Tag Archives: Eating disorder

Addiction Is A Family Disease

You might be wondering, is that really true? I assure you it is.

See an addict can’t be an addict without help. There’s people in their lives that keep that merry go round going.

There’s the enabler, who wants to “Help” and “Fix” and they think if I was a good enough spouse, friend, sister, brother, etc. then they wouldn’t be like this. I NEED to help them get on track.

One of the first things I learned in Alanon (a meeting for people who have a loved one or friend with a drinking problem) is The 3 C’s.

I didn’t cause it

I can’t cure it,

I can’t control it.

Sweet one, maybe you need to hear that today!

An addiction doesn’t have to be just alcohol or drugs, there are many forms of addiction….food, sex, shopping, pornography, cutting, working, exercise, video games, TV, etc.

I love the example Henry Cloud uses in Changes That Heal, about a dad and his 2 sons. (I have paraphrased this story.) So the Dad is meeting with Henry and says “I need you to fix my son.” So Henry looks to the son sitting there and says “What’s going on, how can I help you?” The son says “No, it’s not me, it’s my brother.” He says “Well where is your brother?” “He’s not here” says the brother. Henry says “Well where is he? And what’s his problem?” The dad answers “He’s flunked out of 3 colleges and he smokes pot.” Henry is puzzled by this and asked “How do you even do that? I understand how you flunk out of one, but how do you get in the 2nd and 3rd one?”

The dad answers “Well, I’m on the board of multiple colleges. The first time he flunked out there was to much partying in the dorm so I bought him a condo, gave him enough money so he could just focus on studying and not work and he still flunked out.” Henry says “Darn those kids!” Love his humor🤣

I’m already chuckling at this point because I see where this is leading too…..

The dad is the great enabler!

Henry asked “Where is your son today?” Dad says, “He’s not here.” Henry says, “I know he’s not here but where might gps find him?”

The dad says “He’s in Vale…skiing.”

Now I ask you, does this sound like the kid who has any problems to you? Not to me.

At this point Henry says, “Sir I’m a psychologist and I help people. I don’t think I can help your son. He doesn’t have any problems. He’s got all the money he needs, a free place to live AND he’s on vacation. He doesn’t have any problems.” Now the dads is confused and getting miffed, saying “Oh yes he does!”

Henry says, “You on the other hand I can help.” The dad is like “I don’t have any problems.” Henry says “Yes you do, you have owned all your sons problems. But I can help you, help your son have some problems.”

I just love that! The dad was busy helping and enabling all his sons issues. The son has had no consequences and has absolutely no reason to change.

Do you have someone like this in your life?

How are you coping?

Are you owning all their mess?

Still trying to fix them?

Learning boundaries is the most amazing and absolutely FREEING thing I’ve ever done.

We all need them, addictions or not. You could have a family member with untreated mental illness. I can relate to this one on such a personal level. A certain family member of mine, has untreated mental illness and ever since I can remember I was always helping, fixing, and rescuing them. Until the last couple of years, I was so burn out. Exhausted! Stressed to the max!

Every time my phone rang I and I saw it was them calling….anxiety would set in quickly! I never had anxiety before. You never knew what was on the other end of the line. Crying hysterically, mad, complaining about their life or someone in it, or the high manic side where everything is beautiful, wonderful, and full of rainbows 🌈 and unicorns 🦄

This was simply ingenious, I gave them a certain ringtone so I would know it was them calling me and at that moment I could decide am I in a place where I can talk to this person? Or do I need to let it go to voicemail and talk later? That simple thing, was life changing for me.

See sweet friend, it’s not your job to fix someone else. You and I are not Holy Ghost Jr. they have a Savior just like you do and that’s his job to work in their lives and change what needs to be changed.

However, we do have a part to do too and that’s to stop 🛑 helping and rescuing them. Let that loved one feel the consequences of their own actions.

If you have a person in your life and they are not taking responsibility for themselves, they don’t have a job or keep losing jobs and now they want to move in with you again….you keep forking out money to “help” and “rescue” them. That’s not helping them be responsible.

They don’t have a car and they want to keep using yours.

You could be taking up the slack for someone with things they need to do but choose not too….but you say to yourself “Well someone has to do it” and so you do it. But now your full of bitterness and resentment when what you needed to do is let them figure it out and you do what your supposed to do.

Or maybe they don’t have groceries or gas because they spent their money on frivolous things and they can’t buy groceries or get gas for the car they’re borrowing from you….but they’ll play on your emotions and say “if you love me then you’d give me the money that I need.”

This sounds ridiculous but it happens every day my friend….you are not helping them.

