Sunday, November 20, 2005

Thanksgiving gratitude and a little angst...:)

25 comments:

eating disorder hope said...

Hi Ladies.
I am inspired by your inspirational posts. Thank you for sharing such hard won wisdom.
Thought we might benefit from a place to share about Thanksgiving.
Warm regards, Jacquelyn

Jamie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeanette said...

This year has been a really rough one for me. Every year at Thanksgiving at my best friend's house we go around the table and tell what we are thankful for this year. Well this year I decided to write mine out beforehand so I could really think about all the blessings in my life. So here is my top ten list:

1. Salvation and Faith in Jesus Christ
2. That I am alive today
3. Friends and Family that support me
4. Insurance
5. Peace that I can only get from God (even when things are the toughest in my life)
6. Job
7. Lessons I have learned this year throughout my struggles
8. Health---even though I am sick – I was able to get out of bed this morning and that is a blessing.
9. Shelter (a place to sleep and call home)
10. Talents and abilities that I have been gifted with.

I realize that it could be so easy to feel bitter and angry about my situation and health right now. But, when I choose to look at it in a positive light, I really do have a lot to be thankful for. I think remembering how blessed I am helps keep me healthier. I do not have time or energy to feel sorry for myself because I am spending time thinking how blessed I am. I guess it is all a matter of perspective.

I know this disease is not a laughing matter or a joke. I know that people die from it every day. As hard as it is, today I am choosing life and to try and do more then I did yesterday. I do not follow my meal plan exactly.....but I am working towards the day when I can follow it exactly. I hate feeling sick and weak all the time. It is not the way I want to live my life. I don't want to be known as the best anorexic or bullimic because the only crown those titles carry is a crown of death. I want to be known for something other then being sick.

I know there are so many people in our group that are fighting with everything in them to do what is needed to survive. I appreciate all of you who are honestly trying and moving towards recovery. I am thankful I have you in my life to help remember that recovery is possible and that we are in this journey together.

Thanks for letting me blog.

Jeanette

Anonymous said...

I have choosen recovery and I am soo thankful for that. I can't wait to finally ENJOY thanksgiving with my family. Recovery is so exciting and yes, challenging some days, but its so worth it!! God has given us a gift. A gift of life. I choose to be take care of the gift that god has given me. I choose to nurture my body with the nutrients that I need in order to live a happy and successful life.
It does sadden me that some haven't chosen recovery but thats ok. You have to WANT it. I remember living the NIGHTMARE of my eating disorder and spending many of holidays in the hospital. It's just not worth it to me anymore. I think that you have to really hit rock bottom before you really want and will accept help. I strongly believe that you can't practice recovery to the fullest unless you really WANT IT. You have to be sick of your ED and really want to throw the towel in.
I know some people do take their ED as a joke or are in deniall, but all you can do is pray for them. They are sick and need help but they have to WANT it. Try not to let it drag you down in your recovery. Focus on yourself and the goals you want to pursue in life. I know its tough sometimes and I am not saying its easy, but nobody ever said life was easy. If I can conquer an ED, ANYONE can. I am soo thankful that I am even alive today! Thank you God! I am thankful that I have a wonderful and supportive family and have food on the table to eat this year.
I get to enjoy thanksgiving 2x this day. A year ago I never thought I would of been able to make it. I did!! With hard work and perseverance I did!! I am so excited to be able to be with my family and enjoy the gift of life! Sorry for rambling on so much but I just felt that there needed to be some more positive energy in the air. I can't believe I am saying this after being up all night with my kids! lol. Hang in there everyone!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just realized all the typos I made-- oh well.. That's ok. I am entitled to make mistakes in life- especially minor ones like these!!!!

Jeanette said...

Anonymous.....I appreciate so much what you had to say. I love these sentences:

I strongly believe that you can't practice recovery to the fullest unless you really WANT IT. You have to be sick of your ED and really want to throw the towel in.


That is so true! I have been in a million treatment centers (ok that is a little bit of an exaggeration....more like 18....but who is counting)and until I really wanted to work recovery it never happened. I had to be sick and tired of being sick and tired. To be honest I have not really gotten to that point until this last year. I have had my eating disorder for 16 years and it is only within this last year that I can honestly say that I got to the point of really wanting recovery. At other times I tried to give up bits and pieces of behavior but not totally surrender and be willing to give up everything. I will be the first to admit that my recovery is nowhere near where it needs to be. But I can honestly say that most days I try to the best of my ability.

