Tuesday, July 27, 2010


when put very simply, an eating disorder is really nothing more than a set of rules.

...no carbs, no dressed salads, no sleeping late or naps, arms must be * inches around or less, coffee is better than food, no eating as much as anyone else at the table, a day never really counts unless you've worked out...

i've tried to think back to "the dark ages"- before i was i sick- and remember if i lived according to any rules back then.

all i could come up with was that i had to let the phone ring a certain number of times before i answered when boys called, and that i had to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies every thursday night to put in my assigned football player's locker as a "spirit spreader" on fridays. (yes. five years ago, i was a cheerleader. i'm recovering from more than just an eating disorder).

i was thinking about my rules and rituals and that my deeply-engrained inclinement to follow them has lingered into my recovery and how i might start to avoid the rules instead of pretending they're okay as long as i eat.

I can never go back to the aforementioned golden years of freedom (nor would i want to). i've got new, exciting, cheerleading-free years ahead of me.

but what i CAN do is to accept the rule-setting/following individual i've become and set some rules that will help my recovery rather than hinder it. in essence, i suppose i'm tricking myself into freedom using rules.

when i was a little girl, my mom and i would play candy land on nearly an hourly basis. as the game went on, i would make up new rules to ensure that i would win, regardless of what cards i drew. either my mom knew what she was doing or just got tired of telling me i was cheating, because if life were a game of candy land, and the licorice forest with it's creepy keeper, Lord Licorice, were a gym, then right now i would be making up some kind of rule about how it actually doesn't count if you draw the Lord Licorice card so i could out of the forest and keep moving forward towards Queen Frostine (which is the last spot on the board- the winning spot.)

i didn't start to work out until i was given medical clearance, and i never do more than what i've been allowed, but it's been amazing how quickly and easily my workouts have begun to borderline on being obsessive. i find myself constantly thinking about workout-related things- looking over my class schedule for fall and planning the times i'll be able to go to the gym- feeling like i can't do anything of importance unless i've worked out first...

i had the idea to make a rule for myself and my workouts a couple of weeks ago but let it simmer in my head for awhile because i just really didn't want to do it. but yesterday morning i realized that if i ever wanted to get rid of my workout obsession, i was going to have to set some guidelines, and that i may as well do it sooner than later.

so from now on, i am not allowed to work out unless i've spent some time being still and knowing that God is God is first.

some people might say that i'm shortchanging my faith- treating it as another thing that i do because i have to do it- because i know i should do it. i can understand where anyone who would say such things is coming from, but the way that i see what i'm doing is this: I love God, and i want to know God, but unfortunately i already know myself, and myself is an imperfect self that will not sit down by preference or nature.

so from now on, i will be sitting down and being still and knowing on a far more regular basis than before and i'm excited to see what comes of it.

and this doesn't just go for praying or reading people. i'm saying this to everyone because we all have something we want to care deeply about, but forget to treat it that way.

i wish that i was good enough to just be balanced- without any guidelines or restrictions. but then the world would be perfect and probably kind of boring.

so i'll keep making rules- good ones- the kind that get me Queen Frostine. the kind that get me to freedom.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

too tough?

contrary to popular understanding, eating disorders are not rooted in anything really having to with weight, appearance, food, etc...

they just manifest themselves that way.

over the years, dissapoinment, rejection, hurt, (or at the very least, me perceiving various situations as such) have perpetuated my "need" to hide safely behind my disorder.

even since starting this blog, i've found myself in a gradual new state of freedom, clear-headedness, confidence, and joy...

i've learned that i'm good at things i never thought i cared about, that i'm a lot smarter than i ever knew, that i can walk into a room full of people and be alive and present rather than overwhelmed, consumed.

i've learned all these things, and i like living them out; love them in fact. and i don't want anything to happen that could compromise any of it.

as i already mentioned, a lot of what kept me close to my disorder was my own malperception of people and why they said things and did things and cared about things- particularly in relation to me. in my head, i always came up short, and my eating disorder was my source of redemption from my self-condemnation.

i'm afraid of my past malperceptions- that they're going to come back. lately i've found myself calloused, tough- i don't want to need anyone- to let anyone in- because things are working the way they're supposed to work right now and i'm scared that adding people back into that equation might cause things to stop adding up so easily.