Sure there is a time when everyone needs help but when you see it becomes a pattern and it keeps repeating itself over and over and over again, YOU are now contributing to the problem and staying on that merry go round. They have no desire to do any different because you continue to fix there issues.

If they are addicted to alcohol, don’t buy it for them. Simply say, “I love you but I’m no longer going to contribute to this, from now on you can buy your own alcohol.” This one, I had to do with someone.

When that person calls you with drama and chaos, things they want YOU to fix….simply 🛑 and say I’m sorry, I can’t do that for you. Tell them you love them and I’m praying for you but you need to figure out this for yourself.

Look, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you this is easy to do because the truth is I have felt like my guts were being ripped out, nauseous to the point of throwing up. It’s hard as Hades and that’s NO JOKE! But it’s necessary for your own health and well-being.

God gave me this verse a few years ago and maybe it will help you too.

EXODUS‬ ‭18:17-18‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you [to bear]; you cannot do it alone.”

We were never meant to carry these burdens alone sweet friend.

‭‭Thoughts to ponder:

Who might you be enabling?

What are you carrying that doesn’t belong to you?

Have you been rescuing people?

What can you do let people in your life feel the consequences of their own actions?

How does that make you feel to even think about doing that?

Ohhhh, I’ll answer that for you, it will FEEL WRONG AND AWFUL! But just because it FEELS WRONG, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

You have to keep doing the next right thing and that “feeling” will catch up with you, eventually.

CHANGE IS HARD but it is a necessary part of life.

You can suffer the pain of change or suffer remaining the way you are.” Joyce Meyer

That’ll preach! That’s a word for someone.

So my friend just start setting small boundaries, those lead to big victories.

Pray about it, it may take you a while to do it and that’s perfectly fine. I’ve been there too. But you’ve got this, you can do it!

I pray God will give you the wisdom and courage to do what’s best for you and your family, setting those boundaries that brings peace to your heart and mind and FREEDOM to your life!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

The Misguided SELF- Life With ED And Overcoming My Broken Past

Hey y’all! Hope you guys are having a great week so far. The weather is so pleasant, I think I will be able to pull out my boots pretty soon🙌🏻 Fall and Winter are my favorite months.

I love the holidays. I’ve had my Fall stuff out for at least a month but I’m ready to decorate for Christmas, LOL.

Anywho, last couple of weeks some great things have happened with my blog and ladies small group. As some of you know, I’ve struggled with ED….eating disorder. I stopped abusing diuretics and laxatives a year or so ago when God put his finger on it and said “Now is the time to deal with this Nicole!” So I sought out help and have been in counseling since. Even though I gave up the diuretics and laxatives I was still struggling with not eating or binging…..But I recently had an epiphany.

As I said, something great had happened and God was all in it and when it was over I had a “small binge.” For the life of me I couldn’t understand why. It was so good, there was no need too. I guess for so long I thought it was only in the stressful times or bad times I would deprive myself or binge. Not realizing, I was doing it in the good times as well. I love the misguided self who thinks she can control this ED.

As I talked about what had happened with someone, I realized it went back to my childhood.

There were happy memories associated with food, maybe you already get that but I sure didn’t. Christmas time when the family got together, there was amazing food….well except for my grandmothers oyster dressing 🤢 She always thought I loved it, LOL. It was nothing but a nasty blob of mush.

Family reunions with lots of food and fun.

Birthdays full of fun, presents, and sometimes I would have 3-4 cakes different cakes. I was an only child in a divorced family, so I got to celebrate with a lot of different family members.

I can remember sitting around the table, the yummy smells, eating chocolate peanut butter balls, laughing, telling stories. Those are just some precious memories with my family.

Then as I got older, there were the times my mom and I would go out on the weekends, her in her pink foam rollers and terry cloth jumpers 🙈 We would have lunch and shopped till we dropped. I’m pretty sure that’s where my love of shopping developed, LOL🤣

More memorable, were the times when I was young, scared and afraid, hiding under a table.

Watching my drunk grandfather cuss out and beat up my moms 2nd husband.

Or the time when my grandfather was drunk again and threatened to shoot us. I remember begging my grandmother to call the police and she wouldn’t do it. She didn’t want him to be put away. He needed to be put a away, he needed help. But instead I was locked in a room.

I still remember that bedroom upstairs on the right, it had twin beds. Moma had hand stitched pictures on the walls, so beautiful. But there I was huddled on the floor behind the bed, the smell of moth balls filled the air. Popa’s sister, Aunt Sarah was there with me, I can still feel her arms around me, comforting me, and praying for us. To me her prayers were so powerful. I loved her dearly.

