What real recovery looks like

“I haven’t felt free in a long time. I’m either trapped by anorexia or hindered by anxiety. I want to be FREE.”

“I’m literally at the cusp of recovery. I’m not in need of mans help at the moment, but God’s. I need to rely on him now, I needed to a long time ago. I CAN AND WILL LIVE A LIFE FREE OF THIS!!”

“I’ve never felt my heart cry out like this before. No matter how many counseling session I attend, how many books I read, coping strategies I use, I have never felt this before. I want to do more than cry because to cry doesn’t touch deep enough. I think I want to mourn, I want to let myself feel the pain I’ve kept behind bursting doors. Only Jesus knows what I’m feeling, I can’t trust this expression of pain to anyone else but him. He’s the only one who can feel it too.”

Above are three journal entries I’ve written within the last month.

Possibly for the first time in my life I’m understanding how hard it is to follow God every step of the way.

It’s really hard to follow God, there I said it.

To follow God through recovery is so hard. To hold Jesus’ hand is hard because he’s asking so much of me and yet nothing at all. I once read a quote that said God loves us just as we are, but too much to leave us this way. I’m trying to wrap my head around it. I am loved as I am, Jesus will have me just as I am, but I am loved too much to be left this way.

I’ve been told by so many people to just go to God. But just going to God doesn’t do anything. I have to GO to him.

Most people describe mental illnesses as chains, that they are bound. For me they are more like balloons. I often feel like I have balloons attached to my waste, so many that they’re lifting me us and my feet no longer touch the ground. With one gust of wind I can be sent up so high and so far that I no longer recognise where I am. God feels like a rope that anchored into the ground and that rope is in the palm of my hand. Just going to God in times of difficulty feels like I simply acknowledge the rope in my hand. But to GO to God is taking the rope in BOTH hands and pulling myself back to the ground, when I’m close enough His hand reaches out to me and pulls me the last gap and into a warm embrace.

Pulling yourself back to the ground and to God is exhausting. But that’s what recovery is, exhausting.

You see guys, for the last two years I’ve only been acknowledging the rope in my hand. That is neither a good or a bad thing.

God loves me just as I am, that knowledge allows me to hold onto the rope and Him to be my anchor.

But he loves me too much to leave me this way, that’s Him asking me to come back to the ground and to Him.

Recovery is not an easy task and now that I’ve seen what it entitles, I’m going to fess up and say I’ve only been half arsing it and forgive me but I never recognised just how truly a commitment it was to follow God. This isn’t a just turn up on a Sunday, pray and look like a christian, this is giving everything I am to Him. Everything!

After a year of writing on here, thinking I was sort of getting there with my walk with God, that I knew what it meant to give my life to him, I’ve come to realise just how little I knew.

My eyes and heart has been opened and I’m seeing this for the first time with fresh eyes.

Take up your cross.

That phrase has alway confused me. Take up my cross, what did that even mean? But lately I’ve been drawn to Mathew 10:38, where the phrase take up your cross is used. In my bible the notes that accompany that say be prepared to follow jesus all the way to martyrdom if necessary. Martyrdom is someone who is a martyr, a person who is killed because of their religious belief. This has captured my heart for a while.

I am privileged to live in a country where I am currently not in any danger because of my faith in Christ. There are many people around the world who the act of martyrdom is a very real thing. But for me sitting in my house safely, in my bedroom, the significance didn’t feel the same.

But this verse is just as relevant to me, but in a different way.

Take up your cross, be prepared to follow Jesus be prepared to die for your faith. What if for some if us, being prepared to die for our faith isn’t literal death? What if it’s being prepared to let something die to follow Christ?

What if for me I have to be prepared to let anorexia die for my faith in Jesus. Not ignore it, not let it go, anorexia has to die in me.

Taking up my cross daily is making the conscious decision to let anorexia die in me. I have to make that decision DAILY, probably even hourly.

Now that is big.

But God is big and all-powerful. So why would following him be anything but big.

Want to know something though? I want a big relationship with God. I’ve mentioned a lot in this post that following God is hard, but guys it’s so worth it. I’m going to need support and a church and a whole lot of faith and to humble myself right down. But that’s what I want.

Real recovery is doing more than just acknowledging God, turning up on a Sunday and a quite prayer before bed (all of which I’m guilty of). It’s daily taking up your cross and making the real hard effort to get yourself back to Him.

God loves you just as you are, but he loves you too much to leave you this way

Exercising during recovery

I feel like this post could potentially get me a teeny tiny bit of backlash so I’m going to start off with a disclaimer. Everything I talk about today is of my own experience and no I’m not a doctor. If you’re in recovery from an ED yourself, please listen to what your doctor is saying to you about exercise and not me. They actually know what’s medically good for you. I’m just talking about my own experiences here and have had the all clear to be exercising under supervision. 

