Friday, December 05, 2014


I celebrated International Day of Persons With Disability by sharing my greatest struggle and subsequent victory. Read my blog here.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

I'm grateful for....

* Surprise morning bookings with Cynthia
* Dress shirts
* The show Mad Men
* Hamburgers from the Bugernator
* The new slow cooker from Matthew
* Coloured napkins from Emlyn
* My cyst shrinking
* Christmas lights
* Coffee with Des
* Aleen who made chili for Matthew and I yesterday 
*Cluster buns from Loblaws
* Books
* My parents and the stories they share about Cole
* Seeing Kemi's daughter
* The new manager, Shannon
* PMS that explains why I occasionally binge
* Success before bed
* No judgment from Matthew over binging
* April for being my oldest and dearest friend


Thursday, November 20, 2014


Tonight is our first major snowstorm. Looking outside the window, there is a carpet of snow. It's smooth, sleek and pretty, but only because I'm warm inside my apartment. Matthew and I ate roasted potatoes, squash and rice for lunch. It was delicious, even if it was carbohydrate heavy. In the afternoon, we watched the movie Parkland starring Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Marcia Gay Harden, Zac Eforn, and Colin Hanks. The movie follows the Kennedy assassination for three days. It's graphic, fast paced and moving.  Watch it!

My brother, Shane has been struggling again and went to hospital yesterday. This is getting old. Poor everyone. I still have hope he will recover. I am proof that recovery is possible. I don't believe anything is possible, but I think sometimes our choices are made before we can choose them ourselves. Death shouldn't be a choice because, if my brother was healthy, he'd never choose to be an alcoholic.  I miss home and my family. I always do, even though I am very content. Not living at home makes alcoholism in my family more bearable. They are on my mind every day.

Matt is waiting for a slow cooker to be delivered from Amazon. It's my birthday present. He's excited. Some yummy soups and stews will be in our future. It's crazy to think that two years ago I didn't know how to make any meal but salad. Food is important to me now. It doesn't scare me; it makes me happy. The show Scandal makes me happy too. Winter or subsequent dry skin isn't making me happy. You can't have it all, right?


Thursday, November 06, 2014

Humans of New York


I'm the teenage girl you met earlier today when I was walking with my dad and we talked for a little while about about my eating disorder, but I realized that I didn’t quite give the answers I felt were completely honest or were what I wanted to say. Thinking about it, what I really should have and wanted to say was that this whole experience of having an eating disorder has been complete shit, and it’s the hardest thing I have ever and probably will ever do. There’s no specific moment that has been particularly hard that my dad has helped me through, because the entire time it has just been an ongoing nightmare.
If this is what you want for the caption, I could keep going into great depth about what it’s like having an eating disorder, portraying it in a multitude of metaphors and descriptions that would give people something meaningful to respond or react to. But even still, this probably wouldn’t come close to giving people an idea of how difficult, confusing, draining and indescribable this disease is.
However, since this was originally about my dad and I, I wanted to say that another reason I can’t think of a specific time he’s helped, is because he has been here for me through all of it. The entire time, he has been trying his hardest to help me beat this, which I realize has been incredibly hard on him too, and I’m very appreciative and grateful for that. Whether you decide to use this (or part of) as the caption or not, thanks for reading it and allowing me to explain myself. By the way, would it be okay if you used the picture of our hands and left out my name?

Thank you.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Happy Birthday Dad!

Well, hey! It's been a while. Summer has come to a close and fall is upon us. I wish I had exciting news to share.  My apartment was inspected for bed bugs yesterday. Nothing was found. The summer was fun and simple. I spent a lot of time  outside and at the market. Fruit cups were a hit. We spent lots of time at Queen Quay and Kensington Market eating hamburgers. Kensington is a hipster area. I love the free vibe. I enjoyed being near the water. Now  that it's too cold, I will miss the pier.

I wrote a narrative piece and a blog that were both selected for publication.  I am excited about both. It's been a while since I've been productive. For a long time, I was only destructive.

My family is struggling because my brother is struggling. The police were called. He shook their hands and fell back asleep. Poor Mom and Dad. Poor Shane. I've only held Emma once. I try to stay away. I feel sad about this. My Mom cries and that makes me cry. Will he ever get better? I have hope because I must. What would I do without my family? I am scared to think about this.

