How I Got Here: A Piece of the Path – Part IV

Hello, fellow Friday fans! I hope you all have fun plans for kicking off the weekend. I’m looking forward to going to the movies and seeing “The Tourist” tonight. I haven’t read any reviews yet, but the simple fact that Johnny Depp stars in it should effectively negate any unfavorable critique found on “Rotten Tomatoes,” don’t you think?

Well, if you’ve read the first three “pieces of the path,” you’re probably ready for the clearing in the woods – trust me, I’m ready to write about it!

If any of you have battled an eating disorder, know someone who has, or have merely tuned in to “What’s Eating You” on E!, you know that anorexia, bulimia, and BED (binge eating disorder) are not illnesses that go down without a fight (that’s probably why it’s called battling). Most people, after they’ve made the critical decision to get well, undergo a comprehensive recovery plan, which may include nutritional counseling, inpatient treatment, family, group, and individual therapy, eating disorder education, and medical monitoring. A doctor, psychologist, social worker, nutritionist, and psychiatrist may all be enlisted to help one win their battle.

I say all of that to say this: I had no such treatment plan. I had no such team of professionals and experts whose job it was to walk me through recovery. I had the prayers of my family and friends.

I remember this day so vividly. I came home from the gym one summer afternoon in 2005, the months before my freshman year of college. My mom was sitting at the family computer reading an article on anorexia. She asked me to sit down and read what was on the monitor. Listed were signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa: intense fear of gaining weight, obsession with calories, fat grams, and nutrition, strange or secretive food rituals, compulsive exercising… Tears began to well. I couldn’t keep reading. I looked up at my mom, and for the first time in nearly a year, our tear-filled eyes met in solemn agreement. It was time for me to fight.

I went to my room and stepped onto my bathroom scale: 98 pounds. I shivered. How did I allow myself to get to this point?

I still had a long way to go until I’d regain  proper, healthy control over my thoughts, my emotions, and my body. Funny, the harder I’d worked to seize and maintain control of my life, the more I’d lost it. That I had acknowledged my loss of control, that I had a disorder, was a small miracle in itself. My parents and friends had been helping me in the greatest way they could have all along: they prayed.

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14). My parents clung to that verse. They didn’t allow fear to overtake their thoughts, nor did they let desperation push them to “attack” me with their concerns. They relied on their faith, and God’s promise to hear and answer their prayers (1 John 5:14-15).

500+ words already?! Golly gee! Have a wonderful weekend, and remember, “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

Keep Shining, (1)