the other day i spoke to a girl on the phone who'd been in treatment for three or four days. she'd been watching the girls around her, many of whom were in pretty bad shape. "Being here has scared me out of my disorder," she said, "now that i've seen what happens when you don't stop, i know i'll never go back to it again". She said she was ready to go home, that she couldn't take one more night there, but that no one would listen to her or even consider allowing her to leave.

i told her she should stay. that being "scared out of her disorder" was certainly a necessary stage in her decision to let it go, but that fear of her disorder and freedom from her disorder were not the same thing.

it's about time i take my own advice- let the equation stop being an equation- realize that life and people are messy but if i've ever been strong enough handle the mess, it's now.

i want to be free and i want to be happy. but for the happy to be real i have to know that i can be free and sad, free and angry, free and hurt, free and dissapointed too.

but the only way to, feel it all, and still choose to be free, is to open up, let people and all their beautifully scary stuff come in (note: i'm not saying i'm not an advocate of healthy boundaries- but boundaries can be too strong just as much as they can be too weak- as with most things it's all about balance) and be sure enough of myself to know that I WILL choose freedom, no matter what happens.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010


it was 4 or 4:30 or something like that.

my mom and i had combed through every antique store this side of the mississippi for a desk for my apartment, and were feeling ready to move on to a new genre of errands.

her ancient cell phone rang and she flipped it open for a few seconds while she mostly listened to whomever it was on the other end.

her jawlike hands snapped the tiny phone closed and she turned to me with a possibility-filled glance and said, "your dad won't be home for dinner. what shall we do?"

on any of the other two hundred and something days of 2010 prior to this one, every fiber of my being would have cried out for my plentiful but safe plate of grilled chicken or fish, some veggies, some kind of fat, and a carb.

but a confidently foreign voice somewhere inside me said,

"mexican sounds really good"

the me that's in recovery, that's allowed to say whatever makes me feel comfortable regarding food, the me that's still not quite able to find anything outside the immediate needs of my meal plan enjoyable, suddenly became entranced by normalcy.

the old, old me- the one that had never had an eating disorder reached up and out of its buried place in my soul and said, "yes. i would like some mexican."

not, "oh. my friends want mexican so i'll just join along and yeah i guess i should challenge myself to stop eating the same stuff over and over"

but simply...

"i want mexican."

my mom looked at me with a shocked expression. "i've been wanting mexican all day," she said, "but i knew it'd make you uncomfortable and so i didn't say anything".

it was a monumental occasion.

and i think that yet another part of me, of life, (the part where you get to pick what you like to eat instead of what your not scared to eat) that i thought was lost forever, was just asleep inside me. it's awake now. it's yawning, stretching, and popping its knuckles, but it's there, and it's awake.



Monday, July 19, 2010

ginger-soul love.

The apartment is aged red brick, nestled into sweet semi-circled trees. It is very old and very charming.

the hallways look and smell old, and there are sweet old paintings on the cream-colored walls. In the side door on the far left end and up one flight of stairs, is a plain white door with a rustily colored prickly mat. The doorbell is old fashioned and very fun to ring.

Behind the old, white, fun-doorbelled door lives the beautiful ginger soul of Hayden Hamrick.

Hayden and I have been close since we met, and I remember telling her about my eating disorder freshman year as if it were a thing of the past. I knew it wasn’t. so did Hayden. But she loved me anyway.

Also coexisting with Hayden behind the white door, is a conglomeration of bohemian antiqueness that never fails to pull me inside- leaving angst, disillusionment, and discouragement safely behind the old door’s three locks.

Hayden has a natural finesse for hospitality, but it’s much more than that that’s made her happy, humble abode such a safe and happy haven.

She’s been through a lot herself that’s allowed her to learn true health and balance. Although she never had a diagnosable eating disorder, she’s more than dabbled, and she’s come out on the other side as a shining testament to how able we are to love others once we finally learn to love ourselves.

1. what are some aspects of your life and the world around you that have helped you come to the realization that taking care of yourself is worth it?

The GREATEST, GREATEST thing that ever happened for me was just getting emotionally balanced and understanding the value that the Lord has placed on my life.

You know if you aren’t taking care of yourself and valuing your health it is impossible for you to accomplish what you were set in motion to accomplish.
How depressing is that! It’s total disrespect not just to yourself but to God. It’s sin. That’s hard. So how does one get emotionally stable enough to work through all the anxiety, depression, self loathing, etc. that they’ve dealt with for YEARS… for their whole life… all that pain… what do you do with it? Well, you give it to God. And it’s hard to work through it alone, honestly. I highly, highly recommend counseling to EVERYONE. Oftentimes we will say “it’s too expensive” but people… there are free services at our universities. That’s what I did. So much value there. Also, having a best friend that’s a counselor of eating disorders comes highly recommended. Haha.

