Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Addition of Book Lists

Greetings everyone, I've just added a couple book lists to my blog page. There are two categories so far, Books about Eating Disorders and Books about Abuse and Healing. These are just a few of the books I've read or are reading and I hope to add more along the way. Would you be interested in a list of video/documentaries about the subjects as well? Please let me know.

I invite you to add your favorite books to the list. You may list them in the comment section of this post. I'd love to know what you've read and your opinion if care to share. I will talk about different books from the list periodically. Perhaps we could have a little book review post together.

December 16, 2014: Calling ED Out Pt. 1

I mentioned several posts ago that I started reading "Life Without ED: How One Woman Delclared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too," By Jenni Schaefer with Thom Rutledge.

I'm reading this book a little at a time. Sometimes if I try to take too much information in it become overwhelming. Besides, I like to mull over what I've read thoroughly digesting it before continuing. What I've read so far has the potential of being very helpful. I admit that I was a bit hesitant to becoming completely engrossed in the book for one reason and one reason only. Jenni's ED is Anorexia. My initial feeling was of disappointment. Here I am reading another book about Anorexia. What does that have to do with me? Reading a bit more I found invaluable insight and methodology that can help most any eating disorder.

We all have relationships with our disorder even if we don't see it that way. I appreciate how Jenni separates herself from her eating disorder, giving it it's own identity and functioning in her life. This makes sense. In a previous post I stated that my eating disorder had taken on a life of it's own. Reading Life Without Ed shows me that my thoughts are right on track. EDs are very much an identifiable entity in my life.

One of the more interesting parts of what I've read so far is how Jenni talks about Ed as if it were a real person, as if being in a bad marriage and wanting a divorce. How appropriate. I stopped just after this point because I wanted to allow this concept to really sink in.

I lieu of the recent onset of binging I have turned my attention to calling out Ed. I want Ed to step out of the shadows and so I can fully identify him, seeing him in his ugly truth. I may not experience Ed in the way others experience him. For Jenni, Ed told her she was fat and thin is so much better. My Ed tells me that it's okay to be fat. He tells me to eat, drink and be merry, accept I'm not merry. I've eaten myself into misery. My Ed tells me to sooth myself with more food and it will be alright. Food will never hurt me...yeah right.

I figure, if I can call Ed out I can begin working on a healthier internal dialog, one that counters what he tells me. I've managed to do some of this already only this time it will be different...I hope.

Something has to give. I've been sinking into a huge hole of despair. I'm so tired, too tired to claw my way out. But if I stop trying, the inevitable will happen and I don't want that to happen.

I continue fighting for my life. There will be many ups and downs along the way. Just know that I have not completely given out nor am I giving up. I'm just going through...


My daytime food intake has been very good. I am more creative with breakfasts, especially on the weekends. On Sunday for breakfast I had French toast, smoked turkey sausage and a scrambled egg and a cup of hot tea. I enjoyed every bit of it and was able to manage a snack later that afternoon and a delicious dinner that night consisting of rice, veggies and stewed chicken.

I've recently tried incorporating some of my favorite taste combinations like hotdogs and applesauce, but I'm not strong enough to have a childhood favorites yet. I've discovered that having favored taste combinations can trigger binging because that taste combination was fueled by a need for comfort, so that is something I will need to avoid for now.

Nighttime eating is getting a little better. I don't have a desire to binge every night as I have in recent past. I've managed to get through some nights with or without a snack and other nights, well, I binge, but I try very hard to find mental comfort so I can stop the feed. It helps at times. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

Affirmation after affirmation and I'm still trying to feel better. Some days I feel so strong, but today I do not.

How am I supposed to look in the mirror and see beauty when I look in the faces of others and see disgust? Do I really see the disgust of others or am I seeing a reflection of my own.

Sometimes it's more than stress that sends me spiraling into binging. Sometimes it's the need to forget or escape things...a night of self-medicating. 

I tell myself that food will never hurt me, but it does and I let it. I'm just as accepting of the pain binging bring as I've been of abusive behaviors toward me. I take it all in thinking that taking it makes me stronger. I'm not getting stronger, I'm just becoming more numb.

For the past few nights I have giving into binging. I can't even say what is the reason. I couldn't stop...no matter what I tried. To be completely honest I didn't really try. I simply complied to it's wishes. I ate without measure and did not care. I slept with ease then woke to nausea. Typical scenario, only this time I didn't let it stop me from eating as I should. I hold up well in the light of day, but by night the urges return and I binge again. I've been cycling for the past 3 nights. Even if at that time I wanted to stop I knew I'd lose this fight.

Dear God, please help me get through tonight without binging. I feel the cravings so strong. I need the strength to fight the inner voice that constantly points out the wrongs.

It's 2:14am and I'm no where near sleep. Will I be more productive or will I just eat?

Perhaps another cup of tea or something to read to dull the negativity and the need...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

To My Brothers: Body Image and ED

WARNING: Some of the stories and images may cause triggers.

I want to dedicate this post to the males out there who struggle with eating disorders and negative perceptions of self image. It's not often that the male struggle with self image is mentioned. I invite you, my brothers, who struggle with body image and eating disorders to share your stories or copy and paste links to your videos and blogs in the comments section of this post.

I saw a couple videos today about the search for beauty (male version) and two young males struggle with eating disorders. I was shocked. I did not realize the quest for the perfect body image was so prevalent in males. What I find most disturbing is how society down plays your struggle. Your pain and suffering is just as important as ours. So why doesn't anyone do more to get the information out there? Society's focus is on the perception of beauty from the woman's point of view. There's little room for discussion about the struggles males have with their own body image. I'm sorry that I too have been guilty of not recognizing your struggle.

More and more young males are suffering from eating disorders and body image issues everyday and starting and younger ages as well.

Do Men and Boys Develope Eating Disorders?

The young lady in the previous video doesn't think that males develop eating disorders because they look muscular in the magazines. She doesn't think they will starve themselves, but rather buff themselves up. Well, here's an example of how some males look so muscular in magazines.

One 13-year-old Boy's Struggle With an Eating Disorder

Male Anorexia Story

I'm so proud of the young men and women who have and are coming forward with their struggles with eating disorders and body image issues. Thank you for sharing. I pray that one day ED will be a thing in the very distant past for all of us.

Post Thanksgiving: How Are You Doing?

Hey everyone. I wanted to touch base with you as we are in the full swing of the holiday season. How are you doing? Do you experience any particular difficulties this time of year? I for one tend to have some measure of depression linked to past holiday practices and urges to night binge. What helps me the most is realizing that I don't have to give into unfortunate or uncomfortable holiday traditions anymore.

There may be some of you who look forward to this time of year as a chance to step away from the mundane and delve into the wonderment of holiday folly and fare. I find a since of joy knowing that there are some who genuinely enjoy this time of year. Then there are those who hide their pain behind the perfectly basted turkey with all the trimmings, possession of super human stamina for the world's biggest shopping day and a meticulously mapped out plan on entombing their homes in miles and miles of twinkling lights. Nothing kills the holiday spirit like a sea of plastic smiles, empty compliments, idol chit chat and muffled sighs.

Are you one who is prone to continuing with traditions that may possibly trigger you just for the sake of looking normal? I used to. I would always give the excuse that I was on a diet so I could get away with eating very little during dinner. Later I'd be given all sorts of neatly packaged goodies in foil covered plates. Little did they know at least 90% of the food would be consumed later that night.

Binging during the holidays was the norm...the biggest binge session of the year. I'd be drunk with anticipation (chuckle), lost in planning the order in which I would eat my newly acquired morsels. End of the year holidays are the one time of year that you can have enormous amounts of food without question.  

Since beginning my quest for wellness I've stopped indulging in massive holiday binges. No more cooking and hording massive amounts of food. I keep things much more simple now. If there are plans to have company I make sure to cook an appropriate amount of food allowing enough to send home with friends and have some left for meals the next day. If we decide not to have company I'll prepare a few of our favorites, enough for two days. I don't bake a lot of deserts. Usually we have a friend make something like a pie or cobbler and I supply the ice cream. For me, deserts are hard to resist, so it's most beneficial to have access to as few sweets as possible.

I don't really care what people think of my changes. It's a matter of knowing my triggers and self preservation.

This year we were planning to have company even thought I didn't feel up to it. The day before Thanksgiving I made a call and opted out of the gathering. I was pleased to know that my intended guests were also not in the mood for holiday cheer. Relief. I prepared a couple Cornish hens, sweet potatoes, greens, and a little mac-n-cheese. That's it! Oh, and fruit for dessert if desired. It was a wonderful meal. Yes I had a late night snack, but did not binge. The next I took the remaining Cornish hen and made gravy and served the left over sides. My good friend also sent over some of the turkey she baked along with a small amount of baked mac-n-cheese.  The leftovers were wonderful. I reframed from preparing more food because I was able to see what we had as enough.

