While the 30 Day Recovery Challenge is complete, I wanted to put the questions all in one place. See, when I read a few posts on the site where I found the challenge, Danielle had put all the questions into one post. That made it nice and easy for me to find the questions, and to participate in the challenge.
And I want to do the same thing for you. And to help even more, I'm linking each question to my response. In participating in blog challenges like this, I find it helpful to read some responses prior to writing my own. It helps me get my head wrapped around the topic. It also helps with writer's block!
So my friends...... what's stopping you? Get writing!
(P.S. You can always substitute the words "eating disorder" with whatever it is you are working on........)
30. Has this recovery challenge helped you, and how?
I think it's helped me take a look at things in a different way. The questions made me think through things that I hadn't necessarily thought about in a long time, if ever. I liked that it focused on recovery in a positive light - through the possibilities that lie ahead, rather than the complications of the process.
I started this challenge on the first day of NEDA week, which now feels so far away. I think back to last year's NEDA week, and how much I've changed since then. While the challenge started on a specific day, I also timed it to end today. I wasn't sure if it would work, but I'm glad it did.
The other thing this challenged helped me see was how my words actually do make a difference in the lives of those that read them. I've never been one to share my writing before, I've always kept it hidden, sharing it with a trusted few. I've gained confidence through this blog, that I've not really paid attention to before this challenge. Seeing myself as a writer has turned out to be an added bonus of the challenge!
So....... challenge complete! Thank you for reading along the journey!
29. How have you and your life changed from when you were in the worse periods of your eating disorder versus now, in recovery?
Usually, if I find an image like this, I prefer to jazz it up, clean it up, make it more to my liking. But this one? This one wants to stay as it is. Cause things have changed so much in the last year, I wanted to leave this quote as is, so there is one thing that didn't change.
I know that I have become more patient as I've climbed out of this last plummet. There is something about where I am right now, and how different it feels, more like I'm able to watch my life move instead of feel dragged by it.
The worst periods of my eating disorder saw me lethargic, barely able to make it through the day, constantly in need of sleep. Yes, right now I'm in a bit of a sleepy stage, but it has nothing to do with my eating disorder this time (and everything to do with the nightmares that now happen since my emotional safe has been cracked! But that's another post for another day!) While I am still rather tired, I don't feel as lethargic as I did then. I literally would have to nap every day after work, just so I had enough energy to get through the evening, only to go to bed two hours after waking from my nap!
I still have a long way to go, but things are definitely looking like they are gonna be better than I expected!
Day 115 - Friday 3/15/13 - I am so grateful I am in my own house, and am not dependent on my family anymore.
Day 116 - Saturday 3/16/13 - I am thankful for patience. Sometimes saying nothing says more than anything.
Day 117 - Sunday 3/17/13 - I am grateful for the sunshine that made our walk today feel so much warmer!
Day 118 - Monday 3/18/13 - I am grateful to come home to such a happy Pup. There is nothing like walking in the door and being greeted by a bouncy Pup to make a lousy day instantly better!
Day 119 - Tuesday 3/19/13 - I am so happy that my evening with my sister and cousin turned out to be so enjoyable! I am thankful that I was able to prepare dinner for them, and everyone enjoyed it, too.
Day 120 - Wednesday 3/20/13 - I am thankful that everything has worked out, and everything is ready for the next two days at school, so I can enjoy this workshop.
Day 121 - Thursday 3/21/13 - I am so thankful that I got to spend day one of my workshop with my BFF. It was so much nicer being there with her!
27. Do you believe in full recovery? Why or why not?
Yes, I do believe in full recovery.
Two of my inspirations are both fully recovered.
If they can do it, then it is possible.
I know that it's not going to be easy. I know that I will likely not be
fully recovered for a few years, cause it's going to take a while to
undo the 20+ years of damage. While I've successfully been able to
reach a healthy weight, and maintain that weight, it's the mental piece
that is going to take a while. Getting the food in has gotten much
easier. It's learning to like it, learning to have it as a part of my
life, instead of defining my life.... eating is still a lot of work and a
lot of thought. When eating no longer takes up my entire thought
process, is no longer a mental obsession.... then I'll be recovered.
