I Wasn’t Going to Write This

You’re too much! 

No one feels that much!

Why don’t you just let it go?

Why do you care so much? 

No one is that emotional. 

It’s not that big of a deal 

Give it back to the universe

Do you ever hear those things over and over again and want it to stop, because same. The only problem is, I’m the one telling myself those things. No one else sits there and says that to me, because the fact is no one cares and that’s okay. No one has the time to perpetually be in your face telling you what you should and should not feel. Over the past few years the perception of emotions we all have in our head is made from the fabric of the thoughts created by our environment. An environment entangled with emotions both positive and negative that has woven a web of should have, would have and could haves into the fabric of our lives. 

This fabric, at least for me, has started smothering me. Telling me day in, and day out that I am not worthy, smart, funny, talented or any other descriptor that somehow makes me worth a damn. As I looked back at pictures from 6 years ago, I realized I am envious of that girl I was, even though the woman I am now is much stronger emotionally and physically and has learned so many life lessons along the way. Throughout the past few months, I have had to remind myself multiple times a day that I am okay, I’m not failing, I’ll finish what I need to, I can do what I’ve set out to do and I’ll get to the end of the day so I can make it to another. 

This year has been filled with so much and to top it off, this month is coming to a close and with that so is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The anxiety quilt I made for myself weighs heavy on me and from time to time is too heavy to lift. Within the past 24 months I can honestly say there was a time I was not sure I wanted to be here anymore and from time to time I have flashbacks to the way I felt and how I thought maybe if I wasn’t here, the negative voices would stop and the guilt I have for the things I have yet to complete would vanish. Each time those thoughts creep in I have to fight to tell myself that I am doing the best I can with tools and knowledge I have within me. 

Being honest about negative self-talk, negative thoughts and feelings of worthlessness is something that is not brave or honorable. It is something that should be shared and valued because more people have those feelings but chose to brush it aside because they don’t feel safe enough to share. I’m not asking for everyone to get in groups and give each other hugs and spill your deepest darkest secrets, but I am asking you to reach out and maybe just check on someone today. Everyone needs someone, even the person you least expect and sometimes, the person that needs someone is looking at you in the mirror. Whether you need support or are giving that support just be there for someone today even if it’s yourself.

30 Days Sober: What Happened?

A month and two days ago I decided that for my own mental and physical health I would stop drinking for at least 30 days. When I made that goal, the little voice in my head told me I wouldn’t even make it two weeks, but here I am today. Trying to quit something you’ve done for so long takes a “day by day” mentality and I 100% agree with that statement. Every morning I woke up and knew if I could make it to lunch, I could make it to dinner and if I could make it to dinner, I could make it to bed. Those little milestones were something to celebrate and they showed me that I didn’t need to drink every night to be okay.

I am one of the lucky ones who realized that drinking was taking over my life, and I’m so thankful I never became physically dependent on it. With the self-reflection that sobriety brought, I realized I never really liked the feeling of being drunk, or the person I became when I had too much. This “experiment” proved that mind over matter really does help some people.

To keep myself busy I wrote in my journal, did lots of self-development reading, worked out and focused on my physical health. Everyday was minute by minute but like I said if you can make it to one milestone you can make it to the next and it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there!

Sober- A Necessity in a World Obsessed with Alcohol

This isn’t a dig at alcohol, or anyone who chooses to partake in a libation every now and again. This blog post is simply a look inside my mind and my reasons for giving up alcohol for the foreseeable future. Over the last 3 years the song, “Sober” by Demi Lovato could have been my theme song. Through some of life’s toughest moments, I turned to alcohol to numb my feelings, making me feel anyhing but my emotions. While my drinking never interfered with my life in a professional way, in my personal life I became a girl who had no ambition, no self worth or self esteem. My days were centered around when I could get home to drink, and on most days I stopped at thr drive through daiquiri shack on my way home. I stopped there so many times that they knew my order like at Starbucks, but in this case not as fun and most definitely sad. From 2017- about 2 weeks ago, I could count on one hand the number of days I didn’t consume alcohol. Years wasted, destroying my mental and physical health for no reason other than to tune out everything going on around me.