It was on Hayden’s comfy tan couch that I ate my first brownie of recovery. She loves to feed me sweets and she doesn’t mind when I gulp or look scared, but she always commends when I don’t.

There’s a distressed chest of drawers just inside the white door with a wide-mouthed bowl of dark chocolate. And it takes about a minute for her to step into the kitchen and take out the wine that I would bet anything is chilling in her fridge. She’s got a beautifully healthy ability to soak up life’s pleasures. An ability she’s learned through much struggle:

2. describe one thing about yourself that's enhanced by your freedom from your previous ideas or unhealthy behaviors regarding body/food/etc...

One thing… there are so many! I just enjoy life more. Seriously, being caught up in the bondage of self loathing and control is just awful. For YEARS I was trying so damn hard (excuse my langauge). Giving that up is freeing. I don’t have to try anymore. I just live. In one of my favorite books (that’s about to become a fabulous film…) Eat,Pray, Love the main character starts to experience this freedom in Italy. She learns there to really enjoy her food. I want to enjoy life- food included. But there’s a balance in enjoying and being indulgent you know? It’s fun to learn health too… Like to try new ways of being active (yoga, pilates, zumba, hiking, etc.) and to try new wild and crazy foods/recipes and reading literature on health. It’s fun! I know I am nerdier than most. But like do we not all want to live our best lives? I believe in a revolution of health!

3. what are some struggles you've experienced with your body, food, exercise, etc...?

Honestly what have I not struggled with as far as body image and control are concerned? My parents are lovely, lovely people… there are so many things they did right. They definitely taught us work ethic and the value of “doing something” i.e.- playing sports and being active. Being healthy as far as nutrition or sleep or things like that… were not taught. So it’s kind of been a self-taught thing. I don’t feel like I’ve totally gotten a grip on it, but it sure has been a journey.

One of my best friends, who happens to be a therapist for eating disorders, explained it to me one time that many of us possess this “bomb” and it just takes the write ignition for it to totally explode. Praise God my bomb never totally exploded… I sure did play with fire though. I have restricted, I have purged, over exercised, taken laxatives. It’s really disheartening even now for me to write this out. But again… it’s been a journey. Laxatives for whatever sick reason have been my go-to. I find myself even now wanting to stop in CVS on my way home from work sometimes on the gray days when I just don’t feel “good.” But then I remember… I left that struggle in the past.

Perhaps the reason that I’ve found such safety inside the bohemian wonderland behind the white door is that whenever I’m with Hayden, I find I’m most myself.

4. if there's one thing you'd like to say to women across the world about health and balance, what is it?

Find your own unique value. Wherever you have to go to find it, seek it out incessently. You have to. You are not a sum of numbers- the pants size number, the number of dates you’ve been on, the number of men you have or have not slept with, the money in your checking-account, the calories you’ve consumed. Challenge this crazy notion and enjoy your life! He put us here for a reason that has no number. For the glory of God is man (and woman) fully alive.

Thanks to you, sister-friend Hayden, for helping me learn to be fully alive. I owe a lot of my life’s newfound fullness to your friendship and unending support. You are a beautiful picture of the existence for which our souls were intended.

Love you much,


(p.s.- everyone check out her amazing blog: www.ansleyhaydenhaslove.blogspot.com )

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


every now and then, i'm going to feature people on my blog.

some will be people in recovery, some will be close friends of mine that have been phenomenal supports, and some have yet to be determined (but i have some fun ideas).

i just sent a friend who's in recovery a facebook message, asking if she'd be willing to answer some questions on my blog.

i realized as i was typing the message that there was a time (even since i started this blog), at which it would have been excruciatingly difficult for me to see my smiling face posted on someone's blog about recovery.

i would have felt like a failure, like i'd chosen the weaker of two options, because unlike so many, i'd decided to give in to my physical and emotional needs.

people would say, "EA- why can't you understand that you ARE making the strong choice, the VICTORIOUS choice".

somewhere in my own depths i knew i was doing what i needed to do, but that didn't change the fact that i didn't feel it was what i needed to do. and it certainly didn't change the fact that i was ashamed of my choice to leave my eating disorder behind.

