I feel that I have. But after I got a little bit more food in me, I definitely was able to think more clearly. Although, I did have a smack of reality when it came to looking at my assignments. My brain has been so scattered lately, especially with these new meds, that I just feel like I haven’t been as productive as I could have been. I just need to start writing things down more I guess. When it comes to thinking about all the fabulous ideas that would help me be more productive, I come up with the greatest things in the world, but it just comes down to actually putting them into motion. I’m not very good at making time for everything, I am just known for stretching myself as thin as possible. I’ve gotten better about that, but apparently just not as good as I could be.

Somedays, especially today, I just need to focus on the future and what I can do in the here and now to become a better person for that future. Who do I want to be for my future husband and children? Who do I want to be when the next person I don’t know comes up and talks to me about eating disorders or just needs someone to listen? That is what I want to focus on. It is really something I just need to really meditate on in the moments that I struggle. But I thank God that I got to see my Camp Spearhead family this weekend. This past weekend may have been hectic, but I got to see my parents for the last time at our old house, and my co-counselors and old campers down in Greenville, South Carolina. It was amazing just seeing them and knowing no matter how far we go from each other, we always have that bond over each other just because we spent an entire summer just bonding over helping others and nothing can ever take that away from us. When I went back this weekend, it reminded me yet again not only why I was doing what I am doing in Special Education, but why I am so blessed in my life. God has surrounded me by people in my life that I cannot nor never will forget. Each person that is in my life will always be with me because especially the people from camp have touched my life so matter of factly that I will carry it with me for the rest of my life.

I think that is why having a community, even just people that read my blog, that kind of community, is important, Having people that understand you or at least have some kind of bond with you help you make it through things. Once you go through something difficult with someone, you have that bond and share that pice of each other with one another forever. Challenges make us grow stronger and they help us become who we are. I know that this has been quite the rant today, but it has just been a lot on my mind this weekend and when I talk to people or see individuals that I don’t see in a while, my sentimental piece of my heart and mind get racing and then I just feel the need to share it with the world. With all that being said, I wish each and everyone the best Monday possible!:)

From Morgan: hi

Day 34: Mood Swings, Tiredness, Need for HIM, Cru, and SNOW!

God, sometimes I wonder why You trust me so much with all of these things that have happened in my life. I understand that those things happened because I was running from Your plan for my life or was trying to make my own path. But, sometimes, on somedays, like today, it just all feels so overwhelming. It just doesn’t make sense how all of that can make whatever future You have planned for me. Days like today are just such a battle to put the past in the past and just accept that who You are can make me whole again. I know it to be true and can feel it down to my bones, it has been the truth that has gotten me through some of the deepest nights. Today, it was just a harder truth to believe than usual. My heart just hurts today, Lord. My heart hurts because yes, maybe it is because it is that time where there is World War 3 in my uterus (Too Much Information…I know), or maybe it is because the winter months are jumping upon us and that always throws off everyone’s moods for at least a week or two. But God, today was just so difficult. It just felt like I was fighting to feel clean again through You.

I guess you can say that I’m talking to that guy who keeps coming around. That is the best way to put it. He is such a great guy and I guess that is what is bringing on these feelings of being dirty. I always get this feeling around guys who aren’t douchebags. Pardon my language, but that is the only way to describe a lot of the guys that I have dated or spent a lot of time with. That is not to say that some of the guys that have pursued me haven’t been amazing guys because some of them truly have been. With that being said, it has been all about self-worth for me. I am now at a place in my life that I have self-worth and I am solid in that foundation because it is based on who God made me to be and who I am in Christ Jesus. With all of that being said, some days are just freaking hard. It isn’t just the eating that girls have to deal with these days or that I have personally had to deal with. It is guys telling us that we aren’t pretty enough or guys that don’t listen when we say no and take what they think they want or want in the moment. And then we have to live with those scars for the rest of our lives. I kept looking at my repurification ring today to remind myself that I have taken back the power, but I swear, when you are most powerful and firm in Christ is when the devil hits the hardest. It’s almost like that is when you’re the most vulnerable because you aren’t expecting a hit.

