Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Help Me Remember

This past week has been insanely busy for me. Between starting a new job, interviewing and receiving another and packing up and moving, I have been really busy. Most days have started at 7 and ended after midnight. Any "free" time has been spent either sleeping or showering. Last night John and I decided to take the night off. There is still some moving left to do and plenty of unpacking but after working all day and moving all weekend we needed a break. As we laid in our new living room, surrounded by our family ( 2 dogs and a cat), while watching the Olympics, I couldn't help but stop for a moment to take it all in. For a few seconds I was taken back. As a smile shot across my face I couldn't help but think "Is this really my life?".

Shortly after, I saw a comment on facebook talking about how quickly July had flown by. I then turned to John and said "Is it really already August? Where did this summer go?". He replied, "ED" and I was instantly overcome with sadness about the truth in this statement.(even while typing this sentence I felt a tightness in my chest) Although I have come a very long way in the past few weeks and am definitely moving forward, the last 3 months have been marked by my struggle with anorexia. There have been happy moments as well as moments of clarity and I have had many big realizations that have helped my recovery progress but the impact the eating disorder has had on me, my life and those who care about me is phenomenal. It not only has stolen my health, but my time and a lot of other aspects of my life. To be quite honest, the past few months are a bit of a blur and it pains me to realize this.

Having struggled on and off with an eating disorder for 10 years, I am no stranger to the lapses in memory and time and it's very upsetting to think about. Recently I read the post (Forgetting to Remember: The Key Obstacle to Eating Disorder Recovery ) by the lovely Lori Lieberman and it brought me to tears. When trapped in the grips of the eating disorder, it's easy to look past the negative, to forget. We choose to remember how it is serving us at the current moment and not it's downfall or consequences. As she stated so eloquently "You get so used to living in a substandard way, not functioning at full capacity, that you forget what life could be like-the potential you truly have to make a difference, to even one person you care about." Although I could easily relate to almost every line of the post, this one really hit home hard. When consumed by anorexia most of my thoughts and time, at least internally, are spent thinking about food, weight, calories, numbers, rules and the scale. Although I may be participating in outside activities, my mind and heart isn't there. Instead of remembering the things I value like relationships and the things that I am passionate about like children, helping others and making a difference, I am consumed by rules and self-hatred. I lose my personality and myself in the process. The obsessive thoughts amp up and I start to isolate or drive other people away. Let's face it, no one but the eating disorder wins.

I will never be able to get back the time or memories that the eating disorder has robbed me of. Although I have repaired some of the damage that has been done, not everything is fixable. I can't erase the destruction that the eating disorder (and myself) have caused. Some people are not willing to forgive me and rightfully so. I can't change the past. But I can focus on the present and try to keep history from repeating itself.

Every day is a struggle. Anyone whose life has been affected by an eating disorder in any way, knows how grueling the recovery process is. No matter how painful the cost, it's not simply something that you can just snap out of. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears and is full of a lot of ups and downs. It requires patience, vulnerability and a lot of uncomfortable moments. It doesn't happen quickly and there isn't anything simple about it.

As I lay on the floor last night surrounded by love, I was reminded of the reasons why I continue to fight. Yes, this is really my life and I am truly blessed. Remembrance really is a key aspect in life and recovery. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weighing my Options- living in the gray


Yesterday was a big day for me. First time working all day at the new job, as well as working alone, opening and closing on my own. I was forced out of my comfortable routine of eating at the same times, the same things and taking large breaks to recoup. I had to plan ahead, come up with meal and snack options that would work and then I actually had to follow through on it(with no one but myself for accountability), as well as realize and accommodate the fact that I would be busy and on my feet all day and probably would need more fuel. Most importantly, I just had to go with the flow and do whatever was necessary at the time and being a bit of a control freak this is normally pretty difficult for me. 

I not only survived but it was a really great day. No matter how stressful a day may be, working with children and seeing the joy on their faces makes me smile. Whenever the ED started to creep in or my anxiety started to rise, I thought about the children and how I could best serve them in that moment. My job doesn’t leave much room for error. One simple distraction or mistake and it could be pretty dangerous. Losing focus isn’t an option for me. Nor is being upset or in a bad mood. (Which happens when you are not properly nourished) One of the things that I love about my job is that it requires me to be outgoing, friendly and happy on a fairly regular basis. I get to use my personality and wave to everyone without it being creepy. Yesterday, as I diligently ate every meal and snack I weighed my options. I am not at the point where recovery always seems like the right thing to do, but I am also no longer at the point where I immediately respond with ED behaviors.  I am in that middle area that I would like to call the “cost vs. benefit” stage. 

