effortlessly perfect

{February 23, 2012}   Could it be that simple?

This morning on my way to work I was having a bit of a breakdown. Not anywhere near a real breakdown or as bad as I’ve experienced, but really just a moment when I wanted to crawl right back into bed and forget about reality. My day was going to be stressful and filled with tough decisions and crappy situations.  I just didn’t want to go through it.

I didn’t want to have to make the decision that made someone else upset with me or just unhappy in general. I didn’t want to sit through the meetings or work on the documents I needed to throw together. I didn’t want to feel what I knew I would feel. And I didn’t want to have to act in a way that I really didn’t want to. I was tired of faking it, but being real seemed like a disaster as well.

As the thoughts in my head began to spiral, I decided to call my husband, if nothing more than to distract me.  I vented for a minute and then sat silently as tears ran slowly down my face.  My husband didn’t know what to say.  Pushing him to help me, I said to him “Please just tell me something that will make this day tolerable.”  He paused for a minute and then said simply “Focus on what you need.”

Those five simple words hit me right in the heart. They are short, easy words that need no deciphering or interpretation. But somehow the concept of focusing on what I need, was completely foreign to me. Is that really how some people make decisions? Could it really be that simple? Is what I need actually be something I should  be considering?

My husband honestly had no idea how profound his words were to me. It was like a light bulb illuminated over my head. Focus on what you need. How could I have missed that for so many years? Focus on what you need. You mean, it can actually be about me? Focus on what you need.  Is that really possible?  Is it really that simple?

After hanging up with my husband, I started to see how this new decision making process would work. I started with my first dilemma, one where I was actually planning to make the decision based on what was best for me, but was having an immense amount of guilt. I was obsessed with how others would be affected or what they would think of me. So, in applying this new concept, I didn’t actually change the outcome, but it helped me work through the guilt. Actually giving me permission to consider myself in the decision and rationalize why the choice was acceptable.

I have proceeded through my day utilizing this concept and new way of thinking. It feels incredibly selfish. It feels like the world revolves around me. To be honest, I know it doesn’t and even with my decisions I am far from selfish. Maybe this is simply taking care of myself. Giving myself a voice. Allowing myself to have even just a tiny say in what happens in my own life.

I know that this concept won’t make my eating disorder go away over night. I know it isn’t a quick fix or the magic bullet. I know that tomorrow I might be right back to doing everything for everyone else or suffering the consequences from doing what I wanted.  This might blow up in my face. However for today, for this moment, it seems like just a little piece of the freedom I have craved for so long.


{February 13, 2012}   Just make it stop.

My chest hurts. Heart is pounding. Head is throbbing. I can’t handle this. I can’t deal with what I’m feeling. I want it to go away. I want to go back and not eat.  Now I’m sitting here with food in my stomach and I can’t get rid of it. I feel awful. I want to throw up. I want to get rid of it. I want to sleep. I don’t want to feel like this.

Why would I eat something for lunch?  Why did I think that was ok?  Why didn’t I find something different?  Something smaller?  Something with less calories or less filling?  I feel like I ate a whale.  Actually, I feel like the whale itself. I am huge and will never be anything but huge.

I hate myself.  Why do I do this to myself?  Why can’t I be stronger?  Why can’t I just not eat and become small and beautiful?  I just want all of this to be over. To live a life that is normal. To not feel like I’m going absolutely crazy over something like this.  Just make it stop.  Just make me stop hating myself.  What is wrong with me?  Why does everything hurt so much? 

I used to be normal.  To be strong. Successful.  To have control over myself. Control over my life.  I never used to think I was crazy.  And now I have no doubt that I am.  My life feels like complete chaos.  Spinning out of control. I feel like complete chaos. With no idea how to make it stop.  Just make it stop. Please, just make it stop.

I am so sick of crying. I feel like I’m losing my mind.  I just want to throw up.  That has to help something. Get this food out of me. Get these feelings out of me.  Just make it stop.  I want to sleep.  I just want to stop feeling like this. I’m such an idiot to think I would be ok with eating something for lunch. I could have hand a couple grapes and been fine. I would have felt better than this. I would have been strong.  I wouldn’t have wanted to purge.

