"The focus of recovery isn't weight gain..that's just part of the process to get me to recovery the focus of recovery is learning to live life for the first time ever"
This is the realization I had after meeting with my new faith-based therapist today. But this wasn’t just a meeting…it was a re-ignition of the flame in my heart for recovery. It was everything I needed and more.
I am so used to the first therapy session being just a walk through the hell that has been my past, but we didn’t do that. Instead the first question was what do I want out of recovery. That’s right…a focus on the future instead of on the past. A focus on why I was in the office in the first place..not how I got there…but my purpose. We spent the next hour talking about where I want my life to go and how we are going to get there. Sure we talked about the past as it came up…but the meeting was more about hope and about re-focusing on where I want to go.
It seems simple, but I have never really thought about this till recently. About the fact that recovery isn’t just food and weight and all that. There is a purpose to it. There is a bigger reason behind making the right decisions with my food and weight and behaviors. Because choosing the right thing gets me to the future I want. The future working with people with EDs, the future loving and living life, the future of friends and a husband, the future filled with God, filled with hope, filled with joy. I can’t get there living the life I have for the past 20 years..I can’t get there with ED. I can only get there changing my patterns and fighting for recovery.
We talked about the plans for therapy. How we are going to look at my behaviors, where they came from (like how I learned them in childhood and thus why they are so normal to me), how to change them, and why I need to change them to get my future. We are going to help me to see the ways I stand in my own way (something I admitted in the session today) and how I can push through the fear to reach the future I desire. And we are even focusing on the small future. On my senior year and on ending my senior year strong and ready for the opportunities and challenges of the graduate program that will prepare me for social work with eating disorders.
It was just an amazing session. I know we are going to look into my past…but we aren’t going to sit and wallow in it. We are going to look at my past to help me get to my future. I think that’s something I have been missing these past few weeks. I have forgotten the bigger picture. I have forgotten what I am fighting for. The future I so desire.
And I can’t wait to start the hard work to get there. A big focus is going to get me connected to people again instead of isolating, because talking to the therapist today we realized I get a lot of joy out of intimacy with people, yet I am very scared of it because I am scared of getting hurt. This goal isn’t food or exercise or weight oriented..but it is such a freedom to get me out of my ED, because ED feeds on isolation. And being more connected with people is something I really want for my future.
I can’t explain it..I just feel so much hope. I feel that spark again that I can do this and this therapist can help me get there. She can help me to refocus during the weight gain process to see the bigger picture. To see God’s plan and desire for my life and how every decision…even the decision to gain weight…gets me there. How each meal matters. How each snack matters. How listening to my dieititian, being honest, facing fear foods, journaling…how it all matters. How it has nothing really to do with weight gain, but everything to do with obtaining the future I desire and deserve.
Does this mean it’s gonna be easy? Heck, no. But I think I will be able to see that it will be worth it and thus the hard work I will be able to push through. It’s like when I was on a mission trip in New Orleans and we were in the heat and the humidity clearing a field covered in debris, overgrown trees, trash…it was a mess. And we had to clear the lot. Was it easy? Heck no it wasn’t and we were pouring out sweat, blood, and literal tears as we cleared this lot. But then we saw the community we were clearing it for. The hope and future it would bring them. The freedom from the horror of Katrina it would bring them…so we kept up the hard work, we pushed through the pain, and in an astounding 5 hours cleared the lot. Not only that..but at the end of clearing the lot we looked down and saw an indention in the ground. It was the perfect form of a cross. Just a reminder that under all the crud and debris God is still there. He is there in the ground keeping the roots clean and pure. He is there in the debris and remains there when the lot is cleared.
That’s what I will be doing. Clearing out the debris, overgrowth, and weeds ED and abuse have put in my soul so it can be fresh…and the true me can take root and grow. But it is going to take blood (when I get blood drawn at docs), sweat (as I feel anxiety), and tears….lots and lots of tears. But this therapist is going to help me re-focus…help me look at my future…and the reason I need to push through…and just like in New Orleans…I will push on. I will push on and clear the lot of all ED has laid there…I will make the lot fresh and new….and I will break free. I will lay a clean foundation for the Lord to take root in to grow up a new stronger me. Because with ED cleared only God and I will remain. God and I will reclaim my soul for His purpose, my future for His desires, my life for the riches He desires. I don’t care how long it takes, how exhausted I get. This is for my future…and after 20 years of weeds of lies taking root and torment clouding my skies….I deserve it. I deserve for my lot to be cleared, for the sun to shine through…I deserve to be free.