Category Archives: quotes


When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

  • Martin Niemoller


I seldom get into politics on my blog (I can’t say never because I do sometimes) and I realize I’m breaking a long silence with a controversial post but I’m tired of being silent.

I first read this poem at The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. And it struck me then as important and in these recent days it has been apparent to me just how important the lesson in this poem is. And how it still applies today.

The refugee debate on Facebook has been strong this last week and it has saddened me how hateful and coldhearted some people can be. At some points it has just plain scared me. Have we learned nothing from history? Condemning a whole group of people as terrorists, dangerous, unclean and unwelcome seems dangerously similarly to how Jews were treated during WWII.

We once turned away a ship full of Jewish people and that act is regarded as shameful as many of those people returned to Europe to be murdered. Yet, here governors, presidential candidates and my Facebook friends call for us to turn away another generation of refugees. We shall someday regret this and look with shame on our actions I believe.

People have given many arguments for why they don’t want refugees coming to the United States and one I have heard is “we don’t have the resources to take care of our own homeless”. At the end of the day that problem will still be there whether we take in more refugees or not. And I ask you – how much did you care about the homeless before this debate started?

I don’t even want to touch on the terrorist argument. It just seems absurd to me that we should deny a whole group of people entry because one or two may put us at risk. And that isn’t guaranteed. It is stereotyping of Muslims that drives me crazy. I’d rather debate about how many people white males kill with guns.

Returning to the poem at the beginning of my post: while people sit at home typing on their computers I hope they remember that we as human beings have a responsibility to be there for one another. One day we might be the person that needs taken care of and if we don’t help now there may be no one there to help us when the time comes.



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Filed under culture, faith, quotes, social change, society, writing/poetry

All I can write is this quote tonight:


One Day I will forgive you; until then there are scabs everywhere that you have touched me

– Salvador Plascencia, The People of Paper

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Filed under abuse, Life Story, PTSD, quotes, survivor, the past, trauma

i relate to this in so very many ways

I recently read this blog from I haven’t talked much in detail about my brief college years on here and I will one day but for now I wanted to share this blog because in many, many ways it sums up what I felt during that time and what I feel now looking back. There are some distinct differences (I had a net – a net that ultimately saved me) but also many frightening similarities. So please take a look at:

“I Have No Idea What to Title This. I’m Not Even Sure you Should READ it. Nets. We’ll call it NETs”. 

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Filed under coping skills, depression, eating disorder, eating disorders, friends, Identity, Independence, life events, Life Story, New Life, PTSD, quotes, Recovery, school, survivor, the past

i’m back! and monday mood lifters for September 2nd

Well I’m back officially. I popped in the other day to write this post. There was an event that propelled me to write it that I’ll discuss at a later time but for now I felt the letter was important enough to save above in my pages.

Anyways, onto happier things. I’ll be posting regularly again and I have some big updates but I wanted to welcome September and myself back to blogging with some Monday Mood Lifters (although having a day off rom work/school is probably a mood lifter in itself)

Monday Mood Lifters

NOTE: None of these pictures or videos belong to me (with the exception of ones noted below). However, they should all link either to the original source or a source that credits them if available. If you are the source of a picture please let me know and I will credit you. Thank you.

1) These students performed a flashmob for their retiring principal. His reaction is priceless. Worth a watch. I originally found the video on Upworthy which is a new favorite website.

2) Who spirits can’t be lifted with a little Pooh Bear in their life?

3) This made me chuckle. Also it’s true…I need some books on these things.

4. Fall is coming! Fall is coming!

5. Sunflowers…*sigh* if you’re like me sunflowers will always make you happy.

6. The concept of this quote:

Maybe when we die, the first thing we’ll say is, ‘I know this feeling. I was here before.’

White Noise – Don DeLillo

7. Someone took a picture of their dog for a year and turned it into a gif

8. The fact that this happened somewhere

Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 4.54.27 PM

9. This reassurance. I think we all need this no matter what age we are.

10. And of course my Benny boy.


Filed under Ben, coping skills, dogs, Funny, Hope, Monday Mood Lifters, quotes

i will throw my roses into the abyss – a post about Cory Montieth

…throw roses into the abyss and say: ‘here is my thanks to the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive’. – Friedrich Nietzsche 

I’ve thought a lot about that quote in this past week. If you didn’t know the actor Cory Montieth, who played Fin on the popular television show Glee, died last Saturday due to a mixture of Heroin and alcohol. It wasn’t a purposely overdose but an unintended one. Perhaps what makes this even more sad is that the young actor (he was 31) was actively trying to recover and had recently gone to drug rehab.

