Welcome to 2017 my loves. This is the year where we be who we really are. The year of goods and bads and ups and downs and everything in between. The year we accept our faults and work towards our future. The year we forgive and forget and move on. The year we look for happiness in all the right places instead of the same places. The year we travel and take adventures to feed our souls. The year we give back to those who need it. The year where we practice compassion and forget our versions of perfect.
This is our year. Your year.
Every time a new year begins, I’m fairly ready to welcome it with open arms. It’s as though a new calendar year turns me into this person filled with endless inspiration, goals, adventure and wonder. But when the high of the New Year goes away, what’s left?
What’s left is who you are. Who you want to become. And who you’ve always been.
In order to become who I always wanted to be, I have to expose all my truths. All the things that are uncomfortable to talk about and the feelings I shove and bury in the depths of my chest. While emotions can be powerful, simply ignoring them only pours kerosene onto a small flame.
So today, I am who I want to become. I’m sure many of you clicked over expecting to read only about weight loss, but wellness encompasses much more than just one area of health. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health are all relevant. Today I’m sharing details of my life that I’ve never shared before because my wellness journey has shifted and changed over the years. It’s evolved because so have I, and I want to take a deep breath to explain that.
I’m an honest type of person. I have no fear in being different or speaking truths. What’s important is that everyone has a story, so please tell yours. Open your hearts and learn to become who you always wanted to be.
I wrote an incredibly vulnerable post exactly 1 year ago. It has sat in the drafts section on my site for twelve months just lurking there. I never felt as though I could publish it until now. And while my fear is setting in, I know that releasing these words will feel like the biggest breath of fresh air, so here we go…
Post written on January 8th 2016 that was never published (until now):
“Writing these Wellness Wednesday posts aren’t always easy. Most of the time I’m here admitting to you how I struggle with food, how my emotions get the best of me and how, at times, I’ve felt completely broken. Today is one of those broken types of days.
When I had an eating disorder in college, it didn’t occur to me that it was actually happening. That I actually had an eating disorder. People would tell me all the time that I was thin, my Mom begged me not to lose anymore weight, yet somehow I just didn’t know how to stop. My heart rate slowed to 33 beats per minute and I felt like any second it might stop beating. I didn’t know what to do and there was nothing that could console my worrying or fear.
Before I finish this story, I want to back up and provide you with a little background. (I’m emotional even writing these types of things.) This is going to turn into a part one and two, but before we get to the eating disorder, I want to talk about WHY I developed it.
During my childhood, I was never thin, yet never overweight. I had a pudgy little belly and long, lean legs. I snuck candy bars into my room and hid Oreos under my pillow when no one was looking. I always had the overwhelming need to have more, more, more. Sweets just happened to be the name of the game.
My parents were obsessed with giving me their unconditional love and support, but that didn’t mean things were wonderful or perfect like you’d expect. My Dad was addicted to cocaine, alcohol and other pain medications.
Before I go on, I know this is hard to envision for some. Some have never known someone with an addiction and what it exactly means or what’s involved. First, I want to say that it affects each individual differently and that no two people are the same. Some people hide their addictions well and function normally in society; others blatantly abuse alcohol and drugs to a point that there’s no way you could pretend not to notice.
My Father was a kind, caring, wonderful man. He was tall, always smiling and had the most beautiful, striking blue eyes that you’d ever see in your existence. Behind those blue eyes was more pain than you’d ever know or guess to be true stemming from his childhood.
Years later, I’d read his journals which depicted his decades long struggle with drugs, his unconditional love for my mother and I, and his stints in rehab. The ups and downs of a man who wanted to be the best man and father for his daughter, but who just never could. The man who wanted to show up when he was needed, but could never arrive.
My parents were in love up until the moment my Dad stopped showing up when he was needed. My mom couldn’t handle trying to be in love with someone who didn’t love himself. She tried for years, even after they divorced, but it seemed he could never get his demons under control.
