Clinging and Hope

I cling to the edge of the cliff.  The fingers of Darkness and Despair curl around my ankles, weighing me down.  The continual  rain soaks my clothing, adding to the weight; it makes it harder to hold on. 

I dread the end of summer.  Even as the days shorten and cool, I feel myself starting to wither…..just like my garden. 

I could really use the sunshine and a beach, right about now. 

It’s hard.  I’m exhausted.  My boys are incredibly difficult right now.  We’re long beyond the October crash……this must be the November burn. Crash and Burn!

I’m sick of saying, “It’s hard.  I’m exhausted.” I want desperately to connect and yet…I have nothing.  I have zero energy to attempt connection.  But without connection, I’m alone.  So which is it…… it’s a losing battle.  

Sometimes I feel that if I could explain what my life is like that you might get it…..But I’m realizing that unless you live it, you won’t fully understand it. I share bits and pieces but never the whole….it would be too much to handle.  I know this because it’s too much to handle.

There is a certain amount of grieving.  Grieving normalcy…..But mostly there is just soul crushing exhaustion.  It’s like a cloud of nothingness with vague wisps of sadness and loneliness woven throughout.
I love my children and I hate how difficult they are.  

Autism, ADHD, Anxiety…..Even though they are labels given to two of my boys, our entire family is deeply effected.

There is so much chaos.  I feel like I’m constantly drowning.  I manage to grab small breaths of air….never enough to breathe deeply and the waves crash consistently enough that I’m left in a constant state of  panic.  

There’s only so much space for panic and my two boys seem to have the corner on that market.  Too often when I feel the panic rising, I stuff it back down with a shallow breath.  As if I could control it….

There is so much guilt and shame and yet…..that’s one good thing about exhaustion…..somehow you can’t muster the energy to hold onto the guilt and shame.  You feel it and it makes you feel dirty and worthless; but it’s too heavy to carry and there’s too much to be done….

So you drop it like most of the other balls you drop on a daily basis…..

You cling to the edge of the cliff and hope……you hope that you make it through another day.  You hope that tomorrow will be better.  You cling to the hope that seasons change and that this dark and gloomy season will once again give way to sunshine.  You pray for wisdom, strength, and patience.  

You pray for your kids to just hurry up and fall asleep so you can have a moment to breathe…..then you feel guilty….then you remember how much work there still is to do tonight and you drop the guilt as exhaustion takes over once again.

Courage and Fear

I’ve been thinking a lot recently. This whole idea of pursuing dreams……putting them out there…..it’s terrifying.

fearlessly

It’s an incredibly courageous thing to admit you have a desire but also frightening, especially if you are scared of not living up to a certain standard. I LOATHE judgment…..especially self judgment. I seem to excel that that particular skill.

I was thinking today about the concept of whether or not I had something of value to share…..to release into the world.

That got me thinking……

I truly believe that we all have value; and we all add something to the world, when we share from our own experiences and wisdom.

For myself……I struggle with believing that what I have to share has value and yet I don’t really believe that I’m insignificant. So how can I believe that I am valuable AND think that I’m not…….it’s such a contradiction, no?

In my email signature, I have the Maya Angelou quote “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” It’s obvious, to me, that courage and fear are issues that I deal with, and I think that really ties in with what I’ve been musing about today……..

One difference that I see between those who are and aren’t living and embracing their dreams, is having the courage to step out and do….to try…..to move forward.

I want to live courageously.

Now that I’ve figured out what I want……..I’ve got to figure out how to do it……

The Perpetual Grief SeriesĀ 

We’ve had a lot of hard moments, recently! 

This past Sunday, neither of my little boys wanted to go to their class at church.  I know that once they are settled, they enjoy themselves; but transitioning from being with mom and dad to being in their class has been so difficult.  Sunday was no exception.  We managed to get Judah settled – but he wasn’t happy about it.  And Jon took Siah up to his class.  He sent me the picture up above, saying that Siah was pretty pissed to be there and was refusing to join in.  He was just standing in the corner, glowering at everyone.  

