It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bare the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.Oriah Mountain Dreamer~ The Invitation
PREFACE: This is long. I had someone say “no one is going to read it all the way through”. I say “that’s a part of the problem.” We don’t know how to slow down and really hear one another. This is your invitation. The link to the GoFundMe is HERE and at the bottom. But please read. If you landed on my website seeking guidance in your journey I commend your bravery. This is a very tender and vulnerable place for me and I am here to disclose this process as I don’t believe in hiding my journey from you.
I have spent nights awake listening to the many voices scream in my head about this moment in my life, asking for help, money, God, faith, fears, death and unimaginable darkness. I have met a lot of adversity in my lifetime. This is one of the most humbling, terrifying and challenging moments I have known.
For 30 years I have been surviving a life-threatening journey with Bulimia Nervosa and the co-existing disorders and debilitating pathologies that rise from the reasons such a sentence would land upon anyone.
Although I have made strides, or I would have died with my head in a toilet bowl, I am now at a junction where all other roads have disappeared except the one that leads to saving my physical Life.
The holistic complications of a trauma induced eating disorder addiction have reached a tipping point. My body won’t make it, and if it does- barely. I want to know a vital and thriving Jamie at age 60. Please help me. I am asking for the one thing that can really support my system in MANY ways so that I can see this thing through ALL the way- Money.
- Bills (Rent,phone, car, insurance, doctors, therapy, supplements etc.)
- Loss of income
- Enough to rebuild and invest in the gift I came to bring forth and get back on my feet- solid.
- Time. I will not rush this. My life matters.
After talking with doctors and specialists it has been made clear to me that I could die if I don’t surrender to intensive healing and treatment. I know this deep down which is why I reached out for help in a way I could not have done until now.
I am checking into The Emily Program on Monday Feb 10th. A residential facility in Seattle that specializes in eating disorders. This is the beginning of a healing journey that I will not put a timeline on. My life matters and this will not get sorted out in a month or three. I hope you can hear me. I am braving all of the emotion around asking for this investment in not just healing but my dream seed on the other side.
I have tried several times to talk myself out of this. Not because I’m not ready but because there is a voice inside that says “wait to ask for this money when you have the dream, the great vision, the plan”. Yes, I know. You don’t have to say it.
For those of you who know me this may come as a shock. But, does it really? Have you not wondered why “with all of the capacity you see in me” I seem to kind of show up, almost get it done, just barely get by?!
No one lives outside the wall of this sacred place~ existence… You cannot wander anywhere that will not aid you. Anything you can touch- God brought it into the classroom of your mind.St. Francis of Assisi (from the Holy Water)
Two weeks ago, in what felt like a final prayer for my life, I called upon a two-spirit priest in my community. As he listened to my story, he asked a question that shifted my biology. It was the first time I felt in my heart someone really hear and mirror the darkness inside of me. He said:
“I had no idea you were carrying all of that. How is it that you are still here? How is it that you have made it this far?”
I have kept my eating disorder in the back corner of my secret inside closet as some relic of an old story. Not that I ignore it- because I battle this 99% of every day- it even dominates my night dreams- but that I can’t believe it is still a part of me. I don’t want to be a victim of it. I don’t want to admit that I don’t know how to heal it on my own, especially with “everything I know”.
I have worked for the past decade helping others in private and clinical group practices, alongside doctors and specialists in a whole landscape of illness. I have seen pathologies most doctors in the machine will never see. I am the last line of defense when someone has finally been pushed to their knees. I know what it takes to heal- and I know nothing; which, I am finding, is a part of what it takes to heal.
Healer heal thyself.
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin.Hebrews 12:4
I love what I do. It’s not a job. It’s my calling and so I will return. But I can no longer look another exhausted woman in the eyes and ask her to go all the way inside herself and trust she can follow the voice of her heart, the messages in her body and live into the Universal truth that her healing matters when I cannot look in my own eyes and know the Well of providence that nourishes me.
Here is what I know to be true in this moment. There is a young person, a daughter, a sister, a brother, a best friend out there right now vomiting their dreams, voice and life force down a toilet. Choking, eyes bleeding, face swelling, heart breaking, neuro chemistry, hormones and biology of belief rewiring to shame, self -hatred and hiding. They need to know that there is another side from someone who has gone through the gates to tell about it.
And, I don’t mean coping skills. I mean healing. This is a disease of mistaken identity, a product of a severely broken society and a severing from the natural order of Life’s authority. I believe it can be healed. I am willing to go all the way inside of me to understand.
