A Letter from God

At the end of the summer, I started doing a type of reprocessing therapy. I learned a lot, and I hurt a lot. On several occasions, in an effort to pull me into compassion, my therapist asked “What would Jesus say to you if he were sitting here right now?” I gave the classic “I don’t know,” as tears collected and fell, and on a few occasions, my therapist prayed with me and for me. Honestly, as a Christian, there are a lot of truths I “know” but I do not live in. I’ve found much of my suffering is from shame, guilt, and anger regarding my faith and the way I feel God made me. One night, plagued with insomnia, I laid there and wrote what I think God would say to me. It’s always at night when my mind speeds up and I can think most clearly. I wanted to share this letter becuase I know I cannot be the only one who needs to hear these truths. I am loved beyond my ability to comprehend- and so are you.

Dear Linds,

You are not made wrong.

It’s not your fault you’ve lived your life in survival mode. It’s not your fault you weren’t taught how to feel. It’s not your fault you are afraid to trust. Nothing that has ever happened in your life has made you worthless. You do not deserve pain. You are not bad. You do not deserve to hurt yourself. You will not spend your whole life self destructing. You are not supposed to die by the slow suicide of anorexia. You are meant for more than being remembered for taking your own life. You are worth staying, despite the lies that say disappearing is better.

You are not a prisoner of depression. You are not owned by anxiety. You are not forever to be tormented by PTSD and trauma. Anorexia is not your life sentence.

You are more than the diagnoses that have been thrown at you and often times put you in a box. Your big personality does not make you too much…its ok for you to find it again and shine. That beautiful, wonderfully and fearfully made human is in there somewhere…and she is amazing.

I made you the way you are on purpose. Every piece and part of you is written in love and meaning. You don’t have to be ashamed of your truths. Silencing them keeps you sick. It’s time to stop carrying the weight of being made wrong on your shoulders, because that isn’t true, and I don’t make mistakes. You don’t always get to see they whys of my ways on this side of heaven.

You are worth staying for, no matter how many people have walked away, or that you have walked away from.

You are not forgettable, and you are so deeply loved. People need you, because you matter. Even when you feel insignificant.

It is ok you’re scared. It is ok you’re hopeless- because those that love you are holding your hope right now until you can carry it again. It is ok that you’re angry with Me- because I can handle it and I will never leave you. 

You are ok. You will heal. It’s not your fault you don’t feel like a person. It does not mean you can never be ok with your body and mind and soul.

You deserve to fight for yourself. You are not going to spend the rest of your life lost. You are more than you think you are. And you were not created to live in guilt, shame, and pain. You are redeemed. A child of grace.

It’s ok that you don’t believe any of this. Someday you will. I can already see it. Because I’ve been there, and we will go there together.

I’ll be behind you and in front of you. And most importantly- right beside you.

Love, Abba

2,190 Days

I don’t write when I’m sick. On Instagram I do; little snapshots into my life; but I do not write here. This blog was started simply as a space to share my words with the universe- wether that happens to be one person (hi mom) or a hundred. This space has been silent lately. It became blank when I became silent because I had slipped once again into the turmoil of my eating disorder and everything that goes along with it. Six years fighting this. Seventy two months. 2,190 days. I remember being told the average time it takes someone to recover is six to seven years. 2,190 plus days later, I am here…fighting my way through the blank, silent space and trying to reclaim my life.

Exactly one month and one day ago today, I discharged from treatment. I discharged myself, making one of the most difficult decisions of my life as I walked out of the treatment center that day. After fourteen weeks of tears, angry outbursts, and confusion, I saw little progress. Honestly, I still don’t know how much I see. In some ways I am worse off than I was before. In the same number of ways, I am wiser, and learning my journey looks different than I pictured.

I haven’t written because when I am sick, I am ashamed. Ashamed of looking just fine on the outside, but being a mess on the inside. Ashamed for needing treatment again, and feeling like I came out no better than when I started. When I am stuck in shame, I don’t write. I don’t eat. I can’t rationalize. I can’t see the severity of my depression and destructiveness. I can’t escape the paralyzing anxiety that often cripples me from doing little but exercising or sleeping.

