Reframing

I guess we can have a moment of honesty between you and me…

I’ve had my fair share of counseling/therapy, and something that I have often been challenged with is reframing a situation – that is, to look at it from a different perspective.  It’s no doubt a useful tool to bring more positivity and optimism into one’s life. And it’s something that I’m choosing to use now, in this season that God has placed me in:

Single.

The reason I’m choosing to reframe my situation is because it has become much more than that; it has become a burden to me.  Not only do I have family and friends who are constantly (but with good intentions) trying to set me up with random guys, but I have also begun to associate my relationship status with loneliness and self-pity.  What I so often forget is that I’m actually NOT going to find happiness or contentment in a relationship with some guy – no matter how “perfect” he seems to be.  Worldly love doesn’t work like that – it is conditional, selfish, and fleeting.  The kind of love my soul longs for comes only from my Heavenly Father above – His love is Unconditional, selfLESS, and EVERlasting.  It’s foolish to think that anyone other than God Himself could provide me with that.

And to be honest, I’m okay with the season I’m in right now (of course, I always should be, but nobody’s perfect).  I don’t think that I’m yet the person I want to be for my future husband.  I need this time to grow.  To grow in my faith, my self-confidence, and my identity in Christ.

I love the way the Message puts this verse:

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.” (Ephesians 1:11)

For some reason, I feel like I should be able to find this in a relationship.  I could not be further from the truth.

I praise the Lord for being all that I need in this life and far more.  He has truly blessed me beyond measure, and it is in Him alone that I will find peace.

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.

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. ❤

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.

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.

Bliss

Ignorance really is bliss.  I have been thinking a lot lately about how easy life was before I knew.  Before I started worrying.  Before I became consumed by these destructive habits.

I often look back to the times when I didn’t feel the need to count every calorie or avoid “bad” foods.  I didn’t understand the effects my eating could have on my body; but, frankly, I didn’t care all that much.  I’m not saying that I was never self-conscious (because I definitely always have been); it was just never something that I put that much emphasis on.  I can remember when it finally switched for me – my turning point.  My freshman year of college; it was the first time I had been attending school and not simultaneously participating in some kind of extracurricular (band, softball, etc.).  But for some reason, even though I wasn’t trying to lose weight, I did.  It was probably from walking to and from my classes and having healthier dining options on campus.  Either way, people noticed.  And that felt good…  No, that felt amazing.  It ignited a fire in me that raged rampantly and consumed my thoughts, actions, and eventually my entire life.  It wasn’t really until the summer after my freshman year that I realized that I had a problem.  I was constantly looking up healthy recipes, subscribing to health food blogs, going to the gym as much as possible, and keeping up with every single calorie with an app on my phone.  It was just like an itch I could not seem to scratch.  I knew that I needed help, but I was having such a hard time communicating my struggles with others.  The guy I was semi-dating at the time responded to my concerns by saying, “I don’t think you can be too healthy.”  He didn’t realize how wrong he was and how hard it is to overcome such an intense internal battle.

Now, I understand how desperate I was to fill my life with something – anything – that I thought would make my life worth-while.  Something that would satisfy me and make me content…  What a selfish thing to do on my own!  I wasn’t thinking of anyone but myself and was so concerned with creating a better image of myself that I forgot what my purpose really is!  That is to glorify God with my WHOLE LIFE.  Not just the part of me that goes to church and sometimes blesses the food during meal time.  I had to [and am still working to] discover the value that I have in my Heavenly Father.  I was bought at a price!  What else do I need besides Him?

“Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.”

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

I am still struggling to find my worth solely in the Lord; I am fighting these demons every single day.  But I know, deep down, that I am NOTHING without Him.

Holy Spirit, make Your presence known in my life.  Lead me according to Your will, and teach me how to accept myself the way You accept me.  Thank You so much, God, for your immeasurable and unending love for me.  You fill me with joy that surpasses any other.  Please continue to be with me in recovery and to lean on You more and more throughout the process.  These past few days have been really, really tough, Lord, and I ask that You would forgive me of the ways I have failed You.  And help me to forgive myself.  I ask these things in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.