Sharing My Story –> Coming Into My Own

Teacher Mode

 

So there is something I have come to realize in the past few months about changes that have been occurring in me that I wasn’t even aware of. Somehow, being in recovery all of this time, I have started to dive into developing who Lindsay is. Some days that means that I absolutely love what I find. I have found that I love animals and loving on people and children more than I love mostly anything else. I found that I love being outdoors even if it isn’t doing anything strenuous, just a simple walk. And I have found that even waking up on the craziest mornings, I have to stop and pause to watch the sunrise because it helps remind me of how glorious God has been through everything that I have been through. But, I have also realized some things that I don’t necessarily like. I am way too much of a perfectionist and am trying to grow up way too fast without allowing my body or my life to catch up. I beat myself up over things that are sometimes in my control and sometimes were bound to happen whether or not I was even present in the situation. I get chronic cluster migraines and sometimes that means that I have to sit out of life for a day or two to give my body the rest and relaxation that it deserves and is asking for. And during those sometimes periods, I’m not always the kindest to myself or my body in my head.

The cool thing about learning all these new parts about myself is that none of these pieces have to do with the eating disorder. While some of these things may be deemed negative, they are ALL ME. They are things that I can work on, like my patience when I’m not getting enough sleep or not making enough time to sit down and have meals with loved ones. That is something I can work on instead of hiding behind the mask that was anorexia or bulimia. The amazing thing about recovery is that every day I am learning something new about myself. This year I have learned that I am not very good at dealing with death or intense emotions because all I ever did was numb out from it or run away from negative emotions that I did not want to feel. Being in recovery means facing parts of life that are scary and aren’t all that pleasant. But it also means feeling all the positive emotions to the fullest. When I have had to cry because a friend has died, that means I have also felt the full love of an embrace of a true friend being there for me and loving me through the hard times. When I have felt guilt or remorse for something that I did wrong, I also felt the true relief of forgiveness when someone has loved me enough to tell me and truly believe that I am not my mistakes. With everything that I have gained back that I was running away through my eating disorder, I have realized that there is so much more sunshine than there ever was darkness and it is like my eyes are opened each and every day.

My boyfriend and I have already been through so much and bless his heart, he has to deal with so much of everything that I am learning about myself. He has had to see more breakdowns of myself than even I thought were possible for me to have. With that being said, because I have broken the holds and the chains that the eating disorder once had on me and found freedom in who God created me to be, I have allowed him to be closer than I ever would have let anyone else be in the past. Not only him, but my best friends, there are some I can name on one hand and they know who they are, checking on me when my friend passed and when I was just going through a rough time, have helped me work through days when I felt the barrier coming back up. While an eating disorder is not about being sunshine and rainbows every day all day, it is about finding the sunshine in every day and every situation to know that recovery is ALWAYS worth it and ALWAYS worth the fight to continue.

If I have learned one thing through the past almost year and a half of recovery, it is that this fight is never worth giving up and that I wouldn’t give up what I have gained on this side just to hide away from the parts I was once so afraid of handling and exposing of myself. Yesterday I shared some of the most intimate parts of my life with a young woman who is creating a documentary on anorexia and the psychological affects of it all. I had never met her before in my life, but had been connected with her through another young woman who I had gone to middle school with. The reason we were connected is because the young woman I went to middle school with knows that I have become very open about my recovery in order to make sure that I do not allow myself to retract back into the darkness or let it take over ANY part of my life ever again. Well, I wasn’t sure what all the young woman wanted from me or what all I had to offer, but when I stepped into that room, I gave her everything I had and told her all the gruesome and gory details of my life story having to do with the abuse, the eating disorder, the mentality, and everything else that kept me sick; there were no details spared. Bless her heart, she sat and listened to all of it and I can only imagine everything that she was thinking as the interview went on. It helped that she was not a very judgmental woman at all and that she understood some of what I was saying, which a lot of people cannot sit there and say that they understand. But she didn’t look at me as though I was some crazy person. She looked at me as though I was someone who had survived going to hell and back. That made it a whole lot easier to sit there and tell her some of the horrors of what has now become my story instead of my every day life, thank the Lord.

But it finally hit me yesterday when I was talking to her about all the things that I had gone through. I realized that I had finally come to a turning point in not only my eating disorder, but my life. Sure, I have been at a turning point for a while, but I don’t think it really hit me until I was sitting there and telling my life story. I wasn’t sitting there and being detached and I also wasn’t sitting there and bawling my eyes out when there were moments that I wished I hadn’t been alive for or that caused me to wish I were dead. I could look at those moments in my past, realize that they had helped make me stronger and also had come to realize that God had given me my own personal story because someday, somehow it will become a part of a movement that will help women or just one woman to change her or their lives. If I can use what I went through to change just one life, my story is worth it. For women or a woman to know that they are worthy of God’s love at all hours of the day no matter what the enemy says to them or tries to get them to believe, then my battle on this Earth has been beyond worth it.

