The mind can be a dark, desolate place.
When I was in the thick of my anorexia, the last thing that I wanted to hear from anyone was, “You’re so beautiful.” I didn’t want to hear, “You were fearfully and wonderfully made.” Or, “You’re a masterpiece in the making.” “You’re a work of art.” “You’re beautiful.”
Gag me. It would literally make me want to throw things. Shut the hell up. No. I’m. Not. Hearing those things would actually fill me with rage and I would get physically angry.
Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. Can’t you see how hideous I truly am on the inside? Don’t you see how much I am suffering right now? I don’t want to you tell me I’m beautiful. I don’t want you to lie to me. Don’t try and *cheer me up.* I’m a f#ck up. I’m not worth it. I’m not worth your breath. I’m not worth saving.
Sometimes we just want to hurt.
Sometimes we just want to feel the brokenness in its entirety.
Sometimes we think hurting is what we deserve.
Sometimes we think pain is what we’re worth.
We hit rock bottom.
Just when we thought that we had gotten as down and as low as we could possibly get, the bottom drops out and we fall even farther. That rock bottom.
Rock bottom is a dangerous place. Because it’s like quick sand: it can engulf you if you let it.
At rock bottom, I’ll tell you what, there was nothing that provoked more venom in my soul than when someone, trying to comfort me, would say “You’re beautiful.”
Don’t f#cking tell me that.
I was at rock bottom. I didn’t want to hear that. I was broken. I was in a dark place. And hearing my loved one try to reach me and support me by telling my that “I was beautiful,” just made me recoil. It made me curl into myself even more – pushing them farther away.
I wanted them to see me for who I really was — or rather, who I thought I was. Who ED was telling me I was. — I wanted them to tell me that I was worthless. I wanted them to tell me that I was causing them pain and sadness. I wanted them to tell me that I was a horrible person and that I was a burden to everyone in my life.
I wanted them to confirm the Lies that ED was filling my head with. I was drowning in ED’s constant harassing, making me believe I was worthless, a burden, not good enough. That’s the thing about rock bottom: the longer you stay there, the more you believe the Lies that ED is feeding you. So, the last thing I wanted was for someone to tell me that I was beautiful, or “wonderfully made.” No. Just let me be the piece of s#!t I truly am. Leave me alone with ED. I’m in hell and I deserve to stay there.
The darkness is real. Anorexia is not about weight loss or trying to look “hot” for shorts season. No. It’s a battle for control of your mind between the darkness and the light: between ED and the Truth.
First, I want to validate your feelings. If you’re reading this, and you’re having or have had similar feelings, you can probably relate to the darkness. And if you’re feeling these things, I want you to hear me when I say: I know that your feelings are real. I know it’s not a cry for attention. I know you’re not being a “drama queen.” No. I want you to know that your feelings, whatever they are, are real. They are real to you, and I’m not telling you to “Snap out of it.” I’m not going to tell you to just “Cheer up, Buttercup!” No, because these feelings are not just “in your head.” They are real and they are all consuming. And your feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness seem insurmountable. They feel overwhelming: that you will never be able to overcome this. You feel that you’ll never be able to get out of the pit of hell in which you find yourself. You feel trapped and alone. That there’s no way out.
You don’t have to stay there.
That’s the second thing. That’s what I want you to hear.
You don’t have to stay at rock bottom.
Rock bottom is not “it for you.” It’s not your destiny. Rock bottom is not where you “deserve” to be.
There’s an incredibly cheesy quote that goes, “When you hit rock bottom, look up.” And I cringe to even put that on here, but it is absolutely, 100%, right on the money.
When you’re at rock bottom — I mean, true rock bottom — you literally have nothing left. Positively nothing. I had destroyed my friendships, betrayed my loved ones, lost my boyfriend, had to drop out of college, gave up an acting career and a sports career, my hair had fallen out, my body was barely sustaining life, I had lost every passion in life, was distant from God, annihilating my body with starvation and excessive exercise. I was emotionless: numb. Empty. I had nothing left.
So I looked up.
And I hesitate to say that I looked up, because the truth is that I didn’t actually do anything — it was God working in me: I just allowed Him to work on my heart.
But, in an effort to continue the exasperatingly cheesy metaphor, I will suffice it to say that “I looked up.”
I made the decision to let Him work on my heart. I made the decision to accept His love and His forgiveness. I made the decision that rock bottom was not “it for me.” And you can too.
You don’t have to stay at rock bottom. You can get out. And you don’t have to do it alone.
Jesus will help you get out of rock bottom. Philippians 4:13 says:
I can do all things with Christ, who gives me strength.
You don’t have to do it alone. You don’t have to find a way out of rock bottom by yourself. Because I know, it seems impossible. How do I even start? Where do I go? Jesus will help you. Just let Him come into your heart and love you. For when you allow Him to love you, things begin to change.
Desperation. Despair. Agony. Misery. Torment. Hopelessness. Anxiety. Distress. Jesus has seen it all. He’s been through it all. And He’s not afraid of it. He’s not afraid of you.
This has become my motto, and I want to share it. I just ask Jesus, in the very moment of struggle, to be strong for me.
It’s not an overnight process. It’s not going to be — BOOM — I CAN SEE! But, slowly and steadily He will work on your heart. He will help you learn to love yourself. He’ll help you to do the next right thing. He’ll help begin to ease the anxieties around food and body image. He’ll begin to raise you up from rock bottom and restore your mind, body, and spirit.
And if you let Him, He will help you to know your true value and your true dignity. Until one day, He will tell you, “You’re beautiful,” and you’ll believe it.