A look back…

Today is an emotional day, well I guess no different for me than any other day actually. Everyday I wake up blessed to have another day. Everyday I wake up I know I have a choice, I can face my fears of my Eating Disorder, restriction, purging, laxative behaviors or I can cave and let ED take over as he has done so many times before. This day is especially emotional, 2 years ago I laid on my living room couch barely able to move my arms and legs, starved and refusing any water or food at all. My face was so caved in and my eyes looked huge. I could barely talk and it hurt, it hurt to lay, it hurt to move. I had visitors come throughout the day to say good bye because at 4:00pm I would be carried into the car and with my mom and husband headed to residential treatment once again but this time seemed like it could be the last time. My body was shutting down and all I really remember from the 7 hour drive was so badly wanting water but my ED said no it would make me fat. We drove until we got to Anderson, Indiana to a hotel where we would sleep until we had to be up to go to Selah house for admission at 8am. I remember waking up barely able to walk and watching as my mom and husband drank coffee from the breakfast area at the hotel. I so wanted that coffee, I was so thirsty. We loaded up the car and off we went. When we got to Selah I saw my family for maybe 20 min then they had a therapy session and I was taken for admission. I remember sitting at a big table and signing myself in. I remember not even being able to cry because I was so weak. I remember looking back at my mom and she said “you can do this, please don’t die on me. I need you.” After I left the building I was escorted to a nurses station were I had to get into a gown and get vitals, lab work and answer a ton of questions. In the afternoon I was told my labs came back very alarming and I was rushed to the ER. When I got there I just remember it being so cold and white. They took me into a trauma room where I laid for the next couple hours until they could stabilize my potassium and vitals enough to go to a room on one of the floors. I stayed over night and since I was going back to treatment they only kept me that one night. I was all alone in a state I had never been to in a hospital I didn’t know anything about all by myself. I remember them asking what I wanted to eat and I so badly wanted graham crackers but I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth so I said nothing. I was hooked to an IV and heart monitor all night. In the morning I went back to the treatment center and started my recovery journey. I spent the next 3 months there doing things I didn’t want to, eating foods I didn’t want to eat and making friendships I never wanted to make. I was discharged in late October but my journey was far from over. I did well for a few months then slowly declined once again and ended up in the Cleveland Clinic for 2 months and then another treatment facility in March-May. As of today August 20, 2020 I am doing very well. It took me awhile but I finally reached a healthy weight (which I hate) and I am running, doing CrossFit, working full time and eating. I have officially not had any behaviors at all in 82 days. It’s hard, everyday is hard and some days it seems to get harder not easier but I’m doing it. One bite, one meal, at a time. 2 years ago the Drs told me I was going to die, the dr stood at the foot of my hospital bed and told me they could do no more. Well, here I am, I guess I proved them wrong and I’ll continue to try to prove them wrong every…single….day.


1 year!!!

It’s been a whirlwind year filled with doubt, criticism, sadness, happiness, fun, memories, laughter and so much more. This weekend marks 1 year that I stood in New York City in the oldest church in the state and prayed to God to please help me recover from my terrible eating disorder. It’s been 1 year since I proved to not only myself but to others that I CAN do this. It has not been easy, clean, symptom free or graceful it’s been hard, unpredictable, terrible, sad, and overwhelming at times. I would be totally lying if I said I have had no behaviors. Have I had periods of restricting, purging and laxatives, most certainly am I a bad person or a failure, no way! The difference between this year and the last 4 has been my fight, determination and drive to not give up no matter what the set back was or how hard it got. There were days/weeks I struggled and wanted to give up, days/weeks I did well and didn’t even think about Ed. Am I free from ED forever, no way. I still think about food, weight, body image, negative thoughts everyday. It’s a battle and a fight EVERY SINGLE DAY! Has it gotten easier, absolutely! I have challenged myself to do things that have made me so uncomfortable and out of myshell and I think that has really pushed and helped me along my journey. In February after being off of work for a year I went back to work in a different type of role I never thought I was good enough for or could do. I work for a company that doesn’t judge, they go above and beyond and everyone is welcome. The interview process was the hardest I have ever encountered and I doubted myself the entire process. When they called in December before Christmas and said “we only pick the best” we want to offer you this position, I’m not going to lie I cried and then I cried more. My hard work, education, dedication all paid off. I’m right where I need to be and I’m thriving everyday with praise from my boss, being offered special projects and working for a company who cares who you are as a person not where you came from or your past. I recently joined another community that I never thought I would ever step foot into. My husband had asked for years for me to join him at his CrossFit gym and again like my job I was always too scared, not good enough etc. Well I finally did it, it took a lot of push and going out of my comfort zone but 1 month ago I joined and I absolutely love it, it pushes me both mentally and physically and the community is just so supportive and genuine. I’m so glad I jumped in to start my journey. This past year I have not stepped foot into a hospital to be a pt, that’s such a huge accomplishment considering I was admitted many many times and on 4 occasions was transferred to trauma/ICU and told I was going to die. I have slept in my own bed not on the bathroom floor, I have actually slept and not up ALL night going to the bathroom from the more than 200 laxative pills and liquid I was drinking per night. I’m not running to the bathroom after eating to vomit, I’m enjoying my most favorite desert Ice cream and loving every spoonful. I’m able to work, go running, exercise, brush my hair, get dressed, stand in the shower, leave the house past 6pm, and so much more. I hope and pray that this next year just gets better and better. It’s hard everyday, it’s a battle everyday that I will fight for the rest of my life like I have for the past 17 years but I know I can do it, I don’t have to relapse again. I can stay in recovery and fight ED everyday which is so much better than to relapse and fight myself everyday.

