Maybe you’re having a bad day. Maybe you’ve been having a bad week. Maybe you had pushed ED to the background and thought that he was going to stay there, but maybe he weaseled his way in before you had a chance to stand armed. Maybe you feel out of control, like you have no control anymore over what you eat, what you weigh, what emotions you allow into your head and heart. Maybe you are scared because you haven’t felt this way since before treatment, you haven’t felt ED screaming so loudly in your head, you haven’t felt so weak in your ability to not listen. Maybe you want to stop eating, you want to restrict, maybe you want to find any excuse to burn calories in whatever way possible. Maybe you are pissed because this wasn’t supposed to happen anymore; you were passed this; you were never going to let ED be back in control. Maybe you are living in fear when you should be living free. Maybe you know this in your head, but something isn’t catching in your heart. And maybe that makes you the most angry of all.
Maybe you woke up feeling guilty for eating that bowl of ice cream last night. Maybe you went to Snap Fitness and did what you normally do, only you did just a little bit more because you told yourself you were in the mood to sweat today. Maybe you were reading Almost Anorexic by Jenni Schaefer while you were on the treadmill and you started reading the chapter that said that fully recovered is possible. Maybe you were reading that chapter and you read the part that said recovery isn’t linear; recovery isn’t sudden; recovery is gradual. Maybe you read that if you decide to settle for almost recovered, you are shorting yourself from the true freedom that is possible from an eating disorder. Maybe you read what you already knew – that fighting ED has to be a conscious, constant, deliberate effort, that fighting ED means doing what you don’t always want to do in the name of recovery.
Maybe you realized that you have to remember your triggers; you have to remember what you are fighting for; you have to remember that you can’t compare who you were before ED to who you are now. Maybe you have to remind yourself that being that skinny came with loss and pain and isolation. Maybe you have to see where you have come and remember more than anything that moment on the bed in your room overlooking the parking lot as your husband walked away, knowing that he cried as hard as you were. Maybe you have to remember the darkest day of your life to recapture the glimmer of hope God set before you as you realized you had nothing left in that moment but Him. Maybe you have to see what your eating disorder cost you in order to catch the desire for freedom in your heart once again.
Maybe all of these thoughts and emotions are consuming you in the middle of Snap Fitness. Maybe you are on the treadmill when all of your fear, anger, hopelessness, pain, desire for ED to move in and click the switch on so you can go back to “control”, all of it sweeps over you. And in that moment you are jolted back to reality. Maybe you are electrocuted out of the suction of ED’s lies into the deep desire to fight ED rather than give in to him. Maybe in this moment you suddenly step off your second trip on the treadmill at 7 minutes and 36 seconds, almost tripping in the abrupt change from repetitive movement to firm ground.
From repetitive movement to firm ground.
Maybe you know without a doubt that no matter what you feel like, no matter if you want to work off that ice cream, no matter if you feel out of control, no matter what you feel like, maybe you know without a doubt that it’s all lies because it all comes from ED. Maybe you understand at a deeper level than ED is capable of reaching that God has more power than anything ED can slither through your mind depositing. Maybe, just maybe, you glimpse that small light of freedom and hope you saw in the deepest corner of your soul as you sat on your bed watching your husband walk away 5 months and 8 days ago. Maybe God moves your feet out the door of Snap, re-arming you with ammunition to kill a certain evil fiend named ED. Maybe you walk out with purpose, with a different kind of scared, not the hopeless, paralyzing scared of Ed’s out-of-control world, but the hopeful, dependent-on-God scared that trusts that He has your back and that victory is His to take. Maybe you walk out the door and back into the battle you had begun to retreat from in defeat. Maybe you walk out the door into the battle that you have every intention of winning, because you remember that God is the one who truly has control, and you remember that living in freedom holds more power than living in fear ever did. Maybe this is you.
But maybe, you are me.