Saturday, February 28, 2015

Snow Delay

It's the last day of February... quite a bit of snow.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Moving On

This poem I wrote when I was loosing a not so healthy relationship... and having to loose this relationship without my Eating Disorder to deal with it.  Actually having to go thru the feelings... having to sit with the hurt... and find empowerment to move forward.

I also created a piece from this poem for one of my first Electronic Music classes in college.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Let It Rain

You could say this song is my signature song. I have sung this song at many awareness events, groups and documentaries.  It explains some of the thoughts and feelings during recovery.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Everywhere I Look

Today's song I wrote for a Miami/Dade Eating Disorder Awareness Event about 8 or so years ago.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Show Me The Way

I had a few therapist in my time... the intern... the therapist who has been a therapist forever.  Then I found the perfect therapist for me.  I always tell people to go for the intern or new therapist.  They are more eager and still learning.  This helps to start thinking outside the box... at least this has been my experience.

I had a therapist with many years experience and each session we went over the same thing... If I do _____ then ________ will happen.  That was it for my session... every week.

I had a few interns that were quite fabulous because they were eager and were learning.  The only problem there is they leave.

Then I finally found the one that was perfect for me.  She was in her residency when I met her.  So a newbie of sorts.  I was able to follow her after her residency and she was my therapist for almost 10 years.  It was as if we grew up together... we learned together.

She never told me I couldn't do something... for instance when I wanted to go back to college or when I decided I wanted to ride a motorcycle.  She would be supportive and ask how are you going to do that?  She made me think I could do anything... and that is just what I did.

She believed in me long before I did and she would show that often.  She would celebrate my accomplishments, push me when I wanted to give up and give some tough love when necessary.

I am thankful for her everyday.

I wrote Show Me The Way for IAEDP (International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals) conference when it was in Miami.  I often did presentations with a therapist and movement therapist from the Renfrew Center of Florida.  They asked if I would write a song about what made my therapist work for me.

Believe enough in me and you
Until I can believe in me

Monday, February 16, 2015


Forgiveness is an interesting thing.  We are taught as children to say we are sorry when we do wrong... to the point that it is automatically said without any remorse.  So what is forgiveness?  Does it need to include an outside person or is it something that needs to be worked on within?

For me, forgiveness is an inner issue.  No one's apology or acceptance of forgiveness is going to make the feeling go away until I have worked thru the issue.  I don't want to hear I'm sorry from someone who has hurt me.  For me, it feels like I am letting them off the hook in a way... and I'm not talking vengeance... but they need to work on it themselves and deal with whatever they are asking forgiveness for... it really has nothing to do with me.

For many years I was the "sorry" person... I would say I'm sorry for things that had nothing to do with me.  It would drive some people I knew crazy but I really couldn't help myself.  It may slip out on occasion but now I work on not saying I'm sorry to say I'm sorry.  If I've done wrong then I try to make the situation right.  Not much else I can do.

Freeing Myself is a song I wrote for the Inspiration Celebration at the Renfrew Center of Florida.  I would sing every week and create a song to go with the theme of the week.  That week's theme was forgiveness.  My ideas of forgiveness has changed but I think the song is still relevant.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

First Crush

This is a difficult post for me.  I don't talk about my love life and I almost never talk about my first crush.  A couple months ago I think was the first time it ever slipped out of my mouth while visiting my friend Leigh.  Not sure how it came into conversation but I mentioned it and a streak of "Oh My God I said that out loud"... and "look cool and maybe she didn't hear me say it" came thru my mind.  She heard me and gave me a look but we didn't get into it... I might of had a horrified look on my face.  So... taking a deep breath and telling my story...

I can be completely oblivious to the whole mating thing... finding a partner in life... Love... all of that.  I'm a bit of a late bloomer you could say.  I had a crush on my first boy in 7th grade... unfortunately, everyone knew it.

I'll never forget the first time I met him.  I was in computer class and we were making calendars... back when the pixels were huge but in color.  This boy came into class late.  I had heard about him because in school the year before they mentioned a boy who had cancer in one of the near by towns.  Everyone seemed to know him but me.  I felt bad because I couldn't stop staring at him.  It had nothing to do with him being bald... I was just mesmerized.

