The truth is, recovery is one step forward… two steps back. The truth is, I’m in a tough spot. Not an impossible one, nevertheless. A little disappointed in myself and afraid I’m not working hard enough? Yep. I don’t, however, want to glorify this illness by giving it the pleasure of thinking it’s going to get me. I’ve been home from inpatient treatment for 5 months, and the anorexia voice creeps in so many loud but deceptive ways. Trusting and believing that God is in control is a discipline just as eating is. But here’s the thing, God is a gentleman and will not force me to give Him control. It’s my choice. A choice I face 7 times a day when I eat one of my meals, structured snacks, or my daily required dessert in order to regain a nourished body. I would be wise and obedient to continue to release control of this familiar territory to Him. Maybe that comes easily for you. But what I’m going to eat to fill those 7 times per day is a conscience surrender…incessant surrender. God?… He isn’t disappointed in me. I often think in my overwhelmed mind that He is because I am, but He sees my effort, He sees yours also. I’m trying to rest in the truth that when looking through God’s eyes at this situation, I do see hope. Anorexia can’t take my hope. One of the smartest benefits of inpatient treatment, is that, during the re-feeding process, I was allowed very limited access to the realities of life, but I was not limited in the realities of my eating disorder. We were face to face…head to head…loud mind to mind. This set up is beneficial because if eating is the enemy to anorexia, and that’s essential to getting a healthy life, some isolation to deal with the enemy of eating disorder is essential and to many…life saving. It was for me. When removed from that environment, it’s difficult. Just as it was getting used to being closed off and allowed minimal contact while getting adjusted there. I think a lot of my time away …still. Both the difficulties but also the camaraderie of inpatient treatment. I often feel guilty for missing both. This is not due to any reason connected to my precious family and friends here at home… but rather a reflection of my mind. My complicated mind came home with me.
The truth is…” Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.” (National Eating Disorder Association)
The truth is… it’s very difficult to share my suffering on this road, but my writings are about the reality of the eating disorder in my life, along with depression and self harm. My recovery has continued to be a slippery slope. Some days I am so discouraged. I wonder if I trust God enough to continue to heal me, and I fear life without what I have known for over 20 years. Nevertheless, I trust that after all of my sharing with you, you know my heart and trust I will continue to choose Jesus and His plan for me. Since being home, I only know a handful of people who are continuing to stay in recovery from my community there. I know 2 people who are symptom free…total. In my total life! And I get disheartened. Symptom free means staying in ones healthy weight range, (as decided by many biological factors), choosing food over letting the eating disorder choose what you eat or do not eat, and choosing relationships over the rules - the lies set by ones particular eating disorder. By the time you read this, I hope to be back in my weight range. I told you…it’s a slippery slope and I, my mind and body, get tired. My heart and mind do desire continued recovery. I AM working hard, and my body is being merciful, especially for what it’s gone through. I want to make it to be the 3rd person who I know that is symptom free…in God’s timing. I must wait on and trust in Him.
In the mean time, God’s view of me and this process is my sanity and sustenance. He does not wait for me to be well and for me to be able to say that I’m one year symptom free or even one day, to help wedge a part of my brain out for me write and speak to you. He is mercy. He is all-knowing. He is amazing.
Through experience of both success and failure, triumph and torture, David says in the Psalms, “ The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever.” (Psalm 103:8-9)
Realize that rare is a day that you will encounter a soul who is not suffering and struggling. Maybe it is yours. Maybe it’s another. Nevertheless, I pray for you, and God absolutely knows where you are in this time, and He sees right past what you may see in yourself. That’s good news. That’s hope in the tough spot. He is help to get back in my weight range!
The truth is…sometimes there is no captivating analogy or parallel story for me to tell you to draw you into this conversation. Life is made of steadfast obedience and it is hard, so I want to leave you this day with these words that I hum all day many days. It makes my heart sing and the eating disorder furious. Perfect.
“ My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust on Jesus name.
On Christ, the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.”
I did not choose to have an eating disorder, but before I was born and “knit together in my mom’s womb,” God knew I would suffer, and He knows the way out of this. He. Is. Freedom. And the truth is, not choosing to take a bite and swallow it? That, my friend, is sinking sand.
Love to You!