Happy Thursday, dear reader. To save space, and spare you another day’s attempt at poetic imagery, I’ll simply tell you that the weather is perfect, just like yesterday. This is by far the most wonderful time of the year – someone should really write a seasonal song by that title. I’m especially excited today, however, because our Christmas tree is about to be delivered!
I left off yesterday talking about a not-so-Christmasy season of my life, a time that is still somewhat painful to describe, even five years later. As you can imagine, my obsessive eating and workout habits soon took a toll on my health. At first, my ego told me the weight loss was fantastic, and that anyone who suggested otherwise was simply envious. I prided myself on dropping from a size 4 to a 0 (at nearly 5’5, this was hardly something to celebrate). And as my once-soaring energy took a nosedive, I attributed it to the stress of an ever-broken heart.
Then my menstrual cycle stopped. I wasn’t too alarmed, though; I knew it was impossible for me to be pregnant – I didn’t recall the angel Gabriel ever appearing to me. Honestly, I was rather grateful to bid farewell to the monthly nuisance. I didn’t realize there were adverse effects of amenorrhea, which include osteopenia (precursor to osteoporosis) and of course, reproductive problems. (A bone density scan actually revealed that I had osteopenia at age 18!)
Eventually, I began to acknowledge that my strict eating and exercise routine were moving well beyond “disciplined.” My hair started to come out by the handfuls in the shower. My skin took on a lifeless, yellow tint, and my eyes sunk deeper into their sockets. I was taking two-hour naps when I got home from the gym, waking only to finish my homework before returning to bed. Needless to say, my pre-social networking social life was nil. In fact, the only person I would have given up a workout for was my ex-boyfriend.
I began to have terrible pains in my stomach, and I started suffering vicious headaches, which I’d never experienced before. I had test after test after test to determine the root cause of my myriad symptoms. Colonoscopy, MRI, blood tests, sonogram…It’s dizzying to think back on it. Though the doctors were baffled by my elevated kidney and liver enzymes, they did reinforce what my parents and my trainer had been telling me: I needed to gain weight. My inner response? I’d rather be skinny.
I know now that I was under exceptionally strong spiritual oppression. I believe each of us encounters a few “intense” attacks in our lives, times that force us to walk through fire, times that either purify or destroy. Either way, we always emerge a different person. This was my first such attack. But what the enemy doesn’t want us to know is that just as the cause is spiritual, so too is the remedy.
It took me two years to finally realize it wasn’t the doctors I was to trust to restore my complexion, my hair, my nails, nor replenish my energy or take away my excruciating head and stomach aches. I was to turn to Someone far greater.
Well, brevity, it’s safe to say, is not my strong suit. I’ll try and work on that ;-). Time to go decorate the tree!