Posted in Eating Disorder

Magical and Amazing!

So I know I’m knocking on wood, but since I sent that email, “I’m done”, Michelle has been… better?

So this is what has been happening so far.  Since I sent that email, I went home from work with the determination that I was going back to how I was before ED became a part of our life and I felt… well…

It was like a huge pressure was lifted off of me as I didn’t feel like I needed to go home and help her eat appropriately, chide her if she missed a meal, be disappointed when she lost one more pound, argue about the example she’s setting for our kids, etc., etc. and that was a huge burden off my back that I didn’t even realize I was carrying.

release

That guy isn’t me.  I hated feeling like I had to parent my own wife… and I really think that’s how our relationship gradually became over the last year or so.

So that email was sent on Friday, January 13th.  That weekend took some time for me to adjust my mentality and for her to accept that I was not her enforcer/parent/therapist any more.  To an extent I think she also felt less pressure and didn’t have to worry about me being disappointed (at least visibly) with her decisions.

By the time Monday, the 16th rolled around, something weird happened… we were both… happy??  Not that we were unhappy before… it was just different.  Like we were on the same team again… whereas before it felt like I was the coach and she was the team.  For lack of a better analogy.

She knows that I’ll love her no matter what, but I think over the past year especially, she maybe didn’t see that as much as she should have.  It got me thinking that she’s probably been regressing so badly because… I wasn’t happy being her… enforcer.

Now here’s the magical part.  My birthday was last week.  My wife took me out to lunch and we both had a large gourmet burger.  She didn’t eat anything else, but I was proud that she ate that, but true to my word, I didn’t say a thing about it.

Later that night our entire family went to a Japanese bistro… and she ate her two sushi rolls, which is what she usually eats when we go out and sushi is available.

Here’s the magical part. She didn’t refuse to eat… heck, she didn’t even hesitate or appear guilty in doing so.  Just the week or two before at the Indian restaurant she refused to eat dinner at all, because of the half a burrito she ate for lunch!

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I was baffled… then I had an epiphany.  My attitude actually affects her?!  I had always thought it was the other way around.  When she’s happy, I’m happy.  That’s still the case, but I didn’t realize that when I’m happy, it affected her so much.

I know, I know, I’m an idiot “guy”… but I honestly didn’t think that I affected her mood/attitude as much as I do.  Of course, maybe I’m reading too much into this and she’s doing this because it’s a nice change to how things have been.

Here’s the amazing part.  Last Sunday, she was modeling some clothes she purchased at a thrift store.  One was a very form-fitting skirt/dress.  She knew it was, but showed it off anyway.  Staying true to my new mantra, I just nodded my head and didn’t say a word.

She then said, “Although I should probably take this back right?  Since you want me to gain some weight and my thighs are where the weight goes first.”  She looked at me questioningly.

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I just looked at her like a deer in headlights.  I tensed all up fearing that the good week had come to an end and all I said was, “Then you should probably take it back.”  She nodded and said she’ll take it back.

Without a further word, she took it off, crawled on the couch and cuddled up with me and we watched some of our favorite sitcoms where we BOTH laughed.  She seemed like herself… like she acted the couple of months after she came back from the Center in 2015.

I haven’t seen the skirt/dress since.

Now before this email I sent on the 13th, that question/comment, “Although I should probably take this back right?  Since you want me to gain weight and my thighs are where the weight first goes.” would have probably solicited a response like so:

“Babe, you will always look beautiful.  Stop living in the world of black and white.  You will not get fat if you eat a little more than you are now.  The Center showed you how much you should eat and you never became fat when you came home from the Center”.

Of course if you read some of my past entries… she thought she was fat then… which is ludicrous, but she can’t see that.

So, what does her asking me that mean? Does that mean she’s actually going to make some changes?  Or was she just waiting for me to say, “Nah, go ahead and keep it, you’ll be fine.”… which if I did she probably would have used it for an argument or most likely use it as fodder that I do prefer her as skinny as she is, which I definitely do not.

I then found out that she had her blood work done and EKG this past week, which I’ve been asking her to do for a while.  She hasn’t shared the results with me and I haven’t asked, but she did it.  Amazing!

I’m not sure, but I’m hoping and praying that this new tactic will work.  She knows what she should do and she knows where I stand, but she also knows that I have her back no matter what happens.  I’ve come out of the enforcer/therapist/parent role and become solely her supporting husband.

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She still asks me if what she’s eating is enough and I still answer her, which is 100% never enough, but at least she still asks and I will always help if she asks.