This song says it all…

One year, 365 days…

One year ago today, I was starring out the back of an ambulance window after spending 2 months inpatient at the Cleveland Clinic and on my way to another treatment center. This time it was different, I was forced to go to treatment and deemed medically unstable to make my own decisions and once I got to the center after trying to leave I was placed on a medical hold where I could not leave. The intake room was filled with cops, nurses, Drs and admin surrounding me, going through my belongings, ripping the strings out of my clothes and shoes, locking “paraphernalia” up such as lotion, perfume, anything with laces, hair ties and so much more. The next week I would spend my day’s feeling like a zombie because the center mixed up my medication and was giving me huge doses of an anti anxiety pill until I insisted something wasn’t right and they finally fixed the mistake. I spent the next week so filled with anger, anger toward my husband because he left he at this terrible place (he had no choice) angry at my team from the Cleveland Clinic for sending me to this place, angry at myself and angry at the world. I spent the next week not saying a single word to anyone unless I was directly spoken to, I sat in a corner and read (which I never do because my attention span is literally that of a 2 year old). I wasnt allowed in my room except for designated times, I could only talk on the phone for 15 min each night. My bathroom was locked and was literally a swinging door with no bottom half. My water was controlled by the staff and I could only use it for 10 min in the morning to shower and brush my teeth. I was not allowed to wear anything in my hair so I had to wear it down everyday and hanging in my face (if you know me I either wear my hair up or done nicely with hair product). All meals were timed and I ate at a table with two other woman and one man with an eating disorder. We had groups but due to my meds being wrong I basically slept through those. It was the worst time of my life. I was trapped, the building was surrounded by gates and barbed wire. I wasn’t allowed outside because I was new and I wasn’t allowed to walk around freely due to it being considered over exercising. I was there for 5 days because my hold was placed on a Friday and weekends don’t count so I was stuck until Wednesday. When Wednesday came my world yet again was flipped upside down. I met with the team of 5 Drs and they said they didn’t trust me to go home due to so many relapses in such short time. Again I was deemed a flight risk and liability. I agreed to not go home but go to another treatment center.

The past year has been one that I’ll never forget. It’s been a constant, daily tug o war between recovery and relapse. I go weeks eating well and doing well and then I’ll feel guilty and go weeks restricting and acting on any and all bad behaviors. I’m trying so hard to fight and sustain a little normalcy everyday. Every meal is challenging, every day I get up is challenging but I have made it an entire year without being hospitalized, or sent to treatment. I am pushing to be and do better and with that being said I am excited/scared to do a week long challenge with a woman I have followed on social media who has really helped me this past year. It’s such a weird time in the world and life’s just a challenge and the world is scary. I’m tired of being scared and controlled by everyone and everything but myself. I want my life back, I want happiness and fun. Challenging myself everyday is what helps me to push through so many bad thoughts. I can be proud of myself for doing hard things instead of hating myself for caving into my anorexia. It’s a long, hard road of struggles but I think just maybe it’s going to be worth it….. for those interested here’s day one of the 5 day challenge.

