What to Expect…

I am not here to glamorize eating disorders; I am not here to gush about how “awesome” recovery is, either. Simply put, I am here to tell you my reality revolving around life with a mental illness. 

Some of my posts may be upbeat and bubbly, while others may be dark and depressing. I am not writing to please anyone out there in cyberspace– I am writing to express my feelings surrounding this (highly) misunderstood illness. In the process, I hope to reach individuals who can relate to the ups and downs that occur with most mental disorders.

Lessons and Blessings

I was scrolling through my old entries and realized I created this account over a year ago! It’s amazing how time flies! This time, last year, I was preparing to make a 10-hour trip home for the Thanksgiving holiday. I was pretty engulfed in my eating disorder and depression, so I wasn’t able to enjoy the company of family or the food. This year, however, I  plan to be present, eat delicious food until I’m satisfied, and give thanks for the many blessings I have. It’s true, 2017 has been one of the most difficult years to date, but it has also been a year filled with many invaluable life lessons.

Life Lesson #1: The quote, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” is 100% true.  After my engagement ended, I was hurt, bitter, and resentful for ever having fallen in love. The healing process was long and
painful, and to be honest, I am still healing. Through it all, I realized that our love story was special and unforgettable– in the end, it just wasn’t meant to be. And, that’s okay. I thank God him and I are still friends even after all the hurt; if that isn’t a true testament of God’s will, than I don’t know what is.

Life Lesson #2: Family is everything. No matter how many times I fall, they always help me get back up. My mom spent countless hours consoling me this year. She always calls me her “rock,” but I think it’s the other way around; without her unwavering support and advice, I would never have been able to rise from rock bottom. And, my dad– he let me (and my 2 dogs) move back into my childhood home after being gone for over 6 years. He cooks for me, makes me laugh when I am upset, and tolerates my furry children, even though they eat his shoes and tear up his mail!

Life Lesson #3: Cherish moments with loved ones. My grandfather is in the late stages of dementia, and he no longer remembers who I am. It is heartbreaking (and a bit comical) that he thinks my brother and I are a couple. Watching him deteriorate makes me wish I had been more present on previous visits; I wish I had listened more closely to his stories, and I wish I would have been more eager to help him with housework. Now, he is unable to form more than a few coherent sentences, and his ailing body forces him to live a sedentary lifestyle. I can’t change the past, but I can certainly make
the most of the moments I have left with him!

Life Lesson #4: As my mom always tells me, “Patience is a virtue, my dear.” I am the most impatient person on this planet– ask anyone! So when my life turned upside down, I never thought it would turn right-side-up. With a little patience, however, I managed to settle down in my hometown, land a great job, and get my health back on track. I am even dating again! Slowly, but surely, things are falling into place. I know God has a master plan for me– I just need to trust in Him and  be patient as it all unfolds.

As 2017 nears the end, I hope all of you take a moment to count your blessings. There is a lot of bad in this world, but there is also so much good and so much to be thankful for!

One Door Closes, Another Opens

Today is the day. 

After putting off treatment for my eating disorder since the end of June, I am finally returning. In July, I hit rock bottom and my doctors felt the only option for me was residential treatment. Being the stubborn person that I am, I refused to enter such an intensive level of care; I had bills to pay and a new life to adjust to. So, I took it upon myself to do most of the difficult work. I figured if I utilized my skills and relied on family support, I’d be able to get a tighter grasp on the eating disorder. It wasn’t easy, but over the span of three and a half months, I was able to significantly reduce the amount of behaviors I had been using. My decision to tackle this obstacle led to the opening of new doors; I landed a full-time (but manageable) job with a law firm, discovered my passion for adventure, and started to build meaningful relationships with those important to me. 

Life is good and I am very happy I made the decision to move back home. However, there are still some issues that need to be addressed, which is why I will be starting IOP  (Intensive Outpatient Program) this evening. I am both nervous and optimistic about returning to treatment. In a way, I am disappointed in myself for not being able to completely overcome the eating disorder on my own; however, I am also proud of myself for challenging it to the point where I am no longer a candidate for residential treatment. I’ve come to understand that progress is progress, no matter the magnitude! I am going to use my time in treatment to further develop my future goals. Within the next year, I want to move out of my parent’s home and begin working on my master’s degree; I know they’re both HUGE  and potentially stressful goals, but I think I am finally at a place in my life where I can handle the pressure without crumbling.