Whether it’s wanting to give into the eating disorder or deciding to do what I need for recovery, lately I find myself weighing my options. It reminds me of a cartoon when I was younger where the cat (maybe from Looney Tunes?) had a devil on one shoulder and an angel on another, trying to persuade him and tell him what to do. This is a pretty accurate description of what it’s currently like for me. 

I can’t say that the angel always wins, but yesterday that was mostly the case. I still have my moments where the idea of instant gratification, even as temporary as it may be, seems so much better than sitting through the anxiety or waiting for the uncomfortable feelings to pass. Some days I am totally ok living with the costs and in a moment of panic believe they are worth it. And other days, I refuse to allow the eating disorder to steal anymore of my time and life.  

I always thought that having an eating disorder and recovery was a black and white process, but I am starting to see that like everything else there is plenty of gray. Yesterday was living in the gray.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Here's to us


At this time 2 months ago John and I were sitting in the ER waiting room. We were there because I couldn’t get myself to eat anything and was pretty much begging him to just let me die. Earlier that day I had come close to taking matters into my own hands. I was completely hopeless and I didn’t believe anything would ever get better.

Fast forward to today, exactly 2 months later and John and I laid in bed, laughing hysterically. The full body laughter where you are gasping for air and your abs hurt afterwards. This laughing fit was followed with chocolate covered pretzels, animal crackers and chocolate pudding as well as listening to some of our favorite music and just enjoying each others company.

This past weekend we signed a lease for our very first place together and a week ago I started a new job that I enjoy very much. Recovery is still an every day battle, every moment even. I have done some of the hardest work of my life in the last month and it’s still very difficult. I have a long way to go, but on nights like tonight that doesn’t matter. Tonight I am just thankful for the progress that I have made and for these moments of joy with the most amazing man in the world. Here’s to us! 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Anger vs. Resentment

I used to pride myself on the fact that I never got angry. Until recently, very few people had ever seen me truly pissed off. A few years ago a friend and I went into the counselling center on campus to discuss our concern for another friend as well as our frustration caused by her and the situation. (I am being vague to respect their privacy)  Shortly after explaining the situation and really hoping for some clarity as well as someone to side with us and understand where we were coming from, we left empty handed. Although I don't remember exactly everything we were told that day, I do remember one thing clearly, I was told that I had an anger problem and could really use anger management. Both my friend and I laughed at the sheer inaccuracy of the statement and talked about going back and asking for his credentials because clearly he had no idea what he was talking about. I wasn't angry because I didn't get angry.

Looking back on this experience now, I can't help but laugh because of the truth in it. Usually when we think of people with anger problems we think of people who lash out, yell inappropriately and cause a big scene. I am definitely thankful to say that this is not my issue.(although no judgement from me if it is yours) Instead, I have spent years repressing anger, never allowing myself to show it to anyone and keeping it all inside while slowly keeping tabs and building a lot of resentment until I eventually can't take it any more and pretty much explode.

Last summer I was overstressed and I was being overworked. To be quite honest, I really wasn't being treated very fairly but I never spoke up. For the first few months I just held it in and took it, with a smile on my face. I didn't even consider getting angry or speaking up about it. In my mind, not only was being angry at someone not ok, but showing it was unheard of. After all, I was the perfect people pleaser and wanted everyone to like me. I couldn't handle the idea of getting mad at someone and possibly having them be upset with me. That just wasn't an option in my mind. My last few days of work I held in so much resentment that I couldn't wait to walk out of there and say good riddance and "fuck them all". I was so angry that I hoped to never talk to or see some of the people ever again and all I could think of was how I had wasted my entire summer. I was a raging lunatic but couldn't even begin to admit it. Fast forward a few months later and I found myself in a very similar situation again. Different people, different place, same resentment. I could give tons of examples of this cycle in my life but I am sure you get the picture.

Anger is a natural emotion and can be a very helpful one. It's what breeds change and what allows us to create boundaries and stick up for ourselves when we are treated unfairly. Anger is very productive and necessary. Resentment however is not quite the same. With resentment comes bitterness, blame and a sense of entitlement. When we feel resentful we want revenge and someone to blame. We are bitter and are usually unable to see the role we played in the situation. When anger turns into resentment it's usually a bad sign and possibly even irreparable.