Reverse roles

This week I was on the opposite end of where I have been the past 4 years since my relapse. The past 4 years my days have been filled with people asking me to eat, watching me eat, accountability to eat, Drs, therapist, dieticians asking me, monitoring me and keeping track of what I eat and drink, how much I exercise, laxatives, and purging. I started back to work after a year off 2 weeks ago, we’re heading into my third week and I’m so proud to say I’m making it, I’m doing it, it’s hard but I’m really kicking butt. Anyway, 2 weeks ago I started back to work which meant Gordy my dog had to be put in his crate for the day until either I or my husband let him out (whoever gets home first). Well Gordy did not like this after not being crated for over a year. He tolerated it last week but this week was different. This week is when the roles reversed. I’m not a human mom but I am a dog mom and Gordy is most definitely my child, my heart and my best friend. I have had him since he was born and boy have him and I been through hell and back together. We have survived the loss of my fiancé and Gordys first dad Doug in 2011, my numerous hospital stays, residential treatment stays, nights crying in pain from laxative abuse, him watching me purge, he’s watched me starve myself to bones and he’s watched me gain weight, do fun things, go back to work, car rides, park walks and visiting his grandma Nancy and grandpa Jim and there sweet puppies, being adopted by his wonderful father Aaron and moving to new places a few times. We certainly have experienced life. This week Gordy decided he wasn’t going to eat or drink after I put him in his crate, I guess to “teach me a lesson” well it worked and of course while my husband Aaron is out of town. He broke my heart, I thought he was sick and I was so worried. After getting him out of his crate on Tuesday he wouldn’t eat or drink anything, not even his favorite treats. Tuesday night he woke up 3 times during the night and was having trouble breathing, he was having an anxiety attack which he gets when he has bad dreams. We were up most of the night, I comforted him and tried to get him to eat and drink but again with failed attempts. It truly broke my heart to watch him suffer. Wednesday same thing until Thursday I caved and let him roam the house while I was at work. I decided an accident in the house is not as important as him eating and drinking. I came home Wednesday and no accidents (thankfully) and he was eating and drinking. It’s funny how you will do anything for your “kids” how you will sacrifice sleeping to stay up with them, accidents in the house, and bent rules just to make them happy, comfortable and safe. When Gordy wasn’t eating or drinking it broke my heart to watch him sit and just stare at his bowls and just walk away. I tried everything even making him special chicken and rice and still he wouldn’t touch it . I think what I experienced is similar to what my family, friends and treatment team have felt with me. It’s so hard to watch someone you love struggling so much, your heart breaks, you can’t sleep, you think about them ALL day, you would do anything to help them but don’t know how or what they need. I know my family has said to me they don’t know how to help, they wish they could and it breaks their heart. Thankfully I have been holding my own for the most part so not as much worry has been surrounding me. I do have bad days and they are very hard to deal with but with the support of my friends and family I have been able to get back on track for the most part. It’s not easy and I don’t think it will ever be. I’m so thankful for Gordy feeling better and doing better and I’m also thankful for my friends and family for never given up on me and sticking with me like I have for Gordy when things get rough. We’re all navigating this crazy world together humans and puppy dogs.

New beginnings…

Today starts the kick off of NEDA week. It’s a week of showing support, bringing awareness and learning about Eating disorders all over the world. It’s a time for so many of us who have or who are suffering to reflect on the past year, things that have worked, things that haven’t worked, give advice or helpful tips and share experiences both good and bad. It’s ironic that as NEDA week starts I too am starting a new chapter, after being off of work for 11 months I am going back to work tomorrow (Monday February 24). I am starting fresh, with a brand new company with brand new people in a brand new place in my recovery. I am beyond terrified, nervous, anxious and also excited. After my last hospital stay last March- May I took a different approach to my recovery. I stopped all medical treatment, all apts and tried this on my own. Was I successful…. not so much, but did I completely fail….also not so much. It’s been a trying, challenging year. I have had ALOT of ups and downs but with everything in life, nothing is perfect and that includes recovery. I am no where near “cured” and I have come to the conclusion that I may never be cured. I will live with this for the rest of my life but with that being said just because I have a few demons doesn’t mean I have to allow them to control me. I know I will have bad days and good days just like with any other illness or disease but I know I am stronger than my ED. On my bad days I can push through, and I can make the most of my good days. I may never eat, enjoy or willingly devour chocolate cake, cookies, chips or things most people consider a treat and that’s ok. I can enjoy the things I do like and feel safe eating. Everyone’s journey is different and I may never be cured, never be perfect and never eat cake but that’s ok because I wake up everyday and vow to give it my all, vow to never give up and vow to never stop trying no matter how hard it gets. It’s so hard, it’s so tiring to fight. But it’s also even harder to stay sick, even more tiring to restrict my life away and not enjoy what’s ahead of me. The chocolate cake will always be there, but my life won’t. The times with family, new job experiences, new memories won’t always be here so I have vowed to try harder than I have ever tried. It’s a new start, it’s almost spring when everything starts to bloom and grow and I too want to bloom and grow in my recovery.