He finally worked his way through whatever transitioning he needed to do and realized that he could “improve on” what they were doing for the craft. At that point, he quite happily joined in.

When I spoke with him later,  he mentioned that getting  a”list of what was going to happen” would help…………and that explained everything.  He was feeling anxious and out of control.  His need for security and comfort displayed itself as defiance and opposition.  But the reality was that he was scared and insecure.

I suggested that maybe the calm Josiah needed to write the nervous Josiah a letter so when he had forgotten how fun class was; I could give him the letter so that he could remind himself…….because even if you won’t trust me, you’ve got to trust yourself, right?

He giggled for a long time about that.  

But it breaks my heart to see him stressed beyond the ability to reason.  He is such a smart, capable child as long as he’s not in “fight or flight mode”.  Once he hits that…..basically we hold the course until he can come to a realization by himself.
And yet, the longer he stays in that space, the harder it is on him –  physically, mentally and emotionally – and I hate that.  

I grieve the loss of normalcy.  I grieve the loss of ease.  I was looking back at pictures from when I had only the older three kids and while life back then wasn’t easy….it was different.  It seemed simpler.  It wasn’t easy.  Jeremy wasn’t an easy kid but he as only 1 of 3 and at that point I had no idea of the world of pain I was headed into.
I grieve the loss of self.  I grieve the loss of competence and confident capability.  I grieve the loss of innocence.

I feel like a part of me is stuck in that dark space of grieving.  Like it’s been so long that grief has been touching me that it’s infused itself into me.  Not overwhelming, just subtly changing……..winding tiny bursts of sadness here and there. Not enough to overwhelm, but just enough to never forget………

  

Assimilation……

I went to another counseling session this morning….and then I came home, ate lunch and crawled into bed until I had to pick up the boys from school.

I’m currently chatting with some friends on the Facebook messenger app….I’m having such a hard time focusing on this and yet, I want to be able to write it down because when I do…..I feel like I process through it and assimilate the info, so much better than when I kind of ignore it and carry on.

PhotoI feel like I’ve been fighting myself. On one hand, I think I’m good at certain things…..but on the other hand, I don’t really believe it. For example, I believe I am beautiful; but instead of just believing it and it being a non-factor…..I’m constantly needing to “be” perfect…even though I’m no where near perfect. It’s always something I’m reaching for or trying to attain. And if someone says anything to me….I honestly believe that they are just being nice…because somewhere inside of me, I don’t really believe I’m beautiful…..but I do….???

I think I can sing well, and yet…I don’t really believe it, because if I really was good, then wouldn’t I have actually “done” something with it. And yes, I can carry a tune, but so many are so much better than me, and I’m not really that good……..I’m just…adequate.

So, in counseling today, I managed to connect with a much younger me…from about when I was 6….and she quite honestly believes that shes bad……dirty and disgusting and bad…..and I don’t know why. She believes that if anyone really truly saw who she was that they would reject her……..and that just so much resonates with how I feel.

It’s weird. It’s weird to hear yourself say things like……I see these kids. These kids that others see as “bad” and I see beyond the “actions” and “issues” to the heart and soul of the kids and I see how special and amazing they are.

It’s so devastating to see that as a young girl, maybe 6, that I felt like if anyone saw the real me that they would reject me, because I was so bad.

I don’t know what happened to make me think that. I don’t know what would have given me that impression, all I know is that for the first time…..something makes sense…….its like something inside of me has held onto something horrid for 30+ years and I can finally recognize that it’s not the adult me feeling like this. Even saying this (or typing it) makes me feel crazy and yet…….it just feels so “right”. I said things today that totally make sense for the first time in 30+ years.

If there is a part of me that was traumatized by something and held onto that trauma and never quite grew up….it could easily be causing a disparity between what I know as an adult and what I felt as a child.

