Today I was introduced to the delightful thing called cream tea with my mum. As part of her birthday present we traveled over to Ruthin Castle for a fun afternoon together. Over the years I’ve been able to appreciate time spent with my mum so much more than when I was younger. Through my recovery we would spend precious time in coffee shops and cafes making as many happy memories as possible in environments where I would have usually struggled in alone. Even though I’m now recovered from anorexia we still make a point of going out when we can and just enjoy each others company.
Part of making memories in the 21st century is with our phones and my mum and myself are no different. You’ll be proud to hear that I don’t take any overhead, flat lay style photos of my food (I resist that urge quite well I think), but a photo that we always take is a head and shoulders photo of each other with what ever food we’re going to eat. I’m not sure why we started doing that one but over time I’ve gathered a little collection of them and today we added one more to that collection.
There’s another one of these photos from the start of last year when we went to a coffee shop in the local town. It’s not one that I’m going to share with you but it was taken in a more difficult time with the ED where my weight wasn’t exactly the best.
Seeing these two photos side by side does stir something in me.
If you guys were to look at it the most noticeable difference is my face and yeah I get why, I don’t exactly look well. But for me it goes so much further than that.
There’s some cheesy quote that say that the eyes are the window to the soul and if that was the case then the two photos you would be looking into two very different views. The first would have been a girl completely trapped and consumed by fear and pride. But today there was none of that, I got to enjoy time with my mum completely free.
Reflection is a funny thing.
Once I had recovered from the anorexia all I wanted to do was avoid even thinking of it. I disappeared off here for almost two months and even now that I’m back, post about my time with the ED are very few and far between. I’m not too sure why this is, after all one of the main reasons I started this blog was to help others know Gods love through my struggles. But I couldn’t handle the though of what happened, how far I let myself go.
Lately though, I’ve been thinking back to the two years.
Sometimes I come across people in the grips of anorexia on social media and my heart aches. There’s a stirring in me that I don’t know what to do with right now. But when I look at them, then I look at myself I’m overwhelmed. Anorexia or any other mental health illness will give you a really rough time, from first hand experience I can say that it will try to destroy you. But I look at where I was to the person that I am now and I’m blown away by Gods love. God knew that I doubted every second that he loved me, that even though I knew what Jesus did for me on the cross it was only surface knowledge and I was unable to belive I was loved. So he did something that would stop me from ever doubting his love for me again, He took anorexia away.
I have no idea what my next move will be, I know that I want to draw closer to God though. I know that I want and need to take responsibility for my walk with God and not wait to be prompted by someone to read my bible or spend time listing to worship music. I know I want to write for Him and just be for him.
Today has been the first time in a while I just want to think back to what happened.
Reliving the pain isn’t nice and the amount of shame I feel is too strong to put into words. But the further I think back the more I can see Gods hand in everything. I can understand why things needed to happen in the way that it did, why some doors to help were cut off so suddenly or even denied all together. Thinking back to my time with anorexia helps me understand that I do need to trust that God knows what He’s doing.
This was another photo taken from today, it’s not one that I was over the moon about having taken and you won’t see it being posted to my Instagram or anything like that. The reason for my dislike for this photo isn’t because of how I look, but because you can see the crutch that I’ve been using.
I’ve never spoken about it on here before and unless you’ve seen me using the crutch in person you wouldn’t know I’ve got a problem either. I don’t like talking about it but I’ve had issues with my feet for over six months and they’re getting worse (I am aware I’m wearing heels in the photo and yes, it hurt to wear them but there was a dress code and all my other shoes are trainers).
As of yet we don’t know what the actual problem is and it’s frustrating. There seems to be nothing wrong with them and yet I’m in pain, it was even suggested to me that it was a physiological issues because they can’t find any injury or problem. I am fed up with my feet and I’m getting increasingly down about it. I’ve had a good few moans at God about it too, I’ve gotten down and ended up crying because I don’t understand why it’s hurting and no one knows what’s wrong. When I came away from my last appointment I ended up falling into another depressive episode because the pain was just wearing me down and I just didn’t have it in me to deal with things again.
But when I think back to two years ago when I was seeing doctors and having doors closed all over the place, I feel a bit of hope. Just like now, things weren’t clear, going to doctors appointments to try to seek help for something that they didn’t belive you were bad enough to help with, I can feel a bit of trust forming. God knew what was going on with the anorexia. He knew what was best for me and why certain things needed to happen or not happen and in the end things worked out well.
My time with anorexia taught me to try to trust God now when I’m in a different sort of pain. I use the word ‘try’ because I’m so not perfect and don’t succeed all the time. But, I am trying to trust that God has a plan for this pain just like he had with the anorexia.
I don’t know what’s going on in your own life at the moment. Things could be all good and that’s awesome if that’s the case, be grateful for a time of rest. But for most, things could be a bit rough for you right now. I know it’s not easy and you probably don’t want to hear it, but we grow the most in testing times. When things are good it’s not exactly hard to get into a mindset of complacency and staying in your comfort zone. But in our comfort zones we don’t grow.
As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m learning an awful lot through the pain in my feet. The crutch is a very visible sign that something is wrong and people try to help me because of it. I’m terrible at receving help, I don’t like people helping me but at work my colleagues have offered me so much kindness and I’ve had to start accepting their offers of help because I’m too much pain to say no. It’s slowly whittling away my pride and good is coming from it.
Does knowing that the difficult times are helping me grow make the pain go away? No.
I’m in a lot of pain and I’m still frustrated (mainly because I can’t stand swallowing my pride) but since recovering from anorexia I can understand that God knows what He’s doing and I’m just going to have to trust Him.