Monday, September 29, 2008

I guess I didn't acknowledge "you"

During my eating disorder many friends have come and gone, specifically GONE. They either couldn't tolerate my isolation, the fact that I belittled myself and oozed self-hatred or that I was just plain killing myself. Well, with recovery has come the need to reconnect with a few of the friends lost during that time. The long-standing friendships prior to Ed. I've spent alot of time and energy this year tracking them down and making an attempt to rekindle the friendship we once had. A few have been happy that I'm well and we've been in contact while recently one had responded in this way:

Hi Sandy,
I'm glad for you that you're taking the steps you need to make your life better-I have been doing the same thing and as you know, it is very difficult. It's difficult for everyone...
After some long thinking, I fear that rekindling the relationship we once had would not be healthy to bring into my life again.Having listened to you over the phone, I still don't hear or feel that you have acknowledged how your illness/addiction/disorder affects other people, who are/were in your life. It is/has been very painful, very difficult for me & I simply do not have the energy to deal with it.

I need to focus on myself for the first time instead of others and take care of me-

I wish you the peace, joy & happiness in all that you do...


So, needless to say I am a little hurt by the response and upset by the lack of feeling towards what I was going through. I know many people felt helpless seeing me torture myself day in and day out and fearful that I was literally killing myself. But, no one has ever said "I don't think you have acknowledge how it affected me." I thought constantly about those I was hurting, but there was nothing I could do about it. Believe me if I could have stopped vomiting, abusing laxative and causing self-injury I would have - dah. Unfortunately, the disorder had control and there was no stopping the daily self-inflicted pain caused - even for you - but mostly for me.

I am going to say I'm sorry here, but to me instead.
I am sorry that I hurt you so badly for so many years.
I'm sorry that you had to endure more pain inflicted by me that most people go through in a lifetime.
I'm sorry you went hungry for weeks at a time without food.
I'm sorry I made you eliminate everything you ate as a consequence of my controlling behavior.
I'm sorry that you were burned and cut because of my self-hatred towards you.
Scars are present for the years of torture I've put you through and I'm truly sorry.

Please forgive me -
love your inner child

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I think I'll use my wings today!

You've got wings, and God has given you a clear open sky.
Wings are not only those feathered things that sprout from
armpits. Wings are ideas nurtured with love. They are the
fears you face, and dismantle. They are are the kind things you do
for yourself, and for others when no one is watching. They are
the positive things you say to you, about you.
Wings are not flying apparatuses that are reserved for
heavenly beings. They are attached to those who surrender
secret hurts to forgiveness. They are nurtured by tears cried
in the silence of the night. They are groomed by a broken
heart. They are expanded by adversities met with faith. Your
wings are strengthened by the uncomfortable, unpleasant
experiences you are willing to face each day. But, before you can
fly, or even think about soaring, you have to believe that you
have earned your wings.

Faith in the Valley - Iyanla Vanzant

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tyranny of Size

I feel horrified by the expansion of my flesh, ashamed that it matters to me so much and pissed that I don't feel comfortable in my own body. Most days I'm OK with the weight I've gained because with it has come clarity and peace of mind. Today, not so much! But, I know that I'm smarter than Ed and all the games he plays. Daily, I live under siege from the inner critic, the judge and the "pusher". Now, I plan on studying these selves of my personality and giving them new jobs.

I think the problem is, this morning I weighed myself before work. I try not to do this anymore as it usually upsets me. I tend to base my self-worth on the number and it messes everything up. Tomorrow I'll put my best foot forward and step away from the scale. NEVER use a scale! If your clothes keep fitting, you weigh the same.

Somehow we connect our various sizes to our self-worth. We have mental images of ideal sizes - even if it's not in our heritage to be that way. We compliment weight loss, monitor our appetites and shrink ourselves to fit some kind of standard. I wish we could all the the size we actually are. One size does not fit all - because there are as many sizes as there are women. Let's look closer at the size of our hearts, the width of our souls and the lengths of our spirits.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Choosing Succulence

Being "positive" is a choice. I am flooded with the same doubts, terrors, insecurities, rages, worries and critical inner voices as everyone else -- maybe more! Sometimes I go overboard describing my faults or flaws, to the extent that I see people cringe and wonder, "why am I listening to/reading this person if she is so riddled with stuff?" We are all riddled with stuff. Being positive does not mean being accepting of the negative, or ignorant of the issues or anything else. It means seeing the grace in as much as you can see. I resist my dark places and try to hide them from other people, but mostly myself. Sometimes I just skip from one addictive behavior to another -- whatever is loudest and will most quickly fill the emptiness. I will list some of my faults and weaknesses in the hopes that it might inspire you to do the same. Letting it be seen takes away its power. I'm codependent, a eating disorder survivor (almost), obsessively compulsively driven, overly sensitive and highly sensitive, subject to paranoid thinking and I live largely in a state of denial. I'm also very gifted, a good friend, occasionally wise, curious, outspoken, opinionated, quite brave, very flexible, powerful, a believer and creative. I am often seduced by struggle. It's as though it's painful to feel "too good". I'm used to the effort and sometimes confused by the joy. Working with the hard parts and not against them will create movement. I choose to remain positive, unlike past years of negativity. It is a constant struggle to remain positive and happy, but I will continue this journey as it is better than the alternative.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A day at the beach, Ed free

