Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Story

One of my bigger new year's resolutions was to write a little bit of a 'testimony' of sorts. What I've been through, what I've had to go through in order to be the person I am at this point of my life. To show people I wasn't born into the life I'm living by any means, and that I had many struggles, but it's how I used them that makes them worth telling.
Just so you aren't completely lost, 'she' is usually referring to my anorexia. It's like a whole other part of my brain. It's not part of my personality by ANY means. I am not my disease. She is a whole other person that took control of me, and I will not refer to her as myself.

I can't pinpoint the exact date that she manifested herself into my mind, she was so discreet. She slipped through without me noticing and came to power so gradually. Perhaps it was in 4th grade after being teased relentlessly, or maybe it was 5th grade when my own mother told me that I needed to start watching my weight and stop eating so much. I also don't know when I started to feel beautiful. Maybe it was the day I started throwing up my food, or maybe it was the day I stopped eating.As a child I was oblivious to the thought that these insecurities might grow into something so dangerous but at the same time so safe to me.
I want to start my story at 4th grade, because it's the earliest memory I have of being self aware. I had always been a short girl, and while everyone else seemed to tower above me year by year and drop their baby fat, I seemed to be stuck in time. I was devastated. My peers seemed to pick up on my insecurity, almost as if they could smell my fear of being different and they fed off of my unhappiness and distress. That's when they began to taunt me. I remember recess was the last activity of the day, and I dreaded it. Recess was hell on earth for me and there was no escape. There were several days that I would come home in tears, and my mom began pressuring the teachers to do something. Her efforts were fruitless. By the end of 5th grade I had isolated myself completely. I cut off every connection and kept myself locked in my room. This was the time she chose to reveal herself and strike a blow. I began self destructive behavior, sometimes to punish myself for being so undesirable and so unlovable, sometimes to take my mind off of the pain my path of life was causing. As time went on, about 6th or 7th grade, I was hospitalized for attempted suicide. Not only was I put through multiple painful tests and treatments at the hospital, but I was hauled off to the crazy bin. I was alone for a week. I rarely spoke, I didn't eat one bite (I lived on cranberry cocktail juice boxes they provided) and worst of all I didn't get any better. I lied between my teeth every time they asked "So how are you today?" or "Are you going to do anything like this again?" Other 'inmates' as we called ourselves told me that the only way you would ever escape the asylum was acting as if you were magically cured. So I did. Apparently I was so convincing they let me out by the next week. Although, I was far from cured. I drastically decreased in mental health. I began to experiment with bulimia with the promise of being skinny and beautiful, to be wanted. I would binge and purge often for a while then stop completely onlyto resume this. It seemed logical, if I ate the food it would satisfy my hunger, and then if I got rid of it before my body digested it I wouldn't get fat. But I definitely did not know my facts. Bulimia was my safety, it made me feel beautiful and more importantly for me, self worth. I've had pretty bad abandonment issues. First my father, who travels often and is almost never present for anything in my life, and then friends. I was used frequently by people, and I settled for that because I thought that being used by people was the best I could obtain. By the end of this part of my life my self worth was so low, I settled for anything even if it was obviously mediocre out of fear that I wouldn't be able to ever have anything better. That's when I realized I could obtain the things I envied, if I became beautiful. I started off restricting, carefully cutting out certain foods in my diet and my confidence grew before my eyes. I began talking to people again, and befriended people. Years went by, and as my confidence grew I thought "If this is what cutting out food and skipping breakfast can do, I wonder what skipping lunch and breakfast would do.." So I started giving away my lunch everyday. Sometimes, if I was feeling particularly good, I would skip dinner. I told lies every day, and everyday no one saw through my games. I knew all the right words, "I don't feel well.." or "I ate before I came." My friends never caught on, but my mom would threaten to send me back to the hospital at times. I knew she really didn't have a clue, and she was definitely bluffing. The weight slowly fell off, and it seemed like the only thing that kept me going were the "Oh my gosh Avary, you look so beautiful!" or "Wow, you look great!" But as they dwindled I started to wonder if I needed to do more. I started exercizing. Now, exercizing is healthy..but not to the extreme I took it to. I had less than 500 calories in my system, and I made it a goal to burn twice the number of calories I consumed a day. I would run, run, and run until I got so dizzy I had to hold onto the bar to keep my balance. Then I would take maybe a 2 minute break to regain my sense of balance and head to the stairmaster. As the days went on with my ruthless exercize schedule, I also started to restrict more heavily. I would eat at the most 300 calories a day, and burn about 1,000. Sometimes the hunger became too much for me, and I would have to binge..but my mind would let out high pitched screams of "YOU PIG!" "NO WONDER YOUR FAMILY OINKS WHEN THEY SEE YOU!" "YOU ARE SUCH AN IGNORANT IDIOT!" "FATTY!" "NOW WONDER GUYS CAN'T EVEN LOOK OR TALK TO YOU! ALL THEY SEE IS YOUR FAT ROLLS!" and the only way to silence them would be to run up the stairs and shove my finger down my throat. I would throw up everything, I would just keep throwing up until I couldn't anymore. To avoid these situations and to keep my hunger pains under control I would chew on raw cinnamon sticks, and let me tell you, those things BURN your tongue. I would chew about 3 of those a day to keep the hunger at bay, and now I suffer from 'geographical tongue'(when some of your tastebuds look as if they have been 'burnt' off of your tongue to form miscolored spots on your tongue that look as if it's a continent on a map..hence geographical) because of this habit. As summer came, it was worse than ever. I had been tormented by a guy for a month before school ended, and I just wished I could forget about everything. I was convinced it was because I was so undesirably heavyset. So it got to the point where I would compete with my body to only consume 200 calories a day and keep my workout regimen. As I landed a job at the food court in target, my bulimic ways worsened. I was tempted beyond belief working with food all day for 8 hours at a time. I thought I was going to go insane. I would constantly run to the back and do jumping jacks until I heard a customer, because I had broken down and munched on a pepperoni and I was terrified to purge in a public bathroom. Bulimia hit hard, and sometimes I would throw up so much I saw blood. Sadly, this didn't scare me enough. I knew my body was shutting down, but my thought process was now 'What use is a body if it's so incredibly ugly and undesirable?" I was no longer myself. I didn't laugh, I didn't smile, I was so disappointed in everything about myself. Not only was I dissing myself, but I dealt with a lot of emotional abuse from my parents. My father never recognizes anyone's accomplishments (except for my brother) and yells if you fail. My father also brings out the WORST in my mother. When he's not around, she is kind and caring, but when he is around she continually puts everyone down with stinging comments.
At this point I had isolated myself again, I hadn't seen anyone over the summer-save for the occasional target encounter- and I had no one I could talk to. I didn't know what love was, because everyone that said that word referring to me had abandoned me. Then I came to Elevate Life Church (or Celebration Covenant Church as it was called at the time) I was definitely at the bottom of the hole I had dug myself into. I had no hope, no happiness, and still no beauty as far as I was concerned. The first time I attended XCEL, I remember Trey started talking about self worth, and God's love for us. I knew at that moment that God had brought me there for a reason. He wanted to halt my suffering, He wanted me to realize how beautiful I truly was, and see that I was worth so much more than I was amounting myself to. He wanted to show me his unfailing love, which was so completely unfathomable to me. God wanted me to be happy. I remember that night after I got home I sat in front of the mirror and just cried. I waited until I was alone, still not ready to let me guard down. Gradually as I kept returning to XCEL, I started to increase my calorie intake. I wasn't so incredibly terrified of gaining weight anymore, because I knew no matter how ugly I might look in my eyes, I was beautiful in God's eyes and that's all that mattered. Everytime I got the feeling that I needed to puke I would read proverbs or psalms until that feeling subsided.
I still to this day find myself in a battle constantly, and although I falter at times, all is definitely not lost for me. I plan to attend university and get a psychology degree, so I can help girls who feel unloved and lonely just like I did. I want to notice the signs and behaviors before it’s too late for other girls. I want to change lives the way mine was. I want to save girls and guys from the ways I was thinking.
In this new year, I started it by throwing every single trigger that I had kept in my room in the trash. Every magazine cut out of what I aspired to be, every piece of paper that gave me 'thinspiration', every influence that could cause me to fall again is now destroyed. Every day I thank God for this second chance, because at the rate I was going, I could have died easily from complications due to my bulimia (as I noted earlier, I was throwing up to the point of blood and that is a dangerous sign) I now have the energy, the encouragement, and the love to keep me going towards my goals recover fully, and to change the world and change people's lives.

