My Special Day

What a dreary day.  It’s super early, and I’m sitting in my bed listening to the rain hit my window.  BUT, today is a special day for me…

It’s my one year recovery anniversary!

I have mixed feelings about it, though.  A part of me is trying to be happy about it, another is honestly upset that I’ve gained so much weight back, and another just wants to cry – from gratitude, freedom, love.  I can’t express how grateful I am for the love and support my family and close friends have shown me throughout this past year.  There have been many ups and downs, but their concern for my health and wellbeing has brought me to tears.  God has truly blessed me by surrounding me with people who deeply care for me, and I am overwhelmed by His unending love for me.  I have come such a long way from where I was a year ago.  I mean, I was afraid to eat almost anything…  I was miserable, I was alone, and I didn’t know what to do.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know where to begin when it came to doing something about it.  That’s why I’m so thankful that my parents stepped in; they scheduled me a doctor’s appointment without me knowing, and my life was forever changed.  It’s because of them, my best friend, and her family that I can say that I have my life back.  God has led us through this valley – I’ve hit lows I never thought possible – but here I am today.  I’m not perfect (not even close), but I can say with confidence that I am happy.  And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Oh, Great is Our God!

Things are better; they’re getting easier.  I’m trying to look to different things to distract myself, like playing my guitar and spending time with friends.  It doesn’t take it away, though.  I pray every day that God will take away the pain, and I know that He has answered my prayer – it’s just going to be a slow process.  It’s almost like I’m grieving the loss of the relationship I had – I was pretty attached to it, after all.  But, despite all of the emotions that I’ve been dealing with, this week has been surprisingly good.  One of my friends asked me to go to formal with him (woohoo!!), and the Lord has been faithful in blessing me with good appointments with my treatment team this week.  I saw my nutritionist on Wednesday afternoon, and after expressing how badly I feel like I’ve been doing she told me how my weight has been very stable since August, and I was actually down a little from my last appointment.  Praise God!!  Not because I lost weight, but for answering my prayers to make progress in my recovery.  Before hearing what my nutritionist had to say about it, I felt like I had been overeating (even though I felt like I was actually giving myself what I wanted), so to know that I have actually been maintaining my weight is amazing.  Maybe I have been doing things right after all. :)

Church on Wednesday night was really great, too.  My college minister started a study that we’ll being doing through the end of the school year, and it’s focusing on prayers throughout the Bible.  He started us off with a prayer from Jeremiah 32, and I thought it was an interesting decision.  In the prayer, Jeremiah isn’t really asking God for anything or praying one of those “sun stand still” prayers that we have been emphasizing all year.  It was just a simple conversation – recognizing God’s goodness, faithfulness, and power.  Jeremiah was in prison at the time because of the prophesies he had interpreted from the Lord about Israel’s destruction.  Although annihilation was imminent, Jeremiah obeyed the Lord’s command to purchase a plot of land in Israel, and he made sure everyone knew about it!  Jeremiah knew that God would be faithful and return the land of milk and honey to His people.  So, Jeremiah’s prayer was focused towards God’s goodness to His people, His unwavering faithfulness, and His mighty power over everything – nothing is too great for Him.

Studying that passage convicted me, because I haven’t been trying to see God’s perfect will behind all of the pain I’ve been going through.  I don’t understand why I’m going through this trying time (much like Jeremiah didn’t understand why God wanted him to buy that land), but I know that my Heavenly Father has a plan for me.  God’s word says that all things work for the good of those who love Him and that I have been created for God’s glory.

Hallelujah!  Through my suffering, may God be praised and glorified!

Father, I pray that not my will but Yours be done.  Amen. <3

Broken

Last night was one of the worst nights I’ve had in a long time.  The closest thing I’ve had to a boyfriend (I’ll call him Guy for the sake of anonymity) for the past 5 years and 8 months officially broke up with me.  Well, broke off whatever it was that we had….