Today I spent the day at the beach with my roomate. Not for sunning myself, but to just enjoy the day. We took off our shoes and walked in the sand, let the waves wash upon our feet, collected pretty rocks and I played in the sand. I had a blast, I felt like a kid, playing and drawing in the sand -- not a care in the world.

Here are a few of my drawings. Very appropriate don't you think?

"Ed Busters"

My sentiments exactly!

Maybe not Ed free, but definitely working on it

Greg, helping me fight Ed every step of the way

Ready for adventures without Ed, I'd rather be on my own

Scary thought, but better than any day with him

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Things I Love

My journey is full of fear, pain, love, shame, wonder, luck, daring and marvelous imperfections. I invite you to travel along with me as I share my stumblings, astonishment's and discoveries. It isn't easy for any of us to transcend the past or pain we might have suffered. Yet, there are gifts in those pains and we can choose to let light into the dark places. After many years of self-healing, therapy and investigating my interior, I bring you this collection of stories, memories and simple truths.

Today is full of reflection: a look at the things that I love and that bring me joy on a day to day basis.

I love butterflies, they symbolize hope to me, new life

I love the word "hope" it's what I cling to as I recover

My favorite journal, it went with me on my journey today

A painting done by a friend, several years ago, to let me know who she saw me to be

A button I received at an eating disorder workshop, I have it with me almost always

Sunshine, what more needs to be said

My shadow, sometimes it's not so scary

Me, yes me! I'm starting to love myself, yeah!



I'm sharing my journey so that you can be a part of my exploration. I am continuing to self-heal the wounds and holes left over from earlier life. I cry more, feel deeper and have more tools to navigate through tough times.

Sunset Drive

This beauty is last night's sunset from my back yard.
Normally, I miss these sights...but Greg called me outside to witness it's beauty and I had my camera in hand.

Falling for Fall

Fall has never been a favorite of mine because I know what comes next.

I DO love the heat and everything summer has to offer. It lifts my mood and cheers me instantly.

I DO hate cold, damp weather it creeps into my soul and does nasty things to my mood.

This year I'm going to love fall for its beauty. Everyone gushes about how pretty fall is and usually I roll my eyes and think; "oh how I hate winter". I'm going to repeat to myself fall is not winter--enjoy the beauty.

Here are some pictures I took this morning on a beautiful walk alone. I enjoyed every moment with my camera and I hope you do too!

Me, enjoying this beautiful morning of solitude

A friendly bench where I read and wrote in my journal

A dragon fly resting for a moment so I could capture his beauty

Amazingly beautiful fall leaves

"Bee"coming peaceful with myself on this journey

Pretty purple flower OR weed, whichever -- it's still pretty to me

Captivating white flowers

Well, that was my morning's journey!

Recovery has brought me peace of mind, a tranquility within myself that now makes these alone moments special.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Inspirational Sandwhich

This blog contains food for your soul.

It is meant to be nibbled and tasted in no particular order.

It is a chance for my soul to speak, a mood captured in time, something that is visible.

To invite my fears in, then tell them to sit down and shut up!

I am in the midst of learning to face my fears. It seems that fears are based on these things: illusion and future thinking, with a side-order of "what if." Yes, fears must be respected and learned about, but they must not paralyze us or lure us into a half-life of being afraid all the time. Once you face a fear, it looses all of its stuffing and will sit quietly in the back seat and do as it's told. I feel that fears drive us away from our true selves. I used to live in denial of my fears and tried to cover them up with a "happy face." I now see that my greatest growth is happening with an acceptance of my fears, of giving them a voice and learning new ways to deal with them. Thank heavens for therapy, self healing and God helping me to unravel my fears because its a process that I'm afraid to do alone!

I like to take the impossible and make them possible. I believe that we need to go where we want to be and the resources will follow us.

Impossible means I'm possible!

I love to journal and blog because it helps me to discover and uncover myself, to encourage my bravery, sort out my difficulties, to invent new ways of being and seeing. I believe that we can use our pain to transform and give new form to the deepest, most damaged parts of ourselves.

All of my friends inspire me and I believe that inspiration can illuminate tiny parts of ourselves and help them to grow.