And, let me be clear, as heroic as this sounds, this is for me first. I am surrendering an agenda of turning this into some big huge redemptive, poetic genius thing. That line of thinking is a part of what has prevented my healing- that everything I am, do, dream is for commodity- for something outside of me. I am reclaiming the cliché that my healing is the gift and all I need to do. According to Quantum physics the rest of the mystery will unfold and reach YOU.
I have suffered wounding we can all unfortunately imagine. By far the greatest I have suffered is by my own hands. To love something so much and hurt it so deeply every day tears my heart apart. It is an insanity. Hypervigilance spins catastrophe inside of my body from old trauma loops that are going to take tremendous care, listening, nourishment and love to heal.
It is more important to prevent animal suffering, rather than sit to contemplate the evils of the Universe praying in the company of priests.Buddha
The story is important and must be told. But I am ready to let it have its voice, rebirth itself and let it go. The longer I keep it in hiding I not only keep it alive in my body, but I keep it alive in the bodies of all the people, things and places that helped secure this insidious illness inside of my psyche. Therefore, it keeps it alive in what hurt them, and I reinforce a pattern of addiction, abuse and unnecessary suffering and that gets past to every living thing.
I fear becoming a martyr, I loathe sounding like a victim. I have lived a life that has, in many ways, proven that nothing is by accident and all things happen for a reason. My teacher Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “you didn’t just come through that for nothing”. I want to know all the way in my bones that this is true.
This human being is a guest house…Be grateful for whatever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.Rumi
I have not met anyone who has dealt with an eating disorder to the extent I have and lived. I keep hearing stories of lifelong battles that end in death or getting to a point of being barely alive. I also know those who have gone through treatment and they have found coping skills. They are ok now but not all the way.
Hmmm- like the Earth. We keep inventing ways to sustain life from spiraling into bleakness while never addressing the wound and giving Life space enough to reignite its immaculate genius.
If you have met me – I am here to tell you that you met me at 25% capacity. Imagine what even a 75% Jamie is capable of- imagine. I do, every day.
You know all those books you always say I should write and the centers you want me to open because you have seen what I am here to do- this is that. But first the seed so the dream…
I remember the first time I watched this amazing woman teaching permaculture plant an apple tree. It was a beautiful, hopeful little thing with dazzling, delicate branches and a root ball swaddled in twine. She dug a hole and just as she was about to immerse the roots, she chopped all the branches- every single one. I was mystified. Her level of trust and investment in the seed, the roots, the foundation rather than what it will become… I will never forget it.
I LOVE the Earth and its immaculate wonders. The grief of how much nourishment I have taken in and turned to disease is deeper than any ceremony is strong to move it all out of me. If I do nothing for the rest of my life but rise each day and love me, your money, will have turned a profit that your great grandchildren will see. Under that Law of One that is a guarantee.
So, now I am trying what I have never done. I am surrendering to the fact that I cannot do this alone. I am committing to me by way of asking for help from you. I don’t know how long it will take and I don’t care. A year?
Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone… All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves. Everything is waiting for you.David Whyte
I know there is another side, or I would NOT be here- I hope that is clear.
Something has kept me alive. According to stats I should have died. So, I am placing my bets on that force and risking it all- and choosing my life.
What does it feel like to be fully me? Full of my genius capacity? To feel love, enter my body? To feel food, enter my body without 8000 different alarm bells going off? To wake in the morning without a coat of shame on my tongue from what did or did not go into my mouth the day before, including painful words aimed at myself.
As I breathe into this moment, I question how much I want to share… I am asking for such a substantial amount of help I feel it is in your right to know the, at least an abbreviated, story. For it is not just mine alone…
Let me clear some things up. I have not vomited in 8 years. Since 2012 when my Angel saved me and pulled my head out of toilet where I knew I was going to die in the middle of NYC. I had just lost a job that I recently moved across the country for thinking I could leave the disorder at home and take a bite out of the big apple and keep it down.
The only “accomplishment” of my life and my only source of income- gone. But I knew loss and survival as I have been on my own since I was 16 when I left home.
I remember so clear. I sat on city stoop and said a prayer. The kind of which the Mystics speak. Where the hand of Providence shifted the cosmos just enough that my sleeping star woke the “f” up and remembered. In a matter of 2 weeks I stopped vomiting after 22 years. It was a miracle and I began to say YES to everything, said goodbye to the “machine” and turned towards the voice inside that had literally just saved me.