Dad loved life, God, cars and making me creamy butterscotch pudding and chicken ramen noodles. He also taught me how to bake cakes, lemon pies, fried chicken and the best gravy this world has ever known. We were two peas in a pod and there was no denying that our closeness was because of our similar, goofy personalities.
However, I couldn’t help but be angry with him, especially when he wasn’t around or when he didn’t show up when he was supposed to. I remember there being countless times where I would go to his house and eagerly wave goodbye to my Mom because I was so excited for time with Dad — except when I used my key to get in, I would find the house empty. And it would stay empty the entire weekend with only me and our cat. So at 9 years old, I learned care how to take care of myself (and perhaps learned to love animals for their unconditional love). Every other minute I stared out the window, hoping for Dad to show up with his big, blue eyes and wonderful warm smile; I anticipated that we would get back to our regularly programmed laughing and talk about all the adventures we’d take. Most of the time though, he never came home until late Sunday.
As a child, this is a fear like no other. To not know where your parent is, or if they are okay or safe. At the time, I was oblivious to what drugs involved and how they could rip the even the best person’s life away from their hands.
During my time alone, I remember being incredibly frightened. Not for myself, but for my Dad’s safety. Often times, I turned on the news on TV and would watch to see if maybe I’d see Dad. I took knives from the kitchen and put them by my bed just in case someone tried to rob our house in the middle of the night.
Truth is, I didn’t understand why he wasn’t coming home. Didn’t he want to hang out with me? Didn’t he want to be my Dad? Didn’t he love me? The questions did nothing but circulate in my mind, and so to calm myself, I ate. I ate until I couldn’t anymore. I ate because I didn’t know what else to do. I ate because I was just so incredibly sad and terrified. And so my habit of eating and not feeling my emotions became the norm.
When Dad finally showed up on Sunday mornings, I had already polished off nearly the entire bag of Oreos and probably more cereal than any child should eat. I felt guilty, sad, overwhelmed, anxious and upset. Dad would try to console me and tell me he was sorry, to which I would reply, “It’s okay.” What else could I say? I was 9.
Surprisingly, I never called my Mom to come pick me up. I didn’t want my time with Dad to be taken away because I cherished our memories. Our love for one another was an epic love. Most of the time, I called Grandma (Dad’s mom) to come and get me. We’d always just pretend that Dad would be home soon, even though she knew that he wouldn’t.
Dad always told me not to stuff down my emotions and to tell him how I was feeling, but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t find the words to tell him how upset I was or how alone I felt. I just said that everything would be okay and asked to go to Dairy Queen. All I wanted to do was forget that he wasn’t there for me and go back to the normal happy routine of just the two of us hanging out. For me, forgetting was better than facing the truth.
This pattern continued for quite some time until eventually I became old enough to understand that it wasn’t normal. I decided to stop seeing Dad for a while, hoping that he would come around. After that, he was in and out of different treatment facilities countless times. Again, I didn’t really understand any of it. I missed him and wanted him in my life more than anything.
Dad finally started to come around when I was in high school. Mom had him come over to help resurface and paint our deck and then she had him help paint all the rooms in our new house. He did it out of the goodness of his heart. Mom and him became the best of friends and Dad seemed to be doing well. He and Mom threw me the most amazing grad party which included his famous tuna noodle salad and cucumber salad (requested by me). He was thrilled to be in our lives and I think we all thought (or at least hoped) he was clean. Our relationship blossomed and I loved talking to him on the phone about my boyfriend (at the time). Typical teenager stuff, ha. We also chatted about the problems my Jeep was giving me and he offered to fix my brakes so that I didn’t have to spend money taking it in. We went out and got lunch at the best places by the lake in the Summer and I cherished every second of it.
Then Dad suddenly passed away one late Summer evening in 2007 and I have never gotten over his death. It haunts me to this day from nightmares to anxiety. We found out that it was an overdose of cocaine, alcohol and painkillers; hearing that felt like a brick was thrown at my heart and it exploded with pain. It was absolutely devastating. I am still devastated.