The story has hit me harder than what it ought to maybe. I can see myself in him. No, I have never struggled with drugs or alcohol abuse but I have danced with my own demons of addictions in the shape of self-injury and my eating disorder. Those too are very real addictions. There is a ‘high’ that comes from starving , overexercising or harming your body in someway. When I began using symptoms much like a drug user I thought I could stop at anytime but I remember that frantic realization when I realized that there was no way I could stop starving. But I’m one of the lucky ones.

Now looking back from the side of recovery I can see how close I came to dying. One more day before I entered treatment. Another fifteen minutes on that exercise bike or a cut a little deeper and I too would be lying somewhere too and my parents would be burying me like Cory Montieth’s parents buried him.

It saddens me when people scoff at drug addicts or alcoholics. I understand these sufferers more than anyone might realize. Yes perhaps my addiction was slightly more “socially acceptable” and in the case of the eating disorder even at times envied and revered (yes, but that’s another post) but in the end it’s all the same. An addiction is an addiction. It eats you alive from the inside out. And if you are lucky you escape relatively unharmed physically (like me) but if you are not you either end up dying or existing in some strange netherworld that is filled with drugs and disease but never life.

I can guess that Cory Montieth never expected that last time using to be his last. Neither did the girls I know who purged one more time or simply went to sleep never to wake up again. But sadly addiction and disease doesn’t discriminate from those who want to get better. In the end it seems to be a combination of luck, timing and fate. And this time in the case of Cory Montieth it seems like something just ran out. I have questions for God (don’t we all?) and this is one of mine: why am I spared when so many others aren’t? Why am I living when others who had so much life, so much promise and wanted so desperately to get better but just quite hadn’t gotten there yet dead? Why did  A., K., N., Cory Montieth and some many more run out of time?

I don’t have the answers to those questions and I don’t think I ever will on this earth. Cory Montieth said on Inside The Actor’s Studio that he wished to hear God say this:

 Uh, sorry I haven’t been around. There’s a good explanation.

I’d like some explanations too but more importantly I simply wish to hear God say that the pain, the sorrow, the devastation that eating disorders and other addictions caused can be healed and that someday, somehow everyone touched by them will be alright.

But right now I will do this. I will throw those roses into the abyss and I will thank God that my own personal monster did not swallow me alive and pray that it never will again.

As for Cory Monteith? I pray that he got his answer.


Filed under depression, eating disorder, eating disorders, Hope, quotes, Recovery, survivor, the past

in the interest of full disclosure…

I like social media and I like social networking. I have a profile on most every social network site available and sometimes more than one. I’m active in several groups or lists and I talk to people who I know both in person and through through networking. I blog (obviously) and do not mind showing the word a peek into my life in various mediums.

This blog is set up to reflect my passions, to provide humor, sometimes to educate and to always, always tell my story. Because when it comes right down to it this blog is for me. Someday I want to look back and see my recovery laid out in the form of entries on this blog. The good and the bad times, the struggles and the triumphs. I censor some things for my privacy, for other’s privacy and simply for the sake of not having my ENTIRE life spread before me in pixels, JPEGs, HTML and whatever else the internet commits to it’s eternal archives.

I do think before I post. I have never once regretted posting anything. This may be hard to believe as I always have spelling and grammer errors but I am not really worried about those things. I think I get my point across. Also, hard to believe may be that I can write without those errors if I have to do so however in this blog I simply let my thoughts pour out.

It seems lately however that some things I have been posting have been monitored and so in the interest of full disclosure I am now going to reveal my entire presence on the web. Feel free to click or research them. They are largely boring and hold no significance at all except for me. They are redundant as most everything is published here. I don’t expect you to follow them (or even click on them) in fact you would be receiving the exact same information so in some ways it would be pointless too. If you stick with me here – you’ll be fine. But if you are worried about what I’m posting by all means go ahead and check out my various social network sites. I have nothing to hide. Here they are: (Warning: I told you I was addicted.)