Last night I watched Inside Llewyn Davis. It was by far the best movie I watched this year. The music was folk style and the lead actor, Oscar Issac was really talented. The story was about the pre-Bob Marley area in Greenwich Village, Manhattan and followed a week in the life of a folk singer. Llewyn Davis was down on his luck but very committed to music. My heart goes out to any cute guy who plays guitar.

It's raining now. I used to love fall. Now I worry about what lies ahead. In spite of my anxiety, today is Dad's birthday. He isn't musical, but we love to share art. One day, I hope Dad hears this song:

 Happy Birthday Dad! I love you.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Love You Deserve....

You deserve love and security, a combination that warms the core of your heart. You deserve knowledge that the person you are with wants to be there and, more importantly, won’t run away when times get tough. This is someone that will stay by your side, fight your fights right there with you because they know you would do the same for them.
You deserve someone who laughs at your jokes and smiles at the mere sight of you smiling. This smile will be genuine, not fake, and you will feel butterflies when you see it and your smile will grow until your cheeks can no longer take it.
You deserve someone who brings you coffee in the morning because they know the addiction is real. You deserve breakfast in bed, flowers “just because,” and hugs that feel like you are at home.
You deserve hands that only reach for you. They may be dry, cracked, calloused, perfectly manicured, or a complete mess, but they know you, your hands, and your body. They don’t reach away to know more.
You deserve someone who doesn’t make you cry, at least on purpose, because you are human and you feel deeply and love passionately, and when one teardrop falls there may be a thousand more, but you are not alone. Even though they hurt you, they hold you until the shaking stops, wiping away your tears and kissing your damp cheeks although you whisper for them to stop. They will say sorry and you will feign being mad until you both give in to happiness again because you know anger is a state the two of you cannot remain in.
You deserve someone who takes responsibility for their mistakes and who apologizes for the times they unintentionally hurt you because you would do the same for them. You deserve someone who can forgive as you do, even if neither of you can completely forget.
You deserve someone whose touch feels like fireworks across your skin, whose eyes always look for yours when they enter a room, and whose heart never yearns for the attention of another.
You deserve trust that may waver but never entirely falter. It will look nothing like control. It will look like freedom but with your best friend by your side holding your hand. There will be moments of jealousy, but these will be outweighed by smiles, laughter, trust, and love.
You deserve back rubs for no reason, dinner you don’t have to make alone, a hand to hold, a heart to feel, and a person who cannot imagine life without you in it.
You deserve security just as much as you deserve spontaneity. You will be comfortable but not so settled down that stubborn roots no longer give you the nutrients you need to grow. This person you are with will try the things you enjoy and you will try the things they do as well. You will find new things to do and new places to go because you both love to share these sorts of moments together.
You deserve someone who pushes you to be better, to seek out the best opportunities for you even if the next step is terrifying for you both.
You deserve chocolate when you are cranky, a partner to indulge in your guilty television pleasures, and someone who tries to kiss you even though they just watched you puke up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is the person who laughs when you correct their grammar instead of getting mad, the one who knows they had better text you back, and the person who understands that you will not always have your “A game” out on display.
You deserve someone who wants to be better for you, someone who strives to be better for you, but, most importantly, you deserve someone who wants to be better for themselves. This is the type of person who will grow alongside of you and never dream of holding you back.
You deserve someone who is looking at the big picture in life, and that picture has you in it.
You deserve someone who continues looking forward, someone who doesn’t stop constantly to look at the past. They may not like everything about who you were before, but they love who you have become. They know not to let your past trip them up for too long. You both came into the relationship with baggage that slowly unpacked itself and, even though it would be easy enough to pack up your things and go back to your respective homes, you both stay.
You deserve someone who loves you as much as you love them, a life that is so beautiful that you cannot tell if you are awake or still in bed dreaming, and someone who doesn’t so much as put one foot out the door because they know you are not the person to walk away from. This will be the person who sticks around through thick and thin because they want to, not because they have to.
You deserve all of this and so much more, and you deserve it for a lifetime.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Delicacy Trailer

I'm a huge fan of  this movie. It's sweet and relatable. Nathalie losses her beloved husband and finds his polar opposite in a modest co-worker. Matthew reminded me that the new guy in the movie has a beard like Matthew. "Beards always win," he said. Indeed they do.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I'm grateful for.....

