19 October 2015


And so it began:  this reluctant journey on the long, long way to wholeness and freedom.  By November of 2007, I was fully engaged in disordered eating, and I guess this served as the catalyst to seeking help on the journey.  I was depressed and hated myself, I had begun to suffer with insomnia, and physical intimacy with my husband was becoming increasingly difficult emotionally.  The eating disorder had begun as a spiritual, 40-day fast for Lent, but disintegrated into laxative use, stringent limiting of calories, then vomiting, and then sometimes bingeing and purging, within months.

An eating disorder is a strange creature.  I didn't believe I "had" one for a long time.  Because I grew up being bombarded with eating disorder prevention, I was well aware of their destructive, dangerous nature.  I believed I was purposefully choosing this path, that I could stop any time, and that I was fully in control.  It hasn't been until recently that I've realized the hold that my eating disorder had, and continues to have on me.  I have come a long way, but not eating is a often a knee-jerk reaction to anxiety that I continue to wrestle with.

I grew up being "good" - I worked hard in school, was obedient to my parents, went to church and youth group, didn't good behaviour had much to do with earning favour with God.  I didn't understand his gracious heart toward me at all, and I was afraid to "be bad" because I thought he would bring me to harm if I stepped out of line.  But this kind of following God left me wanting:  I felt there had to be more to a relationship with God than a bunch of do's and don'ts, and I had reached a point in my life where I was ready to either abandon Christianity or go down fighting to find the MORE.  So I think the eating disorder started, really, as a way to "be bad" and ask God what he was going to do about it.  But I was still terrified that he would strike me down, and so, because it felt like purposeful disobedience to God, I wrestled with him a lot about it.  This wrestling was what led to accidental disclosure to some girlfriends in late fall of 2007.  Several of these women came around me at that time, pushed me to tell my husband, and sought counseling for me.  Although I was deeply cynical toward the counseling process, I agreed to let them see if they could find someone for me to talk to, and so they did.

Although I can be a fairly articulate speaker, what was going on in me was far too deep and difficult to voice, so I began to keep a private blog in order to give just a few people a view into my thoughts, so they could better understand how to support and pray for me.  As I began counseling, I continued to spiral deeper into depression and anxiety, so that by April 2008, overwhelmed with screaming emotional pain, breath-taking anxiety, and terrible thoughts of self-hate and ending my life, I began harming myself.


silver-grey flash
a glint catches the light
keen, hard edge
cold, tapered point

ease in gently
a fleshy dimple gives way
skin creamy, fair
light and smooth

push down harder
a thin line slowly traced
dark red seam
deep pressure eased

catch of breath
a momentary twinge of nerves
just a pinch
inner agony relieved

slicing out the pain.

© April 2008

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