Monday, May 18, 2015

{My Story}

 {My High School Graduation, May 2011}

So i have been wanting to do this post for a while now because i want to have a place where i can write everything about myself, and have those who care and are interested take a peak into my life. But more importantly, i want to do this for myself. I want to write down the part of me that i feel truly awakened the true personality that i am today, and i would like to share that with you today. Here we go…

It all began with a normal habit: emotional eating. I wouldn't really describe it as normal, but rather as a trait that my father and i share (being that we are two peas in a pod) and it had always lead to my struggling with my weight. I have always been the kid who was never excited about any type of exercise, and would rather lounge around or play outside for fun and not for fitness. I mean, what kid doesn't think that way, right? Well, all my life i have been a curvy, stout little nugget that was more solid than slim. Fast forward a couple of years, and i still resort to emotional eating when it came to dealing with stress, sadness, anger and any other emotion that forced me to feel. My mom will be the first to admit that i am a drama queen, being that i scream and yell and say things i don't always mean, and feel everything that i feel to my core. Food was something i saw as a soft place to land; something that wouldn't judge me, offer advice when i didn't want to hear it, and was always there 24/7. It was never something i felt was an issue being that i was more of a solid girl, and played the occasional sport or went to the gym with my parents. I never knew what my innocent "habit" would turn into.

The year i began 8th grade, my family got notice that my dad was going to be deployed for 12 months to Iraq. Now, i am a military kid, and i am accustomed to my dad being gone for a couple weeks at most, and seeing him for a couple days and then having him leave again. So at first the idea of my dad being gone for 365 days without seeing him, i was scared but i knew we would do it as a family like we always did. My mom is an absolute super-hero in the sense that she did everything in her power to make sure that we spent those days doing everything we could to stay busy. We took a 3 week trip to visit family on the mainland, we went to the movie every weekend, we ate special dinners at home, we watched different tv series; basically a dream to most kids. There was something, i can't put my finger on it, but it triggered a switch inside of me that put into the defense mechanism that my brain had in place. Within six months of the deployment, we were notified that they were going to be extended another 3 months, making for a grand total of 15 months deployed.  My family took a hit in the sense that we had planned my dads R&R (his two week home visit) to be only 3 months from his coming home so we wouldn't have to wait that long, and now that changed to six months instead. After this, my Grandmother passed away extremely suddenly, sending my entire family into a crazy tailspin of emotions, and i had no where to put my intense feelings. I consider this to be the start to the event that would truly change my life: the day my eating disorder became my best friend.

I am a recovering (the journey never stops) eating disorder victim. I suffer from anxiety-induced binge eating disorder, which means when i am in a deep and dark place where i cannot and won't deal with my emotions i black out and eat; i eat a lot. Its then that i come back to reality with no recollection, and hundreds of calories disappeared. Like i said in the beginning, food had been a comfort to me in a time and place where i felt my parents shouldn't have to listen to my worries. I have always been someone who worries consistently about everything, and when i say everything, i mean EVERYTHING. So my eating disorder became a part of me that i hid from my family, a part of me that i was so ashamed of that i had no idea how to ask for help. I had found something that took away my pain for a period of time so that i wouldn't have to feel so empty and hurt.

Within this time period, i was also taking a medication called Yaz in order to get my teenage hormonal skin under control. Little did i know that this medication would be the reason why my family would discover my secret and come to know my darkest secrets. This medication caused me to have violent, emotional fits of anger that i could not calm myself down from, and i even began to hear voices. This sounds like something out of American Horror Story, but it happened. I heard voices telling me i wasn't good enough, and that this world shouldn't have to be around me anymore. I thought it was just my inner most workings giving me a solution to the problems that were overwhelming me. It was when my brother and sister overheard me talking to myself about how i was going to commit suicide. It was then that my mother confronted me, and i lost my marbles. I started to sob uncontrollably, lost control of my breathing, and was on the verge of a full blown panic attack. My mom tried to hold me, rock me back and forth, but nothing was working. My mom told me later that she was seconds from calling the ambulance and having me committed because she was so terrified i was going to hurt myself or couldn't calm myself down. It was then she made the decision to google things that could attribute to my behaviors and the first thing that popped up: Medications. It was like a light bulb went off in her head, and she knew that Yaz was the reason everything i was feeling was heightened. I honestly have no idea what happened the rest of the night because i blacked out. It is something my mind does as a defense mechanism; i would rather not know than feel it. But i know that my mom basically slept on my floor until we could see the family therapist the next day. Once we determined the medication was heightening what i was already to myself, i was referred to a therapist that specialized in eating disorders. It was through this specific therapist that i discovered the things about myself that i have always felt was never a good thing, or the feelings i had that i never shared with my parents. Essentially, through my 5 year recovery i was learning how to love who i am exactly the way that i am. 