Thank you, everyone that has been there to help me through, then AND now. I'm not going to name everyone, because it's basically everyone from my family of choice, but ya'll know who you are :) I LOVE YA'LL!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A letter to my long lost best friend

Have you ever had someone you cared so deeply about that every inch of your heart yearns to save them from the deep abyss they've hidden themselves so carefully in? Have you ever had a friend that used to be like a sibling to you, only to have them grow far apart from you in what seems like a heartbeat? If so, you'll definitely understand this post. I haven't been able to sleep because of these thoughts, so hopefully posting them will make me feel a little better.

Dear Reptar,

Lately, everything I do, everything I see reminds me of you. Things as simple as a t shirt I 'borrowed' (we considered borrowing as if we ever got it back we would be lucky) or hand-me-downs you gifted me when you were granted a growth spurt and I was left with a small petite frame. A bottle of the medicine 'bean-o" is enough to send me into nostalgia, and even certain songs will bring me to the verge of tears. Just being in my room and seeing the wall covered in magazine cut outs, birthday cards, and handmade signs that we crafted in the crazy canadian's class launches me into a different time. A time where there were no cigarrettes, drugs, sex, stealing, money, eating disorders, rape, alcohol, or even seperation existed. We didn't know the definition of the words! We passed for sisters, and for all we knew, we WERE.