Feeling Blue

I love to blog and like the way it is turning out, but haven't felt like I'm helping anyone yet. Hopefully someday. It kinda gets me down that I'm not reaching anyone, but in the meantime it helps me and makes me feel good to blog and that's what counts I guess. RIGHT?!?

We all struggle with this issue in some form or another, some worse than others I suppose. We just need to reach out and do the impossible and together we can make a difference. So, thanks for believing in me.

On blue days I normally shut down, but even this small entry has helped, I think!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Music - Godsmack (cont.)

This is to continue yesterdays blog entry about "Godsmack".


OK, I feel better now that my picture has posted correctly (I took the picture and it looks way cool)!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Anyone who knows me knows my love for music (specifically Godsmack). Now, I know that I don't look like the typical rocker, headbanger chick...but I am. I became a fan about 9 years ago (or so) and have loved them ever since. During my eating disorder, in the really dark days, the music seemed to soothe my anger and it was a way for me to release all the pent up emotions that I felt about everything going on in my life. Now, I also like the calmer songs (if you can call them that). The words to every song just hit me and somehow I become at peace. I felt then and still do that "they get me - Sully Erna (the singer) must be writing all his songs about or for me (and I'll believe this if I want to:)

Sully has also written a book called "The Paths We Choose". It is about his upbringing, struggles in life and how Godsmack came to be. It was awesome! I tried to get it signed in June when I went to their last concert with my brother at the House of Blues in Chicago, but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be.

Lyrics to I Am...(this song reminds me of my dark days with Ed (eating disorder)

I am your spoken truth
I am the lies in you
I'm gonna make you shine in everything you do
I am your lighted way
And I'm your darkest day
I'm here to help you see you can rely on me

Just consider me your friend
I am until the end
Can I guarantee you life?
I don't think I can

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

I am your peace of mind
Confusing all your time
I'm running through your veins, I am your pain
I thought by now you'd know
I'll never let you go
It's time you recognize I am the devil's eyes

Just consider me your friend
I am until the end
Can I guarantee you life?
I don't think I can

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

Take me by my hand
And let me show you what I am
I'm taking control again
Now I know I can
Take you back to where it all began
'Cause I am

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

I have more to blog about them and pictures to upload...but for some reason it won't let me so for now goodnight!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's not about the number

A good thing to remember - IT'S NOT ABOUT THE NUMBER. With an eating disorder everything is about the numbers. How we feel that day, what mood we are in and how we feel about the day we are about to's all about and based on the numbers. As I recover this is still something I struggle with, but I saw this picture and thought it was very appropriate. I don't judge or change my feelings about my pets or loved ones because of how much they weigh (nor should I about myself). I have two adorably LARGE cats and love them regardless of their weight (and they are two very large cats). If anything I love them more because they are snugglier.

Below are my two furballs..who love me regardless of
my weight!
Above is Blacky, he is so fluffy and weighs in at 28lbs. He has to get into everything, or at least tries.And this is Pepper, she is always watchful of everything around her including her weight at 16lbs.


"sing of your singularity and bask in the shine of all that you are and all that you may become." -mar

The aspirations listed here are important to me as I seek greater ways of loving myself and providing my whole being with the best possible care.

Sanctuary. I need a place to dwell, a sanctuary to rest, imagine, create, restore and envision.

Nourishment. I will feed my body with food that will fuel it well and stimulate my spirit, thought, and body's performance to higher levels of service.

Growth. I will continue to celebrate my increasing ability to demonstrate love for myself and others. I will reach for extraordinary creative expression and work and play to create work that inspires and motivates myself and others.

Friendship. I will tend the spirits of friends who compose my small circle of friendships.

Security. I will broaden the stability of my financial base and will continue movement to stable growth.

Learning. I will continue to be a student and a teacher. I will continue to sing my song and be blessed with the music of others. I will inhale and exhale mindfully: I will be grateful for that breath and will work to make certain that I may assist in protecting the breath of others. I will learn to rest and practice being silly. At least a little silly.

In all ways I will endeavor to be better, smarter, and more true at the end of any day than I was at the beginning.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you are willing to follow, too.
- Sam Rayburn

As I embark on this journey of bringing about the awareness of eating disorders, I want to express my heartfelt desire in making a true difference. To both the general public and to those who suffer from the disease itself. This self-depreciating disease affects so many people and destroys all of those who come into its path. Something has got to be done to stop or at least hinder its control on those that we love. I feel that awareness is the key to its destruction. I am here to embrace those who suffer from this disease and to encourage the countless others who suffer from the wrath encompassing those that they love. Through awareness I hope to lessen its impact on our lives and to take back what it has taken from us. To embrace the self-esteem, self-confidence and dignity we once had. As my dreams and ideas build into a reality I hope to achieve so much and to make a difference in my community. Join the crusade in helping us help each other and together we can build a better tomorrow.