Then there were all the different men my mom dated, loved or married, all having major brokenness in their own life and passing that onto me. I know now she was hurt and wanted to be loved and was willing to do or be anything to get it.

Being raised in alcoholism, is chaotic enough, then there’s all the instability. You never know what to expect. So you learn to not rock the boat.

One step dad was OCD, nothing was ever good enough and he had such an awful temper. I knew he loved me and would buy me whatever I wanted….because that means love right? He scared me. There were times I would seek refuge and hide under the kitchen table in a ball to try and feel safe, and yet it escaped me time and again.

Wondering why this was allowed to go on?

Why didn’t my mom do something about it?

Why did I have to go through this hell?

Then another stepdad was an severe alcoholic. I loved him very much and he was there during some important years of my life. But his pain and brokenness just oozed out on everyone in his life. He didn’t know how to love well. I remember him saying things like;

“I’m a piece of shit!”

“I’m a slut, a whore!”

“No one will ever want you!”

“You will never amount to anything?”

Not only was he verbally abusive but he hit me as well.

Back then I wondered, what did I do wrong? Did I do something to deserve this? Was he told these things as a child? Why did he do those things to me? Why wasn’t I good enough? Why didn’t God stop it? More importantly, why did my mom allow those things to go on? Why didn’t she protect me?

This is when my eating disorder began to show its ugly head. At the time it was my comfort, it was a shelter for me in my storm….until it wasn’t. Then I couldn’t stop it and it took over my life.

I was so hurt and broken at this time, dealing with the shame and guilt of the past. Having been being molested at a young age as well, all I wanted was a way out.

I wanted my pain to stop.

I took an overdose of pills. I wanted to be free.

All I wanted was to feel safe, loved, accepted, treasured….ENOUGH.

Can anyone relate these feelings?

(That Girl Was Me…. Click below)

https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/that-girl-was-me/

What happened after that was life altering. There I was revived, broken, and a sassy hotmess! My mom had made the decision to have me put in the hospital in hopes it would save me. Because of that one decision, my life was changed forever. I got the help I so desperately needed and for the first time in my life I felt hope….not freedom but hope that my life can change and be better.

I needed hope but I needed freedom more, but it would come later for me.

Not long after that I met my husband and we got married and my mom divorced and married again.

As a young mom and wife, full of fear, stress, and still looking for that love and acceptance I so desperately wanted….I had to keep up that appearance of having it all together. See you gotta look the part and play the part. Perfection! Plastic People. People will love you IF you’re perfect enough and IF you don’t rock the boat.

How misguided I was.

In the early years of my ED, it was just fun binging here and there with friends, but after I got married and started having kids, all the stress that surrounded that and not having family near to help or a healthy support system, I needed to control more. So, I had to kick up up a notch. One night in my shame and guilt I drank a hefty dose of ipecac syrup after my binge…..y’all! It. Was. The. Worst. Night. Ever!! I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown up so much. I quickly realized I didn’t like that experience lol and set out to find a better way.

Little did I know that my sin would take me further than I wanted to go, keep me longer than I wanted to stay, and cost me more than I wanted to pay. Unknown

I learned that laxatives and diuretics were easier than throwing up. My power was temporarily restored and I felt I had more control, at least in my distorted mind and that went on for 20 more plus years.

I could dress it up like the best of them. I had perfected my mask, so much that I didn’t know how to take it off. I knew I needed help but I didn’t know how.

During a “21 Days Of Prayer” God stuck His finger on it and said “It’s time, Nicole!” That was where my journey to freedom began. As I said before, I threw out all my laxatives and diuretics and haven’t taken them again!

Praise God for opening my heart and eyes. He sets us free sometimes little by little, from glory to glory. I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I use to be either. Hallelujah!

So I kinda felt a little stuck until I had this epiphany. But I see it so clearly now.

I couldn’t get free because I was holding onto things I needed to let go of. I don’t believe it was ever simply the eating disorder, it was about all the things that happened before that I was holding onto. Things I was shoving down, so far down to the point I couldn’t feel it. I was numb. But once I made that decision to let the Lord in those dark places of my heart I can actually say I’m getting FREE! Freedom is up ahead!

I’m walking it out now, I’m not free from the eating disorder YET, but I will be!!!

All those painful things from my past, the hurts, the brokenness, the trauma, the things the devil meant to harm and destroy me, MY GOD is working for my good!!

I won’t waste my pain, what I’ve been through has created the woman I am today, it doesn’t define me but I have experience, strength and hope now that I can share with whoever the Lord puts in my path.