Do you still remember that time when we were sisters? When you would drop anything to talk to me? When we would cry together, we would stay up till the wee hours of the night doing stupid stuff and going to ihop? Do you remember when we didn't even have to ask whether we were hanging out after school or on the weekend?

I can't escape these memories, and the fact I left you behind haunts me every single day. Lately the memories are worsening. I'm not able to sleep, think, or work without thinking about whether you're alright or not. When did it get this bad? When did we become so far apart? My heart aches everytime my calls go straight to voicemail, and it breaks when someone answers only to tell me you're too busy to even tell me a simple hello.

I keep feeling it's my fault that you didn't stay on the right path. I feel it's my fault that all these things are occuring and changing. I'm absolutely positive I didn't do enough when I had the chance, and now I've blown it and every day I pay for it.

I know it's your choice what you do with your life, but I can't help but feel that I have some sort of obligation to help you since we were sisters...but now I'm so afraid it's impossible. It hurts more than anything in this world to know that I can't even save the one person that meant the most to me for half of my life.

So I've come to the conclusion that the only thing I can do is pray that you will eventually hit rock bottom and realize that there is more to life than getting drunk, high, and having sex with strangers. It's with a heavy heart that I give this issue up to God, because I have done everything I can humanly I can only work to help prevent others from turning to these horrible addictions..I don't want anyone to suffer the way I have. I still love you, and I miss who you were.

Forever your sister, LYITNGW,
Avary Bavary Thoreson (aka PINKIE) <3

Monday, October 19, 2009

all we need is love.

This week, if I've learned anything, I've learned that love does have the power to heal. Not puppy love, or that spurious (fake) stuff, but genuine love. We all need love to grow, and in order to return love to others. Love is healing me.

For those of you who didn't know, I suffered from anorexia and bulimia on and off for a while, and this summer it was to an extreme. I also have suffered from self injury for about 4 years now, and I can proudly say I am recovering from both. How? Love. I found Jesus as my savior this summer, really established a relationship with Him and His unfailing love has gotten me through my struggles. Love is healing my soul and my body alike.

As part of our deep conversation of the week last week, Laura and I shared our testimonies, what we had to go through in order to become what we are now. I realized I would have never been at this point of my life without the love, encouragement and kindness I have recieved in the past few months.

I remember not knowing what true love was. To me, the thought of having someone who would NEVER leave you was unfathomable and unreal. It's hard to believe that someone would always be there for me, especially when everyone that has said that has forsaken me at one point. We all have abandonment issues, some more than others. God will never neglect to love you, He will not abandon you. Even if you think God has forsaken you, it is you that has walked away..He's just waiting for your return.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

who are you?

"Character is what you are in the dark when no one but God is watching. Anyone can look good in front of an audience or friends, it is an entirely different thing to stand naked before God, to be known as you truly are on the inside."

This quote goes so well with the message we had on sunday. It's all about IDENTITY.

identity: the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another

Our true identity is not easy to see, especially if you're trying to figure out another person's identity.
What's your identity?
the crack head? the alcoholic? the whore? the Jesus freak? the designer diva? Some people see identities as what people do or their style of clothes. Some people see identities as the way people act, which would be fine...if our generation didn't act like someone they're not.

In our generation we have developed a way to become what others find "desirable", to hide our true identity to fit in. In a way, we have lost our identities. We don't remember or know who we really are.

"Anyone can look good in front of an audience or friends, but it is an entirely different thing to stand naked before God, to be truly known as you are on the inside."
We may be able to hide our identity from other people, but it is impossible to hide from God. We can hide a lot of things about our personality from people. For instance, I'm very talented when it comes to vocabulary. I can see a word and I will remember it and be able to define it even months later. Most people see the blonde hair and how ditzy I am and assume that I am stupid. That I can't POSSIBLY have a wide vocabulary.

The big thing there is, whenever we are labeled and given an identity...we usually accept it and think we cannot overcome this. For example, over years I have been called stupid, ditzy, a failure by my family and friends. I was constantly hearing critical remarks, it's all that filled my head. I began to believe them with all my heart. So I, in a way, became what others told me my identity is.

So many people go through that same thing, and it's depressing. Don't let them tell you what you are, because chances are they're wrong and it will just bring discontent. Part of being happy is being happy with yourself, and if you don't know who YOU are, then how can you be happy?

