"I ate so much yesterday, that I'm not going to eat much today."
Thus went my conversation with someone last week. I say conversation, but it was really just a nod from me as I tried to block out the influx of anxiety that was flooding into my body at that very moment.
Most people know my story. I'm open about it, and that transparency is very deliberate. However, I still feel like there is such a misunderstanding about eating disorders and the recovery process. A lot of the time, people either view me as "the eating disorder girl" or they forget that aspect of my life completely and expect me to fully immerse myself in the normalcy of life. As if eating dinner was just eating dinner.
And that's what I've been struggling with lately: The pain of feeling alone when everyone thinks life is perfect again. In full disclosure, I am actively in recovery and not relapsing. I'm not writing this as a covert call for help, but it has been really tough lately and it does feel like everyone just expects me to "be better." So what happens then? What happens when the world forgets?
At the risk of sounding whiney, I must confess that it feels that way this week. It feels that way when people say triggering things about weight and food. It feels that way when no one asks me how I'm doing or what is going on in my heart. It also feels that way when I hear the ever-looming "average recovery time," ticking like an obnoxious clock.
But as I vent on my own struggles, I realize that I'm surely not the only one feeling forgotten. There must be others just like me who are walking through trials and have little outward indication of their inner battles. And I want to be someone who can detect and search through the outer layers to comfort the heart of others. That is what I want for myself, and it's what I long to give others.
See, no trial in life is merely erased when the physical realm is washed anew. The roots of heartache and pain are gingerly pulled, and the fighter often forgoes the healing process alone because nobody sees.
My personal message here is clear: Healing from an eating disorder takes time. If you are supporting someone or are going through recovery yourself, remember this crucial nugget of wisdom. It is a long term process. Those in recovery are pursuing a life away from the eating disorder, but that doesn't mean it's not a constant threat. Outward serenity doesn't mean that someone in recovery doesn't need your support anymore.
But this post has a larger message than just my own struggles lately.
In reality, I'm trying to extend a message of human kindness, encouraging us all to look after each others' hearts. We may not know the extent of each other's brokenness, but we owe it to each other to find out. That is part of our beautiful humanity. We are all needing love, and while I believe that Christ alone satisfies us, we were created to be in community. We need each other.
As I reflect on my own struggles with loneliness and recovery battles, I realize that others around me feel that same desire to have support. Lets commit to trusting God to bring the right supporters alongside us, and lets turn our focus to the pain in others that we know all too well.