this is who i am: my battle with anorexia
anorexia, a medical term, a statistic, a label. its so well known, so real, but it is apart of so many lives. for some, its a daily battle, for others, its what brings them to their death. i wont pretend like its not a struggle for me, because it is, but i realize how its so much more.
the desire to be skinny, the drive to lose weight, the image in the mirror, the bondage that steals away life and laughter. the lies that fill up, flooding, washing you away from the Truth. "an anorexic would never touch a piece of pizza." "she is so skinny she must be anorexic." and all these messages being spoken into the lives of all these girls, not only from the media, but from her peers and family. so she is left to think "maybe i dont have a problem." or is left to find out ways to hide it, keeping it a secret at least until she reaches ninty pounds. what they dont know: her ideal weight was one hundred, and still is, even though she weighs less. and she has a goal to weigh ninty five pounds when she graduates high school, just like her mother did. and she stands in front of the mirror that has psalm 139:17 on a bright colored piece of paper, to catch her attention, as she turns from side to side, thinking she could skip lunch. and she tells herself over and over how she needs to stop eating sugary stuff and how she needs to eat less, and how she feels like a failure when she "messes up".
they dont know that she feels special because she is skinny, and she relates that to being accepted. they dont know how it makes her happy to have that much self discipline and control. that no matter how many sit ups she does and how many miles she covers, she never feels like its enough - she pushes herself to no end, for something she will never reach in the direction she is running; she wants to be beautiful.
there is something she doesnt know: God created her, knowing her in all her ways, and loved her still. and he made her, calling her very good. and she has a purpose in her life that is bigger than what she dreams for herself. and even on the days when she feels so fat and so ugly, he calls her beautiful. and even when it seems like she has failed and no one cares, like she isnt important, Jesus is praying for her, interceding, because he wants his dear child to come back home.
she has no idea that the deep, empty pain in her stomach will turn on her, making her feel so weak and helpless. she has no idea that soon her body will not be able to take it any longer and it will fail her. that the Bible verse she reads on her mirror is so much more powerful than the lies she hears. that the number on the scale does not ruin or make up her life. that the love she recieves is not based on her size. that the images on tv are not real beauty. that jean size and calories isnt all there is to life.
there is life outside of anorexia, or any other eating disorder. there is life outside of the desperation and desire to strive for an image of beauty. there is life, life indeed, far greater than dying to be skinny. i think this is what i cling to - knowing that there is life outside the battle, a victory, far greater than the war that wages. even on my worst days, when i mess up and dont eat or when i plan ahead to mess up, i just try to remember that i do not belong to such vanity. i am not condemned by it. and i can live without it, or be sure that it is the death of me - that it is a choice, to carry on in its ways or to walk away from it.
despite the many misunderstandings and misconceptions - whether or not they get it and no matter what she doesnt see - anorexia, eating disorders, are real. and they are so much more than what statistics and medical terms can explain. its a deep, mental status. ultimatly, its a spiritual need, an attack from the enemy. and it is a battle many girls face. but PRAISE GOD, there is VICTORY! overwhelming victory! and that is what makes it worth it - to be able to say "it was a hard battle to face, but i have overcome. and id be willing to fight it all over again, if that means i can help another who struggles." because none of us are unaccounted for: we all struggle. none of us are alone.
ive learned that even through my battle with wanting to attain such beauty, that i have a desire to be known. just considering my typing out this short story, which doesnt even begin to touch the full story, i realize my desire to be heard. that even in the midst of my struggle, i want to reach out to others. and i think that is the best way to continue progressing and heal from an eating disorder - to find worth in it, to reach out to others and to be an encouragement.
i hope that you find your value in God. he defines you, and nothing this world throws at you holds you back from the purpose and love he has over your life :)