The feelings were so strong….at first I didn’t even want to connect with her.

I’m quite unsettled sharing this, and yet…..I want to. In some ways, if I share it, it becomes more real to me.

I find our minds to be so very, incredibly interesting.

Its so hard to switch from what we know as an adult to what we feel/felt as a child. And yet to recognize that what we felt/observed/experienced is still valid regardless of what the actuality is/was…..

For whatever reason, I felt like I was unworthy of love. I felt disgusting. I felt bad. I felt like, if anyone saw who I really was, then they would reject me. I felt like I had to continue to try to appear perfect, in order for people to accept me. I felt like failure was equivalent with rejection. I’ve continued to feel that in my experiences with people, all through out my life. It sucks.

In a lot of ways, it feels like I can’t trust myself. How do you merge these two “warring” sides of yourself? One side believes that you actually are a nice person worthy of love and acceptance; and at the same time, a part of me truly believes that I’m one slip/one step/one action away from being rejected because I’m so “bad”.

How is a 6 year old “bad”?

I can’t imagine looking at a young child and believing them to be truly evil.
I can’t imagine looking at my young children and rejecting them based on their actions.
I can’t imagine my children feeling so unacceptable and undesirable.

It just about destroys me to think that I felt like this….and yet…..I can’t remember not feeling like this and the feelings today were so intense……

It made me feel so sad for myself.

I hurt so incredibly much for the children that I see who are struggling. My own children, my nieces and nephews, our friends kids……..children at our local school….., at church….

So many of these, I’d venture to say ALL of these, kids just want to be loved and accepted, and they should be….in spite of any actions that people deem inappropriate….Sometimes, I just want to scream at the “adults”. I want to scream and rail at them, “can’t they see that these kids are trying their hardest?” They are doing the very best they can. Children want to do their best. If they are struggling, it’s probably because they don’t know what to do….and helping to teach them what to do (as opposed to focusing on what they are not to do), with love and compassion would go a whole lot further than getting angry with them.

It was a weird appointment, and I realize that I’m a bit all over the place….but it’s been a tough day.

I’m attempting to process through this. I’ll probably have more thoughts on it all, but at least I’ve started….

I’m trying to be ok with being in process….I like to start something and wrap it up and “finish” it…..but I think it needs to be ok to be “in process”….to be “working on things”….to not have to feel like if I don’t finish it right away that it’s useless or worthless….but to realize that I can start working on something and continue to work on it and that it’s ok to not be finished yet…..

hmmmm……..

Unraveling

I’ve been feeling so very, very frustrated.  I love to write.  I love to use words to tell a story, to share emotion……and yet I’ve been feeling so………blocked, shattered, fragmented…….

I don’t even know what the right words are.  But, I want it to change.  I’ve been seeing an incredible counsellor who is such a blessing to me and my family.  And I’m hoping that I’m working through/on some things that are contributing to this…..to this……to this frustrating time.

But,  I’ve decided that I’m going to write…..I’m going to write something each day (that I can) {you like that little “out” I just gave myself?}  and hopefully, maybe this will help me to start unraveling some of this mess inside of myself.  So here goes….

My thoughts are jammed up, crammed up

Within the confines of my mind

Desperate to be sorted

Knotted like a ball of twine

The harder I pull

The tighter it gets 

Choking off breath

In its fierce grasp

Panic sits there

Mocking, taunting, hurling insults

That I can barely process and yet…

Each one lands with a jab

Piercing through the armour of exhaustion

More pain, more wounds, more healing needed

Drawing from an already depleted account

Breathe!

Shut it down!

Try again another day.

#microblogmondays 9

(null) This picture has nothing to do with anything except I love this little boy.

***********

I am EXHAUSTED but do you know what I did today…….nothing physical.

Literally, I sat all day. I took Josiah out to the psych evaluation and then sat and visited a friend. I picked him up for lunch and sat through lunch and then I dropped him off and sat and waited for the second part of the eval to finish. Then we walked for 10 mins, while we waited for Jon to arrive and then we sat and discussed the last 7 years of Siah’s life.