I started hearing the devil saying things in my ears today along the lines of, ‘he is just like all the rest, don’t even bother putting up limits,’ or, ‘you’re broken and have nothing to offer someone, they want a whole and beautiful girl who won’t bring them down.’ Emotions are already running high with hormones so my mind was just like AHHHH what am I supposed to think back to that? How am I supposed to counteract back with that other than God loves me and has made me whole through Him and His love and His mercy. I have just been fighting back with just spending time with my fourth graders today. I tried to make it as fun as I could and just bask in their innocence and how sweet they are. I also tried to just spend less time correcting them and more time trying to learn where they were coming from so I could be a better educator teaching them life lessons, not how to learn how to respond to the word ‘no’ appropriately, they learn that everywhere else in life. I spoke up in class and tried to stay awake and spoke with my professor after class as I usually do. I went and donated all of my birthday money and all the money that was given to me to Project Heal which ended up being right under $500 by about nine dollars which is amazing for just one person to raise for a cause! I was really impressed with people! All of these things made me feel good, but they didn’t fix that longing I felt in my heart for just…for Jesus I guess is the best way to put it.

I even went above and beyond to make sure I ate everything I was supposed to today. Now that I have been in recovery for a while, following a specific meal plan has not been something that I have done in a while. I just eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. However, on days like today, I know that I have to be careful about those kinds of things because my emotions can mess with my appetite. Although, these new meds that I’m on have killed my appetite so even better, I don’t have an appetite to begin with. Anyway, I went and got the biggest and best meals I’ve had in a while and they all worked out splendidly so I knew at least ED could have nothing to say because I was nourishing my body and I was happy and content with not only how I looked but how I felt in my body. But somehow, all day today I just couldn’t and kind of still can’t shake this feeling of just being gross. The devil is trying so hard to just rattle the foundation of my faith in God and my recovery and the testimony I am writing to share to show that with God’s help, all things really and truly are possible. It just is a good reminder that I must be doing something great for God’s kingdom or God has a plan for me to do something big for His kingdom if the devil is fighting that hard for my attention and trying that hard to shake my foundation.

Well, I went to CRU, and not surprisingly, it was exactly what I needed to hear. The preacher talked about how all of us have done some crazy things in the presence of beauty and how fleeting beauty is. He also talked about how we are so quick to judge by beauty but Christ took on all the ugly pieces of us and yet we are still looking to others and things of this world to be beautiful and to fill us up and to fill our desires and our needs. God may have wiped our slate clean, but Christ took all of our sins and all of the death and horrid things that we deserved for all the mistakes we’ve made and will continue to make. That is the true definition of beauty and love right there, and yet so often we look past it and try and make beauty about other things. How quick are we to make beauty a number or a size or a person or a certain look or a certain group. But that is not fulfilling. Our soul and our hearts don’t feel beautiful if we are at a certain weight or if we wear a certain outfit. We can feel good about ourselves for a little bit, but what else can truly fulfill us deeply other than the beauty and love of Christ?

Needless to say, that is exactly what I needed to hear. I just needed to hear that, just like the song that is playing on my Pandora station right now talking about not giving up. Okay God, I hear you. Talk about how crazy messages can get from Him if only we stop and listen. It just blows my mind. It just said, “Help is surely on it’s way. Dark is breaking into day. Just keep moving through the storms and soon enough you’ll find the door. Just don’t give up.” What more perfect message could be coming from God than that? Theme of today is just keep pushing through the storm. Ironically, as I type this, there is a winter storm forming outside raging and attempting to cover the ground. That is how my soul feels right now trying to fight off past demons and settle in the here and now. I guess that is the great thing about not only living in the presence and glory of God but also in recovery that each day is a new beginning and we are forgiven for what we did in our past and we get to start over whenever we ask for forgiveness and choose to commit.

Thank you, God for new beginning and for your message about how beauty is through You and in You. Thank you for beauty in our scars and for stories through our scars. Thank you that our past is not our present and that we are not what we’ve done or what’s been done to us, but who we are in You.

Day 33: 21st Birthday, Symptom Free, Fourth Graders, Feeling Love and Humbled

So yesterday was my twenty-first birthday. There is that age old question of whether or not I feel older or feel twenty-one. The honest answer to that is no. I definitely was asking the people around me yesterday if this was real because it felt so strange that people were giving me alcoholic beverages. With that being said, no I didn’t get complete wasted. I didn’t have the desire to nor did I want to be hungover on a day that I have twelve hours of class. The only reason I can write this right now is because one of my classes that I have with one of my SDAP friends got out early. Apart from all of that, I didn’t even get drunk. Don’t get me wrong, I went to a mexican restaurant that makes really strong drinks and got two different drinks and a free shot because it is my birthday. But, with that being said, I didn’t feel anything when we left. I didn’t eat a crap ton of food, but I guess because I had consciously eaten enough to where I wouldn’t get sick from eating, my body just let me enjoy the night without getting intoxicated at all. Honestly, I was really happy about that. Not only because I could enjoy the food and the company more, but because it isn’t about getting drunk at this point in my life, especially with my major being Special Education. This point in my life is about celebrating the flavor of food and drinks that I used to be scared to consume or celebrating coming this far in so many different areas of life. That was what yesterday was about and it couldn’t have gone more perfect.

