Sometimes I’m still insecure about my weight.
After everything that happened last August and God completely healing me of anorexia, I haven’t quite accepted this new body of mine yet. It’s not even like my weight gain was all that bad once I no longer had the eating disorder, I expected to blow up like a balloon and to be uncontrollably eating but that never happened. Sure to start with I was pretty bloated around the stomach area (after long periods of starvation your body doesn’t trust you so any fat it gains goes straight to your tummy area to protect all your vital organs) and my face was a little more squishy from my body retaining water. But in all honesty, I didn’t gain all that much and I didn’t get all that bigger either. Sure, I don’t own any scales and haven’t weighed myself since the disorder was no longer in my life, so mass wise I may have gained but in my physically appearance it wasn’t as scary as I expected.
I understand that at some point everyone is a little insecure about how their body looks and I know some of my insecurity’s do stem from that, and that’s ok. But my more deep insecurity’s about my body come from seeing other people who suffer from an eating disorder themselves and are at a dangerously low weight.
I don’t use the word triggering all that often, mainly because I think people have made it too mainstream and forgot the true meaning and power that word has. But using the word to it’s full seriousness, I still find unhealthy thin people triggering, it makes me wounder what I could have looked like if I just ran with my eating disorder just that little bit longer, maybe then all of the pain would have been worth it? It’s something I’ve felt a great deal of shame towards because God took away my eating disorder, so why do I miss it sometimes?
It’s taken a long time for me to understand that God took away MY anorexia, but he didn’t take away everyone else’s. Sadly eating disorders still exists in this world and they’re only increasing in numbers. I think I was naive enough to entertain the thought that once God had taken away the anorexia, that I’d never encounter it ever again. But as I was flicking through Instagram the other day, having a look at what they recommended for me, a picture of a young girl caught my attention. She was smiling and to most probably looked happy, but there was a look with her that I recognized. I clicked on her bio. She used Instagram as a recovery blog, something that’s increasingly common, she said she was a follower of Christ, was recovering from anorexia and was 14 years old.
I cried. It wasn’t even pretty small crying either, it was big ugly crying.
She was the youngest person I’d came across on social media suffering from anorexia and it broke a little piece of me.
I used to be a Guide leader and the girls I worked with were 10-14 years old. I let myself imagine one of the young girls I’d grown to care about and mentor having the same horrible illness I had. It broke my heart to think about someone so young going through so much deep pain and suffering.
To say I felt rotten for missing my eating disorder even the tiniest bit after seeing this young girl would be an understatement.
Once I wrote my last post (where you stand) I knew that I had to turn some things around. So I sought out God, for a few days I was annoyingly persistent and I just sought out God.
A lot happened in those few days, a post for another time perhaps, but there’s one thing that caught my attention and really got me thinking.
If you’re about my age and you think of the word YouTube and then the word anorexia you might instantly think of one person. I’m not going to name names, I know that I have readers who are recovering from eating disorders and I don’t want you guys looking them up if you haven’t heard of them yet. But this person on YouTube has had an awful lot of attention in the media this year and by other influencers about concerns over their weight and rightly so, they’re dangerously malnourished. But when I think of YouTube and anorexia I don’t think about this person. Surprisingly in a moment of strength during my time with anorexia, I blocked them on all social media platforms in a drastic attempt to never see them as I found them way too triggering to look at.
There’s a second individual on YouTube who’s the exact same age as me who I used to follow as a form of body checking. Once again, I’m not going to name names though. But this person is super bubbly, really kind and just a joy to watch. And I did watch their content not only as a form of body checking, but because I did like them as a person. They’re just so sweet and likable. But with us being the same age and roughly the same height, I did use them as motivation to want to be thinner.
After August when anorexia had no place in my life anymore, I just stopped watching them. It wasn’t anything dramatic like with the other individual on YouTube who I make the decision to block to no longer see their content, this time it was just natural that I’d stop.
I hadn’t checked out their content until a few days ago after I’d been seeking God. I’m really not sure why I ended up typing their name in the search bar, but I did and once again I ended up crying… I do that a lot when it comes to encountering eating disorders. But they’d recently made a post with them looking a lot healthier and a lot happier explaining that they suffer from anorexia and that they’d slowly been recovering.
The strangest thing happened though, I started comparing my recovered body to theirs.
Don’t get me wrong, I was ecstatic that they we’re getting their life back. I was also so proud of them for using their large platform to educate about the dangers of eating disorders. I was so happy for them, I really was. But I also started feeling insecure about my weight.
Other than when I’m blogging, I hadn’t seen the word anorexia in such a long time and it really floored me to encounter it. It was a reality check that I was not prepared for at all. I guess I just hadn’t expected to go on their profile and be met by the reality of my old illness, I’m not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t that. It really threw me and I really struggled.
I hadn’t felt self conscious about my new body in such a long time, but I lasted a matter of minuets listing to their video before I turned it off and I was on the verge of a panic attack. Anorexia has a voice and that voice comes in the form of intrusive thoughts, big, loud, horrible intrusive thoughts and suddenly that voice was shouting at me.
I really didn’t know what to do. On one hand I was happy crying because of the joy that comes from seeing someone take the first steps of recovery, I was crying because they looked so much healthier and it was so nice to see. But then I was overwhelmed with insecurity about my new body, I was on the verge of losing it because I hadn’t heard the voice of my eating disorder in so long and it was overwhelming.
But the previous day and the days before that, I’d been seeking God so desperately and I had been closer than I had been in a long time.
I think if that hadn’t been that case then I would have been screwed.
It’s never been easy for me to just go to God, I think it’s a combination of me being too stubborn and too proud, but I managed it this time. Using God to ground me silenced the intrusive thoughts and I was able to catch my breath.
All of this happened in less than 5 minutes.
I want to help those who suffer from eating disorders, it’s why even in the grips of anorexia myself I started this blog. I want to use my story to help people. But what happened with seeing this person tell the world about their struggles with anorexia was a important reality check for me.
I was starting to think that maybe I was ready to start seeking out those who are struggling and try to help, but I was wrong. What happened really highlights how much I’m going to need God with this. I said this in my last post and I’ll say it again, I never recovered from anorexia, God healed me. What that means is that I never fully dealt with the eating disorder, I wasn’t the one to end it, Yes I was recovering slowly but I wasn’t all the way there. I don’t understand fully why God decided to heal me of all people of this illness. I don’t understand why he chose me of all people to take it away. But I understand it was HIM who took it away and not me.
If I want to do this, to help people, I need to seek God first.
I’m too easily triggered, I’m too insecure, to every be any use to anyone who’s suffering with an eating disorder. I can’t do this in my own strength, if I’m serious about helping people then I need God.
Thank you for reading today’s post, I hope you enjoyed it.
I didn’t feel like it was right to set myself a word limit on this post, there was just so much important things to say that I felt I wouldn’t be doing it justice if I tried to shorten it. So I apologies for the lengthy ramble, you’ve done well if you’ve made it to the end.
It probably doesn’t feel like to to you guys, but it’s felt like I haven’t posted in ages and I’ve really missed getting behind my laptop and writing. Though if I’m honest, I’m loving not having the pressure of having to write weekly now. I don’t think I would have been able to write a post like this one if I’d put myself on a time limit.
If you want to support my work on this blog further then please check out my KO-FI page where you can find out more about my blog and my future plans with it, as well as how you can support what I do here (I’ve also added a few cheeky drawing on their after you guys were so supportive and kind with my sketchbook post).
Hope you guys have a lovely day, and I look forward to talking to you all again soon.