I’m dealing with a lot of difficult things right now, feeling the pain, the brokenness, but now I know it’s ok to not be ok. I’m on my way. I don’t have to be perfect. All I need to be is who God created me to be. I’m learning to set boundaries with people in my life that once controlled me and healthy ways to handle situations.

I’m learning I have a voice and my feelings matter. They don’t have to be shoved down because someone might get angry, they need to be felt and dealt with and NOT shoved deep.

Now the pain draws me closer to God instead of driving me further away. See the enemy wanted me to be alone and isolated but God created us for relationship. I’m so blessed with family and friends that will hold my arms up when I’m to weak. They will be there for me as soon as I say the word….it may take me a while to say I need help, LOL but I’m getting better at it.

We all need a Titus.

Titus, was one of Paul’s converts and huge help to him in his ministry. Titus was the encourager in his life. When conflict came Paul’s way, Titus would be there in those difficult times or situations.

Life is painful!

Life is hard!

Unfortunately, crappy and unfair things can happen to us but with God on your side and a Titus in your corner, my friend you can’t fail!

That’s why church, small groups, support groups, and counseling are so vital to our lives. We weren’t meant to carry all these heavy burdens alone. We were built for relationships, we were meant to come along side one another in our pain and brokenness so it could bring healing and restoration to our hearts and souls. Who is your Titus?

I’m a Trophy Of Grace and you are too sweet friend!

I hope you have a wonderful week. God bless you!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

 

Letting Go Of Excess Baggage And Speaking Life To Your Dry Bones

Hey y’all! Hope all my TOG readers are doing great! Another beautiful hot day here in Bama.

So much has been going on in my heart lately, dealing with things and issues from my childhood, past, and present. Things that have made me who I am today. But I realize those things don’t have to keep me broken and stuck in the past. They may have had a hand in who I am but they DO NOT DEFINE ME!

In a counseling session this week, as we were going over my life timeline, and wow that’s a job let me just say. As she would repeat back to me my timeline and the things that have happened to me, I could hear it but it was hard to feel some of it. I don’t know if that makes sense or not? I’d think “Wow, yea that really did happen to me” “Oh and that too, and that too” but I’ve tried so hard in my life to shove things down and not feel the pain or emotions of life, maybe you can relate?

For me, if something happened you couldn’t talk about it….it may hurt a family member or make them angry….forget that it hurt you. That was the message I heard.

Then if you did, your feelings were wrong and not relative. So what does one do especially when you’re a child? Well, you quickly learn what’s acceptable and what’s not and then you learn to SHOVE DOWN EVERYTHING ELSE!

For me an eating disorder developed, it was something I could control, or so I thought.

I carried shame and guilt for things that had been done to me, and later things I had done. But it wasn’t mine to carry, neither is it yours sweet friend.

I have felt alone, numb, unworthy, unloved, unwanted, wrong, insecure, the list can go on and on. Maybe you feel those thing right now. You are not alone precious one, you are in good company. God is with you and He loves you at your darkest! He isn’t scared off by your brokenness, He is just waiting for you to invite Him in.

https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/i-loved-you-at-your-darkest/

ARE YOU CARRYING THINGS IN YOUR LIFE THAT DON’T BELONG TO YOU?

  • Guilt.
  • Shame
  • Regret
  • Resentment/Unforgiveness
  • Habits/Addictions
  • Anger
  • Past Relationships
  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Fear

“And He caused me to pass round about among them, and behold , there were VERY many (human bones) in the open valley or plain, and behold, they were very dry. He said to me, Son of Man can these bones lives? And I answered O Lord God, You know!! Again He said to me, Prophesy to these dry bones and SAY to them, O you dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD. Ezekiel 37:2-4

As I’m on this journey of restoration with God, I’ve realized some things.

One, I’m not alone in this.

Two, I have to let go of the things (or people) I cannot change…I am powerless to fix it but My God is NOT! My God is BIGGER!

And three, the things that need changing, the dry places in my soul….I have to Let Go and Let God.

There’s No Way Around Pain…Feel It And Move Through It

Today, I can say I’m doing a new thing! I don’t always get it right, but thank God I’m not where I use to be.

Those dry places in my soul and in my life, I’m choosing to feel them, be more vulnerable, and speak life to them. You can do the same thing my friend.

If you need something in your life to change, let me remind you when you let God in ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Healing and restoration are possible and I’ll even go as far to say it’s inevitable. Because where God is, there is LIFE and there is FREEDOM!

There is life and death in the power of your tongue! Speak LIFE!

The same power that raised Christ from the dead, lives IN YOU!!

Speak God’s word out of your mouth every day and call those things that be not as though they are!! Get in agreement with God’s promises!! Your life and circumstances WILL CHANGE!!