This makes me happy and it’s so nice to come home and give a big kiss to my sweetheart and have her kiss me back.  A real kiss, an “I’m in love with you.” kiss, which has been a while… probably since she stopped seeing a therapist last year, but I’m sure that’s an exaggeration.

Life is funny…  I don’t know if I’ll ever understand it, but I’m letting the good times roll while they last.  I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll continue recovering and I’ll continue to support silently and stoically.  It’s working thus far, let’s hope it keeps on going.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Posted in Emails to my wife

“I’m done!” email

Below is the email I eluded to in the “I’m back!” blog.

I’m done trying any more.  I feel horrible trying to help and correct you and then get yelled at for not understanding or for being “wrong”.  So, I’m done.  I’m going to let things go from here on out, because the relationship we have now where I’m your “Dad” making sure you are eating properly isn’t working.  Staying on this path, it will only be a matter of time before you end up in the hospital and maybe then you’ll wake up and decide to recover for yourself, but who knows.  I’m hoping and praying that when you do faint from lack of energy that it’s not driving with our kids in the car.  Your therapist said that I should always be the helpmate, I need to be the safe-zone… and since you stopped seeing a therapist, my role has gradually changed to be the enforcer again.  I am the enemy and not your help-mate.  So congratulations ED, you are winning.

We both know that I’m a big believer in putting myself in someone else’s shoes which is what I tell our kids all the time.

big-shoes

Just think how you would act if one of your daughters were doing exactly what you are doing right now.  Which wouldn’t be a stretch with the “Do as I say, but not as a I do” mantra.  Pretend your daughter, Lois is doing exactly what you are doing.  Would you accept it? Would you be happy with it?  Would you support it?

My worry for you has gotten so bad that I’ve been getting stomach cramps for the past week or two (periodically more than a year, but much worse the last week or two).  Something I have avoided telling you since I knew it was going to turn into another argument.  This morning was excruciatingly painful, which is why I’m sending this email.  I’m done.  I’m done being the enemy; I don’t want to be yelled at for being the only person you are close to who seems to want you to beat ED, including yourself… besides maybe your Mom.  I was furious with your family when no one said a word while everyone ate last night and you had an empty plate… so yet again, I had to be the enemy and convince you to eat.

I think I feel this huge obligation that I need to try and “fix” this so your family doesn’t look down on me, our friends don’t look down on me, so my family won’t look down on me, so you don’t look down on me (probably in the next life), because if anything happens, guess who they are going to blame… you, but also me, because that’s what I would do if I read about this in the newspaper.  “Woman hospitalized from malnutrition…”  When you go into the hospital, I’m sure I’ll look at everyone around me with the questions in their eyes, “Why doesn’t he love her enough, why didn’t he do something about it, why didn’t he see this coming? And on, and on…”

So I’ll just have to brave through those thoughts and try to ignore them.  So I’m done.  I will not bring it up anymore.  I will not try to enforce anything anymore. I will be happy from here on out and live in ignorance, as it’s bliss.

Let me be clear, if you ask for my help, I will always give it, but I will not look for ways to help you anymore if you don’t ask.  Other than this whole thing, I think our marriage can be very happy.  You are my everything and I will continue to treat you as such.  I will do anything you ask of me, regardless of what it is and I always will.

You are my sun and my world revolves around you.  Please forgive me how I’ve been treating you as I hate treating the person I love the most like I have been.  I don’t like being cold towards you in hopes that THAT will spark change… when I know deep down that it never has or will.

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I love you, I love you, I love you.  I can never say that enough.  When I look at you, I will always see the person that knelt across from me on the altar shining me that beautiful smile whispering, “I love you” while looking at me with adoring eyes.  That is the Michelle I will fight until my dying breath and beyond for.  I promised you then, and I promise you now;  I will always be here for you.

Posted in Eating Disorder

I’m back!

So I haven’t written on my blog for a very long time.  Why?  Because my wife, Michelle, came across my blog and started following it.  So I felt like I could never write what I wanted to.  However, a month or so ago, I made sure to unfollow my account from her phone and since it’s been so long since I’ve written, she’ll have no idea I started writing again; especially since she doesn’t do anything on WordPress anymore.

So you may ask, how’s your wife doing?

question

The answer is:  horrible.  ED has never had more control.  She refuses to see a therapist or dietitian.  She thinks everything is just fine because she is still having her monthly period, even though it’s extremely light and gets lighter every month.

Her weight is lighter than she has ever been (105 pounds at 5’6”).  She doesn’t have pink toes yet, which she had before going into the center in 2015 indicating poor circulation.  Of course she only focuses on those things and chooses to deny the other symptoms, like constant headaches, no energy, irritability and quick to anger.

