September 9, 2012
I am not feeling well. And the twins are sick – beginning of the school year typical stuff I assume. But when I am sick, I am always a tad more introspective. I realized it’s coming up on 2 years since I started recovery – also known as 2 years since I downed a bottle of Xanax after drinking in hopes to … I don’t know, I still don’t… stop the pain I guess. 15 years of being bulimic and anorexic can take it’s toll on a person. It’s also been almost a year since the kids and I left my marital home. I thought I was handling all of it okay, but I am not so sure now. Maybe it hit home more after the exhausting legal process was over in May. Or maybe it’s because Fall holds a lot of uncomfortable anniversaries of sorts for me. Or maybe it’s because the holidays are coming. No matter the reason – I feel like I am walking through a fog. Most days I would rather just stay in bed. When my ex has the kids, I mostly spend the day shut in the house. I don’t want to see anyone or do anything – not so much that I am isolating as that I am exhausted. Exhausted on every level. I don’t remember being this tired since I gave birth to Talia after a very long and painful labor. When the kids are in school, I try and sit down at my laptop to write for the sites I freelance for, but often I end up in tears or start frantically cleaning – as if I could earn my “housewife” status back by spit-shinning everything (I feel like there is a joke there, but I am not in a joking mood).
There was a point to this and it is – regardless of the severe depression I am trudging through right now (yes, I am seeing a doctor), there is no part of me that wants to go back to starving myself or purging on a regular basis. I am human, I slip up every once in a while – but I have no desire to go back to that way of life. It was miserable, a death sentence and in the end, it never served me in a positive way – no matter how hard I tried to tell myself it worked.
No matter what you are going through in your life, put your recovery first – you cannot take care of your family if you don’t take care of yourself first.
In other news, I found out this week that my friend Amber’s baby boy has cancer – Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. She and I went to high school together but reconnected the past 2 years when her other son and my twins were in the same preschool. As a mother, I can only begin to imagine the horror she is facing. I can barely stand to watch my kids when they have a cold or the stomach flu. I know not everyone is in the position to donate – but even if you cannot do that – read about Hudson and send some positive energy, prayers and love their way. Here is the Facebook page dedicated to Hudson and here is the link to the fundraising page.
June 18, 2012
Talia said something to me tonight when we were alone that I had always been afraid to hear. Afraid for two reasons: 1. because she’s a female… and 2. because of the crappy genetic legacy I am passing down to her.
She had her first day at dance camp today – the only reason I shuffled some money around to make it work was because it was based on her favorite book series. So not really a true dance intensive – they are producing and performing in a short play together at the end of the week. They will learn a few dances and make the props – short of Neil Patrick Harris being there to cheer them on, it sounded very theatrical.
I signed her up partly out of guilt too. I feel horrible that she wasn’t able to be on swim team this summer… not to mention the emotional strain the divorce has taken on all of us and I just wanted to see her really excited about something. She hasn’t danced since she was 2 (picture above) and she can be a little uncoordinated, but in the most charming way. The director of the studio said experience wasn’t necessary, but still… I knew there would be some seasoned little dancers. She brushed that part off and I even pulled up some videos online to help her with some basic jazz moves tonight. What I didn’t expect was her reaction to seeing herself in that room of mirrors. “Mom, I just looked so… weird.” I said nothing here… just waited for her to form her thoughts… “I don’t know if it’s my crooked tooth or the way my hair looked, but it was just so surprising, I had thought I looked really good in this outfit.” Cue my heart shattering.
I swallowed down all my tears while I spoke with her for a while and tried to neutralize her thoughts and feelings – but I can’t keep the tears from coming now. And I realized it’s been years since we have had a full-length mirror in the house. She’s probably never experienced that view before today. I know it’s something a lot of women experience – body image issues on many levels. But my children have the odds a bit stacked against them with eating disorders being 80% genetic. I will keep doing my best at building their self esteem for all of the right reasons and loving them with everything I have but in the back of my mind I can’t help but wonder when I will need to start watching for the tell-tale signs of an eating disorder. I am not being pessimistic, just … aware.
