Why is it so hard for me to be honest? I so often find myself catastrophizing and expecting the worst to happen to me, when in reality it so rarely happens. I think I deserve the worst, but I need to replace the lies beat into my head at such a young age with God’s truth. Legalism is one of the most harmful things because it’s so intensely hard to identify, but the consequences are unspeakable. Because of its harm, I tend to view myself as worthy of nothing more than punishment and eternally hell, since I am, after all, wholly imperfect. I know I am much too hard on myself, but it is so hard to replace these lies with truth after believing something so opposite for the majority of my life.
As many of you know, I recently got back from an inpatient facility in North Dakota where I was for many weeks on end; I won’t go into detail about the program, but basically it restored my health and physically saved my life from the abuse of anorexia but did little if anything to restore my mind—the true battlefield. Immediately after returning home from North Dakota, I started a day program in Cleveland, where I go Monday through Saturday from 7:30 AM until 2:00 PM. I have two weeks to “test it out” and see how it fits; on Friday marks my two week mark and I am forced to decide whether to commit to a three month or one year commitment, if any. I’m definitely learning the rules and regulations of the program, but have let fear terrify me once again and dictate my actions. I have not been honest with my treatment team out of fear I will be punished and kicked out of the program if they saw how I really struggled. Yes, I catastrophize everything, and no, it does not help but only makes matters worse.
Upon discharge from North Dakota, I was on around six thousand calories daily, but for some reason they discharged me on 2000, as well as an exercise plan. Upon coming home, I struggled intensely to get even close to 2000 calories in and by my second weigh in I was apparently down quite a bit of weight. Alarmed, my team asked me what happened and I told half the truth: I had been discharged from inpatient on way below my body’s needs and was exercising on top of that, explaining the weight loss. Since I “forgot” to tell them about struggling to get even close to 2000 calories in, they assumed it was way too little which led to a drastic increase. Now, I am being forced to eat a ridiculous amount all because of telling half the truth; I guess it always pays to be honest.
The program has a very strict protocol where any exchanges missed outside of treatment have to be made up in treatment by adding to your current meal plan. Since I am already on a ridiculous amount, I was terrified of being honest about my restriction and having even MORE added, so I just kept quiet and lied on my diary cards, saying I’d gotten all my exchanges in. Well, now this leaves me in a hole because I’ve been lying all this time, struggling to get my meal plan in outside of treatment but I face another increase since I’ve continued to lose, or at least am not gaining (How do I know? Because I’ve secretly been weighing myself and feeling a high, or rush, watching the numbers on the scale rapidly decrease). I know I need to be honest and tell my team what’s been going on, but I’m terrified of being kicked out of the program and it’s my last hope to getting the surgery I so badly need. Maybe if I’m honest, they will decrease my meal plan to a more manageable amount, but yet again, I risk the consequences of vulnerability and transparency. I’m also torn because I know I need to gain weight in order to have surgery and ultimately live, but there is a relentless battle in my mind, distorting my perception and telling me I am not underweight.
So, when you happen to think of me, please pray that I’d have the guts to be honest and transparent and that my treatment team would be understanding and compassionate.
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight” (Proverbs 12:22).
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them” (Proverbs 11:3).