Hey, I think my emails are getting shorter the closer I get to coming home. Not sure why – maybe I’ve processed so much in the last 2 weeks that what’s happening now is more like soaking in and readjusting my new knowledge to what it will be like at home. I met with my therapist again today. I told her about my bad Saturday. She doesn’t sugar coat, but what she does is lays down truth so that I can discern ED from reality. I guess I want to make sure you all realize that I”m not coming home “cured”. An eating disorder does not get cured in 2 and a half weeks. This will take a very long time, and maybe it will always be with me. The prayer is that I will gain more and more control over those lies that pretty soon they are merely a whisper every once in awhile that I can easily shut down. She told me that the rule to fighting is the 2-3 hour rule. If I miss a tally at breakfast, ED’s going to say to scratch the whole day and forget the rest of my tallies and just start restricting like I always did. The 2-3 hour rule says that if I mess up at a meal, make it up by the next snack/meal. So if I miss a fat at breakfast, put one in at morning snack. The 3 meals and 3 snacks schedule cannot change even at home. In one of my groups today we talked about skills. What is a skill? Riding bike, typing, drawing are skills. You learn them and perfect them. Then she asked if anyone is an organized person. Is that a skill or is that a personality trait? Say you are a very organized person, you need everything exactly in its place. How do you feel when everything is out of order? it causes anxiety and stress and to relieve that, you immediately put everything back. But what if someone came and dumped 10 kids on your doorstep and said this is your new reality. How will your organized perfectionism and 10 kids coexist? Now use that analogy with ED. My calm and safe zone has been running and restricting my calories for the past 15 years. That is how I feel calm and in control. But now I’ve come here and they have told me I can’t live in my safe zone anymore. What has kept me calm and ordered has been taken from me so now my outside world is out of whack which causes my inside world to be out of whack which makes my anxiety rise. The way I want to fix that anxiety is by going back to running and restricting calories. That would put me back in calm and peace on the inside. But because of my health, those people aren’t going to let me do that. So I have to find a completely different way to calm and relax and get rid of the anxiety. That is the impossible task it seems to the eating disorder. My world is turned on its head and it makes me scared. I have to relearn the skill of eating in the midst of an upside down world. Now this is where my thoughts veer from the others in the room today. This is when the therapist started talking about finding other ways of making yourself happy. If your weight cannot be the source of you happiness, then you need a new source. But my question, what other source in this earth can you find that is not as fickle and fallible as your weight? What other source is going to promise complete peace? There is nothing. Nothing in this world is going to take the place of that peace we found in our weight. Only God can do that. So to me, if these other people here don’t have God, what are they going to hold on to and find the motivation and determination and REASON for fighting ED? There is no wonder that most of the people here with me right now are here for their second, third, fourth time. And that is why I hurt for them and why it has been no problem for me to be very open about the faith I hold. Everyone here knows I’m a Christian and I’m glad of it. Today Dena, who is 62 and has had an eating disorder for 30 years, told me how empty she is inside. She said the angel of death stood over her bed and she knew if she closed her eyes he would take her. I cannot describe Dena to you because she is truly one of a kind. Sometimes I don’t know if she says what the person she is talking to wants to here or if its from her heart. But I didn’t care. I put the Bible App on her phone and subscribed her to the devotional plan I’m reading right now and I sent her a friend request on Facebook and sent her two videos of songs people have given me. I pray that she reads the devotional and listens to the songs. She admitted to me that she doesn’t read very well, and her attention span is the length of a centimeter. When you have an eating disorder for 30 years, that definitely effects your brain functions – attention being one of them. No lie. But even if she forgot to read them today, I pray that she runs across them later and sometime she finds them and they can open a door to her heart. Because Dena needs Jesus. So many of these girls need Jesus. I told TJ today that happiness can come and go. She doesn’t always have to be happy, but joy is what remains a constant in our lives.
I want to come home. I’m nervous because it will be hard, harder than it has been here. I”m sad because I”m leaving friends I never expected to make. And I want to know what happens to them. TJ and I will stay in touch, but I don’t know about the others. This is truly putting people in God’s hands and trusting in his promises. That includes me. I know where my joy comes from. So when ED lies to me, I will trust that God will put people and events in the right place at the right time to speak truth over the lies. That is what I learned today. “Because of God’s great love for me, I am not consumed. His compassions are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness!”