i suppose this shows that if you're waiting to get over something until you want to get over something, then you're never going to get over something.

i think it's about wanting what's on the other side of the something and clinging to that distant other side until you realize that you've squandered your mistaken love for the something and in doing so, you've made room for all kinds of beautiful things you never thought you'd experience.

all that to say, i was the person with the craziest distortions and the most unbelievable beliefs engrained in and engulfing my head. but now, after months of clinging to the distance and to what that thread of life inside me knew was true, i'm actually proud to say that i'm choosing life without an eating disorder. i will no longer feel defeated in the presence of active eating disorders. i'll only feel strong.

earlier this morning, an aveeno commercial came on and said this, "finally, what you love is what your skin needs".

if you think about it, it doesn't make that much sense in the context of a skin care commercial, but it still caught my attention.

i think that's how i could describe where i am right now (if you replace "skin" with "body, mind and emotions").

finally, what i love....

....my body (even when i don't like it)
....my oatmeal with walnuts and a glass of soymilk
....choosing life
....not wanting to be frail and weak
....having color in my face
....not being cold all the time
....living without my disorder
....not wondering how people who aren't thin can be happy
....not defining every day by my good or bad body image
....excitement for what's ahead
....being unafraid

....is what my body, mind, and emotions need.

not to say it didn't take awhile to love life like this. but finally, i do.



Friday, July 9, 2010

more important than pants.



-yes sweetie...

-where are you?


-eww...well come to banana republic. i mean it. you won't be sorry.

-okay honey i'll be there in a minute.

somewhere between the time i called my mom, and the time she wandered into the dressing room calling my name like a crazy person, i'd found a pair of beautiful pants, i'd picked them up in a size bigger than i wore the last time i tried on pants (which was before i went to treatment), i'd put them on and i'd realized they were too tight.

i dont know if it was the fact that i'm a little spaced out from all the vacationing and sun exposure, or the fact that the pants were a magnificent burnt orange (my favorite color) or a combination of both, but i didn't even act like trying on pants for the first time since treatment was a big deal. i just picked them up and took them in the dressing room.

i suppose i subconsciously thought, "hey...i haven't come out of this recovery thing empty-handed...i'm still a size *. I won't ever actually have to deal with being a 'real-woman' size".

...until i pulled the pants up, zipped them, and saw that my body had transformed the beautiful burnt orange dress pants into spandex.

i took a deep breath and walked out to the "big mirror", hoping that i was somehow mistaken. and then, as if in a trance, i turned away from the mirror and walked numbly out to the rack where i found the pants in the next size up.

i put them on.


i swallowed hard and took a minute before i evened my eyes with the mirror to fully examine them. sort of half-squinting at first, i braced myself for whatever it was i was going to have to look at.

i looked at the front. i looked at the back. i looked at the side.

i couldn't believe it, but i didn't just love the pants. i loved myself in the pants.

i had no idea what i was feeling or what i wanted to feel or what i wanted to think.

it was about that time that my mom came yelling, and i cracked the door and poked my disgruntled face out.

"i had to get a size * ", i told her.

i didn't want to like how i looked in the pants and i didn't want to like the pants or the number in the tag.

so far, i'd been successful in the final of those three endeavors.

one out of three wasn't enough to keep my mom from convincing me to buy the pants. and so we paid and i carried the bag close to the ground and for a little while, i let myself pout and stew like a child--i felt i deserved a little time to wallow.

but as much as i didn't want to have to attach myself to a new, scary, uncomfortable, frankly larger- than-i'd-care-to number, i realized i was going to have to.

i went to sleep thinking about the number in the tag of the pants and woke up thinking about it too.

but as i sat outside in the freshly risen sun on the balcony drinking coffee and watching the umbrella man set things up down on the beach, i realized that maybe i didn't have to attach myself to any number- comfortable or uncomfortable- at all. it occurred to me for the first time that saying, "i'm a size * " is basically the same thing as saying, "i'm as important as a pair of pants".

there was a time in my life that i would've raised my hand high and said, "yes. my worth is my pant size. and right now my pants are a size * and that is an important size. so right now, i'm important."

but after months of rediscovering myself, and a trip to banana republic to really push me into it, i've realized that i'm actually a lot more important than a pair of pants. the pants are supposed to fit me. not the other way around.

i'm not a size anything. that's not my job because i'm not an object. from now on, i'm leaving the labels and the tags up to the pants, because pants aren't alive.

the world needs me and i need the world, and the only way for either need to get met (thanks to original sin) is for me to put on some clothes, walk out the door, and greet what each day has to offer.

and whatever size the clothes happen to be really has nothing to do with any of it.