I know that this post is extremely personal, and is a slightly different note than what i normally post, but i have been going through some serious hurdles lately, and it has caused me to think about all things in my life that make me happy and allow for my life to feel full. I am a bossy, loud, anxious, fun, caring, messy human being that hates sad movies, love to watch movies in my jammies, watches SVU reruns, enjoys cooking and squishing my toes in the sand on a bright beach. I want to be a high school english teacher who inspires her students to be a better person, and i want to live my life one say at a time. It had taken me 5 years, and will take the rest of my life, to work on the parts of me that continue to creep in and attempt to drag me down. With all that being said, i have decided that i am going to take a year off from school to refocus myself, and allow for myself to take a step back and love the things i love, and be around people who make me laugh the hardest and push me to be a bigger person. My Momma always says, "Everyone has a story, and its not always what you see from the outside looking in," and this is my story. My emotional, mountain of hurdles that has allowed for me to grow and become someone that i never thought i would be, and i have my family and loved ones to thank for that. My family loved me through one of the hardest things a family can go through, and let me discover myself in a way that pushed limits. I appreciate whoever you are to have taken a read of my story because it truly means the world to have the support that i do.

I dedicate this post to my family; y'all are my favorite, most frustrating people in this whole universe, and i cannot begin to explain how much i love you. Thank you for taking me for who i am and constantly reminding me what unconditional love is. Miss you Chickens <3

Later Gators,

PS: If y'all have any questions or just wanna chat, feel free to message me on Facebook or comment your email below!


  1. My heart swells with pride for you. You inspire me so very. Love you and are so proud of you. I know this was not easy. 😘😘😘😘😘

    1. You are such a wonderful mother and a beautiful woman who shows those in your life what grace under fire and unconditional love truly looks like. I'm grateful for you and Mary Fran! The universe is perfect and my gratitude is great!

  2. Love you and miss you so very much Mary Fran!! Love love love reading your blog, you inspire me and I'm sure so many others😘

  3. I think you are truly magnificent and sharing your story, while frightening, is a truly courageous act! I know it wasn't easy, I know you've struggled with the fear of the unknown, but you did so with grace, dignity and a maturity that most people never find.
    Know this and believe me, I speak from experience, your truth may save a life, it may save a family from years of agony and pain, it will lead to personal growth and you are already stronger than you realize.
    Sharing your truth and experience is a blessing we give to the world. I can only imagine the young people out there who will read this and be compelled to change their lives because they know you have!
    You inspire me MF, from the day I met you! I fell hard for you that day.
    That day you may not know this, but I was feeling horrible, self conscious, anxious because of my son, resentful & angry because I was far away and powerless to help him. I was also very homesick (as home is where your heart is) because I had just gotten back from seeing my third grandchild being born. My husband dragged me to that polo field and made me bring my camera. I felt like a failure and under dressed as I was in shorts & simple shirt.
    That day was hard for me because it was when I first realized how sick my son was on active duty and felt no one was listening to us to get him help. I was afraid every day that I'd get the call I feared so terribly when he was deployed, but now he was "home" and that terrified me!
    So on the day I met you, you could say I was at one of the lowest days of my life, feeling everything I hated in myself. I went to shoot the horses and polo action, talking myself into it being good practice.
    While my husband was mingling with everyone we knew, I set up like a sniper furthest away from people and sank as low into the ground as I could.
    When the match was done, we ran into some friends and I couldn't get away like I wanted to. Suddenly I was at the edge of the dance party so I started shooting. Then I saw you! Your smile, your joy, your presence was beautiful to me. I thought about how you were being you and I forgot about my self pity, my problems, my bad attitudes! I joined the party because of you!
    I am forever grateful for you. I love you and I will always be in your corner!

    1. Your have completely awed me with your words. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful soul like yourself in my life, and I cannot believe the affect I have had within your amazing life. Know that I a, inspired by the love and respect you exude and I am lucky to have had you in my life!

    2. The universe is perfect and love is the most powerful force in it. Always know that it was meant to be! The way you live your life shows others the resilency, determination and self respect that you model. When those around you see it, they want it. Do everything in love and you can't go wrong. It doesn't matter if the love you send out is reciprocated by an individual, it is our collective love that gives power to the universe; and that in turn, changes lives. I was 47 when that day happened, no one is too old to learn from you. Always know that you are a loving woman and as long as you remember that, you are very powerful and influential in this world. The world changes because of people like you, sometimes change is a longer journey than we like.
      The last 4 years have changed me dramatically and I'm not done at 51! Your openness and honesty are the tools that will enhance your journey and serve you well in spite of the outside pressures. There are so many obstacles and pressures in this world, especially for young women. I couldn't imagine how that makes young women feel. You've shined your light and experience and that helps me, not only in my personal life, but to further my understanding of my daughter's struggles as a young mother of three. While I can support her as an experienced mother and reinforce her efforts, give her advice, etc. I don't always know how to help her with her own self esteem and confidence as a young woman of 26.
      We label people for the silliest reasons, making it easier on society to put us in categories. You have shown me through this post that while we may be "excelling" in our public category as a student, wife, mother, sister, or daughter; we forget sometimes that we need to support that person for who she is! We are not defined by our status, we are defined and refined by our experiences and how we choose to deal with them. You, my blessing, are choosing health and are fighting for you! In turn, others will follow your example! I love you, I'm so thankful for you and I will always be one of your biggest cheerleaders!