find your happy, find your tribe

April 18th, 2017

“It’s not often you find someone looking as happy as you look right now while grocery shopping. I appreciate it. Your smile is contagious.”


Lately, I’ve been wrapped up in this whirlpool of fantasies.

The kind of fantasy where time slows down yet your mind is racing, darting around like a hummingbird. But then, at the same time, your entire body remains completely calm and serene. It’s the most charming type of dreaming. Here I am, smiling like a fool in the grocery store trying to pick up some sweet potatoes. Taking risks for an extra dose of joy. Exploring life for the sole purpose of fulfillment. Authentic, heart pounding fulfillment. The kind of fantasy where time slows down yet your mind is racing, darting around like a hummingbird. 

I’ve never been one to really take risks or jump into new and daunting tasks. But the thing about being so wrapped up in fantasies is that my eyes have been opened to the new, incredible things that happen when you do just so. I’ve found myself spontaneously acting upon those butterflies in my stomach at 1 am while I’m lost in the depth of my emotions. Learning more about myself at the peak hours of the morning or the darkest times of the night. Stepping outside of my comfort zone and growing, thriving, living. Learning to stop fearing the unknown and grasping onto the concept of becoming uncomfortable in order to find comfort. 

It’s funny to think about how just a few months ago I remember sitting in a grey sectional grabbing onto a pillow for dear life, not thinking I would ever make it to where I am now. Absolutely distraught by the mess that my life had become, stuck in my own fears and doubts.

Yet here I am. 

I know for a fact I would never have made it this far without the incredible people I have met along the way.

On February 10th, I was sat down in that very grey sectional, looked at in the eyes and was told,  “Please, speak up for yourself. Please treat yourself like gold. You are not something to be forgotten. You are not something to be tossed to the side of the road”. 

One of the best things you could ever do for yourself is to fill your life with those who believe in you. Truly, genuinely, believe in you. Those who look at you when you’re speaking your passion and see the stars. Those who will lift you up when you’re falling, no matter how hard you fall or how badly you refuse their help. Those who help you recognize your worth, who help you see that you, yes YOU, most definitely should be treated like gold. That you are undeniably NOT something to be chucked out a car window onto the side of the road. 

Thank you to these people who have rescued me from myself in the past few months. Those who have helped me create these fantasies that hype my soul up enough to be found dancing in the grocery store.

This level of contentment and exploration of emotions is something I most definitely would not have gotten to without you all. So thank you. I will never stop thanking you.

{m, m, d, a, b, s, z, k, c, k, d, c, k, a, j}

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i will continue

“Your eyes are lacking that sparkle and cheer they had when I first met you.” -january 21st

“You know, this is a fatal illness. And you’re walking down a very narrow pathway.” – january 23rd


I’ve always found comfort in the extremes. I’ve always like the idea of this peaceful mindset, happy and healthy life. The idea of going ice skating with my friends and walking around the mall and celebrating holidays freely. The idea of waking up in the morning with a smile and the sun shining through my window. Yet at the same time, there was something exhilarating about those two statement one of my doctors had said to me. This messed up idea of comfort. Being sick takes away the uncertainty. The fear. The real world fades away and suddenly you don’t have to worry about a single thing. So full of emptiness. Something about being so sick just felt so right, like I was finally doing something right.

WHY ON EARTH HOW DO YOU FIND THIS COMFORT IN SUCH A SCARY SITUATION YOU CRAZY

Well, let me tell you: If you’ve never craved the feeling of complete and utter emptiness, you won’t ever fully understand why someone would pursue this mission to become empty. It’s a feeling of accomplishment when nothing else is going right.

However, it comes to an end. And for me, January 25th marked the end of (hardly) surviving in this black and white world and beginning to travel to the gray area. The area filled with uncertainty, fear, doubt.

Today is March 10th. It’s been 6 1/2 weeks. Every day is filled with constant decisions to stay on the right path.  To be completely honest, it gets tiring waking up each morning knowing the hesitancy can creep back at any time.

