Sunday, April 25, 2010

Never Alone by BarlowGirl [Lyrics on screen]


I have written about affirmations before and how they have helped me "re-shape" negative thinking. A very dear friend of mine asked me for some today and I thought...CRAP! BUSTED! I have not been practicing what I preach!

So my confession is this...I make mistakes!

Shocking, right? I mean, here I am spilling my guts to you all and trying to have it all together. I want to be perfect, but alas, I am not. I am human.

I just went on and ordered an "Affirmations Kit." Sure hope that it gives me some new inspiration.

Thanks Jackie for helping me keep myself in check, I love having a prayer/accountability partner out there! Much love to you and my other faithful readers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Feeling a Bit...meh

Today I am feeling a bit, well...meh. That's what my teenagers say when they when they just feel not good, not bad, just "meh."

I had an unexpected surgery yesterday and I thought I would be back on my feet and working right away, but I guess not.

I am taking a bit longer to heal than I like.

I want to do something! When I am stressed out I go on cleaning sprees, and I can't do that.

When I feel out of control, I get obsessed with food, and I WON'T do that.

When I don't feel good I get cranky, and it just isn't fair to do that.

So, I will do as I am told, and rest. I will lie around and watch TV, read magazines, and sip champagne...well not that last part.

When we are going full speed ahead and don't slow down, God finds a way to MAKE us slow down! It is time to take complete care of myself and not stress out about things I cannot control. I am going to make some brownies though for Austin's play this weekend. That will be nice. I can do that and still relax!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Well, I have hit another bump in the road. Things happen. Life can suck,and I still have to get up in the morning and face the world!

Sunday afternoon I had sudden and severe pain in my abdomen. My dear friend took me to the Emergency Room where my husband met up with us.

After urinalysis, blood work and a CT Scan to my abdomen, it was determined that I have many cysts and one massive one.

I also went to an OB/GYN today, I really hate that, but he was kind and very knowledgeable. I am having surgery in the morning and can't sleep tonight.

What kind of things do you do to cope with the unexpected in your life? How do you cope with things beyond your control? What do you do to stay grounded?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another Sleepless Night

Last night I could not sleep. I finally fell asleep at about 5:00 AM, only to get up at 7:00 AM. The pain in my feet and legs was intense! I took all of the medication that I could, I walked around the house, I raised my feet, I rubbed them and shook them in the air. All of these things work to some extent most days, but not last night.

Living with chronic pain is not fun, and to be honest it totally sucks! I am irritable, weepy and exhausted today. I am irritable, weepy and exhausted most days.

I feel like I am at the end of my rope, I've tied the knot and I am hanging on for dear life! I have no idea how I will go on like this.

I will, I just need to find some strategies to deal with the pain.

Today I am not feeling so positive, but I will just pick up my weary butt and go out and face the day anyway!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Anxiety, my Constant Companion

I have defined myself as a "worrier." It is true, I worry about everything. I worry about things I can control and things I cannot. I worry about good things and bad. I worry about those I love and I worry about those that I can barely tolerate. I worry all the time!

There have been brief respites from the worry over the years, times where I was able to "Let go and let God." Those times rarely last long.

Anxiety has been with me longer than anyone other than my mom and brother. I remember worrying about things in Kindergarten.

I have developed a few strategies over the years:

  • Prayer, time spent on my knees asking God to take over is the first/best thing to curb the anxiety.
However, I still need some of these other tips:

  • Exercise, just simple stretching, isometrics do the trick. A nice walk is good, but just the act of stretching my muscles out releases the tension.
  • Being present, this can include, but is not limited to:
  1. Noticing the smells in the air, I love the smell of fresh laundry and I have found a candle that smells like laundry dried on a clothesline.
  2. Listening to music, sometimes this is quiet and soothing and other times it is upbeat and energizing.
  3. Tasting, trying to eat something that I truly enjoy. I personally enjoy fruit quite a bit and eating some frozen berries or grapes is a real treat.
  4. Feeling the world around me, maybe this is a cozy fleece blanket wrapped around my shoulders, or the sun warming my skin, or here in Florida it is the cool breeze of the air conditioning moving around my office.
  • I think about the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
This means that I must learn to do what I stated above, "Let go and let God."

I am trying. I will continue to try, what is the saying? Practice makes perfect!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Letter to Michelle Obama

I found this letter on the National Eating Disorders Association website, and I had been trying to come up with a way to put my thoughts into words regarding this issue. Lo and behold, it has already been done! YAY NEDA!

I applaud the First Lady for her efforts to address the health of our children, but focusing on "obesity" alone does not seem a wise decision. Healthy decisions need to be made on every level. Here is the letter in its entirety:

Academy for Eating Disorders – Binge Eating Disorder Assoc. – Eating Disorder Coalition – International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals – National Eating Disorders Assoc.

January 7, 2010

Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States

Dear Mrs. Obama:

This letter is written on behalf of several organizations representing clinicians, researchers, educators and others concerned with the impact of eating disorders on the health and well-being of children, adolescents and adults. These organizations include the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), the Eating Disorder Coalition (EDC), the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp), and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

First, we would like to applaud your plan to develop an initiative to promote healthy lifestyle habits in children. We agree that this is vitally important, but we believe the emphasis should be on behavior rather than weight. We would like to offer our support in helping to develop a program based on the latest scientific evidence and best clinical practices to ensure the optimal outcomes for your efforts.