And yes, I will get there one day. That I will.........
that I don't hate to eat.
that I am not afraid of food.
that I'm not obsessed with food.
that I have embraced my
I've learned how to eat, and not hoover
I'm able to follow plans B - Z if meal A
that I am at peace with myself - body,
mind, and spirit.
That's what recovery means.
It's given me the opportunity to learn how to take care of myself. I never really knew how to take care of myself, meet my own needs, before. The eating disorder controlled me for more than half my life. I was such a people pleaser, a peacemaker, a caregiver - always trying to make sure everyone else's needs were met..... and I did that all at the expense of my own needs, of my own care. I ended up sacrificing my own well-being to help others. All part of my issues.
My team helped me to see that part of recovery means that I start taking care of myself. Start speaking up for myself. Start putting myself on the list (and eventually, at the top of the list) so that I don't burn myself out. So that I don't need to "medicate" with eating disordered behaviors. Because I was so low in my disease, I had no choice but to ask for help, and it's through recovery that I learned how to ask and accept support.
Oddly, I guess that I could say this has all been a blessing disguised as living hell. Cause it has been through the recovery process that I am finally learning to take care of myself, something that I should have been learning all my life......
24. What are some examples of things that your eating disorder has taken from you?
My eating disorder robbed me of a lot. Including the ability to enjoy food. I eat because I have to. Not because I want to. I know so many people who crave specific dishes, who love cooking and eating, who know how to savor a good meal. Not me. Eating is still a lot of work. It's a chore. Something that must get done each day, and in no way enjoyable. At least not yet.
I also think that I let my eating disorder have what little confidence I had. I hid behind it with a plethora of excuses for avoiding the "normal" life experiences that one has as they move through their teen years, their high school years, their college years....
I'm trying to leave that behind me. To let go of the old behaviors. To move past the missed opportunities. To re-live the experiences that were skipped..... none of this is easy. But who said life was easy?
23. What can you do for yourself when you are having a bad day or struggling which will help you? 28. What are some things you do that help you cope when you’re having a hard time?
(I lumped these two together, because I think that I'd end up with two posts saying the same thing if I didn't!)
There are a few things that are within my power that pick me up on really bad days. The first thing I do is try to get my breathing under control, as I've learned that as soon as my day starts to go south, my breathing changes. I often fail at this, but I still try it, as I know that one day it will work, and it is the most portable tool I have.
Another thing that really, really helps me is hearing my therapist's voice. It may seem strange or silly, but listening to her has an almost instant soothing effect. Which I need. Cause when I start to spiral down, her voice almost acts as that life preserver that pulls me back up for air, and gives me the chance to get myself to shore.
Journaling, napping, walking - all things that I try when I'm stuck. See, the problem I have during bad days or hard times is that I get bowled over into that dark pit of despair, What I need is something to distract me, to get me out of my own way, to help me see the light again. I actually spent a bit of time a while back, assembling a distraction box. The distraction box is my "in case of emergency" box and it's come in handy when I just can't get back up, and all else has failed.
I try to keep in mind the idea that I can start over at any moment, and this too shall pass. Cause in all honesty, whatever the struggle is, I will overcome it, even if I don't believe so in the moment. Hard times pass. Struggles are resolved. Life keeps moving. My goal is to hang on for the ride.
20. What scares you most about your eating disorder?
Lumping these two together because ironically, they are reflective of each other.I know. Seems kind of bass-ackward to be fearful of recovery AND fearful of the eating disorder. But I am, which fits, as I've always been a little bass-ackward.
The thing that scares me the most about both of these issues is the loneliness factor. My eating disorder kept me protected, safe, and numb, which meant that being alone didn't bug me. I actually liked it. Or at least the eating disorder liked it. Now that recovery is in the picture, the loneliness factor hasn't lifted, instead it's shifted - now I can see how alone I am, without the eating disorder to fill my world, and that feels lousy.
So the scariest thing about recovery has been learning to be with my feelings as they arise, and do so, most of the time, alone. (Can't exactly schedule an emotional meltdown for when I'm with my therapist now can I?) The scariest thing about my eating disorder is how it kept me isolated and emotionless.