I’ve tried so many different things over the years to try and get her back on track and sometimes it would work for a few days, but ultimately fail and become worse.  SO many things.

So this past Wednesday was the last straw (of course I’m sure there will be many more last straws).

last-straw

Wednesday we went out to eat at an Indian restaurant in celebration of her niece’s birthday.  Before going in Michelle said she wasn’t going to eat anything since she had a “Big” lunch.

The “Big” lunch?  We went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch and she had half of a large burrito.  An adequate sized lunch to be precise.  She ate the minimum of what she should eat (a main and two sides worth).  Anyway, that’s not how she saw it as it wasn’t a salad or something else with hardly any calories I’m sure.

I also knew she skipped breakfast that morning.  Since she skipped breakfast, I told her she CAN’T miss another meal.  That had no effect.  Her plate sat empty for the first few minutes after our food came.  NO ONE from her family said anything and just talked, ate and laughed, which just plain pisses me off that it seems like I’m the only one who cares as they all know she has an eating disorder.

pleading

So I told her many things urging her to eat and that she can’t skip two meals in a day and I finally said, “Why are you doing this to me?!” which seemed to trigger something.  After I said that she turned and looked at me with full hatred in her eyes and dished herself some food.  Not a full meal, just a main and a side, but she ate.  Later after the kids were down for bed, she asked what I meant by saying that, because she thinks what she’s doing has nothing to do with me.

Seriously… how can she not see that it affects everyone around her… but this is an age old way of thinking for her by now.  ED is pure selfishness.

That being said, I found out something new.  She said that missing breakfast that morning didn’t mean anything since she hasn’t eaten breakfast for around a month now………  I couldn’t believe hearing this.  It felt like a knife stab in my back.

stabbed-in-back

I’ve finally come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no improvement any more, only decline.  She’s not trying at all anymore… so why should I?  Her going to the hospital will be the only thing that opens her eyes I think.  She’s already told the kids, “Do as I say, not as I do.” which is a philosophy that has never worked, but it shows that the kids and I have no effect in making her change.

hypocrisy

So I’m going to choose to live in ignorance like the rest of her friends and family who deeply “care” for her.  I’ll continue to support and help if she asks, but I will not go out of my way to tell her that she’s under eating.

I am so invested in this whole thing that I know I became the enforcer and the “enemy”, especially after she stopped seeing a therapist, because I then became the only person trying to talk sense… besides maybe her Mom.  She’s the only other person who seems concerned for her; probably because she’s bulimic and still struggles with it herself.

I can’t tell you the countless arguments and discussions we’ve had that always ends up with her not talking to me and giving me the “wall”… but I always kept trying.

Well, it’s now been two years of doing this and I’ve hit a breaking point.  I’m done.  I sent her an email yesterday saying as such along with much more.

breaking-point

Almost every argument where I seem to start to win, she says, “Fine, I’ll just get fat like you want me to.” and storms off without saying another word.  That day and maybe the next will be good, but thereafter is no improvement at all.

At times I tell her, “Yes, I want you to get fat.”  Especially after she explained to me that “fat” to her is a picture we took after she came home from the center in the fall of 2015; a picture where she looks absolutely gorgeous!  It’s actually my favorite picture of her. She only sees fat… This distorted image just floors me and I know my mind could never understand that and I realize that.

The picture is below.  She is at the low end of average weight for her height there.  I believe around this time she found that she was 126 or so.  The very low end.  Look how beautiful she is!!!  Why does ED make her see it otherwise?!

cropped-picture-of-us

Anyway, after I sent her the email yesterday afternoon while at work and getting home afterwards, she was quiet, but we didn’t talk about ED.  We went to bed without incident or much affection other than a weak hand holding.  However this morning she said, “I love you”, when I leaned down to kiss her good-bye (kids are off school today so she could sleep in), which is a huge improvement for how mornings go.

Typically when I leave to work I look at her and see her lost in her thoughts and I tell her I love her and give her a kiss and leave.  As I walk out, I get a half-hearted, I love you back with a distant look, which tells me that she’s not even thinking about me.

This is typically the case with ED.  A better part of the last couple of years and more, whenever anyone showed affection, I usually had to instigate it as she’d constantly be lost in her thoughts.  I come second to those thoughts.  The affair with ED is real and she doesn’t see it.

She hates it when I relate it to an affair when we “talk”.  She thinks it’s dumb as it’s not a physical person.  I tell her it’s the same, because it’s like you are thinking of someone else all the time, just like she would if she was having an actual affair.  I don’t get her full attention, like I usually give her.

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So this morning was an improvement in that at least.  I’ll post the email I sent in a few days.