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

if the ocean were a woman.

i'm in florida with my family right now, and found myself inspired by the gentle power of the ocean as it knocked me back and forth in its arms this morning. here's the result of a couple hours worth of pondering afterwards.

if the ocean were a woman, she would be full, confident, strong.

her musculature, though beautiful, would not exist for beauty itself, but to carry others, be them on long journeys or just trying to relax.

she would not refuse nourishment, as nourishment alone would sustain her beauty and her strength.

she would be unafraid of her emotions and unafraid to express them- be them peaceful & calm, or loud & violent, or somewhere in between.

her strength would not scare or disgust her, but she would call it her most beautiful quality, a quality she would wear with confident humility.

she would not attempt to isolate or hide, but would find her uttermost joy in her purpose as a pillar of tranquility and life for all who encountered her.

if the ocean were a woman she would find herself in an unavoidable cycle of ebb and flow. she would not fear it, but embrace it, knowing that only in such a cycle, was she actually herself.

when she caused others pain, or felt that her fierceness was a source of more harm than good, she would not dry up in her guilt, but continue in the knowledge that without her, things would cease to be the same.

if the ocean were a woman, with gentle dignity and elegance, she would be the ultimate nurturer. she would make children laugh, and grown-ups relax.she would sense needs and she would meet them.

if the ocean were a woman, her self-sufficiency would allow room for the love and the aid of others. she would not refuse help, but welcome it as needed, understanding that some problems were too much for one person.

if the ocean were a woman, she would love herself as herself and others as others. she would accept change, welcome adventure, and foster all forms of life.

if the ocean were a woman she would be free.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

saved from the fiery furnace.

Dear God,

don't you want me to wait and do this when my blog has really taken off and has 100+ followers?

i really think that would be better.

that way no one will feel like this is a "christian" blog and decide to stop following or not follow it in the first place because of the reputation certain strands of christianity have regretfully won for all of us who love you.

besides, I want recovery for everyone, not just people who believe the way i do.

i think i'll just do a few more posts and then i'll give you credit. just a couple of more and then you get an entire post to yourself!

not everyone feels the way i do and i'm just trying to keep from excluding anyone. of anybody i know you'd understand that, right?

this has been my prayer for the past couple of days. i wanted to wait to really talk about Him- i wanted to go as long as i could- get as many followers as possible, spend time enough with my readers that they would feel safe, unjudged, valued, heard, and understood- regardless of what either of us believe.

it seemed like the best way to go about things. but as many posts as i've started the past couple of days, none have seemed right. and after spending some salty-aired moments in Daniel 3 yesterday (i'm in florida with my family right now) i understood why.

I read a story i've read about a million times, but never on this side of my eating disorder. It's a story about a guy named Nebuchadnezzer.

Nebuchadnezzer was a king. a king who probably didn't have an eating disorder, or any of the other inferiority issues that accompany, because the story starts with him erecting a golden monument and commanding his entire kingdom to bow down and worship the monument at a certain time every day- a time he would signal with loud, harmonious music of pipes, lyres, horns and probably a lot of other hard-to-ignore instruments.

anyone refusing to bow down and worship the monument would be cast immediately into a fiery furnace.

obviously most of the people bowed to the statue. they didn't really feel they had another option. and given a choice between forced worship and death by fire, they chose to worship the statue to the tune of the clanging instruments. i probably would have too. and i kind of did. for five years.

but there were three men who refused to bow down: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
of course, someone ratted them out to Nebuchadnezzer. So he brought them before him and made sure they understood their inevitable fate if they chose not to worship the statue.

they told him they understood very well. the told him they wouldn't do it. and they told him that whether God saved their earthy lives or just their souls, He was going to deliver them from that furnace.

and while most people would suggest that these three were unafraid of the fire, i'm not going to say that at all. in fact, i'm sure they were petrified. but amidst the fear that continously consumed them as the heat of the furnace ensued, they were ever grounded in thier loyalty to their God, ever sure that one way or another, they would emerge from the flames alive.

and so Nebuchadnezzer had the furnace heated to seven times its usual temperature. He ordered his guards to bind Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednigo in tightly-wound garments and throw them into the furnace.

