So often people will say to be careful what you wish for because you might get it. I follow Will Smith on twitter and one of his tweets said that God only has three answers to prayer – 1) “Yes” 2) “Not Yet” 3) “I have something better in mind”
Last week, in church, my pastor was talking about thinking about what you wish for and how you could get it. I realized that for a long time, I wished for only one thing, and I got it – my eating disorder. I wished to work harder, become better, and achieve perfection at anorexia.
When I was in the depths of my eating disorder I wished a lot. I wished that I could get thinner and thinner. I didn’t hope and pray for what really mattered. My focus was on my body and how I could bring my weight down as low as possible. Each day, at 11:11, I would say a silent prayer for God to help me get thinner – for Him to give me the strength to work harder and achieve weight loss. I wasn’t where I should have been, by any means.
I’ve found that when you work so hard to wish and pray for something, you can make it a reality because you keep it in your mind and in your focus for so long. That made perfect sense, and then I started to think about what I was actually wishing for. I wasn’t wishing for things to make my life better. I was only wishing for things that were digging me deeper and deeper into a hole of despair.
I have the option to pull myself out of a slump, or let myself settle into it. I can fight to get out, or stay in it. I don’t have to be ashamed that I have fallen into a slump or that I’ve slid back a little, because we are all human and we all make mistakes. What I do know is that I am still learning a new way of life and a new way to live – healthy. I don’t have to accept that this is how it will always be.
I got into an email fight with my dietitian and I had to then meet with her yesterday. I haven’t been the best client for a while and she said it straight with me: “We can either keep going the path you’re going, or you can start to try harder and begin to fix this.” – harsh… but she’s right. I have the choice. I’m not being held at gun-point, although at times it feels like it.
So, what does it take to “fix it”? Several things:
- Knowing what is wrong – knowing that you are off balance and then deciding to fix it.
- Being humble enough to ask for help. It doesn’t matter where you are in recovery, slips can happen and that’s okay – it just means that there is something else to work on that is affecting the eating disorder.
- Having the courage to stick to the plan. It’s not easy jumping back on the plan, but it’s possible. When you do it, it’s easy to jump right back off, but you can’t.
- Doing it because you know it’s your only option. It’s not possible to live a life with an eating disorder – I don’t care what anyone says. You aren’t living life if you are. As hard as things seem, they will be so much harder with the eating disorder.
So, the hard thing is getting to the point where you want to “fix it”. It seems so hard to get there. Often, I think I’m just sick of being in this world, or that I’m just that much over this disorder. There is nothing great about this disorder or label and it’s really not doing anything for me. I found that it’s all in the way you look at things. My focus has not been on “fight” per say, but instead on surviving. It can’t be that way. In school, I have a lot going on with my ESL students, lessons and other obligations. Instead of taking it all head on, I am letting it all cripple me, but I don’t have to. I can tackle each thing with confidence and say, “my best is good enough” and if somebody disagrees… well, then that is their problem, not mine. I don’t have to own that garbage.
I can’t do for others until I am healthy myself. I have to put my recovery first. I am floundering and failing if I don’t put it first. If I am only willing to “survive” with this eating disorder, I’ll be lucky if anything in my life “survives” because something is going to break – whether it be my health, relationships or peace of mind. So, where I stand is that I have to be willing to come to my own defense. Maya Angelou once said, “We must each care enough for ourselves to be ready and able to come to our own defense, whenever and wherever needed.” If we can’t come to our own defense, we can’t come to the defense of others. We have to be willing to come to our OWN defense. Others can’t do it for us. This battle isn’t one for others to fight; it’s our own. We have to be willing to care enough to fight non-stop when we are weary, lost and feel like there is nothing left.
So, on this hurricane day – here’s to accepting Beth’s new challenge of a new meal plan and trying to kick butt on it!
Step 1 – commit.
Step 2 – get positive.