So, here we are.  I wanted to help (still do), but the more I did, the more she pushed away and the more we grew apart it seemed.  So I’m riding the ignorance wave.  It may, no WILL, end up with her into the beach, err.. hospital, which I’m not looking forward to, but it was heading there anyway and I was not stopping that.  I was just making the road more painful and destroying our relationship in the process.

I know I paint a doom and gloom picture, which is just the mood I’m in now I’m sure.  Overall our marriage is still somewhat happy.  As long as food isn’t involved, we still hold hands everywhere we go.  We still cuddle or hold hands most of the time while watching TV together, I still make romantic gestures at every possible chance I get like buying flowers for no reason, or doing the laundry on my day off… heck, I even still open her door for her on the weekly dates I take her on.   I wish she initiated some of the romance and affection between us, but I’ve accepted that’s how our relationship is… at least for now.

My heart is always full of hope, because I remember how things were and hold on to the hope that’s how they’ll be again.

So hopefully I’ll write more on this blog in the future, I’m sure no one, but maybe a handful of people will even read this, but I don’t really care.  This is more therapeutic for me than anything.

Posted in Eating Disorder, Emails

ED #2

So I was thinking on the train as I often do, about you and this eating disorder.  I’m worried that you are going to take that EKG that came back fine yesterday as a sign that you are doing fine and that you can continue to restrict, which will inevitably lead back to the point where things are much worse.

This also got me thinking about what we talked about over the weekend and other times about how you don’t trust yourself, because you have proof that you’ve put more and more in the bowl of coco dynobites, etc.  I just want to tell you that you don’t give yourself enough credit.    You can rein yourself in if it goes too far.  You have PROOF that you can, because you did it WITH the coco dynobites.  You did.  No one else told you to stop eating them, you made that choice.  You have more control than you think.

I am INCREDIBLY worried about the restricting as it seems that’s a daily occurrence now and not every few days anymore.  The more you restrict, the less gas is in your tank and the less gas you have to deal with every day challenges.  Soon, the intense anger returns because the jealousy that everybody else can eat whatever they want, but you can’t, also gets stronger.   Your husband and others then start to become the enemy, because we don’t listen to ED.  I understand this.  I would get extremely upset if I looked around me and saw that everyone can just eat what they want and I had some entity in my head restricting me from just enjoying food.  That is hell to me.  That is exactly how Satan wants us to think.  He wants to confine and restrict your choices; take away your freedom of choice AND probably more importantly, take away the trust in yourself that comes with that.  He wants you to believe that you are too weak to make the right choices.

Anyway I’m just saying that you are way stronger than ED lets you believe you are.  I won’t say any more than that, just wanted to make sure I let you know that I KNOW you can do whatever you put your mind to.  You’ve proven it over and over again, despite any challenges that have come up.  Don’t let ED let you think that you will become 300 or even 170 pounds just because you eat what the Center has asked you to, which is adequate and still under what most people eat.

I love you more than life itself.  My ultimate goal is to make sure you are happy.  That’s why this eating disorder absolutely kills me, because I have no control.  I support, have patience, and just love.  I’ve determined that’s probably the best way I can help.  I will always love you. The definition of shallow is loving someone strictly by looks.  You say I’m not shallow, but then you say that you need to be skinny for me.  That’s kind of a contradiction.  😉  Anyway, my point is what I’ve told you before.  I’ve loved you at every stage of your life the same as I do now.  I’ve been happy with you at every stage of your life as well, more so when the eating disorder wasn’t around.  I swear upon my Mom’s grave, that I will ALWAYS love you no matter what or how you look!  It’s Michelle that I love and in love with AND whom I’m attracted to.  Michelle.  Not skinny Michelle, not fat Michelle, not average Michelle… just MICHELLE.  You are my world that my life revolves around and as long as I see that gorgeous smile of yours that makes the sun dance, my world will keep spinning.

-Love your hubband

Sent May 10, 2016

 

Posted in Eating Disorder, Emails

ED

You’re not a disappointment, I just get frustrated when you let ED have a complete affair with you and is in control. He shades your view from seeing that things were ever good without him. I can talk until my face turns blue to change that view, but with ED in control I’ve learned it falls on deaf ears. Does that mean I’m disappointed with you? No. I’m in love with you and I’m just super frustrated when ED takes you away from me. I’m angry at why my most precious wife has to suffer through all that you do.