This past year would not have been possible without my husband and I working so hard over the years to be financially stable enough for me to step back from my roles at my job. A special thank you goes out to my husband for not only working extremely hard everyday this past year, but never complaining about getting up every day, 7 days a week rain or shine no matter how he was feeling. He never made me feel like I needed to go back to work and has supported my decisions every step of the way. To one of the most selfless men I have ever met, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The dreaded restaurant

We pull into the parking lot, a parking lot with every spot taken. Driving around in circles trying to find a spot I feel my anxiety rising, my heart racing, my thoughts racing. We finally find a spot, we park and start what feels like the longest walk into the restaurant. We walk in and a rush of emotions fill my mind and body. I cling to my husband as he tells the hostess our name and she confirms a wait of 35 min. We walk through the pool of endless people and find a spot in the corner, as were waiting for our table I keep thinking why do I feel so anxious, why do I feel like I don’t belong. I’m not pretty enough to be here all I want to do is cry. I don’t want to eat, I can’t eat in front of people. Why did this used to be fun and now it’s terrifying. Why am I here, I can’t stop starring, comparing, I keep looking down pulling on my hat in hopes no one is looking at me judging me. I can feel the tears starting to well up in my eyes. I feel my heart aching with sadness, judgement, negativity, it’s beating faster and faster. My hands getting clammy my face turning red. I feel so alone in a restaurant filled with so many people. This wait for our table feels like it will never end, I feel stuck in my head. I feel like I’m in a snow globe pounding on it to get out, to escape. I want to run and hide and cry into my pillow. Someone to hold me and tell me it’s going to be ok yet to be alone and just cry until the pain stops, the comparison stops the negativity stops. I slump further into the corner behind my husband it’s cold in here, it’s so loud and my thoughts just keep churning in my head over and over. Please don’t sit us in the middle of the room. I haven’t been home since 9am so I’m not even dressed appropriately. I’m not pretty enough, good enough, I’m not wearing make up, please sit me in a booth in the corner please don’t let people see me. I’m so scared, I want to go home I can’t do this. It’s too much, I’m too anxious, I can’t do it. I can’t be here, I want out, an escape I want to be at home. Why am I here what’s the purpose. How am I supposed to eat in front of all these people watching me judging me. I’m too fat to eat here I’m too fat to eat. I should just order a salad I can’t order anything other than salad or people will judge me. I’m going to get fat, i know I am. I’m not strong I’m weak. I’m giving in to pressure to eat. How can all of these other people eat what they want and be ok and not get fat but I look at food and get fat.

Those were my thoughts as I sat waiting for our table. We got a table in the corner where I wanted and felt comfortable. I was able to order a meal that I felt safe eating. My husband and I talked through my thoughts and feelings and by the end of dinner I was able to laugh and walk out of the restaurant with slightly more confidence than I had walking in. Challenge repeat, if I keep doing hard things, the hard things will get easier. Challenge repeat, challenge repeat.

