It’s been a rough week for me.
Why? One word: discouragement.
As many of you know, this week, my *former* Instagram account, @anorexiarevealed was falsely-reported as a “pro-Ana” account, and shut down by Instagram.
Yes, they can do that.
But it breaks my heart because, as you know, my #1 goal is to share hope, positivity and encouragement to #EDwarriors and girls (and boys) struggling with eating disorders. I’ve been through that darkness, and I want to be there for these strong souls. I was just absolutely devastated that my account, which had nearly 1000 followers, was just – *poof* – snatched away and shut down — all because of a FALSE ACCUSATION. I mean, I am 1,000% pro-RECOVERY! I poured my heart out into making my account meaningful by creating over 200 original pieces of “quote art” that have all since been lost. And what disappoints me even more than the fact that I lost all my original art, and all the followers, is that Instagram never even sent a reply email when I let them know that it was a false accusation.
And here’s what I think: Hurting people hurt people.
Some girl, who is in a dark place right now, wanted to thwart the positivity and encouragement and hope that I have been working so diligently to promote through my Instagram and my blog, so she lied to Instagram and reported me as a pro-Ana IG account.
And to be clear, I’m not disappointed that I “lost followers” as though it’s a popularity contest and I’m superficially sad that I don’t have good “numbers” anymore. What breaks my heart is that those followers were being exposed to the hope I’ve been trying to spread. Not that I think I’m going to save the world, or anything. But those were 1000 people that were getting a little soundbite about God’s love for them through my Instagram photos. So I’m not sad that I lost “notoriety” or lost “popularity” — I’m sad that those people that were being exposed to love are no longer receiving that message.
And all because a hurting person lied to Instagram that I was promoting eating disorders, and then they deleted my account without even checking to see if it was a factual accusation or not.
So I’ve literally had to start from square one again: Adopt a new name (@anorexiarevealed2), remake all my photo art, and start rebuilding a community from the ground up.
And to be completely honest, I was completely discouraged. Devastated. Defeated.
I had literally poured out my heart into spreading love and nurturing people through an outreach that got wrongly snatched away from me.
So what do I do? Where do I go from here?
And I was praying about it and thinking about it. ‘And the more I did, I realized that this is a great example of a way for me to “practice what I preach.” Recovery is all about perseverance, endurance, fortitude and having the right attitude. Well, I need to take all those things and apply them to this situation. Just like any slip up or bump or obstacle in the road, I need to pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep going.
So I did that. But I still felt unsettled.
Okay, my body was moving forward, but my mind was still back in the rubble.
This just proves that you should just abandon this. Your book is going to be stupid. You’ve already failed. What’s the use in trying again? In one week, you’ve only regained 60-odd followers…see? The work you’ve been doing really doesn’t matter. What you’ve been doing really doesn’t mean anything to anybody. Nobody cares. You’re useless. Give up. What you’re doing is worthless. You’re worthless.
Dark, I know. But welcome to my mind sometimes.
That’s where my mind was going. And it’s interesting to see how, just from that one setback, my mindset went to that dark, ED-like place. Where my Lie found a way to take this situation and apply itself and stir up feelings of doubt and worthlessness and being unloved.
That just shows me that I still have a long way to go to total mental healing.
So after I took that mental inventory, I knew that I needed to do something about it.
So I prayed about it. And here’s what I got.
The opposite of discouragement is trust.
Yes, a really shitty thing happened to me this week. No, it was not part of my “plan” for how things were supposed to play out.
But here’s what I needed to do: trust God.
Through all of this — through my feelings of anger and disappointment, annoyance, self-doubt, and heartbreak — I needed to remember that God is in control.
I need to remember that God has a plan for me, and it is good.
Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you hope and a future.
Maybe this was supposed to happen. Maybe it was allowed to happen because I am supposed to learn something from it. Maybe this is all part of His plan for me.
Why do bad things happen? Why did my eating disorder happen? Because I was supposed to learn something from it.
I was supposed to learn to fully depend on God.
So I think that’s the take away from all of this. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Hell, I don’t know if I’ll roll over in bed at 2am tonight to find my phone glowing and see that Instagram has deleted my account due to a false accusation. (Oh wait, that already happened).
But I do know that God has a plan for me.
And if it seems to be a setback or an obstacle in the moment, it just means that I’m going to learn something from it down the road.
And that’s a really hard thing to do. That’s a really hard mindset to have in the actual moment.
But it all boils down to one thing: Trust
I have to trust that God loves me. I have to trust that He is leading me and guiding me through everything. I have to trust that He is not going to let evil overcome me. I have to trust that things are going to work out for good.
An eating disorder is definitely an obstacle to overcome. That maybe the understatement of the century. Let me try again: An eating disorder will definitely throw your life into a tailspin. You’ll lose everything and have to start from square one, just like with my Instagram fiasco. But instead of wallowing in the fact that it happened, I need to rise up and move on. Move forward.
Trials are given to us because they shape us. The refine us like fire. And going through trials absolutely sucks. But the most important thing to remember is that God is in control. I’ve got to trust that God’s got me in the palm of His hand, and that even though things may fall apart all around me, nothing will overtake me. Because He is in control. And His plan for me is good.