I’m not saying I’m an alcoholic since I was never physically dependent and had no withdrawal symptoms from stopping, but I was heading down a slippery slope to destroying the life I worked so hard to create. Looking back, it’s a shock that I still have the friendships and relationships I do because drunk Sara was not a fun person to be around; no filter, emotional and overall pessimistic. One day about a month ago, I finally woke up and realized I didn’t want to be that person, I didn’t want to live to drink. The only way I could make a change was to see how tired of my own shit I was becoming. If I didn’t want to be around myself, who would??

Today’s society puts so much emphasis on alcohol with new types of drinks popping up daily. The glamorization of IPAs, rosé, seltzers and top shelf liquor, there is nowhere in this country you can go without seeing some type of alcohol. These drink companies produce ads that condone drinking a drug, yes, a drug. The most widely used substance because of its legality and “cool” factor. Much like cigarettes in the early years, alcohol is a substance that can cause so much harm to your body, but it’s accepted to consume something that is quite literally poison (and used for fuel). Social acceptance and glamorization of drinking does not, in any way negate the effects of alcohol.

Over the next month, I’m hoping to focus on my mental well being, without the use of alcohol. A clear mind and healthy body will provide the perfect environment to look within myself and really find what my purpose is and deal with all of the emotions I have kept myself from feeling. In my first week, I can say with 100% certainty that the people you surround yourself with can make or break you and I am so grateful to have people who support me through all of my decisions. While I will not partake in drinking, I don’t think everyone should stop…unless, like me, you can’t just have one drink and be okay. I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to get at, other than to let anyone reading this know that you are not alone if you’re struggling with any type of addictive behavior. My best advice (that I actually followed) is to gather reading materials and journals specific to your journey and educate yourself, find your why and stick with it no matter how much you want to give in. Nothing in life is linear and this journey will be no different, but I am committed to being the best Sara I can be and that starts with taking care of my mental and physical health.

Did My Job Really Do That?

Is there a correlation between your work environment and your mental health? For some, the answer is no but most would say 100%. Those people that see zero correlation most likely have jobs they enjoy with coworkers they consider friends. While most of my adult working life has not been horrible, I think that this correlation exists and have witnessed it first hand as a leader and in my own life.

The Army is fairly high tempo in comparison to most other jobs, with leaders and subordinates taking on multiple duties at once to ensure operations continue in garrison and deployed. These duties and due outs almost always pile up on even the most organized soldier, but the reaction to that pile is what lingers long after all the work is complete. This scenario is one I have personally lived over and over as an S2, platoon leader and security manager. Having an entire brigade rely on you for clearances and arms rooms inspections doesn’t sound that bad, but when you have hundreds of people asking you to help them, the stress becomes overwhelming. For me it resulted in living a year of my life in the darkness, filled with doubt that I could make the Army a career.

At some point toward the end of 2019, I finally decided that I was tired of letting a job, in which I’m very replaceable, cause me unbearable stress. In order to do that I understood that it would take personal development, which is something I will continue to work. Having had unsuccessful counseling through all different mediums, I finally decided to pull the trigger and sign up for online counseling. With social anxiety, in person appointments were always incredibly uncomfortable so it has been great to do them from the comfort of my own home. Reaching out for guidance pertaining to mental health and stress is not selfish, in fact it’s the complete opposite because no soldier, no matter what rank wants a leader that lets their mental health get in the way of their job.

I’m not sure if this helps or gives insite, but in my book, work stress 100% coorelates to mental health. The next time you consider not doing something for yourself that could pay dividends in the long run, remember that you were looking for a job when you found the one you have and if you do leave for any reason, your position will be filled before you can blink. Reactions are everything in a world where so much is asked of you, so make sure you have coping skills for those days that just don’t go your way. YOU are most important person in your world and you must believe that before you can ever hope to be successful in other endeavors.