Prophesy to those dry bones!! And keep prophesying till what is dead comes to life. Don’t you dare give up!!

God bless you! I’m praying for y’all and I’d love to hear from you.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Do You Feel Like You’re Being Sifted?

What the enemy means for harm, God will use for your good.

Do you feel like you’re being sifted?

Oh man, let me tell ya, I’ve been there and it’s not a fun place….but it’s a necessary place.

Sometimes we don’t understand why we go through what we go through but let me encourage you today that it is for a purpose! You may not see it….YET, but you will.

Your sifting may look different than mine. But we’ve all been through struggles or sifting of some kind. It may look like chronic pain or sickness, divorce, addictions, eating disorder, loss of a loved one, relationship issues, honestly it could be a number of things. The struggle may be different but it’s sifting nonetheless.

Your sifting seasons might be excruciatingly painful, lonely, and frustrating. But with God on your side, the sifting can lead to purifying us, seeing what’s on the inside of us that needs to come out. It can show us who or what is causing you harm, things we need to walk away from. Things you need to say “No” too. It can strengthening you, help you rely more on Jesus instead of ourselves or others. It can also grow and mature us in our character and our faith.

We had something happen to us a few years ago and it rocked our world. But now looking back I can see God’s hand was in it all along, he never left, he was with us every step of the way. He knew what was best for us when we didn’t. We needed to go through that to get to the place we are at today. Only God can do that and He knows what’s best for you too.

When something in our lives is ripped away from us or our expectations are shattered into pieces, the effects we feel most are devastation, isolation, pain, and we can question why it happened.

God knows so much more than what we know and sees the whole picture, where we only see what’s happened or happening to us. He sees the beginning to the end.

When we surrender to Jesus and his will for our life, He will sustain us through the our trials and tribulations. Yes, we may suffer grief, pain, isolation, shame or guilt but let me reassure you Jesus doesn’t give up on us. No! He will never leave us or forsake us. No not ever!

Your faith might even wavier and that’s ok my friend because God doesn’t! He’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is the God of restoration, the God of faith, and he is Mighty to save. He will restore what the enemy has stolen from you. He will strengthen you to press through your pain and circumstances and you will be better for it. You will grow in character, and grow more into His image. The Word says we go from glory to glory, Amen!

God will not leave you in the pit. His job is to sift through the good and the bad in our lives, and to bring about all the awesome things He has in store for you.

He’s the Waymaker!

Sweet friend, God knows what you need to be walking in His plans and purposes for your life.

I’ve learned in my own life, sometimes God has to tear things down to rebuild them the way He wants them and for what’s best for us.

It doesn’t make it easy or less painful but knowing God loves you with a everlasting love, and that if you let him He will give you the strength, grace, mercy and wisdom to get through all that you are going through! He will never leave you nor forsake you! This I know.

Nothing has come into your life that wasn’t first sifted through God’s hands. There’s a purpose sweet friend, and He loves you to much to leave you alone and let you stay the same….His plan is for you to be walking in your divine destiny that He has planned for you!!

You are destined for greatness!! You already are victorious even when it doesn’t look like it. You are an overcomer!!

It is written!!!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Big hugs,

Nicole 💗

Easy Chicken Stir-fry (GF, LC, DF, Clean) Plus thoughts on learning to love and nurture my body.

On my journey to wellness I’m learning to love and nurture my body, which looks differently these days. It doesn’t mean logging into My Fitness Pal and logging my meal, or counting calories or carbs which honestly is a very scary thought and one I’m still working through. Maybe you can relate?

But when I focus on only eating this or that or excluding food groups or measuring/weighing foods, it keeps me in that endless food DIS-order.

Since I have Celiacs being Gluten Free is a MUST but that is all.

So for now I’m just focusing on eating to nurture and heal my body and not exclude foods, trying to eat more often/planned, allow for mistakes because it doesn’t mean I’m a failure it just means “Get back up and start again precious one“.

Excluding foods for me only makes me want it more, keeps that desire high and goal unattainable. Mainly because I know I will fail at some point, and then I spiral and keep spiraling. Maybe you understand that too? I think that’s true for any addiction or problem you are trying to overcome.

For example, fruits, potatoes or rice. Ohhhhh let’s throw in Dr. Pepper and chocolate too😍😋😜 all of which I love but have WAAAAY to many carbs in my DIS-torted eyes. Yea yea I know the Dr.Pepper and chocolate aren’t that great but it’s still the principle of deprival. It feeds the desire and keeps the cycle going, at least for me.

So when I eat from one of those foods I have listed in my mind as bad, I heap all the shame and guilt because of my DIS-torted thought patterns. It really is a whole renewing the mind process which for me I know will take some time.