Your weight right now is basically what it was when you went into the Center so your argument that it’s not good when you are on or off of ED doesn’t hold water. You have no reserve of energy to fall back on right now. The more ED is in control, the more you push me and the kids away. Your thoughts are his, we come second and when we disturb those thoughts, things like what happened this morning happen. Your outbursts this morning wasn’t because you didn’t have your wall up, it’s because ED had your thoughts and you didn’t want to deal with anything else. So when other events get in ED’s way, this morning is what happens. Walling up solves absolutely nothing as it only walls up the good, not the bad. The events this morning would have happened regardless if the wall was up or not… In fact I believe the wall enhances it as things just build up inside it.

That being said, I want you to go in because YOU want to, because you think we’re worth it, the kids are worth it, our marriage is worth it. The main reason you went into the Center last year was for us and the kids… This time the main reason needs to be for you. You need to put on the oxygen mask before thinking of helping any of us. We will make things work out here. I’ve seen how happy you can be without ED, you can be that happy again.

I love you. I love our potential. I love how much we can love each other. I love it when we are affectionate towards one another. I love holding hands with you, your laugh when I say something stupid, but you luckily think I’m funny. I love you staring at me with love in your eyes. Above all else I love that smile that makes the sun dance. All those things are what keep me going; to keep fighting for us. Your wall that you think is safe takes away every one of those things I hold most dear in our relationship. Do you see why I hate the wall? When you mentioned you were going into your wall today, my stomach tightened and in a way I went into my own little wall. I hate doing that and I’m sorry how I acted so far today.

I love you.

Sent April 30, 2016

Posted in Eating Disorder, Emails, My wife

Response to Jamie

Below is an email that my wife had me type up to send to a friend of hers.  This friend wanted Michelle to get involved with her workout routines, eating, etc.  

I was going to send this to you yesterday and spaced it.  So here is your response for Jamie, I’m sure you’ll have a lot to change.  I’m writing from my perspective, so I’m sure I have a lot wrong.

Hi Jamie.  Sorry it has taken so long on getting back to you on this.  I’ve been warring within myself to let you know the real reason why I can’t do this.  Instead of skirting the issue every time you ask me to do something with you, I guess I’ll tell you what’s going on.  I’m anorexic.  Not only that, but an anorexic with diagnosed OCD.  To help with this, I went through a program at a place called “Center for Change” in Provo over the summer that took me away from my family in hopes to help myself, my mentality, which would make it so I was more present with my family going forward and just be happy with them and myself despite what I look like.  I’m not cured by any means and it’s a struggle each day, but recovery from eating disorders usually takes around 7 years on average.  I have good days and bad days, but my family is worth all of it and I won’t give up fighting.  I can’t get involved with things like you want me to, because working out is also part of the eating disorder.  I absolutely hate working out, but the eating disorder compels me to do it almost every day regardless.  I may have changed the type of workout so it’s not quite so hard on my body, but I still feel completely obsessed with doing it.  Before I went into the center over the summer, I lived and breathed diet and exercise where it took priority over everything, from my family to my own self.  Nothing could break me away from my routine and if anything did I was extremely upset and would take it out on my husband and kids, a huge indicator of an eating disorder of some kind.  Every time my weight dropped one more pound that was my new goal weight to maintain.  I dropped to around 103 pounds at my lightest.  Looking at pictures now I may not have looked like a full-on skeleton like you envision someone with anorexia, but I definitely lost all of my curves with bone showing here and there.  By spring of last year, I knew I went too far with it and my marriage and family were in jeopardy.  So after seeing a local therapist for almost a year at that point, I decided to do something about it and get my life in order so I wouldn’t lose my family; more importantly as to not lose myself; so my husband would have a wife and my kids would have a Mom and more importantly, to become truly happy with myself.

2012 was when it started to go from somewhat bad to worse and progressively so after gradually cutting out carbs completely.  I lost interest in what truly made me happy.  I would look for the little compliments that people gave me on how skinny or good I looked and let that feed my drive to keep going.  Only Mason could really see the cost associated with doing that.  I’ve always had a low sex drive, but during this period it became a negative sex drive, I was never happy and often depressed, I lived each day the same and lost focus of the eternal perspective and being with my family forever.  Instead I focused on what others thought and saw today and wanted to please them leaving my family and my overall well-being by the wayside.  One of my big battles is my fault of comparing myself to others ALL the time.  I see Facebook posts and how “perfect” some women’s lives seem to be and I wonder why I can’t be that way.  I see your posts of working out and I wonder why I can’t enjoy it like you.  I get super frustrated and I end up releasing some of that frustration by yelling and screaming at the kids and my husband or squashing it down into what my husband dubs “the wall” and I clam up as I don’t want to release it on them, although that just makes it gradually build until I literally explode and tell my husband to take the kids and run, so that’s not healthy either.   When ED (Eating Disorder) is in control and my guilty thoughts are focused on how I ate too much of something or it wasn’t measured out, I often feel like I’m not good enough for them and feel like I should push them away because in a warped sense I think they’d be better off without me, despite my husbands’ claim that their lives would be so much worse.  This is how ED makes me feel; that I can only rely on myself and it.