The day started off with my roommate waking up early and baking me blueberry muffins. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing ever? Well okay, let me back up just a few hours. My actually birthday began at midnight. I was hanging with my guys that live in my building (Kevin, Brandon, and Joey) and we were watching football and just enjoying each other’s company. Well, it hit midnight and not only did Brandon bring down top shelf Patron for me to take a shot of (which I had never tried before and I still don’t know how I feel about it), but all three of the guys started belting out happy birthday at the top of their lungs. It completely made my night. I can’t even begin to tell you what that meant to me. Though it may not have been an acapella rendition or Michael Buble singing to me, it was beautiful to me!:) With that being said, I was walked back to my apartment and kissed ever so sweetly by the one I guess I’m talking to? Or I will just say the one that I am crushing really hard on that I find myself surprisingly enjoying his company on a regularly basis without it interrupting all of the other things I have going on in my life right now that are important. I went to bed to a slew of text messages from people that brought me to tears as I drifted off; texts telling me of my inspiration and my worth and value to them and how much they loved me, and it just was so overwhelming, but in a good way. I guess other people would read this and be like, “oh wow, here is this girl bragging about all these people telling her happy birthday and making her feeling good.” No, that is not what I’m meaning to do at all. What I’m not used to is feeling the actual emotional affects of people saying and doing all these things for me. Every birthday since I was twelve was filled with symptoms or being so consumed by my eating disorder that I was numb and just going through the motions of celebrating another year of just existing. This past year has been so full of change and life and love and happiness that this birthday was so overwhelming. Every single happy birthday whether that was all that was said or something else was attached, absolutely brought my heart that much closer to being overflowed. There are truly no words to explain how full of love I was for everyone and everything yesterday just because people took time out of their days to wish me a happy birthday.

Now, back to the muffin part. My roommate, my sweet roommate, woke up early so that I would have blueberry muffins for breakfast before class. How sweet is that?! That completely started my day off better than I could have imagined! And then, on top of that, one roommate got me the cutest teacher coffee mug ever. My other roommate got me smell good spray and lotion so that I smelled really good on my birthday. It wasn’t the fact that the presents are really cute and sweet, it was the fact that they spent time to not only get me gifts, but to wrap them both up with the cutest bows ever and surprise me with them in the morning. It just started my morning off with the best attitude and feeling possible. I also forgot to mention that last night, my dad sent me the cutest recording of him singing happy birthday to me and that added to the best serenading of the evening.

When I finally got to my fourth graders after my first class, I was greeted with the cutest little rendition of happy birthday I think I have ever heard in my life. They also were over the moon about the Halloween cupcakes that one of my good friends so graciously made for them. They turned out amazingly and I would recommend Mckenzie highly for any kind of cake or cupcake for any occassion. She is amazingly talented and ill exceed your expectations! Anywhoo, when I got to class a few of the kids walked up to me and told me that they had presents waiting for me in their desk. I was kind of taken back but thinking that it would be a simple card that they had made. No, they had gone above and beyond. One of my girls had bought me a necklace, had put beads in a bag for me to make a necklace of my own as well as charms to put on there in addition to a snowflake she had made, a card she had made in the shape of a heart and dum dum she had taped on the card. I literally almost started crying right there in my fourth graders’ class. How sweet is she to sit there and think of me at home to make me something let alone buy me something as precious as those things?! My other student following her presentation of her gift walked up to me with a braves baseball bat, one that could go on a key chain and proceeded to tell me that he was giving me a present so I now would have something with me that would always remind me of him. Not to mention I still have that giant birthday card that my kids had made last week early when they thought it was my birthday. So, my room is covered in cards from loved ones and friends as well as my kids and checks that will be donated to project heal within the next day. Which I am SO excited to donate! Words cannot express how excited I am to donate that money!!

After leaving my class, I got to my car and my phone had been blown up by text messages, snapchats, phone calls, voicemails, and every other method of communication telling me happy birthday. I literally had a few tears fall down because of how absolutely overwhelmed I was by how much love I was receiving. How does one handle all of that love? Yes it is amazing but it is just so much at once. I was just so grateful and am still grateful. I am exhausted today, but I think it is more from being emotional from how amazing the day was, not from how much I drank.I may have drank more than some people, but I never did get drunk. As Brandon said last night, a sign that I’m getting older and responsible because my assignments and me attending class is more important than getting drunk.