Stay tuned! I plan on posting updates more frequently, now that I am settled. 


Since being home, many things have happened– some good, some bad, some crazy, some boring. I’m at the point where I have no idea what to expect day-to-day.

Last week, I failed a job interview, had a HUGE mental breakdown, and was strongly encouraged to enter residential treatment for my eating disorder. Needless to say, those events left me feeling incredibly depressed, hopeless, and skeptical. This week, I am still feeling those things but to a much lesser degree. What’s the difference between this week and last? Spontaneity.

On Saturday, I discovered that a good friend and colleague from my alma mater was in my area. In an attempt to break free from my dark headspace, I decided to reach out to him, hoping he’d want to meet up. Sure enough, he eagerly agreed. We met up in the city and completely hit it off! Apparently, he has always had a crush on me (and vice versa) but never made a move because of our professional relationship. However, since leaving my job, that professional boundary no longer exists. Everything we had been feeling for each other was laid out on the table in a matter of minutes.

As the night progressed, I became more aware of the fact that he’d be leaving in the morning, and I sincerely didn’t want our time together to end. He didn’t either. As a successful traveler, he lightly suggested I spend the week traveling with him; to his surprise (and my own!), I immediately said yes! I didn’t allow myself to question my decision or think about the ‘what-if’s?’– I just went with what my heart told me to do.

We are now on day 3 of our road trip and I couldn’t be more confident of my spontaneous decision. It has given me the brief chance to worry less about my future and just simply live in the moment. Plus, the two of us are getting along swimmingly!

Of course, there are still many things I need to figure out, but I’m going to trust that the process will work itself out. So, to all those that feel “stuck” right now, go do something fun and spontaneous. I promise you won’t regret it!


Moving On

Before I begin, I must put a trigger warning on this post. I don’t like to be that person—I never want to hurt or negatively impact a person’s progress—but, the purpose of this blog is to be honest with myself and my followers. So, if you are easily triggered by eating disorder related content or talk of suicide, then I would strongly advise you to read something more… uplifting. Although, this post isn’t ALL bad—I actually had a breakthrough, which some might see as uplifting (or at least encouraging).

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know things have been difficult for me. In an attempt to “cope” with these challenges, I’ve turned to my eating disorder for comfort. And, if you’ve ever struggled with an eating disorder (or any other addiction), you know that it doesn’t bring comfort like a warm blanket or a vanilla scented candle. No, it brings a chaotic and short-lived kind of comfort—the comfort aspect fades in one fell swoop and suddenly you’re left with depression, anxiety, guilt, and shame (on top of the eating disorder behaviors).

Unfortunately, I am stuck in this destructive and life-threatening cycle and I have been for months. It’s extremely difficult for me to admit that my life is out of control (again). After completing two rounds of intense treatment over the course of 4 years and racking up insurmountable medical bills, I thought I was free from the threat of a second relapse. However, that feeling of invincibility is ultimately what gave the eating disorder power. When everything started to go right, I neglected recovery; my thought pattern looked something like this, “if things are finally falling into place then I must be ‘over’ the disorder.” The feelings of euphoria over my hard-earned degree, new job, steady relationship, and new home gave me such a high that I failed to fix the one thing that had the ability to bring me down—the disorder. So, naturally, when all of those good things crashed and burned, so did my mental health.

Over the past few weeks, my depression has sunk to an all-time low. My lack of nutrition, coupled with my stressful job and endless stack of bills, pushed me over the edge. I stopped communicating with people at work, I ignored concerned phone calls and texts from my parents, and I spent my evenings and weekends hiding within the walls of my home, while my dogs begged me to get off the couch and play. I thought I had hit rock bottom during my last relapse, so I didn’t prepare myself for the new rock bottom I hit this weekend. After work on Friday, a wave of suicidal thoughts washed over me in full-force. I became even more depressed knowing I would be spending the 3-day holiday weekend alone, and my eating disorder used that to fuel the fire.  

“You’re such a FAT loser! You can’t even get your ass off the couch!”