But I did not go all the way through in one swoop. The layers are thick and hot to the touch. And, although I was not praying to the porcelain Gods any longer, I was still stuck in every other mechanism that kept my addiction intact. But at least I was alive.
What we choose to fight is so tiny!Rainer Maria Rilke
What fights with us is so great.
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
In the last 8 years I have lost my body’s ability to move in any of the ways it used to from injury and surgery. But those “setbacks” got me out of the city and into a community where I could do the deepest healing of my life and live upon the Earth lightly.
Something is guiding me to listen and I am now at a place where I am clear that I have prepared myself for this moment to finish what my Angel in Manhattan set out to do. Get me to stop, rest, receive and place my faith in everything I claim to believe.
I have support in many ways. And, yet, the kind I still need to fully thread the needle that mends the altar cloth of my precious body is time and money.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.Clarissa Pinkola Estes
The voices in me are a relentless storm. “How dare I? Everyone has struggle. You’re just depressed. There is nothing wrong with you- pick yourself up, keep going. This is life. You’re just afraid. You are not special. Don’t dramatize.”
Maybe one or all of those is true. I must keep coming back to how far I have come in my life in the face of extraordinary darkness that courts thoughts of suicide. Please hear me say that I LOVE my life. That I have a mechanism in me, the one I have cultivated above all others in my journey, that knows exactly what it is doing. I try to remember it has never guided me wrong and is the hand that reached out in “curiosity”, seeking the kind of help and healing ahead of me.
It was a dark day a few weeks ago when my organs were in pain and fire was shooting through my esophagus and the fog was thick and swirling in my brain. My eating disorder was taking a new twist and wanting my attention in a new way. I was curious. “Something inside of me” scheduled an intake with an ED specialist.
I was numb as I told my story and what was currently happening- I didn’t want to dramatize, but I couldn’t hold back the fear in my voice and tears in my eyes. I tried to express how far I have come, sound smart and self-actualized and that it is mostly behind me. But as I spoke I realized that I couldn’t escape the synchronicity of that moment.
After listening she gently said, “the ONLY recommended treatment for you is intensive residential therapy, your life matters”. It has taken days to land. “What did you say?” But, deep down I knew.
“But I have things I am doing. Women I am helping. I would have to shut it all down. Lose the little bit of money I have made from the beautiful journeys I create for others. Maybe I can wait. I can complete the work with the people and plan to check myself in in 3-5 months…I will take care of myself later. I will do a lot of prep and healing before I enter the program. Make some money.”
That addiction loop has been running defense inside of me for 30 years.
The realization of the moment found me. I have to surrender and “be here now” with the unfolding mystery.
Maybe the gift in this disease is that I must reorganize my ability to receive- from you and the others who can see the flower and know that without a nurtured seed there is no dream.
Now is the time to know that all you do is sacred. Now, why not consider a lasting truce with yourself and God…
Now is the time to understand that all of your ideas of right and wrong were just a child’s training wheels to be laid aside when you can finally live with veracity and love
This is the time for you to deeply compute the impossibility that there is anything but grace.Hafiz
I asked the Soul about money. I am a simple woman who tries each day to live as light upon this beautiful Earth as possible. In order to receive this energy to feed my dreams I’ve had to know that my hands were as clean as they can be in a soiled society. I have done enough deep soul rendering work to know that I am willing and able to look at myself up closely, examine my avoidable hypocrisies- and make peace with the ones I have to hand to a higher source.
Why me? Why not me?
I am asking for this today because I don’t just need something to get me by- I need to be able to not worry about the money piece for a LONG time, strip myself down to my original essence and put into heaven that I will receive enough to seed my dreams on the other side.
I have only asked for financial support one time since I began working at the age of 13. Because of fear on both sides and that I didn’t exactly know what I was asking for I was met with: “Ok Jamie, just this one time. What are going to do with it. What is your plan? I want to see your pathway- laid out so I can know where you’re going and what you are planning on producing?”.
What do I have to prove? What do you fear in me that causes you to demand that I live a life according to your perceived idea of success and safety? I have a lot of inner chambers to heal in my heart around these projections- mostly from myself.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.Mary Oliver
Everything I have done is for the people. Every journey I have taken has been at the guidance of some inner wisdom to help save my life, to get answers, to brave the wild and ask questions of the tallest and wisest tree – Why did you put this “thing” inside of me?