I am working very hard to become an awareness coordinator in my area for eating disorders. I am awaiting for the 2009 packet information to become available so that I can officially speak for the cause and start making a difference.

Wish me luck and that my success will shine as a light of hope and inspire numbers that cannot be totaled.


Forgiveness doesn't rest in the hands of anyone else. And it's not dependent upon anyone else. I'm not even sure forgiveness has anything to do with anyone else. It's not a matter of whether someone deserves it, or if they will even know about it. Forgiveness has to do with the burden I carry around. The load I'm hefting on the back of my heart. Forgiveness enables me to set the weight down. To not haul all the "how could you?" kinds of questions around. I held a huge grudge in my heart and had a lot of resentment towards others during my eating disorder. I was mad at the world, but mostly myself. I was unhappy and my world was falling apart as I sat there and could do nothing about it. I hated life and pretty much everyone in it. I let few people in as I didn't want to get hurt any more than I was already hurting. Now, as I head in the right direction (recovery) and my mind is clear, the grudges and resentments are fading. It wasn't anyone's fault or my own for the way my life was going. It was just life, it had to run its course and now I am free. I hold no bitterness as I am in control of my life and it feels good.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.
- Will Rogers

I have never been a priority in my life. So, to make all the changes towards recovery was really hard for me. It was easier for me to do what was right if it mattered to someone else. "Well if so and so wants me to eat this meal then I guess it is OK." This is how I was surviving...with the mentality that I do not matter enough to do it for me. When I used to visit family in MN my motto was "I'll fix it later." I'd do what was normal with them, but as God as my witness I'd have to fix it when I got back home.
This is my biggest struggle to date, making me a priority. I'm working on it, but find it to be the hardest thing to tackle in recovery. I remind myself in these moments "just because I can do it does not means I should do it" and that helps.

Make yourself a priority, whether you're in recovery or not.

Things do not change; we change

Things do not change; we change.
- Henry David Thoreau

There is so much to say about change. I have made many changes in my life recently, all for the better. It's the flip side of the coin from "control". I always felt during my eating disorder that I was in control. That it was the one thing in my life I could control when everything else was out of control. Through recovery I have learned that it really controlled me. I was manipulated and tortured daily by Ed. Embracing change willfully means we develop our ability to adapt to new situations, new environments, both expected and unexpected. Change will come to our lives. Friends will come and go. Jobs will be lost. Loved ones will die. How we adapt, how we deal with those changes determines how well we live our lives. In the beginning of my recovery I thought that it would be impossible to change my behavior. That Ed's hold was too strong and that I would lose the battle because I was not strong enough. I felt this way for the first couple of years. Then as it became the norm to fight back and stand up for myself the changes became easier. At first my meal plans were pure torture, I wasn't hungry and it really was not appealing. Then with time, as I fought my inner demons, eating the meals became easier. I knew it was what I had to do to survive. Now, I feel hunger and eat (as hard as it is sometimes). I now know that eating it is what will keep me Ed free. Granted I do have my daily struggles, but I accept the challenge and move towards change.

The meaning of change is to make or become different, transform. This is what must be done!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Relentless Commitment

I did not reinvent my life all by myself -- the support and commitment of my closest friends made it a cooperative effort. The transition came with uncertainty and pain, but the results speak of the boldness of my commitment. Notes from "Live Boldly".

Each day can present itself with challenges, but it is how we face them and move through them that counts.

This weekend is a particularly hard one for me, Labor Day that is. It is the weekend that I both got married and divorced, of course with a couple years in between. Since then it has been a rough weekend, memories flood back to me and it can be quite unmanagable (even after eight years). So, I lean on my support team and muddle through the feelings.

Because of my "relentless commitment" I've made it through another Labor Day weekend.


What if I am willing to put aside my anxiety and concerns and conduct myself as if I were not challenged, and the days not difficult? What if I behave in such a way as to lead myself to a more joyful place...and every time a reminder of lack, or absence of resource, presents itself...I am willing to see it as opportunity rather than obstacle? What if I call it a challenge, rather than crisis? What if, at the end of a situation, I ask, "What will I learn from this to make me better?" Perhaps I can change the way I look at things today. Just today.

When I know the most significant elements in my days are laughter, learning and applying my finest efforts to each endeavor -- then, because of these things, each morning is a pleasure and every day passed is a success.

THINK FIRST IN YOUR SITUATION...This thing may challenge me, but it does not define me.
Notes from "Live Boldly".

In the past my eating disorder defined me, it was all I knew and all I wanted to be. These days as recovery from my eating takes a priority I realize that many things define me.
.The love I have for family and friends
.My love for volunteering
.My passion to make a difference to someone with an eating disorder
.My organizational and communication skills in the workplace
there may be more to add to this list someday, but I haven't figured them all out yet...
and now thankfully I have plenty of time