All that being said....how was everyone's Thanksgiving? I cannot wait until group on Wednesday. I could really use the support of the group in a positive way. Look forward to seeing you guys later.

Jeanette

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about being in a million treament centers. I was the same way.. I notice some of the bloggers writing how I used to feel. I used to feel my eating disorder was a big joke and laugh and poke fun. Thought my therapist was a huge joke. I wasted so much money too of my families. It was a waste for me to go to therapy and to a nutritionist because I viewed it as one big joke and party. I look back now and I would LOVE to have the money now for other things. I could of bought a new house with all the money that was spent. HA! I finally had to get well on my own because I had been kicked off of every insurance plan there was. It was a full time job going to therapy and nutritionists and I wasn't doing or listening to ANYTHING they said. I had to finally come to terms with myself to WANT help. I don't care what treatment center you go to. Whether it be some local hospital, or Remuda ranch, nothing will EVER work unless you want it. You have to want it BAD and bad ENOUGH. It's just a waste of time to go to therapy if you don't want to even try to get well. It was a waste of time because I wasn't serious! I am soo glad that I finally hit my rock bottom even though it was a tragic thing.
I finally realized several years later how bad I was. I am not going to go into detail about it because I don't like to type things that could be triggering or harmful to others' recovery process. Unfortunately the internet has some devastating things about ED's. So.. I will leave it at that. I am just thankful to be alive and enjoy life. It's so nice to be able to go out to ANY restaurant and be ok with it. I am no way perfect but I am definitely on the right track.
I am extremely grateful to have such a loving and supportive family. I am very blessed this year. I wish everyone success in their recovery and don't give up!! You can do it!!! Fight, Fight.. I know that sounds corney- lol. Sorry. Just trying to be positive!!!!!!

Jeanette said...

I can totally relate to your blog. I have spent so much money on therapist and dietitians...but NEVER do anything they said. I have had so many therapist fire me....and I was so sick at the time that I could not understand why they would give up on me. It is so hard to watch someone destroy themselves in front of you. I know so many people with eating disorders (of all 3 kinds)and they are on the fast paced road to death. I remember it being a "game" to me (which by the way....I use that term losely). See the disorder disorted my views on everything. If I was not the best anorexic or bullimic I was a complete failure. So I would see people around me that were sicker then I was....and I used to want to be in there place. HOW SICK IS THAT!!!!! But that is the disorder. It clouds your perceptions on everything. Now, I see things so differently. I do not want to be the sickest. I want to live and live life to the fullest....not just exist (which is what you do when you are sick all the time). I have found out there so much more to life and I am worth so much more then this eating disorder.

Two things have hurt the most about this disorder.
1. The damage I have done to my body that might not ever change. I deal with the consequences of my disorder on a daily basis and it is a reminder of what my life use to be like.
2. All the people I have hurt along the way. I am so aware now of how my actions and behaviors impact those around me. I do not want to hurt anyone anymore.
I would not wish this disorder on my worst enemy. But I know for me it took hitting rock bottom before I even could want help or recovery. My prayer for others suffering is that they do not have to hit so low of a bottom before they choose life and recovery.

Anonymous said...

Jeanette,
Yes, I can totally relate to YOUR blog! I have had therapists fire me too and I never understood why since I was paying them!! I now understand completely. I miss some of them though because you do get attached but I know it was for my own good. Nothing was being accomplished-- ever. I pray for others to not have to go through what I did in order to reach the point of recovery. Yes, eating disorders hurt loved ones BUT they mainly hurt OURSELVES.. We punish ourselves the most through disordered eating and waste our own life! I always wanted to be the best anorexic and the poster child for anorexics but now, NO WAY!I realize how SICK that was!! I just want to enjoy my life and live it to the fullest and the best to my ability. I regret wasting several years of my life with an eating disorder but it has been a HUGE learning experience for me. I have learned now how to enjoy the simpler things in life and I now realize that life is a GIFT. You can either take advantage of the gift of life or waste it completely but you can't go back and make up for time wasted. You can't ever go back in life and change back time. I wish I could but I think it was meant for me to change my life completely. It has been for the best.... Along with Jeanette, I wish for others to seek help before its too late and to really WANT recovery. It is soo worth it girls! Life on the other side of the fence DOES get better!