Even in my corporate career, that I fell into by the grace of “the potential” everyone sees, I oversaw the people. I was the poster girl, the one that represented what a great company could be. And, you know what- even though I was forced from that job by my angels in disguise- I have a proclivity for compassionately illuminating the hidden parts of humanity. It’s like a homeopathic flower essence I carry, so people, my clients, my employees have a natural feeling of safety, loyalty- possibility.
(BTW- I have written an entire reformation plan for the human resources side of corporate culture. Hmmm)
In one of my attempts at healing I signed up to perform 10 mins of my Life’s journey in a beautiful ensemble called Heart Stories created by this amazing woman Bonnie Obremski. I was going to share about the one prayer that saved me in 2012. I had it all planned out. But I kept getting to the last few minutes of the story I wanted to tell and there was a blank canvas with a spill of dark ink asking for form that my hands were not yet able to shape. Something wasn’t right.
I would have been talking about addiction from which people die. Someone who needs to know that there is another side would have been in the audience watching me with hopeful eyes. I will not stand in front of them and reinforce the belief that this Life is a lie and there is no other side.
We have enough shiny objects pointing to pathways of promise hollow as a tin man.
Did you know:
- At least every 62 minutes someone dies as a direct result from suffering from an eating disorder.
- Every single day, at least 23 people will die as a direct result from suffering from an eating disorder.
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. They are also the least researched.
- The prevalence of eating disorders is similar among Non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians in the United States,
- At least 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life (and now just live with)
- Males represent 25% of individuals with anorexia nervosa, and they are at a higher risk of dying, in part because they are often diagnosed later since many people assume males don’t have eating disorders.
- An ongoing study in Minnesota has found incidence of anorexia increasing over the last 50 years only in females aged 15 to 24.
- Approximately one in four people with an eating disorder has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- The average amount of dollars spent on eating disorder research per affected individual is $0.93. To compare, research dollars spent on autism per affected individual is $44; research dollars spent on schizophrenia per affected individual is $81; research dollars spent on Alzheimer’s disease per affected individual is $88
- The highest prevalence of eating disorders is now showing up in the military. This information has prompted the gov’t to begin funding private centers for the research and treatment of such a misunderstood and ignored, but dangerous, socio-psychological illness.
- U.S. suicide rates are at their highest since World War II, according to federal data—and the opioid crisis, widespread social media use and high rates of stress may be among the myriad contributing factors
Funding research for the causation and potential cure for addiction (especially eating disorders) is low priority because deep down there is nothing to research that won’t lead straight into the heart of our broken society. If we actually focused on healing those who suffer and die from this affliction, we would be faced with a choice: life restoration and soci0-economic reformation or life depletion, suicide, death, perpetual depression and current, socio- economic, status quo, business as usual maintenance.
Alcohol addiction (alcoholism) prevention has decent funding because the multibillion-dollar revenue from liquor sales generated keeps “our country strong”.
I include suicide rates because addiction is a daily subconscious battle with suicidal ideation and, well, it’s something to look at. But that would take work. To look at and be with the pain without the projected fear and wanting to turn the darkness into something “acceptable and pretty” in hopes of ignoring that part of humanity as a necessary piece and pathway back to belonging.
You no longer get my beauty until you can be with my pain. Until you can stand inside of my dark you do not get to indulge in my light.
We have become blind to Life’s inherent beauty because we are inundated with fear and misery and have forgotten our creation story. But more than that- we don’t know how to be with darkness as a part of the whole. Without the balance and acceptance of both as vital to the wheel of life, then the light of Soul disappears- sometimes almost completely. Soul loss is a serious disease. No wonder the suicide rates are high.
I believe a main avenue to healing the entrenched mind fuckery of addiction is slow extraction from the dominant patriarchal society, or wasteland as Sharon Blackie puts it. But because addiction is a severe severance of belonging to anything, done abruptly and without another Source to fill that void, the extraction can be devastating. Especially for a youth when all identity is about external validation and popularity and trending social memes. It can feel devastating until that soul is turned back towards its natural state of belonging with the mysterious wonders of Life as the fundamental foundation of identity.
But this is not something that can be learned cerebrally. It must be integrated into the animal body. There has to be a moment where there is a gnosis of belonging to the Earth in a way that calls home the soul- where that one thing wakes up inside that can no longer be denied because the eyes fill with a new kind of tear that releases the grief of the heart. Only then can the flood gates of gratitude be opened. Only then can healing begin.