It started off as a typical phone conversation, he asked me about my profile picture (which has one of my best guy friends in it), and we talked about school.  And then he pulled out his typical line, “I guess we should talk about us now…”  So we did.  He told me that he has been praying a lot about it and he felt like God had spoken to him through a speaker they had at chapel or something, and he feels like it would be best if we weren’t romantically involved at all.  He also said that he’s been thinking about Girl (I’m not going to say her name, but she works with Guy) a lot, and might try to see how things go with her…  Of course I was upset, but I tried not to make him feel worse than he already did.  He said he felt like it would only be fair that I knew after the whole me keeping my last relationship a secret incident.  So I can’t be mad at him for that…  I told him how much I “care” about him (I can’t use the “love” word… It’s complicated), and he said the same to me.  I told him pretty much everything that came to my mind.  I don’t understand why he wants to pursue Girl since he was so sure that he wanted to date me last time he came to see me; I’m scared of facing life without him because he has been my go-to person for so long; I can’t see myself (or even WANT to see myself) with anyone else; he is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met; blah, blah, blah.  At first, he tried to tell me how this doesn’t mean that we won’t work out in the future, but I stopped him mid-sentence.  I told him that I can’t handle hearing that anymore.  And after I told him how amazing I think he is, he started doing the same to me, but I told him to stop.  He did that thing where he’s like, “[insert my name here]…”  because he hates it when I talk down about myself.  He said the same thing when I told him how lucky Girl is…  But it’s truly how I feel.  She’s the luckiest girl in the world as far as I’m concerned.  But whatever.  At one point (a few minutes before we hung up) he told, “You’re a strong woman, [insert my name here],” and when I asked him why, he was just like, “You just are,” or something like that.  Almost immediately after that, I heard him throwing up in the background.  Btw, he was in his car because “his phone was dying” and he was charging it in his car.  I have a hard time believing that that was the only reason he was out there, seeing as his roommate was home.  He had mentioned previously that he felt sick to his stomach, but I really was shocked when he got sick.  I guess I didn’t realize how upset he really was. :( But by the end of the conversation, I was just like, “I kind of thought that us stepping out on our faith would mean trying to make things work, but I guess that’s not what stepping out on our faith really is…”

Gosh, writing this all out – reenacting it in my head – really sucks. :( All of my roommates are either still asleep or already off to class…  And I’m in my room alone, trying to sort out what happened to me.  To say that I’m sad is an understatement.  Devastated is more like it, but I’m hoping it will get better sooner rather than later.  I called my mom immediately after it happened and spilled my guts to her too, telling her how much I love him.  She ended up asking me if I told him that…  That I loved him, that is.  And of course I didn’t.  We all know how Guy feels about the L-word.  And I’m afraid of how he would react to it…  But she tells me that I need to let him know how I truly feel – that it will make me feel better.  But I obviously can’t do that any time soon because when Guy asked me whether I would like to take a break or keep him as close as I can, I told him that I probably need some space.  Not because that’s what I want, but because it might be what I need.  And I think it is.  So maybe I can get to that whole “love” thing later…

Oh, and btw, I deactivated my Facebook for the first time ever.  I’ve decided to fast from social media.  My first ever fast that I’ve felt called to do.  It came to me while I was thinking (in the shower, of course), and I think it would be best if I just didn’t have those things to watch Guy’s profiles or anything.  Being logged into them is too much of a temptation, so I logged out of my Twitter and Instagram too.  I still use Tumblr and WordPress, but only because I really don’t have any social ties on them.  They’re strictly emotional outlets…

But yeah, that’s pretty much what happened last night.  It sucked.  I suck.  Life sucks.  But God’s here.  And He always will be. <3

The Lord is Close

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“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help. The face of the Lord is set against those who do what is evil, to erase all memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit. Many adversities come to the one who is righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all. He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken.”
(‭Psalms‬ ‭34‬:‭15-20‬ HCSB)

Triumph meets Trial

Hello, world!  Long time, no read, eh? ;)

Well, I guess I’ll start off with a run through of how life has been for me.  I’ve pretty much made it through the first wave of tests the semester has thrown at me, woohoo!  I only wish that I could say that I made it through unscathed.  To say that this week has been a trial would be an understatement, and I’m still feeling its weight like I’m carrying it around in my backpack.  To be honest, it sucks.

I mean, I was doing so well.

To be on an uphill climb for such a long time.

To be cutting back on clinic visits and counselor appointments.

To be able to honestly say that you can’t remember the last time you acted out on urges….

Just to hit rock bottom again.

Some say that relapse is inevitable.  Some say once an addict, always an addict (and yes, I am referring to my eating disorder as an addiction).

But, right now, I say screw what everybody else says.  Why can’t I have my recovery and keep it that way???

It’s easier said than done, though (understatement of the century).   Today I had the first fall through that I’ve had in a long time.  The urges pulling at me in all different directions – I couldn’t handle it.  I had to do something to shut them up [or quiet them down at the least].  So I gave in.

weak

Weak

WEAK

I know you’re probably thinking, “Come on, don’t be so hard on yourself,” and I totally agree with you!  But it’s just what I do.  I’m my own worst critic.  It’s always been that way, and I’m convinced that it always will.  I just can’t believe that after I had been doing so well for so long……  I threw it all away just like that.