I was already so done even while I was waiting for the second half to be finished and I think that I figured it out……the stress is absolutely brutally wearing.

I already knew that.

And before you tell me “just don’t stress”…….it’s not a conscious thing. If I could just stop. I would.

Today felt like 6 hours of insanely intense stress……..and now we wait to hear the results of the assessment and the scoring of the tests.

Hopefully we will, soon, have more answers and a better understanding of how to help this sweet boy of ours succeed.

A Fairly Regular Week Around Here.

IMG_9079I have these brief moments of clarity. Unfortunately, they are clouded by the fog of chaos and exhaustion that is my life these days.

This past week has been particularly trying and yet, it’s really not any different than any other week around here.

Jeremy had an epic meltdown on Monday night….what that means is that he fought against everything we said and needed and asked him to do starting at 3:30pm. It exploded at 6:30pm, with him huddled in a sobbing, screaming ball on the kitchen floor, begging us to leave him alone and to not touch him. All of this while trying to get the two little boys through their evening chores and headed up to bed……which is it’s own gong show of happiness. We finally got Jer settled enough. He had a great chat with Jon and was able to clearly speak of what was going on for him. It’s just too bad that it took 3 hours of intense energy and chaos to get us to that place.

Tuesday morning (and most every morning) involved a great deal of wrangling to get Josiah to school. He has a lot of anxiety and getting him to school in the mornings involves a tremendous amount of creative thinking and fast talking to movitvate and challenge him to actually make it to school. Tuesday afternoon, I picked Siah up from school and took him, Judah and Xandra to our family Dr. Siah has a few warts on his hands and has been getting them frozen off. He had a massive anxiety attack thinking about getting them frozen off and ended up making himself sick in the waiting room of the Dr.s office. He puked 4 different times and managed to hit the garbage can for 2 of those…..the other 2 required a lot of paper towels and a fair amount of apologizing on my part. I finally promised him that we would just “show” the Dr his warts and that I wouldn’t make him get freezing. After that, he didn’t puke any more and miraculously recovered…..no more puking that evening and he ate well and had no issues. I HATE ANXIETY!!!!!

Wednesday was a quiet day…..I remember thinking how weird and bizarre it was to not have anything crazy going on. Jon did have to work on his second job that evening so I solo parented the bedtime routine and it’s just not as fun as it sounds like it could be.

Thursday was a crazy day. Last week I got a call on Tuesday asking if we could come in to the orthopedic clinic on Thursday for an appt with Dr. Pike – an orthopedic surgeon – who does both pediatric and regular orthopedic care. He specializes in arms, shoulders, wrists, hands……This is the surgeon who will follow Geli into adulthood. I couldn’t make the appt for last Thursday because all the appts are in the afternoon on Thursday’s. This means that I have to arrange pick up from school for Josiah and babysitting for Judah. Fortunately, my mom was able to come this week and watch Judah and pick up Siah. Before my mom got to my house, I managed to tidy the house, do the laundry, clean the kitchen, make a batch of chocolate chip cookies for an after school snack, put together a roast beef for my mom to throw in for dinner, and a quick note with pertinent details for my mom regarding that afternoon.

I was exhausted before even leaving the house. I remember thinking to myself,

“Why don’t I have any help?” That was quickly followed by,
“I try to do it all by myself so that I’m not a bother for anyone.” Which was followed up with,
“But I’m one breath away from breaking…..I can’t do all of this.” And then,
“Why do you try to do it all by yourself?”
“Because I don’t feel that I’m worth……….. bothering people.”

I had a lot more thoughts, but that one hit me pretty hard. I needed to leave for the hospital so we wouldn’t be late and so I filed that thought for later….

Angelica’s appointment was for 1pm and I was really hoping that we’d be quickly in an out before traffic started. There was a surgery that called the dr away just before he came to see us….which means that our quick appointment turned into a 2 hour affair. Which is not bad for “hospital time”.