Jeanette said...

I would not give up the experience of having an eating disorder either. I know this past year I have grown so much as a result of dealing with my ED. I know I am a stronger better person because of the struggles I have endured. Like you mentioned above, you appreciate the smaller things in life so much more. I guess a couple of weeks ago I blogged about just sitting and watching the sunrise. It was the most amazing and wonderful thing. I was able to sit and enjoy nature and I was not thinking about puking or food or exercise. I was just present in the moment and aware of my surroundings.....something that had not really happened much when I was really sick. I love hanging with my friends so much more now too. I feel like I am more present with them and not sitting there worrying about getting out of eating or doing something to compensate for the food I did consume. It was amazing how much I was not present with my friends before because I was so into the ED.

One thing that has really helped me in my recovery is my attitude change. I think I use to be so negative and pessimistic. When I went to treatment this summer, I was able to really look at things differently and also journal a ton. I wrote everyday about whatever was on my heart....and started getting it out. (Now I must admit since I have been out of treatment I do not journal much at all.....but I do talk to people to get it out.) Also, coming back from treatment my therapist was talking to me and for the first time so many things made sense (maybe because I was actually using my brain because I had been eating properly!) I use to have the attitude that if I could not follow my meal plan perfectly and could not do this recovery thing perfectly (whatever that means....) then I was not going to do it at all. I was so tied to the perfectionism that I did not give myself a chance and it was a set-up for failure. For the first time this summer I realized that I do not have to be perfect and that God will still love and accept me even though I mess up. It helped me let go of so much guilt and pressure. Today, I just strive to be the best I can.....but with the understanding and knowledge that I do not have to kill myself trying to obtain it. I just do the best I can for today and that is ok. I am not a horrible person because I can not do recovery perfectly. One cliche I had always heard is that recovery is a process not an event. It will not happen overnight (at least not for me....) but yet it is a growth experience over the course of my life. Even when I was not in recovery I was still on this process. I have learned stuff from being on the top of the mountain as well as the depths of the valleys.

Being that I spend a lot of time in the hospital, I have a lot of time to reflect on things. It would be so easy to waste that opportunity and choose to focus on how my life sucks. But today I choose to celebrate the life I do have. I woke up today. I was able to smile today. I was able to impact people around me. I am truelly blessed beyond measure!!!

ok....that was a super long blog. Sorry guys I just have a lot on my heart right now.

Jeanette said...

ok....I am going to go out on a limb here.....

I really do not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable or put them in a weird position.....but I thought I might put my e-mail address out there in case anybody wants to e-mail me. I just can really relate to alot of what you are saying anonymous....and was not sure if you would want to talk in any other format. I just thought I would put it out there and it is not a big deal one way or another......

henriquj@unt.edu

I am so glad today is Wednesday. I am really looking forward to group tonight.

Anonymous said...

You betcha Jeanette! I will email ya!! I am glad you went out on a limb!!!! :)
I have to do this anonymously because everytime I try to enter my blogger name I get booted!! It won't let me respond to a post unless I answer anonymously. Oh well.. Darn internet problems! ha!

Jeanette said...

Don't worry you are not the first person to have problems blogging. Thanks so much for writing me!!!! Keep blogging......your posts are so encouraging!

Anonymous said...