Why?

Well, I don’t think that it was just totally uncalled for and on a whim.  Last week took a real toll on my mentality towards my recovery – long lost feelings of anxiety creeping up, unnecessary exposure to triggers, old urges screaming at me day in and day out.  My nutritionist said I had actually handled myself really well.  And I’m proud of that, for sure.  I just wish I had handled myself a bit better.  I’m just tired of it…  Having to constantly reorient yourself towards recovery is tough and can easily eat up hours of your precious time that needs to be spent elsewhere.  But I guess it’s worth the fight.  I tell girls all the time that they are worth recovery – that the fight is hard and the battle is long, but that can’t compare to the sweetness of freedom.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.”
(Romans 8:18 HCSB)

Why am I so selfish to think that I am the exception to this message that GOD – the almighty, all-knowing, creator of the Universe – has given to me?  Why are MY problems so big and bad and terrible that they could even come close to comparing to the glory of God’s presence???

Wow, I need a reality check.

Father, forgive me of my selfishness, pride, ignorance, vanity, hypocrisy…  Wash away the filth that I am ladened with; lift this burden that I can’t carry on my own.  Open my eyes to see the beauty I have in You and that the fight I wage here in this world could never compare to the glorious splendor that is to come.  Lord, You know my every need, and I trust You to meet those needs.  Thank You for Your everlasting love, mercy, grace, and goodness.  Thank You for being my steady and unchanging foundation in this ever-changing world.  I love You, and I praise You for all that You do for me.  I ask all these things for the glory of Your name, Amen.

Freedom?

birds_freedom_by_tina6668

Ok, so [again] it’s been wayyyy too long since I’ve posted on the blog. I’ve just been so busy!! Today, I’ve been babysitting since 7:30 this morning (which is finally starting to catch up with me – I’m so tired), and I think we might be going to the playground soon. I’m babysitting a six-year-old little boy and have been for about a month now. He’s definitely a cutie but has his moments… Ha ha. But anyway, things have been going ok I guess. Not perfect, but better I think. It’s been a while since I’ve had a blow-out binge episode, and I think I’ve had a pretty steady weight for the past month (I might have gained like 5 pounds). The urges are still there though, that’s for sure. I’m constantly thinking about how I need to lose weight and how I would look so much better if I did. I’ve been feeling so ugly lately, and it really gets me down. :( I mean, I have felt better about who I am as a person, but that doesn’t necessarily make me feel any prettier. I think I’m kind of doing the same thing I was doing with my past boyfriend – thinking that my current “beau” isn’t going to like me anymore because I’m getting bigger…

Which isn’t right…

I think…

Ugh, I just wish I could take it all back experience freedom again!!

I was going to say that I wish that I could take it all back, but I really don’t. This is a part of my testimony that God has allowed me to have so that I can reach out to other girls who may be experiencing something similar. So, I don’t wish it would’ve never happened; I just wish that it was a part of my past rather than a constant part of my present. It’s torturous, depressing, consuming, distracting, annoying, embarrassing, and just all things bad. It’s like a ghost that continues to haunt me every day, never at rest. I’m so ready to move on, but for some reason beyond my understanding it won’t let go. What is it that I find so appealing in those behaviors? The comfort? Satisfaction? Freedom? Is it because I do in fact find freedom in acting out on my urges? I guess that makes sense in a way… I’m always denying my desires as I seek freedom from this disease, which is so ironic because restricting your behaviors is the exact opposite of freedom.

Or is it?
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?'” (Matthew 16:24-26 HCSB)
Maybe I’m thinking about it the wrong way! I think it’s time for some serious reframing to happen in my mind. I shouldn’t want to lose weight because it will gain me worldly approval; I should seek to honor God with my body and not give into temptations of gluttony or selfishness in order to soothe myself or make myself seem more appealing in man’s eyes.

Thank You, Lord, for making me enough.  Help me to seek beauty in Your eyes rather than trying to find it in this world.  Father, give me the strength I need to be an overcomer; I know that without You, I would never stand a chance.  I praise You for bringing me this far, and I am confident that You will deliver me from this battle.  I love You, Father, and praise You for all that you have done, are doing, and will do for me.  Jesus, I pray that I will continue striving every day to live my life as a reflection of You instead of a reflection of society or the people around me.  Thank You for willingly becoming the ultimate sacrifice so that I may live free from the bondage of my sin even though I am so deserving of it.  God, I ask that You will be with me and the rest of my family and friends who may be starting school or preparing for it this week.  I pray for smooth transitions to a new chapter of our lives.  Through it all, though, I pray that we all remember that even though our surroundings [or even our entire lives as we know it] change, You are the only thing that remains constant.  Thank You, God, for never leaving nor forsaking us!!!

