04 May 2014

Self Denial

“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore (Unknown)”.
“Weight (too much or too little) is a by-product. Weight is what happens when you use food to flatten your life. Even with aching joints, it's not about food. Even with arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure. It's about your desire to flatten your life. It's about the fact that you've given up without saying so. It's about your belief that it's not possible to live any other way -- and you're using food to act that out without ever having to admit it (Geneen Roth).”
“I’ve never had anorexia, but I know it well. I see it on the street, in the gaunt and sunken face, the boney chest, the spindly arms of an emaciated woman. I’ve come to recognize the flat look of despair, the hopelessness that follows, inevitably, from years of starvation. I think: That could have been [me]. It wasn’t. It’s not (Harriet Brown).”
Why have You called me to such a daunting task—a task so far beyond my own capability and even comprehension. Relentless pain has become an ever-present part of my microbiota as You’re teaching me to fully trust and relinquish control because without doing so this inconceivable battle will be the death of me. Why have You chosen my fragile soul to endure such unthinkable pain, I wonder as I prepare to surrender all dignity and be tube fed—my worst nightmare. As the thought of even a single calorie paralyzes me with adamant fear and weight gain becomes inevitable, I am forced to simply sit back and watch as literally thousands of calories are forced down my throat and emotional support is nowhere to be found but instead replaced with unending time to sit & dwell on continual and debilitating anxieties since all activity is restricted and these same four walls have become my home for the past two weeks.
“What if I'm so broken I can never do something as basic as feed myself? Do you realize how twisted that is? It amazes me sometimes that humans still exist. We're just animals, after all. And how can an animal get so removed from nature that it loses the instinct to keep itself alive (Amy Reed)?”
 This is why I must run to God, my ever-present Refuge because without His strength I could not go on, as this battle so far exceeds my own incompetent ability. As I’m forced to order each meal despite the ruthless temptations to restrict and give in to the comforting pains of starvation, I must cling to my Savior, knowing He is my only hope and the One Who holds the keys to unlock this heart of stone. ED’s voice rages as my body continues to regain its strength, sometimes raging so ferociously I wonder if I can even withstand it; this is why I asked to remain in the hospital longer—because I knew if I were to go home I would be my biggest threat, giving in to the comfort of starvation and protruding bones since my flesh is incomprehensibly weak. “We turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need (Marya Hornbacher).” Even though the hospital is the last place on earth I want to spend my weeks, restricted by the countless wires camouflaging my fading body and under the complete control of the countless doctors, I know I must deny myself, taking up my cross to follow Christ since this is not the life I want to live—in fact, it’s no life at all. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life captive to the debilitating fear of food and admiration of the nonexistence of starvation but instead have measureless hopes and dreams which are rapidly fading away as I approach death’s horizon.
“I breathe in slowly. Food is life. I exhale, take another breath. Food is life. And that's the problem. When you're alive, people can hurt you. It's easier to crawl into a bone cage or a snowdrift of confusion. It's easier to lock everybody out. But it's a lie (Laurie Halse Anderson).”

Each second of every day I must fight against my flesh—fight to survive—since my very own presence has become my worst enemy and biggest threat. I must learn to take each thought captive and make it obedient to Christ, as well as crucify my flesh so I may gain life. As the battle rages on, I am clinging to the hope that it won’t always be this hard but these present troubles are simply “light and momentary”, “producing a glory that vastly outweighs them all and will last forever (2 Corinthians 4:17)”. “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it (Matthew 10:39)”. Yes, I must lose my life, giving up control, in order to find it. 

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