Fightingmywayback – main blog, found on Wordpress, has been in existence since April of 2011

Kate’s Canine Crew – new blog I made to chronicle my adventures in training my dogs, found on Wordpress, has been in existence since April 2013

They Save Me Everyday – Life with Ben and Shona – tumblr, has been in existence since January 2013

Living Life with Ben and Shona – facebook page that gives a peek into life with Ben (my service dog) and Shona (who is in training), updated with short updates about training and life with them, monthly photo albums and info about service dogs as well as fun pictures and quotes about dogs

Instagram – find me under kate_givan, almost daily pictures of the dogs and other aspects of my life

Vine – fyi – Vine is an app where you can make very, very short videos, – stop motion or continuous motion, just found it but I love it. Find me under Kate Givan (no link because I think it is just a phone app however you can see some videos through my Twitter….)

Twitter – I’m just getting back into using twitter. Find me under @KatherineGivan

Youtube – I rarely upload videos but in the interest of full disclosure….

I also have a private facebook page but I only add people on here who I know so if I don’t know you – I won’t add you. My privacy settings are pretty high so I dont’ consider this a public page thus why I’m not sharing it. Although, I’m not naive enough to expect you not to find it if you really, really wanted to.

Like I said this is all in the interest of full disclosure in case you worry about what I post. Find me if you want especially if you are on Vine (I’m really excited about this new app!) but in no way do I expect you to worry about all of these various places around the internet. I participate in them for my own entertainment and interest. I like knowing what’s new, what’s happening and what’s going on. Plus I think the information could be useful to me one day as I hope to own a business.

One last thing…

Censorship is saying: ‘I’m the one who says the last sentence. Whatever you say, the conclusion is mine.’ But the internet is like a tree that is growing. The people will always have the last word – even if someone has a very weak, quiet voice. Such power will collapse because of a whisper.- Ai Weiwei




Filed under Ben, bullying, coping skills, dogs, Identity, Life Story, quotes, service dog, Tumblr

“fitch please” Ellen’s genius take on Abercrombie and Fitch

If you’ve been watching the news you may have heard of the Abercrombie and Fitch scandal  Basically, they will no longer carry women’s clothing above a size 10 because the CEO claims they only want attractive people in their clothes. RIDICULOUS. The best argument I have heard so far has been from Ellen Degeneres.

Here are a few tidbits from her video.

Since when is something over size 10 a plus size?

There is a size 0. 0 is nothing.

Now they have a double 0. What are we aspiring to? Does these jeans make my butt look invisible?

Beauty isn’t between a 0 and a size 8. Beauty isn’t a number at all. It’s not physical.

What you look like on the outside is not what makes you cool at all. What is important is that you are healthy, that is the most important thing. That you are healthy and happy.

And the video – it’s worth a watch. Not only because she’s funny but because she genuinely has some important things to say.

P.S. My list of people I wish to meet now goes like this.

1) President Obama

2) Ellen

3) Darren Criss

Ellen has now surpassed Darren Criss aka Blaine from Glee.


Filed under body image, bullying, eating disorder, eating disorders, Funny, quotes, Recovery

Monday Mood Lifters – Tumblr Edition

This is my late edition of Monday Mood Lifters – TUMBLR EDITION. I have a head cold and so thinking and searching the web for some inspirational stories sounds like it could potentional give me an even bigger headache so I am going to let my tumblr do the work. All the gifs, memes, images, quotes you will see below are from my tumblr which you can access here.

NOTE: None of these pictures belong to me (with the exception of one noted below). However, they all link back to my tumblr which often includes a source if available.  If you are the source of a picture please let me know and I will credit you. Thank you.


2.  3. 


Look closely, the lights move. If you zoom in even closer you will be able to see the stars.

5. 6.

This is an amazing writer on Tumblr. Click the picture to go to her site.

7. (okay a not from Tumblr post but here are my purchases from the dog show Benny and I attended (as spectators this weekend)





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Filed under Funny, Monday Mood Lifters, quotes, survivor, Tumblr

monday mood lifters March 4th Edition

Ben woke me up at 1:30AM this morning to get and drink and to got “potty”. It was nice he woke me up to do these things but the window for my drugged coma was gone so I’ve been awake since then. I’m running on fumes so I thought I at least could do with some Monday Mood Lifters.