“It’s better you stay indoors anyway—no one would want to see you at the lake in a bikini!”

“Why don’t you just kill yourself now? You’ll never be able to starve yourself to death, you COW!”

“You will NEVER be good enough, so do us all a favor and stop trying!”

I don’t want to think what could have happened if I continued to listen to ED’s unrelenting voice. After bawling and pacing in the shower, trying (unsuccessfully) to drown out the voice, my phone dinged. Desperate for a distraction, I skimmed the text with blurred vision—it was from a good friend of mine (let’s call her B), wondering how I was doing and would I like to come over the next day?  I decided to respond with a semi-honest answer. I told her I was going through a rough time with depression and anxiety, that I’d rather be left alone. However, she wouldn’t take no for an answer. She didn’t want me to be alone.

On Saturday, I debated standing her up for the better part of my morning. In the end, a teensy glimmer of hope got me to her doorstep. I wore big sunglasses to hide my puffy eyes, but they were no shield to B’s wise intuition.

“You look broken,” she said in a sad whisper.

“I feel broken,” I whispered back, as tears escaped beneath my shades.

And, that’s when B handed me a tissue, knelt down by my side and began praying for me. She prayed God grant me the strength needed to begin healing, and that He continue to stay by my side throughout life’s journey. It caught me by surprise; I consider myself a religious person, but no one ever prayed out-loud for my well-being before. I could hear the ED voice creeping in, “Don’t listen to that nonsense! You don’t need to heal.” But, I managed to ignore the voice and let her soothing words circulate temporary peace through my broken body and mind. When she finished, she enveloped me in a big hug and we chatted about possible solutions to fix my brokenness.

As I write this today (still depressed and unwell), I am grateful I was able to push aside my negative thoughts and feelings for that small time-frame with B; it gave me a brief moment of clarity, in which I was able to really mull things over. In the best interest of my health and overall well-being, I have made one of the biggest and most difficult decisions of my life: I am giving up my extremely independent lifestyle and moving back home to be closer to family. My house, which is one of my proudest achievements, went on the market today and I will be leaving my demanding (for me) job at the end of June. Part of me feels relieved, part of me feels like a loser. I look forward to having family support and more opportunities for growth in the city; however, I am disappointed in myself for failing at the whole independence thing—it has tarnished my pride. I thought I had my life figured out and now I’m afraid I never will. So, for now, instead of worrying about the unknown…

                                                                I am going to let my faith be bigger than my fears.

Time to Move On?

How do you know when to move on? How do you know when enough is enough? How do you know when it’s time to give up on one dream in order to pursue the next?

This past year has been intense, to say the least. It has been the most thrilling year of my life, but also the most devastating. How is that possible, you ask? Well, let me tell you. From May 2016-January 2017, everything was GREAT; I graduated college, landed a full-time job, bought my very first home, and got engaged. Everything happened so quickly and perfectly, which left me flying high on Cloud 9. After so many years of struggling with depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder, I finally felt like my life was coming together in the way I always imagined it would. But, let’s face it, life isn’t a fairytale and good times don’t last forever—after all, what’s life without a little struggle?

I began relapsing into my eating disorder this past fall, after a particularly stressful season of work travel. Anxiety and depression quickly followed suit– isn’t it funny how that works? Not long after I began relapsing, I began noticing complications in my relationship. Those complications were too substantial to overlook and I decided (more or less) to end my engagement in the beginning of February, right before my 24th birthday. I tried to use our breakup as motivation to end my relapse and focus on recovery; however, after several months of “trying,” I am more absorbed in the eating disorder than I’d care to admit. At this point I feel completely and utterly stuck. I feel like I stumbled into a pit of quicksand and no matter how hard I fight I cannot get myself unstuck. So, where do I go from here?

I am not particularly satisfied with my current job situation; although I was ecstatic to receive this position just under a year ago, it has proven to be more challenging than I anticipated. It requires a lot of travel and interaction with other people, which is something my eating disorder despises and thrives on at the same time. If you’ve read my earlier posts, you know that traveling took a huge toll on my health; it was and continues to be the catalyst to my relapse. And, interacting with a variety of people with my crippling anxiety and depression can sometimes turn into a nightmare. In addition to all of this (yes, there’s more), my paychecks do not accurately reflect the extensive amount of work I do.  