For two years, I didn’t speak a word of his death to ANYONE. I refused to acknowledge it, talk about him, or how I felt. It was too much. I would cry at the thought of mentioning him or hearing his name and I knew that no one on this earth would be able to console how much it hurt to have this loving man out of my life.”
Moving forward and letting go of my hurt is the only way I know how to become who I want to be. My past is a story, and one that needed to be told, but it’s also given me the foundation to be mentally strong, to live a compassionate life and to always be myself. It no longer holds a power over me or my emotions.
For a long time, I abused food to cover up talking about or feeling emotions. Yet I’m here to make 2017 the best year of my life. This is my wellness story and how I’ve transformed my life into something positive through mental, physical and emotional health, and how you can too, no matter what your circumstance in life.
Part two of this story will continue soon. Stay tuned.
Thank you so much for reading this post. You are an incredible community and I love you.
??? sending you so much love, Monique. You are so unbelievably strong. Major props to you for sharing this with the world. I can’t imagine what you’re going through or how tough it was to write & publish this, but I hope it helped you move forward a little bit. I hope you open up a bit more this year… as much as I love your recipes, it’s post this that remind me why I love your blog so much. Stay strong!
You are so incredibly strong for posting this, so many people go through life without confronting their mental issues properly, and in doing this you are helping yourself AND others. Thank you so much for being so courageous, I’m sure he would be very proud of what you have become.
Oh my gosh Monique, you are so brave for sharing your story. You are one incredible woman, that so many people look up to. I think in some way or another we all have some demons lingering. It just takes a while to recognize them and then be ready to make a change. Again, you’re incredible <3
I am a big fan of your blog and recipes but have never posted comments. Although the stories of your youth are tragic, the stories of your transformation are great! You have laid a road map for anyone to follow. I am looking forward to Part 2. Thank you for this message and having the courage to send it to your readers.
This is a remarkable story. I don’t know how to respond. It pains me to think about how many children do go through similar stories. Drugs and addiction are killers. Family killers. Killers of the innocent.
God has blessed yo and chosen you to help others through sharing your message and your journey of health.
God Bless You in 2017,
Monique, I am sitting in my office and crying. You are so brave to share. And we love you the more for it. Not many , hopefully, have gone through your pain, but with the epidemic raging around us, I am sure many more will. You are a beacon for making the way through to the other side. Tons of love your way.
Monique, thank you for sharing your story with us. I can only imagine how incredibly hard this all must’ve been to live and to now re-live/share. There’s strength in vulnerability and know that you’re not alone. <3
Hi there ! Thank you for sharing your story, your amazingly strong and should not have gone through some of those things at a young age. Although I do believe there are reasons why things happen. That was alot on your plate. I know that I find you very inspirational and love the recipes! Happy 2017 !
Thank you for being so real and open about this. I’ve struggled with my own eating disorders for a while and this is such an inspiration to read and see how brave you are to post it. I wish you the best of years!
Thanks for mustering the courage to push the publish button. As someone who also had an “unusual” childhood (I use unusual because I know using “tragic” and whatnot just seems to give the wrong impression), it makes me smile and I appreciate the reminder that people like us are not alone on our journeys towards being better. Your honesty and rawness of emotion in this post gives me a little extra strength to keep pushing towards a better me. It helps to keep the demons at bay a little longer. 🙂
I’m newly subscribed to your blog and after reading this post, I’m so glad I did!
Wow! I’m sure it was enormously difficult to hit “send”, but I am glad you did. Thank you for sharing and opening up about this.
You are a strong, courageous woman!!! Blessings to you for telling the truth. You’ve done so in a way that honors the good memories of your father while honestly dealing with the demons. Like all of us, he was a human being who struggled to deal with this life the best way he could. Love and forgiveness are so powerful, especially when the person we have to forgive is in the mirror. You will never know how people will find hope and help because of your willingness to be so vulnerable. You go girl!!!