Today there is a small amount of gravy and a few morsels of Cornish hen left. I'm thinking about making a little brown rice and a small pot of green beans and that will be dinner. I feel good about not binging, especially since I've had several binges recently. I'm proud of myself.

Holidays and get-togethers are hard when combating eating disorders. Just take it one step at the time...I day at the time. It's okay if you need to hang out in smaller groups or with just one friend to avoid larger crowds and facing enormous amounts of food. Try not to stay to yourself during these hard times. Now is when support really comes in handy. It will benefit you greatly to spend time with someone who understands what you are going through. You'll need to be able to talk out your feelings with someone, cry, scream, whatever it takes to get the emotion out so you don't take it out on your body.

Huge hugs to all my sisters and brothers who are recovered, recovering or struggling with ED. My heart goes out to you as I keep you in my prayers.

I don't know what tomorrow brings, but I have hope that you know that you are not alone and that we can be here for each other. Take care, my friends. I'll check in again soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pretty Ugly

What is that thing about us that makes us judge ourselves so harshly?
Is there always the pervasive link to abuse or could it be something more costly?
Could it be an internalized need to compare one to another?
After all, we look through countless pages of magazines,
Idolizing airbrushed beauties as we dream...
Lusting for perfection.
Unobtainable beauty, 
Life's worldly possession.

In essence we ARE already that beauty,
 We so desperately long to be.
As seen through the eyes of a stranger
A gentler, kinder, prettier persona of me.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bits and Pieces

My eyes are too buggy.
My forehead too big.
My hair is unruly.
It looks like a wig.
My breasts are not perky.
My stomach protrudes.
Thighs shaped like tree trunks.
Accompanied by dimpled glutes. 
My skin heavily scared,
And stretched so tight.
Over the bulky frame of my girth,
Nothing shaped quite right.
My feet are to small,
As if unable to stand at all.
Slightly on tippy toe,
I've learned to lean just so.
A lingering stare into a mirror,
Loathing every bit and part of me.
A living portrait of my own worst enemy.
What ever will become of me.
One day most assuredly,
I will develop a healthier perception of me.
And I will stare into that mirror...you see,
With a brand new ability to love the entire me.

GUILT and SHAME: How Abuse Distorts Perceptions

WARNING: This post may cause triggers. Sharing about self body image, psychological abuse and sexual abuse.

How many of us can recognize how our pasts effect our present and future? Not being able to see this connection is not as uncommon as you might think. As a matter of fact, it is more common that you could imagine. That is why I will periodically write about past events and explain how those events affect me today.

Eating disorders don't start out of the blue. They develop over time. For every addictive or hurtful behavior there is a root beginning. There is a point where things shift and move towards an unhealthy path. It is time to recognize those points of shifting, work through them and propel ourselves into a healthier direction.

I don't think that I've talked much about my feelings of guilt, shame or disgust. Though I do not feel at fault for what my parents have done to me, I do feel fault and guilty for what I've done to myself. I've also recently discovered that I feel fault and guilt about things my parents blamed me for especially if there was something I did want to do and I am told that something bad came of it...I believed it.


When I was very young, about 6 or 7 we had this lovely dog named Brutus. Funny, I'm just now able to remember his name. He was a large brown boxer. My parents had just recently gotten him. I was a little afraid of him because he was so large, but I cared for him very much and wanted to bond with him. One day after finishing my school work I went out side to play with Brutus. He was lying beside the back porch. I called his name, but there was no response. I called is name again and still no response. Then I began screaming his name over and over again. I ran in the house still screaming and crying. My mom had her back to me. "He's dead...he's dead!" I guess my mom got tired of me screaming. She turned around and glared at me. "It's YOUR fault!", "It's YOUR fault that he's dead!", "YOU never wanted to feed him or clean up after him! I had to do it all!", "He died because YOU didn't want to take care of him!" Eyes stretched wide and completely silenced, I stopped crying. Was it really my fault? Did I kill Brutus?

To this day that moment still haunts me and yes, in a strange kind of way, I still feel guilt for Brutus' death. I feel guilt when I get a little angry with my son and just want him to go to another room and be quiet for awhile. It's not that I would have said anything. Usually it's just a passing thought. But there have been times when he's gotten sick after I had a thought like that and I wondered...was it my fault? Will God take him away from me because I wanted him to be quiet? It is truly unfortunate what I experienced that day so many years ago. And it is even more unfortunate that I am still affected by my mother's words.

Recently there has been another incident when I've felt profound guilt for something I ultimately had no control over. It was when my son had his bout with constipation. Even though his pediatrician said it was common, I still felt as thought I had done something wrong. I could not sleep for carrying the guilt. My guilt turned into anger. How dare my body work properly when my son's body cannot. The guilt was more than I could bare. I hated myself and I began starving myself again. I know this is extreme. I can't help how I felt. I believed bad things happen when you don't do things perfectly and being a less than perfect mother caused my son to get sick. This way of thinking is a product of the abuse that I endured. I realize that. Now I need to figure out how to combat those strong emotional responses to my past. How do I shake this?


My parents were ashamed of me and I was ashamed for embarrassing them especially in public. I could always tell they felt this way. It was how their voices dropped when it came time to introduce me. "And this is my (pause) daughter." Not only did I not behave normally like other kids my age. I wasn't as attractive as my parents. They were picture perfect...on the outside... I felt like an alien, often wondering if they found me under a bush or perhaps someone left me on their doorstep. I would imagine a spaceship flying by and I haphazardly thrown from the ship landed in my parents yard. I can't ever remember feeling as thought I belonged. Oh well, they were stuck with me and I them.

I  about being fat and an eyesore...a disappointment. They would constantly point out all of my flaws and tried earnestly to figure out how to correct them. I lost the ability to see myself as worthy of being loved or worthy of anything. I lost the ability to see myself at all.

I never believe that I deserved how I was treated, but I didn't believe that I deserved to be treated any better either. I wasn't sure what better was anyway.

I still feel the shame for being fat and unattractive. And fat is still my safety net, never to worry about being touched again. Just thinking about it makes me want to scarf down a few oatmeal cream pies as I schlep around the house in old socks and loose clothing camouflaging my girth. It's not working. I tell myself that I dress this way because I want to be comfortable. Lie! I'm hiding...hiding in plain sight. If only I could implode and disappear.

Everyday is a struggle...going through life hoping no one sees me. I hate having to deal with the outside world, my tenants, especially. When I go to the properties, I feel like everyone is staring at me because I'm so fat and disgusting. Shame oozes out of my pores as I encounter each new person. There is silence and  Dear God, please make this go away. I am that same little girl walking down the street with her parents and feeling as though she is a complete outcast and does not belong. Only now I'm not with my parents, I'm with my son. My beautiful son, tall, handsome and well dressed. And here I am...well, I just am.

This reminds me of a book I once purchased for a friend, "When will I Be Good Enough: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers." I should have kept that book for myself. I'm always stuck in between feeling or not feeling good enough to be my son's mom. Almost identical to feeling that I was not good enough to the daughter of my parents.

Are you starting to see the distinct patterns between past and present?

All I've ever wanted was to be loved and accepted. No matter how I look I would never be accepted or loved by my parents, many family members and past so called friends.

Fact: In the past, most of the people in my life were only in my life because they wanted or needed something. I am not mad at them. I only wish that I could have had a healthier relationship with them. I wish they could have seem more value in me as a person.

Now that I have been blessed with both love and acceptance from my son and a few friends, I still struggle with believing that it's real or perhaps I just don't know how to accept unconditional love, because it's not something that I'm familiar with.

I hope to become a healthier slimmer me without the fear. I don't know what it's going to take to get there, but as many of you already know, I am always searching for answers and solutions and I believe I will find those answers and solutions one day.  

A huge thank you to those of you who I've come to know and love. Thank you for your support, love and kindness and thank you most of all for your acceptance.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 17, 2014: In the Trenches

I'm still here... Been thinking about you all and wondering how you are doing. I've been having a very hard time for the past few months. It's been like experiencing one bad omen after another. A reminder of what life was like for me this time last year. I was so hopeful of seeing a better year and desperate for some emotional, mental and physical relief. Instead I was met head-on with challenges that almost knocked me off my feet. My life has been a roller coaster rider ever since. 