Some of you might say, “Well, why don’t you just find a different job?”

Valid question.

You see, I live in a very rural community where jobs are few and far between. My current position is considered “higher end,” as a vast majority of my city’s residents hold minimum wage jobs. Unfortunately, unless you are in the medical or higher education fields, there are not many opportunities for career growth or paycheck increases. Now, I have considered returning home (Chicago) to pursue other career opportunities, maybe even higher education opportunities, but that in itself opens a whole new can of worms. If I were to move home, I would have to give up MY house, my friends, and my freedom; the cost of living is SIGNIFICANTLY higher in Illinois and I, without a doubt, would have to move in with my parents before finding a place of my own (even with a higher paying job). Sigh. Not to mention, it’s freaking cold in Illinois!

Another issue… my health. If I can barely function day-to-day in this job, how in the heck can I move onto another? Does part of getting myself unstuck involve going back into treatment? At this point, I would welcome treatment with open arms—that’s how awful the eating disorder has gotten. However, treatment is time-consuming, expensive, and indefinite. How do you put your whole life on hold for treatment when there are bills to be paid, animals to be taken care of, and numerous other responsibilities to be completed? It is much more difficult to seek help when you have to be responsible and “adult.” It’s also very difficult to seek help when your family has given up all hope for you.

I guess I’m going to end here. I feel like I rambled a lot in this post, so I apologize. I guess I just want to know how others have picked themselves up after they completely fell apart? How do you turn a nightmare into a fairytale again (is that even possible)?


If you don’t enjoy a good rant, then you probably shouldn’t read this. Because let me tell you… I am about to rant like no other. So, hold onto your chair (or keep scrolling).

While I was in college, I had been seeing my eating disorder therapist, as well as my school counselor; I found the mix to be very helpful. My ED therapist worked on the food part and my counselor worked on the anxiety/depression part. Together, for over two years, they were able to provide me with a VERY strong support system. Not only were they kind, caring, and understanding, but they were also in constant contact with each other, always guiding me in the right direction. Unfortunately, once I graduated, I was no longer able to see my school counselor on a regular basis.

In an attempt to keep things as familiar as possible, I decided to reach out to a new counselor in town—one who was willing to continue with the strong support system I had in place. It took some detailed searching and quite a bit of time, but I finally found someone. The fact that she also possessed some background in eating disorders made me feel more comfortable with my decision.   

The first session (which was back in February) went rather well; however, I was still hesitant to make a commitment, as it’s always difficult to fully trust someone with your issues. Not to mention, the past few months have been a whirlwind of chaos; my engagement came to an end, my workplace made some significant changes, and my ED therapist of almost 4 years moved to a different state. All of that, combined with my hesitation, prevented me from seeing her again… until today.

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t looking forward to our session. My eating disorder behaviors have been very debilitating and my desire to follow a path of recovery has pretty much come to a standstill. In fact, my new ED therapist is weary about continuing outpatient services with me, as she believes a higher level of care is becoming more necessary at this point. Anyways, I decided to listen to my rational mind and go into the counseling session with the intent of being open and honest. BIG MISTAKE (prepare for full-on rant).

I told my counselor about the struggles I’ve been facing—how I’ve been heavily engaging in eating disorder behaviors to numb out all of my feelings and how my health is declining because I am unwilling to let myself feel. And, do you know what she said?! I kid you not, she replied, “Well, I hope this isn’t the wrong thing to say, but you look great. You really do. You look healthy and vibrant!”

If someone had been recording our session, you would have seen my mouth drop to the floor. Literally. Like, that is the number one thing you don’t say to someone who has an eating disorder, especially when that person has just poured her heart out about how much she’s struggling! Any educated person would know that. Oh, but it doesn’t end there.

As if my struggles weren’t invalidated already, she continued to ENCOURAGE (yes, encourage) my eating disorder behaviors. She said, “I don’t necessarily think you’re in a terrible place right now. You’re maintaining. You’re using one coping method to block out the feelings of depression and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”


So you’re telling me, as a “professional,” that it’s okay for someone to starve their body, throw up their meals, pop laxatives and diuretics like candy, and exercise with the intent of burning [non-existent] calories? That using those behaviors are proper coping mechanisms for dealing with depression? Wow. Just wow.

