3 days..4320 minutes…259200 seconds… this sounds like a lot to some; to others this time frame is just the blink of an eye.
For me, it is the amount of time I have been in residential treatment. The first 72 hours are intended for acclimation and allowing your mind and body to rest.
This has been difficult, but necessary. The journey is hard already. I could sit here and complain about what has not gone “right” or what I am struggling with, but I will not.
I will rejoice in the Lord, because even though I am struggling and nothing seems stable, Christ is constant. He is the same, yesterday, and forever. When I am confused and doubtful, I can look to God for I know that He is NOT the author of confusion.
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
I have been drawing great strength from diving into God’s word, listening to sermons, and working through the devotional my dad gave me.
When my parents dropped me off, my dad encouraged me to read Isaiah chapter 40 (with emphasis on verse 31), if I felt okay. I felt drawn to the Word the first, lonely night. I read the scripture and felt God’s arms wrapping around me.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
3 months. That is how long it has taken me to write this post. I could never find the time, words, courage, energy, etc. While, I still do not have the courage nor energy, this is the time to share it. As most of you know, I entered into treatment for an eating disorder in December 2015. I returned home the following Summer feeling better than ever. Eating intuitively, enjoying time with family/friends, and actively choosing recovery.
The sweet lady that is going to be my roommate at college this fall. She also happens to be my best friend.
However, after a series of upsetting events this past fall, my eating disorder began to rear its ugly head when I returned to college for the spring semester. I thought if I worked a little harder, returned to seeing a nutritionist, and made a meal plan that I could just make it all go away. That didn’t happen. I knew I needed help.
Subsequently, I reached out to my former primary therapist at FH. She encouraged me to come for an assessment to see how they could help. Following the assessment, prayer, and discussion with my parents, we thought it necessary for me to return for the outpatient program for the summer. This was to ensure that I am in a stable place before I move to the University.
While this was not my ideal summer, I knew I needed help.
This is not the end of the story, though.
Drawing closer to finals and the end of my time at community college, the stress came to be too much. The panic attacks were happening more often than not, my eating disorder behaviors were rapidly progressing, depression was constricting me nearly constantly, and my relationship with God was suffering more and more. This concerned and saddened me deeply.
Once again, I reached out to my therapist, dietician, and former therapist at FH. We made a conference call to FH with my parents and reassessed my condition, as some time had passed since the first one. Hesitantly, I agreed to their strong recommendation to enter treatment, but not merely enter treatment…enter residential treatment.
“What are people going to think of me?”
“I am weak. I should be able to do this on my own.”
“What if people think I am doing this for attention or am simply making it up?”
All of these thoughts entered my mind, yet I was left with no other option. I want to be well. I want to be recovered. I want my life back. I want to be able to enjoy life. I want to wholeheartedly serve Christ, my Savior.
However, my one request was that I could stay to see my cousin graduate. Jacob has been more like a brother to me than a cousin. We grew up together at our Nanny and Papaw’s house, then comforted each other when they passed. He and I stayed with his mom as we grew older. We tortured his little brother. I went to a countless amount of his baseball games and loved every minute of it. He has to “approve” of any guys that want to date/talk to me. He’s my brother and I couldn’t miss this big night.
Thankfully, they agreed to allow me to attend his graduation. I was AM so proud of him.
I was also fortunate enough to go away for a couple of days with my parents; so we could have some time together before I came to residential. It was refreshing, memorable, and exactly what I needed.
So here I sit in my room, back at FH, receiving the treatment I so desperately need. It is so difficult and exhausting, but I have faith that it will be so worth it. I will trust in Christ and lean on His strength to help me destroy the walls of this eating disorder. Pebble by pebble and brick by brick.
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
Today marks the beginning of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. #NEDA So, now seemed like the perfect time to write a post I’ve been contemplating for the past week.
Get ready for honesty hour.
Recovery from an eating disorder is a PROCESS, not an event.
For the past 2 months, I’ve been working to overcome a lapse in my recovery. However, the weight of school/school activities and the pressures of everyday life have blurred my vision. Recovery has not been a priority for me. Of course, I’m the “big advocate” on social media, but my reality was different. My anxiety has become unbearable. To the point where I was unable to attend church Sunday because of a panic attack. Anxiety is real. Recovery is hard.
After visiting with a friend this weekend, who I am EXTREMELY proud of, (you know who you are) I had a major wake-up call. I realized just how much I was letting my eating disorder consume me again.
I realized it is time for me to make my recovery a priority again.