How do you deal with people who choose to hate you, not for anything of your own doing, but for things that your parent did? I having to face people who don't like me more frequently than I care to acknowledge. These people don't like me because the did not like my dad. They did not like how he tricked, deceived, manipulated and even stole from them. So now that he's dead I guess they think that I should pay for his wrong doings. I've always lived a simple life, never going outside of my means or comfort. I am well aware of my limitations and have mastered moving within finely balanced parameters. That has all changed and I am in an emotional uproar almost all the time. Even in all of this I've managed to keep a healthy balance in my home, that is until a recent health issue with my son. I've always said I can take anything as long as I know my son is okay. Well, he's was not okay and my world is spiraling out of control.

There are some who will think what I'm about to say is trivial and warrants little to no concern. Of course, I would never have thought such a thing until someone I call friend showed me that she felt this way.

My son started having issues with drooling and clearing his throat a couple months ago. It didn't seem like anything big, but it was not going away. My initial thought what that he could be cutting wisdom teeth and I treated him accordingly, but even that was taking longer than it should. I took him to the dentist to confirm my theory only to find that his wisdom teeth are only budding and not yet ready to come in. The very next day I took him to the pediatrician's office and was told that everything looked fine. We went home, but I was still concerned and my concern was taking a turn for the worse. It was fast approaching massive fear and anxiety. Fear of not knowing what is going on with my son, a child who had so many health issues in the beginning, but has grown into a child that has almost no issues with physical health. So how can it be that all of a sudden things are taking such a dramatic turn. What could be the cause?

Each day that passes causes more and more questions to surface. I called the pediatrician's to request a referral to an ENT specialist (Ears, Nose and Throat) to take a closer look. It would only be a few more days before seeing the specialist. I don't want anything to be wrong with my son and there are so many questions I need answered. In the meantime, I also scheduled my son's yearly well check. During the well check I was asked if my son had been having problems with constipation. CONTIPATION?! How is that possible, he has a short gut. A large portion of my son's gut was removed when he was a week old. Diarrhea would be more of an issue for us. That is why he's on a high fiber diet which helps to regulate everything. All of a sudden now I'm being told that he's constipated and not just constipated, but impacted. I'm at a total loss.

News of my son's constipation was the straw that made my knees buckle. My mind starts to spin out of control looking for answers while I am having to adjust to what is known as a normal childhood ailment. I'm not that familiar with normal childhood ailments when it comes to my son. His health issues have been either life threatening or a simple common cold. Taking my son's health history into consideration, I struggle to understand how constipation could be considered normal for a child who's gut has been so severely compromised. The pediatrician casually tells me that my son is not getting enough roughage. How would he know that? He's never once been invited to dinner. Aside from my son's infancy there has been no talk of his dietary intake. I am so sick of these doctors assuming that there must be a deficit. Not to mention how bad I felt as a parent that my son's doctor does not think that I'm feeding him well. I have you know that my son has a healthier diet than most. Anyway, my son is prescribed a laxative and I am given instruction on how to do a home clean out. Everything went well. I did adjust my son's diet a bit to decrease wheat intake because he may be developing sensitivity to wheat products. It's been about a month since this change and he's doing quite well.

Just as the constipation episode dissipated he began having what appeared to be seizures. I have no idea where this is coming from. We went to the emergency room and everything checked out well. In the next few days we were seeing a neurologist who's not sure if my son was having actual seizures or not. One MRI and two EEGs later we are still unsure. What we did find was that my son's cerebellum is underdeveloped. Well, that explains his difficulty with motor planning.

My son is doing quite well. He has not had another seizure type episode since October. Thank goodness for that! We are scheduled to go back to neurology next February. It will be determined then if more tests will be given.

I guess I don't need to tell you that my good eating habits have gone out the window. Yes, I started starving and binging again. It was really bad in September and did get some better in October. My anxiety level was extremely high also. I'm a little better now. Still struggling to get everything back on track. I'm not starving myself during the day anymore, but I'm having great difficulty with night binging. All I can say is some nights are better than others.

I think I'm going to have to have a long discussion with my eating disorder and tell him a thing or two. Wish me luck...

So sorry that I haven't had the energy or the mindset to be productive for awhile. Miss you guys...It's good to be back.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ED-NOS: Finally They Are Taking It Seriously (Possible triggers in this post)

For the longest time ED that were not specifically Anorexia or Bulimia were secondary at best. Well, in my opinion NES or what now falls under the ED-NOS diagnosis, was last on the list of EDs and not fully acknowledged as an ED. I don't mind being lumped under the ED-NOS umbrella as long as medical professional are taking all EDs seriously.

I came across a video of a news report about ED-NOS. It's the first report I've ever come across that acknowledges ED-NOS as a dangerous and potentially life threatening condition. 

Here's the video:

WARNING: This video may contain triggers for some of you. Please be mindful if you decide to watch.

ED-NOS: Most Dangerous, Unheard of Eating Disorder

Sharing Progress

Hi everyone! I hope that you are still on the road to wellness. If not, don't worry the road is still there. You'll just have to make your way back. As you know, the road to wellness has many hills and valleys. What makes the path a successful one is when we accept and acknowledge that hills and valleys will come and continue working hard to achieve our goals.


I've been thinking about you and hoping the best for you. I have not written in some time. I don't want to risk being redundant or mundane, so I pace myself that I am able to give you up to date information as it occurs. Sometimes I go through periods of time with little to no change. Which is a  good thing for me most of the time. I hope the breaks aren't too long and that you will continue reading my posts.

There's not too much going on with me. I am pleased to say that I'm still eating very well during the day. I've had a couple night binges since my last post, but doing much better. Things seem to be on the right course now that I've gotten a much better handle on daytime eating. Still having to rely on late night snacks, but I don't have to have them every night. I prepare them still, but only eat the snack if I feel I really need it.

I'm in a much better place with myself. I feel love for myself and I'm working on having a healthy relationship with myself. My afformations are working. I didn't think they would at first, but they really are. I'm glad I stuck to it this time. I'm still struggling with my letter to self. Been talking to the therapist about it and we both agree this is something that I'll need to keep at the forefront. Not to push myself too much, but give the task my attention from time to time. Eventually, I will get the 1st letter written. 

You opinion is needed. I've been thinking about doing a few audio posts in this blog. Is that something you'd be interested in? I figure it might be nice to just listen sometimes. Please let me know if you think you'd like to listen to a few posts. I may do a test audio post and ask your opinion then. You comments are always appreciated.

(Alert: Potential Trigger)
On the down side, I went to see my doctor about a week ago. Of course you know the first thing I had to do was to get on the scale. I don't understand why they insist weighing has to happen each visit, especially with someone who is diagnosed with an ED. I wonder if it would help that I mention this while setting up appointments? Anyway, I got on the scale and to my dismay, discovered that I'd gained weight. I wish I could get the number out of my head. I have not let new discovery disturb or disrupt the progress I've made. I acknowledge the effect it could have on me, so I make it a point to be extra mindful of eating for my health everyday. I've been doing so well lately. I can't bare the thought of falling back to my old ways. I don't know why I've gained weight. Right now all I can do is continue thinking healthy and changing some of the things that I've been eating. I'm not going to get hyper focused on this. Please don't allow my words to trigger you.

On to happier subjects. My skin in looking better and I will be seeing a new dermatologist soon. I've been seeing my old dermatologist for many years. I think he's just tired of seeing me and really doesn't care anymore. It's largely because I question his judgment sometimes. I don't like taking lots of pills and I'm particularly weary of side effects. Needless to say, I don't give in easy. Perhaps he's just tired of the fight.

I had my godson over for a movie night before his birthday. He just turned 21. It doesn't seem like it's been 21 years, not to mention, my son is turning 15 next month. Time is moving way too fast. (sigh) In the past, my godson's visits have been a source of great binging pleasure. We've always had a history of eating everything we wanted on the nights that he visits. I guess one could rationalize it and say we were having a foodie vacation. The reality was that I had an eating partner and enjoyed sharing the wealth. I've only recently accepted the fact that I did this. For the past few years I've been encouraging my godson to eat less when visiting us. I wasn't that strict and would often give in to his sad puppy dog eyes when gazing at a delectable treat. Since I've come to terms with severity of my situation I've become much more strict. He doesn't like it, but that's how it has to be. I can't afford to keep binging with him and I don't want to encourage him to binge, especially now that I can see what is was all along...a love of mass quantities of food after dark.

During his last visit I treated him to Chinese food, which he loves. This time we were only allowed one entre, one appetizer and one snack for later on. I knew he was disappointed and tried to hide it, but I also noticed the he was satisfied with the quantity of food. That he did not gorge himself as he used to, but was forced to allowed himself time to feel full. Yes, I am doing the right thing...for both of us. Oddly enough, my son never got into the binging on movie night. I'm so very glad about that.

All in all, I think that I have made great strides on many levels. I can see a rainbow at the end of the tunnel. I continue to hope that my words encourage you. Wellness is achievable for all of us if only we don't give up. Stay strong...be encouraged, especially during the rough patches and celebrate your accomplishments as they come.