Only God knows who we are, so why not ask Him? He is always there for us when we call for Him, so why not take some time to get to know Him AND yourself! It's definitely not going to be a one minute thing though, this is a journey. A journey to happiness, to self acception, to becoming the best you that you can be. God knows exactly what you need to do to become the best you, He created you! He'll show you the way! How comforting is it to know that your Creator is showing you how to become the best you can be!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What do apples and girls have in common?

As homecoming has come and gone, a lot of girls came to me and started talking about how inadequate they felt because they didn't have a date. I realized how badly homecoming can effect a girl's self esteem..and it reminded me of the apple story i have heard so many times.

"Girls are like apples. The best ones are at the top of the tree where you need to investtime to get a ladder. while the less awesome ones are usually at the bottom where people can get to them easier.The boys don'twant to climb the ladder and fall and get hurtso they settle for the less amazing apples."

When i read this a few years ago, I thought"Man, no wonder the most amazing, beautiful, talented girls i know that don't have boyfriends think they aren't good enough or pretty enough."

There is nothing wrong with being an appleat the top of the tree. IT DOESNT MEAN NO ONE LIKES YOU! it means they are afraid of getting hurt byan amazing beautiful talented person and they decide to settle for a less amazing girl that will give them everything they want when they pop the question.


Beauty is not defined by the number of guys you have drooling at your feet or picturing you during math class. Beauty is not defined by perfect skin. Beauty is DEFINITELY NOT defined by the number on the scale.

One day, a guy will come along and notice your true beauty. The beauty that will still be there when you're 50 years old.

If God has given you that special someone, He's going to put them through see if He deserves you, and He will do the same thing to you to see if ya'll are compatible and are truly ready to commit. His condition is, it will be on His OWN TIME that He sends you that one person who takes your breath away and surpasses them all.

You can't just say "God. please send me a suitable boyfriend. kthnxbai." He will decide when you're ready for commitment and then marriage.

Girls,I am right there with ya'll. I'm a single lady.I don't get asked very often by guys, let alone noticed. I mean even I got rejected, but I'm still here. I'm alright. If I can get up and dust myself off and go try try try again, why can't you? All you need is some amazing friends, comfort food, and a disney movie marathon ;]

Speak Life, Don't Echo Death.

I just felt like writing my thoughts down on today's message at XCEL. It really doesn't matter if no one reads this, or if everyone does, I'm doing this to help my writing skills, and build up my ability to put my thoughts into language people that aren't crazy will understand :)


Today, at the end of the main message Trey started talking about people who don't usually get life spoken into them...they only hear the echoes of death that have been repeated so very many times. He made a reference to how some people's parents criticize their children...and people laughed.
That just really hit me.
Is our generation really so ignorant that they think we're joking when we say that some kids are in a situation where their parents actually call their children 'fat', or 'ugly', or 'stupid'? It happens all around us, and not just parents...teachers, coaches, rolemodels (they aren't good rolemodels if they put you down, but whatever) and even friends..Even we might be doing it...without even knowing it!
People don't forget easily. I know I don't at least. I remember it was freshman year...i had gained some weight, and I wasn't really that insecure about it..then i asked my mom if we could go jean shopping because mine were getting small. The first thing she said was "You need to stop eating so much junk food, you're getting chunky." Or something along those lines..and how could i forget the time she actually TOOK AWAY food from me saying that I didn't need to eat anymore for that day. I can still hear the taunting from everytime i went back for seconds at dinner, from my own sister and mother...the "oinks" and pig snorts... Every single thing they've said, even if they didn't mean it, still haunts me. Every single day it's a battle to eat even the quantity of food on my plate.
The point is, whenever you echo death on somebody, they keep that on repeat in their head. It doesn't stop. You may not even notice you're harming them until it's too late.We need to realize that there are people who get criticized by their parents, it's not a joke. There are parents who call their children 'ugly' or 'fat' or 'stupid' is NOT something to laugh at.
Sorry, had to get that off my's been going through my mind since i heard the giggles.

September 19th

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do and your plans will succeed." - Proverbs 16:3
"The LORD works out everything for His own ends, even the wicked for a day of disaster." - Proverbs 16:4

In Proverbs 16:3 it says if you do everything you do for God, you WILL succeed. It may not be success in your standards, but it is in God's eyes...and shouldn't that be more than enough for us?
Things don't always work out the way we plan, and we don't always see that, in fact, "The LORD works out everything for His own ends" (proverbs 16:4) If God puts you through something, such as rejection or a death of a close friend or family member, it's NOT in vain. He puts you through it for a reason...and that reason will not become clear right away..that doesn't mean we should stray from the path God has chosen for us. We need to stick to it to get the reward.Whether it's to bring you closer to Him, or make you a stronger person, it IS for a reason. He does not put you through something you can't handle, but at the same time he doesn't put you through something you can easily get through yourself. He wisely makes the situation bring you to Him. He WANTS you to seek Him, no matter if your life is going AMAZINGLY, or if your life is in ruins..He wants you to seek Him.