It was my pleasure Jeanette. I believe that to be in recovery you have to also work hard in surrounding yourself with positive people. I have to work hard (an everyday basis) with this but I have managed to meet some new and exciting people throughout the years. I try to do at least one fun thing every weekend and I write positive things about myself and tape it to my bathroom mirror and in my car. I try and write something new each week and repeat them aloud to myself.
I know it may sound silly to some, but it helps! It's only silly if you don't try it or even give it a chance. It feels awkward at first but now its just a routine for me. I enjoy myself a whole lot more now since I have chosen recovery through the years. I am much more pleasant to be around. I try to find people who are fun to be around and are uplifting. It makes life a lot easier. It's nice to have people to talk to and it doesn't cost you anything to talk to them. HA! Therapists are great and yes, I know they must make a living but its nice to have people to call on where you don't have to cut them a check everytime. Please don't get me wrong. therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc are great but its nice to have some "real friends" if that makes sense.
I have also really enjoyed going on picnics with friends or myself in the park and just enjoying the outdoors. It can be really fun and a cheap thing to do too!! I know this may sound REALLY crazy but I often dance to the song, I Will Survive." It's so fun to be able to laugh and enjoy things. I can actually enjoy being able to laugh out loud at myself in a good way if that makes sense. It is so fun to be crazy but be normal.. Whatever that is== ha!! Anyhow, sorry if I bored anyone but I just wanted to share some things that work for me. Hope everyone is having a great day!! Just wanted to share...

Jeanette said...

I agree with everything you said to a point. That point would be this: there is noone on earth that can understand how you feel and what you feel then somebody who has experienced the same pain. I am blessed to have a multitude of friends. The great thing about that is that I have friends who are friends from school or work or church or whatever and then I have my recovery friends as well. Some of my "outsider" friends have no clue what to say or the understanding if I were to say "I am having a bad body image day...." or something to that effect. Or to sit down at a meal and to know what it really feels like to struggle with everything inside of you to consume the meal. The great thing about my ED friends is that the understand where I have been, where I am now and can still challenge me to a new and better place.

I think the great thing about recovery is that people are at all different levels or on all different paths. I try to surround myself with people at every stage of recovery...from those who are really struggling with it and practicing their ED on a regular basis to those who have been recovered from their ED for a long time. The reason I do this is simple: If it would not have been for that person that was really working recovery when I was struggling and had I not seen that example and the hope that it is possible to recover or get past where I am at at that moment......then I am not sure I would have made it. However, I could look at different people's life and see the growth in them and know that it is possible in my own life as well. Now...that is not to say that I will hang with people to the destruction of my own recovery.....no my recovery has to come first or I am not any good to anyone around me. I am saying that by being real and being authentic and being transparent people can see the struggle but then also see the hope I have because of where I have been and where I am going. I still have those people in my life that are way far more into recovery then I am....and I am thankful for those people in my life. I know that my life can give hope to someone else as well. I think that is where OA and twelve step junk is good. They really believe in sharing your experience, strength and hope.....and to carry that message to those who are still suffering. How selfish of me would it be to get this great gift of recovery and then keep the precious gift all to myself......I tend to think I need to share the wonderful gift of recovery to all that are around me so that someone can see the hope that I now have.

I love your ideas about spending time in nature. That helps me so much. The wonderful thing about a picnic is this.....you have your food already prepared (so that is one stress over with). If you packed your meal according to your meal plan then you know you have what you need and no more or less then just that. Then you have the wonderful distraction of nature to help get your thoughts off of yourself and the food and onto whomever you might be with or your surroundings. Afterwards you can engage in activities (or just take a nap) so that you are not obsessing over what you have just eaten. I love that idea!

Thanks for letting me share some stuff with y'all.

Anonymous said...

Yes,
This is why I love the picnic idea! No stress involved. No, I didn't mean to say to not hang around people who are still struggling. I should of worded it differently. Sorry.. I meant that its great to spend time with people at all levels of recovery but its important to make sure that they are not having negative effects or putting a damper on your own recovery. I think everyone whether struggling or not can have some sort of a positive impact on someone else's life. I think all of you have a lot to share and can really help others if you choose to do so.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gals! It's me, Linda. I have enjoyed reading the uplifting blogs.I agree with recognizing and giving thought to the different levels of recovery around us. When I see someone that is triggering for me, I try hard to remind myself of the pain and hard work that it has taken me to get to where I am today and that if I fall back to where that person is (where I was) then I am only making my life harder. I am happy to report that I was able to enjoy myself and my dinner ( and dessert!!!!!!!) at Tate's company party last night. I had the energy to take young dutchess for a long walk this morning! I also spoke with a dear friend this morning and really felt alive. Self talk has been really helping me with eating related anxieties. When I am overwhelmed I remind myself that my therapist would tell me that what I have eaten is ok and that feelings are not facts. I am working on being more in control and not letting my emotions and my ed control me. How difficult but liberating!

