My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘recovery’

A Dose of Tough Love

Hello everybody!

I hope you are all having a lovely Wednesday so far.

So, for those of you who know me and have followed my ramblings over the past few years on This, That and the Other Thang, you know that I am usually not a very serious person. I like to air on the positive side of things, and as you are probably well aware by now, jump on any chance I get to infuse bodily humor or tragic puns in my posts (or life really. I mean, how can you NOT have a good day when inundated with a good fart joke, am I right?). Today however,  I have a more subdued topic to talk with you guys about. A topic that I am all too familiar with, a topic that hits pretty close to my heart. A topic that I am very passionate about.

Those of you who have followed me on my journey to recovery from my former roommate ED have seen what a terrible, debilitating and horrible disease anorexia really is. It takes your health, your mind, your relationships and your dream/goals away. It’s a mask that hides the beautiful person you are, inside and out, a mask that makes you believe you are somehow less of a person, a person not worthy of love, of acceptance, of recognition. It’s a disease that is not very well understood, a disease that does not have just one cause, one symptom, one magic cure. It’s a disease that I struggled with for nearly ten years of my life and, while I still have a bad day or two thrown into the mix, it’s a disease that I have kicked to the curb, once and for all. I won’t get into too much detail about my road to a roommate-life (you can check out my journey here, here, and here if you’d like), but I will say that I am very blessed to be at a place in my life where the scale no longer dictates my life. Where I am proud to walk around with a little junk in my trunk. Where I can look at myself in the mirror and not only see the reflection staring back, but accept her, love her, be her biggest cheerleader.

Yes.

I have made a lot of gains in the past few years.

I gained my health, my relationships, my dream/goals and my faith. I gained my strength, my humor, my happiness and my zest for life.

I gained it all.

So what if some of it was in my booty, hips and thighs? Those things were just a bonus 😉

I stumbled upon this incredible video and just had to share. To be honest, I went through a rollercoaster of feelings watching this video.

You see, not but a few years ago, I was this girl. I would go to the gym and spend hours on the treadmill, the elliptical, scary thin and scary unhealthy. I did feel that many eyes were on me, and I did have a few people express their concerns. The level of embarrassment and denial I felt was through the roof, but at that time, my ED had way too much control over me to allow me to do anything about it. Since then, I have developed a healthy relationship to food and exercise, and, much like the woman in this video, have come a very long way from that sick girl, largely in part to the people in my life, my friends and family who helped me see what I was becoming, what I was doing, and that if I didn’t do something to kick ED to the curb once and for all, what I’d be missing out on.

Watching this video, really made me take a step back and see things from a different perspective. Seeing things from a clear and healthy mind, I cannot even begin to imagine myself as this weak, sick and unhappy girl and makes me incredibly sad. When I was in the depths of my ED, I probably would have not accepted help from a stranger. Actually, that’s a lie. I KNOW I wouldn’t have; “I’m fine. I don’t need help. I’m not sick.” The reality of it was, I was too sick to see just how sick I really was. It just goes to show how powerful miss ED really is, how she bends your thoughts and your reality. Sometimes it takes a bit (or a lot) of outside influence from caring individuals to help show you the truth, a dose of tough love. Seeing these people reach out to this young girl with such heart and compassion, a girl whom they had never met, and who by their caring actions inevitably ended up saving her life, made me heart smile so much and brought a tear to my eye!

If any of you are struggling right now (even I still have my bad days), please don’t hesitate to reach out. To a friend, a family member, or a stranger at the Y with a heart bigger than Texas. The same goes if you see someone struggling. You never know how you can have the power to change someone life!

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please visit the NEDA website for information on how you can help!

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Just a little reminder…

you-are-loved-green-enough-for-me1

Just a little reminder…

At the end of each day, just before you go to bed, take about thirty seconds to look out your bedroom window at the stars–remember your place in this world and don’t you for one second let yourself get lost in it. Then, take some time to remind yourself that what you’re going through now will pass and it WILL get better; everything heals with time.