We had our first boy/girl party and he asked me to dance.  I was in shock.  After our first dance together he even sat by me... I was so very excited.  I remember at the end of the party I had to bolt because my dad hated waiting and I left this boy in the dust.  After that I would sit in front of him in History class and he would kick me from the whole in the back of the seat.  As I said before... everyone knew I had a crush on him... and everyone knew I shouldn't because he was sick.

One week my friends tried to get me to like another boy.  They had him sit next to me after lunch in the gym.  He put his arm around me and I looked down a row or two to see my crush with his head down.  I screamed and ran out of the gym.  Yes, I know... such a pre-teen thing to do.

I visited my crush in the hospital once with a friend.  I even bought him a card I still have somewhere because I was too scared to send it to him while he was in the hospital.

I remember the day he died.... when we found out about it at school.  I was in gym and we were outside playing some sport and I was talking to a friend how I wanted to see him one more time.  We knew he was dying.  We were changing back into our clothes and someone came in to tell us to hurry up because there was an announcement.  I think we all knew what it was.  I remember sitting in the bleachers when we all found out he had died.  I remember crying for months... It also seemed to be a big thing with me... I felt somehow tainted.  Like I would be forever marked as the girl who had a crush on the boy who died.  I never dated in school... not until I was in college.  The guy I dated in college had the same first name.  I thought it was some sort of sign that I wasn't tainted anymore.

Life goes on...

Here is a song I wrote about him... many years later.  I remember being upset when I wrote it because I couldn't remember the color of his eyes... so... that may not be true... I finally gave up trying to remember and picked a color.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Two Little Girls

This song I wrote about a childhood friend and myself.  She lived up the street from me in middle school and we would hang out after school and weekends.  We would ride our bikes downtown and just hang out in the neighborhood.  During high school she did her own thing and I did mine and we lost touch.  We never hung out or talked again.  I moved away and my parents would see her on occasion and tell me she was thinking about me and tell me about her health.  She dealt with drug abuse and an Eating Disorder and other health issues.  During my first solo road trip on Blue in 2009 she passed away.  I still think of her often.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

One Size Fits All

A couple of months ago I went out looking for some hiking pants and a coat... well... to figure out what size I am.  I rarely ever buy clothes.  I usually get a free shirt at a job and buy some cheap Walmart pants that I don't even try on.  I hate shopping.  I went with a couple of friends to help me out.  It turned out to be a nice day but realizing that there was no way I was fitting into any women sizes was very frustrating to me.  No matter the size small to x-large they had no hips... no curves in them... and... well... length is a total other issue for me.  Arms and legs are never long enough... so I am stuck in the men's section trying on clothes.

It is difficult allowing your body to be the size it needs to be.  I use to be able to shop anywhere and find something.  Now I can barely find a pair of shoes.  When I tell people I am recovering from an Eating Disorder they ask how much weight I have lost in recovery as if I was recovering from Overeating.  It use to horrify me... now I smile and move on.

One thing I love about my life on the road is that I don't see all the media crap out there telling women who they should be... how they should look... or act.  I rarely watch TV... I rarely work in a place with other people so I don't have to listen to the latest dieting trend or who is loosing weight to fit into whatever outfit.  I've never understood why people just don't buy an outfit that fits the size they are when they buy it.

Anywhos... I wrote the song of the day for an Eating Disorder Awareness Event in Miami.  I wrote it like the day before the event... but none the less it worked. :)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Left Behind

A little over 9 years ago I went back to Nebraska and spent the holidays with my family.  My older brother was getting married soon after the New Year so I stayed a little longer than usual.  One afternoon I had this tremendous urge to go to my grandmother's grave.  I hadn't been in years.  This was my grandmother who committed suicide when I was 9... it felt like I had to go... to move forward somehow.

So, that afternoon I went to Walmart and bought some plastic flowers and drove to the cemetery.  I only knew the area she was buried in and not sure where she was exactly.  I remember going there with a babysitter once and we had the hardest time finding her.  I figured I would look around a little and if I couldn't find her I would just leave.

