Warning: This may be hard to read.
Something happened to me today that made me catch my breath.
I was talking with a guy this afternoon, and we were talking about our former high school sweethearts. I pleasantly reminisced about my past, and “edited it” to not include my eating disorder, as I always do. I’m still not at a place yet where I can talk about my ED past openly.
But that’s not the point of this post.
In the next sentence that came out of this guy’s mouth, I literally felt like I got punched in the gut.
He said, “My girlfriend died from anorexia.”
My girlfriend died from anorexia.
My heart dropped. The wind was literally knocked out of me.
He said he got a phone call while he was away at college from her mom, asking him to come to her funeral.
You guys, this post isn’t going to have any flowers or rainbows or sunshine. I know I post witty #RecoverySass on Instagram (@beauty.beyond.bones) that are funny and take a jab at ED. But here’s the truth:
People die from anorexia.
This guy I was talking to, he knew first hand that this eating disorder is deadly.
That conversation was a reminder. A blunt, cold, strike-to-the-chest reminder of that fact.
And maybe, just maybe, you need to hear this. Maybe you need to be reminded of that. A reality check. I know when I was in my disease, I definitely did.
I didn’t think I was going to write about this conversation – it was too “doom and gloom” or “hellfire and brimstone” to post on here. But here’s why I did:
When I was in my disease, I was so preoccupied and absorbed in the little things — in the minuscule details that controlled my life, that I forgot that I was playing with fire. And if I did remember, I didn’t care. I didn’t care that my body was sending me sign after sign after sign that it was in distress: hair falling out, the constant coldness, the purple lips and fingernails, mental fog, brittle nails, thinning bones, an emaciated frame — those were all SOS cries from my body telling me that it was literally shutting down – decaying – slowly dying.
Engaging in your eating disorder is playing with fire. Seriously. Ask this guy. He will tell you.
And you know what else he will tell you? That EDs don’t just affect you.
Sure, right now, all you may be thinking about is the scale and your next meal, and how to get out of it. But hear me when I say this: those actions do not just affect you. His girlfriend’s death affected him. Her mom. Her dad. Her siblings. Her friends. Her community. Her teachers. Her puppy. They have all been left, absolutely shattered – devastated – to go on without this vibrant young woman who was battling the very same disease that I did.
There are people out there that love you, that would be completely wrecked if anorexia took you from them. Because it can.
It is not some game to tinker with in order to fit into short-shorts and crop tops.
It is not some crash diet.
It is a deadly disease.
But here the thing: YOU CAN BEAT IT.
You have the strength and the courage and the heart to reclaim your life from ED, whose only goal is to have you end up just like this girl. That is a very very hard pill to swallow and is incredibly difficult to hear, but guys, it is the truth.
If you need a wake up call, THIS IS IT.
You might be asking how people actually die from anorexia. Well, your body is in a state of starvation. And in order to keep itself alive, it has begun to eat its own muscles for fuel. That’s why your arms and legs become so skeletal: because your muscles are literally deteriorating in an effort to keep you alive. But here’s where the deadliness part kicks in: your organs are muscles too. And so they also deteriorate to make up for the fact that you’re not consuming calories to be used as fuel. And lastly, your heart is a muscle and so it deteriorates and eventually becomes so weak that it just gives out.
Guys, I think you know by now that I am an encourager. An uplifting, positive person. But this is something that is the honest-to-God truth and needs to be heard. And it’s not flowers and rainbows.
I often forget this life-or-death-ness about the disease. But boy, when he told me that, I knew that I just had to share it. I’ll be back with the positivity tomorrow. But right now, I need to share this reality check.
There is hope though: You do not have to do it alone. You may not know how to get out of the ED prison that you find yourself in. You may not know how to shut ED up and focus on the truth.
There is a simple solution: Jesus.
He will come into your heart and help give you the strength and the courage to stand up to ED and make the decision to nourish your body and face fear foods and increases.
And when you let Him into your heart, He will slowly begin to chip away at the walls you’ve built around your heart, and begin to heal the brokenness.
He was the only way that I was able to beat my anorexia.
In all honesty, I could have been the girl in that story. My anorexia was so severe that my story could have ended quite differently. But praise God it didn’t. He saved me. And He will save you, too.
Jesus will get you through this.
You are so precious and so loved. Don’t ever forget that anorexia snatches beautiful young lives that have so much ahead of them. Don’t be one of them. Cling to Jesus. He will be your strength.
I believe in you.
18 responses to “WAKE UP CALL”
Wow…what an amazing post. It really was eye opening as I often forget how serious engaging in behaviors can really be. Thank you so much for sharing <3
Thank you so much Bella. Yeah, that conversation was really eye opening for me as well. It’s easy to forget. That’s part of ED’s power…Thanks for stopping by! Stay strong beautiful warrior xoxo
This is so eye opening. Anorexia is NOT a fad. It is a deadly disease. I am so glad that you found strength in Christ <3
Thank you so much Alison. You’re right. It’s not a fad. That convo really knocked the wind out of me and I knew I just had to share. thanks for stopping by! blessings xx
Thank you for sharing and being an inspiration to others!
thank you so much. I appreciate that. have a great afternoon!