It's taken a lot of humility to admit to myself how much resentment I have held towards situations and other people in the last few years. And even more so to come to terms with the fact that I get angry too. Because lets face it, we all do. Anger is a human emotion and even though some times I wish that I wasn't, I am human too.

Given the current work that I have been doing in my recovery and the fact that I have reconnected with myself in a lot of ways, including my emotions, I have been angry a lot recently and it's been really scary for me. When it first started happening my instant reaction was to try to make it go away. A week or so ago I walked into my nutritionists office extremely pissed off. So much so that I was actually shaking. The entire bus ride to her office I had been hoping for it to go away but it just kept building. When I walked into her office I was so ashamed and felt so uncomfortable allowing her to see me angry. Even though the anger wasn't directed at her, I clung to my old belief that feeling and showing anger wasn't ok. Instead of abandoning myself, she forced me to sit with it, feel it and even talk about it some. An hour later when I walked out of her office the anger had subsided, in fact I even had a smile on my face and we had spent a lot of the appointment talking about other things.

I have held in a lot of years of anger, so much so that it seems like at least once a day I am overcome by the feeling. Allowing myself to just ride out the feeling has been one of the most productive things in my recovery and life recently. My fear of exploding and lashing out inappropriatly hasn't happened yet. And I have even begun to forgive some and let go of a lot of resentment. It's not only allowed me to let go of some wrongs of the past but it's allowed me to start to stick up for myself. I have been mistreated and allowed others to walk all over me many times before. I have been forever stuck in the cycle of allowing others to over step their boundaries, not saying anything and eventually cutting them out of my life and hating them. Although some things are other peoples fault, a lot of this could have been avoided if I just allowed myself to feel and show anger in the first place.

I don't blame myself. A lot of my beliefs about anger have to do with how I was raised and my personality as well as my fear of abandonment and rejection. But this has been quite an eye opening experience for me. It's a work in progress but I am getting there. Just like everything in life, anger won't last forever. When we allow ourselves to get angry, we are showing that we matter to and don't deserve to be treated badly.  We get mad, make a change and then move on with our lives, without attempting to keep score. And with that we become kinder, more forgiving and compassionate people.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Control

 Control- JJ Heller

The cut is deep, but never deep enough for me
It doesn't hurt enough to make me forget
One moment of relief is never long enough
To keep the voices in my head
From stealing my peace

Oh, control
It's time, time to let you go

Perfection has a price
But I cannot afford to live that life
It always ends the same; a fight I never win

Oh, control
It's time, time to let you go

I'm letting go of the illusion
I'm letting go of the confusion
I can't carry it another step
I close my eyes and take a breath
I'm letting go, letting go

There were scars before my scars
Love written on the hands that hung the stars
Hope living in the blood that was spilled for me

Oh, control
It's time, time to let you go...
Control
It's time, time to let you go

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

 
 "I just want life to get better...I want to work through the past and be able to move on with my life. I want to live in peace and happiness and not be haunted by everything that I have been through. I don't want to ever lose myself again and become numb to the person that I truly am. And I don't want to allow those who hurt me to continue to win. Each day I get stronger and although it's hard and some days I take a few steps back..I want to recover from this ED and live a full life. I want to be proof that no matter how bad things get or how much damage is done, that things can get better. I want to get revenge by living the life that I am meant to live. Not in a payback kind of way, but to show that I am much stronger than I seem and refuse to allow the cycle of destruction to continue. I can't change the past but I will not let it continue to repeat itself. 
 
I've spent most of my life reaching out to others, helping and even protecting people and taking care of them and helping them fight for causes and their lives. And for once I want to do the same for myself. I want to fight for myself; use my voice for me. I want to dispel all of the horrible beliefs that were fed to me during childhood and throughout my life and all of the nonsense that has been on repeat in my head for years and kept me trapped. Although I have made some mistakes and done things that I am not proud of, I don't deserve to be treated like this. And just because it's familiar doesn't mean that I need to continue to do it to myself. For the past few days every time the negative voice in my head turns on, I stop and take a few deeps breaths and remind myself that it is going to be OK. I can do this. That I don't need to be scared anymore. I don't need to dissociate. And even more so that I don't deserve the lies that it's telling me. They aren't what I truly believe or who I am. And I don't need to waste another minute giving them space in my life. 