I don’t think the seriousness of it all really hit me until I found out that the eating disorder gave me a heart condition, at least temporarily.  When I went to the Center they found that my EKG’s were not normal and my blood pressure was really low.  Symptoms that show up when your body is not receiving the nutrients it needs to keep up with your activity.  They kept me over night at the Center for 3 weeks straight until it started to regulate again.  My husband and family were so incredibly worried about me.  Mason tried his hardest to put on a brave face to the kids each day while I was gone even though I could see how much he hated not being with me.  I know I still worry him each day when I don’t follow through with what the Center wants me to accomplish.  I’m not giving up though.  I can’t.  He’s not giving up and neither are my kids or my family, so I can’t give up either.  I know he loves me and I absolutely love him.  Each day is a battle and I hope to one day stop measuring the food I eat at every meal, to stop worrying about what I eat period, but being a woman, I’m sure you understand how hard that concept is to swallow.

At the Center we learned many things.  The United States as a whole is obviously in need for a better diet and/or exercise… however the industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry and focus has become more on the fads of diets as new types come out every day and obviously the money with extremely low positive results as a whole.  The Center has taught me all about “mindful” eating.  Listening to your body and what it wants to eat. We should be eating with balance, variety and moderation. I have also been learning that there are no “bad” foods as long as you follow balance, variety and moderation. I have learned that our bodies are flexible. That biologically our bodies are meant to look a certain way and weigh a certain amount depending on our age. Our bodies are smart and will do everything in its power to be where it wants and was meant to be. Hence why diets don’t work and the diet industry is busting at the seams. Consumers keep going back to dieting to lose the weight that their bodies gain back…the certain weight the body wants and needs for its survival. I have learned that instead of dieting I should follow balance, variety and moderation and that will keep me at the weight my body wants to be at or what is called the bodies “set point”. Our bodies know what it needs and wants and we need to listen to our bodies instead of forcing it to be a different way than it wants to be. No more worrying about our weight or dieting, no restricting, no binging because there is no depriving of certain foods. The body will maintain that “set point”… and that includes eating a dessert in place of one of my sides at every meal. There is a whole science that revolves around our bodies “set point” and balance, variety and moderation that I could go on and on about. When we mess with the “set point” we mess with the body and mind and that leads into a downward spiral into a black abyss that I was drenched in for years.

I have also been learning to not compare myself to others.  They did a study in Micronesia where the people were very happy and eating disorders were basically non-existent.  American television was introduced in the 70’s or 80’s.  A year or two later eating disorders were popping up everywhere.  Many of the girls wanted to look like the people on their favorite TV shows.  Many of the people there were blessed with bodies that simply weren’t made to look like those stars.  So the Center really tries to focus on accepting who we are and how Heavenly Father made us.  Not to go out and eat everything in site, but like the Word of Wisdom, to have moderation in all things.  Extremes can go both ways.  I try to skim past Facebook posts that mention any kind of diet or working out as it eats at me whenever I do.  I’m trying to believe this whole concept of accepting and loving myself despite what I look like or how I eat, but it’s SOOOO hard.

Thanks again and we would still like to do something with you and your husband whenever you’d like!

Sent April 7, 2016

Posted in Emails

Just Letting you know…

…that I’m thinking of you.  I love you so much.  I know I say it all the time and it has probably lost all meaning, which is why I like to show you how much I love you at times… but even that seems to have lost significance at times.  I really wish you could see how I see you through my eyes.  You are so incredible, so beautiful, so wonderful, and you have the potential to break free from ED and love life and be adored by hundreds more on top of the hundreds that already do.  You are amazing and I love that you married me.

Thank you so much with how you are handling ED since we went to the Vietnamese place.  I know I made you cry in public and I do feel horrible about that, but I really wanted to hammer down that wall that was slowly going back up.  I know you are trying to protect me and the kids when you build up that wall, but I hope that we’ve proven over and over that the wall doesn’t help in any way, it only hinders and makes things worse.  I know when you have the wall built up you can’t see that and vehemently deny that things are better when it’s down… but when it goes down, things are better.  Yeah, it makes you more vulnerable, but it makes it so you are in touch with your feelings, your daughters’ feelings, and my feelings.  You hold my hand, we cuddle in bed at night before we fall asleep, we cuddle in the morning before we decide to face the day, you are more loving to me and in turn I’m more loving to you when that wall is down.

