Looking back i wish i hadn't listened to their taunting. i had no idea how much that moment would change the course of my life forever.
it all started at christian camp. (yes even christian campers have their issues ). i was 13 and unsure where i fit in, in life, but i was happy.
My bunk mates were all my age and we all clicked right away. The second meal as a group was when "it" happened. The comment. After they got done laughing i decided then and there i would never ever have seconds again. it was at this time one of the girls (we'll call her Annie). Annie shared with us that she hadn't eaten breakfast, and she wasn't eating lunch. She was going to lose weight at this camp.
For some reason all us girls looked up to her. We all decided to go along with her and stop eating as well. i went along with the plan because i didn't want to endure anymore teasing. it didn't become about weight till a few years later. Losing weight wasn't even in my thought process at 13 years old.
During that week at camp Annie had passed out twice. Been sent to sick ward numerous times (for severe stomach pains). Finally her parents were called, and she was sent home because she refused to eat. Even with her gone us girls stuck to our pact. We ate just enough to not get sent home.
The fear in my mothers eyes when she saw me after 7 days pains me to this day. Being a mother myself now i find it even more painful. She looked like she had seen a ghost. "What happened?! You are skin and bones!" She immediately made me get on the scale. I had lost 8 pounds in 7 days! My mother immediately started feeding me cake and goodies.
My poor mother. She had no idea what journey she was headed down with me. Even now, the guilt of what i put her through hurts my heart and makes me realize how incredibly strong she had to be.
So, there it began. Never in a million years could i have predicted, that the poison i had ingested by listening to Annie would destroy so much of my youth.
For a long time it would be a game i would play with myself. i would try and see how long i could go without eating. if i had succeeded in making a new "record," i would reward myself by doing something i loved to do. if i didn't make a record i would punish myself, making myself clean my room till 2am while everyone was asleep. it was a horrible cycle. One that took many years to break.
Ah, the scale. . . . such a useless tool really. Why does it matter so much? Does it measure our worth? i learned to despise and be obsessed with it all at the same time. Like a friend i would visit it 5 to 6 times a day. But always when my mother was distracted as not to draw attention to my ever dwindling body.
At 18 i was 5' 9" and i'm guessing 90 to 95 pounds. Years of playing Russian roulette with my body was starting to show. i had no menstrual cycle anymore. i was irritable and angry all the time. i can't remember a day that my stomach didn't hurt. i was severely depressed and thought of suicide everyday. i hated dinner time. it was always miserable. My mother yelling at me to eat. My family seeing if, and what i would eat. i hated it. i hated me.
i was now deep into what i know now as anorexia. it was like an ocean i was drowning in with no raft.
Honestly to write this all down seems a bit surreal. See, God has given me peace, and a confidence that i did not know back then. Usually when people hear my story they are stunned. "But you are so normal!" (i get that a lot). i want you to know that anorexia is a disease. A disease that is still spreading like wildfire. We need to protect and pray over our young. it is looked up to as beauty. it's sick, and it needs to stop. Anorexia leaves a residue that stains your skin that only the blood of Jesus can remove.
i'm sure some of you are wondering how i "got over it" or "got healed." i dropped to my knees in prayer needing a miracle. i prayed out loud "dear God take this from me. i'm tired. i'm done. i can't look at the sadness in my mothers face anymore. HELP ME!" i was tired of fighting this battle alone. i just couldn't do it anymore. When i was all out of breath i lay on the floor silently as tears made their way down my cheeks. Thats when i heard a small voice. " i am here. it's going to be ok." i knew without a doubt that was my God. i grabbed onto those words and made them my mantra. i repeated them over and over again . . . . . "it's going to be ok. . . . . it's going to be ok . . . it's going to be ok."
Whenever guilt would creep in i would repeat my mantra,"it's going to be ok." Whenever suicide thoughts flooded my head i would repeat my mantra, "it's going to be ok." i kept saying it till i believed it.
i won't lie to you and say it was easy. It has been a long, hard road i have traveled. But i knew Jesus was holding my hand through it. i also know he was holding my mother up through her tears and prayers for her daughter.
Pain sometimes takes decades to heal. if i could impart one thought to you today, it would be . . . .it is going to be ok. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will be ok.
2 Corinthians 7:6
But God, who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking. . . . .
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. Do not afraid; do not be discouraged.