Sunday, March 9, 2008

Time change(s)

In spite of the time change, we made it to church this morning. Of course, we set the alarms on both cell phones to be absolutely sure that we got up in time. The sermon was thought-provoking. It dealt with "believing" and choosing to live--not just exist. This really hit home for me. It's coming up on my 5-year anniversary of leaving "anorexic camp" and that's a huge milestone for me. Even though I still struggle with all the things that come with recovery from an eating disorder (including mini-lapses), I am, overall, in a very good place. For that I am thankful. I had to believe not only that I could get better, but that I deserved to get better. I had slipped into just "existing" and that existence was far from comfortable. For me, my eating disorder was, I think, a slow suicide. It was a cry for help, but it was also a relentless effort to destroy my body. It did wreak havoc on my body--my menstrual cycles became sporadic and eventually disappeared, my heart was weakening and my bones had already begun to break down in my hips. But I'm lucky--all of those things I did to my body were reversed once I chose recovery and began to take care of myself.
While I was at the rehab center, I really came to believe in God's existence. While raised in a church-going home (Methodist), my family was far from devout, and I had always been taught to question things. In college, I lapsed into agnosticism. Sure, there might be a god, but who can be sure? During my time of being active in my eating disorder, I felt that God, if there was such an entity, had deserted me. It was during my last few weeks at Renaissance that I "rediscovered" God. I was dealing with some pretty heavy issues. As I recalled a particularly traumatic event from childhood, my eyes, so to speak, were opened. God was there, and God had been there all along. God had protected me then, and God was there to protect me whenever I needed it. I came to see God as a sort of "bug screen", if you will. The God I know is like a window screen--you open the glass part of the window to let in fresh air and the attached screen keeps out bugs and other potential home invaders. That metaphor might be a little silly, but it works for me--and I think that's what God wants: for us to see God and accept God on a personal level.
Coincidentally, the day that I left Renaissance (April 9) was the 6-year anniversary of a dear friend's suicide. That bothered me at first--I wasn't sure how I felt about combining such a happy occasion (release!!) with a day that held such sad memories for me. My therapist there helped me to put that in perspective, though. She said, "This is the anniversary of the day your friend chose to die. But this is also the day you chose to live."

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