Do the Hard Thing

Fighting for life

Since I last wrote in March, God has been doing amazing things for me and through me. I went on a church retreat to the mountains with a wonderful friend, and God's presence was astounding. There was so much of a spirit of love there and I didn't want to leave. But I did leave unfortunately, and I took with me a renewed sense of God equipping me with His strength and power and boldness. I know I needed to be at that retreat and God provided a way. I felt and still feel more than able and ready to do and walk in God's wonderful plan for me. But that includes doing the hard thing.

On the Sunday of Mother's Day, the message being taught was titled, Do the Hard Thing. I instantly thought of my time at Renfrew and how the counselors and staff would encourage us to do the next right thing. If we would slip in our recovery or fall back on certain symptoms, we were never yelled at-- just encouraged to do the next right thing. For those of you who've been following my posts, you know all about my "recovery refusal" and how against recovery I have been for myself. Well, something happened on Mother's Day, something involving my mother.

She has poured her heart out to me and lamented to me over my eating disorder many times before but there was something about her face contorting into sobs and her eyes welling with tears that pricked me so much more than in times past. Not to mention it was Mother's Day, the day to celebrate the greatest woman in one's life. I felt awful that she was in such anguish over me on what should've been a special day centered around her. She expressed her fear and worry over me; shared how scared she was for me that something might happen while I'm away in California. She was saying that my organs could shut down and that if something did happen to me while I was away, she wouldn't be able to get to me soon enough. She wasn't yelling at me or trying to make me feel bad-- nonetheless, I felt horrible. She was trying to keep it together. She was caring about and loving her first born daughter. She was pleading with her tears and her voice that I just get healthy.

Wow. I can't keep doing this to her. How long was I going to not choose recovery? How long was I going to stay sick? I pondered these things and made a decision that day to give recovery a real try. I'm still not doing it for myself but I am doing it. My mother saved my life that day. Her pleads and sobs and sheer raw pain cut me deeper than anything before and if it had not been for her expression of pain that day, I know that I would not be motivated to recover or change. I came out of a fog like state-- if only for a day-- and realized that I was not able to stop my behaviors, that I would be using them until they killed me and I would have little to no desire to be rescued. It's not even so much that I don't want to get fat (although that's still a big part)-- I just need my eating disorder. It's so routine now. I don't feel great when I'm not symptomatic. I mean, physically I don't feel great when I am symptomatic but it's still better than the awful that I feel emotionally outside of my ed.

I don't want Anorexia to control me for the rest of my life but I'm still terrified with the thought of recovery and weight gain and-- eating three times a day. The last time that  I ate three times a day post Renfrew that were actually meals was maybe a few weeks after I was discharged. And that was last October. What I'm getting at is this recovery thing is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done. Because recovery is harder than staying sick, especially when you're convinced that you're not really sick or when the voice of Ed is so subtle in your ear whenever you do consider doing "the hard thing". Ugh.

I am happy at least, that I came clean to my pastor and a few others at church (this past Sunday, too!) and that I can trust them to help me when days are especially difficult. By the way, reaching out like that to my church family was ridiculously nerve wracking... But I did the hard thing. I'm not out of the woods yet, as my motivation is at a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10; but that's the highest it's ever been. A lot of times, pain can be a great motivator and with eating disorders, often the sufferer has to reach their lowest point before they even consider recovery. I guess my lowest point was on Mother's Day. And I know if it hadn't been for that day, I would never have come to a lowest point.

** If you happen to know me from Providence and you came across this site either by referral or personal invitation, it's okay if you want to talk to me about it. It would really help take a lot of the shame away if I was confronted with grace and care concerning this struggle. Even if you don't know what to say to me and stumble over your words, that's okay too. If you ever want to know how I am concerning this, feel free to ask me.


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