I so appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in writing this post. I know that for me, when I was deep in my disorder, I believed I was invincible and totally adopted the “it will never happen to me” mentality. I was in such denial until I finally accepted that what I was doing to my body may not feel destructive day by day, but could have serious internal, long-term consequences. It is so important to realize the severity of this illness and that we never need to reach a “sick enough” state to recover; this illness affects everyone differently, and we never know how resilient our bodies are until sadly it can be too late.
Your words are so inspiring and I’m so glad you can lend both humor and seriousness when needed; love your blog!
Thank you so much! You’re right, I know that “invincible” feeling all too well. But we need to treat our bodies with gentleness and respect. And I love how you said that it affects everyone differently. HOW TRUE! Thank you for these beautiful and thoughtful words xx
Great post. I was reminded of this fact frequently. Thank God He saves us from ourselves and the lies we believe.
Thank you so much. Yeah God is the ultimate rescuer:) thanks for stopping by xx
Such an eye opening post, thank you for sharing reality and the home truths of anorexia with us. X
Thank you so much Angharad. I appreciate you stopping by and for your supportive comment:)
As someone who is saved, and been talking about this deeply the last few days with the minister’s wife at my church, I know for sure that Jesus has the power to heal me and technically already has, just like my sins are washed as white as snow and I do not have them anymore. I believe that, but in terms of my ED, for some reason I don’t seem to “want” to let go, even though I know that is very much part of the ED, so really I can only receive grace from God to see my thoughts (which are from Satan) are wrong. I have known about the stat regarding mortality rate with AN pretty much since I was diagnosed at age 15. My mom would try to scare me with it, how one in four/ one in five die. She’d ask “Do you want to die?” I’d say no, but only because I know that is the answer she wanted to hear. Even now, that is what weighs on me in all honesty. Part of me really doesn’t care…and the other side just knows that I’m not supposed to “want to” or just “not care” if it does kill me. At once, I realize that is not God’s heart, that is Satan trying to kill me, lead me away from God’s plan. Speaking to the minister’s wife at my church yesterday and it came back to knowing God’s heart, does God really want to heal me? I doubted, but when I look at it, that is my thought, not God’s heart. Why would He save me and make me His child only to live a miserable painful life and die? That isn’t His purpose, but it is so much more. It is more than this eating disorder and yet my heart still feels stuck…. I *know* to a point that it isn’t God’s heart, but again I need to receive Grace, as otherwise simply having knowledge doesn’t mean anything, if I don’t believe it, if I don’t receive it into my heart. I have to forsake the heart of Satan, and receive that of God’s. If I clearly am able to know, if God is able to give me that grace, then I will only be able to change.
Part of me so does wish the “Reality” of things would hit me, or that I would care, but it feels so often I am numb to it, perhaps like a leper, we so often become so numb to Satan deceiving us; however, thankfully, God is more powerful, the Alpha and Omega, so even if the middle is perilous, He has the final say. Which reminds me of a certain sermon from yesterday I want to re-listen to… The pastor spoke of more than vague faith of “Oh well God will take care of it” but I couldn’t quite hear it or take it in at that moment when he said it, but I have the heart God wants me to listen again and receive His heart.
You’re right. God wants you to receive His heart. He wants to help dispel ED from your life. And yes wanting to “hold on” and not “let go” of it is part of the disorder but again, that’s just ED ruthlessly guarding the eating disorder because that’s what he’s best at. But you’re right God is more powerful and we can do anything through him.
I am so very glad you didn’t succumb, You have so much to offer everyone. Not just those with ED. Look at how you are affecting me…and I’m just a fat old guy! You might like to know that I’ve read a few other blogs from girls with ED. One in particular stood out to me. She just entered therapy; today is day #4. I try to stay completely current on her and respond with encouragement and congratulations. Nothing over-the-top – just enough to let her know one more person cares. Best part? She has that want-to. I told her this morning I could see that in her post today, and that you said it’s the most important thing to recover. She identifies as “a2eternity.wordpress.com
YOU did that. You staying alive and sharing got me trying to support another brave battler. You are helping me fulfill my purpose. As a former college instructor and corporate trainer, I discovered my calling is to help other people make their lives better. One thing and another happened, and now I schlep hydraulic hose to parts companies. But through blogging – and now your motivation – I am once again helping someone make her life better. I hope!
So…thanks for not dying!
Your blog serves purpose. To the viewers I say – BBB speaks truth into the face of an evil illness. My colon was removed and pathology deemed the illness crones. Peritonitis set in and I was hospitalilsed for 11 weeks. The surgeon explained how the body draws fuel. Glucose, then fat, then muscle, then organs. A complication would not allow me to eat food. My body went from 202 lbs to 118 lbs. My come to Jesus moment happened at 120 lbs. Yes God is good, Jesus loves us more than we can comprehend, and the Holy Spirit lives. “There is God.” Well done good and faithful servant.
thank you so much dan, I really appreciate your incredibly kind and generous words. Thank you for sharing your story. gosh, my heart just goes out to you. praying for you friend x
So glad there are recovery stories like yours out there.