What You Do Now Matters Later
I did not think- as I’m sure no one does- that when I started throwing away my lunches at school when I was 12, that restriction would follow me to this point.
I did not imagine- that every time I pounded the pavement running, spent hours at the gym, or found myself hunched over the toilet hating myself more than I knew was possible that my eating disorder would still be a struggle so far down the road. I don’t run anymore, or go to gyms, or throw up- but the desire to be empty still wracks my brain.
I did not know the sickness I felt in my stomach as a child would follow me into adulthood and later be named anxiety. That anxiety would make me clench my teeth until my gums began to recede and my teeth cracked.
I did not know- and when I did, I didn’t truly believe- that what I did to my body then would matter now.
So I do all the things and try all the suggestions given to manage the side effects of this horrible illness. Chronic back pain. Migraines. Lack of hunger cues. Blood sugar issues. TMJ. Depression. Trauma. Anxiety. Insomnia. Memory loss. Man, sometimes I am so freaking angry at myself for not knowing better.
But I did not know better. “They” say hindsight is 20/20, but I wonder if “they” ever had to look back on their lives and see all the time lost. Blurred memories of “the best time of your life”. Now I know better. So every damn day, I do my best to move forward and live the beautiful life meant for me. Some days I fail, miserably. “Get knocked down 7 times, stand up 8”? More like, fall on my fucking face more times than I can count, and the getting up is simply lifting my head and not staying in my mess. Getting up? Sometimes looking up is all I can do. I know better now. I know that I cannot muscle my way through recovery, get to a finish line, and bam- eating disorder gone. It’s a process. I hate that, with every cell in my body. I want anorexia gone, erased, non-existent. I live with the awareness that this illness may affect me for the rest of my life. I am well aware there is no erasing it, no going back, no do-overs. I live with the uncertainty of the degree to which I will always struggle. It’s like being told there might be a light at the end of the tunnel, but you can’t be sure; and if there is a light, who knows when you’ll see it. Some days, that is a devastating thing to live with. Never being sure there is true freedom for myself .
I cling to my faith, believing in things I cannot are, simply because for me, there is no other answer. The one thing I can trust, is not knowing. God knows. Every step I’ve taken, and the ones still to come. And damn, how I want to shake God sometimes and ask Him if He really knows what He is doing. But He has to, and He does. My battle with my eating disorder has taught me that I don’t get all the answers my humanness wants. Instead I get….
Three things I know of, but cannot fully grasp with this lil human brain and stubbornness of mine.
I do know- He knows better.