Turning 30. Single. Broke. Eating Disorder. Chronic Depression. Need I go on? My life would seem to be wreck, an absolute mess. Would it puzzle you if I said I was actually hopeful? Inspired? Determined? Encouraged?
My reason for hope is found in my very near future. In two months, I will be taking a solo trip to Colorado to climb all 55 fourteeners! — You might be thinking, “What the heck are those?” They’re mountains in Colorado that are all above 14,000 feet. Think of the latest “Wild” or the classic “Into the Wild” movies and you’ ll catch my drift of what’s to come. Over 3,000 men and women have climbed all 54 infamous mountains. I’m just not sure how many have been women… and of those brave women, have climbed all of them by themselves… Welcome to a new chapter of my life, and I’m taking you with me.
In this chapter I’m free to be broken, free to be weak, free to lose, free to be no one, free to be ordinary and free, to fail. Doesn’t that sound amazing?! You see, in the very recent past, these things listed in my opening paragraph gave me reason to loath myself and hold myself imprisoned in a cage of shame and disgust and to an impossible climb of self-redemption. Every good circumstance brought me temporary happiness, while every bad circumstance, whether self-inflicted or not, knocked me down so far I’d be out for days or months.
Want to find true happiness, regardless of status or circumstance? Now, I’m not saying that I’ve arrived, but I do think I’m personally starting to absorb what it means to accept Christ’s death for our sins and want to dive into this deeper on my journey through the mountains. I’m starting to realize just how many “layers of yuck” I’ve been carrying around because I won’t accept forgiveness for my failures and sins. I know, it sounds cliche and if you’ve grown up a Christian your entire life like I have, you probably can relate to hearing a verse or a message a million times and it still not resonate with you- but someday, it’ll hit you differently, and you’ll know it’s God telling you to move.
Here’s another one you’ve probably heard, “God has you exactly where you’re supposed to be” (Act 17:26). It’s hard to hold onto that thought when it feels like your life has been a disaster, but right now I’m grateful that I have some time to really explore my past hurts. Why do something so painful? Because not dealing with it has left me a depressed, self-loathing individual who has never felt like she was enough.
As stated above, I am one of 350 million people globally that suffer from depression. It started at age nineteen when I was cut from my college volleyball team. Accompanying my depression at age twenty-three, has been my eating disorder better known as ED. I have had bulimia for six and half years. I still can’t even believe that it’s part of my story; I would have never predicted this. I’ve been trying to rid this insanity for a year and eleven months now and have been in 3 different treatment facilities. I’m currently receiving treatment in Minnesota and will remain in partial and eventually outpatient treatment until my departure to Colorado.
Even though my story is at a crossroads where my life doesn’t seem at all worked out, the great news is that God can use all our hurts and failures for good (Romans 8:28). That is the core purpose of this blog! I am determined to find acceptance, forgiveness and love for myself. The worth of myself will no longer stand in my beauty, my status or my accomplishments. It will stand in the beauty of being a princess of the Most High and living out who God made me to be! A strong, adventurous, free spirited woman with an enormous heart for those who are hurting.
My prayer is that my hurts, that are not uncommon (1 Corinthians 10:13), will help someone else (maybe you) to live their life more fully; as Christ promises us a full and happy life (John 10:10). I pray that if you have struggled with accepting who you are inside and out; that you will find hope, inspiration, determination and encouragement to live out who God has created you to be!
In efforts to support my journey, and to also encourage others to live their life boldly I created these tank tops which I’m selling on Etsy. They are all hand screen printed and each shirt has a precious bell tied to the inside hem to remind you to “ACT” on the promise of Joshua 1:9! More details on esty.com/shop/sunshineof1985
Best of Wishes in your journey! You have it more together than you think. And from what I saw, you are one heck of a mountaineer! Keep up the great work.
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Fantastic! From the story about your journey and your pictures it would seem self-loathing would be nonexistent. But I have been there too through many of my 56 years. Non of us was able to choose the chromosomes that programmed us–only what we do with them. The Creator makes no mistakes! May you appropriate the freedom given through the Great Physician over your eating disorder as you are over Colorado’s highest summits! Thanks for standing for Christ!!!
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I met you in a wind tunnel on the saddle between Challenger and Kit Carson…. I watched from afar your blue hat climb down the gnarly, slick, rocky West Face of Kit Carson- I was amazed as I watched and thought for sure you were some famous mountaineer doing some first ascent—– it was truly incredible- I was even more amazed to see you plop down off the rock face and– surprise!!! You were the most adorable-looking girl with pigtails and dimples!!
I have been thinking about you ever since- searched for you…. To read your story here is even more inspirational— You are living life BOLDLY!! and I am excited to see what you do next! Stay in touch!
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This is rad.
I could literally cry. I have been looking for a blog like this for years. Thank you for the inspiration; you’ve given me just what I needed for today, and hopefully it will last for many tomorrows. (: God has such amazing plans for you. Keep up the good fight, and know that you are making a beautiful difference with your story. I hope to meet you someday, even if it is in heaven. God bless.
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Thank you so much!!! It was my how that I could give how to even one person through my blog! God bless you and your fight and your journey!
I read about your journey in the Denver Post and had to read about you. I have suffered from an eating disorder off and on for 30 years, but I think that I’m in a good place. I think that you never “get over” your eating disorder…it’s a struggle that we learn to cope with in healthy ways. I believe wholeheartedly that faith in God is the only way to find healing. Two and a half years ago, our daughter went to be with Jesus at five years old. So, I am on my own journey and everyday is a struggle. My family and friends thought that I would go back into the vortex of anorexia. But, God is giving me the strength not to follow this dark path. God is great and is always walking with us through our hardest times. I too am mountain climber. We just climbed Mt. of the Holy Cross yesterday and the quietness and closeness to God I experience in the mountains is a true healer and let’s me know that everything will be OK. Congratulations to you on your journey and many blessings to you in the future! God is good!
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Wow! I can’t imagine the pain of losing your child, and at such a young age. I really applaud your incredible strength and faith! Someday you’ll be with your baby for an eternity!!!! It’s incredible you didn’t go back to your eating disorder! You should be so proud if yourself. And yes I agree, the ED voice and temptations might never go away, but that’s why we need God 🙂
By the way, I didn’t even know my story was in the Denver Post! What day did you see it? Was it online? I’d love a copy to keep 🙂
way to go! I’m so happy for you and your hard work. I’m also a 1985’er and it’s hard turning 30!! good for you!
Thank you so much!
Hi Kristina. I stumbled upon your blog on the 14ers website when reviewing the trail reports for Mr. Lindsey. What accomplishments you have achieved – and all with a kind and humble spirit! I admire your strength and grace (and I must say, you look like a very strong and capable woman). Thank you for your honesty in your posts, the highly valuable information in your blog, and…yeah. I will be back to review more posts of the 14ers you have. Take good care!
Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so happy they will help you with your climb! Especially Mt. Lindsey! That one was a toughy mentally! I hope your climb is amazing though!