Some times it doesn't happen as quickly as I would like but I am catching it more often and am able to replace it with either kindness towards myself or anger towards the culprit (the ed, the person who convinced me it was true in the first place etc.) Self-hatred is learned and I am working on un-learning it every day.

It's been years since I could sit in silence with myself and actually feel ok (without needing a distraction or all of the negative self talk), but it's happening more and more now and is worth all of the hard work. The last few weeks have been some of the most difficult weeks of my life but it's felt amazing to be connected to myself and my heart. Even though I have a ton of external things going on in my life, to be able to sit with myself and feel at peace no matter what happens around me is wonderful and more than enough reason to keep pushing forward. "

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Making Amends

Forgiveness is the first step in loving yourself.

Dear Body,

I know that we haven't always been close or even on friendly terms and the amount of abuse that you have suffered at my expense is astronomical but I am here to apologize and show my gratitude.

I am sorry for using you as a way to convey my pain and suffering. For all of the times that I starved you and overexercised to get my point across. For all of the harsh words that were uttered in your direction in order to avoid my true fears and feelings. For every time I walked past a mirror and shuttered at you/my reflection. For losing trust in your ability to function and do your thing. I am sorry for trying to manipulate you in ways that were harmful. For punishing you when you were not the one to blame. For taking out every hateful and painful thing that has ever been done to me, on you. But I am mostly sorry for using you as my voice when I couldn't find mine.

Body, I think your resilience is amazing. Thank you so much for continuing to fight when I had stopped and for never giving up on me. For continuing to function when you were past running on empty. Thank you for never completely giving out on me. But even more so, thanks for the reminders that I was still alive; the horrible pangs of hunger that couldn't be ignored, the fatigue, dizziness and lack of energy that no amount of sleep could cure and even the never ending coldness and the temporary loss of my period over the years. Although I usually reacted with anger and further destruction, these signs forced me to see the truth. Forced me to face the reality of the situation that I was killing myself. That I am human and not invincible. And I am thankful for these reminders before it was too late.

Thank you legs for being pillars of strength. For allowing me to walk, run and be a great athlete. For enduring long obsessive workouts and a lot of scrutiny from me. For being muscular and never letting me forget where I come from. Thighs and calves, I am sorry for cursing your size, trying to make you smaller and berating you for your inability to fit in skinny jeans. Without you I wouldn't have been able and continue to be able to do a lot of cool things like triathlons, tread water, rock climb and even walk the dog. Butt, I am sorry for trying to make you disappear and for cringing every time I catch a glimpse of you in the mirror. I hope to one day appreciate you and compliment you as much as John does. Hips, thanks for being wide and pronounced. One day you are going to make being pregnant and having a kid a little easier. Chest, I know that we have had a love hate relationship, but independent of your size, thanks for reminding me that I am a women. Arms, shoulders and back, thanks for being strong. For allowing me to swim and for gracefully enduring all of the lengthy training and workouts that I have put you through. I am sorry for the years that I spent angry at you for being broad and for all of the times I stood in the dressing room defeated because you couldn't fit comfortably in a certain shirt or dress. You allow me to do awesome things like kayak, cuddle, hug and carry children.

I am sorry for all of the times that I believed that weight loss was the answer and forced you down to sizes that were not healthy and put you into survival mode. Organs, I am sorry for forcing you to work overtime and even start to shut down because of my overexertion and lack of nourishment. I am sorry for allowing you to be touched inappropriately and for repeatedly enduring abuse by others. I am sorry for not speaking up on your behalf and saying no. But mostly I am sorry for continuing the abuse and self hatred, even after others stopped.

Body, I know that we have been through hell together and that there are still a lot of reparations to be made and that you are still hesitant and questioning my intentions. I know that gaining back my trust is going to take time but I am so glad to be able to call you home. Just like you never gave up on me, I will never give up on you ever again. Although I know that there will be slips on the way and I might not always show my love and appreciation so openly, I am looking forward to reconnecting with you; learning how to listen to your signals, feed you properly, rest when needed, trust your abilities and wisdom, as well as appreciate your strength, size and beauty. I know you may not believe this after all of the abuse and pain that I have put you through, but I think you are amazing and I am glad to call you mine.