The long and the short of that appointment, is that Angelica will definitely need surgery. If fact, her shoulder is bad enough that if she was in pain, they’d replace it now. The surgeon said it was “really ugly.” Once again, the comment we keep hearing is, “You’re not in any pain?” It looks bad enough that they expect she should be in a lot more pain than she is. We are so incredibly thankful that she is not in pain. And because she is not in pain, we can put off replacement surgery. She will most likely be looking at both a shoulder replacement and an elbow replacement but it could be a while, yet. This is great news and frustrating, at the same time. Geli has limited mobility in her shoulder and her elbow has a short range of motion. It doesn’t fully extend and won’t fully contract either. She has learned to compensate by reaching with her left arm if something is high above her or by using her right arm, if she needs to extend her arm straight out. It’s still awkward, but we choose to be thankful that she is alive and has both arms to be able to use. We are incredibly thankful that she is not in pain because living with constant physical pain is a horrible, horrible thing to have to do.

We finally headed home…..arriving just in time for me to pick up Jeremy and take him to a counseling appointment. He had his appointment from 5-6pm. I dropped him off, connected with his counselor about a few issues and insights from that week and headed back home to grab a bite to eat before I headed back to pick him up.

His counselor is so kind and thoughtful; and asked how I was doing. Truthfully, I don’t even want to answer that question because I am not doing well. I think I hit breaking point a long time ago and I’m desperately hanging onto the belief that this is a season and it, too, will pass…..I’m just very tired of existing. I’m very tired of all the issues. It’s been a very long time of chaos and conflict; and I’m not so sure I see it ending anytime soon. I gave her a pat answer….and then I answered truthfully and then I cried; then I pulled myself together and took Jeremy home to finish off the evening.

Friday morning brought it’s routine school related challenges although this time, it was Judah who decided to have a flip out. He did not want to go to “school”. He wanted to stay with me. He was clingy and whiney and so very unlike him. He typically fusses about not wanting to go to school…..I think mostly because that’s what Siah does and it must seem like that’s just what you are supposed to do in the mornings……but when we get to school, he goes in and is so happy to see his teachers and friends. He kisses and hugs me and heads off for the day without a second glance. He was SO UPSET. It took about 15 minutes to settle him and I was really confused about why he was doing this…..I even questioned just taking him home with me, because it was so very out of character for him.

Friday afternoon, I picked up Judah from preschool and then picked up Siah. Siah’s desk looks like a recycling bin. It is so full of random bits of paper, junk and garbage. I go in about once a month to scrape his desk out. I put all his pencils and crayons back into his pencil box and stack his duotangs and exercise books. I throw out all the garbage and collect the “treasures” to take them home. He struggles with the “messing with” of his treasures and would just rather live in the chaos – on the best of days – Friday was not one of the best days……..

He melted down in the classroom. Tears, yelling, crying, pleading…..he was anxious that if he brought the 500 origami creations home that they would get destroyed or lost or somehow messed up. He just wanted to leave them at school, but when your collection is shoe box sized and stuffed in your desk…..it just needs to come home. We finally managed to get his desk tidied; the creations in an actual shoe box and him out the door. The real fun started once we got in the van and he refused to put his seat belt on because he “HAD” to take the box of origami back into the school. He screamed at Judah for fussing at him. He screamed at me for everything. So much yelling and pleading; and zero grasp of the reality that it was not going to happen. It took 15 minutes. I have it on video. I’ve been recording “events” for when we go for his assessment at the end of February. It’s so much more than just a normal upset or frustration.

By the time I finally got him calmed down enough and we headed home, I was exhausted…done. We fed the kids frozen pizza (cooked, obviously) and sat and watched videos.

Saturday was the anniversary of Nathaniel’s birth and death and was just a low key – stay at home day. I’m ever so thankful that the kids held themselves mostly together.

