Tag Archives: Laureate

it’s time for me to tell my story

This year on fightingmywayback I am going to begin something new. I am going to begin telling my life story. In treatment, first at Laureate and then later at The Center for Change, we had to write out our life stories/autobiographies. The thinking behind this was that each person’s story is important and deserves to be heard. And by sharing your life story you can combat shame, have a shared experience with others and learn that you matter. That the good and the bad in your life matter. That bad things that happened were not okay, that you can forgive yourself for things that you did or had happen to you and thus begin your healing. It is a powerful experience to tell your own story and then listen to others tell theirs.

Each time I was in treatment I purposely abbreviated  cut short and the things that needed to be told most were left out. More than likely I’m not going to be telling those parts on here either. Maybe some generalities but not specifics  This isn’t the forum for that. In the last two years I’ve been able to tell my therapists and best friends those things which has slowly reduced some of my shame. Secrets keep you sick is a mantra that is repeated because of it’s truth. And as I’ve told mine it has opened me up to more healing.

Some of what I will write will be painful. I will keep certain parts of my life out for my own sake and for those I love’s sake (and at times my own protection) but other times I will be more bold. I am not expecting to use numbers to explain my eating disorder. In my experience these are only used to shock and awe others. There is no need to do this. To say I was very ill is enough. I will show a few pictures – most will not be triggering but I will warn if they are. And the same goes for parts of my story. I expect one section could be triggering and I will include that to show the depths one can sink in an eating disorder, the hell that is the sickness and how tormented one can be. And I might password protect these posts. I may give out the password to some or may not give it out to anyone and simply leave it up for me in order to document my own life.

These posts will not happen all at once. They won’t be consecutive. There may be months that go in-between life story posts or there may be simply days. We’ll see how it goes. But it’s time for me to tell my story. And I’m committed to doing that. It’s part of how I am fighting my way back.





Filed under bullying, depression, eating disorder, eating disorders, faith, family, friends, Hope, Identity, Independence, life events, Life Story, New Life, PTSD, Recovery, survivor, the past

sunday song – “Loud and Clear” by K.C. Clifford

During National Eating Disorder Week of 2010 I was living in Tulsa at Laureate’s transitional living home. We were required to go to their evening event where a singer named K.C. Clifford performed. K.C. had been a patient of Laureate’s a long time before and since had gone on to be a singer/songwriter. I loved her music and bought one of her CD’s. I have been updating my itunes and came across several of her songs so I thought I would share one with you for my Sunday Song post.

“Loud and Clear” by K.C. Clifford

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Filed under eating disorder, eating disorders, music, NEDA, Sunday Songs

birthday wishes

Before I begin this post I wanted to apologize for a strange notice you may have gotten. If you follow my blog you may have seen an email that I posted the other day and I accidentally did. I was trying to figure out how to integrate a new feature to my blog (which didn’t work…) and what you saw was the HTML (internet language) codes. Sorry if I confused you or cluttered up your inbox! 

My birthday is tomorrow. My parents says that it will be about exactly twenty-three years to the day since I was born on a Friday and tomorrow is a Friday as well (TGIF anyone?). Something you must understand is that I LOVE my birthday. I always have. I don’t know why. It’s not the gifts or being the center of attention. I think it’s just celebrating a special day. I love holidays and a birthday is like a holdiay. It’s out of the ordinary and the routine. It’s breaks up the normalcy of life and gives a person something to celelbrate.

I will admit I love presents. Not the gifts themselves but the unwrapping process. I love to open things. Cards, toothbrushes, dog toys, gifts. You name it I can open it. And I am relishing the opportunity of unwrapping things tomorrow.

On a more serious note this birthday will be the first one I have spent at home in two years. Last year I was spending the day on caution (aka prision) at CFC and the year before I was at Laureate. My birthday at Laureate was also my 21st birthday. The age that you become an ‘adult’. I spent the day making flubber, crawling around on the floor (I wasn’t yet released from my wheelchair) with a tube in my nose. For my 22nd birthday I spent the day on CFC’s highest level of care isolated from the other girls. However, on that birtheday I learned that even in the most miserablest of circumstances good could things could occur. The girls not only sang happy birthday to me (even though they were not techinically allowed to talk to me due to the strict rules of caution) but sang do-re-mi from the Sound of Music and completely took over the unit with signs wishing me happy birthday (I owe most of the happiness of that day to my dear friend C. Oh how I miss you). It was the first time in a very long time that I had felt that kind of love and allowed myself to receive it fully.