Moving AZ to VA

Moving is a part of life in the military that I don’t think anyone ever gets used to. Growing up my family moved a ton; at least 10 houses I can remember. Now as an adult I just “completed” my third move. Completed is a loose term considering I have yet to receive my household goods. The anticipation of moving is almost worse than actually moving, but the experience is one that not everyone will have a chance to take part in. The best part of moving is definitely decluttering and starting fresh, but the worst part is the planning, figuring out utilities, Wi-Fi, where to live and notifying all important parties…you know the basic adult things 😂 In my case, even though this was my third move I was fortunate enough to have my mother come help me move across the country from Arizona to Virginia.

For me specifically, change brings out the worst of my anxiety and my stress levels go through the roof. Waiting for the ball to drop is excruciating even though I know eventually I’ll get to where I’m going. About a month ago I was in my apartment crying because I felt like I would never make it out of Arizona. Almost everyone I knew had left Fort Huachuca already and I felt Stuck with a capital S. That week I scheduled my household goods shipment for July 2 and the countdown begin. Even though I had a countdown and that should have calmed my nerves, I never thought I would leave. The days dragged on and July 9 seemed like it would always be out of reach. I can now tell you as I said at a Starbucks in Blacksburg Virginia that it was within reach and I was just being overdramatic.

On July 2 my household goods were picked up and on the seventh my mom made it to Arizona to make a 20 Hour drive to Virginia with me. By July 9 we were on our way east with a full car and two puppers. The car ride was surprisingly easy filled with Queen, CCR, The Rolling Stones, Journey and about 5427 episodes of Crime Junkies. We made a stop in Dallas and then one more in Clarkesville to see Kris for his 27th birthday (a trip I wasn’t sure I would be able to make). On 13 July I finally arrived in Radford To start my new job as an ROTC instructor at Virginia Tech University.

Virginia is Green and beautiful with rolling hills, almost the complete opposite of Arizona (both beautiful in their own right). This move brings with it so much Positivity and happiness. Being closer to Kris in a few short hours away from my family is something I am very grateful for and I am determined to make the most of the next three years. Having a house with a yard also helps considering Bernie and Moon are two very happy puppers. I guess now I have to say “Go Hokies” but I really mean “gig ‘em Aggies 👍🏻”


“You look so healthy!” Four simple words that hit those in recovery like a ton of bricks. Being healthy is something to celebrate, but after over a decade of self-destruction and starvation, the only words that come to mind as a response are: fat, pig, gross, disgusting, obese. After telling myself for years that smaller was better, the idea of getting bigger and people noticing made me want to crawl out of my skin. It’s no shock that during my 7 years in recovery, I have relapsed multiple times usually around major life changes. If I shrank, my problems would shrink with me and I believed it would help me handle anything. In reality, it only amplified all the negative things I dwelled on and the circumstances around me. A year ago, I hit what I would probably call my “rock bottom.” I was in Korea, away from my normal routine and facing an uncertain future in terms of my career progression and relationships with pretty much everyone in my life. To escape the sadness I felt, I turned to drinking and exercise to numb my emotions and in turn, I spiraled into the darkest place I’ve ever been. 

I remember sitting on my bed, literally drinking vodka from the bottle trying to forget the world around me, I would drink until I couldn’t do anything and most nights I don’t really remember. I still did my job, but the second work ended, I was drinking and working out to fill my time. Food was an after thought most of the time, because I wasn’t worthy of eating. In my mind, since I was doing so poorly mentally, I didn’t deserve to eat because I was failing. Sure, I lost weight and was the smallest I had been since Kuwait, but I was the most unhappy I had ever been, most nights not even wanting to wake up the next morning because I felt I had nothing to look forward to. A few people knew that I was struggling and asked me regularly if I was okay, and I always said I was fine because I wasn’t important enough to worry about. My time in Korea lead me to an ugly streak of drunken nights. I could count on one hand the number of days I hadn’t drank and that in itself scared the shit out of me. 