However, each day I wake up stronger. Each day I fight that ambivalence, no matter how strong the desire the crawl back into the previous comfort that I had beforehand. Each morning I wake up, I acknowledge that uncertainty, that desire to go back to the ways things used to be. And slap it in the face.

Today marks one week of being back at home. 7 days. 10080 minutes spent choosing to continue. And it’s been anything but easy. But I can already tell that the hard work I’ve put in these past 6 1/2 weeks are already paying off and cannot wait to see my life continue to unfold as I persist and fight. Today, I choose to keep going.

And that is not something I could have said back on january 23rd.


It’s kind of funny, looking back to two years ago, knowing that I wrote about all 365 days I had spent being free from the hospitals-yet here I am, after breaking that streak, returning to a simple 7 days. But you know what? That’s okay. Because this is only the beginning.

From here on out, I will flourish. I will thrive. I will grow and gain more and more hope as each day passes by, no matter what challenges may come my way.

I will continue.

xoxo, maddy

reminders, thank you’s, simple things

For all those who have reached out to me, helped me through my toughest times, said hi to me in the morning, told me that you care – this is for you.

For anyone who isn’t feeling on top of the world right now, I may not know you personally, but I believe this to be true about you, too. You are a rockstar. Believe in yourself, I am rooting for you. You will climb back to the top of the mountain soon, I know you will – remember these statements when you’re feeling low.

For those who know a friend who isn’t feeling too hot – things you should share with them to give them your support. At the same time, don’t devalue the simplicity of smiling at them. Smiles can brighten even the darkest of days – and for the times you’re filled with not only smiles but words as well,  these simple comments can mean the world to them. Share your support, share your sympathy. Remind yourself of these too; don’t let your kind soul go unnoticed.

For myself – this applies to you too. Don’t forget your own worth. Self-care is not selfish, it is necessary.

  1. Your ability to find the silver lining is an awe-inspiring quality and I hope you are able to acknowledge the beauty in this. There’s no doubt that you have gone through some tough times, and no doubt you have made it through like the brave warrior you are. And throughout anything that comes your way, you are still able to do some amazing things and make an incredible impact in people’s lives and create some amazing memories. You rock.
  2. Your heart is so pure. You are a selfless human being. You caring, thoughtful soul is something so incredible, words cannot even describe how thankful I am to know there are people like that out in this world
  3. Your passion is contagious. You make me want to become a better human. Your warm heart brings light to the darkest days in this world.
  4. You have a way with your words. Comfort, forgiveness, joy, thoughtfulness. Never underestimate the power of asking “are you okay” or saying “tomorrow will be better”. They may be short, simple comments, but your concern & care means the world. It’s refreshing. Thank you for making me feel like I matter. I hope you always remember how much you matter, too.

I hope you never forget how much you matter. How important you are. How grateful so many people are to have you in their life.

xoxo, maddy

but oh my darling, what if you fly?

The fear glistened in my eyes as I sat down at the dinner table. I was vulnerable, beginning to lose my identity, my sense of worth; finding myself manipulated and trapped. I was blinded from what was happening, lacking the perception to see that I was slipping away into nothing. Yet I managed to fake some sort of peace of mind in order to camouflage the suffering I felt inside. And that was the first lie my eating disorder whispered into my ears – “I am okay.”

For years I would wake up not living, just merely surviving. Some days I simply craved the destruction of my own body. My stomach would growl on the hour, craving not only food but some sort of comfort my life was lacking. It was as if the comfort I found in destroying myself would calm all my fears in an instant. I became hungry for happiness and somehow managed to convince myself that the eating disorder would satisfy my appetite. I began flirting with these disordered thoughts, and before I knew it, the voice of the eating disorder coated my vision until that was all I could see.

Soon enough, I stumbled upon others going through the same torment. I watched as their eyes glazed over with melancholy when they sat down at the dinner table in the hospital. Hours upon hours would go by until our plates would be cleared. Day after day of repeating this process released my eyes from the cloudy vision and opened up doors of hope. Watching the other strugglers’ eyes brighten as they took each bite and seeing their bodies ignite with life with each grueling thought they pushed away proved the worth of staying with the process – through the twists, turns, and everything in between – no matter how hard it gets.