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. Sorry I have not blogged in a while. I wanted to think all of you who were in group on Wednesday for being so supportive (as always). It is an amazing feeling knowing I can open up to ya'll, even if it is just a little bit. I have been slightly less overwhelmed by everything! :)
Linda I am so proud of you and all the amazing things you have been doing in recovery! I am really happy you are able to enjoy some things you have recently done.
I am trying hard to also focus on the positives about being healthy. It is terribly hard not to compare myself with my IDENTICAL twin sister and not envy her smaller size and "cuter" clothes. But as a dear friend said to me: "You dont want to go back there C, do you?" And for once, I can really say it is not worth it. I am just going to have to remember that when things are tough, esp. during the holidays.
I just hope you all know that even though feeling fat and disgusting is horrible, it "is just a feeling!" (my therapist is the best! she always says that to me!)

Anyway, hang in there sweet girls! Take care of you!
-Celia

Jeanette said...

Hey y'all!!!! Celia and Linda thanks so much for blogging!!!!!! You both are doing sooooooooooooo awesome! It is so encouraging to read your blogs. I am so proud of all the hard work both of you are doing. It is really inspirational.

Celia....I would be more then happy to help in any way I can to help out during the holidays. If you want to come to Denton a couple of nights to get away from home life.....feel free. I think it is so important to surround yourself with people that will edify you and promote your recovery instead of hinder it.

One thing my therapist told me is this...."clothes don't make a person cute or ugly....it is the inner beauty (or ugliness) that shines through." Celia your heart is so bright and you have such a light in you that shines when you are around. That is what makes you a beautiful person. I rarily notice the clothes a person wheres (or if I notice....it is not what sticks in my mind long after the person leaves) but what I do remember is the heart of the person and the times we shared together. Clothes will come and go and moths will eat at it or they will wear and tear or go out of fashion......but your heart is what will always remain! Let your light so shine that others can see what you have in you and want that same thing in their life.

I am so glad we are going to have an opportunity to get together tonight and celebrate recovery. I am so looking forward to celebrating life and recovery after an eating disorder. I appreciate the opportunity we have tonight. Hope to see everyone there.


Jeanette

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed you all last night. Jessie, I am so happy for you. Keep up the good work! Your presence is deeply missed.
:) -Linda

Jeanette said...

Let me tell y'all.....you missed a really awesome time last night. It has been a long time since I felt that charged up about recovery but after I left there last night I wanted to sing and dance. It was so awesome to talk about nothing but healthy stuff and recovery for an hour. Like those negative thoughts didn't have time to come up because it was all good. It was so encouraging.

I know this is a crazy time with the holidays and parties and junk......sooooooooooooooooooooo I thought if anybody just wants to get away and not do Christmas related junk or have a stress free time.....I was thinking I would open my house up on Saturday and we can hang there. I just know sometimes it is cool to have a place to hang and not be all stressed out.

If anybody wants to come over e-mail me at henriquj@unt.edu.

Jeanette

Jamie said...

Wow, I am hearing some amazing things from all of you! How inspiring it is for me to hear how well you all are doing! I am excited that my ballet class is cancelled tomorrow night(Nov. 7), so I will finally be able to come to group again! It's been what...a month or something? I can't wait to see all of you wonderful girls!

Sorry, I'll write more later...I've got A TON of make-up work I need to do for school. (ugh I hate school...can't wait until Christmas break!!!! YAY! YAY! YAY!YAY!!)
Take care, sweeties!
*~Jamie~*

Jeanette said...

Hey Jamie.....so glad you will be able to attend group. Actually I will not be there tonight due to the weather. I just do not want to chance driving down from Denton and getting stuck in Fort Worth. Plus it is a hospital night so I don't want to miss that. Hope y'all have a great group.

Amara said...

Is anyone else having trouble with the weather?

I wanted to come tonight (Dec. 7th) but this weather is ridiculous and I just loaned out my car to my roommate because mine is a lot safer then his.

So I guess I am not going anywhere. :(

Jeanette said...

Amara.....sorry you could not join us. I hope you can make it to our next group. Make sure Jacquelyn has your e-mail so she can e-mail you about any changes in the group location or cancellations or whatever due to the weather or life or whatever!

Hope to see you next week.