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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

misplaced guilt

Misplaced as it is, I have a very extreme case of guilt right now.  The last couple of days have been easier to eat.  This morning I took my 3 year old to our family's traditional first day of preschool breakfast.  I then, for lunch, proceeded to cave to my beyond extreme craving for chocolate and ate a couple of peanut butter cups.  Tonight I had dinner with my family.  I feel so sick to my stomach and have for most of the day.  I also feel so very out of control.  It seems crazy to say that.  Here I have been saying that I want to get better but then when I make steps to try to achieve my goal, I feel like I'm spiraling out of control and I'm guilt ridden.

I'm sure part of the guilt lies in the fact that thanks to hormones, I have had such an obscene craving for chocolate.  I have caved a couple of times because this is almost equivalent to pregnancy cravings.  It is the kind of craving that is so strong that it makes you feel almost like you will get sick if you don't indulge it.  I cried when my husband brought home chocolate donuts.  They looked so good.  I only had a part of one, just less than half.  I am feeling so very conflicted about food.  On one hand, I have a desire to eat and to be healthy.  On the other hand I despise food and that we are dependent on it.  If I could live a happy, healthy life that never included another meal, I would do it! 

Yesterday was a 10, I desperately wanted to get better at all costs.  Today is a 4, I kinda want to get better but not really too much.  I have started exercising quite a bit more as well.  I am terrified to go back to the body I had.  Sounds stupid, especially if you know me, but it is indeed how I feel. 

So all of that said, I need to go and immerse myself in the truth of the Word.  If I don't the lie will most definitely win this time!  The lies are pouring through my brain almost faster than I can sort through them right now.  Pray for the truth to saturate me even more than the lies have.

Oh, completely random but don't want to forget, my bone scan came back ok.  There is no visable bone mass loss.  Several people have asked so I wanted to remember to update that.

Monday, August 30, 2010

how you can pray

So, last post for today.  Many of you have asked how to help, how to pray.  In my counseling session last week, I came across an area you could pray for me in.  My therapist asked me on a scale of 1-10 (one being not at all and 10 being I'd do anything to get there) how much do I want to get better.  I told her it depends on the day.  There are days that I hate what I'm doing to myself and know that my family deserves better than this and I want desperately to get better.  Then there are days when I don't care if I ever get better.  She asked me about my relationship with food and how food makes me feel.

Here's my answer to that question.  When food is in my mouth, it tastes good.  By the time I have swallowed, it has a horrible taste. I feel absurdly sick when I am done eating and wish I was one of those people who could throw up.  Feeling empty makes me feel empowered and euphoric.  I have never used drugs, but the way I feel is definitely chemical, and what I would guess being high is like.  (Hungry is different than empty.  When I feel hungry, I feel weak.)

She asked if anything else gave me those feelings.  I realized that while some things do make me feel empowered, nothing is as strong of a feeling as starving myself.  She asked me if I'm willing to give up that feeling then.  Here's my answer and where you can pray for me, I'm willing to be willing.  I am not there yet.  I don't know how to give up those feelings but I want to have a desire to.  I guess that is a start, right?  You can pray for me to want to give up the feelings of euphoria and empowerment that starving gives me.

my therapist

I am not entirely crazy about my new therapist. She is not a Christian nor does she have much understanding of Christianity. In our first session she asked me if I follow a faith. I said yes and then proceeded to tell her that I do not believe we can control God with our obedience. If I give enough, go to every church function, pray hard enough and read my Bible every day, I don't believe that means that God is going to give me everything I ask for. *side note- I have said often that God is more concerned with our eternal soul than our temporal comfort. Needless to say, life won't always be comfortable here on earth. That doesn't take away from God's goodness. His goodness is shown in that He is constantly refining us and preparing us for the day when we with be in constant and complete companionship with him.* I told her if I can control God with my actions and obedience, then He is small enough to fit in my box and if He is small enough to fit in my box, He isn't big enough to be God. She looked at me and smiled and I felt like the "yes, dear" pat on the head.

Then last week, she gave me a great analogy. Imagine your favorite pair of jeans, the ones that the moment you put them on, they remember your curves and feel like the most comfortable jeans you have ever put on. One day you buy a new pair of jeans. No matter if you buy the same brand and size, no matter if you spend hundreds of dollars, the jeans need breaking in and are still a bit stiff and uncomfortable. Eventually as you wash the jeans several times and continue to wear them, they become your favorite jeans and you wouldn't trade them for anything. New habits are the same. At first they are uncomfortable but as you continue to "wear" them and "wash" them, over time they become your new favorite habits. I smiled and told her about my old youth pastor who used to say, right choices bring right feelings. Sounded pretty similar to me. If you continue to make right choices even when it doesn't feel like what you want to do, eventually you will feel like doing the right thing.
My therapist was defensive at this. She said she doesn't believe that there is only one right way and she would probably change the saying to "healthy choices bring healthy feelings". Well she may not believe in absolute rights and wrongs but how can you say that what I've done to my body is right?????? It seems so glaringly obvious that I am making WRONG choices right now!

