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