Monday, December 22, 2014

Where did I go?
The last month has consisted of preparing to move, applying for a new job, packing, going through an interview, more packing, going through a second interview, getting a new job, moving half my stuff from one house to another, moving all my work stuff from one cubicle to another, going to bed at 9, waking up at 4:30, and basically being too tired to do much writing. Okay, being too tired to do ANY writing.
Moving is a good theme, so I am going to run with it; or, better said, I will pivot slowly around the landing while moving up the stairs with it.
Moving involves pain- back pain, leg pain (I somehow managed to bruise my thigh in multiple places in the past 2 days, and I don't know when or how it occurred.), emotional pain, chest pain (which I hope is just from using my pectoral muscles more than usual), and brain pain. It's a pain-filled effort that is worth all the extra effort in the end. Pain is weakness leaving the body, according to the Marines. They are probably right.
-Here's where I make the analogy that we all know is coming.- Moving forward in life is the painful experience to which I will liken moving to a new home.
-Here is where I put my own life experience to validate what I just said.- When I first hit the place of, "Wow, life with an eating disorder stinks," I didn't have much enthusiasm about full recovery. Where I 'lived' was comfortable and familiar. The voice of anorexia was kind of like my roommate, and I was about to have the awkward conversation that everyone has with a roommate where I say, "Hey, I have been thinking that I need some space, and I would like to downsize to a one-bedroom. Our lease is up, so I was wondering if it's okay if we both move out so I can get my own place. You know, like, without you there."

And during this whole talk, deep down I still wanted to be friends and chill on the weekends. In eating disorder land, it would look something like having a totally "normal" week, then maybe bingeing and overexercising on the weekend. Or cutting sugar out the whole week and marking on my calendar how long it's been since I binged, looking at my stomach from all angles in the bathroom mirror, and thinking about all the foods I wanted to eat but couldn't allow myself to eat. Basically pining over my former "roomie" without living with it because I was "moving on." Am I writing about moving, or breaking up?  Actually, both. Why am I using so many "quotes?" No idea. It just seems right.
After I had that initial discussion with the Demon Formerly Known as Anorexia Nervosa that had morphed into more of a constant mocking spirit that tormented me about food no matter what I ate or what I did, I had to 1) go through all my stuff and pack it into boxes, label it, stack it, and move it. Or 2) decide it was rubbish, wonder why I held onto it this long, and then chuck it. I am speaking both literally and figuratively to keep the analogy going. Ah, how clever.
The "new place" is kind of echoey and barren at first. (And where did I put my pajamas?) The things I needed seemed to have vanished. The things I relied on for comfort weren't there. Come back, thing I hate! At least I wasn't alone when you were around! I don't really like you, I just like you better than being alone! Now there's a ringing endorsement.

So who is there to replace the emptiness? Who brought color to my off-white walls? Who filled my closet and found my pajamas? Who changed the atmosphere of the "new" place? The Holy Spirit did, that's who. I knew Jesus as Savior; I knew I was a sinner. I was beginning to know God as Father; I knew I had been an orphan. But my life wasn't full until it was filled by the fullness of God. He's 3 in 1, and I wasn't complete until He was complete in me. I called to Him to move in, to dwell in me and heal me, to make me complete.
Every move is easier with a work crew, a.k.a. friends, that is willing to carry your junk, put it in your new place, and listen to you whine and complain the whole way about how your back hurts, how maybe you just should have stayed in the old place, and how maybe you were wrong about wanting to move out. Friends are the best. And I am not too whiny once you get to know me. The whining is momentary, the moving is stressful, but the new place is so much better than the old place.

When I was in New York with my raddest friend ever, we went to one of the touristy tall buildings, and they were doing some remodeling throughout the inside. It didn't look lovely at all. Ew. So someone was on the ball and made these signs to hang up that said something like, "Pardon the mess. We are making some exciting changes."
So keep in mind the next time you walk by someone who looks like their life is really falling apart, or the next time you walk by someone who really seems to have it all together (which is usually a cue that it's falling apart on the inside), God is going to make some exciting changes in their life, if they'll let Him, and the mess is just temporary. The movers are on their way, and there is a lot of junk to haul. He's making some exciting changes.

Here's to moving and lumbar supports.

Monday, December 1, 2014

When it was all said and done, the year I spent in Bolivia was one if the most defining years of my life. By the time I returned to the US, I considered myself to be fully well, totally healed, made new from the inside out. Relatively speaking, I was right; but realistically speaking, I still had a long way to go. ( And I still have a long way to go :). )As far as I could tell then, I was good to go. But I was also starting to feel a lot of the emotions that I had been numbing with food.

It seemed like the more structured my life became and the more I was held accountable by the people around me that year, the more upset I got. Even though on the outside I looked healthier and my face was brighter about 3/4 of the way through the year, I was starting to feel a lot of the emotions well up inside that I had been stuffing all these years. There was a lot of anger which I had been accustomed to turning directly at myself that kept rising up, and I was having a hard time keeping it in. I started getting mad at the people closest to me, even when the anger was completely unwarranted. There wasn't any reason to be mad at the missionaries I lived with, just like in the past there was no reason to be mad at the physician who was trying to help me. It seemed like the more that my new friends/host family tried to reach with care into my secret, inside world, the more upset I got. The beauty of hindsight, coupled with a lot of patience on the part of my stateside friends, has shown me how the anger tried to take over my personality and become who I was (throughout my life, not just during that year. It happened to begin to rise to the surface again when I wasn't able to use the control of food to stuff the anger.) God did not create me with a spirit of anger, and trying to fight against it in my own flesh only made it worse. Trusting in Him to deliver me and allowing Him to re-work and reorganize my life was the only way to bring about the separation from the past pain and emotional injuries that were at the root.

However, I am jumping forward quite a bit by saying those things :).

I am going to keep this post short and sweet and try to pick up where I left off next time.