Please excuse me while I go on a 3-day fast– because, after all, a health professional just told me that that is perfectly okay.

[end rant].


In my 24 years of life on this planet, I have never lived on my own. Until now.

I lived under my parent’s roof until I turned 18 and then I was off to college. During my college years, I was fortunate enough to live with close girlfriends in a handful of grungy dorms, apartments, and houses. At age 22, I moved in with my boyfriend and his father and a year later, my boyfriend and I bought our very first home together. Up until January 31, 2017, I was always with someone, never alone. After I broke off my engagement, I found myself standing in the middle of an empty living room with no one to turn to.

Someone recently asked me: what’s the worst emotion one can experience? Without hesitation, I responded with “loneliness;” the feeling of sadness about being alone. Out of all the emotions I’ve experienced throughout my life, loneliness is by far the heaviest and most dreaded. It comes over you like a tidal wave and all at once, you feel a sense of sadness so strong that only another person’s presence can stop the wave from crashing down.

It’s in the late night hours when this feeling overrides all other capacities. I find myself sitting on the couch, staring blankly at the blaring television. My dog sleeps silently next to me, unaware of my inner turmoil. As I look around at the empty picture frames and the dishes for one piled on the counter, I worry that I may never find solace in another companion. I worry that I’ll feel lonely forever. The wave hits me so hard that I cannot breathe or see clearly. I thank God I am sitting, because I know I’d be knocked to my knees if I were standing.

When the feeling of loneliness becomes so strong that I go numb, I walk myself to our my bedroom and lay down. The only way I find relief nowadays is through my dreams; they temporarily take away my pain and remind me that there is still hope.

Life in Pieces

It has been quite a while since I’ve posted on here and there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for my absence. Before I go into details, let’s just say that 2017 has certainly tested my strengths and it’s only February! So, let’s start from the beginning…

On New Year’s Eve, after my mom’s wedding, my fiancé and I got into our biggest fight. We both had been drinking that evening, which is no excuse, and things turned ugly fast. Typically, our fights have a pattern; he brings up concerns late at night while I am trying to sleep and because I don’t answer him, he becomes angry. On NYE, he got a little too angry. He called me names that no man should ever call the woman he loves and he tried to wrestle me out of bed to get me to talk. Needless to say, it was a huge eye-opener to the type of person he was. As a person who forgives too easily and too often, I tried to forget the words he spoke and the actions he took. I tried to mend our relationship the best I could, but despite my greatest efforts, things did not seem to be improving between us.

Jump forward to Monday, January 23rd: we had yet another fight. The night ended with me crying, self-harming, and sleeping alone in the guest bedroom. To make matters worse, I had a therapy appointment the next morning. I tried to convince myself to stay home but unless of an emergency or illness, I am not one to cancel appointments. I’m not even sure how I managed to make the 1.5 hour drive in one piece, as I was unbearably exhausted. My therapist noticed something was wrong as soon as I walked into her office and I reluctantly explained the events that had taken place the night before. Due to my depressed demeanor and self-harming behaviors, my therapist began asking me questions about suicide. I did not want to dignify her answers with a response, as I was tired of her assuming that depression equated to being suicidal. I suppose she took my silence to mean I was feeling suicidal because the next thing I know, she was on the phone with one of her colleagues. When she finished the call, she informed me someone was coming to pick me up so I could “get the help I needed.” I told her no, that I was fine and didn’t want to go, but she kept insisting I had to go. Five minutes later, two men arrived at her office to pick me up. My therapist explained that the men were going to drive me to another building for a 10AM psychiatrist appointment and that they’d drive me back to my vehicle afterwards. To make a long story short, I did not go to a simple psychiatrist appointment; I was put in an inpatient facility where I was monitored for suicidal behavior.

It was an absolute nightmare. During the 24 hours I was there, I stayed by the nurse’s station and refused to join in on any of the groups or activities. I was genuinely terrified of the other patients. The ward was both male and female, which made me feel extremely uncomfortable. I explained to the nurse that I had been sexually abused as a child and I neither trusted nor felt comfortable around strange men– some of which were straight from jail or the streets. And to make matters worse, my body and mind were extremely malnourished; not a single staff member asked me if I wanted to join the others for a meal, even though it clearly stated in my records that I suffered from anorexia. I would have said no, regardless, but as an institution that claims to help people, they should have been supporting me with my critical nutritional needs. The 36-hours I went without food made a significant impact on my recovery (and not a good one)!