Truth is, that as alone as I feel, both in recovery and when I was actively engaging in disordered behavior, it's been my choice to be alone, isolated, apart...... It's a pain in the @$$ learning how to change such behavior, as it's so ingrained. But I'm trying. By golly am I trying..........
18. Do you have any other diagnosed disorders aside from an eating
disorder? How are you dealing with these issues? If you don’t have
another disorder, what are some psychological issues that affect your
eating disorder right now?
Must we open *that* can of worms?
It's actually a good question to ask, because eating disorders often coexist with other mental illnesses. And if it helps one person who also enjoys the feast I have been served, then it is worth taking the time to share.
Funny story, my life is. I went into therapy for severe depression. Never expected to be diagnosed with an eating disorder. Then again, I didn't expect a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis either. I always thought that it was just how I was. ADHD was diagnosed in college, but according to one of my grade school teachers, it made perfect sense as to how school rolled out for me. I hated school. It was *impossible* to concentrate. Studying? Not a chance. Anything that required prolonged focus was not happening. While I don't officially have an OCD diagnosis, I have a few too many of the tendencies.
Severe Depression. PTSD. ADHD. OCD. Anxiety.
Oh, and an eating disorder.
At least that one is on it's way out.
How do I deal with all of this alphabet soup? Therapy. Lots and lots of therapy. With an incredible therapist. I can even give credit to my previous therapists, cause without experiencing them, I would never have known how challenging, yet powerful, therapy can be when you have the right therapist. And considering my therapist is only one member of my treatment team, I know that I've got a lot of support to rely on as needed.
The Pup and I were out for a walk this evening, when a helicopter flew over head. Yes, it was quite loud, and I know dogs have excellent hearing, so I had no doubt that the Pup would notice. What I didn't expect was that not only would the Pup hear the helicopter, but he also saw it. And he tracked it through the sky until it was out of sight.
Probably no big deal, but it got me thinking. This little nine pound dog, light enough to be blown about by a helicopter breeze, stopped and noticed something a few thousand feet above him. Not only did he notice it, but he focused his entire little body on it until it passed, at which point he gave me his full attention once again.
It got me thinking about perspective.
And this quote.
The way the Pup greets me when I walk in after work or errands you'd think I was this magical human who makes his world better. Until I rescued him, I never realized how nice it was to go home. When you're being greeted by a cuddly pogo-esque Pup, how can you not smile?
While in the Pup's eyes, I might be incredible....
17. What do you want your life to look like when you’re recovered? What
are some life goals you have that you think you could only accomplish if
Wow. This one has me stumped. I don't know what my life will look like when I recover from this eating disorder. Thus far the ed has complicated things, but at the same time it was covering other things, keeping them in check for me. Once the ed is gone....
I imagine that it will be a lot easier to eat. Though I am making my goal nearly every day, every bite is still an effort, requiring way too much thinking. I hope that it will lead to being slightly more adventurous in food so that I can expand my safe foods list. Ideally, once I'm recovered I will no longer care about the number on the scale. It will no longer hold any power over me. Nor will the number on the tag.
There is only one goal that I think the ed is keeping me from achieving. The goal of liking myself. Accepting myself. Treating myself kindly. Once Ed is gone, I'm hoping that his cronies depression and anxiety will finally relent and leave me to be truly comfortable with who I am.
16. What experience(s) has been most helpful your recovery (for example,
meeting a supportive friend, deciding to go to therapy, etc)?
The most helpful experience of my recovery has been having the most amazing treatment team. Seriously, I would not be here without their support. With my therapist coordinating pretty much everything - she sent me to my psychiatrist and dietitian, I have gotten the best possible care as I trudge through this hell.
I've also found it helpful having my two best friends knowing about the situation. They are both amazing people, and they each help in their own ways - one of them is great for distracting me from my head, the other is great for a quick pick-me-up get together of sorts.
Finally, this blog has been a pretty powerful tool in my recovery. Through this blog I've met so many others who are walking along a similar road. I've found comfort in reading others' words, and found confidence in comments left on this blog. What began as a recovery project has morphed into an instrumental recovery tool - a place where I can share my experience, my voice, my challenges, and my successes - has become a special community that feeds my soul in a unique way.