I went to another class after that and then went to lunch with one of my best friends who was not able to make it to my birthday dinner. We went to one of my favorite restaurants of all time and she paid for my lunch and my first legal beer, against my wishes. Yes, it was my birthday, but that doesn’t mean I want people paying for me. I feel bad if people are paying for me. But, hey it happened and I just kinda let it go. I was too happy to put up a fight. And I knew it would make her feel better since she couldn’t come to my birthday. After that, I went home and took a fabulous birthday nap. I’m going to call it that because everything seems better on your birthday. Before we left though, we both managed to eat a cupcake even though we were both stuffed to the brim. On top of being symptom free on my birthday, ED was nowhere to be found. I was eating whatever sounded delicious, which was an open faced jalepeno pineapple tempeh melt with a jalepeno yam soup with a two-hearted amber ale brewed in Michigan. That was followed up by a witch red velvet cupcake. My heart and my stomach was absolutely happy as I have had it in forever. It is amazing what you can eat and enjoy when ED is long gone from your mind and head. That was the first birthday in nine years where there was absolutely no sign of him. I couldn’t have been happier. Even when I put on my little black dress with my wedges to go to dinner, ED didn’t even bother trying to tell me where the dress hugged me wrong or what looked wrong. I just looked in the mirror and loved how I was dressed and how I did my makeup (which I never take the time to do anymore because I’ve finally learned to own my natural beauty).

At dinner it was just the best time possible hanging out with friends. In the end, I had to wear a sumbraro and blow out a flaming plate, and take a tequila shot. That was Dos’s celebration of twenty first birthday’s. It was a great time just spending time with friends. Granted there was one point where I pointed out that one of my friends had made a really rude comment to the waitress and that it was really unnecessary but I immediately regretted it because he completely snapped and began referring to me as an asshole and it just went downhill from there. Luckily my best friend that had brought him immediately shut him down and I ended the evening claiming the need to go home at that moment. I went home feeling guilty for having pointed out his mistake, although I don’t think that it was truly wrong because he was embarrassing the waitress who clearly was trying her best and was either really new at her job or having an exhausting and off night. Once we got home, Brandon spent some more time with me and it was just nice having a conversation with someone that validated my feelings about pointing out a wrongdoing and just having a nice conversation with me. Being around someone that confirms the positive things you do and feel about yourself is just a good way to end your birthday.

Overall, I just honestly thought the day would never come that I would have a birthday not focused on ED but focused on God and what His plan is for me. For those of you out there who think that God either doesn’t have a plan for you or the day will never come that you focus on the plan that He has for you, you are wrong. You just have to give up the instant gratification and those things will come. God comes in all places, all sizes, and unexpected times. You just have to be willing to accept where He is, what He wants, and what He is willing to do in your life.

Day 32: Neurology Meds, Tears of Joy, Neon From Head to Toe, and Contentment

Today was a typical Monday following a not-so-typical weekend. I apologize for not writing anything over this past weekend. I could sit here and say that I didn’t have time, which for the most part would be true. However, with these new meds that I’m on as well as this new high on life that I’m on, I didn’t even stop to think about it. I didn’t even stop to think about ED. Our weekend started on Thursday and I remember writing about that fun little adventure that didn’t make any sense to me and still doesn’t to this day. That kid actually stuck around all weekend. Not literally all weekend, I mean no one can honestly handle my energy for that long, let’s be honest. But the guy came back every single day over the weekend. My first thought was that someone was bribing him. My next was that maybe this was God’s way of telling me it’s okay to just enjoy someone’s company without making something serious or sexual out of it. For once I didn’t feel like I had to please someone or be someone I wasn’t. Maybe it was the fact that there is a repurification ring on my finger, but that didn’t stop me before with a purity ring. Back then I just would go ahead and please the guy I was with because I thought saying no had no meaning. I thought my opinion had no meaning and purpose. But I said no. Not that he really even asked, he was just making sure that I knew it was okay to stand up for myself. AND I DID! Tears are streaming down my face as I write this because I have actually learned to accept value and worth in myself in all situations, even in one that has always proven to break me down and hurt me.

I wish there were words to describe how much the growth in that area means to me, but there really aren’t any words. My parents and my best friends just kind of stood by and watched all of it happen because they knew how broken my heart and spirit have been over the years. They didn’t know if I would ever find my way in that area, but they hoped and prayed that I would. Now that I have, it feels unfamiliar and strange but oh so good. I actually follow through when I say no regardless of what I know the other person wants. A year ago I wouldn’t even recognize myself, in a good way. Time and time again I’ve tried to get to this place and finally when I just gave it all to God, He made it so simple and so definite. God, You are so good and so full of grace.