As soon as I drove into the cemetery I fell into this flashback.  I was driving thru the cemetery as the 9 year old... sitting in the back of the van.  Taking a right turn... then a left... and parking.  As I got out of the car and walked down an isle I imagined the dream I had the night before she died.  I was standing in front of a grave in a gray dress.  I saw the moment my mom drove us away from school and told us my grandma died.  I saw me sitting on my dad's lap in my grandparent's kitchen as I found out she killed herself.  I saw the moment my cousins and I thought she was in a garbage bag hidden behind some gun cases.  The moment my teacher told me my grandmother was stupid for killing herself... the moment when my cousins and I thought she was alive in her casket.  I went thru every moment from the dream the night before to the moment I was standing at her grave at her funeral.  It was like I was 9 years old again.

Not completely sure where I was I came to and looked down.  I was at her grave... The grave said I was there the day she died.  It was about 3:15 or so... which would of been the time I would of gotten out of school and into my mom's car to drive to my grandma's house... the moment my mom told me she died.

I stopped for a moment and then said, "I forgive you grandma... keep an eye on me because I'm going to fly."

Quite interesting because in all my treatment I never blamed her... I blamed myself for not being there... not telling her how much I loved her... helping her see that she was loved and needed.

It felt so good... I left the cemetery with a weight lifted... a smile on my face and the feeling I could accomplish anything.

I always call myself a left behind of suicide.  Being a left behind has made me look at life differently somehow... I knew what it was like to be left behind so I could never go thru with my suicidal thoughts and leave someone behind thinking that they could of done something... could of changed my life.  I was never meant to save my grandma... I was meant to experience loss, grief and love so that I could get myself thru my own demons.

Here is a song I wrote about my grandma's suicide... what it felt like to me... what it meant to me.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Being in the Now

I am constantly working on living in the moment.  I live an amazing life but sometimes I fall back into thinking in the past or into the unknown future.  Yes, one has to plan but my days are rarely the same... especially when traveling.  I tell myself to let life lead and the adventure will follow.  Trusting that I can make it thru the unknown.  Some days I like to stop and relax in the present.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I am Woman!

One thing that took me a long time to acknowledge was being a woman.  In treatment and being taken care of by many people it is hard to be considered anything but girl.  To take on the title of woman, for me, meant 1. I could take care of myself and 2. That I am a mature human being.

I get very frustrated when people call me little girl, girl, young lady.  It feels as if they are trying to take my power away from me... that somehow I am never old enough.  I am plenty old to do whatever my heart desires and I take that very seriously.

A couple weeks ago I posted on Facebook how frustrated I was being called little girl and it was interesting to me how many women thought it was ok... or even a compliment to be called girl.  That somehow Woman = old... and Girl = young.  I never thought of the term woman having to do with age but maturity... knowledge... grace.

Little girl, to me, is non-sexual or sensual... the spirit is still being formed... needs to be taken care of... not independent.  I don't see how being a girl would be a compliment.  How are women suppose to become an equal in society if we are considered less than... or needed to be taken care of.  Is this something that society has ingrained into us... that women are somehow less than and that should be a compliment?

Maybe it is from my past of feeling like I was less than... needed to be taken care of that it offends me so much now that I am stronger.

In 2006, I spoke at a school in Wells Nevada and a teacher there asked me to write a song about aging.  She was having a difficult time with the whole aging process and how society tells us that being old is somehow less than.  The next day I wrote Aging Gracefully and shared it at the community event I was speaking at in town.

Being Woman does not mean old age... and I believe in being proud of aging... knowing that you have lived and learned... the grace of the lines and lessons.  Nothing is more inspiring to me than a woman who ages gracefully.  I am proud to be Woman!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Then and Now

It always takes me a second and I smile when I share my story and someone tells me they can't see me as someone who has depression or an eating disorder.  Kind of a strange life... it is like I have lived 2 lifetimes that don't connect.

This video is a song I wrote in the middle of some bad times... a bit intimidating... not much hope.  I never get to share this song because it isn't "positive"... that's what people have told me.  Well.. this is the real life of Jackie for most of my life.

I was someone who went without treatment for many years then when I was in treatment I was over medicated for a few years.  I lost that censor in my brain that would tell me maybe that isn't a good idea... I wouldn't remember if I ate that day, where I was suppose to be and on occasion would forget where I lived.