15. What does your weight/body image mean to you? How has your body
image changed throughout recovery - has it gotten harder or easier to
It still means too much to me. At least my weight does. And my weight is inexplicably tied to my self-esteem, which is inexplicably tied to my body image.
Honestly, my body image has suffered as recovery has strengthened. It's gotten a lot harder to deal with the false reality I've convinced myself is true. My eating disorder kept my emotions and feelings buried. And I liked it that way. It was as if my eating disorder was the cork that kept things bottled up.
Now that recovery is part of my vocabulary, there isn't anything keeping those feelings and emotions buried. Instead, I have to handle them as they arise, which is something I don't do well. At least not yet. Because those emotions are now free flowing, and I'm feeling everything, my self-esteem is suffering more, and my body image is worse.
I know that will change over time, I mean, I lived with an eating disorder for more than half my life, and I've only been working towards recovery for a year and a half. More than that, my recovery has been stable for nearly six months. It's going to take time to undo all the bad habits that were built up over this life of mine.
So while at the moment, things feel worse, and are much harder than the were before recovery, I know that things will be better, much better, down the road......
14. Describe at least ten things you like about yourself. If you don’t
believe those positive things, try to think of praises and compliments
other people have given you, and write those down and then make an
effort to believe in those compliments.
Ugh. I have been dreading this prompt. You may know how much Idetestloathedespise I feel about compliments from these previous posts. And that makes this prompt feel utterly impossible.
But, to maintain the honesty and integrity of this blog that I am so proud of, I'm going to bite.
1. I am good with technology.
2. I have a way with children.
3. I am a good listener.
4. I am helpful.
5. I am empathetic. (though right now, I'd love to drop the prefix and spell something else......)
6. I have a way with words.
7. I am creative.
My team tries to compliment me.... guess I should probably write their thoughts down for moments like this when I am lacking words.....
As far as books go.... the one I still carry around with me is Life Without Ed (thanks to my Kindle app) as it was and still is a source of inspiration and a great reminder that recovery IS possible, and this work IS worth it. I know I've spoken of Arielle's blog before, as it is another great resource - not only the videos, but also the links and other recovery (and life!) minded tidbits she writes about.
A third source of inspiration comes from music. There is something about music that compliments my moods - both uplifting moods and more gloomy moods - that makes me feel settled. Music speaks to me in so many ways..... there is something both comforting and inspiring about sinking into a favorite song.... Check out some of my favorites on the music page!
Day 106 - Friday 3/1/13 - So thankful it's March 1st! Spring is *that* much closer!
Day 107 - Saturday 3/2/13 - A bit wary of admitting it, but after the abysmal winter we had last year, I've really enjoyed the snow this year.
Day 108 - Sunday 3/3/13 - I'm rather thankful today that this was a lazy weekend. I need those as often as possible these days.
Day 109 - Monday 3/4/13 - Ugh. I am thankful for Advil. It's been quite helpful in keeping this headache at bay....
Day 110 - Tuesday 3/5/13 - Scary as it feels right now, I'm kindasorta glad that the big pink elephant that has been hiding for much of my life has been recognized. Didn't realize how much of a super-sleuth my therapist is, and now I have one more reason to be thankful for her, as well.
Day 111 - Wednesday 3/6/13 - Today I'm grateful for you, my readers. Your comments and notes really brighten my days....
Day 112 - Thursday 3/7/13 - I am quite thankful that our field trip adventures today were uneventful - makes them much easier to enjoy!
Non-medical, non-supportive Allies
1. Friend - LK
2. Friend - KA
3. Friend - KH
4. Friend - LD
5. Sister (horrible choice on my part to disclose to her)
Sharing my eating disorder has been really challenging. The supportive peers that took it well have been very helpful. But telling those that I thought would be able to be supportive, and weren't..... that was painful. Quite painful. Which is hard, cause sometimes I just want to vent, to talk about it, to complain, to puzzle through something, and as those moments can't be scheduled, it doesn't always work out to talk about that to anyone on my treatment team. Would I change who I told? In hindsight, yes. I would not have told the group that are non-supportive. Ironically, they all have something in common, and that probably is part of why they aren't supportive.