This took such courage. Be proud. I’m a mom and I wish you could feel the hug I’m sending. Looking forward to the rest of your story.
I found your blog looking at vegan recipes about a year ago…. There are many I now regularly make for my family to enjoy. These alone make me truly grateful but your words today have really touched my heart. This is your story and it’s not about me but I want you to know I lived with a mom who left me alone and I cried almost daily because the house was empty. Honestly, I think I read your blog this morning for a reason….. maybe just maybe my healing can begin. Thank you!!!
Girl, it’s like reading my own story but with my Mom. I think back to cereal and cookies that I woud hoard, even as a Dietitian I never put that together until now. Looking forward to part two. 🙂
You are a brave women to come out with this story as it is not an easy one to share. Children want their parents to be perfect. Mine were until I was 10 and my Dad started his own business in which he worked from dusk until late at night 7 days a week. My Mom started drinking and because she was gaining weight she found a doctor that prescribed speed to help with weight loss. The alcohol and uppers made it hard for her to sleep and she asked her family doctor for sleeping pills. She also was a heavy smoker and the lethal combination of prescription drugs and alcohol finally ended her life at the age of 47. I was 19 but I had lost my Mom many years before that. Food was my salvation. Before I married I ended up with bulimia and dropped my weight to 115 lbs. The years after my marriage and 2 children saw my weight go up to 251 lbs. on a 5′ frame. When I turned 47 and my oldest son was 19 I started having heart palpitations and figured it was time to get control of my life again. In the last 14 years my weight went down to 160 and back up to 207 then down to 124 and I am now at 152. I am determined to get back down to under 130 this year and have made positive steps to do so. I find that your stories are an inspiration to many and your recipes and philosophy make achieving this goal an attainable one. Thanks for the help and keep up the great work.
Addiction is a horrible thing. It ruins so many lives and destroys so many families. But you have come out the other side and are stronger for it. I’m sure you have helped and comforted people by posting this. Love your blog and recipes, keep up your good work! ?
Well done you, so brave of you to share that with us all. I found it hard to read and am impressed with your strength of character and send you a big hug, I will be awaiting part 2.
Monique, I was incredibly touched by this post and I’m sending you so much love. You are unbelievably brave and strong. I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through or how difficult it was to write and publish this post. Thank you so much for being so courageous and opening up to us.
I’ve also struggled with my own eating disorders ever since I was a little girl. I was that chubby little girl who found comfort in food and eating until I couldn’t anymore. Food became by best friend, my confidant and my enemy, which is why reading this post was such an inspiration.
You are an incredible and amazing woman, and I’m sure your dad would be very proud of who you have become. Thanks again for being vulnerable and opening up to us, we love you all the more for it. Looking forward to Part 2. Sending you lots of love and light <3 <3
I can’t even imagine going through what you have been so brave and open about let alone sharing it with everyone but I want to thank you for your openness and honesty. Members of my family too struggle with addiction and it does have a huge impact on everything, and as I got older that impact has really shown. Thank you for sharing, it has been so eye opening and helpful. Sending thoughts and love
I love you.
Monique, you’re such an amazing human. I can’t imagine writing this and how difficult it was to share with the world. You are so strong and inspiring, and we all look up to you! Thank you for everything you do and for your thoughtful words.
I can’t imagine at all what you went through but reading your story was very inspiring! You are a wonderful role model!
Well I am just sitting in the doctors office crying reading this!!! What an emotional story. You are incredibly brave and, believe it or not, very secure to share all this. Thanks so much for turning your heart inside out! That’s tough but I’m sure so many people can relate.