And so I sit here today and look back and everything that I have shared up to this point and realize that while some of it was really difficult to get out, it has all been for the Glory of God and for the greater purpose that He has yet to share. Though I still may not understand what He is doing in my life or in the lives of others through me, I am grateful for all that I have been through and honored that He chose me to be His soldier to carry out His good works.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you, ‘ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11 ❤

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The 25 Greatest Quotes About Love

This helped remind me of how blessed I am to be with my boyfriend and how blessed I am to have the people around me that I do. It is amazing how in tune you are with the blessings in your life when you are healthy.

Thought Catalog

Love is real, real is love. John Lennon
Love is a friendship set to music. Joseph Campbell
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. Thich Nhat Hanh
Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. James Baldwin
Love is now, is always. All that is missing is the coup de grâce — which is called passion. Clarice Lispector
when you love someone / you are scared of getting hurt / and you will get hurt Brandon Scott Gorrell
And now we’re apart and you’re just some stranger who knows all my secrets and all my family members and all my quirks and flaws and it doesn’t make sense. Gaby Dunn
He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But…

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Challenge: #OperationBeautiful

Just a Cross & a Dream

Breathe in and breathe out she reminds herself as his hands begin to wander. Up and down his strokes may go, but she can’t move an inch. Her breath is caught up in her throat as though turned solid, choking her, silencing her once strong and boisterous voice. It sits in here esophagus on her vocal chords, pressing, straining them, making her feel the pressure of the unspoken words, the tongue already bitten, the shame and guilt being forced down.

There are shackles on her wrists and her ankles, though he does not see them. He sees her body for only what he wants it to be, that of a woman’s; the curves, the smooth and soft skin- motionless- his. Though he whispers words of encouragement, of a coaxing manner, they slip off his tongue like fire, flames dancing on her skin, singeing just enough to leave a scar below the surface, one that he won’t care to see, one that he can’t feel. His breath in her ear feels like ice freezing over her insides once again freezing her heart that had just started thawing back out. It has grown solid over time, filled with scars and pain that only coldness can numb, and a blizzard he provides. Her stomach churns as the arctic chill reaches it, bringing everything to a hault. Years of this corpse pose, years of these shackles, she has found herself here before, only now the tears won’t fall.

Her eyes are closed, lest he see the deep wells of emptiness and blacked out memories yet somehow his touch begins to fade. All at once she is in another place and is no longer there lying next to him. She begins to grow warm and is no longer lying down, she is standing. Her feet are planted strong on what feels like warm grass, encompassing her heels, mud squishing between her toes. She refuses to open her eyes, too afraid of it being a cruel joke her mind has dreamed up for her. Slowly, she lifts her arms, stretching her fingers, wiggling them, swaying her arms back and forth, cautious not to hit anything but anxious in the newly found space. She digs her toes deeper in the mud and begins to twist back and forth with her head leaned up facing what feels like a late spring or early summer sun. The light dances in her hair and across the freckles on her face, careful not to burn but to caress softly as if knowing what she’s been through.

Slowly music starts to play and she can feel her throat start to open and can hear a melody start to come out. She is singing again and her feet begin moving along to the beat as if never frozen in place, never shackled together. The beat in her chest no longer feels like a cage, but the beat of a drug going along with the music. Everything is falling is place as she’s dancing along, eyes still closed moving and swaying, her body ebbing and flowing, no pain and no hurt, for she feels free.

But she begins to stumble and goes to catch herself and opens her eyes and there she is, in her bed. She catches her breath as if it were being held captive inside of her chest, buried deep like a treasure. Eyes wide, in search of anything, everything, locked open in fear. Palms sweating, gripping the covers for protection as though it were the only thing safe in the room. No one beside her. She lets out a breath. No one behind her, she releases one hand. No one in front of her, just a few picture frames stocked to the brim, filled with new memories, ones to replace the old. On the other wall a cross, a new slate that was given to her. She drops the covers and looks at her hands, runs them along her arms, traces the scars of days past and weeps with joy knowing it was just a dream. She is safe, she is free, she is whole, she is clean.