The “work” I have done in the last 8 years since that NYC stoop has anchored enough big T-ruth inside to help repattern my love language just enough from fighting and surviving to receiving and potentially thriving. This is my test to see if the formulas are right. I have a sense I am heading towards a patent.
I love myself. Only me and the Goddess know what I have been through and the fucking immense beauty I have seen because of my willingness to go all the way inside of myself- every corner, examine every question, sit with EVERY aspect of my being.
Yet this wisdom and this “work” is not valued in this society. “Jamie, what are you doing with your life!?”
I know in my bones that “my path” in Spirituality and Earth Wisdom is the only reason I am alive. I can now go into the system for help with the knowing that “everything is everything” and “God” is everywhere. I get to have healthy boundaries with the machine and reorganize my energy to the wisdom of the Quantum field that currency is an energy, takes many forms, and in the right hands can do miraculous things. I chose this time. My soul knew exactly what it was getting itself into. There is an intelligence in that cosmological wisdom I hold close.
Or not and I am making up stories to keep me alive. Does it matter?
We’re going to do it like they’ve been doing it for thousands of years. We’re going to make it up as we go along.”Stan Crow. Founder of Rites of Passage Journeys.
All prose and story aside. I am terrified. I have not felt full life in my body ever outside of 3 or 5 or maybe 9 days that I can remember. I said goodbye to everything from a very young age. I was separated from society due to an oppressive cult religion, suffered abuse at home which somehow followed me to school where I was assaulted by my peers for YEARS. It destroyed me to look out at all the friends and people having a life while feeling a calling deep inside like something was waiting for me but could never touch. “Nope not for me- what’s the point of even trying”. I learned young how to hide from- everything.
My heart is broken over the severe loss of so many dreams and Life force I flushed away for decades.
For the Earth and the creatures that don’t ever give up on us humans and just keep flying and growing and nourishing- unconditional love despite our ignorance and fear.
For my mother who suffers and fights for her life everyday with an illness that is the cumulative effect of so much loss, unexpressed. Of so much pain denied. Of so much wisdom hidden. She worries about me to a degree I will never know. I need to get the soft Earth under us again. Together. From there we can root and from there we can rise. As women do. We are not done. This Myth that is finding us now has just begun. I must believe that is true.
Excuse me while I say “f**k addiction”- and “f” all the reasons it lands inside someone’s soul. We must do better people. And I know that starts with me. I will release this from my body and get to the root of this disease and help unravel it from humanity. I am determined to understand all there is to know about this insanity.
I am an open book and will continue to share as it articulates itself more clearly. Please reach out with questions.
If you have been touched by my hands and heart here is your activism and integration: Do not waste the prayers that have laid themselves upon you. Every ceremony, ritual and healing you have experienced is not a made-up reenactment of something that used to be true. Integrate it- allow it deep inside of yourself- you are the initiate of your life; you are a prayer and a ceremony in motion. You are not a reenactment of all the beauty that falls from the mystic’s tongue- a far off dream. You are the dream.
Do the work, the meditations, the journeys, the self-care that you promise yourself in those moments of divination. To touch the divine in one minuscule part of life but negate with the severe disease of doubt that has infiltrated our holistic epigenetic human patterning is to negate your very existence. What do you have faith in? Excuse me, what is it you desire to have faith in but turn away from? Follow that all the way to its quenching source. Do not soil my hands with depletion and your lack of integration. Follow your heart and know that every prayer you say is heard. Open the channels of reception and allow the flow of Life to enter you. Then we have a chance as humanity. When we remember we are the dream and not a phantom limb of the Gods that once walked the lands.
I will begin my journey at the Emily Center in Seattle. Come visit me. Seriously. I will tell you the mythic tales of my Life story- and it has only just begun. Thank you for being an advocate and benefactor. What does it feel like to invest in Life? Life begets Life. I have a feeling you will be able to see your generosity when you wake one day, and something is just different in that place you silently spill your prayers. Something is alive and you hear your name for the first time in the winds of change that you helped design.
To the dream- but first the seed…
HERE IS MY GO FUND ME LINK. They are amazing and, like all organizations, take a fee. If you want your donation to come directly to me I am able to receive that. Thank you so much.
If you know anyone struggling with this addiction- I am here to talk. Here are also a couple of songs that have been helpful in my journey in loving, believing, rooting and rising.