Saturday, January 29, 2011

project 365 - day 29

thankful for deliverance

when i was near the end of college, there was a rumor going around with my high school friends and acquaintances that i had been sent to a drug rehabilitation center. i was pretty shocked to hear this because i had never even take any drugs at that point in my life, but then again the rumor mill there was pretty rampant.

in reality, i went to an eating disorder treatment facility. for almost 8 years i had struggled with exercise anorexia, anorexia and bulimia, and it all came to a head when i collapsed on the steps of the business school at texas tech university. it was at the end of spring semester and after 5 years of college, i was just about to graduate in the summer. instead, my dad came and picked up my 96-pound frame and all my stuff, and 2 weeks later i was in treatment. this year on june 1, i will celebrate 12 years of recovery from a stronghold on my life that i thought i would never overcome.

i just recently heard about 2 reality shows on eating disorders. the first one what's eating you is currently running in the e! network and the oprah  network plans on airing an 8-part series called inside rehab. i have not seen an episode of "what's eating you" but i think i will definitely try to catch the next one. my gut reaction is the content of a reality show for entertainment cannot be good. however, if done in a delicate way, it may actually help people. but truthfully, i'm a little skeptical.

i went to laureate and i think their approach in helping those with eating disorders is remarkable. the ed unit is completely separate than others there dealing with different addictions. i mean to me, it never made much sense to throw drug addicts and anorexics in the same room. after all, a drug addict, has to give up their drugs...they cannot be apart of their life whatsoever; an anorexic has to accept their drug (food) and learn how to manage it in a healthy manner. laureate's team tackles eating disorders head on. you need not stop your unhealthy behaviors before arriving.

when i went there in 1999, there were 14 women all at different stages of recovery. i checked into acute care and was still practicing my bulimia. i was constantly followed by a nurse or technician and i distinctly remember going to the bathroom and throwing up after dinner the second night. she watched me and asked me if i felt good afterwards. i can't recall my exact words but i'm sure it was pretty smart-alecky. 3 days after arriving and watching all the other ladies at various stages of their recovery, i gave it up and never looked back. one of my favorite aspects of their program was at the end when you go to transitional living where you live in a dorm-type setting with no one constantly looking over your shoulder. there you had to cook your own meals, go out to eat at a restaurant and even shop for new clothes and a bathing suit! not to say the road was easy, but after 8 weeks of treatment at their facility i had the tools in place to never relapse, and i didn't.

even though i had a christian counselor through the program, i chose to give myself the credit for my own recovery; not God. this sent me on a 3-year self-empowerment path of doing what felt good to me at the time. i was about as far away from God as i could be. it wasn't until several years later when i was back following Christ i started to realize the truths of psalm 139 and that it was God who had in fact delivered me, not myself! i am thankful to Him for bringing me through that ugly, horrible period of my life.

i'm very sensitive and passionate about those who struggle with eating disorders and body image. even now, as i find myself weighing more than i want to after 2 pregnancies and the grief of losing a child, i struggle but not in the same way i used to. if you know someone who is tempted by anorexia or bulimia or fully practicing it, pray hard for them. and if you think it is appropriate have them contact me. it is a dangerous addiction and one i'm afraid that is taking hold of too many women, especially young teens,and threatening to destroy their lives. only in God will they realize the fullness of who there are meant to be.
Psalm 139:13-14
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

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