She’s excited to go back to camp tomorrow – but I hear the trepidation in her voice. I hope by the end of this week she can gain some confidence from trying something new and meeting new people because that’s always a bit challenging in life – no matter who you are.
February 28, 2012
It’s 5:30 on a day that the kids are with their father and instead of doing absolutely everything on my to-do list… I have done a whole lot of nothing. Okay… not NOTHING, I did some cleaning because a kid-free house makes cleaning 5x easier. But I decided to do some writing and step work instead of my usual approach of DOING ALL THE THINGS. And maybe it’s because I have reached another step that is a bit grissly – Step 8 – or maybe it’s because the kids have been sick, I haven’t slept well and my energy tank is running on fumes – doesn’t matter – time to H.A.L.T.
We talked at the meeting last night about a classic AA phrase, “Faith without works is dead.” And that can mean different things to different people. Even the word “faith” can evoke different feelings across the board. For me, it’s a reminder that my Higher Power (and my guardian angels – don’t even try and laugh) are listening and doing their part, but they certainly aren’t going to do all the work – they aren’t genies! I have to keep staying in touch with my spiritual side – and in this house, in my life – that requires planning. I have to go to bed at a reasonable hour so I can wake up early and meditate, do my Artists’ Way morning pages, journal, do step work etc. Lately, I have noticed a gradual progression away from that routine. Part of me says, “it’s fine, you’ve got some recovery under your belt, we can get back to it later.” (And I say it with a British accent because my inner monologue has always been British, maybe that’s why I love Downton Abbey so much! What was I talking about…). But that’s exactly when it’s most important – recovery and the 12 steps aren’t something that you ever really finish. Getting too cocky with your recovery progress could easily land you back in the midst of your disease. So I started Step 8 over again since I had been sidetracked a few months ago. And I have been practicing H.A.L.T. – Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? a lot more these past 2 weeks. I am not just navigating recovery, but I am working through some other big life stuff – fun stuff – like a divorce and short-selling a house (both equally as agonizing, oddly enough) and all that “big life stuff” can give ED just the push he needs to initiate a relapse. So it’s imperative that I remember to check in on myself when I notice I am feeling more anxious, more like jumping on a plane to Italy, more like shutting down. And these tips aren’t just for those of you recovering from an eating disorder or another addiction – these are how everyone needs to treat themselves- Take care of yourself; love yourself – no one else is going to do that work for you! Today I was angry and tired so I chose to safely manage that. That’s what doing the next right thing is all about.
It’s Day 3 of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and I am thrilled to see the Empire State Building has been lit with NEDA’s colors to help spread awareness. And high fives all around again to Tumblr for banning ANY self-harm content or blogs – no more Pro Anorexic, Pro Bulimic or Thinspo blogs on Tumblr – which is huge because those images can be very triggering to anyone battling this disease – whether at the early stages or in recovery. The fact that instructions on how to be a “successful” anorexic or bulimic are out there for public consumption isn’t that surprising – I remember searching for them in the past – but it is something you can work to stop! Click for more info on NEDA’s Media Watchdog Program – or to report any content that you consider Pro Ana or Pro Mia.
And lastly, check out Operation Beautiful – what a great way to end negative self talk!
More than usual I ask you to share this with friends and family, to continue to spread awareness this week because … Everybody Knows Somebody.
February 10, 2012
Man. I am sorry I haven’t been posting regularly – it seems that going through a short sale and a divorce is actually a rather unpleasant full time job (and I kind of already have a MORE than full time job, not to mention some rather neglected part time jobs). But hey, who doesn’t love jumping through hoops for a mortgage company with really no guarantee that it will actually work out in the end… wait, I don’t. But enough about all that ….
Here are some articles I think are worth reading that some EDA friends informed me of:
Lady Gaga admits eating disorder
The science behind the serenity prayer
And it’s almost time for the Tampa Bay NEDA Walk – February 25th – if you are local and would like more info check out Bailey Monarch’s website Fight Eating Disorders. If you are not local but want to get involved more or find a walk in your area than go to NEDA for more info.