Ok, this post was long and rambly- love those long answers to short questions!
11. What are some enjoyable activities you do which are unrelated to
your eating disorder, but help you to cope and feel positive?
This is a tough one, but only because I've been dealing with some pretty intense anxiety and depression, which clouds enjoyment. When I'm not in the wrath of depression, though...
I love photography. I love taking pictures of nature, of kids, of animals, of happiness, of whatever the lens catches. I currently do not have much of a camera, and I promised myself that when I am officially recovered, my gift to myself will be a good camera.
I also enjoy playing with simple graphic design and video editing. It's fun taking a blank screen and creating something that makes people smile. Same with video editing - putting together moments, intermixed with photos, add in a little music - I really enjoy the process, and more than that, I like when people enjoy what's been put together.
Those are definitely my two favorite things to do. I also do enjoy writing, knitting, swimming, chocolate, snuggling with my Pup, and cooking with my BFFs. Or, more like, I enjoy watching them cook :)
(Oh, and I love to collect quotes.... if you couldn't tell!)
10. Did you have a turning point or a certain moment that made you
decide to recover? Or was it a decision that happened over a long period
I think that turning point was when my therapist told me she had gotten a call from my doctor. They've been working together for 15+ years, and this was only the second time my therapist ever received a call from the doctor. That's how serious things had gotten. That's how worried my doctor was. I had hit what I thought was rock bottom. It was time to commit or be committed. And I was not willing to be hospitalized. That was out of the question in my mind.
Unfortunately, just a short week later, I landed in the hospital from passing out at work. I had never been so appreciative of being pushed as I was at that moment. Had I not spent the previous week working my @$$ off to bring my intake up, I'd likely have been checked in right then and there.
I think that was the time when I decided to really commit to recovery. From there, though, it has been quite a process. That was just over a year ago. And here I am today. Still working hard every day. But stable for going on nearly five months.
9. What do you think caused or contributed to your eating disorder? What
are some steps you can take now to work through these issues?
There are a whole mess of things that I think contributed to my eating disorder. As my dietitian says, some people are wired differently and are more susceptible to a diet getting dangerous. I elaborated more in this post about my history and when my eating disordered behaviors began.....
I actually went to a nutritionist in the beginning of university, but that so did not work. I've been in and out of therapy since I was 16, which was sometimes helpful, sometimes not. So I guess you could say I've been trying to work through these issues for much of my life.
Except the eating disorder.... I was in denial for 20 years that I had a problem with food.... and it wasn't till my current therapist, who convinced me to see a dietitian, to give it another try, if only to learn healthier eating habits (mine sucked.) Turns out, she was thinking ED well before I actually got the "official" diagnosis.
Steps I'm taking now to work through this? Therapy multiple times a week. Regular sessions with my dietitian. And recently, the addition of some behavioral therapy as well. It is hard, painful work looking back into the painful past.... but it will make moving forward all the more powerful when I finally come to terms with and move through my history once and for all.....
tried my best to coordinate the completion of my 26Acts with the end of
National Eating Disorder Awareness week. Which officially ended
That's ok. You can consider this post the "wish candle" if you'd like. Because this act, while equally as powerful as the other 25, is the perfect way to cap a week of awareness.
have an eating disorder. I have been battling it privately and in
denial for more than half my life. It's the last two years that I
sought help, and have embraced recovery.
of the first resources my dietitian suggested was this book. Impatient
that I am, I ordered it for my Kindle so I'd have it instantly, and
then ordered it so I'd also have the hard copy. And reading it really,
really, really helped me understand how deep I really was. And how hard
it would be for me to end my relationship with Ed.
Which I have, nearly severing the ties completely.
hope is that the person who finds this book at the book store is able
to find the comfort and support in it that I did. I tabbed my favorite
post, the one that broke through the resistance I worked so hard to
School psychologist, Mary Sherlach, was a huge
support in the lives of many. She took pride in helping students
overcome problems and succeed. At 56, she was a year away from retiring
from 20 years as the school psychologist. This was not the first time
she put herself in the path of danger, as she headed toward where the
shots were fired. Mary also helped neighbors during the havoc Hurricane
Sandy threw into the community. When she wasn't helping others, she
enjoyed theater, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two
I'm closing this chapter, these
26 Acts, with Mary's own words: "I.... am always ready to assist in
intervention and prevention." The world is a better place because of
Mary. And my world is a better place because of these 26 Acts.