It’s like I can’t win.  I feel like I lose either way.  What the hell am I supposed to do?  Who am I supposed to trust?  I wish someone would grab my hand and not let go until I was better.  I don’t want to trust myself.  I can’t trust myself.  Just take my hand. Tell me what to do. And don’t let go.  Be my legs. My mind. My head.  Just until I get better.  Just until I get back on my feet.  Just don’t let go until I’m better. Please.

{February 10, 2012}   Busted Heart

I am in love with the song lyrics below… it speaks to my heart, as if it were written specifically for me. Enjoy!   

Busted Heart (Hold On to Me) – For King & Country

Winter has come back again, Feels like the season won’t end, My faith is dying tonight, And I won’t try to pretend

I’ve got it all figured out, That I don’t have any doubts, I’ve got a busted heart, I need You now, Yeah, I need You now

Hold on to me, hold on to me, Don’t let me lose my way, hold on to me

I am the wandering son, Your love is never enough, I keep chasing the wind, Instead of chasing Your love

I’m screaming out Your name, Don’t let me fall on my face, I’ve got a busted heart, I’m in need of a change, yeah, I’m desperate for grace

Hold on to me, take all of me, Don’t let me lose my way, hold on to me

Broke Your heart a thousand times, But You’ve never left my side, you have always been here for me, You never let me go, You never let me go, Don’t ever let me go

Hold on to me, hold on to me, Don’t let me lose my way, hold on to me, Hold on to me, take all of me, Don’t let me lose my way, hold on to me

Until it comes to an end, Soon this season will end, I’ll surrender tonight, You meet me right where I am.


{February 10, 2012}   When does it get to be about me?

I begin this post with the disclaimer that this is going to be whiny, bitchy, rant that may come across extremely self-centered and immature.  Consider yourself warned. 🙂

I began to wonder one day when it gets to be about me. When do my feelings count or get considered? When do I get a say in what happens?  When does someone stop and ask how my day is and truly wait for the real answer?  Why does it always, always, always seem like it’s about everyone else? Why have I surrounded myself with people who don’t really give a shit about me or my happiness, just what I can do for them?

I understand that I’m a giver and enjoy making other people’s day.  I think of others and fully believe in servant leadership.  I am humble and believe from a faith standpoint that we are called to be selfless.  So, I absolutely take the responsibility for my continual urge to give and focus on others.

What I struggle with is those who simply take, take, take from me, as if I’m not an actual person.  Especially those who are close to me or have been in my life for a long time.  Especially those who I have asked for help or voiced my opinions to.  How can they ignore my voice or treat me as if I’m not a valuable person?

When does it get to be about me? I have needs. I have feelings. I have wants. I have issues. I have pain. I am tired of being the rock that everyone else leans on. Where is my rock?  When do I get to lean on someone? When do I get to be just a tiny bit selfish?

When I got married it wasn’t about me.  I barely got a voice in my own wedding.  Even as the bride, I didn’t get it to be about me.  It was about everyone else.  What they wanted. What they thought should happen. How they thought things should play out.  And not wanting to come across as selfish or as bridezilla, I went along with it.  So, one of the biggest events and days of my life, didn’t even feel like it was truly MY life.

And honestly, so much of my life feels that way.  Why do I let other people pursuade me into something I don’t want? Why do I trust their feelings and choices more than I trust myself?  Why do I work 10 times harder to make other people happy than I do to make myself happy?  Why do they mean more to me than I mean to myself?

Three of the closest people in my life, simply use me to further their agenda or make their own life better.  They don’t really care about me.  When it’s convenient they might act like they care or pretend to care enough so I stick around.  But most of the time and when it would take any amount of effort or sacrifice, they aren’t there. They don’t care.  They don’t listen, support, or provide anything.  They simply take.

I vividly remember the scene in Grey’s Anatomy when Meredith says to Derek… “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.”  I want to scream that every day of my life.  To my parents. To my husband. To a handful of my friends. Love me. Please. Care about me. Or honestly, get the hell out of my life. I’m tired of you being here and pretending, if you don’t really care. If you don’t truly love me. If you won’t be there for me when I need you. When I need someone. Anyone.

When does this change? When does someone step in and make my day?  When does someone care about my feelings?  When does my voice get to be heard?  When does it get to be about me?