In this spirit, we are including links to resources that summarize key points we would like to share with you. In addition, leading experts in the field would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to facilitate the development of an evidence-based proposal/strategy to address this important health issue.

Unfortunately, many strategies in the global “war against obesity” have had unintentional negative consequences. Eating disorder organizations assert that the well-intentioned, but under-informed and unproven strategy of focusing on weight fuels weight-prejudice and neglects groups which may be in equal need of improving their health and lifestyle. There is also the concern that these programs may contribute to negative self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, and eating disordered behaviors. Weight alone does not provide the full picture regarding health status; consideration of lifestyle, activity patterns, and physical and mental health measures are extremely important. Further, assuming illness based on weight alone, without proven cause and effect, may lead to harmful and discriminatory practices.

National and international eating disorder organizations have joined forces to recommend that health professionals, school administrators, employers, and health policy makers focus more on health and lifestyle for all populations rather than on weight.

  • The AED has developed “Guidelines for Obesity Prevention Programs” (, which are intended to address potential issues in combating rising weights.
  • Additionally, the EDC has developed talking points regarding BMI testing (

We request that our representatives have an opportunity to meet with the involved members of White House staff about this planned initiative and offer our feedback. We would like to be able to endorse your program and help promote it.

Susan Paxton, Ph.D. Lynn Grefe Jeanine Cogan, Ph.D. Chevese Turner Bonnie Harken
Board Pres CEO Policy Director President Managing Dir.

A New Member of my Support Team

Yesterday I met with my new Psychiatrist for the first time. I am always anxious about starting over with a new doctor or therapist. I never know what their form of treatment will be. I know a lot about my multiple diagnoses as well as forms of treatment, and sometimes knowing so much makes it harder to go forth with someone new. I want them to all be like my therapist back in Missouri, he and I really hit it off and he would not put up with my different forms of deflection and minimizing. He could see right through my "happy/brave face." That is what I need more than anything.

There is also the fact that in order to bring a new mental health professional into my life I have to tell my story again. I have to talk about issues that hurt and that I like to keep buried. I could have left that part of my story untold and just dealt with the overwhelming issues I have faced in the past year or so, but that wouldn't have helped me. I needed to lay it all on the table.

It took me all of three sentences before I started crying, she got up and gave me a tissue and hugged me. I knew it was going to be okay right then! She was everything I needed. She was firm in her response, and kind with her words. She acknowledged that I am perfectionist and that the world is not a perfect place, and that all of my attempts at being perfect were not working. I am a perfect Rachel just the way I am. She saw through everything I said and saw the anger behind it, and said if I felt angry to come into her office and yell at her, not to take it out on my body. She also told me that I was very intelligent and that I could easily be a doctor, which she thought I was when I started talking about what I had been diagnosed with.

In the past, my psychiatrists have basically been the people behind the medication. I haven't spent much time in their office, that is for the therapist. Yesterday I was in her office for over an hour. She made me feel better and she made me want to keep fighting the battle that as of late has not been easy.

I believe that with her on my side, as well as my friends and family, I will make it!


Monday, April 5, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends

I have been truly blessed with friends of all types throughout my life.

I have also had some "friendships" that have taught me what I don't want in my relationships.

Let me impart upon you some of my hard earned wisdom.

These are the some of people that I no longer will allow to be part of my life.

  • People that put me down with snide comments disguised as "jokes"
  • People that think they have a right to treat me like their "verbal punching bag"
  • People that act as if they are the only person allowed to have feelings
  • People that treat others that are different then them as "less than"

I have friends that have been a part of my life for a few short years that mean more to me than others that have been in my life since I was a child. I have friends that I had as a teenager and lost track of, only to find through the miracle of the Internet and cherish them as if they have always been in my life. I have friends that I "knew" in high school, that are now very near and dear to me and I anxiously await the day that we can see each other again and embrace as true friends.

God has truly blessed me with many marvellous people in my life, and even those that are "less than desirable" have taught me a valuable lesson. I will one day be able to say that I appreciate everyone in my life, the good the bad and the ugly, until that day I will just leave you with this:

Loving the imperfect me!

I can't sleep.

I have had a great day, it was Easter and we headed to the beach for some fun in the sun. It was a beautiful day, and the sun felt good on my skin.

The beach is one of my favorite places and one of the places I dread most!

I love to walk up and down the beach and people watch, there were a LOT of people there today. I love to see little kids experiencing the ocean for the first time. I love to watch my teenagers act like kids again splashing in the waves, digging in the sand and burying themselves in it. I love the warmth of the sun on my skin and the relaxed look on my husband's face.

I do NOT like the way I feel about my body at the beach. I try not to compare myself to others, but I inevitably do. I look at young women and long for the body I used to have. I look at women my age and older and wonder why I can't look like them. I ache to love the body I have now. I long to know what total confidence feels like. I want to enjoy the day fully and be completely in the moment.

There are things I do like about myself and that is a MAJOR step from 11 years ago when I first went into treatment.
  • I like the way my eyes look when I smile.
  • I like the way I can still walk, even though I was not given much hope of that 7 years ago.
  • I like that my hair is shiny and starting to finally grow out.
  • I have not come to complete acceptance of it, but I like the little "pooch" that is on my abdomen as it signifies that I have given birth to two amazing children.
  • I like the way that when I smile my whole face lights up.

I may not have perfect self-esteem, but I am definitely in a better place and am willing to keep trying. And I thank my Lord in Heaven for loving me despite all the things that I find fault with!