Saturday, July 22, 2017

Anorexia and Libby--Second Stanza

About a month or so ago I posted a blog that my Granddaughter Libby had written about the struggle with anorexia. Her brave words must have struck a chord because over 1900 people have read her words she let me post on my blog. Libby has written a second piece about that struggle. I thought you might want to read this second stanza of her journey with ed (eating disorder) and what she has learned. She is doing well--studying at South Carolina Upstate, continues to run on the cross-country team and is making good grades. She works this summer as a lifeguard at a Spartanburg (SC) County Club. She has just been admitted to Nursing School. We are mighty proud of her. Run, Libby run! --rl

Recovery is such a simple word, yet it is the furthest thing from simple. You don't just choose recovery, you have to keep choosing it over and over and over again. We all wish recovery was just as easy as walking into your therapy session and coming out cured; but we all know that's just not a thing. At all. Ever. First off, realizing that you are even worth recovery is an obstacle in itself. "I'm fine. Nothing is wrong. I'm not hungry. I'm not tired. I don't need help. I have this under control." Those are some of the biggest lies I ever told myself. ED constantly told me that I was okay, and that if I stepped into the world of recovery then that would mean I'm of course the last thing I wanted to do was step into that world. I couldn't let go of ED; that was just unheard of in my world. I thought I was nothing without him. Every time someone asked me if I was okay all I wanted to do was talk about it; scream, yell, shout about it... but all I ever did was say "I'm fine."

​I knew I needed help. The voices inside my head were literally killing me. I felt paralyzed, and I felt nothing; the only thing that would put a smile on my face was if my stomach was growling and if I was shaking from hunger. Depressing, I know; but that was the truth. I had friends and family constantly telling me that I needed help and that if I got it, then I would be free. But I just could not do it, until I got to my breaking point. I would go to my annual doctor's appointments and they would name everything that will happen to me if I did not gain weight, one of those things included death. I wanted to be free from this more than anything, I truly did.

One day, the voices along with the anxiety attacks got so bad that I screamed I needed help, and shortly after, my mom got me help right away. I went to my first therapy session, and I thought it was going to be a lot easier than it was. I remember her blindfolding me while she weighed me, and then measured everything on my body. I was confused, because I did not think I was even that skinny. I also remember asking her a bunch of questions like, "wow, so you're saying if I eat pancakes, I still won't become fat?!" You guys are probably laughing at that question as you're reading this, but that was a legitimate concern for me. I loved pancakes dude, but I wasn't allowed to ever eat them because of ED. After leaving the session, I felt a little better. I had a professional dietician telling me that I will not become fat if I ate pancakes...I mean that's like the greatest news ever. After leaving that session, I thought I would go home that week and be able to eat pancakes, or really just eat whatever I wanted...but ED had other plans for me.

This is probably when I realized most that I had a problem. I did not realize I was addicted to this behavior, until I tried to stop. I wanted the pancakes, or the cookie, or the flipping salty chip for crying out loud, but ED wouldn't let me, and of course I listened. I thought to myself, "dang Libby you are really stuck." I wanted to recover more than anything in the entire world, but I couldn't. The therapy sessions continued, but I just kept getting worse. Each week I was supposed to challenge myself and eat a "scary" food...but I would never do it. NO way. I thought that I could still hold onto parts of my eating disorder while working to be recovered, but that's just a bunch of booty; because that little part will always be there and when something slips up, that little part willblow up. I would have eating disorder specialists look at me in the eye and say "Libby you will die if you keep this up much longer." You'd think that would make me wake up and change everything right? Well, nope. I was involved in more than one therapy sessions a week. One of the sessions was with a group. I only went one time, and I cancelled every other time we were supposed to meet. I came up with some lame excuse in my head and convinced myself I couldn't go to it...when in reality I could have totally gone, I was just too scared.

Months went on, and as I have previously explained in my story on the home page, I did get better; so
I won't go into the details again. Recovery is the best thing that has ever happened to me, because without it, I obviously would not even be writing this right now. Recovery to me is never-ending. Ya I don't spend most of my time in therapy sessions or doctors appointments anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't still struggle. That doesn't mean "poof! you're cured." It has gotten easier of course, and  have learned through recovery how to deal with the thoughts. This blog is a part of my recovery journey. It's very easy to "miss my eating disorder," but when I write about it and share it with the world, it reminds me that I have come such a long way, and that going back to that life that almost killed me, would probably kill me this time... and none of us want that am I right?

​That doesn't go to say that relapsing isn't okay, because it is totally and completely okay, and normal.I  relapse to this very day; but I don't ever give up on the fight. There is no cure for an eating disorder; it will never be gone forever. But you can chose to take those small steps forward rather than backwards; there will be an easier day, a true meaningful smile across your face, and most day there will be a mirror that does not matter to you anymore. ​If you have this illness you will probably carry it for the rest of your life; so it's your decision to let it kill you, or fight like hell and make a good story out of it. No food will ever hurt you the way an eating disorder will.

You are allowed to scream, and cry, and struggle, but whatever you do, do not ever give up. There is always light at the end of that dark tunnel.