One evening at treatment, I refused dessert. A staff member put me in someone’s office with worksheets and a pen, and left. I was told that by not eating, I was choosing not to participate in group, and could process on my own. She was down the hall but I was alone, in a room, and in my mind, this was my punishment. I filled out one of the sheets and turned over the paper and started writing.
“The things no one will say to me.
Not enough.
Non compliant.
Treatment resistant.
Too much.
Too late.
Waste of resources.”

As I wrote, the tears came. The silent kind, where you don’t even blink or scrunch your face but they keep on falling and falling and you don’t know where they keep coming from. The kind of tears where there aren’t even any sobs, just all that damn water pouring out of your eyes like its never going to stop because it comes from a place so full of hopelessness and defeat that maybe it can’t be dry.

I left that night and began to plan how to end my own life. I’m a nurse. I don’t have to google how to, don’t have to wonder what will work, etc- I know. I always have, its medical knowledge and basic common sense. But this was the first time I thought out when and how. Something in me made me pick up the phone and call my best friend. I was crying so hard that I don’t think she understood much of whatever I was trying to say, but she left where she was and came to meet me at her house immediately. I am here today because I have an amazing support system and a God who says my story is not finished yet. I did not want to make that call to my friend, and still think maybe it wasn’t my own power that made my hands do it.

You see, that’s the thing about the last 2,190 days…nearly every one of them have been spent in a fight I am not winning. It adds up. To being hopeless. It adds up to me concluding that I would very much rather die than continue to live like this. Something I do not talk about outside the four walls of my therapist’s office is how chronically suicidal I have been. I went to treatment this time in hopes of it helping with that. Treatment did not “make me” want to end my life that night- the thoughts were already there and have been for a while. They were exacerbated by the feelings of worthlessness of my impression of being given up on. It made those words I wrote on the back of the worksheet very real to me. My work is believing they are not, and believing I am not too much.

It has only been recently that I have begun to come to terms with accepting my humanness. Which means I may live with having an eating disorder, anxiety, depression, and PTSD for the rest of my life. But, that doesn’t mean that those things have ME. I am a fighter and I am hella resilient. In all of my weakness, I also have a God who is my strength. I know I am loved, beyond my ability to comprehend, by both God and the beautiful people He has placed in my life.

I’ll put these thoughts out there on to my blog and into space, and half of me will likely regret it. No one wants to talk about suicide. No one wants to yell to the world how much they are struggling. No one even understands mental illness. That includes me. And yet, I do. I talk about it. I do it for the one person who might need to read this. I do it for my family and friends, who I often can’t tell in conversations how much has been going on. I talk about it because this part of my life keeps me coming back to my yoga mat, and my yoga practice has healed parts of me I thought were unreachable. I do it to glorify God for continuing to bring me through the darkness- even when I don’t want Him to. Even when I beg Him to stop; when I’m angry at Him and think He made me wrong. I speak my truth for myself, because I am healing from the outside in, and I continue to learn that silence only breeds shame. Shame breeds sickness, and that is not how I want to spend my life. I will heal.

My Truth About Yoga and My Faith

Two months ago, I graduated from Yoga Teacher Training. I have had a lot of time since then to explore where yoga fits into my life now. Now that I have stepped out of the bubble of Teacher Training, the reality of “what yoga is” has changed for me. I have done a lot of thinking on how yoga fits into my life spiritually and as a believer in Christ. During one week in training, we had to write a “faith statement” and for me, that is where things began getting blurry. I listened carefully to what my classmates and teacher said, and I stepped away from that night questioning myself. Questioning my faith- my idea of what God was. Not because I suddenly didn’t believe in Him, but because I realized I may be getting myself in over my head. I kept this inquiry between myself and God, for the most part. “Lord, if yoga becomes bigger than my faith in you, show me,” became my prayer.