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

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 :)


  1. You are amazing. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for being brave. I can't wait to see the lives that are changed through your honesty. Always praying.

  2. Dawn,

    We're praying for you. You're right - we all have sins that (as Fernando Ortega sings) "find me, bind me, surround me." But thanks be to God that the gospel frees us ALL from exactly what you also said - IDOLS. As John Calvin said over 400 years ago, our hearts are "idol factories." Even as Christians - even for me, a pastor - I'm tempted to find my security and identity in things others than Jesus Christ. It's a battle, but God is faithful, sister! Keep fighting to rest in Jesus!

  3. Praying for you, Duckie! And loving you from long distance...