​​If we "fail" at anorexia, we win ​at life. Remember that. We don't choose anorexia, but we sure as hell can choose recovery, so please do it. Whatever it is you may be struggling with...depression, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia, etc...just tell it to screw itself because it is not welcomed here. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I am living proof of saying that recovery was more than worth it. ​And by the way, choosing to step into the world of recovery does not mean you're weak, it means you are one of the brave souls that admitted they needed help.

​Thanks for reading,

​P.S.- I can now eat pancakes without having a total freak there's another reason why recovery is worth it.

--Roger Lovette /

Thursday, July 20, 2017

When You Lose a Son

A friend of mine just lost his high school grandson from suicide. He had been troubled for a long time but nobody knew that this would happen. Someone said of another's suicide: "he died of sadness." I have said that the depression which brings on suicide is like cancer--it gets hold of someone and they see no way out. But for the young to do this just as life is starting out seems doubly sad.

I wrote my friend today and said I want to recommend a sermon Bill Coffin once preached at Riverside after his son died in an auto accident. The sermon is splendid and has helped a great many people.

Also I recommended two books which I know a lot of people have found helpful. The first is by Nicholas Wolterstorff, who taught (or teaches) at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The book is named, Lament for a Son and tells the sad story of Nicholas' 25 year old son, Eric who died in a mountain-climbing accident. Henri Nouwen once wrote of this book: "Wolsterstorff helps open the flood-gates for those who cannot articulate their pain...This little book is a true gift to those who grieve..."

The second book is Richard Lischer's, Stations of the Heart. He has taught for over thirty years at Duke Divinity School. This book is about his son, Adam's bout with cancer. Here we find the story of one last summer and the young man who lived it as honestly and faithfully as possible. This is an unforgettable book about life and death and the terrible blessing of saying good-bye.

Wolsterstorff's Benediction at his son's funeral is worth pondering.

"When we were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, we were baptized into his death and buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. Those who believe in him, though they die, yet shall they live."

His Benediction closed with these words:

"Into your tender hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your beloved servant, Eric. Acknowledge, we pray you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your abiding mercy, into the rest of your everlasting peace, into the glorious company of those who dwell in your light. And may your kingdom of peace come quickly."

Enough said.

--Roger Lovette /

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Donald Trump Stole One Preacher's Church

photo by Marie Longhin / flickr

Brett Younger is a talented preacher-writer. He writes this terrific (that is if you are not right wing) article on how the Pressident hijacked his home church in Mississippi. Read his words. They are great. Many of us could say the same thing about where we grew up and the place where we first found our hearts "strangely warmed." Funny I don't remember any American flags lining the walks outside my church in the fifties. We did not drag politics into the Sanctuary even though later I knew we were silent on some issues (like race and injustice). Yet despite it all one day I read Paul's words written to that troubled, troubled church at Corinth--he reminded them that "we are not peddlers of God's word like so many..." (II For. 2.17), He did not stop there. Paul also reminded that fledgling congregation that "we have this treasure in clay jars so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us." (II Cor. 4.7)

The late great Carlyle Marney used to say: "Boys, (this was before we opened the door to women reverends--which is a good thing) if they ever learn Jesus was a Jew we're going to be in bad trouble." And I would add: "If many churches realize that Jesus and his disciples were not Republicans we too, are going to be in a mess of trouble."

I miss Bill Coffin. I wonder what he would say about all those fat Evangelical preachers surrounding Donald Trump the other day and praying for this serial adulterer, this serial liar and this thin-skinned man that has yet to lead this country. Nary a negative word would they say about him. Years before Trump became our King,  Coffin wrote: "It behooves us North American Christians to realize what the German churches learned too late some forty years ago: it is not enough to resist with confession, we must confess with resistance."

photo by ART4TheGloryOfGod / flickr

--Roger Lovette /

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

HEALTH CARE--Listen to the Stories

photo by Miguel Discort / flickr

When I read this letter I wanted to share it with you. If we listen to the people...if we listen to their stories...we will know that this Bill to "replace" the Affordable Health Care Bill will be a disaster for millions of people. 

To date--the bill has not passed...we're not talking about politics or Democrats or Republicans--we are talking about human beings. The manner in which we deal with this problem will reflect the kind of people we truly are. 

"Dear Roger,
I am one of 317,000 South Carolinians who has gained health care coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act.  Before Obamacare, I had not been able to see a doctor for over 20 years. 
When I finally had insurance and could see a doctor, I was diagnosed with cancer.  Without the Affordable Care Act, I would have died.  After a grueling treatment regimen, I am scheduled for surgery next week.  If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, my life will once again be in danger.
I need your help.  And I am far from alone.  Senate Republicans have been working behind closed doors on a secret plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and today they're revealing their version of Trumpcare.  As it turns out, it is a whole lot like the House version of Trumpcare, which would have taken health insurance away from more than 400,000 South Carolinians
Lives are literally at stake, including my own.  Let's keep up the fight together.
 Sam Martin
Former SCDP State Executive Committeeman, Newberry County"

Nicholas Kristof, great columnist for the New York Times has written two great articles about this attempt to dismantle the Affordable Health Care Act. The first relates too the Drug War and what will happen if this new Health Care Bill is passed. 

The second article by Kristof listens to the stories about Health Care as it relates to women and Planned Parenthood. And so should we. Use your influence to express how you feel about this subject.   

--Roger Lovette /