Anorexia sucks, recovery sucks… pick your battles

I haven’t written in a few months, recovery is not always perfect and for me it’s been a lot of ups and downs. I hate how my body looks on a daily basis and most importantly how my body changes throughout the day. I wake up one way and go to bed another. Every…. single….day I want to give up and let my Anorexia take over again. I cry ALOT which if you know me, I don’t usually cry at anything (stone cold Cyndi). It’s terrible, I hate it and I pray to God everyday to make this process easier. My weight fluctuates all the time I’ll be up 5 pounds on Monday and down 6 on Friday. I know my body is trying it’s best to find it’s new normal, to work the best it can and to find its new level of health and comfort. My last relapse lasted 4 years with my lowest weight being 70lbs. I was sick, so very sick I remember the day I was admitted to the hospital at 70lbs like it was today. I was in the Dr’s office for my weekly blood draw and weight check. My heart barely pumping, I couldn’t walk without falling into the wall and I was tired, so so tired. The Dr took my vitals and weight and immediately called the ambulance to take me to the ER trauma unit because my potassium was 1.2 and my organs were failing and I was dying. I remember being at the hospital and the ER DR coming in and saying if I wouldn’t have gone to my apt today I wouldn’t have made it through the night. I was scared and felt alone. Fast forward to today, I woke up and weighed myself at the gym and saw a number I hated, I still hate it and I cried and am still crying but I have to say seeing that number is not as bad as the alternative. I could be dead and 70 pounds and have nothing. Instead I’m able to actually go to the gym, I went on the treadmill and elliptical and I did it without falling I did it without exhaustion and I feel proud. I don’t like the stupid number, I dont like the way I look and I hate the way my body bloats and I look pregnant when I eat. But, I know rationally that those things will eventually pass as long as I keep pushing and keep doing the hard things I’m doing. I want my body to trust me and I want to trust my body. In order for this to happen I have to keep eating and nourishing my body and not let the negative thoughts control me. It’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be mad because at the end of the day I’m alive and able to feel those things. Recovery sucks, it’s hard and I hate it so so much but right now in order to live I have to choose to fight and deal with the uncomfortable feelings and uncomfortable person I see in the mirror. I have faith it will get better it just has too because the alternative is not better. I took the picture on the right a few days ago. The picture on the left this morning before going to the gym. Both are me and both are what recovery is….

The smell….

I was driving through my town this afternoon and stopped at a stop light on the square and was greeted by the smell of pasta and garlic. I sat in my car and sniffed as my eyes began to well up with tears. I love the smell of pasta, sauce, garlic and bread it’s amazing and comforting and fun. It reminded me of date nights going out to eat, and gathering with friends, and family. It took me back to a time when I didn’t think twice about food, eating, smells or any other negative, twisted thought that I now have. I sat at the light and cried as I sniffed and wished I could get those times back, I want those times back so much. I want to be able to eat whatever I want and not think, not think about the calories, what it’s cooked in, how much oil, butter or fat is used what’s in the dish that is not mentioned on the menu, how am I going to make these calories up, am I going to purge, use laxatives, over exercise, restrict the next meal or day. As I pushed the pedal and began to drive away the memories faded away and I was left with all of these negative feelings and thoughts of how bad the smells were, how bad the times are and how I’m stuck in this trap and can’t get out. As I sit here and write this I wonder when did it all leave? When did all of this bad creep in and why? Why am I so confused and my mind so chaotic and scrambled all of the time, will I ever be able to enjoy the things I used too, will I ever be “ok” again. I just want to be able to smell the pasta, eat the pasta and enjoy the pasta without any other thoughts, nothing, just silence I want to eat without planning what’s next. I want to sit down and be present with whom ever I’m with, I want to eat and not think about my stomach, my thighs or that I’m not good enough to eat or I’m bad for eating, that food is bad, food is the enemy, food makes me fat, I’m fat, im ugly, I dont deserve anything, I need to starve myself, I need to purge, I need to hurt myself, I wish I were dead. I often wonder what it used to be like when I didn’t have these thoughts but it’s been 17 years of this hell so it’s hard to recall. I keep fighting and pushing and trying new things to “get better” but as the days pass nothing changes. I can’t help but wonder what’s next, is this the best my life is ever going to be? Is this the life I’m stuck with? All I want is to eat the pasta, smell the garlic, enjoy the bread and be ok. Yet all I want to do is, purge, take laxatives, restrict, over exercise and not be ok because that’s my normal and that’s how I feel productive and good enough. I’m good enough for my ED, I’m not letting him down. But in the mean time I’m letting myself, my family, friends, down. I’m letting myself go deeper and deeper until one day it’s too deep and it’s too late to enjoy the pasta. I’m losing everything I worked so hard for, I’m giving up and letting go of hope because it’s scary and unfamiliar. My ED is familiar, it comforts me like bread and pasta comfort others. My empty, starving belly comfort me. I like feeling hungry, I have grown to reach for that feeling to fight for that feeling. I have grown to fight for all the things I hate about myself. I have grown to give up and back away from things that are good, comforting and fun. So I guess I’m not weak, I’m not a failure and I’m not giving up because as a matter of fact I fight everyday to be this terrible, hungry, self obsessed human in a shell fighting to prove I am something. Fighting to prove I don’t have to eat the pasta, I can smell the garlic and bread and look at it but I’m strong because I refuse to eat it or keep it in. I refuse to let those calories bind themselves to my body and cause destruction. I refuse to let go, and not be in control. I refuse to allow myself to be who I used to be. This all makes no sense and this my friends and family is what my head is like all day a big mess of confusion, terror and manipulation. All I wanted to do was enjoy the smell of pasta and garlic……