Thank you for sharing with all of us. I’m sure it was terrifying to put it out there but you are truly, and without a doubt, an inspiration. Your strength, your braveness, your courage to keep at it, to keep going, to keep wanting to transform…wow, insipiring! You have now created something really amazing for yourself but also are transforming lives out here! I rely on your recipes and your site/brand now for my family. I could not be more grateful for your generosity in doing what you do. All the best to you as your wellness stories continues.
Thank you for sharing with all of us. I’m sure it was terrifying to put it out there but you are truly, and without a doubt, an inspiration. Your strength, your braveness, your courage to keep at it, to keep going, to keep wanting to transform…wow, inspiration You have now created something really amazing for yourself but also are transforming lives out here! I rely on your recipes and your site/brand now for my family. I could not be more grateful for your generosity in doing what you do. All the best to you as your wellness stories continues.
Thank you for sharing! So much of us have issues with food that go back to issues in our childhood….I am no different 🙁 Thank you for having the strength to tell your story!
You are so brave and so inspirational. I’m sure your dad would be nothing but proud of the amazing woman you have become.
Thank you for sharing your story. You are so strong and brave, and I admire your honesty and how you’ve channeled your struggles into helping others in their wellness journeys.
I have been following your blog and baking your recipes for years now, but this post comes at a particularly striking time for me. I am just embarking on a recovery journey from an eating disorder as well. The fear you talk about when your heart rate was in the 30s is where I have been for the past few weeks, and I know how utterly terrifying it is to feel it could so slow so much it would just stop soon. It’s paralyzing.
Your post gives me hope that recovery is possible and realistic, that wellness and happiness is attainable. Your struggles remind me that the path is not perfect, that bad days will happen, but that it is possible to survive.
Thank you so much for sharing and helping me and others to feel a little less alone in these struggles. And thank you for giving us hope.
Monique- I am so sorry that you had to pass through these difficult times but I can tell that it has made you the strong woman you are today! You are so beautiful inside and out and thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story. XOXO
Monique – Thank you for being so real and open, I can’t imagine what you must have gone through. You’re so inspirational and brave 🙂
This is beautiful – sad, true, heartfelt – all things that life is at different (and sometimes the same) time. I wish you nothing but the best in 2017. Your Healthy Glow project is beautiful and speaks to some truths that have really helped me make my peace with food and fitness this past year. At the ripe old age of 45! Glad you are figuring it out sooner. 😉
Monique- I love your recipes and seeing your smiling face on Instagram. I admire you for your strength. Know that you are not alone. So many people, including myself have the same history. I think as a society we are brought up to think that we should all have this perfect and “normal” childhood. It makes me wonder what “normal” really is. Now, it’s the future and what to do with it that is important.
Arms around you!
i love that you were able to share your story….i have had several loved family members with addiction issues and recently lost our youngest son to the heroin epidemic….many many prayers for you and the hope that sharing will help you somehow find peace while grieving your loss
Wow Monique, I don’t have any words to say other than thank you for sharing. You are a strong and amazing woman.
Wow, you just brought tears to my eyes. My parents met in rehab so I get where you are coming from. My dad remarried and then in 2005 my step mom killed herself because she knew she could never get clean. Al-anon meetings have really helped me. You don’t realize how deeply this stuff penetrates into all aspects of your life. Therapy forever!
Monique! Wow. This was so incredibly brave to share and put out there. I can’t imagine how difficult this must have been to go through then and now, but your words and honesty are an inspiration! We need to hang out soon, xo.
So much love to you.
Thank you for sharing your story. Sending prayers your way.
Monique, words can not express how grateful I am for sharing your story. Less than a month after graduating from college, my sweet dad, the man who raised me and my brother solo, fatally overdosed on inhalants. I still feel like I can’t really talk about it because addiction is so poorly understood. Take comfort in the fact that you have become a stronger person in the process of healing!
Thank you for sharing your story.
What a beautiful way to share a story that is both parts heartbreaking and empowering. Kudos to you for choosing love and growth over bitterness and defeat. Wishing you a happier and healthier 2017 than ever before!
