My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Eating disorder’

Gone too Soon

I was recently reminded of how precious our lives truly are. Yesterday, my dear cousin Nick who I grew up idolizing lost a very cruel battle with alcoholism; he was 34. 34! His struggles with alcohol and depression really only surfaced to friends and family within the last few months, but I, as well as many of my other family members suspect that he had been dealing with these deeper issues much longer than any of us ever even realized.1

All day yesterday and during my sleepness night, I couldn’t help but ask “Is there anything that I could have done to help him?” “What if I tried to reach out to him more?” “How could I have missed the signs?” “Is there anything I could have done/said/tried to do that could have prevented this from happening?” After going over all of these shoulda/coulda/woulda’s in my head, I was instantly reminded of the countless times my friends and family tried to help me, tried to say or do anything and everything to get me from listening and acting on my eating disorder.

While alcoholism and eating disorders have their succinct differences, they come from the same beast: addiction. Even at my sickest points, those times when I tiptoed the line of living to see tomorrow, the only person that could help me, that could change me, was me. Doctors and psychologists, friends and family could give me the facts, could express their concerns and could offer words of encouragement, love and inspiration, and I believe a large part of my recovery is due to those very things, but the one thing, the only thing that propelled me into the happy and healthy place I am in today was me. I had to fight my demons. I had to face my fears. I had to overcome obstacles and hardships and relapses.

I say these things to you today because I believe that you can too. But you have to make that first step. YOU have to be the one to say enough is enough. YOU have to be the one to kick your eating disorder, your depression, your negative thoughts about yourself in the ass!

My cousin Nick was an amazing person. He was loving and funny and kind and caring. He was an all-star soccer player, knew how to play the guitar like nobody’s business and could make one mean pancake (as was seen by the Sunday morning pancake breakfasts that we had whenever we came to visit). He was so full of life up until those last few years/months when he just couldn’t deal with his burdens any longer. He got so caught up in his unhappiness, in the bottle, that he lost the will to fight anymore. 2

I urge you all to keep fighting! Nothing is worth risking your happiness, your goals and dreams, or your life for!

Nothing!

I love you all and want you to know that if you ever, EVER need someone to talk to, to redirect your thinking, to reassure you that you are the amazing and beautiful and incredible person that you are, I am here! No matter if you have ever suffered from an eating disorder or not, we all have our daily battles that try their hardest sometimes to throw us off course. The most important thing to remember is…

DO NOT STOP FIGHTING!

I love you, Nick, forever and always. Even though I will miss you more than words could ever express, I know that you are in a much better place. You are no longer in pain, are no longer hurting, are no longer alone, and I cannot wait until we are reunited someday. And since you never fully taught me how to play Metalica’s Fade to Black on the guitar, I’m calling the first spot in line with at least five free lessons buddy–God can just wait his turn 😉

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Really Real. Really.

Hey guys!

Usually this blog o’ mine is upbeat and silly, full of some of my observations and thoughts about this crazy but wonderful world we live in. I wanted to share with you my everdays and everynights, my fun and memorable experiences. I wanted to give you all a glimpse into what it’s be like to walk a day in my Chuck Taylor shoes, what it is like to be me. And I have loved every minute of it (I hope you have done the same, or at least somewhat put up with me. I know I can be kind of an uber dork at times). And for the most part, I do write about silly and upbeat things, just because that is how my life is. That is how I like and choose to view the world, with a smile and a sense of humor the size of Big Foot’s giant foot.

When I first decided to start this blog, I wanted to be as real as I could be. I wanted it to be sort of a digital diary if you will, with the exception that this one would not be kept hidden under my bed like my other Lisa Frank notebooks that my sister always seemed to get her hands on. No, this diary I wanted to share with the world-wide web, with all of you. I told myself from the start that I would be as real as real could be.

But I have a confession to make: I haven’t been as real I could have been.

This is probably the hardest thing I have ever written, the hardest thing that I have ever admitted, both to myself, to those who know me best and to those who are here for the first time. I was afraid, and am still afraid, of showing a weakness, of sharing something that for so long, I have tried to keep hidden and pushed away. Something I was extremely ashamed and embarassed of.

