29 November 2011


Hundreds of birds swooped low within the sky, in perfect synchronicity. The dark forms filled the sunlit sky, and the flock flew and swayed rhythmically, as if they heard music from on high. I felt an inexplicable longing to join the flock, to follow these tiny birds to their unknown destination, to be free of all that holds me to this world...

I felt very fortunate to witness this murmuration the other day. I didn't expect to see one in the low-slung skies of Michigan, but God reveals His beauty and grace in the least expected of places.

I think of Judea and Israel, dusty lands that became the cradle of three major religions. I picture Jesus Christ walking amongst the people, on dirt roads, rough with stones and brambles, the air filled with fear as the Romans sought to crush the Israelites. The Romans never succeeded, and instead, Christ rose, triumphant and free and His name became holy and His words worthy to live by.

Lately, I have been thinking about Jesus and his humanity. He walked amongst us and lived as one of us. He had a circle of close friends, as do most of us, that he dined with and spoke with and I imagine him sharing jokes and laughter as they relaxed after a hot day, sharing bread and wine and figs. These were his friends, and he was their friend, and that made them very precious to each other.

Yes, I am drawn to Christ as Lord. But right now, I need to think of Jesus as man, knowing he loved his friends with all their flaws, and forgave them. "Let the first one without sin..." Mary and Martha and Mary Magdalene and the disciples - sinners all, and just like me. And right now that brings me comfort, because it helps me to know that Christ will forgive me all the sins I have committed and those of the future. As someone once said, I am the least of all Christians...

Mumuration. I wonder what happpens if one little starling becomes separated from the group. What happens to the starling that is lost? Does he ever find his way back to the flock? Does that single starling continue to fly, searching for his fellow starlings until his wings are tired and he can't fly anymore?

Sometimes I feel like that lost starling, searching for the murmuration I have been separated from. I remember once I was sitting in church, during a time that I was starving myself. I was tired of anorexia, and I had been begging God for release. I clearly heard, "I don't want you to starve. I don't want my people to starve."

And perhaps God whispers to the lost starling, guiding him back to his flock so the murmuration is complete...

22 November 2011


For Annemarie...May your heart be at peace and your body free of pain, and I will see you someday.
I am dreaming of a new life, a good life completely free from anorexia and in which I am happy and love myself. I asked my eating disorders psychiatrist the other day if he believed that I could *fully* recover, and he said yes. I ask him this question often, not really out of doubt, but perhaps to hear one other person reassure me that yes, I can be free...

One of my friends, Annemarie, died of anorexia on Nov. 11. She was only 34. She was always positive, telling me that I would be one of those with anorexia who did recover. She completely believed in me, but I am not so sure she believed in herself. She seemed to be getting better, but then relapsed and eventually her body just couldn't take any more. My heart is broken that such a young, lively spirit is gone — she sent me a text about a month before she died, saying to always look on the positive side. I don't understand why that wasn't enough to save her, though. I mean, part of me does understand. She battled this illness for more than sixteen years. I have been struggling with it, getting better and then relapsing, for about four years.

Still, it is frightening. I think that when someone dies of an illness you are still struggling with, it makes you think that it could have been you. And there is something that shakes you to your core, and makes you want to deny that you have the illness; no, not me, I am not that sick, I was never that sick. Then you look at pictures or talk to family or friends and the reality comes through, that they also thought that at one time, you were going to die of anorexia, and you realize that they are right.

I say you, but I really mean me; perhaps by use of the third person is a way of protecting myself from the complete terror. Okay, so I remember the slow heart rate and the skips between beats, the fear that my heart might stop in the middle of the night, and the trips to ER in which I was always lectured by the ER physician on duty to do something, to eat, that I needed to get better or one day, my heart could stop and that would have been it. I remember thinking I was too fat, and then my hand would brush against a protruding hip bone or feel my clavicle, and then my heart would race, I would be afraid and yet, at the same time, wonder with the wonder of a child if I would at some point see Christ, and there was hope mixed in with fear because I was so very tired of it.

And I remember last Thanksgiving, when I got up to get ready to go to my family's and instead, I blacked out and fell down the stairs, crashing into the wall, giving myself a migraine and sick feeling in my stomach and spending the holiday curled on the couch, safe from the world in spite of wondering why did I blackout? Of course, in the deep recesses of my mind, I knew why I had blacked out. I was starving myself again, and eventually it will catch you one way or another. I continued to blackout several times through December, and actually did not find the determination to eat and try to be healthier until my husband left me on Dec. 27. On December 28, I fixed myself a full breakfast, knowing the only way to any life was food; no, it is not only about food, but food had to come first and nutrition and weight restoration was the start of recovery. Of course, as most of you know, it did not make a difference  in my marriage and we are now permanently separated, but will not divorce until I am at least finished with graduate school.

So what does this have to do with dreaming? This year has been much better; I eat and have maintained at least a reasonable weight. You would not know, or at least I like to think so, that I have had anorexia to look at me now. I still have a ways to go, but I am proud of the progress I've made.

I finally realized I had two choices: I could continue to go in and out of recovery, abusing my body and getting sicker each time simply because I am 46 and things are harder on me now; or I could eat and tell the voices in my head to shut up and go to hell, that I am going to live, and more than that, I am going to thrive.

I have allowed myself to dream again, after years of believing there were no dreams left for me. But part of that feels like self-pity, and I hate that.

So I am dreaming...I am dreaming of love and a full relationship, someone by my side, sharing life and laughter and love. I am dreaming of actually earning my master's degree, of having it in hand in May 2012, and finding a job I both love and in which I help people. I am dreaming of connections with friends and family, and sharing love and friendship.

I am dreaming...And in those dreams, my friend is now at peace and perhaps she sees these words she helped inspire, and perhaps some day we will live in a world that sees the soul, the spirit within, and not the frame that holds us, because that is just superficial. Each one of us has a spirit that is more beautiful and wondrous than we can even imagine; right now, I live in a world that doesn't help us see the spirit within, the innate goodness and kindness that is part of most people, and the quirky traits and things that make each person unique and interesting and special.

I am dreaming...And I thank God that anorexia did not kill my dreams; there was a time I thought that might happen.

I am dreaming of being free. And when I fully recover, I will be free.

18 November 2011


I am sick with a strep infection and I am tired and I feel very discouraged right now. I keep waiting for something inspiring and beautiful to enter into my head, but it doesn't. I keep waiting to think about something hopeful and encouraging to write for all of you, but I fail. The truth is that right now I don't feel hopeful or inspiring or any of those positive things I said I would after changing the name of this blog.

Instead, I feel alone and depressed and physically drained, and I can't imagine anyone ever wanting to spend his life with me. I feel like all of this is my fault, and I deserve to suffer...