So for now I choose to love, nurture, and be gentle with myself while on this road to recovery and restoration. I pray you will do the same my friend!

Hope you enjoy this simple, nutritious meal.

1-2 Bags Simply Balanced Organic Stir fry veggies from Target (or whatever brand you like)

Cook some seasoned boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs. Or even easier a rotisserie chicken and debone. Doesn’t get any easier.

Directions:

-Pop bag(s) of vegetables in microwave cook 4 mins.

-Cut chicken in small chunks or debone chicken.

-1-2 Tablespoonfuls butter or olive oil

-Garlic and Pepper to taste

-Trader Joes Coconut Aminos sprinkle to taste (optional)

-I also will also toss in any extra veggies I have on hand. I love extra mushrooms.

Toss it all together and Voilà you have a easy GF, LC tasty lunch or dinner.

Other options: You can add rice or pasta to be more filling.

Love and hugs,

Nicole💗

Overcoming Deep Dark Secrets….Life With An Eating Disorder

Hey y’all! Hope you guys have had a great week. I haven’t talked about this in a minute but I feel like it’s so important, not only for myself but for those suffering in silence. Some of you know I have struggled with an eating disorder for a good portion of my life, that maybe where you find yourself at today. But I want to offer hope to you, hope that you don’t have to stay in the same place as you are today. You don’t have to have the same struggles or battles, if your willing to allow God in and put the work in…..YOU CAN HAVE FREEDOM. It’s there for the taken!! While I’m still on the road to recovery, I’m getting stronger and more free every day, and you can to my friend.

So I want talk about what helped lead up to me even being willing to get help. I’m using the word willing for an important reason because if I said I was waiting on WHEN I FELT LIKE MAKING CHANGES I’d be waiting for an awfully long time. Because we can feel like every Monday we want to start over and TRY to get things right. But in my experience “WE TRY” “WE FEEL” and it hasn’t served me well.

Feelings are so fickle, they are one way one day and different the next. So waiting on your feeling to be what you want….well that day may never come. But if I make a conscious choice to say Lord I’M WILLING that’s different. I’m not giving my feelings a vote.

Our church has a small group/conference called Freedom and WOW it’s incredible! Well I went through it and right when it was time for conference in last December, I got so sick and I couldn’t go. I was so so upset, discouraged and didn’t understand at all. At the time I couldn’t see what God was doing behind the scenes and let me just say He is such a behind scenes kinda Guy.

So the 1st of January rolls around and 21 Days of Fasting And Prayer starts and prolly half way through God stuck His finger right on IT and said “Nicole now is the time, it’s time to deal with your eating disorder.”

“Excuse me Lord but I don’t have a problem.”

Now mind you I was weighing myself everyday sometimes 2-3 times a day. BUT I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM. Denial!

I had been abusing diuretics and laxatives for years. I would fast and I could fast like nobody’s business but then I’d binge…..I was struggling with something, I didn’t know it had a name. It’s name was bulimia.

So it was at the moment I realized why I wasn’t able to go to the Freedom conference. God had something more He needed to deal with me on and bring healing to my soul.

Right then and there I went to my medicine cabinet and threw out all my diuretics and laxatives. Now I’d like to say it was easy from that point on and that I didn’t struggle but because my body was use to them and needed them to go to the bathroom. It was like crucifying the flesh…Ugghhh! There’s a healing period which I’m pretty sure I’m still in, I think it will take a while to heal my intestines, body, spirit, and emotions from all that trauma I put myself through.

It’s funny how we always think no one knows our deep dark secrets because we put on our mask every day and act like we gucci. But ya know what….I know…..God knows. And the pain of holding all of it in or keeping up the image will destroy you.

So after much prayer and seeking the Lord on what to do, the first thing I needed to do was to tell my husband. Oh how I dreaded that conversation, to the point it made me physically ill, like wanting to throw up.

So finally I went downstairs and said “Honey I need to talk to you about something and it’s going to be really hard for me to talk about. Of course I’m already crying and can hardly speak. I know the poor man is prolly thinking “Ohhhh I’m in the doghouse, she about to leave me! Or she’s having a affair!”

I could hardly get it out I was crying so hard but once I did you could see the relief on his face that it wasn’t one of the before mentioned items lol. I’m being so vulnerable baring my soul, and he’s relieved I’m not having an affair. Lol😂 We can look for humor in everything.

I told him how I had been struggling and abusing laxatives and diuretics, fasting and binging. He listened and said “Thank you honey for sharing that with me I know that was extremely hard for you. How can I help or what do you want to do?” Well I had already been looking for a counselors, I thought a nutritionist was a good idea as well. So I started there. I also shared with our 3 daughters, what was hidden in the dark had to come out, so it could hold no more power over me. It was a step toward freedom.