Now, onto these fabulous meds my neurologist put me on. For one, the migraines are almost completely gone ever day. I have felt maybe two pounds over the course of the days since Thursday. That is AMAZING considering I had one everyday for the past few months. Granted, it is messing up my appetite, but as I said when I was talking with my dad, it takes the emotions out of it. I know what I need to do and now anxiety literally can’t take away my appetite because it wasn’t there to begin with. I control my eating with my logic and not my emotions AND my head doesn’t hurt anymore. It is a win-win situation to be sure. The only thing that I’m worried about is that the doctor said it might mess with my thinking. I don’t think that it will because I’ve always made a way for my brain to triumph over anything I’m going through. With that being said, this may be the one time that I am overpowered if the drug seems to be working well in every other aspect that it is supposed to. The plus side to all of this in addition to what I’ve already mentioned is that I can concentrate on just one thing without my mind wandering. Now, the anxiety meds help with that, but this helps make it so that when I’m doing one thing that is all I’m doing. I struggle to look at my phone or do multiple things at once now. I feel great about it because it brings me back to my good old reading days where I did that more than anything else. I did more of that this break than I have in a while and it felt so great. Sometimes all I want to do is just sit down and read until I can’t read anymore!

My day was brightened this morning though when I was riding the bus and wanting to just crawl back into my bed. Unbeknownst to me, I had sat down in front of my brother. I was about to hit someone when I felt my hair being tossled from behind. It was just him. His first words were, “I was trying to figure out who the heck wore everything neon green on a Monday but then…only you…only you.” It just makes my day that while he was poking fun at me, our relationship has moved to the point where not only does he now say hi if he sees me, but he makes jokes that are completely relevant. For some, that may seem like an insignificant interaction. For me, that means the complete world. My brother was my hero when we were younger and then when I got really sick in my eating disorder, our relationship was killed. It absolutely broke me because I couldn’t find a way out of my eating disorder. I wanted so badly to be best friends with him again, I wanted to be close to him, but I had taken away the attention that he so desperately needed when he was younger and it had torn him apart having to see me slowly dying like that without him being able to help. He had to witness my disorder ripping our family apart with eating meal and each yelling conversation back and forth or each strain my next treatment center trip caused. But, he never stopped loving me. That is the part that has caused me to never give up on our relationship apart from how much I’ve always wanted to be close to him. But, even if it has only been for the past few weeks, the fact that I’ve seen him and we’ve talked, it’s meant the world. I can go into my twenty-first birthday knowing that he not only growing into an amazing man, but approves of the woman I am growing up into. If you have an older sibling, you know exactly how much that means to have them be proud of who you are becoming. It means just as much as my parents being proud of me, as silly as that sounds.

So, tomorrow is my twenty-first birthday and I am absolutely ecstatic. I can’t wait to see the faces on my fourth-graders when I roll up with a tiara on my head and twenty four Halloween themed cupcakes. Not only are they going to be excited, but I haven’t seen them in a week so it will make my birthday to just spend time with them. This birthday marks the first birthday since I was twelve that I haven’t engaged in symptoms. This in itself is going to bring more joy than anyone could possibly imagine. I get to be fully engaged with my students as well as my classes tomorrow and just have a blast at the Mexican dinner that is planned tomorrow night. I have been blessed with some amazing friends, especially this past year, and I wouldn’t trade any of the trails and tribulations that I have been through for anything in the world. I wish I could explain how just happy and content I am just being where I am, but words couldn’t describe it. I am happy with who I am as a person and though I am not in the best physical shape I have ever been in my life or the lowest weight (thank God), I am the happiest and the healthiest I have ever been. I am a single woman of Chris who has laid all of her burdens and past sins at the foot of the cross. I just cannot wait to see what God has in store for me and those around me. I just look forward to more days not even thinking about ED. There is no possible way that this happened without God, God, and a little bit more of God. He has been there every step of the way, ever dark corner and every lonely night. He got me through the times that I thought I wouldn’t make it to the days that I know there is no way that I can go back.

God, I just want to thank You for all that You have brought me through and all that You will bring me through. Thank You for the amazing people in my life and thank You for your mercy and your grace that humbles us and covers us each and everyday for our mistakes that we continually make. Love us each and every day and teach us to love one another as you always have and always will love us. Amen

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