And of course, if you haven’t already donated or heck just want to keep on donating;) then you can click through to my personal walk page. We have a great team signed up – I can’t wait!
January 27, 2012
(Do you sense a theme here? In all fairness, I drafted the Dinner Time post last night).
I have been in my bunker all day (it’s Bill’s day with the kids). Wednesday night I never actually went to sleep, so understandably I had a migraine on Thursday and today I woke up with a nasty head cold. It’s no surprise that my body is trying to tell me something; trying to cleanse itself and start anew.
I have been laying in bed sometimes crying (I don’t *do* crying), sometimes dozing off only long enough to jerk violently back to consciousness. The emotional strength that is required to trudge through the legalities of a divorce, and a short sale – it’s a level of strength that I am not completely convinced I have right now. Not to mention dealing with the complex emotional needs of four little people. But I will take a deep breath and keep going. Days like this always leave me feeling frustrated that I didn’t get enough done, but at the same time I need to be able to shut down completely in order to gain strength. It’s hard to push everyone away and insist on keeping boundaries and protecting your spirit.
Thanks to my new followers and readers this week – welcome!
I am off to what is hopefully a full nights sleep. HOPEFULLY.
(after my marathon of Downton Abbey’s first season, I’m hoping all my dreams will be with a British accent).
January 27, 2012
I have been making a concentrated effort to sit down with the kids for dinner every night AND actually eat with them. In the past it has been too stressful to eat with them; too much of a trigger. Having a table where we can all sit now has helped and I am cooking a lot more again, which I have always loved. There has been a greater push towards healthy, balanced meals here – not that there wasn’t before, but even more so now – for multiple reasons.
But that’s not my point. My point is that after my frenzied rush to get dinner on the table – the entire dinner on the table (We never set all of the food on the table growing up, I do it now to eliminate the amount of times I have to get up. I have been a waitress – I loved it – I do not however, want to be one at home) I sit down with all 4 of my children and I eat dinner with them. I guess I am lucky because we never had family meals before the separation- it was either just me with the kids or if Bill was home in time for me to attend my EDA meeting he would feed them. I watch Jack try and use chopsticks. I watch Ainsley put her own spin on what I make by re-chopping tomatoes, mashing blueberries … and then stirring them into her salad (and wait for it… she eats the mashed tomatoes, blueberries with the spinach salad with ranch dressing). I watch Talia try AND love everything I make, equally as excited to try each dish. And Addison loves salad now – and my sautéed chicken that is marinated in dijon mustard and a little soy sauce. I love hearing their stories about their day – we take turns talking about what we did (even if we were mostly altogether during the day, we re-tell from each person’s perspective). I love watching the inside jokes they have formed with each other over the course of some many years in close proximity all day every day. I love that I get to witness a table of 4 siblings (who came out of my body – a fact that I still can’t believe sometimes) laughing and enjoying themselves over good food (this must be the Italian in me). And I know these days won’t last forever so I want to enjoy them as the gifts that they are. So even on my worst days – and this week there have been a few, I am reminded of the joy I feel when I sit down to break bread with my children.
January 7, 2012
That title gives me a visual of an ole’ west scene and the dusty sheriff has rounded up all the eating disorders and is planning on having them drawn and quartered… Ah, if only.
Here is what I am come across on the web lately that I think is worth a read.
I am sorry I have been a little absent – I am working on developing my main site (oh and there’s that other thing I do all day what with the kids and the laundry) but I love you all the same.
My Master, My Scale
Sex, Love and Food
10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to an Eating Disorder Sufferer
Weightless – Intentions for 2012
And I know this isn’t an eating disorder post, but I found it helpful – so if it applies, click on.
Divorce – It’s more than just a break up
Full moon tomorrow night – I hope everyone has been reading The Power Path.
December 31, 2011
What a pleasant surprise in my inbox to see that Jessie over at Eatin’ My Heart Out, had nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award. Jessie wrote, “Thank you for allowing me to view my daily struggles through your blogging in a different and welcomed light. Thank you for your writing!” You are welcome Jessie – every time I feel like throwing in the towel (on the blog, NOT on recovery!), I get a comment or message like this and it pushes me forward.