This may mean not attending every event on campus or Bible study or party or church service. Maybe it will mean less time on social media and more time in my Bible and writing in my journal. It may also mean saying the word I have trouble using much- no. I may receive judgement from others, but at this point, I have to do what is best for me. I am choosing to recover, whatever it takes, with Christ as my strength and constant guide.
Part of me is joyful because I have successfully moved in for the last time at this dorm. Another part of me is sorrowing for so many of the people closest to me are hurting.
Family members have passed.
Friends are sick. Suffering. Struggling with a disease so powerful that it almost took my life.
Tonight I heard from one of my friends from home. She is going through a difficult time herself. Her parents are about to get a divorce. She just moved back home from college. Her father is in the hospital with bilateral pneumonia. The doctor is not predicting him to make it. She is supposed to get married in May. I love this girl and it hurts me to imagine the pain she must be in.
With all of the pain surrounding me, it would be easy for me to be entrapped by these depressing situations that are occurring. Yet I will not allow myself to do that, for I know that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me. I know that while I may be weeping in the night, joy WILL come in the morning. I know that in this life I may experience trial; but I also know that Christ has overcome the world.
In my last blog post, I wrote about how I was struggling to find a community of people at ICC, but that maybe hanging out with the Itawamba Indians was just the adventure that God had planned for me … and in the course of just a few weeks, that simple statement became one of the truest things I’ve ever said. But just as the adventure began, I hit quite the speed bump. BUT in this moment, I will chose to be thankful for the people who loved me and showed my Daddy God to be oh so faithful to my restless heart. Because thankfulness is one of the biggest keys to having peace. Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called, in one body. And be thankful.” Also, there is a little bit of their personality in each…
I always love hearing a message from Dr. Adrian Rodgers. I grew up watching him nearly every Sunday with my dad. I watched this message this morning because I was unable to go to church.
God has AMAZING timing. I’ve been down the past couple of weeks with all the stress I’ve been under. I’d like to share what God spoke to me through this sermon.
The serious problem of depression- Psalm 42
The one thing you don’t say to a person with depression is “cheer up.” What a depressed person wants most of all is to be able to be cheerful.
Characteristics of depression:
1. Passive numb feeling
2. State of constant hopelessness
3. Feeling that no one understands
4. Constant worry and anxiety
A Christian can be depressed. David is an example of this in the Bible. He had reasons to be depressed: wife assaulted, 2 sons killed, daughter raped, and his country was in despair.
In verse 9 David felt forgotten by God. Although God promises to “never leave us nor forsake us.”[Hebrews 13:5] He experienced continual weeping, shame and defeat.[vs.3]
1. Look Inward & Analyze your Heart
What helped David? He talked to himself. I know it sounds silly, but we have a soul that is our emotional nature. (separate from our spirit) We have an old man within us who tells us we are not enough, tells us we are failures, and tries to bring us down. Take control of your emotional soul. Analyze your soul. Ask,”Why am I cast down?” Ask your friends to walk with you. Analyze your feelings then close the door behind it.
2. Look upward & Recognize your Help
vs. 7-9. David says in verse 8, “God will be my help.” God knows you and cares for you.
Dr. Rodgers used a quote by Robert Frost which says, “But it was of the essence of the trial
You shouldn’t understand it at the time.
It had to seem unmeaning to have meaning.” We may not understand what we are going through, but God does. We may not know how our trial will turn out, but God does.
When we cannot trace His hand, we can trust His heart
3. Look onward & Realize your Hope
vs.11 Christ is our hope. That is all we need.
Depression is not easy, but through it all we can trust that Christ is still on the throne and in control.
I am starting this blog for me. For my recovery. For other people who may be struggling with an eating disorder, anxiety, depression, or some other life struggle. This blog is where I can be real and pout out the flood of thoughts racing through my head.
I entered eating disorder treatment December 15th, 2016 at Fairhaven Treatment Center. I had an eating disorder for many years before, but that was when I finally sought help. Asking for help was hard. I was ashamed. I was supposed to be perfect. Or so I thought.
Fairhaven saved my life…literally. I was ounces away from being placed in a hospital on a feeding tube. Mental illness has a horrible stigma in society, yet it is a serious disease that is anything but a joke.
I walked into Fairhaven a fragile, shy, dependent little girl and walked out eight months later a strong, independent young woman.
As I prepared to go back to school, I thought that my life was going great. I had everything worked out. I was going to do this “college thing” right this time. Yet, there was a problem. I was that problem. At a girls’ Bible study at the BSU, I truly accepted Christ for the first time. He became REAL to me. Not because my dad is a pastor or because I felt like I HAD to be saved, but Christ truly rescued me.
While life/recovery is not perfect, I have come so far and enjoying life.
In the words of Mrs. Kim, I am just “taking it moment by moment.”