In Awe of His Grace, Getting My Health Back, Scared, and Sian

So, this is going to be more of a sporadic writing I spose, rather than an every day writing, just because of how much time I don’t have this semester. In fact, it’s even less time than I had last semester. I didn’t think that was possible, but I guess thinking that made my schedule test that. It is in fact possible ladies in gentlemen, and I am living through it as we speak, with my cat sitting in my lap. Let me just go on a quick rant with how amazing she has always been in my life. She is silly and goofy and totally a dog, but that’s what I need in my life. She fits in the grey category of what you would expect from a cat. And she cuddles on me and loves me when I struggle and helps give me kisses when ever I’ve been depressed. As silly as it is, I just can’t imagine being anywhere without my baby. I’m so grateful for her and everything she has given me and my family. With that being said, I may be more ‘stressed’ than I’ve been in a while, but I am also happier and more content than I’ve been in forever. Yes I’m super stressed with some bills that I need to get ready to pay which requires me to start picking up more and more shifts at work and possibly pick up a different department, but hey that happens in college. I am not the only one who has to do things like that, and with how blessed I am, trust me when I say I am not complaining that is the worst thing that is happening right now.

With all that being said, just getting over being sick…not so fun. Nausea and more nausea was just the ickiest thing ever. I forgot what it felt like to be legitimately like throw-up sick. When you are mentally sick for so long and are so focused for a full year on being in recovery, you forget what it’s like to have your body just be sick and not think anything different of it. Well I forgot how icky it was. Lucky for me, I am the luckiest girl in the world who has a boy who was researching the most random things in the world to do to get me through it. Not all of them worked because my body was rejecting everything and it’s mother when it comes to food and liquid, but hey, it’s the thought that counts in the end, right?

Well I won’t go on a rant about my boyfriend because I feel like I have done that so many times before. No one wants to sit there and listen to how great someone else’s relationship is going unless they asked. I see no questions that popped up like oh em gee how is your boy, so I’ll stop there. But I think today it hit me about not just how far I’ve come in my eating disorder, but just in life. Like, I am a senior in college. Yes, I should be graduating this semester and no I’m not so it’s not that fun. But, I will be a super senior and that is still scary that this time next year I will be student teaching. But the fact that God brought me to this place in my life that I get to spend so much time with kids with special needs and be healthy enough to help them? That in itself is just so amazing. It just makes you stop and think about all the little things that God does each and every day for all of us to get us to where we are. He helps us through the hard times, the not too hard times that were actually larger than we realized, and also just walks alongside us during the good times. It’s so crazy to think how amazing He is. He didn’t need us, but He chose us. Like what is that?! That is just SO AMAZING. And He carries us and loves us through so much even when we aren’t deserving. That is just the greatest feeling in the world because He just loves us unconditionally all the way until we get to spend eternity with Him. That just warms my heart so much. Like He yearns to have a close relationship with us no matter what has happened in the past or how far we have strayed. How amazing is that?!?! And then the past few days have been spent with friends that are so uplifting.

How amazing is it to wake up and know that you are loved and supported through everything. Like having a break down because you were worried about slipping because of losing weight due to being sick? My best friends and boyfriend were there for me and are still there for me. Who knew asking for help and praying and just being open and accepting of my own flaws and being human could be so much easier if I just realized that perfection is not attainable? Call me crazy, but being imperfect is sometimes the best thing that can happen because it helps me realize how solid my faith in God is and my relationships with those around me are. But I wanna end this random post with one of my favorite poems that has been really uplifting lately, the Wear Sunscreen poem:

Wear Sunscreen
Mary Schmich

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

 

God bless those who are struggling, for they are finding their footing and their strength. Bless those who are strong, for they have gained calluses on their hearts and their feet from pushing through the challenges.

I’m BACK, New Year, New Goals, Eyes Open…Just New

So it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here. Okay longer than a hot minute. It’s been over a month. That has been good and bad. It’s been great because I’ve been out living and doing my thing, being in the moment and taking each day as it comes, learning that I can process things out loud to people that I love and I won’t scare them away. Go figure! It only took me twenty-one years to figure out that writing isn’t the only healthy way of communicating feelings. That annnnddd I’m starting to learn that crying is sort of kind of, maybe, on occasion, okay, but only sometimes, rarely, when I’m in the right mood. In retrospect and thinking logically, it is a human emotion and it is perfectly healthy and normal. I’m just getting used to doing it since I no longer am numbed out to any feelings including stress.

