Why I Am Grateful For My Eating Disorder

January 23, 2014

celebrate lifeToday marks a very special day for me. For most people, it’s just January 23, another day to wake up and carry on with life’s routine. But for me, it’s almost up there with birthdays and Christmas. My husband knows it’s even a close race with our wedding anniversary. And he’s okay with that. In fact, he rejoices in that.

Because today is my anniversary of Triumph. Freedom. LIFE.

On January 23, 2003, I was discharged from Remuda Ranch Treatment Center in Wickenburg, Arizona. This day symbolizes the reclaiming of my life from the grips of the destructive, sneaky, relentless disease I call ED.

Now, you might be wondering why on earth would I be grateful for ED? I don’t blame you. This disorder has robbed me of precious years of my life. It’s robbed me of freedom and joy. ED told me lie upon lie that I so naively believed. It snuck in when I was most vulnerable and dug its nails in deep. Swiftly and ferociously.

For that, I hate it.

It’s a sobering fact that eating disorders affect millions of individuals every year and incidences of anorexia and bulimia are growing rapidly. With all the ‘clean-eating’ fads and exercise addiction out there, it’s a perfect window for ED to sneak in and then take the reins.

It’s been 11 years since I was in the throes of my eating disorder, but there have been times that it has tried to creep back in and feed me those stupid lies and irrational truths.

But, I am a fighter. 

I have put on the armor of Christ and I won’t back down.

Yeah, it’d be easy to wallow in self-pity or wish this had never happened to me. It’s tempting to pretend I’ve never struggled and put on my I’ve-got-it-all-together face.

Yet, that’s not fair. It’s not fair on myself nor is it fair to you. I don’t want to have suffered in vain.

Don’t suffer for your own peril; suffer, then conquer, to bring hope to others. ~mariposamoment

For those of you who know this struggle all to well and for those who are fighting your own battles [let’s be honest, we ALL do], here’s Why I Am Grateful For My Eating Disorder.

  1. It’s taught me empathy.

    Having struggled so deeply with my own eating disorder–mentally, emotionally and physically– I have cultivated a true empathy for other people and their personal circumstances. I’ve gained an insight, patience and compassion that I otherwise wouldn’t have if I had not experienced this disorder. My heart goes out to people because I know first hand that life isn’t easy.

  2. I’m in tune with myself.

    One of the most important things I’ve learned through my recovery is that the disordered eating tendencies are just a symptom of a deeper disturbance inside of me. With the guidance of therapy, I’ve taken an honest look at myself {beliefs, values, fears, experiences, memories} and made some internal shifts towards inner health and well-being. I’m beyond grateful for the wisdom and freedom I’ve acquired from recovery.

  3. I’ve found my purpose.

    There were times I cried myself to sleep at night so angry and confused at God, thinking why did this happen to me? How much could I have accomplished [or even enjoyed] if this hadn’t plague me so? But, God works in mysterious ways and, in time, his plan has been revealed. I am here to share my story. To offer even a glimpse of hope to one person makes it all worthwhile.

  4. In weakness, I am strong.

    Just like the Apostle Paul, “I was given a thorn in the flesh. . . I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weakness and in troubles I suffer. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~2 Corinthians 12

Recovery is a process. I am not confident to say there is ever an end point. But, this is my journey. I am showing up and doing the work.

I’ve discovered an authentic joy. I’ve reached a place of indescribable peace.

Recovery is possible and oh, so worth the fight.

If you know of anyone who is suffering from an eating disorder, please share this post. If you are struggling and wanting to know more about recovery, please contact me via the contact page. I would love to hear from you!

Now, time to celebrate with a slice of cake!

Lots of Love,

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Below I have listed some eating disorder recovery references.

National Eating Disorder Association

Remuda Ranch Treatment Center

The Butterfly Foundation

Your Eatopia  This is a great website and support group for those in all stages of recovery. It follows the Minnie Maud Guidelines for Recovery. I found the articles immensely helpful in time I felt “stuck”

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9 thoughts on “Why I Am Grateful For My Eating Disorder

  1. Janinatiner@aol.com'Janina Tiner

    So proud and happy for you to be celebrating 11 years of recovery. Yes, January 23 is a very special day. We offer God our thanks and praise for His Livingkindness and mercies.
    Thank you for courageously sharing your journey of healing and hope.

    Reply
  2. Cardenjm@gmail.com'jessi

    11 years is awesome! You have come so far! love you and love that you are putting it all out there! I will always be here for you!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: The Serenity Prayer. . .The Part You Might Not Know. | Mariposa Moment

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