Monday Mood Lifters

1) Canine Freestyle – this is actually a dog sport. According, to the Canine Freestyle Federation it is a choreographed performance with music, illustrating the training and joyful relationship of a dog and handler team. Basically, it’s a dog and human dancing together. It’s awesome but really, really funny. If you need a laugh watch at least a little bit of this video. Also, I so want to do this with Ben.

2) The fact that President Obama said this and believes it. I’m not sure when it was said I just came across the Gif recently.

3. Tom Tom Magazine  – this is a magazine just for female drummers/percussionist. You might not know this but I played percussion throughout middle school and high school. Being one of the only female drummers was hard and isolating. It makes me happy to know there is an online magazine teaching girls they too can be percussionists and publishing some really cool stuff.

4. “Where’s your Benny? I get him for you.” – O. my two year old niece. The fact that this little girl realizes that Benny is supposed to be with me all the time and he is “my Benny” is so special to me. Also, having A proclaim after hugging Benny “Daddy I feel better now” and stop her crying is pretty special. I love these two girls.

5. Dog Days of Spring – Good Dog Autism is hosting this photo challenge where you take a different themed photo everyday of your dog. Of course Benny and I are participating. Here is the link to all of our pictures. I will update this album daily with the daily picture.

6. Totally random but this:

7. This video although it brought me to tears. The man in the video is Sir Nicholas Winton who saved 600 Jewish children during the Holocaust. In this video he does not know it but every single person in the audience is a now adult child he saved. Watch it and it will bring happy tears to your eyes and also a reminder that humanity truly is good.


9. Purple Friday was a success. I’m so grateful to all who participated including many member of my own family.

10. And of coure my Benny….

This is also an example of one of our dog day photos!

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Filed under coping skills, dogs, family, Funny, Monday Mood Lifters, quotes

recovery is a conscious choice

Today is the final day of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDA Week) 2013. The Theme for this year is “Everybody Knows Somebody”. Eating disorders are widespread illnesses and can affect anyone regardless of age, race or gender. This week I am going to focus my blog on eating disorder awareness, what it is like to have an eating disorder and share some bits of my own journey. To learn more about eating disorder please visit the NEDA’s website

“It’s not your fault you developed an eating disorder or depression or an addiction or whatever else is trying to steal your life away, but it is your responsibility to save yourself. And you can.” – Josie Tuttle

Today bring NEDA week to a close. It doen’t mean awareness should stop but it does mean for this year the one week that is dedicated to awareness is done. I choose tonight to write about something that I have come to firmly believe makes the difference in whether one recovers or not. Now I really don’t know anything. I’ll tell you that upfront. I haven’t been fighting back that long (only two years), I’m not a clinician or an expert. I’m not recovered however I do believe that there is one thing that decides whether you will or won’t recover and that is making the conscious choice to recover.

I’m not saying you wake up one day and decide ‘hey I’m going to recover’ and then magically you are healed. I am saying that if you do not make the decision to seek out recovery with all of your heart and soul you will not recover. There is simply no way. The best treatment center in the world can’t make you recover. Your parent’s can’t make you recover. Your husband cannot. Your pet cannot. Medication can not. Only you can choose recovery.

It sounds harsh maybe. And I’m not saying you chose your disorder. Far from it. But I am saying that once you learn the skills you must make that decision to seek out recovery. It doesn’t mean you won’t lapse or relapse. It doen’t mean you will be perfect. It does mean however that you are trying your damnest to get to where you want to go and you know that the only way to get there is to keep holding onto to that choice you made at that point in your life when you had hope. And that choice was to seek out recovery and to one day be recovered.

I know not everyone agrees with me. But this is my belief and as NEDA week wraps up I thought it was appropriate to share it with you.

Thank you all for spreading awareness and reading my blog. I will continue blogging about the challenges and triumphs in recover along with mood lifters, stories from my life and endless tales of my service dog. I hope you will choose to follow my blog and join me on my journey as I live into recovery.


Filed under coping skills, eating disorder, eating disorders, Hope, Independence, NEDA, NEDA week, New Life, quotes, Recovery, survivor