Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

 

 Not my lightest, not my heaviest. Still beautiful.”

I took a deep breath, hit publish, and watched the most private part of my life enter cyberspace.

By that day in August, I had been blogging for two and a half years. I started during my gap year, before I entered college. My readers knew all about that year of my life – where I’d traveled, what I’d done, when I’d fallen in love – but they didn’t know one of the most crucial details. I had taken a gap year, in part, because I needed to recover from an eating disorder.

I had lived with OSFED – Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder – for three years in high school. Though OSFED is one of the least-discussed eating disorders, it is among the most common and the most deadly. In the easier times, it barely took up my thoughts. At worst, it consumed my days and my life. I took pleasure in the painful growling of my stomach, and secretly enjoyed seeing my hands tremble from lack of energy. When I caved in to the hunger and binged, I would become so angry that I’d deprive myself of food as punishment.

I began recovery in my senior year of high school, after finally realizing that my behaviors constituted an eating disorder. For months, I saw a doctor, a counselor, and a nutritionist. Taking a gap year became a part of my recovery process, and to my great surprise, blogging helped. It let me express myself in a healthy way after years of keeping my feelings to myself. Writing about my travels, my family, and my budding relationship helped me understand and appreciate who I was.

But as I blogged, my eating disorder stayed a secret. I was ashamed, most of all, of being “in recovery” as who I was; someone who was still 200 pounds and wore size 18 clothes.

After years of blogging and being in recovery, I realized that the shame I felt was something I could help stop. More than that, I wanted to share it. I was tired of hiding such a big part of myself from the world. So I wrote a blog post about my relationship with my body; how I had fallen into an eating disorder, and fought to overcome it. On that day in August, I hit publish, shared the post on Facebook, and shut my laptop.

I never expected the reactions I would get.

Within hours, I had received dozens of comments and emails, both from people I knew, and from complete strangers. Some said that my story helped them with their own diagnosis. One girl told me that my blog had encouraged her to call her therapist after she had been putting it off for months.

So I kept writing. I wrote about recovery, and how harrowing it can be. I wrote about counseling for people who might be considering it. And as my blog has grown, I have continued to receive emails from readers across the world saying that it helped them. Those emails have touched and changed my life more than my readers will ever know.

Writing about my eating disorder has helped me to redeem it. I am no longer ashamed of who I was, or how I struggled. Sharing my story with others – and in that process, trying to let them feel they are not alone – has helped me make peace with my past. In the process, my story of shame has become one of courage.

And for that, I am so grateful.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at https://herviewfromhome.com/contact-us/write-for-her//

When Mom Died, We Had Tea

In: Grief, Grown Children, Living
Table set as a tea party with framed picture of a woman, color photo

My mom was never, ever without a cup of Lipton’s tea. Like a dear friend, it held her hand, kept her warm, provided comfort. She boiled water in her navy-speckled kettle, then poured it into a cup and, completely ignoring the recommended four-minute steep instructions, immediately lifted it to her lips. It always mystified me how her mouth didn’t suffer third-degree burns. Mom’s penchant for thriftiness compelled her to use the same tea bag multiple times; only when it disintegrated and leaf particles floated to the surface did she accept defeat and reach for a fresh yellow packet. RELATED: Moments...

Keep Reading

My Mother Raised Me To Go On Without Her

In: Grief, Grown Children
Mother and grown daughter smiling in selfie

“The kids are spending the night at Grandma’s, and I’m eyeballs deep in Fritos while catching up on all my trash TV shows.” “I had to rush my son to urgent care, but thankfully my mom was able to stay with the three other kiddos while I took care of him.”  “I feel so lost when it comes to homeschooling; thankfully, my mom did it too, so she’s been an amazing guide to have.” To most people, these sentences might seem like wonderful, blessed bits of praise from a daughter about her mother, but to me, they’re like daggers straight...