So I don’t know if any of you are wondering about how the year ended up, yes I made it a full year without symptoms, and no I didn’t just stop when the year ended, but now I just feel like it is my job to move on to bigger and better things rather than counting the months. I should be raising even more awareness and fighting for those around me that are struggling and counting smiles and strength, not days without symptoms. There is no moving forward unless you are constantly reaching for higher purpose and higher goals. I’m not looking to go crazy and change the world or anything, just raise that much more awareness in my community. How, I have no idea, but I feel like if God has led me this far through this much of craziness, He won’t just leave me here without some kind of sign on where to go. That is the crazy thing about God, He waits until you start listening to Him and then He starts showing you what He had in mind for you all along. Some days I’m not going to lie, it feels like I struggle to identify myself because I held onto my eating disorder for so long, but then I get to step back and realize the beauty of right now. I am in college and I get to grasp who I’ve been all along and grow into who I want to be. I’m not defined by something that wants to kill me any longer which means I can be defined by living, by aspirations that want me to live.

It does break my heart though because I look around and my eyes are now open to how little people truly know about eating disorders and how many of those people close to me are suffering or how many people that I know are close to someone who is suffering and they just don’t know what to do or say. That is my new goal this year, not to count how many months I can go without symptoms because now that I know I can go a year, the possibilities are endless and I am fully in recovery. But this year is about awareness and helping others and finally realizing that balancing act that I have struggled with all twenty-one years of my life. The crazy thing about life is that God gave us all the talents and individual struggles that He did, not just so that we would rely on Him, but so that we would find the people we were meant to have in our life and so that we would not be alone on this earth through the struggles. We ALWAYS have Him, but He is also so kind and gracious to give us people who were especially designed by Him to fit our hearts and situations like puzzle pieces. With the craziness I’ve been through and seen those near and dear to me go through, nothing else makes more sense than to start making a difference, spreading the word and truly starting a change in a culture that isn’t more than skin deep.

So what all those little baby shpeals really mean is that this year is truly new. I know a lot of people talk about their New Year’s Resolutions about losing weight or eating this or that, but I just wanna challenge people to have their resolutions this year to start changing our generation and our culture. When you hear people fat talking or when you start fat talking to yourself, stop it, change it, and start focusing on what you love about how you were created. When you hear people judging and comparing others on the way they dress or the way they look, step up instead of retreating. Make this a year that people start realizing that maybe our society and culture doesn’t have to be like this all the time, that not only are people with good hearts and the Christians going to talk about how much God loves people and how amazing He is, but we are going to start unconditionally loving His people too, because honestly it’s about dang time we do.

Day 50: Poem: The Ballerina in the Glass Circle

Spinning and spinning until her feet are unsure of the floor. Where one step ends and one begins is beyond where her mind can stretch, searching for where this path pulled her in or how to break out, her eyes are constantly fluttering about, arms outstretched, scaling the walls of the glass, trapped from the life she plays as a movie in her grandma’s attic, dust gathering, far out of reach, dull smile spurred, not the same as before.This circle is a cage she created for herself, dancing for a demon she once wrapped herself in the warmth of, leaping towards every time, filling the holes the sands of time have been running through, slowly grain by grain. It passes through instead of stopping and filling the holes as she used to hope as dreams told her time would, time heals all never felt so false. The demon she dances for sits outside of the glass, only to scrape the nails against the cage lest the dancing cease, lest the movement grow cold or unsatisfactory.
Can’t he see that she’s gone? That the dancer she was, that the livelihood she once had has shrunk, she has evaporated slowly, starving from lack of oxygen and nutrition, love and nurture, retreating to the music box deep inside the soul. There the childhood ballerina turns only opened once in a blue moon when the demon is out of ear shot; then the ballerina may turn and oh does she turn until the music can play no more, until the shell on the outside and the box on the inside collapse on one another in an exhaustion known by none other than those who dance for the demons meant to fill the holes, the voids of their pasts.
There is a ticking, a slow and tedious back and forth that seems to grow louder with every tick and every tock. It goes back and forth as if to ring in the ears of the dancer’s shell and the music box that time is running out, the circle is growing colder. The demon is always impatient, always wanting a dance despite the time or the indention of the path from where her feet have been time after time filling voids, keeping distance, closing boxes deep within. As she picks herself up she stumbles and the piercing noise of the glass against his nail jerk her stumble upward, propelling her forward, onward to start the circle dance. Onward she goes in a circle, though she knows not why. In the glass she is safe, though noises compel her. The walls she built, for his hands were too strong and the box was her own for the ballerina was not secure, would not make it. As she spins faster, she feels the anger rising, why is she here, how could he keep her here, why are her holes not patched? She spins faster and faster in her circle and lunges at the wall shattering the glass that once contained her, falling in the arms of what feels like everything and nothing at once. The demon has fled for through the holes have come light and the box in her has opened, the ballerina has begun to dance. As she lies there, she begins to open her eyes for it is only then that she realizes they have been closed the whole time. As shapes begin to form and blurred lines turn into things, it is him she sees, “Hello, beautiful” is all she hears and with that she knows, the glass wall and the holes are a thing of the past.

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