8. Do you have a role model in recovery, or someone who inspires you? Talk about that person.
For better or worse.... I really don't have a role model in recovery. There are two people that do inspire me, though I've never met them, as they are fully recovered. Especially at the start of my recovery journey, I relied on both Jenni Schaefer and Arielle Lee Bair to help me through the pain of the day-to-day experiences in working toward recovery. I've written about them before. Jenni's books have been with me since the first week of recovery, thanks to the Kindle app for my phone. Arielle's videos have helped me through many hard days and nights, as I listened to her words of wisdom.
As far is inspiring me? For the most part, that comes from my team. Part inspiration, part motivation, without them..... I shudder to think!
This act might sound a little different than the others have. It is a very personal act, and very deliberate, and no less powerful than the rest. Interestingly, while I was the giver of the act, I definitely received something particular in this one.
I do not have the greatest relationship with my family. They are my family and I love them, but I love them even more from a distance, be it space or time (and often, both.) My siblings speak with my parents on a daily basis. I don't. Doesn't mean I love them any less. My parents would love to talk to me multiple times a day (and sometimes they attempt to do so) but that doesn't work for me.
My mom always tells me that my dad loves when I call him. He works long hours on his feet all day, and when he hears from me, when I call him instead of him calling me, it just makes his day. This is my mom's (not so) subtle way of telling me to call him. Well, today I did. I caught him on his way into work, and he was elated to hear from me. I don't often do what my family wishes I would, but making this call to my dad, without my mom "prompting" me to do so..... I did this act for her, for my dad, and for Anne Marie Murphy.
Anne Marie was "just" a teacher's aide, however, those in education know that a teacher's aide is as vital of a role as a teacher when it comes to the classroom. And in this case, 52 year old Anne Marie, who not only helped in art and special ed, she also gave her life protecting one of her students. Though they both lost their lives, Dylan's parents find comfort in knowing that he was not alone when he died.... he was with his beloved aide. Loving children was part of Anne Marie's world. She had a large family, and enjoyed being around them. She lived her life helping children, and her life was cut short while doing the same thing.
This is going to sound SO cliche, but this week has been quite an eye-opener for me. Life pitched one too many curve balls my way, and it took a huge effort not to strike out. I've learned a lot, read a lot, shared a lot, and I'm a week further into recovery than I was when the week began.
Please remember something very important. While this week has been designated National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, eating disorders strike at any time, any person, any place.... eating disorders are treatable mental illnesses, but they MUST be brought to light before any change can occur.
Please don't wait until this week next year.... continue shining light on eating disorders, and all mental illnesses. In eliminating the secrecy, we eliminate some of the power of the illness.
And never forget, one person can make a difference. Even if it feels like your words are falling upon deaf ears.
I had a hard time choosing the final blog to feature for the week. So I'm going to include a few for your perusal. Arm yourself, you never know when the knowledge will come in handy!
Psych Central has a ton of resources, and I get easily overwhelmed on the site. Somehow though, I landed on Margarita TartakovskyWeightless Blog, and I'm happy I did. She tackles body image in general, and we all know how much help I need in that department!
We Are the Real Deal is a blog that my dietitian introduced me to. It's a great all-around resource for eating disorders, body image, recovery, and life in general.
She'll Be Free is a blog that I bookmarked ages ago, and since has moved to a new host. Don't let the lack of posts on the site fool you, the archives go way back!
Anyway, I know there's been a lot of posts on the blog this week, between wrapping up 26Acts, kicking off the 30 Day Recovery Challenge, and NEDA week..... Thanks for sticking around and joining the ride!
7. What type of treatment are you getting right now? Talk about your
current treatment team - are they helpful, do you trust them? Are you
honest with them?
I am currently working with an Ah-May-Zing team that have been with me from the start. When things were first starting, and really bad (so for the first year of treatment) I was seeing my primary care doctor once a month, my dietitian once a week, and my therapist three times a week.