This year is different. I get to experience this milestone in freedom. And oh is it a  milestone. It will be the first brithday in probably more than ten years where I will be happy, healthy and safe. I won’t be locked up in an EDU or a residential treatment center but surrounded by family. I will actual be able to blow out candles since they aren’t prohibited due to health codes, I will enjoy my cake (well, Oreo Dessert actually) and be able to keep all of my presents since there is no restriction on items I can have.

I am grateful for my two birthdays away since they have led me to the place I am now. I still have every single sign the CFC girls made for me. I treasure the memory of how they strived to make my day special and even agreed to play the game Hug-a-pug which I got for my birthday (thanks Aunt Pam!). And in fact I’m missing all of those girls as I get ready to turn 23. But I don’t wish I was back at CFC. I so wish they were here and we were celebrating a year of recovery, hard work and happiness together.

So instead of a birthday filled with tubes, wheelchairs, tears over cakes, isolation and supervision I will spend my day celebrating  the blessings that have ocured over the last year: the unexpected miracles, the God things, new friendships, recovery, dogs, a new apartment and many many more.  I will be surrounded by those who know me best but still love me. I will get to open gifts and spend the day as I choose.

And if I believed in wishes I would be wishing on my candles for all of those blessings and more. For me and for my loved ones and friends. It’s time to shape my next twenty-three years around recovery, healing and happiness. I know if I do that thenI will be able to get through anything.


Filed under eating disorder, faith, family, friends, Identity, life events, Recovery

six months later…

Six months ago today I walked out of the Center for Change with my parents after a hug from Wendy and tearful goodbyes with all of the girls. I got to the airport, chose to eat pizza and hoped on a plane to return to Kansas which I hadn’t seen for 5 ½ months. I was scared. Scared I couldn’t succeed in recovery. Scared I would disappoint all of the staff back at CFC. Scared I couldn’t live at home and be ok. Scared to face an environment in which horrible things had happened. Scared of just about everything.

Today, I’m still scared at times but I have done what I didn’t think I could and that was live in recovery. I have been self-harm free for four months now, do not use any eating disorder behaviors and manage situations (usually) alright. I still have slip-ups and lapses. But I have not relapsed. And boy that has required work. As all of you who are my recovery sisters know recovery is hard. So much harder than living with an eating disorder. But so worth it.

Words are inadequate when I look back over the two years I have spent in treatment (first at Laureate and then at CFC). The support I have received has been incredible. From the first person I let into my heart on a doomed elevator ride (yes Katie W. that’s you :D) to the many wonderful girls at CFC who I FINALLY opened up to in my last weeks. I have friends, sisters and fellow fighters who stand beside me. We draw strength from one another. We help each other hold our heads high and when one of us can’t we are there to let that person lay their head on their shoulder and sleep (thanks Mattie). You have all seen me cry, wail, panic, try to AWOL, become angry, disappear into my head and many more things. Yet you loved me through it. You caught me when I fell (literally – Lauren), lectured me when my reality and thoughts were waaaaayyyyy off, sang countless renditions of songs from  Sound of Music and now are only an email, facebook message or phone call away.

My family has researched, learned and been willing to change in order to support me. My parents and brother participated in very painful family therapy sessions and listened as Wendy dominated all of us. They opened up their lives and hearts at Laureate’s family week where we shared our requests, regrets and appreciations and allowed everyone to observe us as I molded us into how I perceived our family unit at CFC. My family flew to Utah to have a very non-traditional Christmas, braved Wendy’s wrath, endured a painful visit where I sat in blue scrubs, opened up and talked about their feelings on my nightly assigned phone calls, allowed me to come home and made adjustments so my first months could be as safe as possible, participated in yoga and NIA (that was hilarious) and did countless other things that have made me who I am today. My extended family was there. They wrote me letters. They sent me cards. They called. They learned. They were willing to adjust to my new patterns and thoughts at meals. They let me talk to them. Even though I was thousands of miles away they made sure I never felt forgotten or for even a second unloved.

I have a long ways to go in recovery but that’s okay. Life moves on and moves forward (onward and forward as Dr. B. would say). I will learn. I will fall but pick myself up. I will make fast progress and then feel as though I am moving at a turtle’s pace. But that’s all part of life. Today, I just feel blessed, in awe and an indiscribable joy to be able to say – I am living in recovery.

Picture thanks to Joy L Baker Photography - www . joylbaker.com


Filed under eating disorder, eating disorders, faith, family, friends, Recovery, survivor