I reached out to a nutritionist who I really like but for me I have to say this is such a tricky part of having a eating disorder. They go over all your healthy issues, keeping in mind your eating disorder and then put you on a meal plan. Well for me what I had found is that I already had such a unhealthy relationship with food you telling me I can’t have a Dr. Pepper and I can only eat these things it wasn’t good for me. Because not realizing but all my life I had been putting certain foods in good categories and bad categories and if I ate from the good category I was good but if I ate or drank from the bad category “I was bad” I would heap so much shame and guilt onto myself which kept me spiraling. Not sure if that makes sense or not, so for a while I’ve been working on just my relationship WITH food. I know there are good and bad foods and our bodies NEED the good foods but your mind and heart still need to make that connection without condemnation and shame being in the picture. So if I ate a brownie or drank a Dr. Pepper I wasn’t a bad person like I fell like I was. It’s crazy what our mind can make us think about ourselves.

Having a eating disorder for me while it is obsessing over weight and food, I’ve also learned it goes sooooo much deeper than that. It went back to things from my childhood that led up to that.

I was raised in alcoholism, with that comes so much baggage. Enabling, people pleasing, codependency, fear, manipulation, people trying to control you, you feeling out of control, and not knowing what the day would hold. I think I learned to try not to rock the boat fairly early in life, that was a safe place….so I thought.

I love my mother and father dearly but they divorced before I was 2 and my father remarried and had 3 other daughters. He wasn’t there for me as much as I would have liked him to be or at the time needed him to be. Our relationship then wasn’t as strong as it is today. Thankful God brings restoration.

I lived with my mother who also remarried 4 times and that was very difficult for me in that I didn’t have a stable father figure. Let me say upfront I do not in any way blame her. She worked hard to raise me the best way she knew how and all she wanted was to be loved. She loved the way she knew how and so did my Dad. And can’t we all relate to that? We all want to be loved and accepted, we do what we know….right or wrong. It definitely hindered me in many ways but it also helped shape me into the woman I am today.

I was molested at a young age and back then that wasn’t something you talked about and they also threatened me about telling anyone. So that was yet another deep dark secret that got stuffed deep down.

Your life shapes you for the good or for the bad and at the moment for me it wasn’t good. Things were quickly building for the perfect storm in my life.

At a young age I quickly learned that when I expressed my feelings I got in trouble, or I was told I was wrong for feeling that way. I was also told on several occasions “If you do that you can’t come back home”. I felt rejected and like what I had to say or what I felt wasn’t important. So what did I do, I stuffed my emotions down further and further. That’s what we are doing with our eating disorders or any addiction for that matter.

By the time I had meet my husband and we married I had such low self esteem. I was constantly comparing myself to other women, and of course never measuring up. I literally hated myself. I would tear myself apart. It’s so sad to say these things but even watching TV was a struggle for me. If a beautiful woman came on tv I began comparing myself to her, telling myself how ugly I was. How my husband prolly would rather have her than me. It was AWFUL!!

The devil knows your weaknesses and he will use them against you. He will whisper lies in your ears and if you’re not careful you’ll believe them and they will hold you captive.

It wasn’t until I went to Al-Anon where I started getting help to deal with others in my life who had drinking problems that I was able to get free from some of that and I began loving myself.

I can remember one day texting my sponsor with tears in my eyes from a baton competition and telling her how much fun I was having and how in the past they were so difficult for me because of all the cute young girl running around in their little costumes. I was getting FREE little by little and it felt so good!!

All the things I’ve talked about cause frustration, confusion, distrust, guilt, rejection, fear of failure, shame, people pleasing and so much more. That’s what you begin to think, act, and do.

So fast forward to going to counseling, I felt like God lead me to this specific person. I mean for goodness sakes her name was Hope!

Hope means a confidant expectation of something good.

Hope was exactly what I had been looking for, for my whole life. Not the person although she’s has been such a blessing in my life but the HOPE God gives us in our time of need.

Hope was what I needed to overcome this disorder and other things in my life that have so enslaved me.

Hope for my future.

Hope for freedom.

Hope to have a voice.

Hope to share my feelings and not feel like I’m wrong for having them.

Just HOPE!

So while I’m still on the road to recovery, I’ll be honest I don’t do the laxatives or diuretics, but on a really bad day or week in my weakness I have turned to fasting and binging sometimes, but not as often as I use too PRAISE GOD!! That’s progress. God is so good and faithful and He will do it for you to precious one.

