A little while ago I wrote about Papa Bear and I attending the addiction management programme our Church is hosting, called RU (Reformers Unanimous). You can read that post here.
Today I want to share what God is doing in my life through RU. I joined to support my husband, and to learn the tools I need to counsel people in our Church who struggle with addiction and strongholds. I was battling with gossip and mean speaking when I started in February this year, and I have seen God work an amazing transformation in this area of my life. I have been aware of it and battling it in my own strength for over twenty years, and now it seems like it’s dissolved away. I know I need to be vigilant and not be smug and complacent, but God has really bridled my tongue, and I am so grateful.
When I was between 13 and 15 years old, I was anorexic. At my lowest weight, I weighed about 38kg. I went into hospital to have my appendix removed, and I lied about my weight. They gave me the amount of anaesthetic needed for the weight I gave, and it was too much. At one stage they were afraid I wouldn’t wake up. But I did wake up: both physically and spiritually. I realised I was hurting no one but myself and those I loved most, and by the grace of God I overcame my eating disorder. I read a lot about it and realised it would be a daily struggle – every day I had to choose to eat, to care for myself.
I was a very successful recoverer! At one stage I was actually overweight. This was while I was pregnant with my first child. I determined not to let my need for control hurt my child, and “switched off” the bit of my brain that told me that avoiding food was the path to peace. Unfortunately, at that stage I didn’t have a clear idea of what healthy eating was, so I just ate and ate, thinking I was doing my baby a favour. After she was born I became more focused on what I ate again. I didn’t want to be where I had been at school: passing out all the time, forgetting things, irritable and irrational. So I determined to find out what healthy, balanced eating looked like for me, and follow that. I have had enormous success maintaining a healthy weight and developing healthy attitudes to food and eating in my family and my social circle.
However, what I never told anyone was that, every single day, I had to choose to eat. It was a conscious decision. When I felt the pressures of my stressful job or our dire financial situation, I had to force myself to eat – like climbing a steep mountain, where you just force one foot in front of the other. I couldn’t have done it without God, but it was still a daily battle. Since starting RU, I feel like I’ve been freed of that. I have peace about food, and in fact I hardly think about it any more. Now, food is fuel, and I make sure we all get regular, healthy amounts of the best fuel for our individual body needs. But I no longer feel controlled by it.
I have been released from the choke-hold of anorexia, at last!