There’s a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald that resonates with my eating disorder. I hadn’t read it until just the other night.
“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”
Looking at this now, I can see all of these steps of my eating disorder unfolding. I can see myself ‘taking the drink’ and researching how to more fit, how to lose weight, how to eat healthy and slowly becoming more involved in what I thought was a “healthy lifestyle”. Then, I can see how the ‘drink’ took its own drink when I began to see some positive results and when I felt like I was succeeding in my goals of looking thinner. I was losing myself in the eating disorder and losing the ability to stop the madness and breathe. Finally, I can see took me. I see the hell it did to me and the hell it still does now. It over takes and consumes your entire being and suddenly, ‘the drink’ has convinced you it can’t live without you. What a strange and almost vicious image. Suddenly, working out and trying to be healthy in college was no longer a hobby, it was something that was on its way to controlling my life.
So about this Bible study……it’s some pretty good/thought provoking stuff. I’m also not real sure if I’m constantly supposed to relate this study with my eating disorder, but I do, so hope that’s all right.
Anyways, Priscilla Shirer’s series is all about boundaries and how they are our “breathing room”. So, I’m constantly evaluating my own boundaries and the ones God has in place for me. I’m constantly looking at how I’m probably going over God’s wishes when I’m pretty much, probably basically ignoring His boundaries with food and working out. Whoops……..
One of the very first things she said during this segment was about how the Israelites didn’t know how to “rest” one day. Nobody had ever told them that they should rest on one day and have that be the Lord’s day, so it freaked them out. Majorly. Israelites had a strict work routine and a set way they had to do things, basically as she went on to explain they worked themselves constantly and worked hard at their jobs. After she said that, it got me thinking (I was still paying attention to her. I didn’t fully go off on a tangent.) It got me thinking that Ed makes me a freakin’ Israelite!!! Constantly working, constantly busy and always trying to keep to a strict schedule and way of life! What?! How is it that God always knows what you need to hear? After all this time I still find that so odd.
Anywho, this week in the study we are supposed to focus on coming to a full stop. We are talking about the Sabbath and how that means we need to take a day of rest. Resting/relaxing is so frowned upon these days that we feel guilty anytime we even think about engaging in it. This week we are focusing on what makes it hard for us to come to a complete stop and relax. Well, for me, it’s almost obviously my e.d. Having an obsession what my food/my workouts/my overall size and appearance makes it hard for my brain to just let me stop those actions. My brain is constantly trying to figure out new ways to keep myself “fit”. I can’t ‘just say no’ to these thoughts and actions! I need a freakin’ drug campaign/slogan to be thrown at me constantly. Good grief, Charlie Brown.
But God says resting IS GOOD!!!! He wants us to take time to rest. Our “Sabbath” is supposed to be a day to think about Him and rest WITHOUT feeling guilty, ashamed or worrying about doing the relaxing. I apparently feel like my value is somehow tied up in accumulating approval. The approval of others and me, alike. I feel like my value is determined by what stupid size I wear and like people aren’t going to love me if I’m not a size 2 or 4. Believe me, I know that’s ridiculous but I can’t deny that’s how I feel. In the end, I have to learn to somehow be able to say “ENOUGH is ENOUGH!” and that what I’m doing the other 6 days of the week is sufficient enough to keep me in the right place.
Tonight I’m supposed to go out to dinner with some friends. For normal people, this would be fun, for me, it’s painful. Not because I don’t want to see my friends, I do!! But it’s pure agony because I can’t know the nutrition facts of the restaurant, I already feel bad about food from yesterday and eating out is horrific. Good grief, Charlie Brown. I think that I just have to remember to breathe, take things one step at a time and allow myself some breathing room.