Love,

Daniella

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Me- unedited



The last two weeks have been some of the hardest weeks of my life but by far the most freeing. I have been forced to face a lot of things head on. The combination of brutal honesty from those closest to me and allowing myself to let my guard down and be vulnerable has brought on a lot of powerful realizations. I have been forced out of my self deceptive bubble and it's been scary. I have had to come to terms with a lot of my fears and have been forced to confront some of my deepest, darkest secrets. I have felt emotions very strongly and have pretty much either been intensely angry or a crying mess. I have also felt love more deeply and pure unfiltered excitement.

Although I have had to face the pain that I have spent years hiding and the time that I have lost being anyone but myself, as well as the destruction the eating disorder has caused, for the first time in years I am starting to feel at home in my own body. I am no longer dissociating and abandoning myself at every opportunity I get. It's not perfect, but I am working on it.

I have spent the last 10+ years hiding behind overachieving and productivity, as well as claiming that being successful is what I truly value, but it isn't. Striving for perfection in everything I have ever done as well as constantly pretending that I just wanted to be the best was a facade. Although those that are really close to me haven't been fooled, I managed to fool myself. It was easier to hid behind those things, then face the fact that I just wanted to be loved and cared for; that more than anything I wanted to build strong relationships and connect with others. The idea of asking for help and admitting that I longed for love and acceptance, as well as that I have needs and problems, was too much for me to handle. So instead I convinced myself that I didn't need anyone or anything, while simultaneously manipulating others in order to feel OK and get my needs met. If I was busy doing everything for everyone else and giving until I couldn't give anymore, maybe people wouldn't see my pain and flaws.

I have done many things that I am not proud of, including ruining relationships while completely blaming the other person for "abandoning" me. I have lied and hurt others as well as grown dependent on others, especially emotionally. I have been sucked into many codependent, abusive relationships and have allowed others to walk all over me many times. I have been hurt over and over again. I have given everything that I have and then some, while secretly hoping that others will do the same in return. I have apologized for others behavior, taken responsibility for things that were not my fault and completely disconnected from everything I believe in, in order to make myself needed. I have forced my body to suffer the consequences of my pain repeatedly and others to take care of me.

I refuse to spend another day being anyone but myself.Although I am still learning who that is, there are a few things that I am sure of. I am emotional, sensitive, sentimental and someone who feels things strongly. I have a big heart and will never apologize for that ever again. I care about people and see the potential in everyone. I long to help others and share my service with the world. I love and laugh deeply, as well as get excited about the smallest things. There is nothing that makes me happier then children, especially babies and I can't wait until the day that John and I start a family together. I wouldn't trade the people in my life for anything in the world, including success or money.I am still learning that it's ok to take care of myself and have needs, as well as trying to learn how to create boundaries and stop worrying so much about what others think. I have a lot of work to do, including learning to let go of resentment, anger and pride As well as repair the damage that the eating disorder and denial have done. I don't feel this level of peace and self acceptance every day and I know I still have a long way to go. But no matter how difficult things get, how painful it may seem and how vulnerable I feel, I won't back down. The freedom of being able to look in the mirror and feel at peace with myself, even if it's temporary, is worth every single moment of struggle.








Friday, July 6, 2012

The Morning After

 "To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength." ~Criss Jami

Have you ever sent an email, talked to a friend or shared something with someone and then instantly regretted it? Or woken up the next day (or even a few hours later) and thought, "What the hell was I thinking?" and felt insanely vulnerable and uncomfortable, really wishing that you had kept your mouth shut and could take it back? Just throw in a big JK and laugh it off. 

With the advice and help of people who care about me and a lot of soul searching, I had some pretty big realizations yesterday. After a few hours of sitting with the emotions, trying to make sense of it all, form coherent thoughts and figure out my stance, I decided to share my realizations with someone. I wrote out an email that shared some of my deepest fears and darkest secrets, along with a lot of things that I have felt and believed but wasn't consciously aware of or really able to put into words or realize the impact they have on me.

