child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Friday, May 7, 2010

my cry for help

I don't really know why I picked the number I did. I had done my research though and I knew what average weight was for someone my height and age was and my number was significantly connected to the research that I had done. When week after week was not making a significant dent to my goal to the perfect number, I upped the use of the diet pills. I was now taking more than recommended dose after meals and sometimes before meals as well.

I finally got to the point where I had to get rid of food completely again and keep the metabolism boosters to try to achieve my own perceived perfection.   On a retreat with our church's youth group and college/career aged group I had too many.  Way to many.  I started feeling dizzy and I didn't like the way I felt.  I locked myself in a ladies restroom and took more pills.  I was afraid that the dizzy feeling meant that I was going to want food and that thought terrified me.  I didn't realize at the time that it was actually because I was racing my metabolism with nothing to fuel my body.  An hour later when I still couldn't numb the emotional pain yet, with my head still pounding and spinning, I took more pills.  I ended up passing out in the same ladies room I had previously used to hide my pill usage.  I'm not really sure how long I was out but I didn't think it was very long.  I somehow managed to make it to the main room where evening services were being held.  I could barely walk and holding my head up was getting more and more difficult.  I found a corner, sat down and buried my head in my knees and cried.

Crying made my head hurt worse.  I remember nothing of the service that night other than there was a very funny skit early in the service before the sermon.  I only remember one tiny part of the skit but I have heard from many friends and my husband how funny the skit was.  I remember nothing at all of the rest of the evening and have no recollection of how or when I got back to my room for the night.  I think my friend, who several years later became my husband, came to check if I was ok but it is all blurry.  I probably did what I was so good at and said yeah and then buried my head to cry some more.

The next day I knew I needed help.  I still used the pills, but not in the rather large excess that I had the day before.  After the service that evening I sought out the pastor.  In retrospect I should have sought out his wife or pretty much anyone besides him.  I pulled him to the side in the auditorium and told him of my struggle.  I confessed my not eating and I confessed the use of the pills.  I also confessed the amount of pills I had taken just the day before.  I finally wanted the help that I had known for some time that I needed.  I wanted to get better.  I wanted to live a life to glorify God and I wanted to find the peace I had been searching for my entire life.

 Unfortunately, he was not the person to help me find help. His response was devastating to me.  He informed me that it was just a matter of making up my mind to stop sinning.  It was just that obvious, I was sinning and I had to stop.  His words, though not intended this way, told me that I was in this battle alone, that God didn't care about my pain but rather about my actions and I would only hope to see the grace of healing.  I felt myself fill up with anger.  I knew that if I had come to him with a drug or alcohol problem, he would have done everything in his power to get me help.  If I had come to him pregnant or even in a gay relationship, he would have moved mountains to help me.  But I didn't.  I came to him with a what he felt was a perceived problem not a real problem.  He didn't understand that I was equally addicted to starving myself as I had once been to alcohol.  My addiction was one of denial not of excess, so of course it was just a sin not an addiction.

I guess I'd like to put in a disclaimer.  This pastor, was not a bad guy.  He is actually a really good guy, he was just clueless about this particular struggle.  His wife however was amazing and I still say has been one of the most influential people in my Christian walk.  She showed me the love of Christ in such an unconditional and beautiful way.  It was through her influence that I chose to stop drinking, and through her influence that I had the realization that I needed to break up with the abusive boyfriend.  Not to glorify the woman as the cause of these things, it was truly the hand of God.  She was just the instrument He used during that season of my life and I will be forever grateful that she pointed me to Jesus and loved me when I was unlovable.

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