It’s only now, a full year later that I am beginning to understand my worth. While I might not be a good person in everyone’s eyes, I have people in my life that love, care and support me. While I don’t have much sober time under my belt, I have slowly cut back on destructive behaviors and work daily to be a better person for myself. The icing on the cake is that those around me get to see the changes that I don’t always notice, but ultimately this journey is mine and for me. I am 15 pounds heavier today, than I was a year ago, and with that 15 pounds I have gained immense happiness and strength. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could crawl out of the hole I dug myself into, but with the help of friends, family, and my boyfriend I am making progress daily. I’m working out for me, lifting heavy, eating right and listening to my body because I have so much to live for and so much to be grateful for. So now, when someone says, “you look so healthy”, I smile and say thank you, because I know it’s a compliment and should never be considered an insult. Smaller is not always better because sometimes it’s the one thing standing between you alive or you dead. This seven year journey has been hard, but with the right support I know that one day I will be free from the prison that is my brain.


While loss comes in many different ways, sometimes the hardest to deal with is the loss that happens when someone just gives up on you. In my 27 years on this Earth, I’ve lost count of the number of people who have disguised themselves as my friend, just to drop me like a hot potato when I’m no longer relavent in their life. I’m not the perfect friend and I never claimed to be, but one thing I am, is someone who is willing to try and work through issues because my friends mean the world to me.

Picture this: you’re living your life, thinking everything is great and then suddenly a person you thought would be there forever is just gone. They decided you were a “no” and never told you why or how that happened. Someone that you talked to everyday and made time for suddenly decided you weren’t worth their time and effort over something you don’t even understand. Over the past couple years I have dealt with this countless times, but the most recent one has really left me feeling done. I’m done letting people treat me like garbage and I’m done letting them have any say in how I feel about myself.

Loss is hard, especially when there is no explanation but with each person I lose I realize just how important the people in my life are. I don’t need a circle of fake friends to make me feel happy, hell I shouldn’t need any friends to do that (but they help :)). I have friends that have stuck by me through 14 years of life, that I rarely talk to but I know are always there for me, I have friends I talk to on the daily that I know would do anything for me and I have family that would do the same. I no longer have any room in my life for people who use and abuse me because it’s convenient for them. I have been the fake friend and I admit that openly but I refuse to treat others like I’ve been treated because knowing you are not important to someone is honestly really crummy.

Each year I realize how much I’ve grown and this year is no different. Old Sara would have let this defeat her and would have created months of sadness and heartache over someone who just stopped caring. This Sara, however, refuses to do that and will instead make time for the real ones, and move on because ain’t nobody got time for that 💁🏻‍♀️

Anxiety and What I Do

Anxiety during this time is something that I think a lot of people are struggling with (myself included).  Whether you are self-isolating or are part of the amazing group of people that continue to work in order to flatten the curve of this pandemic, most things in life are uncertain which is incredibly anxiety inducing. With more time on a lot of people’s hands, it is hard to figure out how to fill time and ensure that mental health and self-care are a top priority.  While those things are important, it’s also important to keep a sense of normalcy and routine, which can significantly reduce anxiety. 

For me, I am still working occasionally when it’s needed, but I do have a lot of extra time on my hands and that has been hard to deal with. Due to my past struggles with eating disorders and my addictive personality it’s easy for me to find my way back to anything that helps me forget about reality and the difficult situation that we are all in, but it’s my responsibility to myself to not let that happen. While I can sit here and blame pretty much anything that helps me rationalize not eating, bingeing to the point of being sick, drinking too much or whatever else, I am ultimately responsible for how I handle my life and so here are a few things that I do in order to keep my sanity.