This morning when I woke up I was ready to go crawl in a dark hole some where. It reminded me of a time during my freshmen year of college, my first ever experience with alcohol. (Yes I was underage, we all make mistakes) Those who know me remember this night by my shouting of "I want to see the people". Given the fact that I had never had anything to drink before, wasn't exactly eating properly, had no idea of my limits and wanted to fit in and impress my new sorority sisters, I drank way too much and completely blacked out. Along with a horrible hang over, the next morning I had to attempt to piece together the night. Thankfully (because my friends were/are AMAZING) I woke up in my dorm room in my own bed safe and sound. But the shame of having no clue what had happened left me feeling insanely embarrassed and vulnerable. Although I was decently entertaining and didn't do anything too embarrassing, having friends replay the night for me and having no recollection of it was truly awful. 

Yesterday was different, in the sense that I knew what I was doing, but the vulnerability hangover was the same. I was 100% sober when I sent the email and shared what I did. I was fully aware of my actions, however I hadn't really thought about the consequences or what I was really doing. After a day of a lot of thinking and trying to make sense of things, I was just glad to be able to come to a conclusion and felt that it was beneficial for me to share it with someone. It was honest, raw and authentic.

Although I have been in therapy for almost a year and have a blog that shares some of the hardest, darkest parts of my life, putting myself out there still isn't easy for me or natural. Most of the time, even with my treatment team and closest friends, I still error on the side of caution; sharing a little, but not too much while desperately trying to shield and protect myself in the process. I worry about judgement every single day and although I am getting better at being honest and open, especially with those that are trying to help me, I still cringe at people knowing my insecurities. I worry what others think and believe that if they know some of my thoughts/struggles they will run quickly in the other direction.

This isn't a post where I say that I had some big epiphany, feel better and am embracing vulnerability like all of the cool kids. I still have my shield up, along with a wall that stretches pretty far out and a "don't mess with me" attitude. The regret is still there and I still feel uncomfortable. But I want to share a video with you that I watched this morning (and have watched many other times) that is amazing and has given me some perspective. It's Brene Brown's TED talk on listening to shame. I would encourage you to watch and if intersted check our her website and blog http://www.ordinarycourage.com/.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stuckness

"Actually, getting stuck is the prerequisite to getting unstuck.

Getting stuck is a great moment, a summons, a call from within, the glorious music of disaffection and dissatisfaction with our place in life. We get stuck when we want to change but can't, when we want to stop destructive behavior but don't, when the tug-o-war between God's will and ours stands still and we can't move. We're stuck going nowhere, unable to get beyond a particular point.

Getting stuck can be the best thing that could happen to us, because it forces us to stop. It halts the momentum of our lives. We have no choice but to notice what is around us, and we end up searching for Jesus. When we're stuck, we're much more likely to pay attention to our hunger for God and the longings and yearnings we have stifled. Sometimes being stuck is the low point and we say "Okay, I give up." We cannot grow without first giving up and letting go. Getting stuck forces us to see the futility of our situation and to put life in perspective so that we can move on."

~Messy Spirituality by Michael Yaconelli

It's been about 7 weeks of hell and that is putting it mildly. I hit a low that I didn't think was possible and then I continued to fall deeper and deeper. I gave up over and over again. I was angry, resentful, depressed, lost, confused, desperate and mostly hopeless. My eating disorder along with severe depression, anxiety, shame and self-hatred consumed me. I couldn't see anything else. I was stuck. There were actually many times that I didn't think I was going to make it out alive. But here I am.

I have a long way to go but I am finally starting to see the light. I have found some solid ground. The walls of the hole stopped caving in around me and someone lowered a ladder. A few brave souls even climbed down in order to comfort me and provide support and encouragement for the climb. I am slowly gaining strength, stamina and confidence. I can't see the top but I believe know that it exists. Some days I take a few steps forward and others a few back, but I keep moving. Each day I find a reason to hang on, some days more than one. It's an uphill battle but I am starting to see my progress. It's hard, but most of the time I believe it's worth it. I am learning and growing in the process as well as beginning to open up,let go and forgive myself. I am no where near the point where I am grateful for the struggle but I am starting to see it as the necessary path to freedom.

I am a big believer in the power of music, especially lyrics. And these are two songs that have inspired and given me a lot of perspective in the last week. Enjoy!

"There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame
What happened yesterday has disappeared
The dirt has washed away
And now its clear

There's only grace. There's only love
There's only mercy and believe me its enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there's nothing left now
There's only grace"
~Only Grace, Matthew West 


"Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes
And make a new beginning

Anyone can feel the ache
You think it's more than you can take
But you're stronger
Stronger than you know

Don't you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining"
~What faith can do, Kutless