Keep Reading

Dear Loss Mom, Grieve Your Baby In Heaven Without Guilt

In: Baby, Grief, Loss

My third baby was due on October 19, 2019. Instead, she was born into heaven on March 24, 2019. Not only do I grieve her more in October than in other months because of her due date, but I also grieve for so many other parents who have also lost their children.  RELATED: A Letter To My Mama From Your Baby In Heaven Pregnancy loss is such a strange journey to walk through. I’m years into it, and there are still days when the grief hits and the tears come and I can’t breathe. On other days, I am so...

Keep Reading

My Sister and I Return To Childhood To Grieve Our Mother

In: Grief
Two women, sitting on swings, color photo

“Grief is itself a medicine,” William Cowper. Everyone processes grief differently. The day after our mother’s death, my sister and I began our grief journey and took up swinging. Not that kind of swinging, Heaven forbid! No. What we chose instead was the weightless, transformational lightness of being that only a tried and true piece of playground equipment can supply.  That morning my sister and I waited rather anxiously for hospice (blessed hospice!) to pick up that wretched hospital bed. We wanted it gone, banished from our sight forever. When the truck carrying the bed and other supplies disappeared down...

Keep Reading

She Was Just a Dog…and So Much More

In: Grief, Living
Young woman in car with dog, same woman years later with dog, color photo

She was just a dog. One of my least favorite sayings is “it’s just a dog” when people comment on how much we love our pets—be it a dog, cat, lizard, chicken, hamster, etc. They’re not wrong . . . Harley was “just” a dog. One random spring morning I asked my mom if I could get a dog of my own. She was working and sick of the phone calls. She said I just had to ask dad. Well, we already had two dogs, so I didn’t have high hopes. Cue dad. He was just about to lie down to take...

Keep Reading

I Wish I Had the Chance to Be Friends with My Mom

In: Grief, Motherhood
Portrait shot of woman, color photo

Dear Mom, I never got the chance to appreciate you as a mother. There was so much life still to do. And not just the big milestones. I’m talking about the parts when daughters grow into mothers themselves and have the chance to appreciate their moms for everything they did for them. The chance to get to know their own mother as a person instead of just a parent. You left this earth soon after I became I mother myself. And now I sit here and think back on memories of you from when I was growing up. And, oh,...

Keep Reading

The Faith and Fear of Trying for a Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Pregnant woman sitting on living room floor

When we decided to start a family we dove in head first. After having been together for five years and married for a year, we were ready. It was September when we decided to give it a go. By mid-December, I took a test. My first positive pregnancy test. I had a life growing inside me! I’ll never forget my husband’s smile when I told him. We embraced and cried together. We couldn’t believe it could be this easy. The next few weeks consisted of a wave of pregnancy symptoms and before I knew it, we were going to the...

Keep Reading

Angel Babies are Heaven’s Gatekeepers

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Mother and baby silhouette

I never seemed to have the right words. I didn’t have the right words at four years old when my parents lost my 11-month-old brother, and I never seemed to have the right words as I watched family members and close friends lose both the new life growing within their wombs and the beautiful, precious life resting in their weary arms. So, I did what I thought would offer the most comfort. I simply tried to show up and be there the best I could. I shopped for their favorite treats. I dropped meals off on front porches and toys...

Keep Reading

I Should Be Picking You up from School Today

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman sad with eyes closed

I would have cried.  I see the line of cars in the school pick-up line, and my heart is hit with grief, love, and wistfulness all at the same time.  You, sweet boy, should be there, waiting for me to pick you up.   I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone over it in my mind. Your first day of preschool. I’ve thought about your outfit—little jeans and a hoodie with a ball cap. Would you be into superheroes? What backpack would you want? I would’ve taken you school shopping, picking out all the supplies you’d need. And...

Keep Reading

Secondary Infertility Took Me By Surprise

In: Baby, Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler by open door

Selfish. Unfair. Guilt stricken. Shameful. Those were just a few of the words that regularly stabbed my lamenting heart as I longed for a second child. Yes, I was grateful for my healthy, beautiful boy who made my dream of motherhood come true, but why did I not feel complete—was he not enough? Was I doing this motherhood thing all wrong and didn’t deserve a second child? Why did I long to give him a sibling so badly knowing millions were aching for their first—how could I be so insensitive? So many questions, so many buts and so many whys....

Keep Reading