1. Color: Yes I know, I’m 27 and I’m coloring like a 5 year old who just discovered markers and pictures for the first time. I currently have 4 different coloring books of varying difficulty (patterns, pictures, funny slogans) and probably over 100 markers. When I’m feeling blah and don’t feel like doing something super productive I just sit and color which is mind numbing but also leaves you with something pretty you can keep or send to someone.

2. Walk: While I do like working out and doing other things, walking is something that most people can do. It’s low impact, gets you outside (6ft apart from anyone else of course) and helps your heart and mind. If you have pups it’s super easy to find an excuse, but if I’m needing to clear my head, I’ll get my headphones, put on a good podcast or youtube video and just walk til that’s done and most of the time I do feel a lot better.

3. Routine: This is a big one. I am used to waking up before 0400 most days and while I’m not doing that now, I am still waking up at a decent hour when I don’t have work. I start my day with my greens and multi vitamin, make coffee, take the dogs out and then start my day. This morning routine keeps me in a good place to have a productive day whether or not I have to go in to work. Another thing I make sure I do is prioritize what I need to get done like cleaning, laundry and working out. I am still working out 5-6 days a week and just modifying my gym workouts to be done at home so I can somewhat keep up what I worked so hard for in the gym.

4. Workout: Do something at least 4 times a week. On top of the walking, do some body weight exercises, set a goal to do a certain number of reps every day, get a set of dumbbells or gallons of water to use at weights. In short, just get your body moving. I personally do 100 squats and 100 jumping jacks daily, I split them up into 5 sets of 20 each and do them in a superset…20 squats right into 20 jumping jacks repeated 5 times. This can be done at any point in the day and my favorite time to do them is when I’m waiting for something to cook.

5. Read: This one is hard for some people and easy for others. I have a few books on my phone so I read those occasionally, but I’m trying to get at least 20 minutes of reading in a few times a week with an actual hard copy of a book. Along with reading, podcasts are a great way to stay educated and take your mind of things. I’m currently reading Hunger, Hope and Healing, which is a yoga approach to recovery from disordered eating.

6. Talk: If you are not fortunate to be spending time with someone you love or a friend, make sure to use the thing that’s constantly in your had for something good. Call or FacetTme people and make sure you’re staying connected especially because we have no idea how long this social distancing thing will last.

Here are just 6 things that can help during this time of social distancing and some of the things that I am currently doing to get out of my own head. While I still enjoy a drink every now and then, I am not drinking to excess and have been making sure to drink more water than anything (at least a gallon a day). In terms of eating, some days are better than others but I have not binged in months and am very proud of that. Keeping busy is important and doing something productive with what time you have is also important and can make you feel much better about the current situation. With that, if you ever need anything, my comments are always open and if you know me personally I’m always available to help in any way I can. I hope this helped someone who’s feeling a little off lately and if you have any suggestions make sure to leave me a comment. Happy Easter Weekend to you all and may you stay healthy both mentally and physically!

If You’re Struggling

Resources in today’s world are abundant and accessible, especially for eating disorder recovery/management. Whether it’s online, a book, in person or in a group there are millions of resources available for people struggling with eating disorders. In light of recent events, more and more people are being asked to stay home and quarantine in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, but with that comes a host of issues for anyone that struggles with their mental health. For many, eating disorders revolve around routine and organization, mental lists of tasks that must be accomplished daily in order to feel worthy of food. With this quarantine, no one is going to the gym, no one knows when they will open back up and no one can plan for the future. The time spent going to the gym, “earning” food, getting fresh food daily, avoiding anything processed is now spent at home with your thoughts and no end in site to this pandemic. While staying home to keep yourself and the public safe, spend some time making your mental health a priority. This time away from work can be a dark time for some people, but here are some of the books that have helped me with my struggles and can exercise your mind, while possibly easing your anxiety.

