When I was little I wanted to be two things…a ballerin (my word for ballerina) and a modelor (once again my word for model)…at two and three years old, these dreams were just fantasies of a little girl obsessed with all things pink and girly. I never knew they would be so telling of my journey of starvation for beauty…
It’s still hard to say the words, but I am a recovering anorexic. Those are never words I never thought I would say, much less print. In fact, if you had asked me to utter those words two years ago, I would have said I would rather learn Mandarin Chinese in a day instead of saying those words. Here I am twelve years into (or what some might say leaving) a journey that I never thought I would have the courage to admit to, much less fight and not only just fight but also get to share. Once again if someone had asked me to share about my ED (my eating disorder) two years ago, I would have looked at them like they were crazy. In fact, I probably would have asked who this horrible guy named ED was that they kept talking about. Because, I would have stated that I didn’t know anyone named ED and even more, I wouldn’t let him treat me so awfully like they said he did.
Well I would have been wrong, because I did know ED and he was and can be pretty abusive. However, it took me a long time to admit that I had a relationship with him, a very serious relationship. Even more, ED was my best friend. A little more than a year ago, I still wasn’t ready to let go of my friendship, I thought we had a great thing going. Boy was I ever wrong and how grateful I am that I was.
A couple of months ago, I was asked to write a blog post for a friend, about my journey with ED and I found it so healing. Not only did I find it healing, but I also realized that it was a way for me to reach out and help others. I may often feel like I am on this journey alone but I am not (and I am not just talking about my amazing support team). There are so many men and women out there that suffer from an ED. So I made a decision again, to write. I decided, to share my journey, to share my struggles, to share my joys, to share my heartache and to let God use it to bless others. I also made a decision to be real not only just on my blog, but also in life in general. For years, I was known as the girl with the smile plastered on her face, the girl that never frowned, the girl that never got sad. Well let me tell you if you had been alone with me for the last twelve years, you would think very differently about that girl. One of the best compliments I’ve gotten since I started recovery was that my smile looks real and genuine and that for the first time, in a long time, I look genuinely happy. And it’s true I am happy (extremely happy). Now not everyday is happy (just ask my boyfriend, best friends and brother and they will tell you that they’ve seen some MK breakdowns), however it’s about seeing the joy through the pain and learning to love everyday.
As I sat here not only trying to compose a post, but also more importantly a title for my blog I was overwhelmed by how many names and ideas popped into my head. When I finally came up with a title leaving perfection learning grace, I knew it was perfect, because that is exactly how I am beginning to live my life, each day. Along with the girl with a smile plastered on her face I was also known as Little Miss Perfect. Let me tell you, I spent years looking around every corner and calculating every move so no one saw me making any major mistakes (and believe me I still did, but apparently I was also great at cleaning them up so that no one noticed.). So here’s where my title comes in, after many years I am leaving (sometimes fighting) to leave my perfectionist ways behind me and learning to live by grace, by the grace of God that saved me and by constantly showing others and myself that grace (as I continually mess up).
My struggle with ED has been a constant battle (and sometimes I feel like I am literally putting on boxing gloves to kick him out of my head) for the last twelve years and many of those times have included darkness that I never care to (and have made a commitment to never) repeat. However, when I made a commitment a year ago to fight ED, I haven’t looked back and let me tell you, that was the best decision I have ever made.
You see ED is a liar ( and he’s told me some fantastically convincing lies that I thought were real until I saw the look on others face when I shared them) and as much as I hate him, he hates me even more and he was destroying me, even harder to admit he was killing me. It took a lot of time, work, and understanding to come to this realization but once I did it made my case against ED stronger. How could I continue to live with someone who not only didn’t guarantee me life but in fact guaranteed he would kill me if I let him? So a year ago I told ED to pack his bags and get out (ED sometimes thinks he can come visit and have a sleepover anytime he wants but I tell him frankly that there is no room at the inn).
Now for any of you out there who have or are currently struggling with an ED you know the “simple” thing to do would be cut him out of your life, “let him go”. However, it’s just not that simple is it? If it were that simple I wouldn’t be writing this blog. We wouldn’t have to fight so hard and give all we have to winning this battle if we could just “get rid of him”. In fact, this wouldn’t be a huge problem…but it is a problem, it is hard, and it is essential that we keep fighting.
The truth is I fight ED’s lies everyday, I fight not to go back to my old behavior, I fight not to go back to where I was. However, I DON’T go back, I DON’T give in, and I DON’T give up (doesn’t mean I don’t mess up, I just don’t let it get the best of me and let me spiral back down hill), because it is NOT WORTH it. My life that I am learning to live without ED is the best life I have ever had, it is filled with joy and happiness I never knew and for once I am really living.
While there may have been hard times along the way, there has also been laughter through tears, there has been building relationships with amazing women, there has been learning how to eat/order/cook ANYTHING I WANT:), there has been learning more about myself, there has been true healing, and there has been so much joy.
So there you go that’s me…I am not perfect (in fact I am as far from perfect as they come…I am actually quite a mess:)), I need grace always (sometimes I wonder how He puts up with me, but he ALWAYS does and ALWAYS will), and I am on a journey ( a roller-coaster of a journey)…a journey to a life without ED. So if you are like me or you know somebody like me, join me on this journey (but before you do buckle up. This will be the best ride of your life but just as on any great roller-coaster there will be lots of hills and drops along the way, but the end will be great). I cannot promises roses and sunshine everyday but I can promise joy in the midst of pain and a life so wonderful, you can’t even begin to imagine it!
This blog is about learning to live without ED and what the journey is all about. So sometimes on my blog there will be hilarious posts, sometimes there will be reflection, sometimes there might be confusion but I can guarantee you, there will always be truth. My prayer is that this blog blesses you as much as it is already blessing me.
Just remember YOU are LOVED and YOU are WORTH IT!