You do you

Far too often we find ourselves lost in a world of make believe and fantasy or should I say Facebook and Instagram. Where everyone’s life is perfect, pictures are flawless, relationships are easy, you have the biggest house and most expensive car. I used to think that those things mattered also but then I got sick, very sick to the point where I was told I was going to die. All of those “perfect” things didn’t matter anymore. What mattered were the people who surrounded me in my worst times, the calls, texts, visits. My sweet dog and my warm purple blanket. If I died no one would care that I lived in a big beautiful home and drove an expensive luxury car. They wouldn’t care how much money I had or what brand of clothing I was wearing all they would care about are the memories we shared. The times we laughed, cried, hugged, or just said a quick hello. I have been reflecting a lot the past week 1/2. I have been struggling a lot and I was very apprehensive to write this blog post due to the repercussions of being another topic of conversation, another let down, and another failure. But after talking to a good friend she reminded me that the only person I need to answer to is God and myself. I know I have been struggling and I know I’m far from perfect but it doesn’t make me any less of a human. My light may be dull and I feel hopeless and lost but at the end of the day all I can do is “do me” I can only be myself. Recovery is really freaking hard, it’s a battle every. single. day. Right now I’m not winning at recovery but I am embracing my life and the people I have in it. I could fall asleep and never wake up and I would be ok with that knowing I tried my hardest. This life is so much more than haves and wants. I’m not going to sit here and bullshit and say I’m doing fantastic, eating all of my meals etc if I want to be me I’m going to be honest and say I’m not eating properly, I’m over exercising and I’m not doing the best. I’m also not looking for sympathy or for someone who is not in my daily circle to ride in and “save the day” I just want to be me, I want to do the best I can, take my struggles and live with them, be thankful for my circle of friends and family and take it day by day. I’m not looking for a miracle, maybe I’ll never recover from anorexia and maybe I’ll die from it but at the end of the day, at the end of my life I know I lived in truth and grace. No ones life is perfect and if you think it is, open your eyes. Some people hide in there darkness, some people use it as a lesson in life. I don’t know what’s the right or wrong way to live but I used to hide in my struggles and it got me to the same place as everyone else so I figured I should drop the act and just be honest which is a whole lot easier than living a lie. Anorexia is the worst thing to ever happen to me. I hate it, I hate the daily struggle of my thoughts, I hate the daily struggle of meals, exercise, purging, laxatives etc. It’s a huge part of my life unfortunately but it’s just that a part of my life. I feel lost without it and I feel sad with it. I didn’t choose to have it but I can choose to deal with it. I’m not going to lie I really just want to give up. I’m so terribly tired of the ups and downs. My weight goes up then goes down, my mood goes up then down, my health goes up then down. It’s a rollercoaster on a daily basis, an hourly basis. Every meal time stares me in the face and I have to choose what to do next. Every mile on the treadmill or track I have to choose what to do next. Everyday I wake up I have to choose what to do next, it’s hard, really hard. I like to keep to myself a lot I have a few people I consider friends who I just adore (you know who you are) and I have family who are there for me and have never given up on me (you know who you are). I’m not doing this to hurt anyone, to cause pain or trouble. I didn’t ask to have anorexia, I didn’t wake up one day and it just appeared. Like I said I don’t know what God has in store for me, but whatever it is I’m ok with it, I’m at peace with my life and the people in it. Life’s a journey and mine is just alittle different then what you see on Facebook and Instagram. It’s not perfect and it wouldn’t be mine if it was. I may not like anorexia but I like who it’s taught me to be. I like that I am able to embrace the bad and the good, to really appreciate what I have and be thankful and blessed for even the smallest things like my purple blanket that I have had for years and my rock I got from my Drs son. Those things are so insignificant to most but they are what matter to me. Moral of the story is “You do you” if you want to eat an entire cake, do it and do it with a smile and savor every bite. If you want to work everyday 70 plus hours a week, do it and embrace it and enjoy it. Do what makes you happy, embrace your days and love with grace, because at the end of your life you answer to one person and that person loves you no mater what you have, had, did, do…that is person is God.