{February 9, 2012}   Slow down. Breathe. Realize.


Is it so wrong to just stop what we’re all doing, and admit that we are human?

Is it so wrong to stop trying to be perfect, and just embrace our imperfections?

Slow down. Breathe. Realize.

There is nothing we can do that will surprise God.

You can’t just pull the wool over his eyes and expect him to say “Well shit, I didn’t expect you to do that!”

We all screw up. We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect.

Slow down. Breathe. Realize. And just stop.

Love yourself for who you are, and stop trying to be who everybody else expects you to be. Be yourself. Be who God made you to be. You may just realize, that the only person you surprise is yourself

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{February 9, 2012}   Today

Today is going to suck. The day is going to be very long and I won’t get home until after 11pm. I have three meetings that I’m stressed about and will involve challenging conversations or outcomes. I’m pretty sure that at some point throughout the day, I’ll have a handful of people upset or frustrated with me, which will make me feel like crap.

However, I can’t control any of that… my busy schedule, how people react, and how terrible I will feel at the end of the day. But when I go to bed tonight I will be able to feel good about what I ate… or didn’t eat. I will know that I have been successful at something. That I am strong. And can control at least a little piece of my life. As my head hits the pillow tonight, I’ll know that at least I was successful at something. And no one can take that away from me.

{February 8, 2012}   Down the rabbit hole

Do you remember the scene in Alice in Wonderland where she falls down the rabbit hole? You see her falling, flailing, and twisting as she heads toward the ground. And when she finally hits, she finds herself in a place that doesn’t make sense and she can’t seem to find her way out of.

Honestly, I’m feeling a lot like Alice right now. I don’t know which way is up. I’m not sure what I should be doing to get out of this place. And I can’t even figure out who is on my side and who is against me. Things don’t seem to make sense to me. It’s like a ridiculously un-fun riddle that I can’t seem to decipher.

I stand up for myself, speak my mind and lose friends. I create boundaries at work, delegate appropriately and get crap for it. Is this progress or not? And if it’s progress, why does it feel so shitty?

I used to make decisions based on what I thought other people wanted or thought I should do. That was exhausting and unfulfilling in most ways. However, making decisions based on my desires, having a voice, and standing up for myself isn’t easy either. And dealing with the potentially negative, awkward, challenging, or stressful outcome isn’t great either.

Maybe this is what becoming an adult feels like. Or maybe just what becoming my own person feels like. Saying what I feel despite of how others may react. Doing what I feel is right and being responsible for those actions. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not doing anything crazy with this new found voice. Just simply speaking up when someone steps on my toes or crosses a boundary. Making sure people don’t continue to walk all over me or expect more of me than they do of everyone else.

It’s definitely a new thing for me… and I’m not sure I really like it. Maybe I’ll have to watch Alice in Wonderland again tonight. I forget how it turns out… it has a happy ending, right?

{February 6, 2012}   A blast from the past…

I ran across a random rambling today that I wrote in early August.  I remember this day as if it were yesterday.  A decent discription of the madness of eating disorders…

I am sitting here at my desk trying not to lose it. My skin is crawling, like I want to tear it off of me. The muscles in my forearms are getting tight. My hands are getting stiff and cramped. My leg won’t stop bouncing, foot twitching terribly. My neck and upper back are tight. My jaw is tight and clenched. It is hard for me to have a calm thought. I want to hit people. To scream. To take a foam bat and start beating anything I can find.

I hate that I’m in this place. That I feel this way, this crazy. I am constantly amazed by what I feel. What this eating disorder does to me. I convince myself that it’s not that big of a deal. Not really an issue. Not really an eating disorder. I convince myself that I’m not that bad. But today I ate lunch. I picked something I wanted, but am not normally comfortable with. One “normal” meal and I feel like I’m going to lose it. They say it gets better the more I do it and fight the eating disorder. But how do I get passed this? It feels like I can’t function.

I am scared. Scared that I will never lose weight. That the food I ate will make me huge again. I’m scared of giving up this eating disorder. What will life be without it? What will I be? What will I have to focus on and face without the distraction, drama, and pain of this eating disorder? Will I be able to believe in myself? This makes me feel strong and in control. It makes me proud, confident, and optimistic… like I can achieve anything.  Obviously, anything except recovering. I have no idea if I will even like life without an eating disorder. I’m scared of that life. I’m scared that no one will like me or want to be with me. What if I become myself and it’s a self that no one wants?