Heavenly Father, I ask all of these things for the glory of Your name, Amen. <3

Dear Body…

Gosh, I am so tired…  Oh, wait, no I’m not.  Ha.  I just haven’t been able to sleep recently, and it kinda sucks.  But I don’t know what my problem is.  I mean, I haven’t really been doing much different with my bedtime routine (besides not eating as much at night, and that should help me sleep, if anything).  But, whatever.  I guess I’ll just sit here and watch TV/write until I’m overcome with exhaustion.  Anyway, things have been going kind of ok-ish.  Well, these past couple of days have, anyway.  I’ve been steadily gaining weight and eating whatever I can get my hands on pretty much every night…  But the eating at night has definitely gotten better since I’ve been at home (I’ve got a long weekend home from treatment – I’ll probably write a more detailed post about that later).  And thank God for my best friend, who is keeping me accountable.  Maybe things won’t be so bad when insurance finally does kick me out of treatment.  Ha.

Speaking of treatment, though, I kind of want to work on one of my agendas that my therapist gave me gave me.  I know you’re probably wondering what I mean by “agenda,” because I didn’t know what it meant when I first heard it in this context.  Out therapists give us writing assignments to journal about and share in group therapy/individual session.  I’ve got several to work on, but there is one in particular that I am eager to get out of the way…

Agenda:  I will write a letter to my body telling it how I feel about/towards it.

Dear Body,

I’m not totally sure what I want to write to you right now.  I know that my therapist didn’t want me coming from a total self-hatred point of view, so I will try to keep that to a minimum.  But that’s not the only reason I am having a hard time.  I often hear people who write letters to their bodies say things like, “I don’t trust you,” or, “I don’t think you know what is best for me,” but I don’t think I feel that way.  I honestly think I trust you and your ability to use the food I give you in the right way and that you have the ability to tell me what I need – I guess it’s really me that you are having trust issues with.  And I’m sorry for that.  I guess this whole eating issue came about with my unhappiness with you and how you look, but it’s never had anything to do with how well you have treated me.

I guess what I really do want to say, though, is that I have always been embarrassed of you for not looking the way I wanted you to look or performing the way I wish you could.  I’ve always just wanted to be the best at everything – whether that be running, sports, yoga, strength training, being pretty, whatever.  And you have kept me from doing that.  I feel that you have done nothing but hold me back my entire life, and it gets so frustrating.  I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more than to be happy with you and to be comfortable with your appearance…  But to be honest, I don’t even know what that means to me anymore.  I mean, I’ve experienced what it’s like for you to be the thinnest out of all of my friends and the biggest, but I was miserable at both ends of the spectrum.

So now that I think of it, I can understand that you would be having thoughts like, “What the **** do you want from me?!”  Especially during the times that I have abused you with restriction and even binging.  I always thought that I was doing what was best for you, but now I know that I have been doing just the opposite.  Oh, wait.  That trust word just popped up in my mind.  So maybe there is an aspect of trust that I am struggling with.  Or maybe it’s trusting the system…  Anyway, it’s the whole meal plan and stabilizing my weight thing that I’m having issues with.  How am I supposed to know how much is enough?  What if you don’t want to be the weight that I’d like you to be?  When am I going to figure out how to listen to the signals that you send me?  Is recovery ever going to feel as good as active addiction does?

If you ever find any answers to these questions, please let me know.  I’m getting pretty desperate.  I pray every day that something will click – like a switch in my mind that will just turn my ED voice off forever.  But I know that’s not how it works.  I know that God created me in His image, and I am exactly where I am meant to be according to His will.  I am so sorry that I have not been able to accept that.  I want to accept you just like He does.  It’s so easy for me to forget all that you do for me – all of the things that I take for granted – and cover them up with thoughts of self-hatred, shame, and anger.  I feel betrayed by you…  But I think it’s time for me to try to see things from your perspective and see how I have in fact betrayed you.

I hope that you will forgive me, and it is my prayer that some day we can be at peace.  I’m trying to learn to appreciate all that you have done and continue to do for me.  You are a miraculous work of art, signed by God, and deserve to be treated as such.