   I remember one day hearing, “I cannot think of anything worse than failing suicide, you fail so much at life that you even fail to kill yourself,” and being consumed with guilt from my past. Today, each time I hear those words slip from someone’s mouth, the higher my motivation jumps to put an end to the stigma, the suffering, the pain. I have become hungry for a change, hungry to make a difference. I am now opening up, sharing my story for the entire world to hear. Speaking my truth, becoming vulnerable. Sharing pieces of my past I was previously ashamed for and cowered away from in hopes of helping at least one single person.

Slowly but surely, the drive to thrive and create a life full of adventures began to overpower the suffocating apathy the eating disorder caused. I began to recognize the incredible power my body has, the mental strength I have gained through years of treatment and learned how to cope with the toxic mindset that became the norm. Each step forward came with an ambition to celebrate my strengths and acknowledge this journey I have gone through of overcoming this crippling, gruesome disorder. I began to wake up excited to see what the new day has in store for me. Exploring the incredible qualities my body and mind has and the strength I have gained throughout the years of this battle.

“I cannot think of anything worse than failing suicide, you fail so much at life that you fail to even kill yourself”

Actually, I can think of something worse than failing a suicide.

And that is succeeding.

Because despite the years spent with a disease that has filled my head with demons, I have managed to continue life while encouraging and sprinkling joy throughout whoever’s life crossed my path. And that, is one profound act of bravery. And despite the hounding to end it all, continuing to rise out of bed each day and nourish myself while feeding others hope is anything but a failure.

xoxo, maddy

be irrefutable. be unstoppable.

Recovery is tough. The process fills up with extreme highs and laughter and memories as well as extreme lows and tears and fights. Sometimes it’s scary, sometimes it’s overwhelming.
But as months pass and bites are taken, things slowly start to get better. You slowly start to get better. 
Recovery is a decision you make every single day. And it will be the best decision you make, even when it feels like the worst.
Sometimes listening to the eating disorder may seem appealing because it’s easier, because it’s comfortable, because it’s familiar. Sometimes recovery can just really suck.
But it’s worth it.
I promise it’s worth it.
So be kinder to yourself. Know that despite the eating disorder it attempting to drag you down into the deep end, you are stronger. You can keep your head up and fight back. It will be worth it. 
In the days when you’re drowning, choose to move onto tomorrow, not to dwell on the negativity. Remember the bigger picture rather than hyper-focusing on the darker moments. Remind yourself of the long term happiness you will gain from this short term uncomfortability rather than the short term satisfaction and lifelong suffering given by listening to the eating disorder.
We all have these days, and yes, they suck. But we cannot let that stand in our way. We are irrefutable. We are unstoppable. 
xo,
maddy

When Your World Falls Apart

It’s been one of those weeks when you start off jumping out of bed, singing your favorite songs even though its 5 in the morning, ready to tackle the day and sprinkle kindness where you go. Untillllll we reached Friday. Ever since then the days have been piling up with negativity and heading in a downward spiral to the land of no where.

What’s important to remind ourselves in these situations is that 1. They will come to an end 2. Keep fighting. I know it may seem impossible, like everyone is against you, like your whole world is crashing down right before you eyes. However I need you to keep holding on.

Letter to those who are having a rough day or week or month like myself:

I am so unbelievably proud of you. Every day you get out of bed even though all you want to do is stay under the covers. Every day you take a shower, get dressed, put food in your body, and leave the safety of your home for the chaos of this world.

To me, that’s a profound act of bravery. You are choosing to live despite your tiredness, hopelessness, and brokenness provoked by the weeks events. You cling to the light instead of the dark. You leave your comfort zone every day for the unknown.

I’m proud of you. I hope you are proud of you. I hope you know how those seemingly little acts of courage are really the greatest moments of bravery. I hope that you will continue to rise each day and live your life, no matter what turmoil comes your way.

So thank you for living. Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting. For trying. Thank you for being in this world with me. Thank you for holding on when you want to let go.

Thank you for trusting in tomorrow.

Because you have the power to make tomorrow a better day.