I know ED is a huge struggle right now and I know you are fighting so hard, especially with the whole measuring thing last night, but you are not letting that drive how you treat me or the kids… at least for now.  I’m sure we’ll keep going on the rollercoaster and there will be ups and downs, but I want to send this email of how things are right now.  You make me happy.  You make the kids happy.  Even when you think you don’t, you do.  When we look at you, we only see the Michelle who makes us smile.  Even when you are in your wall and we don’t see that Michelle at that time, that’s what we see when we look at you anyway.

You are a wonderful wife, a wonderful Mommy, and a wonderful person.  You’re a person that so many others gravitate towards.  You have an inner light that is so brilliant that it draws others.  When you let that inner light out through that gorgeous smile and beautiful face, it makes me melt and become putty in your arms.  Thank you so much for picking me and waiting around for me to wake up.

I love you.

Sent April 1, 2016

Posted in Emails

2:22

I love you.
I love you more than the color blue.
I love you more than Vindaloo.
I love you more than Charleston chew.
I love you more than baby ewes.
I love you more than my new shoes.
I love you more than a PS4 that is new.
I love you more than a tropical view.
You and me honey… we’re like glue.

I love you.

Sent March 11, 2016

Posted in Emails

My Heart

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Last night when we were talking you mentioned how you are unhappy now and unhappy before.  I said that now is way better than before the Center, but you said that you struggled then as well, but ED is convincing you that you are just as unhappy now.

So here is the deal about happiness as I see it.  Life will never be sunshine and rainbows 100% of the time.  We’ll get glimpses, but that’s it.  The key to being able to handle the stresses and anxiety of everyday life and still maintain a happy outlook is much like the talk I read by Uchtdorf where he states that Faith is a Choice.  I say the same for Happiness.  Happiness is a choice.  I’m not saying that you wake up saying, I’m going to be happy today, although that (attitude) is part of it.  It’s so much more than that.  You choose many things that lead to you being happy and we choose to have faith that we can be.  We wake up saying we want to be happy that day and then try to make choices that make it happen.  A big one is getting the actual energy that our brain and body need to function and deal with the daily stresses.  To choose to beat ED that much more, even by a little and each day will get easier and easier… even if it takes years, but it will.  Not eating properly, limits the mind and much needed sugar/energy that our brain needs to function.  If I ate the way you did I know I would be screaming at everyone around me as I would constantly be thinking about how hungry I was, even though I’m telling myself “no, you ate enough” and that would make me even more angry, especially when I see everyone else eating and enjoying themselves around me.   Living life like that would make anyone depressed, upset, frustrated, and quick to anger.  ED is trying so hard to convince you that there is no change from before the center until now.  I can testify that there IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE!  I have proof, documented proof.  The times where you were the happiest?  When you were eating the way you know you should or at least mostly.

YOU are beautiful.  This has nothing to do with physical appearance,  YOU are beautiful.  Just like I know I am beautiful… I’m physically not that great to look at, but I know I am a beautiful person overall and that’s all that matters… mostly because you make me so.  So I try and choose to be happy knowing that you think I’m beautiful and that you love me for who I am.  A great lady once said, “…ED was slowly creating and cultivating me into an affair with him. He became my priority over my husband and my girls. He became a priority over any joy that I had in my life…  … [Now recovering] I am enjoying my girls and my husband and feeling that connection I have missed for the last couple of years. I have felt truly loved, supported and blessed and watched out for through it all…” –journal entry by you, Michelle – August 9th, 2015.

So here is proof that things are better than they were before the Center.  Please, please, PLEASE don’t let ED convince you that you didn’t really say or mean this.

Your incredible willpower that I used to see as a blessing has become a curse as it has fenced you in.  It’s no longer willpower, now it’s developed into a slavemaster.  ED has made your thinking mind a slave and you so want to be free.  The Center was a HUGE step in the right direction and they gave you tools and knowledge to help show you that the fence you have made and put yourself in, has a gate that is always open.  Since the center I think you have opened that gate and at times enjoyed life with all the other people who were outside enjoying life and the things that Heavenly Father have blessed us with.

However, you never lose sight of the gate and you long for the false sense of safety and security it provided.  There will always be times where you want to go back and close the gate and pretend that it’s safe in that fence and that is where you live or that is the place you “deserve” to live and you can be happy there… all the while feeling sad and jealous of those outside the fence who seem to enjoy life without any problems.  Thing is, we all have our own fences and gates.  To some it’s pornography, to others it’s binge eating, others it’s smoking/drinking, others it’s video games…  We convince ourselves that is where happiness is, it lets us forget life around us, but it’s not reality.  So almost everyone in the world have moments with brief ventures out where we really enjoy life and then there are times in the fence where we are miserable once again as we kick ourselves for failing once more and it takes a tremendous effort to go back to the gate and walk out again.  I KNOW this.  ED is an addiction like any other addiction in that aspect.