Give yourselves a hug today and here's a great big hug from me to you (((((HUG)))).

Take good care my friends, continue on your journey to wellness. You are not alone.

Monday, August 4, 2014

July 4, 2014 - Emotionally Abusive Relationships

Hi everyone! I found an article that I wanted to share with you. In my last post I started a conversation on friendship leading into possible further conversation about other types of relationships. This article is about abusive relationships. I believe it speaks mainly or spousal or romantic relationships, however, some of what I read could apply to any kind of relationship. If you have a moment, please take time to read this article. It is not a long article. There are 12 points that are briefly touched upon. If you find that any of these points are relevant in any of your relationships, you may want to assess those relationships for toxicity levels. Weigh the pros and cons of having that relationship. It is very difficult to begin or even maintain a path of health and wellness when involved in toxic and non-supportive relationships.

If you are currently receiving therapy or considering therapy, you may want to talk to your therapist about your current relationships if you have not already done so. Sometimes the lines of good/bad relationships are foggy, especially when you are caught up. It helps to have a non-bias outside point of view. It also helps to explore suggestions on how to build healthier relationships if that is something that you struggle with. I do. At the age of 48, I'm just learning how to identify the unhealthy portions of my relationships. So it's never too late to learn even if we think we should already know better.

Here's the article.
10 Signs You May Be in an Emotional Abusive Relationship

Happiness and Wellness to all of you :-)

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

I'm currently on another emotional roller coaster ride triggered by my long-term friend, Stress. Yep, it's been pretty stressful around here and will be for some time. I'm holding my own...doing okay. Just thought I'd check in with you to encourage you to stay strong. I'm encouraging myself too.

I've just finished a post for 7/26. I'll tweet in later this evening. I discovered that my last post was published but not tweeted. I don't want to send too many posts out at one time. I may even wait until tomorrow. Since this post will be short I'll go ahead a publish is today.

As far as my stressors. I am working diligently to undo my world view of this problem so that I may take on a view that is more indicative to my faith. It's hard...very hard. I'm a fighter. You may call me stupid...I get knocked down and sometimes knocked out, but I get up and start fighting again. No wonder I'm always tired. Anyway, I'm proud to announce that I have not lost my appetite in all of this. I woke up early this morning and had a small banana with one piece of wheat toast and peanut butter for breakfast. I think breakfast was around 9:30- 10am. My son and I ran a quick errand and we stopped for burgers. I ordered my fish sandwich meal and did not supersize it. I'm getting better about that. I've come to realize that supersizing my meal is kind of like a mini binge where I'm trying to cram food in even when I'm full. I don't know what's for dinner yet, but I plan on it being something healthy and hopefully delicious.

Take care, my friends. I'll be checking in with you soon and if you'd like, I can continue posts about relationships or I can post about the book I'm focused on reading, "Life Without ED." If you have not read my last post, here's a link to more information about this book http://www.amazon.com/Life-Without-Ed-Declared-Independence/dp/0071422986. Whenever you've got a free moment please do take the time to listen to an exert from the book. You'll see the listen icon just under the book's cover pic. I really enjoyed what I heard and can't wait to take a bite out of this book. I wanted to get started over the weekend, but I guess you can tell that I was not in the frame of mind.

I look forward to sharing more with you about this book. From what I can tell, it comes highly rated.

Blessing to you all...be well...

July 26, 2014 - Friendship

Greetings everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. I've been thinking a lot about the subject of relationships...friendship in particular. As I continue to think about friendship, past, present and future I wonder...have I think about friendship and what role my friends may play in my healing process?

I could talk about many facets of relationships with you, however, I think it would be best for me to focus on individual kinds of relationships. As we all know, relationships can be complex even complicated and each type of relationship deserves it's own time and space in this conversation.

Today I want to focus on our knowledge of what friendship is and what it means to have friends. How do we see our friends and do they serve any particular purpose?

Wikipedia - Friendship (partial definition)
Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people.[1] Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association.

Urban Dictionary - Friendship (partial definition)
Something that is much underrated in our society. Friendship is actually a form of love (here I'm not talking exclusively about erotic love). It's not a lesser form of love than erotic love, only a different form of love. In fact, the ancient Greeks had a word, "phileos", more or less equating to fraternal/brotherly love (friendship). Friendship seems to have no observable biological necessity(unlike parental love, necessary for humans to grow, and erotic love, necessary for humans to reproduce), and not much of a marketable appeal (as opposed to the millions/billions of dollars worth of things sold to people trying to better their marriages or parenting skills), yet without such a form of love as friendship our societies would be unbearably dull and alienated from one another.

Above are two basic definitions of friendship. What do you think of them? Have you ever given thought to what friendship means to you and what you are truthfully seeking from your friendships? I had not given much thought to what my friendships meant to me or what it was that I wanted to receive from them, not anymore than how to be supportive, nurturing, giving and so on. In my opinion those things are superficial. Why? Because they are simply actions. What I've given thought to recently are the reasons behind my actions and why certain actions were so much more important to me than others. We as human beings often times don't think about the reasons we do things because we are to busy doing without thought. Does that make sense? Humans frequently do things inadvertently as a reaction to either a person, stimuli, situation, past or anticipated experience.

My past friendships served many purposes. First and foremost, they were a welcomed distraction from my miserable life. Pre-teen friendships, not so much; most of my interactions were at home and home was not a safe place, even with friends present. It wasn't until my late teens early twenties when I saw friendships in a new lite. Visiting friends was a lovely filler for the day. After taking care of my responsibilities I would spend countless hours with my friends, often calling them immediately after getting home, even thought I just left from seeing them. Obsessive? Maybe so. As long as the conversation was good and the company friendly I was game and seemingly so were they. I doted over my friends, giving them almost anything they wanted. That also included limitless time and attention. That was my way of showing appreciation for their friendship or at the very least their attention. The thing is...I didn't really have their attention. They were more fixated on what they could get from me and how many different ways I would work to see they had what they needed over and beyond my own needs.

One of my biggest dreams was to become a noted psychologist. Why not, after all, most of my waking hours were spent studying human behaviors. What better way to serve mankind than to listen to their problems. Not only was it my greatest obsession and in many ways still is, but it was also how I learned to be socially adequate in most respects. Yes, I was considered different, so much so that most people did not know what to think of me or do with me. I never really saw myself as different other than my lack of understanding or being completely bored by the trivial conversations of peers. I'd much prefer the company of adults even if they didn't want me around.

Getting back to the matter at hand...When my hope for attending an ivy league school were dashed by my parents, I pretty much gave up on everything. I'd had enough. Too tired to keep fighting to be something more than my parent's punching bag. So you see, that is why I became the friendly unpaid therapist that I was for my friends.

This monster need is what fueled a vicious cycle. With each new friend I would hone in on their needs and like a well trained servant my every move was to make them happy. In reality, what I was doing was fulfilling my own need for happiness and purpose. I needed to be needed because I was devalued at home. I was as addicted to catering to friends as I was to hurting myself. And I did this without conscious.
As I continue trying to understand the complexities of human relations, daunting as it may be, I find solace in knowing that I will some day better understand myself.  

I am proud to day that I have been delivered from such behaviors and have a much healthier view on friendships. Friendships should be mutual...a give and take. My new purpose for having friends is to enjoy the company of like minds as well as enjoying the company of different mind sets. I enjoy getting to know a person just for the sake of getting to know them. I no longer assess people nor and I hungry to hear their problems. Not to say that we can't share things about ourselves and our situations, just not for any particular purpose other than get it off our chest and sometimes just to be heard. When I listen to friends I acknowledge that I heard them and always hope the best for them. If they ask for my opinion, I give myself the option to give that opinion or not. It's no longer automatic.

Since this miraculous change occurred, I've become freer with my friends. I've lost a couple friends along the way and I've allowed myself to mourn the loss, but not before acknowledging the lost relationships poisonous affect on my life. I give thanks for being able to recognize unhealthy exchanges between me and my so called friends and I revel in the ability to let those relationships go.

So I urge you to take a closer look at your friendships and the purpose for which your friendships serve. Trust me there is a purpose weather healthy or not. You may want to ask yourself a few questions:

What kind of friend are you?
a. Are you a good listener?
b. Do you always command attention?
c. Are you always the giver of attention?
d. Do you talk about various subjects with your friends or do you mostly talk about yourself?
e. When your friend in talking, do you listen or do you think of other things (like your grocery list)?
f. Whenever your friend brings up a subject, do you allow your friend to lead the discussion or do you take over and turn the discussion back to yourself?
g. Do you and your friends treat each other out sometimes or buy each other gifts?
h. Do you find that you are always the one to treat your friends/buy gifts or vice versa?
I.  Do you and your friends take turn initiating planned get-togethers or in-prompt-two meetings?
j.  Do you find that you may be the one who always makes the plans or everyone always meets at your house?