“You do you”

“Everything will be ok in the end, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end”

The famous purple blanket (this blanket has been through over 10 years of life with me) holes and all.

Another NEDA walk means another year.

Last year at this time I was in residential treatment in Indiana at a center called Selah House for my eating disorder (anorexia, purging, laxative abuse), the days and weeks leading up to being admitted into treatment were days and weeks I could never forget even though I’d like to. I was so weak from malnutrition I couldn’t walk and my husband had to push me in a wheel chair, carry me up our stairs to go to bed every night, I slept on the bathroom floor in pain from taking so many laxatives and vomited and went to the bathroom all night, I hadn’t slept in days/weeks, I ate but when I ate it was very little or baby food and I made myself throw it up (purge) and I was just a very sick woman who’s body was shutting down and was told I was going to die. I was getting blood draws 2-3 times a week, therapy twice a week and seeing my dietician once a week. I had no energy, I couldn’t work so I had to take time off (again) and I was pretty much home bed bound or when I was admitted to the hospital, hospital bed bound. It was a living hell, every single day I wanted to die, I prayed for God to please take me away from my living hell, save me from myself, help me. I sat alone during the day with thoughts racing over and over about food, weight, laxatives. I hurt all over, I cried a lot, I wanted to be dead. I would sit in the shower with the water running over my cold, bony body and just cry. Fast forward to today the yearly Cleveland NEDA ( National Eating Disorder Awareness) walk. I’m not at all going to share a picture of perfect, miraculous recovery but I will share a life of fight, struggle, hope and determination. I walked in the NEDA walk today, and you know what even better than that, I woke up at 5am and I was able to run 6 miles before going to the walk. I wake up everyday and I am able to run anywhere from 6-9 miles. I’m able to sleep in my own bed, walk up my stairs, brush my hair, and get dressed. It’s little things that we take for granted that I have a huge appreciation for because for so long I couldnt do those things. My days are not perfect, I’m by far perfect I have days/moments where I have racing thoughts, I restrict something because it’s a fear food or I freak out, for example today when it was 10:45am not technically breakfast (I eat at 8) and not technically lunch (I eat from 12-1:30). My husband wanted to get brunch and I had a meltdown panic attack in Dunkin’ Donuts getting coffee because it wasn’t an appropriate time to eat, it wasn’t my time, EDs time. Luckily my husband is understanding and we went home and I ate at my “regular” time but it’s things like that, that show I’m still not “cured”or perfect and very much in recovery. Today I walked with my supportive husband, wonderful, sweet friend/dietician, and best friend ( and everyone who couldn’t be there but we’re there in spirit) I was able to be present, I was able to enjoy myself I was able to let go of self doubt for a few hours and stand with some of the most important people in my life who have stood by me for so long loving and supporting me through the good and bad. I can’t even begin to express how much it meant to me to not only be at the walk this year but to be with a group of people who love me for me and push me to be better than I have ever been. They have all seen me at my worst and never gave up on me. Today was not only a day to celebrate me and how far I have come but to celebrate my friends and family the ones who never gave up on me. I know how hard it’s been for me so I can only imagine how hard it’s been for them watching me and wishing they could do something to make it all stop. I walked today not for myself but for them, I walked for the people who couldn’t walk and I walked to prove to myself that I can do this, I deserve to do this, and I do have a chance. Today may have seemed like a regular day but reflecting back on it to me it was so much more. I got to be with the lights in my life the ones who never gave up on me today is a day that I will cherish and when I’m having a bad day I can look back and remember this day and tell myself I can do this, I have the best support in the world a group of people friends and family who love me and want the best for me. On days I can’t love myself I will forever love them!