So as the rules go…
1. In a post on your blog, nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
2. In the same post, Add the Versatile Blogger Award badge
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
7 Random Things About Me (a challenge because most things I thought of, I am sure I have mentioned on this site).
- I want to travel more – I have never been to New York City and I have always wanted to go. I have also never been to Key West and I have lived in the state of Florida for 90% of my life.
- I have loved writing since I was a little girl and I began asking my parents to read my stories. My fear of success gets in my way a lot but I would love to continue to build my career as a writer.
- I was going to be named Nicole, but my dad thought that Nikki sounded like a stripper’s name, so instead I became Natalie and every dog we ever owned (okay, just the 2) were named Nikki.
- Volleyball scares me. I am very athletic and get extra cranky when I miss a day or running, walking, swimming, yoga.. whatever. But a beach volleyball came among friends – I will fake a sprained wrist, ankle, eyelid… faster than you can say Gabby Reece.
- I dont’ like to be told what to do (I realize that this won’t be a shock to most people…)
- I never liked New Kids on The Block – I was such an outsider during this fan frenzy, but just couldn’t get behind it. I loved me some NYSNC and Backstreet Boys though. Oh and Wham;)
- I cannot wink…. (ashamed).
My nominees – This was hard to narrow down
- Sarah from This Mom’s Wired
- Kat from Sassy Irish Lassie
- Megan from Undomestic Diva
- Leah from Califmom
- Angela from AngEngland
- Kelly from Be Anything But Quiet
- Monica from Alone in the Chidlerness
- Erica from EricaSays
- Amy from Burgers and Beer to Banners and Benchmarks
- Juliet from JulietJeske
- Tsh from Simplemom
- Mandy from Since My Divorce
- Carrie at EdBites
- Jessica from The Mental Word
December 31, 2011
I don’t care for New Year’s Resolutions – I think they are a set up for failure. I do believe in goal setting – and I only have one main goal for 2012: Get Back on Track.
Most days I wake up in a confused haze (no, not from a night of drinking) and instantly start “putting out fires” (small, child-sized and child-created fires that just keep coming and coming and coming). And by the end of the day, I am so bent out of shape that even if I remembered how to relax, I cannot.
I have dreams and ambitions- some of those dreams and ambitions involve my hopes for each of the children and the lives they will create and some are just my own. Some dreams I have had since childhood and I carry them around in a special pocket in my mind with the thought that “one day…” But I am too tired to follow through on any of them. This is no way to live (and in my opinion, it’s not why I was given a second chance after last year’s … suicide attempt – I always try and make that into some funny phrase or word, but there really isn’t anything funny about it). I have given many, many years over to my eating disorder and now I feel like I am giving up what could be some of the best years of mine and the kids’ lives (I mean, the kids still think I know everything! That won’t last much longer;) to the exhaustion of motherhood.
So to get back on track I plan on STICKING TO MY BOUNDARIES. I have GOT to figure out how to say NO more often. And I need to figure out how to get more QUIET TIME ALONE to just breathe. There are so many days where I can’t actually find any quiet unless it’s in the shower with the door shut – but even then I can still hear some sort of chaos breaking out just beyond the bathroom door. I also need to find a way to work in more yoga, it makes me feel so much better but it has not been in the money or time budget lately (and if you have ever tried to do yoga in the living room with 4 kids trying to run through your down dog, then you know it is far from relaxing).
Well I used up my free moment and now the twins are having another he said/she said argument that must be dealt with.
Here’s hoping all of you find inner peace in 2012.
December 11, 2011
Wow. 5 people have a lot of stuff – and this is coming from someone who purges her stuff on a regular basis. SO still unpacking and organizing. At least 50% of my kids are sick again – so that has been an added stressor.
But I still found time to watch Christmas movies – even if it was while passing through the living room to put away one load of laundry after another:)
Here is my latest at Blissfully Domestic – Best Movie Santas.