* This song below because it reminds me of love
* Ace Bakery buns
* Women's movie night
* The movie Juno
* Sharing peanut butter cookies with Matt
* Chatting with Danielle in the park
* Dr. Mills giving me a hug
* Healing
* Summer starting tomorrow

"Look, in my opinion the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what-have-you. The right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your a_ _. That's the kind of person that's worth sticking with." 

"I think I'm in love with you."
"You mean as friends?"
"No... I mean for real. 'Cause you're, like, the coolest person I've ever met, and you don't even have to try, you know..."
- From Juno


Monday, June 02, 2014

Welcome Emma!

This is Emma Gwendolyn Ladner Burgess ; born to Carlie and Mike and big sister to Skylar and Hannah. I can't wait to meet you Emma.

Love your Auntie who will give you rides in her wheelchair and cupcakes as soon as you can chew.


Wednesday, May 07, 2014


 I don't know what to say. Grandma is recovering. The results are weeks away. I have a good feeling. Cole turned four years old today. His birth was the best day of my far. Another baby is coming in less than a month. My Mom has the flu. Poor Mom. I feel really, really fat tonight. I miss being skinny and all of the madness. That said, I love pizza, yogurt bars and vegetables sautéed with garlic and olive oil. After three years of eating them every day, I'm tired of salads. I love Saturday night dinners. I love intimacy and nurturing. I love the smells of food coming from my kitchen. I love vegetarian pasta,  kissing and eating. I love it more than a skinny body. That makes me sad because I have to forge a new path. Maybe it's the path I was too scared to take before. I'm stronger now, but I still feel a little lost.


Monday, May 05, 2014

Love, sweet love....

This song from Sam Smith is heartbreakingly beautiful. I cannot hear it enough because I can relate to feeling unloved. We all can...

Matthew and I had our first fight. For the first time in six months, I showed up at his door without texting first. I told Matthew that something he said  didn't sit right with me. He was stunned. I rarely get angry, but I needed to speak up. After venting, I asked him to open the door so I could leave. He convinced me to stay and hear his apology. I did and kissed him. I'm learning to stand up for myself. People listen. Often, I smile after kissing Matthew. Yesterday he said that, when my mouth is occupied, my eyelashes curl as if they are smiling instead.  

On a happy note, Cole celebrated his fourth birthday yesterday at East Side Marios. He was so cute. The love he has for his Dad is unconditional. Hopefully my brother chooses to recover from alcoholism. Having others love us is motivation, but we need the desire for a better life. 

I heard a beautiful violin player this afternoon. In the grocery store, a man sweetly got up to move chairs and spilled chocolate milk. Good karma will find him ; of this I am sure.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I'm grateful for....

* Comfortable pants when my stomach hurts
* Music from Sam Smith
* Surprise afternoon visits
* Calling Grandma on Easter
* Talking to Dad
* Turtle ice cream
* Bumping into Des in the grocery store
* Hugs from Irene
* Grandma getting a favourable cancer prognosis 
* Cole turning four years old


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Sad news....

My Grandma has breast cancer. I'm sad. She's my only Grandma. No one plays with my hair like she does. No one kisses or hugs like her. Grandmas are special. I'm sad. I've not been home in a month. I want to hug my Grandma so tightly. 

I am tired....and sad.

That's all.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

I'm grateful for...

*This video called First Kiss
* Mom's 59th Birthday
*Mom's health
* No more eating disorder treatment!
* Cole 
* Murray taking off my coat in the elevator
* Jeff's chocolate cake
* comfortable pants
* Skylar saying goodbye to me


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The National - I Need My Girl

I watched this song performed on SNL on the weekend. It's beautiful. I can't get the sound out of my head. SNL is a spirit lifter. I'm reading Cockroach by Rawi Hage. The story is about immigration struggles in Canada. It was profiled at Canada Reads as one of the four books all Torontonians should read. I'm starting to see why. The struggles of newcomers are unique. The same is true of all minorities. I have cockroaches and one crawled on my book. After bed bugs, cockroaches don't scare me.  The irony of a cockroach crawling on a book called Cockroach made me laugh.  Life is funny - or maybe more ironic.