Now that the serious bit is over… I’ve started running and I’m loving it.

If 12-year-old me was reading this, they’d probably weep. Despite being a dancer, I found no pleasure in running what so ever. But now 7 years later, I’ve started to get the bug.

I can probably guarantee that some of you are probally thinking “you said you’re recovering from anorexia, why are you exercising? Have you relapsed?”

The answer is no, I haven’t relapsed nor is my disorder ‘fake’ becsue I’m running.

I while back I spoke about being a competitive dancer, and how I had so much energy as a kid that I was enrolled in two separate dance schools just so I could burn off the extra energy. All those years later, I’m still a ball full of energy. I’m a constant fidget and just need to get the energy out some how. Naturally, a lot has changed since I developed an eating disorder and it has stopped exercise for me. I’m not going to go into detail about my relationship with exercise at my worst points because I don’t want anyone who’s struggling to get any ideas, so you’re just going to have to take my word when I say I had a very bad relationship with working out.


Continue reading “Exercising during recovery”

I am worth more than an illness

If any of you guys are in education then you’ll know that the academic year is drawing to an end and for some of us, it’s coming to an end for good. I’ve spoken several times how this is my last year in college. Due to still suffering with an ED I thought it a good idea to take a year out before I moved out to University.

Unlike most, in my year out I won’t be exploring the world but instead I’ll be working and let me tell you something now, I’m beyond anxious. Don’t get my wrong, I love where I work, whilst it can be a tad crazy at points, I’m working with some fantastic people and I truly do enjoy what I do. I couldn’t think of a better place for me to be. Yet despite this I’m still anxious.

I’ve been thinking long and hard as to why I’m so anxious about college coming to an end and me starting full-time work. I know the people I’ll be working with (and I like them all), I know the place, I know my job, what is there for me to be anxious about? But after much thought I think I know why.

I’m going to be joining the adult world.

I know I’m already an adult by law but I’ve been sheltered from all the ‘adulness’ for two years. Being 19 I’m three years older than my class mates and it shows. I have a much more mature attitude than everyone else what has been quite lonely at points. However, I’ve had the same level of responsibly as them all, so have had no real need to be the ‘adult’ as that’s the tutors job. But in a few weeks I’m going to be joining this completely different world and I’m not prepared for it.

Continue reading “I am worth more than an illness”

My relationship with change

At my house there’s only a handful of things you’ll see on our TV: Top Gear (or the Grand Tour when the new season comes out!), Yorkshire vet and some sort of Mega build type program. We’re most certainly creatures of habit in our house when it comes to the goggle box.

I myself am a creature of habit, I simply do not like sudden changes. However, since August we’ve been through some pretty major and harsh ones.

If you’ve every met me in real life you will know how hard it is for me to go through periods of change. More often than not I will have private break downs behind closed doors and be running off a constant supply of anxiety for the weeks after it. Change and me do not mix well.

I feel sorry for God in someway during these times of change. I’ve started trying to picture God as this big, warm comforting farther figure and me a small child who’s sitting on his lap (I got this idea from a book called Bloom by Beauty Beyond Bones). During these times of change I always picture myself as the small child squirming, lashing out and wailing with pain, but God’s big strong arms hold me close in a loving embrace. My tiny fists don’t even phase him and slowly I wear out of energy, my crying stops and God just holds me in love. Change is painful for me and boy God has heard my cries more than enough time about it.  Continue reading “My relationship with change”

5 things college has taught me about my mental health

College is coming to a close. Students are running around in a blind panic and tutors are close to banging their head on a wall. Yes the end of the academic year will soon be upon us, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

I’ve been at college for 3 years now and I am ready for it to end!

My first two years of forensic science were not too bad, but this final year of business has really seen me off. But despite these 3 years having a tone of difficulty’s and hardships, they’ve taught me an awful lot (I’m not just talking academically either). These 3 years have taught me so much about how to look after my mental health and that’s what I’d like to share with you today.

5 things that college has taught me about my mental health. Continue reading “5 things college has taught me about my mental health”

Knowing when to let go

Today I’m breaking my radio silence about my recovery.

It’s a bitter-sweet post, there’s going to be good and bad. I don’t really want to share the bad, I don’t want to tell you all about my failures but I think I owe it to you guys. What type of role model would I be if I only showed the good side of thing? So, you’ll get to hear it all today, what’s apprehensive for me to be writing about.

So here we go.

The truth guys, the eating disorder has let go of me but I haven’t let go of it.

I can’t let anorexia go. Continue reading “Knowing when to let go”