After a few moments Nebuchadnezzer looked into the furnace. He was aghast/amazed/infuriated to see that the three men were not only unbound, but were accompanied by a fourth, who was according to Nebuchadnezzer,"like a son of the gods".

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the furnace, they were unsinged, unharmed, completely uneffected by the fire. they knew their God would save them- that he was a third option (or maybe the only option) when it had seemed that death or a life of enslavement to a statue (death) were the 2 only choices they had.

i used to read this story and murmur empty affirmations of its truth as i read. i'm not really sure how i thought it applied- maybe i thought that the furnace was my eating disorder and that God was in there with me so i could just know it was going to go away- or maybe i thought that the eating disorder was the statue and if i chose to quit bowing to it that God would help me or something.

but now, reading it from other side, i'm not murmuring any empty affirmations...just smiling. the story affirmed itself in the beauty with which my recovery has emerged.

what i realized as i read yesterday and again today, is that Nebuchadnezzer represents the intense, extreme, passionate parts of me that predisposed me to having an eating disorder. and when conditions were right 5 years ago, it was these parts of me that erected an enormous golden monument called, "thin" and demanded that i bow to it every day for the rest of my life. and to have an eating disorder, in simplistic terms, is to worship being thin.

I didn't choose to worship this alternative god from the outset, but when Nebuchadnezzer presented me with the alternative to "thin" (not just fat, but normal-sized, even small-but-healthy-looking; weight-gain, eating an unrestricted diet, not being a size *, or weighing ***) i became as fearful of these alternatives as any normal person would be of stepping into a fiery furnace.

in other words, i felt that turning my back on "thin" and stepping into the furnace of recovery would end me as a person. and so, like Nebuchadnezzer wanted, i bowed to "thin", every day for five years.

at times just my body bowed, and my heart knew that "thin" was not my true god, but just as many times, every brainwashed part of me bowed low before "thin"- the god that mattered more to me than anything else.

but i finally realized, thanks to a God-ordained set of circumstances, that the fiery death i thought i was avoiding by selling myself out to "thin" was actually taking place before my eyes. day-by-day. just a little slower and without the fire.

i also finally realized that as many happy faces i'd painted on, as many worshipful prayers i'd faked heavenward...

i loved "thin" more than i loved my God.

not only did i not believe that He would save me from the furnace if i chose to defy "thin", i didn't want Him to save me.

after squeezing these prickly truths around in my hand, letting them hurt, become real, i knew what i had to do if i wanted to ever do anything at all.

I had to leave "thin" behind, to turn my back on its oppressive, controlling presence and faithfully step into the furnace, knowing my Father would arrive.

the next day i called Magnolia Creek.

in the countless times i tried recovery before, i got sick of "thin" or someone told me i would go to the hospital, maybe even die if i didn't stop bowing to him. i would step towards the furnace to accept my punishment. sometimes even i would get close to the door handle, but eventually, i always felt the heat and ran back to "thin".

this time, i had no idea how or why i would make it through the furnace. i knew only that i wanted to worship God, not "thin", and not a combination of the both of them ("thin"). and i knew that God would see me out of the flames.

so here i am. in the furnace i feared for so long. to some who still bow to "thin" (or thin's equivalent- whatever your addiction), it may look as though i'm standing in the midst of a raging fire- a fire you're thankful you're avoiding.

but God is here with me. I'm unbound, dancing through the flames while He protects me. I won't say the flames don't get hot- but when the heat closes in and i think i might burn i reach out, and there He is.

and that's why i'm still here. in the furnace. in recovery. He's why i haven't run away. why i'm able to not run away. why i can't run away.

maybe you don't believe that He's good or that He'll help you. maybe you don't believe He even exists. I don't blame you. you're entitled to believe what you want without judgement from the people around you.

i want any and everyone who reads this blog to recover from his or her respective struggles, regardless of belief, custom, or tradition.

but i also want any and everyone who reads this blog to know that i love that Jesus Christ with my heart, soul, mind, and strength and it his thanks to Him and Him alone that i remain in these refining flames and that i will one day call myself "recovered".

the story ends with Nebuchadnezzer proclaiming his devotion to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. and so it is with the "Nebuchadnezzer" part of myself. the intense, extreme parts that found only "thin" worthy of worship- the parts that likened recovery to death by fire.

It's the Nebuchadnezzer within me that's had a change of heart, that's now driving me toward recovery, that pushed me to set aside all other posts and credit my Father with all of this.

i love every one of you.

It's in Him that i write now and always,