Remember that even on your darkest, most horrible of days, those days when you feel utterly and helplessly alone, underestimated, unappreciated, and unloved, remember that you’re NOT. Remember that somewhere out in this great big world, somebody loves and appreciates you oh so much, perhaps even more than you’ll ever know. Furthermore, realize that there’s at least one person out there that’s dying to meet someone just like you. Yes, you. You, even with your frizzy hair, big nose, glasses, and not-so-flat tummy. You, with your awkward smile, embarrassing laugh, and that corny sense of humor that you think that no one could ever love.

You are appreciated and wished for and brilliant, each and every one of you.

Above all else, though, take the time at least once a day to remind yourself that you’re beautiful–inside and out. Don’t let the way others judge you affect how you judge yourself; don’t let your mistakes and your past define you; and don’t let anything, ANYTHING hold you down.

Remember you are a wonderful person and you have the potential to go so very far. You are amazing just exactly how you are, flaws and all. You don’t need to every change for anyone but yourself.

Each and every one of you is worth so much more than you know..and if you ever, EVER start to forget or doubt any of that, read this again. You know it’s true; now, it’s time to embrace it.

I love you all!! ❤

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 😉

Doing the Math

Numbers are simple things aren’t they? Yet when thought about in a different way, they can take on a whole different meaning. For example…

3: The number of times I have bravely gotten up and sang my heart out in karaoke. My go-to song? You better believe it’s Journey‘s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’.14: The age when I had my first kiss–it was sloppy and wet and in the parking lot of the movie theater, but oh, was it magical. 24: The number of times I have cheered my hot dog-eating, soda-slurping, foam-finger wearing and crazy-fanatic heart out at a Milwaukee Brewer’s game. 49: The age my pup Thunder is in dog years. Oh how they grow up so fast! 65: The number of books I have in my personal library–and that’s not counting my Nook. It’s safe to say I am just a bit of a bookworm. Just a bit.

Here are a couple more numbers for you real fast….
*42% of 1st-3rd graders report wanting to be thinner and 81% of fifth graders have an extreme fear of becoming fat
*The average American woman is 5’4″ tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model on the other hand is 5’11” tall and weighs around 110 pounds.
*Americans spend of $40 Million dollars on dieting and diet-related products each year.
*24 million: The number of people, both male and female, in the United States who suffer from some kind of an eating disorder.
 *9 million: The number of those 24 million aforementioned sufferers who recover and go on to live a happy and healthy life.

 I am also a number. I am ‘1’ of the 24 million people who have fought, battled and struggled with an eating disorder. I am not fully there yet, but I am well on my way to also becoming ‘1’ of those 9 million who have fought, battled and struggled with an eating disorder….and WON!  Let me throw you one more number.

1: If I could have ‘1’ wish, it would be to give hope and inspiration to everyone out there who may be going through not only an eating disorder, but are facing anything difficult or challenging in their lives. I want to let people know that it is possible, that there is hope. I am ‘1’ and sometimes, ‘1’ is just enough. Enough to foster a change, to bring awareness and to encourage others out there to take back their lives, completely and whole-heartedly ED free!

This week is super important to me. You see, it is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDA) and I oh so would love it if you could all help me out with something. Just like with my mom’s famous chocolate-chip cookies, having ‘1’ is great, but having more is even better.

There are sadly so many people who are impacted by eating disorders worldwide; many of which who suffer in silence. It may be your sister, your best friend, your college roommate or your daughter. It may be your teammate, girlfriend, brother or cousin. For this reason, it is my hope, my ‘1’ wish that you and me can all do SOMETHING to remind others that they are in fact, beautiful and special, unique and amazing, funny and kind, just because they exist. They are all these things because they are perfectly imperfect.

So who’s with me?! Let’s work together to shoot that 9 million recovery statistic to the stars!

Remember, you are ‘1’, but sometimes ‘1’ is just enough.

For more information on how you can help, check out The National Eating Disorder Association website here:

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/index.php

*Information obtained from the National Eating Disorder Association

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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