Life Without Ed
By: Jenni Schaefer
My therapist in college recommended this book to me when I first started recovery. She actually knew the author and helped her during her recovery. In the book, Jenni talks about her struggle with eating disorders and how she finally overcame them. I couldn’t put this book down and I finished it in one day because I resonated so much with Jenni’s experience.

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works
By: Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
This book is more of a workbook that goes through the science of eating, our bodies hunger cues and how to make peace with food. There are questions throughout and prompts to work through that will challenge your eating disorder behaviors and heighten your

Unbearable Lightness
By: Portia De Rossi
In this book, Portia De Rossi explains in detail her struggle with anorexia and how it almost killed her. While this isn’t a self -help book, it does provide insight into the dangers of eating disorders and in most cases it is interesting to see how others dealt with their disorders. The book also helps those struggling to understand that this disease does not discriminate.

Goodbye Ed, Hello Me
By: Jennni Schaefer
This is the follow up book to Life Without Ed that goes on to describe how Jenni’s life was after recovery and how life does get better. Recovery is a never-ending process and Jenni’s book shows that. It is imperative, no matter what stage of recovery you are in to continue working on yourself and your mental health.

Lastly I would recommend researching videos on YouTube about recovery and ways to manage your mental health. Ted Talks are always a great place to start and a personal favorite channel of mine is Lydia Knight. She shares her own experiences with an eating disorder and now has a channel devoted to helping those struggling with their own disorders. While there are only 4 books listed above, there is an abundance of literature about eating disorders, recovery and mental health. I encourage you to read at least one book if you’re struggling or know someone who is and to reach out to someone if you need help. This quarantine doesn’t mean we have to stop communicating so make sure you’re checking up on anyone you feel may be having a hard time.

So it’s NEDA Week 2020 TW

And for the first time in 13 years of dealing with this disease, I’m not trying to justify my actions, reactions and coping mechanisms. For years, a wave of shame and negativity washed over me during this week because I was reminded how horribly I was doing in recovery. Reminding myself of my past would send me into a tailspin of denial and justification because I was still actively in my eating disorder but disguised it as “recovery.” As a 20 something that appeared to have everything going for me, I hid behind a front and allowed myself to engage in every behavior that I used during my worst years. I hid behind the fact that I looked healthy and no one suspected anything, but those closest to me knew something wasn’t right…everyday I reassured them that I was fine, I was a healthy weight and was performing well physically and in my job. Hiding behind that front destroyed me for a long time because I so badly wanted to be the epitome of recovery, but I was the completely opposite.

I began recovery in 2012 at the age of 19. I was 110-113 pounds, had not had a period in close to 7 years and was close to having to be hospitalized. I had a friend that would go with me to the student clinic with me on a weekly basis and we would weigh ourselves on the body fat analyzer trying to out do each other every week. We fed each others diseases and the day I decided I wanted to get better no matter what it took I realized that I couldn’t be friends with anyone who fed my negative body image or attempted to compete with me in terms of food, weight and exercise. Almost 8 years on I’m still working on creating relationships that aren’t based around those things, but as someone who enjoys healthy living it does become incredibly difficult sometimes.

A year into my recovery I was 20 pounds heavier, then 30, 40 and eventually 50 pounds heavier. When my weight reached above 160 in 2016, I remember feeling like the biggest failure (literally and figuratively). Since that time, I have been as small as 125 during my deployment and now I’m sitting 20 pounds above that weight and I’m okay. I’m not content, I’m not happy or displeased, I’m just okay. In the past year, I stopped focusing 100% of my energy on my physical recovery and began focusing on my mental recovery because I never made that a priority.

As I say every year, I don’t write this for pity, I write this as a benchmark for my recovery and an example that no recovery is linear and we all struggle on a daily basis. The next time you think you’re not good enough, or your not worthy, remember that everyone has a story and yours isn’t over. I’m not where I want to be physically or mentally but I work damn hard everyday to get a little better.