Saturday, February 01, 2014

23 Little Things That Let You Know You Are In The Right Relationship....

23 Little Things That Let You Know You’re In The Right Relationship

1. You never feel weird being naked around them, even when you’re in bad lighting or on a day where you don’t feel so hot overall.
2. You catch them looking at you every now and again and they always have this really appreciative, happy look on their face when they think you aren’t looking. (Unless you’re being dumb and they’re looking at you with that “Oh, you” look they give sometimes.)
3. Your friends really like them, and there’s never that weird feeling of “Oh, the significant other is coming along, time for everyone to be serious and not have as much fun.”
4. People often ask you if they have a sibling or a good friend who is single.
5. When you’re talking to them about a bad day you had, they always listen and actually give some kind of feedback, instead of just staring at you with this glazed-over look and waiting until you stop talking.
6. Errands, like going to the grocery store or taking a drive somewhere, are always made way more fun and interesting when the two of you are doing it together.
7. Actually, when you think about it, going grocery shopping together is one of your favorite things.
8. They know what your favorite junk foods are, and sometimes they surprise you with them.
9. Whenever the two of you fight, the fights always stay on topic and don’t ever get into matches of hurtful name-calling. You’re never afraid that they’re going to give you some terrible low blow over an unrelated argument.
10. You love showing each other music and movies that you love, and the other one always looks forward to discovering it.
11. They play well with kids, and are always down to entertain little siblings/cousins if you have them.
12. The two of you can just be lazy, wear PJs, order in Chinese food, and watch TV together. And it will be the best night ever.
13. All of the quirks that you’re used to hiding or downplaying are things that they actively love and appreciate about you, and go out of their way to let you know they appreciate.
14. They are very respectful to their elders.
15. When you have to compromise about something, they are always willing to give something up on their end. You aren’t left with the feeling like you’re the only one who is sacrificing to make things work.
16. They pick up after themselves without you having to ask them over and over, or making a really big deal about it. (Because no one wants to end up being a maid for their SO.)
17. You can tell them secrets and know that they aren’t going to judge you or make you feel weird about it.
18. When you go to an arcade together, they will often let you have their tickets so you can get something sweet off the top shelf and not be stuck with some lame plastic piece of crap.
19. Sometimes you snort-laugh around them, and they don’t make you feel weird about it.
20. When the two of you are lying on the couch together, they will stroke your hair in a way that feels just sooooo amaziiiing.
21. They aren’t afraid to tell you the truth when you’re doing something hurtful. They stand up for themselves when you need to be straightened out.
22. The two of you can share a pint of ice cream and break into a mini sword fight with your spoons when you reach the last bite.
23. Every time you wake up next to them and they’re still sleeping, you get this tiny little flutter of “Oooooh,” and want to do something between kissing them and pinching their cheek and squeezing them so hard they pop. But they look so peaceful, so you let them sleep.

By Sophie Martin 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm grateful for....

* TVO documentaries
* Not having a land line
* Lemon juice and hot sauce as salad dressing
* Salted caramel ice cream
* Intimacy and trust
* Matt wiping my chin


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Negative Automatic Thoughts and Rational Responses

The following is a list of negative, automatic thoughts and rational responses from my eating disorder treatment. If you are struggling with disordered eating, hopefully these notes help.




If I’ve gained weight, then I need to go back to eat less. I need to lose that weight. 
Restriction leads to bingeing. I want to be normal and normal eaters don’t restrict.

I have to be thinner because it’s easier for other people.
 Normal people take care of themselves. I have to put myself first. Restriction is selfish – that’s all about me.

If I have a bad day, restriction will make me feel better. 
 Having to gain weight again is not fun. Gaining and losing weight over and over is exhausting.

This is my thing. This is what I do. 
It may be my thing, but it doesn’t make me special. It makes me sad, weird and hard to get along with.

Binge eating:

This is food I wouldn’t normally eat and I love it.
I can always restrict tomorrow. 

This cycle has to stop. I’m smart enough to know this cycle doesn’t work or make me feel good.

I deserve this. 
Actually, I deserve to be healthy and normal.

I’m not overweight, so it’s OK. I may not be overweight, but I do have an ED. This is not recovery.

This may not be good for me, but who cares. Things can be different now. They can change. I’ve thought this way before and it usually happens when I’m tired. I might feel differently tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Keep Breathing....

Today is freezing outside. Coming from the library and Loblaws caused my fingers to tingle. I saw a squashed bird on the street and it made me sad. The bird also made me consider becoming a vegetarian. Poor bird...

When my parents set up my new TV in my bedroom, I bought an antenna to watch local channels. I love watching Jimmy Fallon, especially on Fridays when he writes apology letters. He's hilarious! Matthew set up my antenna. We came across the Muppets Christmas movie. Emily Blunt is in it. I said to Mathew, "She's sweet, but her former boyfriend Micheal Buble was a real loser. I wonder if that's what people say about you and me?" He laughed.

