31 August 2011

One year later

As I lean back into your arms/ I am transported to a time/ Where everything was safe/ And nothing could touch the love/ Surrounding us./ Take my hand/ As we revist the dark time/ One last time/ And then what destroyed us/ Will be banished Forever/ And we will move forward...

One year ago today, David and I separated for the first time. The driving wedge, of course, was anorexia nervosa. Our marriage was shaken by years of this illness, in which I illogically starved myself to a wraith-like thinness. I thought I was achieving control and perfection, when in reality my entire life was crumbling at my feet.

I am a Phoenix/ The ashes of anorexia/ Burning through my soul/ And finally blowing away/ Like so much dust/ Never to rise again/ Instead I will rise/ Free from the demonic hold/ of this mean disease

It has been a long road. We briefly reunited, only to be driven apart again in December. Anorexia was the third partner in our marriage, and eliminated all joy and laughter from our lives.

The Dark Time/ Is beginning to pass/ And the light of my soul/ Sings to God/ Grateful for his Grace/ And second chances/ At life and love

For a long time, I believed my marriage was over. Then a miracle occured, and David and I began marriage counseling and the long and painful process of coming back together. This week we discussed how my struggles with anorexia impacted both of us. He was afraid he would wake up and find me dead one morning. That is an awful truth to live with and think about each day.

There were times I hoped I would die in my sleep. I was tired. Tired of fighting this illogical disease. Tired of hoping, only to see each effort at recovery implode as anorexia again wormed its way into my brain.

I am much healthier now. I am at a healthy weight, and interestingly two people mentioned yesterday how much better I look this semester than during the past few years of graduate school.

And I know that soon David and I will be reunited. I am very fortunate. This post one year later could have been one of sorrow and pain, of me still sick and fighting any attempts at recovery.

I have learned much. I don't want anorexia to come back into my life again, because there is no life in anorexia.

And in the end, I want life...

NOTE: This post reflects the reality of my life at the time written. Things have drastically changed, and I hope to write a post about these changes when I feel I am able to. I have approved all comments sent to me, because I respect and am touched by anyone who feels moved to comment on the things I have written. But please, no more well-wishes or comments about being happy for me, etc. It is too painful. I hope all of you understand, and I will explain further when I am able to.

13 August 2011

Frozen (Searching For God)

Come to Me when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually, it draws Me closer to you, because weakness stirs my compassion—My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, know that I understand how difficult your journey has been. ~ Sarah Young, "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence"

I am frozen. The words dance at the edge of my brain, but are encased in ice and I feel as if I have to chip away at each tiny sliver to release my thoughts and allow them to fly free...And I still feel frozen.

I am weak and weary. I wish I had more faith, but this body — this vessel in which my soul resides — is sometimes a huge source of frustration for me. Each time I see health and strength within my reach, the wind scatters everything just out of reach and I am left chasing shadows, wondering why I can't remain well for more than several months.

Just when I was beginning to feel strong in my recovery from anorexia...Now I face surgery for polyps and cysts, and a CT scan of my right lung because the pre-op chest X-ray showed a pulmonary nodule. I also am taking a strong antibiotic because the pre-op check showed a raging staph infection.

I've already been struggling with body image issues, trying to accept that I am more than twenty pounds heavier than last year. I know that is a good thing, and that I am still too thin and need to gain several more pounds. But I just wish I believed what I hear other women in recovery from their eating disorders say — that my body is good and wonderful just for the things it can do, not because of what I weigh.

People say I am an inspiration. I don't feel like an inspiration, but instead I would love to sometimes crawl into a hole and hide. I'm tired of waiting for real life to begin....when? Damn it, real life is now! Real life is tied up in the messiness of recovery and doctors and tests and surgery and working on reconciliation with my husband, David.

I asked him last night what he wanted from me and he replied, "a strong, independent woman." I feel like I am becoming that woman again, but it is hard with all these other issues swirling around me, pulling at me and making me feel tired and anxious. I want to return to my true, authentic self; someone who loves people and books and learning and doing new things and singing Christmas carols in July and...I want to have enough energy to ride my bike or take a walk, to go out with a friend for lunch or even read a book or magazine.

And it all frustrates me. I'm frankly tired of all this crap with my body.

But I have been working hard to still eat and maintain my weight, in spite of anxiety and nausea induced by the antibiotics. I also have been working hard to understand and honor David's needs, while still honoring my own needs. We both know we have to seek balance, and work on truly talking to and treating each other with love and gentleness.

I am trying to grow closer to God, allowing His love and grace to see me through my fears and anxieties. But that also is sometimes hard, and I sometimes wonder if He even hears me...

However, I have to believe that God does hear me and is with me and eliminate these oppressive feelings of being frozen, frustrated, and anxious that do not help anything, but only makes things worse. I have to believe everything will turn out all right in the end.