These are just a few suggested questions. You may very well have your own questions. Just thought I'd give you a bit of a jump start.

The reason I wanted to talk about friendships here is because we need to realize how much our relationships affect our path to wellness. It is very hard to get well when you are in a state on constant upheaval. You may not realize it because you are used to it. Assess yourself. Do you feel exhausted/drained after talking to or spending time with a friend. It's not healthy to always feel that way. You may want to consider cutting back on time spent with that friend. And if you find yourself where you are getting all of the attention than you may need to ask yourself why you need so much attention and why you are not giving the same attention to your friend.

All of the points that I've brought up so far in this blog are linked together. Learning to love and value yourself is key. When you love yourself your are better equipped to being committed to yourself and your wellness journey. Standing up for yourself in parasitic relationships can easily occur when you learn to love yourself and are committed to yourself.. Even changing ones own parasitic ways can occur when taking an honest, healthy assessment of your relationships with others. See how it works?

This same principle can be applied to any relationship. Don't over do it. Take your time. Don't be afraid to let go of the unhealthy links in your life weather they be friend or foe.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014

Oh my goodness! Where has the time gone. I know it's been awhile since I've posted, but I did not realize that it's been almost a month. How are you all of you doing? I hope you are well and if not, I hope that you are seeking a path to wellness.

I'm sitting here eating dinner at 6:58pm and doing pretty good with that. Yes, at times I've eaten a little later, but that was largely due to my internal battle with wanting to purchase takeout. Purchasing takeout has to be done with great care at my house. If I'm not careful, I will purchase our meals and additional foods for binging. I'm much better about acknowledging my triggers.

Let's see, where did I leave off last time? I believe I was struggling between doing better during the day and worse at night or being better at night and worse during the day. I'd like to say that I've conquered this madness, but I will refrain for the moment. Lets just say that I am doing better all around with few issues. Okay, if want to call a late night snack of popcorn a problem...so be it. I don't see it that way.

I have not had any major sweet cravings for some time now. I can't say if my last battle with sweets was triggered by stress or hormones. Whatever the case, it has gone away for now. I'm so very glad about that.

I've been cooking some really great meals. We of course have lots of veggies and lean meats in small portions which is working well for me. I can't tell if my weight is changing and I am not strong enough to look at a scale. I still have not grasped the power of exercise, but I'm working it. I can say that I have much more compassions for myself, which makes it so much easier to eat the way I should. I feel good about myself and I don't mind sharing my truths. I don't mind letting people know when they need to back off and give me space. It was shaking for awhile, but those who respect my wishes remain and those who don't...well...

There was a book that someone recommended I buy. I can't remember if it was a friend on the phone or a friend online. Doesn't matter, I purchased the book. It's entitled, "Life Without ED: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too. The book was written by Jenni Schaefer with Thom Rutledge. I'll probably start reading it sometime this weekend. I've been head strong in watching some of the latest Autism documentaries. I'm not going to give my opinion here. I'll save that for my autism blog.

Can you tell that I'm feeling a little perky this evening? I hope so. Life has been so much better after letting go of some of my angst. I feel lighter in my spirit and my walk.There are those times when I may take a few steps back. It's okay to recognized those times and work towards being better, but I will no continue allowing those times to be a crutch. Stay strong and work towards the good. Focus on being better to yourself and things will change for the better.

Oh yeah, I remember now, I left off last time talking about assessing relationships with friends, acquaintances, family and lovers. Okay. I'm not going to address that today, but I will definitely be discussing that in the very near future. For now, I am going to get back to my dinner.

I hope for you all that you have a peaceful evening, morning, day, night, wherever you are in this great thing called time.

I'll let you know about the book, "Life Without ED," soon. For those of you who may be interested in purchase a copy or taking a sneak peek, here's the link, http://www.amazon.com/Life-Without-Ed-Declared-Independence/dp/0071422986. In this link you also have the option of listening to a portion of the book. I think you'll really enjoy it. I love the way Jenni writes about ED.

Take care, my friends and thank you for your patience.

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014

Greetings everyone! I hope you all had a lovely break over the weeks end.

I've been thinking about you all quite a bit. I don't know your stories or even if many of you have experienced some sort of eating disorder or even addition. Whatever your story, I hope that you are well. I hope that I have been able to share something meaningful to you. And I totally understand if you don't wish to share your thoughts here. Having any kind of addiction or ED can be very difficult to talk about.

I've been talking to people around ED a lot lately, more so than ever before. I guess the main thing is my desire to encourage them to try healthier measures for dealing with pain. As I talk with other people, I find that my mind continues to explore all the facets of the roots to this long-term problem of mine. At first I found it a bit redundant to continue revisiting past questions, that is...until it started paying off. I've discovered there are many layers to how and why my ED developed. Layers that I did not recognize before, but make so much sense. Filling in the gaps, I believe is what I'd call it.

In earlier posts, I wrote about the beginning of the development of my NES desperately needing to be comforted by something that seemingly would not hurt me as I had fallen into a world filled with hurt and shame...a world without escape.

I discovered another thing about myself. I needed to feel some sense of control. I had not control over any aspect of my life including my own emotions, but I could control my eating during the day and relished the planning of eating at night. Does this sound familiar to any of you? In addition to the need to have some sort of control I also had a strong desire to be heard, to be recognized, to be seen as human. I wanted my parents to see me hurt myself. I wanted to show them see how much I hated what they wanted of me. I did everything to destroy the perfection they sought. Then too, maybe they'd feel sorry for me and feel something for me other than hate, but they didn't. How could they? What I was doing was fueling their fire. I made them hate me even more for my rebellion against their desires. Even still, I thought my parents would have some measure of sympathy for me if the pain were self inflicted. Instead they just let it happen. There was probably some measure of satisfaction watching me starve myself in the interest of loosing weight. No wonder their outrage when I stepped on a scale to find that I had gained weight instead.

I try not to dwell on my situation too much. I'm not trying to draw negativity or be depressed. What I hope for is to be able to see the bigger picture. I need to confront all of my demons. As I've said before and will continue to say...The recovery process required more than simply addressing the undesired behaviors it required digging deep and find the root cause for the behaviors. That is when the healing begins.

So I guess the question is... What have I done with my new found self discovery? Well, what I have done so far is to recognize that I need to find healthier ways to cope with my pain. Writing this blog is certainly one of them, but I believe that I need a few more healthy options. Also, this new discovery of self had lead to me assessing my relationships and why they exhaust me. I'm exhausted by my relationships because I was fulfilling a need to be heard on a level that I could manage. I'd even go so far as to say that I played a roll that was conducive to my need to be needed. And the biggest part of that fulfillment was to stand on my soap box and command my audience. How lame is that?

My need to be heard and my need to be needed was my new way of self soothing. All the while, I was still binging and starving, but my physical needs were no longer noticeable. It was my emotional need that took precedence. Perhaps that is why denial of the physical element of my ED came so easy.

I am proud to say that I am no longer the pompous blowhard and self proclaimed therapist that I was. My relationships are different. I will admit, I've lost some friends along the way, but it's okay. Those relationships were poison. For the few who stayed and the new arrivals, I try my best to be a much better friend. I strive to be a better listener, but not one who hones in on others problems, just to listen, simply for the sake of listening because we all have a right to be heard. I speak more, not to offer advice, but to share life experience and to encourage. I am working on not judging those who's opinions are different from mine. I seek healthy exchanged...give and take. Friendships should never be one-sided. I'd like to post more on the subject of friendships/relationship. Do you think that would be something you'd be interested in reading about?

There may be times that we find ourselves wanting to pull away from those we see as negative or at least contributors to our negativity only to find that we land in the lap of another who is equally or even more negative than the last. Perhaps it is not recognizable because it's a different kind of negative. Doesn't matter, a negative is a negative and it all feels the same.

My eating has been pretty good. I won't say that I've been very timely during my daytime eating, but I am eating healthy, whole meals in appropriate portions. I am back to eating a pre-measured night time snack each night. There are some nights that I really want to eat more and sometimes I do, but it's not out of control like it once was. I am completely aware of my actions. I am a work in progress, but I am making improvements.

Also, I continue to feel better about myself. I continue wanting to embrace myself and see myself with my own eyes which is working for me. I am able to stand up for myself better. I can voice when something makes me feel uncomfortable. I've noticed that a few of my longtime friends don't like the recent changes in me. These are the friends that are accustomed to feeding into my need to be needed as well as feeding their need to be heard. They're fighting to reclaim center stage and they may have it, just not with me. It feels good to be freed from another chain that binds. It feels real good...