-Maddy

TO YOU

Dear extraordinary human being,

I just want to let you know that you are capable of tackling whatever challenges you may be facing, or any walls that may come your way. You are courageous and brave and can live this life full of light from the inside out, illuminating everything and everyone in your path.

I know what you’re  thinking, “How am I supposed to believe any of what you’re saying?” I know its not easy to think positively about yourself, to stay true to your soul. Sometimes there will be days when we want to do what everyone else is doing and forget about our own path.

But if every daisy in the garden spent their Friday nights coating themselves in red in order to look like the roses, would the garden still be its spunky, colorful, calming self it was with a variety of Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 1.05.15 PMdifferent kinds of flowers that brought so much into the blank slate it used to be?

You are a priceless, authentic, unimaginably marvelous person..no one has ever been like you and no one ever will be. You are worth more than you can ever know.

It is time you are able to hear this, to recognize the fact that you  are loved unconditionally, full of kindness and forgiveness. Today, let go of shame. Let go of every ounce of whatever is holding you back from allowing those unique eyes of yours to see how wonderful you truly are. It is time.

You are so very loved,

xo, maddy

WHEN YOU’RE STRUGGLING

To anyone out there struggling-

it gets better. There are hard moments, moments where you will want to stop completely. But keep. on. going. In the future you’ll look back and be so damn proud of yourself for the fact that you marched right through those negative thoughts and made it through yet another day despite the whispers in your ears telling you to end it all.

You’ll be extraordinarily happy you kept going. You get a glimpse of life again. And life simply becomes..LIFE. Not days passing by surrounded by that burning sensation in your heart. You’re able to live. Explore. Have fun. Meet new people.

I cannot express how grateful I am for those who have helped me and continue to help me along this journey. I am beginning to have a glimpse of what true living is and that has an infinite value

So hang in there, my dear. It will be worth it. Recovery is worth it.


“Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That is who you really are. Let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it.” C. Assaad

Believing

You have to believe in yourself. You have to. And if you don’t, you need someone with you that does. It’s that simple. If you can find someone that will believe in you when you don’t, then you’ve got a chance to be great. But, you can’t accomplish anything unless there is someone that looks at you and sees possibilities, sees potential. Preferably that person is you. But we all have doubts. We all get weak. We all get afraid.

At those moments, your someone is there.

At those moments, your someone believed.

Believes.

Make sure you let them know that you appreciate them and realize that so many extraordinary things in your life would not have become reality without them.


Thank you to all the many friends I have met along this journey who have been there for me, believing in me when I was incapable of doing so myself. Thank you for convincing me to eat, when my mind took over and my body was too weak to tell me to do so. Thank you for comforting me in the late hours of the night persuading me to keep on fighting, to go just one more day. And repeating that to me day after day. Thank you for the encouraging words you spoke to me even when you knew they were exactly what I didn’t want to hear.

Thank you for everything.

Setting Up For Success – rid the mind of failure

set yourself up and rid the mind of failure. You are capable of far more than you allow yourself to believe. I guarantee you that.

“But why even try? Why try when I’m 99.9% sure I’m going to fail? Why bother setting myself for failure?”

“Because it’s there” -George Mallory to the NY Times when asked his reason as to climbing Mt Everest. The mountain had yet to be conquered. To reach the top had been thought by many to be impossible.

So, why do it? Valid question, right? Especially when one could spend their days chasing other dreams like wealth or their job or developing a life free of great challenges all together.

Life can not only be a challenge- life is a challenge. Look around you. Look inside you. Challenges as great as tackling Everest are every where.

So, why should you even bother with these challenges? Why should you try to break through these walls others set upon you? Why try to climb these impossible challenges?

Because they are there.

Challenge those thoughts of doubt. Convince your mind otherwise. What about that .1% chance that you will succeed?

SUCCESS?????

I know, such a foreign concept in the world of negativity. But what will you know you can accomplish if you don’t even try? If you consistently tell yourself you are incapable of reaching your goal, how on earth are you ever supposed to reach it?

Go out and explore. Do things to help you reach your goals. HelI, go out and reach for the stars. I challenge you.