I’m scared of the process. I’m going out of my skin right now, from one stupid meal. How on earth am I going to get through enough of these to actually be recovered? I am scared of what I have to do in order to get there. I will have to ask for help. I will have to be vulnerable and let people in. I will have to be me… and be ok with it. And I’m scared of that. I’ve spent my whole life putting up walls, playing the part, and trying to please people. That’s my comfort zone. That’s what I want to do.

I’m sitting here with all of these emotions and physical reactions and I’m struck by the fact that my overwhelming desire to cope with these feelings with food. How ironic, right? My initial reaction is to grab whatever food I can find and drown these feelings with the food. I want chocolate, candy, ice cream. I ate a normal portion at lunch today and I’m not hungry anymore. But all I want is to grab more food. To momentarily take away the thoughts and pain of these feelings. Distract me. Occupy me. Numb me. Just don’t make me feel like this anymore. Don’t make me feel.

My second reaction is to go buy some laxatives or make myself purge. My stomach feels like it’s huge right now. My hands feel puffy and my face and cheeks do too. I feel like every bite of lunch is sitting on my skin. Sitting there making me huge. I feel like I’ve gained back every pound I’ve lost. And that I need to get rid of it. I feel like I need to do something to make this right. I feel like these feelings are bad and I need to get rid of them. By eating or purging. That sitting here feeling all of this is going to kill me.

It’s funny how instantenous some of this is for me. As I was walking back into my office from lunch I was thinking about how proud I was that I had ordered what I wanted at lunch, free of Ed thoughts or rules. I never order pasta without intending to binge on it. I never just pick what sounds good to me. And I definitely don’t ever leave half of it and take it home for lunch tomorrow. I was proud of myself. For choosing what sounded good and eating it until I was content. But less than an hour later, I’m sitting here freaking out. Ed is screaming at me!

He’s saying that I’m crazy. I’m fat. Lazy. That I don’t deserve to eat normally. That I’m weak for needing food. And selfish and should be ashamed for ordering food for pleasure. I didn’t need that much food. I could have ordered something healthier. Something smaller. I could have avoided by stomach feeling this way. I could have avoided these feelings too. Just follow Eds directions and I wouldn’t feel like this. He is screaming at me. Making me feel worthless and wrong.

I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do with this eating disorder. It seems absolutely impossible for me to beat this thing. I know that I have made some progress with some of the mental aspects, but I just can’t seem to stop or deal with the behaviors. I have never felt so addicted in my life. I pray that I have the strength to continue to tackle this stuff, because I feel so weak right now. I can’t seem to get my footing to even try anymore. I’m to the point where it seems like a losing battle. That I’m just going to continue to let myself down. And let everyone else down as well.

I’m honestly scared to get out of this chair. As crazy as that sounds, I don’t trust what I’m going to do next. Sitting in this chair, typing my thoughts and feelings is safe. It sucks, hurts, and makes me feel crazy, but at least I’m not using Ed behaviors. I know that what I did at lunch was good. I know that it was progress. And I know that everything I’m feeling is related to that. I know that I use food and disordered eating as a coping mechanism. And that right now, I’m not. Which is why I feel the pain. The craziness, the stress. But I don’t want to take anymore steps. I don’t trust that I’ll step in the right direction. And I don’t trust that I’ll be able to pick myself up when I fall. I feel so weak and fragile.

{February 6, 2012}   The C Word

This weekend I met my dad for lunch. After we ordered, he told me he had cancer. Just mentioned it like he was “catching me up” on what had happened in his life since we last talked. I never really thought how I’d expect someone to tell me they have cancer, but regardless the whole thing caught me off guard. Maybe it always catches people off guard though. Driving to lunch I definitely didn’t think to myself, “hmm… i wonder if my dad is going to tell me he has cancer today.”

Anyway, he does. I sat in the booth at the restaurant as he and my step-mom threw around words like “five year prognosis,” “oncologist,” and “chemo.” It was like I was in a nightmare. This couldn’t actually be happening to my dad. This isn’t how life is supposed to happen. Haven’t we dealt with enough? Can’t you just take it back?  They had obviously had the opportunity to process everything a little more than I had, so they were speaking about these things in very plain and matter of fact ways.