I love you so much.  You know I only want the very best for you Michelle and I know you can do this.  Never give up.  I will always be here for you and I will always be your number one fan!

Do you remember this?  Still holds true today!

You are beautiful.
You are smart.
You are funny.
You are kind.
You ARE unique.
You are worthy of love and affection by me and others.
You are never too much and you are always enough.
You ARE precious.
You are a diamond, a lily, a pearl.
You are the most stunning of all God’s creation.
You are worth more than you could ever imagine.
Worth so much more than the numbers on a scale.

You’re worth surpasses all earthly things, because in the eyes of our Heavenly Father you are deserving of love by me, your family, friends, and your Savior, because YOU are worth dying for.

Regardless of who you think you are…

Whether you love yourself and love your life or you can’t stand to look in the mirror and you feel as if everything in your life is falling apart.

Whether you are a winner or you feel like the world’s biggest failure.

Regardless of who you think you are…

The reality is you deserve someone who would give up their life for you

Because you ARE powerful

You are strong

You are capable

Like the women in the scriptures

Ruth, Esther, Martha, Mary, Abish…

who changed the world in their own right,

You have that same capability

Any voice in your mind that try and tell you differently is the enemy.

When you hear those voices, you say, “No, I am a daughter of Heavenly Father.  Cherished, loved, and adored above all things, by the creator of all things. I am awesome!”

And please…  Don’t you forget it.

You ARE worth fighting for.

I love you.

Sent December 11, 2015

Posted in Eating Disorder, My wife

Waiting for the Bomb to Drop…

Over the past few months, Michelle has really been struggling and has gradually been eliminating snacks and sides.  ED has been gaining traction since last Thanksgiving and has gradually been gaining control.  She stopped doing most if not all assignments given by her Therapist and Dietitian.  Over the last month or two she has told me that she wants to stop going altogether as it’s the same thing over and over and she refuses to eat more, or exercise less.

Struggle2

Last week her Dietitian basically gave her an ultimatum.  She said that she needs to come back in to the center and do an assessment that will determine if she needs to go in full-time again… at least for a while.  If Michelle refused doing that, then she told her that she wouldn’t be able to treat her anymore since she wasn’t doing anything she asked.

I told her that if she was going to go back in this time, to go back in for her and not for us.  She went in for us last year and it worked for a while, until getting to the point it is at today, which is better than it was before the Center, but is gradually getting worse.

So Michelle made a huge step last week.  She started her own blog and laid everything out that she was going through.  THEN she posted a link to said blog on her Facebook for ALL her friends and family to see.  Still floors me that she made this huge step forward!

The secrecy is now gone.  Secrecy and ED are best friends.  It looked like my wife was on track to going back in to the Center to get the help she needed to beat ED once and for all.

The same day she posted the blog last Friday, she also told me that if she went in that we would need to sell her new vehicle we purchased last March for her carpools, etc. Because of this and the blog, I thought she made the decision to go back in.

Hooray_For_Play_Time

Then it happened…

Last night she told me that she wasn’t going back in.  She had already cancelled all of her appointments.

I imagine the feeling I had after she said that as being like someone in a warzone looking at the enemy planes flying overhead and just waiting for one of those bombs to drop.  That feeling of apprehension and fear would be a good comparison to how I feel right now.

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The weird thing? She has been acting fairly and genuinely happy the last two weeks, although I can tell it’s a bit forced at times. After hearing her decision I wonder if the past couple of weeks have been on purpose as she wants to prove that she can “pull it off” if she puts in more effort on top of her exercise and current diet.

I feel extremely vulnerable right now and I’m waiting for things to build up once more to the point where things will be how they were before going into the Center last year.  Back to the Michelle who put the kids and I second.  Back to the Michelle who loved the number more than her loved ones.

Love the scale

Back to the Michelle that flew off the handle at any minor spark of provocation. Back to the Michelle who had no energy to deal with everyday life and being a full-time Mom and loving wife.

I hope and pray that will never happen and I will try my best to support her in her decision and help out where I can, but I feel like I’m just biding my time.  I don’t know of anyone that can be friends with ED, yet have a healthy relationship with yourself and your loved ones.

…I don’t think it is possible.

So I’m waiting for the bomb to drop… and when it does…

nuclear-bomb