I am grateful for the referrals from friends as I search for a new counselor, one who is a Christian!  I need someone who will point me back to the loving arms of Christ.  There is not healing to be found anywhere else.  Healing is not within me, it's within Him and Him alone.  So I've cancelled my appointment for this week and am following leads given to me from godly sources.  I know that He will direct me to the person He has for me.

angel of light

 I have found that Satan's tricks are not new.  When he tempted Eve in the garden, he simply said, "Did God really say THAT?"  When he tempted Jesus he used scripture.  He sounds good when he starts, but you don't get the whole picture.  Like for instance, I found myself one day thinking about in Proverbs how often it is mentioned that the Lord hates lying lips.  I suddenly thought, if God hates lying lips and I am obviously lying to both myself and those around me, does God hate me? Or what about in our pastors sermon when he was talking about being a Christian means deny yourself (check, pretty sure not eating counts as denying myself), take up your cross (check, I would consider this to be a cross of sorts.  It is definitely a burden).  Hmmm, I guess I've got that one.  But don't forget the rest of it, and follow me (I don't think that abusing my body actually is what God would have me doing and I'm pretty sure since it is sin that it is following sin not Christ). But I just find it to be interesting how Satan will take a truth and distort it.  That seems to be his best line of attack.  "Did God really say........?"  "Well, you know the Bible and the Word does say......."  Definitely a great reason to keep my nose in the Bible and hear what Christ really does say not what my temptations are saying to me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2nd appointment

Hmmmm, I had my 2nd therapy appointment today at the Eating Disorder Center.  I have to do some processing before I update fully, but I think it was a good session.  She wants me to journal more to help pinpoint triggers.  I can do that.  I journal and blog anyway.  She wants  hubby to come with me at some point to share what it is like living with me when I am restricting.  Sometimes it helps, she said, to hear how your actions are affecting others around you.  Interesting, and while I really don't want to hear it, I kinda do.  I don't want to hear how I hurt my family through this, but that is simply because I want to continue to pretend that I'm only hurting me.  So, I'll process and write more later, but for now I'm just glad to be back on my  blog.

Monday, August 16, 2010

honesty and relapse

I started this out thinking that I was writing to share my story.  I have come to realize that I am actually writing because I still need healing.  Someone asked me last night what helped me to overcome anorexia. I answered honestly.  I don't know because I have still not overcome it.  I did struggle earlier this year.  I was getting better and had worked my way up to two meals a day.  I am currently, however,  in the middle of a full scale relapse.  I wasn't planning on writing about it yet.  How can I write about "through" while I am in the midst of?  But this is part of my journey through, so I'm going to write about it as well.

I use my journal for the personal details and the numbers.  I'll be specifically vague here.  Several people have recently been asking how I'm doing.  Some of them know because I needed a safe place to vent.  Some know because the Lord has laid me on there hearts and they called to find out what was going on. So I'm going to lay it all out.......

Several weeks ago I started counting calories.  In a very short amount of time I had lost enough weight for my husband to notice.  The same day that he noticed, I woke up with my ribs aching so badly that it almost hurt to move.  He asked me to get help.  I called my doctor's office and spoke to my nutritionist.  She wanted me to get treated quickly and referred me to an Eating Disorder Center.  After 2 weeks they finally got me in.  I went in today for my assessment.  When my therapist asked me what my goals are for this, I told her my goal is for it to not hurt when my kids hug me.  For it to not hurt to sleep in my bed.  For it to not hurt when my husband holds me.  My bones ache.  Deep inside, almost like the flu but inside my bones instead of muscles.  Some days are worse than others.  She was concerned, very concerned.  She said I am showing signs of early stages of osteoporosis and so tomorrow I go in for a bone density scan.  I'm nervous.

So here's where I am at right now.  My calorie intake is dangerously low.  My clothes are all growing too big and my boobs have disappeared.  I didn't realize that until yesterday when we went to a pool party.  I looked in the mirror and realized that I no longer fill out the top of my swim suit.  Apparently they have been missing for a while because my hubby looked at me like I was crazy that I was just then noticing it.  I don't know what my trigger was this time, which usually I can tell you instantly what the trigger was.  I've reached the point that both my hubby and I realize that this is beyond our ability to fix it.  I guess that is the biggest step, right?  Realizing that you can't do it on your own.

I'm going to make it through.  I'm just still on my journey through.  My therapist said I have a lot going in my favor to get better because I have had 7 healthy years.  Most people don't, she said.  My heart is to help others to not end up walking this road, or to get off of it if they have already started down it.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  It's not a decision, it's an addiction.  I have another thing going in my favor.  I have an unbelievable support network.  No one has degraded me or nagged me about not eating.  I love how my one friend put it.  If someone had the opposite problem, overeating, you wouldn't ask, "So how much have you eaten today?  You haven't had more than 3 cookies today, right?"  I already know that what I'm doing is killing my body.  Feel free to NOT tell me that.  I already know that I need help and that is why I am seeking professional help. 

I have had several people ask me how they can support me.  Well, feel free to ask me questions, just don't freak out with the answers.  Please don't ask me how much or what I have eaten.  That makes it much worse. You may ask if I am eating, but please not specifics about food! I could use all the prayers I can get.  I know that without the grace and faithfulness of God, I will not ever make it through this.  Please don't look down on me or act judgmental towards me.  We all struggle with sin.  We all battle with turning something into an idol.  This is my struggle.  It is not more or less than anyone else's struggle.  We each fight our own battles, the battle set before us.  I'm not fragile.  Just because I am having a hard time, doesn't mean that I don't have time for you, to listen, to pray, to be there. 

I hope that helps a little.  If I think of ways that you can help, I'll let you know.  Right now, just pray for me and love me anyway.  So I guess I'm asking you to join me on my journey through anorexia instead of hearing the highlights after the journey.  I am so grateful that His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is unfathomable.  I don't understand, but I do trust that He will carry me through.

And one last tiny thing, if you are reading this, give me a shout out!  It is always easier when you know who knows what is going on in your life rather than trying to figure out who knows what :)