As I have grown, my treatment has adjusted as needed. I have always felt supported, and just because I am seeing my team less frequently, didn't change the support and care I receive. Currently, I see my primary care doctor every other month, my dietitian every other week, and my therapist twice a week.
I trust my team completely. I have never trusted anyone the way I trust them. My therapist knows more about me than anyone, she knows things that I never anticipated sharing. Ever.
I am honest with them. I actually used to joke that I will screw up and make dumb choices, but I will always come clean about what I've done. These days, I'm screwing up less, and making slightly fewer dumb choices, and even better, sometimes I can confess to what I want to do before I do it, saving the pain of the lesson.
I love them all. Even when I don't love what they tell me.
People who say money makes the world go round are missing out on what really makes the world go round. Kindness. So for the benefit of those who might be missing out on the kindness, I decided to combine the two. This way, someone who may be focused on money, will hopefully stop and smile, and maybe even pass the kindness of that simple smile along...... this may be my act 24, but kindness being passed from person to person need not be tallied or counted....
And all the good Dawn Hochsprung put into the world was not countable either. She reportedly intentionally placed herself in the path of the shooter, trying to protect the school that she called her own. As principal, 47 year old Dawn was an award winner. She loved what she did, and she did it well. To encourage a love of reading, Dawn called upon the "Sandy Hook Book Fairy" as she happily motivated her school to read. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, and a principal pursuing a doctorate degree in her "free time." She put so much kindness into the world, she will always be remembered.
Do you remember, when you were a kid, and you'd see a row of newspaper boxes? You'd run over and check all the change receptacle to see if anyone left their change?
Do you remember doing the same thing at vending machines? Only you'd check both the change receptacle AND the drop area to see if anyone forgot to grab their goodies?
You might not have done that, but I did. Hit the jackpot once, too, when I found like $3.00 in quarters in a row of newspaper boxes. It was awesome!
For this 23rd act, I decided to give someone a smile, the kind that lit me up when I found that jackpot of quarters. I went to the first vending machine I found, slid my dollar in, and entered the numbers for peanut m&ms (my favorite!) And then I left them sitting there. In the bottom of the drop area. Waiting for the next person to come along and smile as they find their freebie.
And this act is for the teacher that really made me look at my classroom differently that Monday when I returned to school. 27 year old Victoria Soto hid her students in closets and cabinets to save their lives, in exchange for her own. When I walked back into my classroom that Monday morning, I looked for where I could do the same if need be, where I could hide a student or two or 24.
Victoria was working her dream job as a teacher, and loved her students in room 10. She was also working toward her Master's Degree in special education. Outside of teaching she enjoyed being with her family, and was active in her church. Another life cut short, she will be remembered as a hero, one who did something no education class could ever prepare you to do.
I struggle with accepting my body as it is, because society tells me
that my body should be different if I want to fit in.
hope that by NEDA week next year, I have learned to at least
body as it is. Might take a while longer for me to love it,
next year, I want to at least not hate it.
Ms. Piggy says it best....
Today's featured blogger is Dr. Ashley Solomon at Nourishing the Soul.
This site runs the gamut - featuring blogs, guest posts, resources, and Nourishing tidbits that really settle in the soul in a special way. Paraphrasing from the site, their mission is to cut through some of the societal pressures and celebrate every individual as the truly unique and beautiful souls that we are.
6. Does your family support your recovery? How do they help or hurt your efforts to recover?
I'm sorry, but I just snorted in a burst of laughter over this question. My family knows NOTHING of my struggles or recovery. I mean, I've had food issues since I was a child, became a vegetarian at a very young age, stopped eating numerous times during adolescence... and never once did my family notice, much less do anything. I guess part two of the question is not applicable as my family doesn't even know about my problem. But I will add that eating meals with them is still extremely challenging, and there was a time, not too long ago, when I was still so shaky in my recovery, I actually stopped eating with them at all. I think I was able to slide through nearly two full months skipping the weekly family dinner.
My family tries.... they just don't understand me. My siblings, they understand, but when it comes to me, it's as if we are speaking different languages....