By time I got out on Wednesday, I was a complete wreck. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t sleep, and my fiancé was so busy with work that he barely was home to comfort me. A couple of days later, my mom (bless her!) got on the first flight she could and came to take care of me. While she was here, she managed to get me talking about my relationship struggles. I confessed how unhappy I was and how I didn’t think our relationship could withstand marriage—it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to admit. Later that evening, as if I wasn’t already struggling with enough, I made the decision to break off my engagement. He was crushed, and rightly so. So was I. Everything that was once familiar became a big black hole of unknowns. He packed his things and took his furniture the very next day, while mom tried to mend my many broken pieces.

It has been two weeks since I was “locked up,” and it has been one week since I called of my engagement. I’ve gone through more trauma and heartbreak in these past two weeks than I’ve ever known was possible. It makes me wonder what my future holds; will I stay here where my friends are and continue to work, knowing my ex-fiancé lives right across town? Or will I sell my house, move back home with my family, and start all over? I thought I had a pretty clear vision for my life but now, that vision is shattered. My mom keeps telling me that I am young and that I can do anything I set my mind to; however, I am not too sure of that. What if I never figure it out? What if I remain stuck in this limbo of one step forward then two steps back?

All I know is that I must reach out to the people who love and support me. I may not be able to get myself together right now, but I know their help will lift me up in this time of darkness.

The [true] Cost of an Education

I never planned on going to a private college in the south. In fact, I originally planned to attend a university close to home. But, things never turn out how we plan do they?

Seven years ago, in the summer of 2010, my family and I took a trip down south to visit a good family friend. At the time, I was a junior in high school and I was just beginning to look at colleges. This family friend of ours took it upon himself to schedule a campus tour of the local college; I was neither thrilled nor dismayed by this tour, as I knew I would NEVER attend school in a small southern town (especially one that was 10 hours from home)!

The moment I stepped on campus, I got this feeling. You know… that feeling. The feeling you get when you’ve found the perfect match and nothing else matters, because your heart is full of warmth and happiness. The pristine landscape, the precisely spaced red, brick buildings, and the striking southern charm drew me in quicker than a jet plane. I immediately fell in love with the small campus, the friendly and supportive people, and the value of the liberal arts mission. And, the rest is history.

I still remember the day I got the text saying, “Congrats! You’re in!” I was changing for gym class in the girl’s locker room and I must have received a handful of puzzled looks as I bounced around with pure excitement. This was just the beginning of my brand new life.

(You’re probably wondering the point to this little tale and, I promise, I’m getting there!)

With my troubled history of disordered eating, it took me longer than expected to graduate. Five years to be exact. Five years of higher education in a private school is not cheap by any means, even with the scholarships I received. By time I walked across the stage and grasped my hard-earned diploma, I was already over $40,000 in debt. Now, on top of the costs of living, I am expected to pay a large chunk of student loans back, and I am absolutely terrified. Why? Because I simply cannot do it.

I have a full-time job that pays pretty well, considering I just graduated from college. I am, by no means, living in poverty. I pay my bills on time, put food on the table, and have a little leftover for extras. I am the definition of living paycheck to paycheck. Throw in this massive student loan bill? Well, then I am most definitely struggling.

The thing about private loan companies is they do not let you enroll in any kind of income-driven-repayment plan. They expect you to pay it off in 10 years at a set amount every month. And, if you cannot make those monthly payments, they threaten to send collection agencies after you and your co-signers (my mom and dad).

I received a phenomenal education at my dream college; every student everywhere should have the opportunity to do the same. They should not, however, have to regret their college decision once student loan companies start hounding them and scaring them to death about the stability of their future. I am scared, I am depressed, and I am uncertain about my future. I am 23 years old and I am already a lifetime into debt. I wake up every morning with feelings of dread, because I wonder if living this life is really worth it. Will everything be taken from me tomorrow, all because I wanted a good education?