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014

It's Monday afternoon. I'm doing pretty well. Still have not eaten today, but I'm working on it. It's been 4 nights of insomnia already. I have had insomnia episodes last as long as 2 weeks. I really don't mind because there's always so much I could be doing.

My body's starting to get a little tired. I'm moving slower today. My mind is very alert right now. I'm still getting sleepy between the hours of 6 and 8pm, but shorty afterwards I am fully awake and alert well into the wee hours of the morning. I'm not allowing myself to take naps when I feel sleepy. I don't want to help the non-sleep process that I'm going through.

I've been very productive for the last 3 nights and I wake up feeling like I'm ready to do so much more. Being an insomniac has it's perks.

I've been very good about not binging late night. Even with cake and cookies in the house. It's odd isn't it? I guess I can attribute some of that to not stressing about falling asleep. I'm enjoying myself too much. However, my daytime eating is suffering. I don't understand why I can't get daytime and nighttime eating in sync. Seems when I get one under control the other wants to get whacky. Why is that? And how do I combat it? I'm gonna have to pray about this and look to see what I can find to help me figure this out.

Okay it is 2:39pm, I'm off to get fix myself something to eat. Hope you all are having a good day. And remember not to beat yourselves up if you have trouble eating like you should today. Don't stress about it, just try to do better. It will get better in time.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Insomnia Continues - June 21, 2014

Here I am. It is fast approaching another evening and I wonder if the insomnia will continue. Last night was insomnia night #3. Though I am still unable to settle into sleep before 5am, I am thankful to be calmer and more comfortable. Fortunately I do not experience many nights as I described in my last post. I shudder to think.

The insomnia is not so bad now that the anxiety has dissipated. I'm starting to enjoy the time. Sometimes I spend time in my good thoughts. Other times I may have memories and write my feelings and emotions down. I may even chose to watch a tv program or play a game. If I'm not anxious or looping in past memories the need to sleep is not so prevalent. Periods of insomnia are something that I've experienced all my life. I've learned to enjoy the time and make good use of it rather than stressing over the inability to sleep.

My eating has been okay. Day before yesterday I ate fairly well during daylight hours and managed to only eat a pre-measured snack late night. Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by a friend who called to let me know she had lots of fresh produce for me. In my excitement I completely forgot to eat. Later that afternoon I mentioned getting a bite to eat, but opted out of getting take out. I wanted to eat something healthy, delicious and home cooked.

After returning home, I rested for a bit and began going through the bags of produce. I still feel giddy when I think of all the lovely veggies brought to us. I am grateful! Thank you, my very dear friend and spiritual sister for being so kind to share with us.

The thought of eating crossed my mind, but again I quickly dismissed. It wasn't hard, after all, I had such a wonderful distraction. As it was getting well into the evening I noticed the time and fear struck me in my core. It was after 6pm and I still had not eaten. I took a moment to assess myself. I didn't feel hungry or cranky. My energy level was good. I am okay so far, but I did wonder if I would experience pain after eating because I waited so late in the day having nothing other than a drink of water so far. I thought about crackers, but changed my mind. I thought about a sandwich, but changed my mind again. While all of this was going on I was working on preparing some of the produce for freezing and cooking dinner. Dinner was very late. I finished about 10pm. I prepared a dish with brown rice, veggies and smoked turkey sausage...one of our favorites. My son had eaten something else earlier and went to bed.

I felt it best, since not having eaten a morsel, that I should eat a little dinner immediately and then have a little bit more later. It worked out for me. Eating small portions of something semi soft went over much better than any kind of fast or fried food. I did not feel guilty for eating another small portion around 3am. It wasn't like having the late night snack I would have intended, but rather a completion of having at least 2 meals within 24 hours.

Last night could have been the perfect opportunity to binge without guilt, in a way, because I could justify it by not having anything to eat earlier. That was my old way of thinking. I am appreciating my new way of thinking even more as I continue moving forward on this journey. Instead of thinking in terms of less being more, I am thinking more about what is healthy and reasonable. Whenever I do mess up, I recognize and understand that it happens sometimes. I don't make excuses. I just try to do better. That is where I am today.

I've done a little better with my eating today. I did not have breakfast. For lunch I ate scrambled eggs with a veggie medley. Tonight for a special treat I am making my son crescent rolls stuffed with turkey pepperoni and cheese. I am having my version of crab rangoons. Our side will be a beautiful mixture of broccoli greens and beet greens sautéed in a little olive oil, garlic and onions. Can you tell that I am starting to enjoy cooking a little more? 

All is well for me today and I pray for a good tomorrow. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Insomnia Night #1 - June 19, 2014

The last few days haven't been so bad. My nighttime feedings seemed to be slowly fading away until last night.

I don't know what was going on with me last night. I could not sleep no matter how hard I tried. I even had a couple glasses of wine and that didn't help. As a matter of fact, I didn't enjoy the wine at all. I started snacking. First I got a hand full of chips. The taste was awful and I struggled to eat them. Even though I struggled I didn't stop until the last one was gone. Unsatisfied I continued to toss and turn again. Things were different last night. It wasn't my mind roaming through the kitchen as it has in the past, it was my emotional state that was searching for comfort. I just wanted to relax and go to sleep.

My mind was racing. Bad thoughts creeping in...memories of my past that I really didn't want to deal with...not tonight. I can't seem to calm myself. I'm pacing the floor and visiting the bathroom frequently to look at my self in the mirror. I reminded myself to love myself, but that wasn't the issue. My love for myself is growing. This wasn't about self it was simply about comfort. I was emotionally and physically uncomfortable. Could it be hormones? I am of that age. Could this be PTSD? I think I'm becoming hyper vigilant. Starting to feel like something's going to happen. What the hell?! I just want to go to sleep.

I check on my son. He's sleeping peacefully and so is our little Ginger. I check the locks on the doors and make sure all the windows are shut. I turn on the back light to see if anything is going on outside. I peer out of the front window and everything is still.

Everything is fine, but I still can't sleep.

I've been praying more lately. Mostly being thankful for all God has graciously done for me. I felt fine while praying last night...I think. As the night went on the feeling of being out of sorts increased. I should have been paying more attention. As I recall, memories started coming in a couple nights ago. It wasn't too terribly bad...the usual. I did have a nightmare a few nights ago also. One of those reoccurring nightmares where I'm running from something or someone the entire time. I am so exhausted after a night of running in my dreams. I usually remember these thing and take mental note of them, but I didn't this time. I hate being this way.

I tossed and turned for another hour or so and then I went back to the kitchen. I need comfort. What will give me comfort? And then I thought...ice cream. That's it! Usually when I eat something sweet is sooths me right to sleep. I had one twix ice cream bar left. This should do it. I ate the ice cream and waited for the sugar to kick in. I think I felt a little comforted, but it wasn't enough. Not to mention I didn't even enjoy the taste. It's like my mind stopped working properly and my taste buds became overly sensitive. The salt from the chips actually burned my tongue a little. That was a first. The taste of everything was over-exaggerated.

What's else can I do? There's nothing. I could take a sleep aide, but I don't because my son may call for me in the middle of the night. Sometimes he has nose bleeds or needs albuterol. I have to be able to hear him if he needs me. I'm so tired. Tired of going to the kitchen. It's not working for me anyway. Tired of walking around the house checking to see if everything is okay. Tired of flipping from side to side in my bed. I've gotta go to sleep. I can't take this funky feeling anymore. Need to sleep.

I'm no stranger to insomnia. Usually it's welcomed. Sleepless hours are the time when I get lots of writing done or perhaps work on a drawing. I quite enjoy the quite stillness of the house, however, I didn't feel the joy last night. I hope tonight is better. I'm still not quite myself. Past memories are still haunting me. If it gets bad for me again tonight I'm going to do something different. I'm going to exorcise. Why didn't I think of that last night? I can do some stretches and deep breathing, maybe even try meditation. That's it! Choose to take a healthier path and a healthier view of what's happening. I can't stop it, so I'm going to have to manage it. 

My eating today was not too good. I ate my first meal around 1:30 and only then because I continue to fear waiting too long to eat and experiencing the dreaded pain and discomfort afterwards. When I did decide to eat I had something light. It was left over orzo with tomatoes and veggies. That settled well on my stomach. For dinner we had a vegetable medley and oven baked popcorn shrimp.

Tonight I will pray as I usual and hope the bad images in my head fade again. I used to get angry when this happened. How could my parents be such pigs and do what they did to me! Why couldn't I have been precious in their eyes? I don't get that angry anymore. It's not worth it. I loved my parents...despite what they did. I had no one else to love and they were all I knew. I just wish the bad memories would go away. I'm beginning to make some peace with what they did to me. It's easier when I am able to feel self worth. I'm getting better about feeling self worth. Okay...I've put my thoughts to paper. Perhaps I will find a measure of peace from this. Tomorrow is another day.