Also, I love your blog and use so many of your recipes! Thanks for the constant inspiration for a healthy and balanced lifestyle!
How beautiful for you to open up this vulnerable side of you to us! As a child of an addict, I too remember the feelings of confusion, hope, and anger towards my dad. Even though he’s been clean for years and finally has a steady job, I can’t seem to trust him 100%. I need to be more forgiving and realize that something worse could’ve happened – that he could’ve killed himself drunk driving or by an overdose.
I can’t wait to read part 2. <3
You are so brave to open up and share this with the world, Monique. I also lost my father when I was 15 to a heroin overdose. Our relationship was similarly dysfunctional but I was never as close to him as you were to yours. I can imagine that made the pain twice as hard to bear. It’s such a difficult thing to go through, especially as young girl. But it’s those scars that shape us into who we are today. You are a strong, beautiful, successful and compassionate woman. I know he is smiling down on you from heaven, filled with pride.
You are brave and beautiful beyond measure. Love you girl.
Monique, thank you so much for sharing this difficult story. You are an incredibly brave, beautiful, and inspirational person, and I have been a huge fan for years. Keep shining!
You are so brave to share this story. This story is a testimony to that bravery you have had since such a young age. Don’t ever let that go. Thanks for sharing!
All I can say is that I appreciate you sharing this story. I know it was not easy and I can not begin to imagine the pain you felt back then and now.
Thank you and know that I am giving you a virtual hug right now. xoxo
Thank you for trusting us enough to share your story. It’s amazing the good that can emerge from the darkest of times, and you are proof of this. I can’t wait to hear more of your story and learn more about how you’ve become the strong, creative, talented woman you are today!
Such a beautiful and sad story, really brave that you shared this with the world.
It’s amazing to read about the love a child can have towards his or her parents, but really sad at the same time.
I hope sharing this story, makes you feel better and will heal you in time.
I wish the best for you and damn… 2017 is going to be amazing!
Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this with us. You have inspired me and helped me through my eating disorder more than you will ever know. You are compassionate, strong, and I know your father is incredibly proud of you. <3
Thank you for sharing this Monique – I am looking forward to part 2, and I really appreciate the honesty and courage that it took to hit “publish” on this. I just discovered your blog not too long ago, and I’m excited about exploring your recipes more and following your journey. Thank you again!
Thanks for your courage in sharing your experience and thoughts. Hugs! I love trying out your recipes and reading your blog.
Monique, I admire you beyond words for having the courage to share this story. I lost my own father and I know writing about him and the emotions behind it are not easy at all. At the same time, your vulnerability is inspirational, and I know resonated with even more people than you know! I probably sound like a broken record of everyone else, but I truly just wanted to say I appreciate you sharing your heart. <3 2017 is going to be a beautiful year for you, dear!
Thank you for sharing your story. It is always good to know the struggles that people go through, makes you feel like you’re not alone. I wish you the best of years! Thanks again for sharing.
Your story is so moving and you are an inspiration. I have been following your blog for years and have always admired and respected you, and now I do even more knowing what you have been through. Your honesty and bravery to post this is so motivating for me as you have shown that it is okay to talk about the dark times in our lives. I hope that I can be more open with my own past to others, and I will look to you as an example whenever I feel I am struggling or I’m worried to share. Thank you for everything, Monique 🙂
I only got a glance of how beautiful you are, both inside and out. Reading this makes me love you even more! You’re an inspiration, thank you.
A great big hug all the way from my heart <3
Thank you for sharing your story! You are brave, and I admire that. I have lost two very important people in my life as well, and it’s part of my story that I usually only tell the surface of, because the whole story hurts too much. But I see from you that the whole story can help others! There is beauty and healing in vulnerability. I’m praying for you! And I love your recipes!
Tears are rolling down my face. Your honesty is beautiful and brave. Thank you for your sharing and openness of who you are, it is an honor to read.
My husband grew up with your dad and called him his best friend.
