So what is it that I want to be taken away from this? Why did I share such deeply personal and disturbing things with readers I don’t even know? Why? Because I want to share what I wish someone would have told my parents when I was in the thick of my disease.
One of the biggest regrets I have is how much I hurt my family and loved ones with my deceit. I betrayed their trust and lied to them. Meanwhile, they felt helpless, out of control, wondering what they could do. Wondering how they could snap me out of it.
And sadly, you can’t just “snap her our of it.” Anorexia is all-encompassing. It takes every ounce, every fiber of your loved one and turns it against her. She is no longer herself. And don’t think for a second that it has anything to do with you. She’s not doing this to herself as a way to punish you, or to pay you back for something you did or didn’t do. No. You can let that fear go, because honestly, this has nothing to do with you. She’s doing this to herself because of an inner voice that’s got a grip on her. An inner Lie that is louder than anything else. That Lie dictates her life – it is the first thing that she hears when she wakes up and the last thing she thinks about as she falls asleep. It is the Lie that nourishes her body and drives her to self destruct. The weight loss is merely a symptom or manifestation of the Lie’s impact on her inner self. That’s why people say, “Anorexia’s not about the food or the weight.” It’s about the Lie. And sadly, the only person that can silence that voice and that Lie is her. Not you. Not her best friend. Not her doctor. Not the priest. Only. Her. And let me tell you, the only way I muffled it (I can’t say it will ever be silent) is with the help of Jesus. But that’s another post.
What I want you to take away from this, is that she is the only one that can discredit and silence the broken record in her mind that is feeding her the Lie. That will be the only way recovery is possible. And she will have to make the conscious decision to silence the Lie every single day for the rest of her life. Sad, but oh so very true.
Here’s what else you can take away from this: everyone’s Lie is different. They all have a similar slant, but just like each girl’s ED is different, so is the Lie that is feeding it. And that’s where the work comes in. To beat the disease, you have to:
A) name the Lie B) discredit the Lie and C) replace it with the truth.
This is no walk in the park. For me, my Lie was that in order to be loved, I had to be perfect. Sounds inanely simple, but it took a long ass time to figure that one out. This sounds really conceited, but growing up with straight A’s, getting the lead in every show I auditioned for, being a successful athlete, blessed with friends and good looks, winning awards and scholarships, the bar kept getting higher and higher. And the perfectionist in me wouldn’t allow me to quit or fail…because I was “better than that.” – I always had to keep achieving, keep striving. I felt like I had all these balls up in the air, and the eating disorder was, to me, a way to forfeit by default. I didn’t quit, but rather, was disqualified. It was a way out. Like the red “emergency stop button” on a treadmill. That was my Lie. That was my inner dark voice telling me that my self-worth was tied to those accomplishments. I was not loved for who I was as a person. No. Perfection was the only way to be loved.
If you want to really help your daughter or loved one heal from this disease, you’ve got to help her figure out her Lie. How? That’s the million dollar question….And that’s coming up later this week.
7 responses to “snap her out of it”
Hey, I commented a while back and just now am starting to read through. I am struggling with POTS but also an undiagnosed eating disorder. My therapist is assembling my official outpatient team but all I’ve wanted to do is get worse before seeing the nutritionist. I’m 5 ft 7 in and 110 lbs. I’ve restricted for only two days and already have had insomnia, migraines, and been suicidal and depressed. Which makes me feel like I failure. I am a failure. Please help me.
Hi Madison, hang in there love. You are not a failure. I’m proud of you for reaching out. Know that you are not alone in this. And know that you WILL get through this. Because you are strong. You are brave. And this is YOUR life. ED is trying to steal your life and your happiness but don’t let him! Get angry and use that anger as motivation to reclaim your life and reclaim what he stole from you! Just take it day by day. Meal by meal. Bite by bite. You are worth freedom from this Ed hell love. You are worth recovery. You can do it. I believe in you. 💛💛💛💛
Continuing to read your story, as best I can through the tears.. I know so much about the truth behind this, that SHE has to want to get better. It is ironic, as one of the things people around you are saying (with eating disorders, and with depression) is that YOU can “snap out of it” or get out of it if you want to, whilst you scream inside at them that it ISN’T in your control, you don’t WANT to be this way… Everyone used to tell me that. Tell me it was up to me. And I rejected that time and time again. There was always something else, someone else to blame. Of COURSE there were circumstances, events, attitudes, heck even genetics that played a part. But ultimately, we ARE the ones that have the key.
One day God showed me a picture of myself, handcuffed and blindfolded, on a chair, in the middle of an empty room. YES! I thought. That’s is it, that’s me. Then the view zoomed in and I could see that in my hands – cuffed behind my back – was the handcuff key. “Say what?!” I asked God. He showed me another picture. A familiar one – one I always described to others when trying to explain my depression. It was of myself at the bottom of a deep, dark pit. Desperate claw marks inside the walls where I had tried to get out but couldn’t. “See what I mean?!” I said “I have tried to get out but I can’t do it!”. This time the perspective pulled back, out and out, until I could see the outside of this pit. Only it wasn’t a pit. It was a hill! I was at the bottom of a pit yes, but actually I was at the same level as everyone else…. I had simply allowed a hill to build up around me until I was buried at the bottom of a pit in the middle of a massive hill.
Those two pictures blew my mind. It was God saying clearly that the ultimate control, the power, came from me. As a bulimic that word “control” was of course a trigger but still it was WEEKS before I could even begin to allow myself to accept not only the truth behind those pictures, but to start to explore the idea as to how *I* could get myself out of it. Starting with the bloody painful question – did I WANT to?
I wish I could say it was a quick process. It wasn’t. It started that day 28 years ago. It was slow progress for the next 5 years until I met and married my husband. It is still on going. Unlike an alcoholic or drug addict who can avoid their drug, for those of us who have twisted our relationship with food, we have to continue. We have to deal with the root causes – and deal with them every moment of every day. The battle gets easier. We get stronger. Some parts even get “fixed” but the enemy is a b****** and will forever target those soft spots where we have scar tissue. (I’m not saying by the way that battling drugs or alcohol addiction is easy! Simple pointing out that we can’t avoid our danger fully – food is forever there).
I am in awe of you for your journey, the courage you found, and are finding, and for sharing. Stay strong my friend – you are helping so very many along the way xx
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this! My jaw is on the floor at those images He brought to your mind. They are SO ACCURATE! I have never thought of it like that before but the image of being handcuffed in a chair with the key—oh my gosh spot on. I have chills reading it! I’m so glad you were given the strength and the fortitude to overcome. Yes, it is a daily battle, but being grounded in the Lord is definitely the “key”. I’m also so happy for you that you found your husband and that you have a wonderful support system. Praise be to God! I am so grateful for you and your wisdom. You have really opened my eyes and offered me a fresh perspective this morning. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I appreciate it more than you know. Sending love and hugs❤️❤️❤️
this one is a cliff-hanger! Reading on…
Thank you Gail! So glad you enjoyed it. Hugs and love xox
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