Goodnight my friends, pleasant dreams.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Why Write About NES? - June 16, 2014

Last night I started thinking about why there are few people who write about their eating disorders. I can't say that I've come up with what I'd consider a definitive answer, but I will say that giving thought to the question was an eye opening experience.

When the question of why more people don't write about their eating disorders popped up in my head I had to question myself as to why I am one who wants to write about it. First and foremost, I want Night Eating Syndrome (NES) to be seen as a "real" eating disorder. Right now there's not enough information on the subject and there are so many out there are suffering from NES and have nowhere to go and few resources to tap into. There are a couple books, one of which is a very good book, "Overcoming Night Eating Syndrome: A Step-by-Step Guide to Breaking the Cycle." I bought this book 4 years ago when I finally decided to take my eating disorder seriously. I'd been working some things out on my own and thought it would be good to have a book to reference. To my surprise I was doing remarkable well and could check off many of the items mentioned in the book. I strongly recommend this book if you want to know more about NES and are looking for ways to combat this disorder.

Here's a little more information about the book. http://books.google.com/books/about/Overcoming_Night_Eating_Syndrome.html?id=Lk5kDxJRCqcC

Even thought "Overcoming Night Eating Syndrome: A Step-by-Step Guide to Breaking The Cycle" is a very good book, I still needed to know more. There are other books out there, but their view is from a clinical/scientific/research viewpoint. That's not good enough. I want to hear from those who live with this disorder everyday. I don't mind statistics, but what about the human element. Let's not forget that.

I also purchased another book, "Eating Disorders: The Common Disorders Including Bulimia, Anorexia and Bing (not my typo this is verbatim) Eating, and Less Common Disorders Including Pica, Night Eating Syndrome, Purging Disorders, Etc. Edited by Dakota Stevens From High Quality Wikipedia Articles." Yes this is exactly what's written on the cover. The most I can say about this book...I should have gotten my money back. It was a joke, literally something that I could have looked up for free on Wikipedia. I will give them this much, there were honest about their source. How ever did I come across this book, there's not even a link for it.

I found it! It took some doing. I searched on Google, Amazon, Bing, Barnes and Noble and finally had to go back to Google and do a search by the barcode number to get information on this book to come up. Here it is... http://www.abebooks.com/9781240059775/Eating-Disorders-Common-including-Bulimia-1240059779/plp

"Hunger Pains: The Modern Woman's Tragic Quest for Thinness" is another good book. It does not talk about NES so much as it talks about the development of eating disorders, mainly Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa. It's a good book if you want to investigate possible causes or as I call it "roots" to developing ED. As I always say, you cannot completely combat and problem without attacking it at the root.

Here's a link to more information about Hunger Pains http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/355755.Hunger_Pains

No matter how many "how to" and informational books are out there on any subject, there is nothing like hearing the story from the person who lived it. I miss reading about personal trails and vindicating moments, thought process and how life plays its role. It's those kinds of things that I would like to read about.

When I first decided to write about NES, I didn't know where to start nor where to go with it. I'm still figuring it out as I go. What I know for sure that I definitely don't want to fill the readers heads with statistics and general facts. I want the readers of my story to know what I am feeling and what affects me. I wanted to share what my life was like at the beginning of this journey into hell and what my life is like as I begin to climb my way out. It is those things that make more sense to me. Numbers are for mathematicians. Words are for those who want to experience the fullness and richness of an experience in a way that we can connect to.

This morning, I woke up hungry and filled with anticipation about the first meal of the day. I also plan on having a sandwich for lunch and possibly trying a new recipe for dinner. I haven't decided what to cook yet, but I look forward to preparing it and eating it. I like that. I like looking forward to enjoying a healthy meal.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 15, 2014

Hey everyone! I'm still here, taking it one day at a time. I haven't been writing much because I've been catching up on many other things that I've put on back burners. For one, I really needed to clean my office. It was a complete and total disaster.

Truth is...I have a strong aversion to snail mail. I don't like dealing with it so I stack it in piles, put it in bags or boxes and try to forget it's there. I've hated mail since my single digit years. It all started with the back of a cereal box. My favorite cereal had a cut out on the back of the box. The instructions were to answer the questions and follow simple instructions, place all requested items in an envelope and mail. What we were to get in return was a host of cool toys. I followed the instructions as requested and excitedly put my envelope in the mail. I waited with great anticipation and pride for sending out my first piece of mail. How cool was it going to be to receive a letter written to me? I waited and waited for weeks, checking the mail several times a day. Finally the great day arrived when my mom handed me an envelope with my name on it. I stared at it for a few moments and then tore into it to gain my prizes. A dark cloud came over me as I stared at a few chintzy paper objects. Where were the great toys they promised?! I was all a lie. I threw everything away and never cared to see another piece of mail again. Sad to say I still feel the same way. There's something very wrong with adults not seeming to care about lying to children, but all hell fire and brimstone to the child who knowingly tells a lie, even if forced to do so.

Hmm, maybe that's why I felt such a perverse pleasure in selling confessions to the goodie two shoe children having nothing to confess on Fridays. After all, it was mandatory to confess every Friday no matter what. As children we were forced to share our secrets or tell lies to people who could do no more for us than to tell us how may Hail Mary's to say.

When I was 4 or 5 years old I enquired about babies and where they came from. I didn't much care how they got into the stomachs of mommies. I was more curious about how they got out. As usual, when I pursued an answer I went full throttle. After having cornered my mother in the kitchen for several minutes of intense inquiry, a few lies later she points to the garden and instructs me to check the cabbage patch for babies. This was her last ditch effort to get me off her back and redirect my attention, especially since I clearly wasn't going for the babies are brought home by storks bit. So, I ran out to the cabbage patch, spending the next several hours carefully checking under each cabbage multiple times. By the beginning of sunset I realized that my efforts were fruitless and once again I'd been told a lie. I was livid. I stormed up to the house, threw open the back door and screamed to the top of my lungs, "YOU LIED! I bet you don't know where babies really come anyway!" And I stormed off to my room where I sat stewing in my mother's deceit.

Funny how the simplest things from childhood still affect me, even to this today. It is because of my mother's lies that I refused to tell a lie to my son. I don't know if that's a totally good thing or not. My son will never know the common joys of childhood fairytales like Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy. Life though joyful and filled with love can be very matter of fact. I hope he doesn't look back on his life with the level of scourge that I have for my past. I hope that he will appreciate truth as much as I would have, had I'd been given the chance to experience it.

I've been doing quite well with my daytime eating. I'm at the point where my body wants to eat and my mind is settled for now. It's really a fear of the discomfort I feel when starting to eat too late in the day. I'm thankful for that fear as it has given me the will and the drive to make sure that I get in at least two really good meals during the day.

Nighttime has been a little more challenging. I've not had a major binge, but I am still binging most nights. Since the last time I've posted I had only a couple successful nights. I am aware that I am having these urges and I am doing all I can to break the cycle again. If I need to eat, I try to get something small. I usually have two small servings of something before feeling like I can go to sleep. Another part of the problem is I'm eating later at night. Dinner time has not been at the previously scheduled time. I find myself eating dinner around 9-10pm. I'm not going to spaz out about this because I don't need to fill my head with guilt. That will only make matter worse. I'll just keep trying to work my way back to a better dinner time and one small snack before bed.

In these past few weeks I've been more active than I have been for quite some time. It's all of the reorganizing and hauling out unneeded stuff. I've noticed that I feel physically better and I want to keep feeling this way. The good thing is that I'm starting to exercise a little. I've not done so everyday, but I've exercised for several days and working hard to continue. I feel so much better when I've been active. I had forgotten how being active made me feel. Most of the time I'm working at my desk which leaves me with little more than a wide, flat posterior. I feel exhausted at the end of the day and could not pinpoint why. When active, I'm tired at the end of the day, but still able to function and my mind is very alert. Yep, it's time to tighten up...literally and sweat my way back to a healthier lifestyle.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014

I'm still here. Guess you can tell that I've been having a little bit of a hard time these past few weeks.

I'm okay sometimes and sometimes I'm not.

Sometimes things get so heavy that I have to pull back into myself which is my safe place.

Have I fallen completely? No, but I have fallen. I'm still eating pretty well during the day and I continue working towards making healthy food choices. Can you feel the 'but' coming? But, I've been eating more at night, more than I'm comfortable with. I haven't done what I consider a full binge. I have had 2-3 small snacks during late night hours. It starts of innocent enough. I'll get a fruit cup and then a few minutes later I'll heat up some left overs. There was one night I topped off two small servings of leftovers with a slice of bread. I don't even know why I bothered. I just needed to have it and then I felt satisfied.