This is not really an “out of the ordinary” week. Maybe the fact that I don’t have an actual “incident” to report for Wednesday or Saturday might make it memorable in a positive way….but it all feels less than positive.

And the biggest hit for me this week….bigger than Jeremy’s meltdown, bigger than Judah’s flip out, bigger than imminent surgery, bigger even than Josiah’s epic flipout…..is that fact that I don’t feel worthy.

I feel worth less…..

It’s a pretty crappy feeling.

Why?
Why do I feel like this?
Why do I see myself as worth less than others?
Why?

I don’t know…..but I think I need to figure that out.

#microblogmonday 3

PhotoI’m only just a little late.

The kids have been horrid and I don’t know what was up with me yesterday, but I felt one breath away from a panic attack all day.

I think I’m just tired. Worn out!

But… I wanted to eat my feelings in such a big way and……….I DIDN’T!!!!

I made it through the crazy, to dinner, ate dinner, went for a good walk and then felt calm enough to make it through the rest of the evening without needing to cram my face full of crap.

So, YAY ME!

My Journey with Food Addiction (part 1)

It’s said that knowledge is power and when it comes to food addiction and me, that saying is so true.

Here is a decent explanation of Food Addiction and how it relates to me…….(just click on the underlined words)

I’ve struggled with my weight for a really long time…..I’ve had issue with food for even longer. I remember sitting down as a child/preteen/teenager and pounding back cookies or chocolate bars or candy or to a lesser degree chips…..any kind of junk food specifically those with sugar and/or flour.

I’ve never really understood people who could take “just one”. As far back as I can remember, it was kind of an all or nothing deal. If I had a bag of M&M’s….I’d eat until they were gone…..and it was never the small bag – always the BIG ONES. I’d never just buy 1 chocolate bar…it was 3 or 4. I’d grab a handful of cookies and most likely head back for a second or third handful.

While I was a teenager, it never seemed that big of a deal because I was a tall, big framed person and weight wasn’t ever an issue for me.

I was 170lbs when I got married and definitely was not overweight by visual standards.

I still struggle because according to different standards like the BMI or other weight calculators, I was overweight based on my height vs weight ratio….but in no way was I overweight back then……I was thin, I modeled. I firmly believe those standards are flawed…

As far as my weight goes, I did ok until after I had my second child and then things started changing……I didn’t lose the weight as fast as I did after having Angelica. Literally, 10 days after having Geli, I was back in my pre-pregancy clothes and I could see my hip bones and everything. It was not the same after having Alexandra and from then on I began to actually “struggle” with my weight.

But this whole issue is about SO MUCH MORE than weight……and that’s where the “knowledge is power” aspect really comes into play for me.

I remember my sister telling me about a friend of hers who was eating a certain way and she briefly mentioned “food addiction” when she was telling me about this “way of eating”. I briefly looked into it but mostly because I was desperate to lose weight. I didn’t particularly “like” the food eating plan and so I dismissed it…..after all, I wasn’t an addict and I most certainly wasn’t addicted to food…I only had 10 pounds to lose and then I’d be happy……

I’ve spent a huge portion of the last 20 years dieting or eating according to a “food program”. I’ve eaten low carb, sugar free, fast metabolism, 3 day diet, and so many more gimmicky eating plans to try and lose weight. And while some of them worked for a bit, in the end……I’ve gained the weight back and felt more miserable and like a HUGE failure on top of it all.

I think that there have been 2 periods of time over the last almost 20 years where I’ve been close to a healthy weight. Neither lasted very long and between the different traumas and stresses in our lives, its been a brutal battle.

2014 has been an extremely difficult year for me and yet……..it’s been an amazing year.

We are exhausted.

And that’s putting it mildly.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve had numerous job changes and losses, a stillbirth, 2 second trimester losses, an early miscarriage, the long desired arrival of Josiah, a crazy long, difficult and exhausting journey to an Autism Diagnosis, children with special needs, cancer and the birth of our sweet Judah in the middle of it, serious Mental Health Issues, and 2 BIG house moves…..there is more that I’ve not accounted for, but that’s enough….it’s just too much. We are tapped out.