We wondered how you were doing and found your website via internet search.
We are so happy to see how well you are doing. We know your dad is watching over you and
how very proud he is.
Thanks for sharing and for your vulnerability. Reading it reminded me a lot of Andie Mitchell’s story/her book, It Was Me All Along.
I am eager to read Part II. Again thanks for sharing your story, Monique xo
This is such a beautiful story Monique! I just stumbled upon your blog (searching for that delicious banana chickpea bread you posted about 😉 and had to tell you that it is so commendable to put your heart out there on the internet for the world to see. I’m a writer too and know how terrifying it is to post about things that are personal to your soul. Thank you for being vulnerable, and for giving me inspiration to do the same! XoXo and cheers to a beautiful 2017 for us all!
Your words in this hit so close to home; addiction robs the life of some of the greatest people in our lives. It saddens me to know all that you have been through, but inspires me to keep my head high. Your positive attitude and optimism is radiant and infectious.
I too turned to an eating disorder to run away from sadness and pain, it’s a viscous circle. But as a survivor, I’ve come to learn the importance of owning our experiences, reaching out to those in need, and using our past to make a difference.
Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability, it takes great bravery to share you experience. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017.
Such a brace story to share. Sending so much love and strength!
I love your website and look forward to hearing the rest of your story. I can relate to a lot of it, already. I’m currently struggling big time with finding balance in eating. Excercise has never been an issue for me as I love it and how it makes me feel. So, I was wondering if it would be possible to purchase just the food planning part of the Health Glow program, at a reduced price? Unfortunately $60 is out of my price range as a student right now. If not, thank you anyway, and maybe I will ask for it for my birthday 🙂
Wow. Thank you for sharing your story Monique – how devastatingly heart-breaking and yet so full of love for your dad. I look forward to part 2. Thank you for being brave!!
Monique, I know it takes great courage to share your story with us. I know from personal experience that facing your demons is no easy task, but you are 100% right – we need to go through a little fire to come out refined on the other side, better than we were before. I’ve also struggled with an eating addiction for most of my life, and sharing my story with others has been such a healing experience. I wanted to tell you that I love your blog. I think you have a wonderful gift and you’ve definitely found your niche! I also love cooking, and I think it’s so crazy how God uses the things that have ruined our lives for His purposes, and to touch others. Stay close to your heart, feel your feelings and keep doing what you’re doing. I know you have touched so many lives for the better and God is using you and your story to touch even more. You are beautiful inside and out, Monique! I am looking forward to Part 2. Sending much love your way. I’m proud of you for stepping out! <3
Monique, your courage to share this deepest part of you with your readers is astounding. I am saddened by the tragedy you’ve endured but God has a plan for it all, quite possibly to help others who are struggling with something so similar. You’re a bright shining light! Looking forward to part two! Keep doing what you do! ?
To be honest, I struggle with eating disorder too, and I hope that 2017 will be free of it.
And I want to say that you are very inspirational person, thank you for sharing this!
I have so much respect for you and the vulnerability it took to share this post. Thank you for seeing the power in this story to inspire others to shift into a healthy lifestyle. I so appreciate that you promote a health for the mind and the body. So much love for you Monique!
Thanks for courageously sharing your story and your heart.
The love you have for your dad is so obvious. He must have been so proud of you Monique. I’m sure many of us can relate to the complexities of addiction and family relationships.
Your story is inspirational and moving. XO.
As I sit here and read this I cannot help but to feel like it was almost written by myself. I too had to deal with an alcoholic, drug addicted father who loved his little girl SO much but just couldn’t get his act together. I cannot relate to the eating disorder because I myself have never given up my love of food. I entered myself into Culinary school when I was younger instead. ha! But thank you for publishing that. It was beautifully written and well said! All we can do is hold on to the positive memories and work on being the best that we can be 🙂
Monique what an incredibly honest post. I know you must have felt some mixed emotions when you clicked publish, but just know you have a entire network of people who support you and thank you for your bravery. xo
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Monique. Your bravery and honesty astound me. You sharing your story will in turn make it easier for someone else to share their own story.
