The day I knew I was free from my eating disorder was almost like any other day…almost.
I was walking down the steps at my university when it hit me.
I had NOT thought about what I ate for breakfast. Like, at all. Not since I took the very last bite.
It was nothing short of a miracle.
For those of you who have suffered or are suffering from an eating disorder, you know the constant counting and reconfiguring what you ate during the day.
“If I put that sandwich I ate with that bag of pretzels, it’s almost like I only ate one meal today.”
But all that was gone.
And I felt so free.
For the first time in over eight years.
My story starts like many people who struggle with an eating disorder: a catastrophic event.
I was molested by a youth pastor. Which then led to some physical abuse by my father. Which led to the church saying that I, at eleven years old, had seduced him and they didn’t believe my side of the story. Which led to a deep depression that even scared my mother.
I remember praying every night, “Lord, if I am still struggling with this bulimia when I am 16, I promise that I will tell someone about it and get help.”
Well, 16 came and went and I still was vomiting everyday. Sometimes up to five times a day.
Everyone was suspicious, but no one could pin me down with any hard core evidence. It helped that I was still able to maintain all As and score a spot on the varsity cross-country team as the only underclassman in high school.
But every night I cried. I wanted out.
But it wouldn’t be until it got a lot worse that I would finally be free.
When I turned 19 I got radically saved. Almost immediately I was delivered from the serious drug addiction I had developed to heroin, cocaine, and a plethora of others. But my eating disorder, which had sort of taken a back seat to my drug use came back with a vengeance.
By that time I had moved from my parent’s house to a condo near my college. I would attend church and immediately come home in order to engage in my sick ritual. I cried out to God. I cursed Him for not saving me. I did it to spite Him.
Finally, I started confessing. The Bible says: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16
So, I started confessing to everyone that I knew was a good friend or trusted elder. I wanted accountability. I wanted forgiveness and acceptance. But most of all…I wanted freedom.
Freedom came in the form of an outpatient eating disorder clinic. I wasn’t super happy about that at first because I wanted to attend a recovery center that would have 24-hour surveillance. I thought that I couldn’t be trusted. I wanted someone to do all the hard work for me. Little did I realize that all the hard work was already done.
From the day that I signed up for the clinic, December 18, 2000, I never threw up again. Not once.
I completed the six weeks of daily appointments as the only person who fully recovered. None of the other girls in my group got over their issues. I can only attribute that to Christ. I continued the treatment on a weekly basis for another three months when the counselors declared me capable of handling my recovery on my own.
But it wasn’t until the day, the one where I was walking down the steps at my university, that I realized the truth in the verse that says: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” – John 8:36
If you are struggling with any type of eating disorder (bulimia, anorexia, overeating or occasional binge eating) please know that Jesus can take the veil from your eyes so you can experience freedom and see clearly…the way you were meant to see.