Eating Disorder Recovery

The definition of recovery is “the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.”

Wow.

That forces me to think about what I lost control of.  What was stolen from me.  All that I lost.

I lost control of my life.  I lost control of my feelings.  My emotions.  My clarity.  My self worth.  My purpose.  My identity.

My adolescence was stolen from me.  My dignity was stolen from me. My confidence was stolen from me.  My reason for living was stolen from me.

I lost everything.  Friends.  Trust.  Happiness.  Myself.

7 years today, I declared that I would “get better.”

After years of anorexia, bulimia, cutting, promiscuity, and zero self worth — I decided I needed to make one last true effort to “get better.”

This was prompted by my mom.  As most addicts do (yes, I consider all forms of eating disorders and self harm an addiction — to weight loss, to “control”, to the feeling of euphoria when one self harms) my decision to “get better” was for someone else.

I asked my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day.  “For you to get better, Alyssa.”

From that day forward I put every ounce of energy I had into pulling myself out of the deepest darkest pit I ever dug for myself.  I didn’t do it for me, I did it for my family.  The family that I had torn apart and broken into pieces.

The road to recovery is so long.  I suppose it’s never ending.  There are days when you triumph over conquering your demons and there are days when you come painstakingly close to allowing those demons permission to destroy you once again.  There are days you look in the mirror and you actually like what you see.  And there are days when looking in the mirror sends you into a fit of tears.  There are days when eating that chocolate cake at your friends wedding brings a huge smile to your face.  And there are days when eating that chocolate cake destroys you.

The thing about recovery is that you HAVE to celebrate the smallest of victories.  Eating that first piece of pizza in public without running to the bathroom to get rid of it.  Or eating that roll out to dinner…and even putting a small pad of butter on it.  It’s sitting in your sadness and choosing to write instead of cut.  It’s all these small things that make up recovery.  It’s not a one time decision — it is a decision that is made every single day for the rest of your life.

Addiction is bondage.  And no matter what you are addicted to — food, alcohol, drugs, porn — the key is finding freedom.  And freedom is Jesus.  Freedom is knowing that regardless of all the wrongs I have done and all the sins I have committed I am still worthy in the eyes of my creator.  For no reason.  So undeservingly.  “There is freedom in the name of Jesus” — that line still brings tears to my eyes to this day.  No words hit my soul like those.  I wish I could adequately portray the change I encountered when I gave my life to Jesus, but no explanation would do it justice.

Recovery isn’t easy.  Even with Jesus, it is a rocky road.  But I am free.  My demons tempt me each and every day.  They cause me to pinch my belly fat.  To suck in while having my photo taken.  To doubt myself.  But they no longer run my life.  Because Jesus has won me over and because of HIM I am free.

7 years ago today I made the best decision of my life.

And here I am. Age 28.  Married to the love of my life and a mommy to the most sweetest blessing.

I am eternally grateful for Christ’s sacrifice for us and for his constant reminder that we ARE enough for Him.  I am thankful that I have the opportunity to raise a little girl who loves and fears the Lord with her entire heart.  And I pledge to forever instill in my sweet girl that she IS enough, always.  That she is loved unequivocally by the King of Kings and that she can do great things.

Tonight calls for wine and ice cream.  And not a single ounce of self doubt!

If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, please don’t hesitate to email me at savedandstrong@gmail.com.

 

xoxo – A

Hot Mess Mamas

It’s amazing the pressure we put on ourselves as mamas.  You with me?

We expect ourselves to be flawless.  We teach our kiddos that perfection is not attainable — yet expect ourselves to fit the mold of that oh so unattainable perfection.

So, after leaving a play date full of mamas the other day in tears because of my own wildly debilitating insecurities — I did some thinking.

You know that saying “when you assume, you make an ASS out of U and ME.” — yeah, that’s so true.

I ASSUMED these mamas started their day with a cup of hot coffee, a devotional, and some lovely conversation with their husbands over a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs.

When in reality, chances are these mamas started their day with a half warm cup o’ joe, read a devotional while on the toilet for the only time that they will do so alone that day, and said hi/bye to their husbands as they ran out the door for work. Just. Like. Me.

I ASSUMED these mamas, clothed in LuLu Lemon, spent their morning at The Little Gym with their tutu wearing bright eyed and bushy tailed little love bugs, followed by a play date with a dear friend that consisted of belly laughs and the rehashing of beautiful memories.

When in reality, chances are these mamas spent their morning picking egg out of their kid’s hair, unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry, saying “no” more times than they could count, and maybe…MAYBE…finishing that cup of coffee from early in the morning.  Just. Like. Me.

I ASSUMED these mamas spent their afternoons, as their precious ones took 3 hour naps, perfecting their yoga practice and engaging in a bible study that challenged them spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

When in reality, chances are these mamas had cranky no-nap kiddos who decided to bring their lovely cranky selves into mommy’s workout routine, leaving mommy with a halfass workout and no time for that bible study that seems to be collecting dust.  Just. Like. Me.

I ASSUMED these mamas made a home cooked meal of chicken parm and organic greens from the garden in their backyard, wearing a plaid apron and a nauseating smile on their faces as their husband walked in from work.

When in reality, chances are these mamas reheated turkey chili they made in February and tried their best to give a fake smile for their husband.  Just. Like. Me.

I ASSUMED these mamas had riveting dinner conversation with their husband, their children ate every morsel of delicious organic food they fed them, and then proceeded to have glorious hot and heavy sex with their husbands after the kids went to bed without a peep.

When in reality, chances are these mamas could barely speak a word to their husbands over the whining of an over tired kiddo who relentlessly threw her microwavable mini pancakes on the floor for the dog, followed by that lovely kiddo fighting bed time because CLEARLY they aren’t tired.  Followed by collapsing in bed saying “tomorrow night, promise” to their husbands.  Just. Like. Me.

Moral of the story is — mamas — ain’t NONE of us have our ish together.

We need to stop conjuring up what motherhood looks like in everyone else’s homes and realize that we are in this TOGETHER. I am so thankful for mamas who have opened my eyes to being REAL, RAW, and VULNERABLE.

Stop comparing yourself to anyone else and focus on YOU and YOUR kiddos. That is my plan, I can promise you that!  And if any other hot mess mamas want to have a play date amongst some dust, doggie paw prints, scattered toys, a mysterious stain on the couch cushion, and an unshowered mama — girl — come onnnn over!