Hi Monique, I just found your blog and post through Lee from FFF, and my heart breaks for the little girl that you were and the heartcrushing pain you must have experienced over losing your adored dad. I can’t imagine the loss, pain and grief you must have felt. I am humbled by your strength, drive and courage. Thank you for sharing your past with us, I feel honored. *big hugs*
Kudos for having the courage and emotional intelligence to transform your painful experiences into an asset that can be helpful to others. THAT is how to recover.
Thanks so much for your note, John! I’m always hopeful that my story will help support others.
Monique thanks so much for sharing. I was so touched and it was such an inspirational read. You have been through a really traumatic experience that caused you to become more sensitive thus it could explain why you didn’t want to share your father’s death with anyone for fear of others feeling the pain or their judgement that may bring you rejection. I can relate to parents neglect I had 2 who were mainly emotionally absent. I blamed it on myself as I thought at the time perhaps I was an annoying boring child. Our parents always love us unconditionally it’s their disease as an addict that cause them to become addicted more and more to other things to cover their pain, so their lives become unmanageable thus they neglect their health as well as their loved ones/children. The fact you had such a great time when you were with your father proves he really wanted to make you happy because of his love for you – he felt bad he hadn’t been there when he was needed so afterwards, to make up for it, the times he shared with you were with his whole heart. Your recovery, is amazing, it has broken the pattern of these types of behaviours continuing in your family. Recovery is a lifelong process, nevertheless our lives become really meaningful and fulfilling as we get stronger, become more empowered and see progress and give over what we learnt to others. Best wishes 😊
Thank you for sharing your story. I related to it on many levels. I am on my own journey of recovering from my own relationship with food. I’ve been in my very low recently. But hearing your story gives me hope that I may too find reconciliation with my past hurts, embrace my emotions and weaknesses, and love and be loved just the way I am. So, thank you. May God bless you.
Hi Sharon – thank you so much for your note. I’m so glad you found some hope in reading this, and sending you all of the positive vibes on your wellness journey! <3
Thanks for sharing your story Sharon. I can relate to your pain and glad that you found a path to healthy living and favorite times, that is great!
Meant Monique! Sorry!
Monique, I just read this post about your past for the very first time, after admiring all of your recipes for months. I cannot imagine the guts that it took to write this, but BLESS YOU for being so honest and vulnerable. I know cooking and writing is cathartic, but man does it take bravery to be real! I appreciate so much all the creativity and love you pour into your work. It is so flippin inspiring! May God bless you for your perseverance and sincerity! ❤️❤️
This is the most moving post I have ever read. I feel like I just touched a peice of your soul. Thank you so much for sharing. You are strong, you are loved and you are safe.
Thank you, Ally! That means so much to me.
Hi. Came across this while looking for a great gravy recipe for Thanksgiving.
I’m so so sorry for the loss of your father. As I move towards examining my own childhood trauma with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father, I understand how confusing our emotions with our parents can be. I still love them deeply, but I feel so betrayed by them, and also so afraid for when they’re gone.
Your story hit me hard, in a way that helped me feel connected and less alone in my struggles. Thank you for your vulnerability, and bless you and your family.
Monique — I have loved the few recipes of yours I have tried (and your beautiful fun-loving personality that comes through your posts). And today, as I was making my way through your website for inspiration, I stumbled upon this post. I just want to say thank you for opening up your heart and sharing this with the world. Your writing is so beautiful; your father’s essence comes through so beautifully despite all the pain and the impacts of that pain. We are so powerful — we are always the key to our healing, and yet we don’t actually realize until we do. Until we have to. I am sending you so much love and light as we round out this year and hope 2022 (!) brings lots of love, laughter, and adventures. xx
Thanks for sharing ❤️.