To be honest, I really didn’t react when he told me. I flipped into my “strong and emotionless” mode and joined the conversation about treatment, survival rates, etc.  Part of it was definitely denial. If I didn’t process it, maybe it wasn’t actually happening. But another part of it was this incredible mask I have been taught to create. Smile when you want to cry. Have patience when you want to scream. Hug someone when you want to hit them. And keep your composure at all costs. Shove the emotions down deep and present a flawless, beautiful performance instead.

When I was about 11 years old, I remember my mom finding out that her father had cancer. I can vividly remember sitting on the couch in our living room, looking out the window at my mom. She was walking on our front sidewalk, talking on our cordless phone to her mother. She was crying and looked exhausted. I sat on that couch, watching my mother process the news that her father wouldn’t be around much longer. That the time she thought she had with him wasn’t to be. That suddenly the minutes and days meant more than she could have ever thought.

I sat on that couch and thought about my dad. How young, energetic, and invincible he was. The thought didn’t even cross my 11-year-old brain that he would ever die or get sick. He was my dad and would obviously live forever. 🙂

I really haven’t started to process much of this, but felt compelled to write about it here. I don’t know what it’s like to have a parent with cancer. But it looks like I’m going to get to find out. I’m trying not to freak out. To simply take it for what it is. I’m learning that life is a rollercoaster, filled with terrifying lows, breathtaking views, laughter, excitement, and plenty of unexpected twists and turns. I’m learning that sometimes you have to just close your eyes, hold on tight, and pray.

{February 2, 2012}   make my head stop spinning…

I’m having one of those days where I have a million thoughts that seem to be doing nothing but making head hurt.  So, consider this a mental purging…

1. I need to clean the house…. laundry, dishes, sweep, take the trash out. I’ll make that my Saturday project.

2. I want to move into a loft apartment. Something small and super contemporary. In a city, so I can walk everywhere. I want to get rid of everything I don’t need and make life less about stuff and more about living.

3. Why don’t I do the things I know I want?  Big things, little things, it doesn’t matter. There are some things that I know I want or don’t want, yet don’t actually act on them. Maddening.

4. It pisses me off that I grew up thinking my childhood was pretty darn perfect and I find out later that so much of it was a lie.

5. When will it get to be about me?  I feel like it’s always about someone else. What they want. How they feel. What they need. What about me?

6. I am so blessed to have a handful of wonderful people in my life who truly love me for me. I believe they would accept me for who I am, no matter how broken I am. I thank God every day that they are in my life.

7. I wish I could stop time, so I could get some more sleep. You know, like pause the world. I feel like there is never enough time to get things done… so just an extra day here or there would be amazing.

8. I feel like there is a hole in my life that I can’t seem to fill. It stops me from being truly content, happy, or satisfied. I wonder if I will ever find the way to actually fill it and become whole.

9. Have you ever had a situation where people you really trust are telling you that you need to do something, but you don’t think you can? Or don’t trust that you should?  What did you do?

10. How can something that is so bad for me make me happy?

11. Isn’t it funny how you never know how you’ll react to something until you are actually in the middle of it?

12. I need to find ways to relax. I am so freaking tense all the time. Have. To. Relax.

13. I wonder what permanent damage I’m doing to my body.

14. I wonder how long I’ll live.

15. I wonder if I’ll ever have kids.

16. I am craving a cookie or brownie or something sweet. Mmmm….

17. Why am I always saying yes to other people’s favors, yet feel guilty on the rare occasion that I ask one of someone else?

18. My head hurts. A lot. My shoulders hurt too. I want to take some medicine and crawl into bed.

19. It seems silly to me that I struggle to eat a real meal. Sometimes they sit a plate down in front of me and I look at it like it’s a foreign object or a plate of repulsive dog food. It’s baffling. When did food become the enemy? When did chicken and rice become anxiety-inducing? Why can’t I just be normal?

20. Why do I feel like I am so bad at my job, when everyone else doesn’t?  I think I constantly screw things up and they want to promote me. How is my view of myself so skewed?

Ok. Purging over.

et cetera