That’s right….after all that negativity yesterday…I have clarity today. It didn’t come how I thought…it didn’t come with answers, it didn’t come through a sermon, it didn’t come through a conversation…it came through chest pains and headache last night that made me think I might die. I came face to face with the reality that this ED could kill me. Now I know that sounds negative, but bear with me here.
In that moment of fear…fear that I may die from this I realized how absurd my ED is. Seriously! Here I was possibly dying and for what? Because I was so scared to eat because I was scared to gain weight and scared what others would think. Where was this power ED told me I had then? Where was the weight I tried so desperately to keep low? It was nowhere. There was just me, fear, and the reality I might not live through the night. And even in that I couldn’t bring myself to eat more that night. And that…that was pure insanity.
It was in this near-death experience I realized I have to recover. That this semester…no this month is it. If I can’t get my act together, stop manipulating, and actually gain weight without lapsing…well…it means I need higher care. Do I want higher care? No! But do I want to die…heck no! That’s the reality. If I don’t gain weight, don’t stop this lapsing…if I don’t recover…I am going to die. Plain and simple.
But I don’t want inpatient. I don’t want to have to leave school for treatment yet again. I don’t honestly think the way treatment centers I have been to are run is at all helpful for me, but I told my dad today that if I keep slipping…I need to go residential again. He agreed. With him agreeing…I know I will have to go if I don’t get my act together.
So where is the positive? Where here it is. I don’t have to go inpatient. I have the strength of God in me to push through, I’m honestly at a point I don’t want my ED because I don’t want to die. I don’t want to leave school to go to residential and thus have to postpone moving to Denver and going to grad school there. I want to have my senior live, have it be awesome, graduate in May, and go to Denver. I want to run a half marathon, I want to date, I want to live life. And I can do this. I can! I just have to stop lying and cheating and manipulating and just do it. I just have to face the fear, say restricting/overexercising/lapsing is no longer an option and just do it. I don’t need inpatient…I can do this outpatient….but it’s up to me to show that.
And the only thing holding me back is the fear of others judgment from me gaining weight. That’s why I get so scared how fast I gain weight or if people see me eat. But I realized…heck..it doesn’t matter. Last night…when I felt I was going to die….I wasn’t thinking what other people thought about my weight…I was thinking about my life and the fact I hadn’t been glorifying God. The fact I would lose out on my dreams and Denver. How my family would feel if I died. I was thinking of the things that matter.
Reality is people will always be judging me. Whether its my job, my weight, my faith, or whatever…people will judge me. But just like a few weeks ago when I was being berated by my mom and for the first time chose not to accept what she said and ended up not even shedding a tear…I can choose to not accept other people’s judgements of me.
If they think I am a disgusting pig for gaining weight (which come on…whoever thinks that about me I don’t want/need in my life) I can choose instead to accept the truth that me gaining weight is an amazing display of the strength and courage God has put in me to recover. That gaining weight is making me stronger and building my testimony so I can help others in recovery. That gaining weight is what I need to do to live. I can CHOOSE to do that. People’s judgements don’t have to become my truths…they don’t even have to impact me. I may feel emotions because of them, but I can accept and feel those emotions and then let them and the judgements go.
I am also seeing that God will change my heart as I continue following Him in obedience, but that obedience must come first. Recovery isn’t going to get easier with lapsing, it’s going to get easier through recovery. My meal plan will get easier the more I eat it. Not doing food rituals will be easier the more I refuse to do them. I am realizing I just need to push through the discomfort, the feelings what I am doing is wrong, and the feeling I am disgusting. These are all feelings the people I am going to help in ED recovery will feel too….and how helpful will it be for me to look them in the eyes, or type it on this blog, that I feel that way too…but I pushed through…and it got better.
Honestly, I am realizing this process of recovery I keep thinking will only bring negative judgements….but that’s another lie.I look at my dear friends Becca, Jessica, Mary, Marissa, and Allison….I look at how I have seen them lapse and then recover…and I am completely inspired by them. I have no negative thoughts about them or any part of their recovery. I don’t see anything but courage and strength. And that’s what people will think of my recovery and weight gain too. It will be inspirational and those who know my story (aka the people whose judgments of me even matter because they are close to me)….they will see it in a positive light.
If I keep losing weight. Honestly, even if I realize I can’t do this and go inpatient (not that treatment is a bad or “weak” thing it is strong and courageous thing to do, just for me its not right). It won’t mean as much as if I push through the fear and do this outpatient. It won’t be as much a testament to God’s power over my ED. But if I push through the fear and gain weight outpatient even though it looks like I am so deep in this ED I need inpatient….that will be an inspirational thing. Think of it! Think of the testimony it will be.
As I work with people as an ED social worker…I will be able to look them in the eyes as they tell me they will never recover or can’t gain weight because of what other people will think or whatever…I will be able to look them in the eyes and say I was there. And then I will be able to tell them that I clung to God, to my faith, to my strength, to my dreams, and I pushed through. That it sucked at first…it was hardest thing I have ever done…I wanted to quit and I was miserable…but I kept pushing…because my dreams mattered more, my desire to not go inpatient mattered more….and I recovered. That will be an inspirational story.
Not that it won’t be inspirational if I go inpatient…but I feel that will still be me giving up on myself and my dream to do this outpatient. It will be me saying that I need to escape the judgment of others and fear of that when it comes to gaining weight (inpatient its just other patients and idk….I don’t feel judged there) in order to gain weight instead of facing and pushing through the fear. For me…it’s the easier way out….which may be good for me to take….but I also know God can give me strength for the harder road.
So I am hopeful and positive. I am seeing I can do this. I just have to, in those frequent moments when I want to give in, realize that others before me have felt those same things and pushed through, that my dreams matter more, that God is stronger, that those I will help will feel the same things….and realize that my actions in that moment speak to what I am choosing to believe. Am I choosing to tell those in the future that I felt that way too and decided to give in to ED or am I going to tell them I did the right thing anyway. Am I going to tell God that I know He is stronger, but the fear is just too great..or choose to believe Faith is greater than fear. Am I going to choose to believe I am too “severe” to recover outpatient and must go inpatient, or choose to believe the truth that I have the strength to do this outpatient and deserve to get to do that. I am going to choose to cave into fear….or cling to my dreams? Choosing ED will be believing the negative and lies….choosing to do the right thing will be the positives and truth.
Oh and one more thing…I know its silly…but you know what I realized. I really am a strong-willed individual. Not to romanticize the disorder…but it takes a lot of strength and will to resist the bodies urge to eat. It takes a sad, twisted strength, but strength nonetheless. And the same strength. The strength/willpower pushing me to death right now….well I can give it to God and it can push me to live and to push through the fears and ED’s screams and judgements and stick to a meal plan. I stick to a low-calorie intake even when hunger is screaming….so I can just as easily use that determination/willpower to stick to weight gain plan no matter what mind says. And when I feel like caving in I will just remember I want to glorify God not ED….and trust me that will get me through and power up this strength and have me hand it to God to use instead of handing it to ED.
So I am thankful I almost died….because it made me hit rock bottom. I was already there…but I think I felt the floor this time. I don’t want to die, I don’t want to go inpatient, I don’t want to leave school. I want Denver, half-marathons, senior year…and I can do that….it will just take recovery and weight gain. But if inpatient is what I need to survive and I keep slipping back…then that becomes more important…because it will save my life. But right now…I am choosing to believe in outpatient and this feeling I have….I am choosing to believe I can do this. That “all things are possible through Christ.”