The good thing is I see and acknowledge what's happening and I'm working again to right the wrongs.

I still haven't started exercising. I don't feel motivated, but at the same time I'm still doing affirmations and continuing to feel better about myself. It seems strange that it's happening this way. I can't quite make sense of it, but I'm going with it. Any measure of good works for me.

I really can't complain. I mean...there are quite a few good things that have been happening this week. I should have written more, but I didn't. In the past few weeks, not only have I felt more compassion for myself, I find that it's getting less difficult to do kind things for myself like taking better care of my eczema. I'm still making better choices about food and I'm still warding off cooking too much or purchasing extra foods when getting take-out. I'm still drinking a sufficient amount of water and I will by no means go past a certain point before eating during the day, otherwise I feel sick and I don't like feeling sick. At best, I'm eating 2 full meals during the day and sometimes a small snack. Night time is getting more difficult for me.

So this is where I am for now.

Tomorrow is the fist day of the rest of my life and if I am blessed to see tomorrow I will work even harder to make better decisions for myself. As for now, I feel love for myself and it feels good. Perhaps a miracle will come out of my new found love. In the meantime, I am grateful for the good things that are in my life.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Thankful To Be...

I am mourning the loss of a great and wonderful person, Maya Angelou. It may seem a little strange that I'm writing about her here. What better place than to talk about a person who continues to inspire me even after her passing. A person who reminds me to live freely today and not worry about tomorrow. She re-instilled a desire in me to strive to be my personal best. I am more focused on what I have, not what I feel I don't have. My glass has always been half full, but I've been taught to see it as empty.

Today I will enjoy being...

Whatever state of being I am in, I will be...

I give thanks for all that I have as I have been blessed mightily over the years.

"Though I may not get exactly what I want when I want it, I always have what I need and I know someday I will be better than I've ever been."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Pain and Pleasure of ED

WARNING: This post may be triggering

I've heard many things about pain associated with ED. Especially in cases where weight loss is severe. We've talked about this in a previous post. I wonder why I've not heard someone speak of the pain one can feel after or even while eating. I also want to talk about the pleasure involved in self inflicted deprivation.

On the course of this journey I've looked into several reasons as to why I've had so much difficulty eating an appropriate amount of food during the day. Some very interesting questions have come out of this search. I've posed these questions to myself and answers have been put in place. New healthier habits are beginning to form, but that does not guarantee there won't be times of weakness. For me the hard times don't always feel like a weakness. Sometimes it's more like a desire to reconnect to an old friend or a good feeling.

I admitted in a previous post that I struggled with consuming daytime calories because I gave into the mindset of not being able to eat as opposed to the fact that I didn't want to eat. That feeling still exists much of the time. I'm still able to combat the desire to starve most of the time with scheduled meals. Though the feeling still persists, I have to remember that it took more than a few days to develop this unhealthy desire and it's going to take more than a few days to overcome it.

As I continue my struggle I find more truths revealing themselves. It's interesting how much comes to you when you open yourself to the healing process. So here's another truth. I like how it feels when I starve myself. There's a feeling of lightness, a quiet calm comes over me as I watch the hours tick away without eating a morsel. I even feel like I can breath better, focus better, move better. There have been times I've had afternoon plans and purposely denied myself food so I don't feel weighed down while out. And yes, these things have happened recently.

I'm learning that the healing process does not mean overcoming an issue will dissolve it forever. It takes a concerted effort and the ever present commitment factor to succeed for the long hall. Just as with any type of addiction I have to take it one day at a time. If I fall, then I need to get up, brush myself off and begin the process again. There is no quick fix...no magic potion. I'm glad there isn't a quick fix. If there were, I'd never fully appreciate recovering. I'd never face the truth of how my recovery feels or how it feels to be sick. Both possess pain and pleasure...fear and reckoning.

The reality of the severity of my situation strikes again. Starving myself isn't working for me like it used to. I seldom have that light feeling anymore. What I have is fatigue and shortness of breath. Physical pain settles in as food lands in my stomach; bloating occurs, discomfort increases. I don't want to move, but it hurts to much to sit. I try walking, but the pain only gets worse. So I lay praying for the pain to go away. I don't want to feel this pain. There are days when I still want to starve. I am thankful on those days that I remember the pain of taking the first bite of food after denying myself food all day. I'm also aware of a newly felt urge to purge. I force myself to eat early enough so I don't the feel pain again.

When I eat, my jowl aches and burns as I chew. There are times I have to rest my mouth before I can resume chewing again. I'm usually not focused enough to enjoy food and If I do focus on enjoying my food I may want to eat too much. Can't afford to eat too much...can't afford to eat too little. I'm stuck between a rock and a very hard place.

As I write I'm beginning to feel hungry. It's been awhile since my last meal. This post is a grim reminder that I need to eat to avoid that dreaded pain. I'll grab a pack of crackers. That should do the trick. 

I wonder what makes hurting myself feel so good, empowering...sometimes exhilarating. I can see the link to the cause of the desire to hurt myself, but I don't understand the euphoria I feel while doing so. Where does that come from? I don't recall feeling pleasure from the pain that was issued to me by my parents. How does this psychological development take place?

I'll continue to ponder this thought while I eat cheese crackers.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Feeling Better: Making Decisions 5/26/14

My last post was pretty intense, at least it was for me. I needed to get my emotions out. Felt like I was drowning. I needed to release. I wasn't my best for a few days after. There was no binging, but I had to resume my late night snack to keep from binging. Trying to wean myself off of late snacks again, was doing pretty well until recently.

In lieu of our recent holiday, Memorial Day, I've had to make some decisions about food and entertainment. I thought it best not to cook out because that would leave me with too much cooked food in the house. It would be better to eat out, which limits my intake. For a brief moment I thought about ordering an additional sandwich or entre to take home, but quickly dismissed the thought. No extra foods allowed!

I wanted to treat myself to one of my favorite things which is orange peels dipped in chocolate. Its not something I get often and it's been over a year since the last time I treated myself, so, I went to the Chocolate Factory and purchased a few pieces and 3 pieces of chocolate covered seafoam. My candy purchase should last a couple weeks. Ironically I've never binged on chocolates. I guess it's because I'm not a lover of chocolate and rarely have it in the house. I usually eat 3 or 4 pieces of the chocolate covered orange peel at a time. They are small, but quite satisfying.

Last night I wanted something a little sweet. I did not turn to my chocolate, but ate strawberries with a homemade fruit dip. It was delicious. A perfect treat at the end of a good day.

I'm trying to figure out what's the best way to deal with my desire to lose weight. I don't want to think about pounds and calories. Should I think of myself in body parts, like focusing on my stomach, thighs or bottom? I don't think that will work for me either. Thoughts of that nature can easily turn into obsessions. Perhaps I will think of muscle groups. That's not the same as thinking about my girth. I could focus on strengthening, elongating, stretching, but not so much sculpting. It needs to be more about my health, not my weight. No numbers allowed! That's the funny thing about weight loss. You can't really accurately measure pound lost because as fat is lost muscle is gained. There's a counter balance there that may lead you to believe that you've gained weight or are at a stand still. Not a good situation for a person with an eating disorder. Okay then, that settles it. I believe the best way for me to begin working on my physical self is to focus on that which is less damning and that will be my muscles. It's worth a shot.

Yesterday was a bad eating day, during the day that is... My son and I had plans to eat out with friends. I wanted to eat that morning, but dismissed it because I was eating out and didn't want to consume too many calories. I'm not trying to make any excuses. I know I should have eaten earlier. We did not get to the eatery until after 3pm. My energy level was plummeting. I order the shrimp and fries with a large glass of water. I managed to eat all of my shrimp, but not many of the fries. It wasn't long after that I began to feel awful. The top of my stomach started aching and I began having mild heart palpitations periodically. I've heard of having heart palpitations when severe restriction occurs, but for me it's different. My body lies dormant while I'm in starvation mode. I feel okay with exception to feeling very tired as it gets later in the day. Shortly after consuming a meal (something more than crackers) I start feeling sick. My body does not adjust well from starvation mode to eating mode. It's like my body goes into shock because I've eaten. It usually takes about an hour before I start to feel better. I'm not sure what all is occurring inside my body. I just know that 38 years of having an eating disorder has done damage. If I eat as I should I don't have these problems.

Nothing showed up in my last physical. I think next time I go to the doctor's office I'll mention my symptoms and see what they say.

I made a point not to hold out on food today. I ate a good breakfast, 2 eggs, cheese, leftover veggies and water. For lunch I ate pears in extra light syrup. This is not an ideal meal, but it's something. Dinner was chicken fajitas with lots of veggies, a little rice and beans, no tortillas and water.