Today I can say I have HOPE for a better life. A life of freedom. I have good days and bad days but the thing I’m finding so valuable is my VOICE AND MY FEELINGS, whether their good or bad they are mine and it’s ok to have them and express them in a appropriate way. They no longer have to be stuffed!

Learning to not be lead by my feelings but to feel them and know they are real and they are mine and it’s not wrong to have them or express them.

My job is to allow God to bring healing to me, set healthy boundaries, and use my voice when needed and NOT STUFF IT! Stop stuffing things down just because someone may not like it or not want to hear something uncomfortable.

And my goodness stop taken ownership and fixing things that are others responsibilities. I have to stay on my side of the street in order to keep myself in a healthy place.

Precious one you gotta get the Word on inside of you if want to get to the other side of your problem where FREEDOM is. Meditate on it day and night. Pick one, stay on it till it’s deep in you and them move onto the next one.

Psalm 139:14 I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.

Song of Solomon 4:7 My darling, everything about you is beautiful, and there is nothing at all wrong with you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.

Zephaniah 3:17 For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

You are loved my friend! We all have our issues whether it’s an eating disorder or some other kind of addiction God wants you to turn to Him and let Him help you. He will take what the enemy meant to harm and destroy and use for your good. But it’s up to you to let Him. He calls you holy, righteous, beautiful, and His Trophy of Grace

Love and hugs,

Nicole 💗

Please click the link below and enjoy the song You’ll Come by Hillsong

https://youtu.be/2RmZFaruXhs

Brokenness-We Are Better Together

Brokenness- We are Better together

Lately, I’ve been thinking, ya know things aren’t always as they seem. We look at people and think just by what they look like or what they have determines the life they have. Rich or poor or somewhere in the middle we all have issues and broken places in our lives….you’re not exempt to brokenness and the trials of life. You can try and fix it up and disguise it but it’s still there and yet we look at Sally and think man she’s got it going on. She dresses so cute, perfect skin, perfect weight, perfect hair, great family, car, job, etc. but you have no idea what’s she’s struggling with. Maybe she’s dealing with a loss, financial need, health issues, an eating disorder, some sort of addiction in her family or loved one. Maybe she’s waiting and longing for God to give her the baby they’ve fervently prayed for for so long. Maybe just maybe she’s carrying around guilt and shame from something that happened to her in her childhood, and she’s doing everything she can to just get up every day and keep going. But we think just because she looks good on the outside and looks so put together it must be nice to be her. Perfect life, no problems but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You never know what someone’s going through.

On the other hand, you have Lucy over here and she’s struggling but to the point that it’s visible to those around her. She looks worn down and broken. She looks depressed and defeated. The struggle of yet another day is here. How am I going to make it through? We can overlook her too because we don’t know what to say or do, or maybe we can’t relate. Or maybe we just don’t want to take the time because we’re to busy. We can even be deceived in thinking she needs more prayer and love than the one who smiles and looks all put together. I think both of these are incorrect, we all have a story, we all have things we are dealing with, it just may look different on the outside.

We all have problems and we all have a need for a Savior and we ALL have needs that ONLY JESUS CAN MEET, it doesn’t matter how you dress it up.

Brokenness is brokenness!

A new car, new house, another pill, another drink, a new Lilly Pulitzer dress, Coach purse, etc it doesn’t make the pain or brokenness go away. Don’t get me wrong I myself am a purse junkie and I love to shop. But it won’t fix the empty void that’s on the inside us. We can dress it up or down all you want. It’s. Still. There. The way I see it, we need to take the mask off and just be you and I’ll be me. Be who God created you to be. Allow Him into those broken places to bring healing in your life, in turn you can help someone else. We need each other. We were built for relationships. The struggles I have had or have, I can more easily see in someone else who might be going through the same thing. We are better together.

When we bring our brokenness to Jesus He’s able to do something with it. He gives Beauty for ashes. It seems that the pain or the breaking is what we fear and try to avoid at all cost. But there’s blessings in the brokenness. There’s wholeness and healing in the broken parts of our life when we give them to Jesus. “He heals the broken hearted and bandages their wounds.”

My prayer for you today that in your brokenness you realize you are not struggling alone. There’s a Savior waiting for you, waiting for you to give him your pain and brokenness. He’s longing to give you beauty for ashes. We all have struggles, mine may be different than yours but nonetheless it’s brokenness and when we can be real and take the mask off, we realize we are not alone.

We are better together.

May you feel his presence and love in a way you’ve never felt before. May He strengthen your inner man and give you peace and joy and heal you every where you hurt precious one. Amen 🙏🏻

Much love and big hugs,

Nicole💗