Sometimes I know something, but I don’t really know it. I’m a sociology student, which means I know all about how society constructs gender and how we embody certain philosophies and ideas. I have the scientific knowledge I need to research and explore topics such as why women feel the need to have slim bodies and conform to particular ideals. I know what the Bible says, too, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I know that God loves me the way that I am. I have studied basic psychology and know about eating disorders, what the symptoms are, how they affect people.
And yet, I’ve struggled with eating disorders for most of my life. I have gone from anorexia, to bulimia and sometimes have gone between the two. It makes me feel really stupid, to know all the things that I do and yet to struggle the way I do. Food and I have had a controversial relationship for sixteen years. I’m sure food and I will continue to have a controversial relationship.
I thought that I could get through this if I could simply learn some self-control. I have some great friends who share truth with me about how God sees me, and yet I loathe myself and pick on every imperfection, over and over, not being able to realize that God doesn’t see them as imperfections, because it’s how he chose to make me. I forget that I’m an authentic, handcrafted creation. Over and over I try to force myself to believe the truth of who I am, and I have made some progress with that.
But it’s not that simple. It’s been a sixteen year battle and finally I have gone to get help. I’m going to be getting specialized counselling and getting the help that I need. I want to get through this. I know that some people document journeys through cancer and other diseases, I’m hoping to document my way through this, and I’m trusting God for healing (well, sometimes).
I’ve been pretty good at hiding my issues until now. I have started altering my wardrobe choices in order to hide as much fat as possible. I’ve been trying different things with my hair and style, never fully liking anything, going from one thing to the next. I want freedom, the freedom to be who he made me to be. I feel kind of stupid because I feel like I should have “gotten over it” when I was a teenager. I’m embarrassed that I’m 28 years old, and yet I still have these issues.
Interestingly enough, this issue has come to a head during Lent, while I have been focusing more closely on my relationship with God. I know God wants me to find freedom, and I think that’s one of the lessons he’s teaching me through the ritual of Lent. I’m really scared and I’m afraid of accountability because quite frankly, analyzing my eating choices that much just isn’t appealing to me, and yet I realize that that I analyse my food choices all the time, it’s why I do what I do. I just don’t want to be accountable for them.
The Bible says that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I’m trying to believe, and I’m trying to get well.