On Saturday I ate a HUGE burger and fries. As a vegetable and carbohydrate lover, a burger was a big deal. I enjoyed it. Sometimes a girl needs a burger and fries. We also watched some of Dallas Buyer's Club. It's quite a raw, gut wrenching movie. I'm  glad we didn't see it in theaters. That would have been awkward.

Shane is withdrawing from hydromorphone. He's struggling. I went home on Sunday but didn't see him. My Mom cried and it broke my heart. She just wants him fixed. We all want him fixed, but he has to share in this desire. I am very worried about my family. There is a huge lump in my throat every time I think of them. We are so tired, but we still love him. Hopefully Shane knows this. Speaking of struggles, I am still  dealing with my lumpier, fuller body. The song Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michealson resonates.  She must know someone who is an alcoholic, watched her mother cry, seen a dead bird on the street, eaten a hamburger and fries, and had cold hands. In spite of everything, Ingrid Michealson still keeps breathing. Perhaps I should go outside again. Don't hold your breath.


Monday, January 13, 2014

I'm grateful for....

* The flower lady at Loblaws stopping to tell me goodbye
* Cole running into my room to say good morning
* Skylar giving me her chocolate
* Sitting with Shane at Skylar's party
* Mavis hugging me hello in the lobby
* Mathew hugging and kissing me in the lobby
* My Dad calling to say he enjoyed having me home this weekend
* Drawing pictures with Cole
* Constipation relief
* Eating Katherine's cookies with Mathew


Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You....

This was a book that I bought for Skylar for her third birthday. I got so choked up, I couldn't finish reading it. 

I wanted you more

than you ever will know,

so I sent love to follow

wherever you go.

It's high as you wish it. It's quick as an elf.

You'll never outgrow it... it stretches itself!

So Climb any mountain...

climb up to the sky!

My love will find you.

My love can fly!

Make a big splash! Go out on a limb!

My love will find you.  My love can swim!

It never gets lost, never fades, never ends...

if you're working...

or playing...

or sitting with friends.

You can dance 'til you're dizzy...

paint til you're blue...

There's no place, not one, that my love can't find you.

And if someday you're lonely,

or someday you're sad,

or you strike out at baseball,

or think you've been bad...

Just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.

That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

In the green of the grass... in the smell of 

the sea.. in the clouds floating by...

at the top of a tree... in the sound

crickets make at the end of the day...

You are loved. You are loved. You are

loved, they all say

My love is so high, and so wide and

so deep, it's always right there, even

when you're asleep.

So hold your head high

and don't be afraid

to march to the front

of your own parade.

If you're still my small babe

or you're all the way grown,

my promise to you

is you're never alone

You are my angel, my darling,

my star... and my love will find you,

wherever you are. 

You are loved.

Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Celebrating Skylar....

I can hear rain hitting my windowpane. It's gloomy and wet out. I suppose it's England weather (minus the snow!) I've not been out yet today. I'm taking the train home in an hour. Tomorrow we're celebrating Skylar's third birthday.  Her actual birthday was in November but her family was sick. She's too little to know the difference. This morning Skylar threw her cereal on the floor and was banned from watching Treehouse. I think she gets her toughness from me.   My sister had an ultrasound yesterday. The baby is healthy. I am relieved. Shane is home. I'm excited to see him and Cole. I've missed them.

I've gained ten pounds in three months. I'm trying to swallow it. My body is lumpier and I have fuller cheeks. This place is not foreign to me, but it's still scary. Part of me misses anorexia. Another part loves food, spontaneity and intimacy. After a lunch date yesterday, I tweeted, Confession: There's something sweet about holding someone's face when you kiss. If I were actively restricting, all that would matter would be the calories in the pizza I ate. Now I can focus on moments that matter. Isn't that why we're all here? Well, maybe to listen to the rain too...

- OCG  

Friday, January 03, 2014

I'm grateful for....

* Shane coming home from treatment
* Being able to afford pop
* The guy outside Loblaws who helped me load my backpack
* The lift
* Having more of a butt
* My mom
* The words "Thank you."
* freshly washed clothes
* A new vacuum
* A pretty orchid from Mom
* nights of cuddling, kissing and sweet music
* A new TV
* My family
* Grace who picked me up when I slid on the floor
* TED talks