You see, I have been fighting a very strong and debilitating disease for quite some time now. There have been times where I have been really great, healthy and happy and strong, but there have also been times when I have not, times when the grips of hopelessness and guilt and loneliness seemed to have its iron hands on me. I guess that how it is when you are knee-deep in recovery from an eating disorder. Every day is a journey. Every day you have the choice to wake up and decide to do what YOU want to do, what YOU need to do, or you have the choice of listening to that evil and manipulative voice in your head telling you to do something different. To those people who have been lucky enough never to have struggled with an eating disorder, to have almost lost everything because of it, you are extremely lucky.

You also may not understand the complexity of the disorder. And that is totally normal. After years of battling anorexia, I don’t think I completely understand it either. Something I do know is that it is so much more than food. So much more than physical appearance and wanting to gain attention in some odd way.  It goes much, much deeper than any of that. I also want to stress that ED as I call him (short for Eating disorder) is a totally separate entity from the person. My ED and I are not one in the same. ED is a coruptive and sinister voice who sits on my shoulder, telling me that if I just do what he says, if I just continue to hurt myself and others by not living the full life that I could be had he not shown up in my life, I will be the person I always wanted to be. I will be perfect. But is this the person I really want to be? Absolutely NOT! Can anyone really be perfect? Absolutely NOT!

The thing that I am realizing is that I am SOOOOO much more happy being perfectly imperfect. So what if I don’t wear size 2 jeans? So what if I decide to skip a trip to the gym and instead stay at home, watching Harry Potter marathons while eating Ben & Jerry’s from the container? Does that mean that I am a bad person? Absotively posatutley NOT! My strive of perfection, my need to be on my game 100% of the time has led me down a path of self-consciousness, doubt and fear. It has turned an amazing and funny and care-free girl into one who is shy and constantly worried about what others think of her, one who thinks one of the hardest things to do is accept herself for who she is, to love herself. And one of the most trickiest parts about ED is that he is omnious; he lets me be me to an extent. He allows me to retain a lot of what makes me, me, yet hinders me just to the point where I am not completely in control. ED has allowed me to live, but not fully live. It’s like looking through a pane of window shades; I can see the sun shining and the dog peeing on the neighbor’s bush, but only partly. The shades, or ED, is in the way and is covering my full view. I have had enough of the window shades. Heck, I not only want to look out the clear window, but I want to ditch the window completely and let the fresh air consume me.

For each person it is different of course, the reasoning behind why they turned to this ridiculous method of coping, of dealing with the stresses and worries of their lives. I still don’t quite know why this disease got a hold of me, but I do know that it has had its hold on me for too long. For far too long.

For so long, this disease has been like a the bad roommate, the smelly ex-boyfriend, the frenemy I have never wanted. It has take-take-taken everything from me; my voice, my happiness, my dreams.

But that all stops now.

It is time that I start taking. Taking back my voice, my happiness, my dreams, my life.

This is not going to be an easy thing to do. In fact, this will be the hardest and most trying thing I will ever have to do. There will be bumps and bruises along the way. There will be distractions and road-blocks trying to prevent me from getting to my destination. I will fall. But I will get back up. I will keep fighting. I will not give up.

I deserve to have that perfectly imperfect life that God intended me to have and I will do anything and everything to reclaim what was, and is, mine. It is time to once and for all evict that bad roommate, ditch the smelly ex-boyfriend and de-friend my frenemy on the Facebook of life.

I started off this blog as a way to share with you my crazy and wonderful life.

I wanted to be as real as I could be.

This is me being real.

This is me showing my strength by sharing my weakness.

I am imperfect. I have my struggles and my doubts. But I am also a pretty darn amazing girl who loves life and is working her bum off (actually, who is working to gain a bit of a bum) to be the person she wants to be. 110%. I am the same person I have always been. I am still silly and goofy and loving and caring; ED has not changed that. I am however on my way to being an even better version of myself. So watch out…Wendi is back baby and there is no stopping what I can do!

I want to thank you for listening, for reading this and for following me on this journey. I also want you to know that I am here for anyone out there who may be going through the same thing or knows someone who is and wants to talk (I have been told I have a tremendous pair of ears). I would love to answer any questions you may have or just to be there in support. If I can help inspire or give someone the strength to once again be healthy and happy, to let them know that they are not alone, I would be so very happy. One thing I have learned through this whole process is that it is alright to ask for help, that no one alone can beat this thing.

Another thing that I have learned…recovery is possible. And that to me is enough.

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