I was more suicidal and had more self harm on medication than I ever had off medication.  I was a cutter, I would burn myself and once I even tried to hang myself out of curiosity of what that would feel like.  Again... loosing that important voice in my head... I figured if my toes could touch the ground all would be well... not realizing I would have to get up higher to get myself out of the rope.  I was stuck on my toes for quite a while before I found a way out.. unharmed... but not without a story to tell. :/

That day was a turning point for me... I brought in everything I had that I would use to hurt myself to my nutritionist and said I am going off my meds.  Never looked back.  It took a lot of work but at least my mind was with me to do the work.

The most healing thing has been living on the road.  Sure, it isn't for everyone but it is for me.  I am the happiest I have ever been... I love to laugh and smile.  I always say my smile changed... it's not plastered on my face to please... it comes all on it's own.  I took away unnecessary stress and I challenge myself daily... putting myself outside of my comfort zone.  I went from a life of loneliness to a life where I am never alone.  I have friends all over the world I chat with online or visit while on the road.  My heart feels full and I am happy.

Monday, February 2, 2015

One conversation can change it all

One of my favorite stories to tell about how I began to see things differently...

In 2000 I was inpatient at the Renfrew Center of Florida for 32 days.  I spent my 22nd birthday at Renfrew.  I met many wonderful women during my stay but I can't say I was ready to loose my Eating Disorder.  I just went and did what everyone told me to do because I am people pleaser.

One afternoon, I went to the nurses station for my supervised fluids... a glass of Gatorade.  I was always dehydrated.  For what seemed like forever I would have to memorize my first few steps when getting up from a seated or laying position.  Everything would turn black for at least the first 3 or so steps.   I would feel this tingling sensation throughout my body and then my vision would come back again.  I never wanted anyone to know I couldn't see so I would memorize my first 5 steps so I would look like all was good.

I would have to go to the nurses station a couple of times a day for fluids.  There was one nurse there I just adored.  One day we were talking and she looked me right in the eyes and said, "You know life doesn't have to be this way."  I probably said something like... I know... or whatever... acknowledging she said something but not accepting what she said.

I had never heard that before... I never knew that my life was my choice... that it could be something different.  That comment stays in the back of my mind and I pull it out every time I feel like I may be stuck in a life I don't want... or a life that doesn't make me happy.

The first song I wrote about my Eating Disorder (ED) questions the purpose of ED... wondering what it might be like if I didn't have an Eating Disorder.

In October 2001 I moved to Miami Florida and started an outpatient group.  One day I brought in my guitar and shared this song... I wrote it a few days before group.   It was shocking to me that people would listen... understand... and want me to share this song with others.  The therapist running the group wanted me to sing this song for the Miami/Dade NEDAW event in February.  That started a journey of healing in a totally different and public way.

A recording of What It Would Be Like can be found on iTunes


What It Would Be Like

Why can't I live without you; you've never been good for me
Why can't I find the strength and the courage to leave
I have wasted my life, my body, my soul
All to keep you happy and to keep me whole

I feel I'm not worthy of another life
But I can't help but think what it would be like
Do I really need you to make it through the day
Or do you need me to show others the way

Am I meant to be with you every moment of every day
Am I meant to feel lonely when you are away
I don't understand the need, the want, the desire
To stay with someone who cuts me like a knife


One day I'll have the strength
One day I'll have the hope
One day I'll have the life I dreams
And find my way home


I feel I'm not worthy of another life
But I can't help but think what it would be like
I can't help but think what it would be like

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fabulous February is here again!

It is that time of year where I like to do do something for Eating Disorder Awareness.  I never think a week is long enough so I do something for the entire month of February.  This year I have a few things stirring in my pot.

Please join me and my friends in We Are Fabulous in February (and All the Other Days of the Year) on FB.  Share each day what is Fabulous about you!  Meet new friends and share in the support of Fabulous people!

I am also going to open up my black binder of ED and share it with you.  I found my black binder in my hiking pack a few months ago... if felt odd having it there... like I was bringing my Eating Disorder into my next phase of life.  I am ready to leave ED behind and I feel to do that I need to share my journey.  Each day for the month of February I am going to share my story... I am also going outside my comfort zone and share a video of myself... either singing a song I wrote, telling a story... sharing me.  I am a little nervous and hope I can make it all 28 days.  I know posting something on the internet will bring the good, bad and just plain I can't believe they said that... so... here I go... putting myself out there for the masses.

Here is a bit of an intro to ease myself into things for day 1.

Hope you have a Fabulous February!