“I was wearing my black Calvin Klein underwear set while they stared at me.”  

This was the opening sentence to my college application essay.

No, really, it was.

I realized early on the importance of owning one’s hardships and finding light when the world seems dark.  During my sophomore year of high school, I developed an eating disorder.  The sentence above was describing one of my many physician appointments.  It stemmed from a very difficult time in my life; for me, coping involved controlling every morsel of food, and drop of drink, that entered my body.  It was unhealthy, to say the least, but created a camouflage; hiding the true source of my sadness and worry.

This is not an in-depth post about that time in my life; it is, though, an introduction-of-sorts to the book that I am writing.  For me, the hardest thing about writing a narrative-focused blog, and a coming of age memoir, is the vulnerability.  This vulnerability, though, is the cornerstone of my writing.  I want people to see, feel, taste and even smell the stories I share.

Before I get to Chapter 1 of “Untitled” – yes, original, I know – I must state how much that I love my mama (and dad, too).  Let’s just say, I was a difficult teenager and she definitely endured the brunt of my dysfunction.  She never once stopped loving me, though.  A mother’s love is a force to be reckoned with, which I have definitely learned first-hand.

Now that we can look into each others eyes – mother to mother – I get it; I get all of it…



by Leslie Lipscomb

*   *   *

– Chapter 1-

Like I said before, there stood a hill that looked like a mountain.”

Actually it was more than that. It was an overgrown spattering of peeling, crusty bark and mossy patches of green grass and it was beautiful in it’s own way. My mountain was situated on a tiny plot of raised earth occupying common space. I was four. To a four-year old everything was magnificent. Back then, my mountain was nothing less.

I let her questions float around my head a little while longer. I wanted to savor this memory. This place was safe.

In the summertime, milky white honeysuckle hugged the perimeter; sweet dancing vines of deliciousness welcomed in buzzy birds and butterflies. Worms dusted in earth hiding below decaying trunks and under smooth cold stones were prizes waiting to be found. We always found them; The Boy and me.

No, other than Mom, The Boy was the only person allowed on the mountain.”

Actually, I don’t remember much about him. Like I said, I was four.”

But I did remember more. The Boy smelled of freshly laundered dirt, like potting soil sprinkled with baby powder. He liked dirt a lot and digging. His knees were always scuffed; each small crack of skin picking up more debris as he knelt atop the mountain.

And like that, my mountain was gone. Deep blue walls adorned with pictures of water-colored flowers and ecru-matted diplomas replaced picturesque memories of my early childhood; the earliest recollections I could recall.

I really don’t understand what any of this has to do with eating. I ate today, you know. I poured actual milk, NOT water, on my super-delicious Special K cereal and I ate it. All of it.”

Time was up so my snarky remarks really didn’t matter. Not that I cared. I was free to leave the Prison-O-Crazies. Since I am a loyal Crazy myself, (every Monday, Wednesday and Friday) I guess it is better classified as the Out-Patient Rehabilitation Center-O-Crazies but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

I sat on the curb clutching my backpack. I felt tears beginning to well but I huffed them away. After all, I was mad; really mad. A cloud of dust trailed the ole ’92 Buick La Sabre as it inched ever-so-closely to the curb. I think I heard the sound of rubber grazing concrete, but I couldn’t be sure. My mother was screeching something out the car window at such a high decibel all other sounds in the vicinity were immediately neutralized. I climbed in.




I am tired, mom. I need to sleep.”

Thank you, Lord, conversation diverted, at least for now. I wasn’t really tired. Well, my body was always tired but my mind was running a mile-a-minute. I curled up in the passenger seat, head resting against the car door and stared out into a haze of nothingness. I kicked the air vent with my foot in an attempt to deflect the cool breeze from my frozen body.

I am cold! That’s why! Do you have to keep the air on high when you know I am freezing?!”

I attempted to kick the air vent again but missed and hit the glove box instead. I didn’t care. I just kept on kicking until I finally felt it crack. My throat burned from the yelling. Trails of teardrops warmed my cheeks but became cool when the crying stopped.

I again laid my head atop the car door and started into a haze of nothingness. I was searching for my mountain, my safe place, but in the end exhaustion won out. In a matter of minutes, I was fast asleep.

*   *   *

Fortunately, for me, I can honestly say that I overcame anorexia.  I remember the point when it all changed; when I was ready to get better.  Following my recovery, I started speaking to young adolescents and teenagers about unhealthy eating.  This kept me not only accountable, but inspired. I only hope I was able to touch their lives like they touched mine.

If you, or someone you love, is suffering from an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorder Association. (NEDA Confidential Helpline 1-800-931-2237 or visit