In Sickness & In Health

February 2, 2007

I, McCall, take you, Jordan…

Stomach butterflies were in full flight as I stood before the cathedral doors, hanging onto my dad’s arm.  This was it: my wedding day.  I had been planning and more importantly ‘prepping’ for this day all year.  My nerves were not caused by doubt or cold feet, they were nerves of pure fear.  I had ‘prepped’ a little too much for my big day and my beautiful dress was too big.  MY wedding dress.  The one garment in your life that should be perfectly tailored to you was slipping down my sides.  My wedding dress was tailored to fit my eating disorder, not me.  I was petrified of tripping down the aisle.

As the massive cathedral doors swung open, I was hit with emotions and for that short moment I forgot about my dress and my disorder.  All eyes were on me, but all I could see was the love of my life, my best friend, my other half waiting for me at the end of the aisle.  Hundreds of our closest friends and family sat in the pews, but to Jordan and me it felt as though we were the only ones in the church.  As soon as we knelt down, Jordan started talking and did not stop.  He talked throughout the entire mass.  Literally.  Nonstop.  And I really did not care because this was our day.  We were young, in love and oh so clueless about the journey ahead.

A few months after our big day, we got our wedding pictures, two huge albums of proofs.  The pictures were gorgeous, but I could not look at them.  I was angry at myself for ‘letting myself go’ and gaining weight after working so hard to ‘look good’ for my wedding day.  The massive albums went into a closet never to be shown again.

February 2, 2008

…to be my husband…

Year 1.  Pretend Bliss.  It was the year of Jordan, my professional golfer.  I beamed with pride as Jordan closed out a successful season, which included his first Hooters Tour win.  He even played a few Nationwide Tour events that year.  But beneath my pride and smiles was a lost girl, grappling with the aftermath of severe restriction, inevitable weight gain and weeks on end of being alone while Jordan traveled.  My days of strict control and rigidity around food were beginning to unravel and so was I.  But all the while, I put on my happy face and made it seem as if all was right in our newlywed world.  My eating disorder made me a master of disguise.  I fooled my new husband.   I fooled myself.

February 2, 2009

…I promise to be true to you…

Year 2.   Unraveled.  Barely able to afford our mortgage, Jordan and I were doing everything we could to stay afloat.  I did everything I could to tell him all was fine on the home-front when he was away, which was clearly far from the truth.  Bulimic symptoms raged behind closed doors, but everyday I got up, went to work and told Jordan it was a great day.  I was broken, lost and scared.  I knew I needed help, but felt we could not afford it.  But most of all, I did not believe I deserved help because to me, it was still, ‘not that bad.’  Jordan quit golf that year.  The intense stress of traveling and missed cuts wore him down.  He was home for good that November, and I thought having him home would help me ‘get it together.’

February 2, 2010

…in good times and in bad…

Year 3.  Outed.  My secret love affair with my eating disorder was out.  I was in outpatient treatment at home.  Jordan was now witness to my mind’s madness and the struggles I had buried deep within for years.  He did his best to be supportive and understanding, but how could he when this was something I could not even understand.  I could not see life without my disorder.  I continued to quickly spiral downward.  We fought a lot that year.  I pushed Jordan away and was determined that Jordan would be better off without me.  But he stood his ground and never left my side.

February 2, 2011

…in sickness and in health…

Year 4.  Treatment.  I will never forget waking up that morning.  Tears rolled down my cheeks as soon as I awoke.  It was my fourth wedding anniversary and I was in treatment.  Leading up to this day, Jordan tried to remind me that it was just another day on the calendar and that we would celebrate when I returned home.  But it was not just another day to me, it was my wedding anniversary – a day that should have been mine, but instead was stolen by my disorder.  I was so furious at my eating disorder.  My fourth wedding anniversary proved to be a turning point in my treatment.  The staff reminded me that I needed to grieve my wedding day, but more importantly they told me it was okay for me to be sad and grieve this extraordinary loss.  In order to move forward, I was going to have to look back and allow myself to feel the emotions of anger, sadness and everything in between.

February 2, 2012

…I will love you and honor you…

Year 5.  New Life.  It was a year of new beginnings.  It was a year of learning.  I came home from treatment and was determined to continue on the path of recovery.  Thanks to my amazing husband, I was able to do so.  We had been through the lowest of lows and were finally on our way up.  Year five was all about us growing together into our marriage, our life without my eating disorder.  To me, I was a new person, but to Jordan I was the same girl he fell in love with all those years ago.  He loved me for me and always knew who I really was even when I did not.

February 2, 2013

…all the days of my life.

Year 6.  Pinch Me.  Life is not perfect.  Our marriage is not perfect.  Jordan is not perfect.  I am not perfect…and I love it that way.  Imperfection gives me the freedom to stumble, to be vulnerable, to open myself to love another for who they are…not who my disorder thinks they should be.  Jordan allows me to be myself, imperfections and all and vice versa.  We have different parenting styles and different mood swings.  We like different things and enjoy time apart.  We fight, bicker and get on each other’s nerves.  But I hope we never stop fighting because it means we are communicating…we are working things out together.  Jordan and I have worked so very hard to get to where we are today.  We are truly a team.  He was not always my rock in this journey.  He certainly did not always say the best things, but he was always by my side willing to grow, learn and change with me.  Through it all he never strayed and never, ever stopped believing in me.  He saw the light even when I was buried in darkness.  He has been my partner, my teammate, my cheerleader.   He makes me laugh everyday and my heart melts every time he comes home and lovingly swoops to pick up our son.  To say he is the best dad is a monumental understatement.

On this morning of our sixth wedding anniversary, I was able to give Jordan a gift he never expected.  I handed him a large black box and as he opened it his face lit up.  It was our wedding album.  After six long years, I was able to sort through the proofs and order our formal album.  Time and tears helped to slowly heal the wounds of this day and I now am able to look at the pictures for what they really are…beautiful memories of a very special day.  A day that celebrates two people’s triumphs, tribulations and journey together through this extraordinary thing called life.  I can never get my wedding day back.  It is gone and will remain in the past.  But I am finally at peace with that.  I no longer need a re-do…I get my do over each and everyday I wake up embraced in Jordan’s arms.  Recovery has given me a second chance at life, a rebirth into this colorful world.  And I count my blessings that everyday I get to wake up next to this extraordinary man I call my husband.

So here is to us, my sweet husband, my best friend, my soulmate, my other half.  Happy Anniversary.  All my love.

Amen.

photo 4

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