Update; It has been about six weeks since I shared this gut wrenching post. I had more social media comments and messages on this post than anything I’ve ever written. Many people related and reached out to say I wasn’t alone, but many encouraged me through this journey.
I have wanted to update but wanted to wait until I had an appointment. Last week I had a doctor appointment which means I had to step on the scales.
I took a deep breath, slowly exhaled, and took the dreaded step onto the scales to find I had actually lost seven pounds y’all. And while I know that the purpose of that medication is to suppress the appetite, the battle isn’t at the dinner table, the battle is in the mind. And what the medication has done is helped me to capture those thoughts when I want to gorge. And for that I am thankful. Through these last few weeks I realized, once again, I had let a piece of metal that weighs objects define me for far too long . . .
For those who have been praying for me, I thank you.
After eighteen months of living a sugar free lifestyle, I started “tasting” sugar again in December. I told myself the same thing every addict says when they are trying to justify getting high or drunk – “what’s one taste/drink/hit? You’ve worked hard. You deserve it.”
And I caved.
Then . . . in February, I started gorging and binge eating – inviting the pain it causes from my severe gastroparesis. I found a sickening mental comfort from the pain the gorging and binging brought.
I finally confided in my PCP.
He suggested I see a counselor and psychiatrist. I found a counselor but no psychiatrist would accept new patients because of covid and were only seeing existing patients through zoom or telehealth.
My counselor has helped. I had to switch to a secular one that accepted insurance. I have actually found myself thankful in some ways because I can be extremely blunt and not have to worry about what someone thinks or shame me for feeling a certain way. But I have missed not having someone to bring me back to scripture after that.
I have had a very difficult time the last few months with anger and since Chris’ accident and surgery/upcoming surgeries and all that has been placed on me has had my food problems even worse.
I’ve gained FORTY pounds since December.
And all I hear is my dad’s voice from the grave – “you’re fat. Fat people will never be successful. Fat people are thieves. Fat people are lazy. Your sister is beautiful. You’ll never have a good marriage if you are fat.”
Which plays into my own thoughts – “you’re pathetic. You can’t even control your food. You aren’t an example to anyone with what it’s like to walk in faith. You shouldn’t be teaching at Most Excellent way. Who are you to teach Sundays. You’re a joke and a fake. Look at you. As soon as people see you they will notice how fat you’ve gotten. You are an embarrassment.”
It has been a vicious cycle.
Of course those are the things the enemy wants me to believe, butI haven’t been able to fight the thoughts, regardless how hard I’ve tried.
My kids case manager knew I was having a difficult time. I told her I had to increase my MEW attendance, reach out to mentors, become accountable with at least the thoughts of drinking I was having. She knew I had tried to find a psychiatrist with no luck and she made some phone calls and was able to get me seen.
I had my first appointment yesterday.
We hashed up old garbage – even the beatings from my dad and his harsh words. She needed to see and understand the big picture. But one thing I hadn’t spoken of in depth was the treatment of my stepmother – locking food cabinets because I was “fat” (I was 11 and an early developer – looked 16), making me cook dinner then go to my room and not be able to eat. Never given lunch money at school so I couldn’t eat unless I begged for food. Kids would make fun of me and I even started stealing from the convenience store and digging through our trash cans to eat. When I was fed I had to eat in my room away from the family. I’ll never forget . . . I was asked what I wanted for dinner for my birthday.
I said pizza.
It was delivered.
I got a piece.
Sat down to eat.
Took one bite.
My dad told me I wasn’t allowed to eat with the family.
I had to go eat in my room.
And eat my birthday dinner alone.
I cried that night.
And as I sit here now remembering things I’ve suppressed for over thirty five years the tears are falling and the pain of not being wanted or loved or accepted still resides deep in my heart.
No wonder I struggle with rejection.
I didn’t even realize it was still there – and still painful.
I guess I thought since I had learned to forgive them I didn’t have to process or deal with it all.
While I was hoping and have been trying for many months to beat this need to gorge and binge eat on my own – and to stop going back there in my mind – while I tried so hard to rely on the Lord and believed I could beat this without the need of a pill – that my faith could see me through – that I can just “take every thought captive,” – that PTSD isn’t REALLY affecting me this way – the truth is that the battle has beyond exhausted me and taken me deeper into depression.
This week, I actually found solace in having someone tell me I have a food disorder.
I found solace in knowing what I experienced and the words spoken to me all my life are hard to overcome on my own. (I am fully aware that all things are possible with the Lord’s help. Trust me – I’ve begged Him . . . pleaded with Him . . . to take this away from me. My efforts and I guess my lack of faith and discipline have only brought me continuous set backs, disappointments, and embarrassment.)
The trauma I experienced from abuse and memories of eating out of the trash can in my own home have carried deep wounds inside me for these 49 years.
It’s time I acknowledge them.
They have made an impact on me.
And it is okay to have help to get over the hump.
Taking medication to help me get out of the rut and to get me on the road to wellness and stop living in the past is okay.
One day . . . I won’t need a pill to get me through.
One day I will be able to focus on the good that comes from this.
And one day, the Lord will bring Genesis 50:20 to life in this area of my life like He has and continues to use other trauma for the good of helping other women.
I want Him and expect him to use this for His good as well.
A few weeks ago I was cleaning out the garage. I found the solid brass belt buckle my dad used to beat the hell out of me with. I had thrown the leather belt away after he died but I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the buckle. I felt guilty that I couldn’t give it to my son one day so held on to it in hopes of “getting over it” and to be able to pass it on to him.
Instead, I finally decided I was worth more than that brass belt buckle and I threw it away.
I decided I never want any part of that life to be passed on to my son or anyone else in my family.
It’s time to break the cycle of rage the same way the Lord has broken the cycle of addiction.
My children, and my children’s children – and their children – and their children – will. be. free.
I decided, instead, to move on.