I feel like I’ve been fighting a battle for a long time. I have been…….. but what’s worse is that I really didn’t understand what or who I was fighting.

Earlier this year, I committed to 100 days of investing in myself. When I look back, I see that I was searching for answers and that I was close to finding them but just not quite there….

See, in the past, my focus has been for the quick fix….

– If I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happier and then I can go back to doing whatever I want.

– Ok, realistically, I should lose 20 pounds, but that’s a lot and so difficult so if I eat no/low carb for a few weeks, I should loose a ton of weight, and then I’ll be happy and be able to do whatever I want.

– OK!!!! So I should probably be REALLY SERIOUS and just go for an entire month and hopefully lose more than 20 lbs and then I’ll be happy and can do whatever I want……….

It was all about losing the weight as fast as possible – which for me typically meant no sugar, no fruit, no carbs……just veggies and protein….and then something would happen and I’d “cheat”………. cause everyone deserves a cheat now and then, especially when you’re being SO GOOD. That cheat would typically turn into more than just a little treat and BAM…….soon I’d be stuffing my face with whatever I could find.

The “100 Days” challenge was difficult for me and yet amazing, when I look back on it. I’d decided that it needed to be more than a quick fix. I needed something longer term, because the quick fixes were not working. I needed a shift from “short term/quick fix” thinking to something that was more a “lifestyle/long term” plan.

So I started back in February….on Valentines Day to be exact…. my plan was no sugar, no gluten, low carb, only natural foods that I could eat in whole form or combine to make something. I’d started running in 2013 and planned on combining that exercise with my food eating plan to be able to lose weight and really get control of my life which felt so chaotic and out of control.

It started out pretty good. I started 2014 at 230 lbs…..

Towards the end of March, I was doing pretty good. I was down to 208 lbs. I’d run over 100 km in the month of March….and then I stalled.

March-April-May…nothing shifted and I was getting frustrated. I started eating things that were outside of my chosen allowable foods and my running slowed down and by the start of summer….I crashed. it probably didn’t help that I was anemic over the summer.

Summer of 2014 was an absolute out-of-control, gong show. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn’t exercise. I felt lousy. I was trying to just survive. It was so bad, that even walking upstairs to my bedroom was a colossal effort and so once I came down stairs, I avoided going back up until I had too. Lotta couch time over the summer and anything I did do, came at a huge price as I’d crash the next day.

Every time I walk upstairs now, I flash back to how bad it was over the summer and I’m amazed at the difference from then till now. It’s pretty drastic. I went up on my anxiety meds and even added another one into the mix. There were days that I contemplated hospitalizing myself because I could not get the anxious thought under control and I’d spend the entire day fighting thoughts….crying…..it was pretty bad.

September’s are always like a new year for me….a new start……so I kept looking forward to September and the kids going back to school and routine and…….when it came…..everything was still brutally difficult and nothing changed except that I didn’t have the kids home all day…..I didn’t do anything. I couldn’t. I was so exhausted. Just existing was difficult….it was bad!

I went to give blood in September. I’ve been donating blood since I was 18 and while it’s not been as regular as I’d like and been broken up by pregnancy, breastfeeding, and different meds that I’ve been on….I could finally give and so I did….only to be denied because my hemoglobin was too low. While at the time I felt pretty embarrassed to be denied, that was the start of something amazing…….like the catalyst that kick started this next phase in my life.

I went to my dr and asked for some blood work. I started taking iron…..went and saw my naturopath, got a few supplements…… Finally towards the end of October, I started to feel a bit better.

I honestly cant remember why or how the whole concept of food addiction came to me but right at that same time, I started doing some serious research and reading about food addiction.

It was like my whole world exploded into tiny shards of hope and shame, exhilaration and denial…….