Thanks for listening,

Me

Stay Young, Go Dancing

I just love this song.  Even though it doesn’t really have anything to do with what I’ll be writing about. ;)

What I do want to write about, though, is how these past couple weeks have been.  Gosh, it’s been intense.  So many ups and quite a few downs.  But great, nonetheless. :)

I really should be writing more…  Well, I guess I technically am writing a lot; I just never post what I write because it’s all things that my therapist wants me to write about.  And sometimes that is a little more personal than I would like to share with the world right now, ha ha.  I do plan on sharing a few at some point, though.

Ok, so back to the point: treatment.  It’s finally sinking in.  I am in a treatment center to help me in recovery of my eating disorder.  And to be honest, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Not only am I making steps towards recovery every day, I am learning more about myself and have made the most amazing friends.  Gosh, I can’t even describe how wonderful these people are – the staff and fellow clients.  I’ve begun to feel closer to them than I have recently felt towards some of my oldest friends and even family.  It’s just so easy to be real – to be me – while I’m here because there’s no reason to have any guard up.  I mean, we all know each other’s deepest secrets.  It’s incredible, really.  And so refreshing after hiding behind my problems for so long…

Every day, I am challenged to dig deeper into my conscious in order to find out what it is I am trying to cover up with my eating disorder.  Anxiety?  Depression? Guilt?  Pain?  It’s all there, but at this point I can’t distinguish one from another.  I am wrestling with my inner being in an attempt to break down the wall I have been working my whole life to build up.  The wall that keeps me from my deepest pain.  But I am convinced that until I get to the root of the darkness trapped within my eating disorder, I won’t be able to overcome it.

Heavenly Father, hear my cry tonight.  Help me.  Save me.  Give me the desire, courage, and strength I need to overcome this battle.  Lord, I know that with Your mighty power within me, all things are possible.  Only You can save me, and I praise You for loving me enough to do that.  I am so deserving of all of the suffering I have ever gone through and more, but Your perfect love, grace, and mercy have rescued me from it all and always will.  Thank You for the blessings You have so willingly given me.  Please, God, forgive me of the ways I have failed You.  You know all of my faults and impurities.  You know my desires and my needs.  May Your will be done in all things, and may I praise You through it all.  Father, I pray all of these things for the glory of Your precious name, Amen.

BeYOUtiful

Pinterest

Does anybody else see something wrong here???

I know that your Pinterest home board is completely random depending on who you follow, but what I saw just a few minutes ago really struck me…  My thought process as I see these pictures:  “OMG, that burger looks AMAZING!” *looks to the model in the shorts* “Well, I don’t think I’m ever going to eat a cheeseburger again in my life…”

I’ve recently become more aware of mass media’s portrayal of women and how their (or should I say OUR) bodies “should” look.  It disgusts me!  I had the privilege of going to listen to a panel of women speak on the topic of body image and eating disorder recovery, and one of the topics covered was “Becoming a Critical Consumer in Media.”  I was blown away by the impact ads and magazines and commercials can have on our self-esteem, even if we don’t think they do.  The super models being photographed to represent women as a whole are smaller than NINETY EIGHT percent of the women in the United States.  Ninety eight.  Wow.

But that’s not all.  We watched a video of how photographers can enhance a picture – completely alter the appearance of someone (man or woman) – in order to mimic what our culture considers “beautiful.”  From rounding out the eyes to literally stretching out the body in order to appear taller and/or slimmer, when they get done editing, the person is simply fake.  Like I said before, I find it completely disgusting.

Why can’t normal women be considered beautiful by the media?  What is wrong with the bodies God has so lovingly blessed us with??  Gosh, I will be the first person to admit that I play the comparison game.  I flip through magazines or look at the emails I get from clothing stores and think, “If only I could be THAT size…”  And I hate that about myself.  But it’s so hard not to do when we as consumers are constantly bombarded by this false standard for how women look.  Now, I will say that I admire companies like American Eagle’s Aerie who do NOT retouch their models for their ads, and I desperately wish that others would jump on board.

If only society would send the message that the REAL you is beautiful.  Not the girl who goes on all of the bikini-body diets or takes all the latest and greatest diet pills or has the “will power” to stay away from that extra cookie.  The woman who is curvy, comfortable, and confident in who she is…  THAT is what I want to see portrayed in the ads of my favorite brands.

Anyways, that was just my thought/rant for the day.  I feel that the farther I go into my own recovery process, the more sensitive I become to issues like this.  So I am writing this, not to just tell you that you’re beautiful (which you ARE), but to remind myself of that as well.  I have obviously struggles with my own body image distortions for a majority of my life, and it’s things like this that just give me another person/image to compare myself to that really get under my skin.

To whomever may be reading this that struggles with similar issues, I pray that you will realize the worth you have in God’s eyes.  And I pray that for myself.  We are all in this together. <3