Saturday, December 17, 2011


If I stand all alone, will the shadow hide the color of my heart;
Blue for the tears, black for the nights fears...
The star in the sky don't mean nothin' to you, they're a mirror.
I don't want to talk about it, how you broke my heart.
If I stay here just a little bit longer,
If I stay here, wont you listen to my heart, whoa, heart? 
I don't want to talk about it, how you broke this ol' heart.
(Danny Whitten)


I am known for being talkative. I am known for being a wordy writer. I am known for always have something to say - always having a story to tell. I am known for telling people that it is okay for them to ask me personal questions. Ninety-nine percent of the time I give an answer, with plenty of detail at that.

Taking all of those things into consideration, I find my current situation uncomfortable because I just don't want to talk about it. I cannot even remember the last time I did not want to talk about something.

I know that God has asked me to write about my life for His glory, but tonight I just do not want to. I've been sitting here for hours trying to find reasons that I should be allowed to tell Him "no". It is now the wee hours of the morning and all I can think of is that I just do not want to write about things that are so raw and fresh. I do not want to admit that people have hurt me and I certainly do not want to admit that my emotional and mental responses to those hurts have been sick, sad, and dangerous to my well-being.

What to do... what to do... I suppose I had better not try to put lipstick on this pig before I shove it out into the spotlight. The lipstick never seems to help anyway.

When I was quite young, the "You are what you eat" public service announcements were all over the place. Without knowing that my mind was willing to lie to me, I "figured out" that if I ate the same foods my family ate, I would become like them. There were scary and hurtful things going on in my life that made becoming like "them" a very bad idea. "They" ate fairly healthy food, so this little idea left me with only junk to survive on. Brilliant, isn't it?

I was also very cognizant of money being a big issue in our family. Huge. Once more, my lying mind had "figured out" that since I had already been "given away" once (adoption at birth), I could possibly be given away again. I had been told that my birthmother relinquished me because she could not afford to take care of me. Also, my father was on the Board of Directors of a children's home, so I knew there was some place to send me. I needed to make sure that I did not cost my family too much money or I would be sent away. What costly thing was I willing to give up? Toys, clothes, or bubble gum? No. I was willing to give up food. More brilliance.

There are hundreds of other tiny details that went into my mind getting completely twisted up where food was concerned. My paternal biological cousin almost died from Anorexia, so maybe this type of thing just runs in the family. Who knows what started it all? What I know for sure is that it is real. My mind is well and truly warped where food is concerned. 

In 1999, I sought out treatment for major depression. After an assessment, I was told that I really was dealing with an eating disorder. How was that possible? I knew the major signs of Anorexia and Bulimia. Oprah and every other talk-show host had done a show on eating disorders and I did not fit the criteria they talked about. Actually, I had just enough information to harm myself. I sort of made up my own eating disorder. It is so personalized that the psychiatric community does not even have a name for it. So I got lumped into a category called Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, or EDNOS. Not very exciting or exotic sounding, is it? 

When I was diagnosed with EDNOS, I berated myself for not even being able to get an eating disorder right. What a failure. Was I even worth the attention they gave me at treatment? There were so many other women there who were much sicker than I was. 

That was twelve years ago. Things got much better in a relative sense but I cannot say that I ever became a truly healthy eater. 

Fast forward several years. I had spent a good part of 2010 being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD - a good friend of eating disorders). I was gaining a tiny bit of equilibrium about the time Mama got sick. Six weeks later she died and my life was plunged into chaos. My eating patterns slowly but surely got more and more messed up. In the past month all kinds of old, old family patterns have come into play and I have just kept falling deeper and deeper into an emotional black hole.

What all of this means in a practical sense is that I have not had a full meal in over a month. Nobody can tell, though, because I am on several medications that make me gain and retain weight. It also means that without proper nutrition, my brain has stopped making much sense. I'm not sure how I have been able to fake it for so long, but the faking it has come to an end now. In my graceless and unprofound way, I am telling the secrets for the whole world to know. 

Will posting this information in public help somebody who has convinced her/himself that she/he does not having an eating disorder because it is not a "classic" case? Maybe. Maybe not. I probably will never know. What I do know is that God wanted me to lay this out here and I am begrudgingly doing so.

My nine (maybe 10 now?) loyal readers are probably wondering if I have a plan to deal with this mind-warping illness. The answer is yes. After much wrangling, finagling, and almost-violent arm-twisting about financial arrangements (hello, more life-long debt), I have been accepted to an eating disorder clinic here in the Austin area.  The program is called "partial hospital" because I will be at the clinic for 10 hours per day, but I will not stay there overnight. Over the following weeks, if I progress nicely, I will be able to "step down" to six-hour sessions and then four-hour sessions. Hopefully this will go quickly or I will run out of leave time and end up without income for the duration.

I am assuming that I might start eating again. AFTER I have beat myself up at failing once more. God and I will probably have a long talk about how He has forced me to live in a body that needs food. He will probably win that debate (not for lack of my trying). People who love me will probably tell me all types of supportive and sensible things. Presumably, I will get better and maybe even be glad for it. 

Right now, though, over twelve-hundred words later, I don't want to talk about my broken heart and my nameless eating disorder. 



  1. Oh, Carolyn, I relate to a lot of what you have said; although, I don't want to trivialize any of your story in saying that. I just want you to know that I empathize, and I will be praying for you!


  2. That's strange. Where did my comment from early this morning go?!

  3. @Juanita, I would never think you were trivializing my story. You have been a consistent source of support. Thank you for your prayers.

    @Chrispy, I have no idea where your comment went. I can promise that I did not eat it. ;)

  4. I'm praying that you begin to see yourself as He sees you, worthy and valuable of the nutrients that He has given for you. I'm praying that the bond between food intake and your family and emotions would be severed. I'm praying for wholeness.

  5. You have two friends in Arkansas who are praying for you & love you so much!

  6. Ok, here is my 2nd attempt at a comment.

    You are so brave for sharing this and will be in my thoughts and prayers. xoxoxo

  7. My dear sweet alter-ego.... i love you and read the pain in your words. It brings joy to know that you are obedient to God by writing your story. I don't have an witty words, but I do literally hurt for you. You are not alone (ever, God is always with us), you have friends that love you and want to help. We are praying for you. We pray for your physical and emotional and spiritual self... I pray for your body and your brain to crave health. I pray that your past experiences and defenses do not have a stronghold on you, but that you are able to leave those in the past as well. I pray that as you read God's Word, that HE reveals to you how beautiful and cherished you really are and that you are worthy of love & health & happiness. YOU have God on your side, you have friends by your's time that YOU join your team. I love you beyond words and i pray for you daily... Hugs, sweet friend...


Thank you for joining me here.

Moral support, prayers, and witty comments always appreciated.