Do you ever just hear a little nugget of wisdom and think…wow, that’s going to change my life?
Maybe it’s incredibly simple, maybe it’s menacingly complex. But when you hear it, you just know.
I was going through my inbox late last night, which – let me tell ya, is there anything more intimidating than an overstuffed inbox? It’s like…where to even begin??
Yeah – 3,627 unread emails …. I should really do something about that.
But anywho – in sifting through the messages, I came upon one from a reader who is struggling with relapse in her recovery journey from anorexia. And I say recovery journey, because that is exactly what recovery is: a journey. With lots of ups and downs, some restarts, some stumbles. A journey. But the destination is always forward.
But this sweet reader was seeking advice on how to overcome those fears and thoughts of doubt when it comes to recovery.
And I’m going to share something that I heard today, that was one of those things that just hit me with a, this-is-going-to-change-your-life, kind of punch.
And it’s applicable to so much more than just recovery. In fact, recovery wasn’t even the first thing that entered my mind when I heard it.
If it’s fragile, let it break.
If it’s fragile, let it break.
I mean, is there anything more acutely harrowing, and yet profoundly emboldening than that short little phrase?
If there’s one thing that I’ve come to learn about recovery from an eating disorder — and let me just preface this by saying, I am now on my 13th year of recovery from anorexia.
Thirteen years. Over a decade of choosing life, every day. Choosing truth. Choosing Jesus. Choosing recovery. Every. Day.
There have been ups. There have been downs. There have been restarts. And yes, even a season of relapse, right when I started out wobbling my way through the first stages of recovery.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about recovery: it needs to be strong.
Powerful. Steadfast. Unyielding. Grounded. Resolute.
It cannot be fragile. Let me repeat: it cannot be fragile.
And listen, I know, I have said, that protecting my recovery is my number one priority in life. And I stand by that. It is true. But not because my recovery is fragile. Nay, just the opposite. The act of protecting my recovery in itself, is an act of strength.
It is wise. It is strength from the onset.
If it is fragile, let it break.
In this life, I’m going to be honest, the only way I have ever learned to appreciate and value something, is if I’ve had to rebuild it from rock bottom. I’m talking my life. I’m talking my health. I’m talking my relationships. You name it — only that which we invest our blood, sweat, and tears in, do we bestow value upon.
I mean, just pause and think about your own life. What do you value? Your family, your faith, your relationships, your health? Why? Whyyy are they meaningful to you? Because you’ve invested your energy into them. Most oftentimes, your painstaking energies.
There is nothing about “fragile” that is truly sustainable. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Things that are fragile, will eventually break. Maybe not in the near-foreseeable future. Because, sure, we can “baby” this fragile item, and wear padded gloves, and keep the temperature at a comfortable 72 degrees with a 47% humidity level, but that is ultimately unsustainable. Truly. No matter how gung-ho you think you are.
If it’s fragile, let it break.
Why? Because when it heals, it will be stronger and more resiliant than ever before. And more than that, you will value it with a deeper appreciation that can only be reached through knowing what it is like to lose it.
So what am I saying? Am I suggesting to give in to relapse and give up on recovery in the hopes of coming back stronger?
No, not at all.
But if your recovery is so fragile that you’re still not living your life to the absolute full — in a completely free and unencumbered way, without any traces of ED — you’ve got to ask yourself if your recovery is really a recovery at all?
Which is some tough love if I’ve ever heard it. But it’s something that I had to ask myself, to which the answer was one that made me make some huge changes in my life. And I’ll link a resource right here about how I finally kicked those lingering ED habits that were completely dictating my life. (AKA, my relationship with food).
If it is fragile, let it break. Because you have no room in your life for a frail, delicate recovery. It needs to be unwavering. Absolutely airtight and bulletproof.
That goes for recovery, and it goes for life. If a relationship has you walking on eggshells, terrified of saying the wrong thing, or seeming too this or that, let it break. Life is too short to never be able to fully exhale. And after the 2020 that we’ve had so far, honey, we’ve only got time for strong, life-affirming, consistent things in our lives: that goes for men, that goes for sources of entertainment/information, that goes for areas we put our energy.
We are strong. And there is no time for anything but.
I’ll close with this. The idea of “strong” or the concept of “strength” can seem daunting. Overwhelming. Frankly, completely terrifying and maybe even unattainable — especially if we’re coming from a place of wobbliness or shakiness in our recovery — or other situation.
But here’s the good news to remember. We don’t have to be strong by ourselves. In fact, our strength is never truly solely our own. Our strength comes from God.
He is our strength.
He strengthens us. And it is in our weakness that He is the most strong.
So when you’re doubting your recovery, or feeling that you simply cannot go on…surrender it to God. Give it to Him, and He will give you what you need in that very moment.
Because realtalk: WE are fragile.
Break into His hands.
Because then He can put the pieces back together in a strong, God-fortified way.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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