Spreading Hope, Love + Sharing Honest Stories
Stories to inspire, uplift and bring awareness.
I am not at war with my body. I am not at war with myself.
No, today, I am at war with the voice in my head that tells me I am not enough, that I am too much, that I can’t do anything right, and that I am a failure at everything I try. I am at war with the voice that has held me captive and led me to hate the body that I live in and the girl who lives in it.
We’ll refer to this voice as Ed, or my eating disorder. And even now I am fighting with myself over adding this part because I don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to talk about eating disorders as I’ve never been formally diagnosed or spent time in a hospital or care facility being treated for an eating disorder. But I have an eating disorder, and it messes with my head and my heart and everything I believe about myself and I am sick of it.
For years, I have fought my body. Hating every inch of the space I live in, wishing it away and wishing for something I could never biologically have. And the hate didn’t stop at the surface, it went deeper into the very core of me. I hated me, and I hated that I hated me but I couldn’t stop hating me. I would fight myself daily because there was a disconnect between who I was and who I thought I should be/who I wanted to be. I would get so upset over anything that didn’t fit the “who I think I should be” plan. Anything that I didn’t deem as cool or the right way to be was hated and suppressed.
To deal with the disconnect, I placed strict rules on myself. I controlled how I could feel, how/when I could eat, what I could eat, how I could treat others and myself. If I broke any of my rules or messed up in the slightest I throw everything out the window and binge; on food and on emotion. I didn’t want to be me and honestly, I couldn’t have been me even if I tried. It was too foreign, too strange, to accept who I was and actually be that girl. I had too many rules and too mean of self-talk to ever try to love the girl I actually was.
This disconnect started when I was little. Honestly, I’m not sure when exactly, but I know that I always felt out of place, and I always wanted to fit in. I remember being 10 and beginning to be self-conscious of how I looked. I remember being 12 and actually starting to hate my body because it was changing and I was changing and I didn’t like it. I’m almost 21 now, and I’m just beginning to work to undo the patterns of 10 years.
10 years is a long time to hate something. 10 years is a long time to live with an eating disorder that I just realised was a thing a few years ago. However, 10 years isn’t too long to be hopeless. I am not a lost cause, I am not too far gone. There is so much hope to be found because I am learning to love myself and care for myself now. And maybe I couldn’t do it in high school, and maybe I could get very upset at myself for that (and believe me I have gotten mad at me for that), but that would be such a waste. Because I cannot go back, only forward. And forward looks like self-love, acceptance, grace, and forgiveness.
Forward looks like embracing the girl I am, and learning about her because I don’t really know her.
Forward looks like a war; not one against myself but one against lies and shame.
I was never meant to live in shame and hate. I call myself a Christian and believe in Jesus, and He called me redeemed, brought out from sin, no longer a captive to it. He called me loved and beautiful and looks at me with grace and love. I do not have to be trapped in lies and shame because Jesus has called me and rescued me and is continuing to redeem me daily.
Redeem is a strange fancy word, and I never really understood it before, but I heard it put a beautiful way once.Rescue is needed, but it is the one-time act of being taken out of a situation. Redeem is the ongoing act after that, it's the long haul and it requires love, lots of love. So I have been rescued, but I am continuing to be redeemed. And I’m not sure how accurate of a description that is, but I think it's a pretty lovely image of my Savior who loves me so much that he rescues me and puts the love work into action by redeeming me daily if I let him.
So my loves, do not live at war with your body.
Do not hate the person that you are, because hate is hard and tiring. Hate takes so much from you, and it's so easy to continue to hate because it's all you know. But it's so rewarding to begin to not hate yourself anymore.
So do not live at war with yourself, live at war with the lies. Live at war with the shame that tries to hold you captive, and do not let the voices tell you that you are not enough to win.
I was 12 years old when I first got the backwards idea to inflict pain on myself in order to feel better. I was 13 when I tried to skip meals because I hated what I saw in the mirror. I was 14 or 15 when I was prescribed antidepressants for anxiety and clinical depression.
I grew up learning the subconcious message that I was worthless, a waste of space, and never quite good enough. I planned, three different times, to take my own life.
Through the five or so years I battled depression, despite the overwhelming urge to give up, I always felt this pull to keep going. Sometimes it came in the form of a friend who struggled with the same things, sometimes it was a sister who never gave up on me, sometimes it was a simple song. It was the pull of hope. It was God holding onto me when I was too weak hold onto anything.
It has been over two years since my last relapse. I've seen my story reach people in front of my very eyes. I've seen faces light up and heard people say, "you too? I thought I was the only one". I've developed a compassion for others that I would not otherwise have. I wouldn't take back a single moment of the darkness I walked through, because I lived long enough to connect over brokenness + hope with people in different countries, and in my own circle of friends. I lived long enough to understand the value Jesus placed on me when He purchased me with His own precious blood.
I've learned that I have worth, significance, and a story that someone needs to hear.
And so do you // Jane
I'm not always able to say no to the demands of my eating disorder and yesterday was a clear example of that. Today is a new day and today I am making a choice to rise above an eating disorder. It's not easy, especially with a couple things that have happened in the past couple of days that have hindered my recovery. The great thing is that knowing it's not going to be linear, I am not perfect, but I always have a choice to choose recovery. I am choosing to rise above an eating disorder // Sarah
Most of my young adult life I've struggled with my body image. This came from being sexually abused, suffering from depression, and battling an eating disorder. It has taken me four years to be at a point in my life where I'm happy and successful. This picture is from a trip to the beach I made with some of my best friends. That was the first time I've been comfortable wearing an outfit like this, or going to the beach in a bikini. Time truly does heal wounds. I went from laying in a Hospital bed a year ago, going into kidney failure, to going to school and living an amazing life. I am no longer anchored down by the things that I have been through. I still bare the scars of the things I have done, but those things do not define me. I define myself, and I am happy // Michelle
I was 16 when a monster named, Anorexia tried to take my life away from me. I have been fighting the lies of my eating disorder with the promises of freedom for 4 years. And believe me, living a life FREE from the chains of your eating disorder is the crazy beautiful plan God created us for.
Freedom is waking up every morning and KNOWING you deserve to be here. It's knowing you deserve to feed yourself. You deserve to take up space.
ED’s lies don't have the power to define my being anymore. We are designed for so much more it’s insane.
Now, I am free from the shame and hurt that led me to self harm the beautiful body God gave me to take care of. I am free from suicidal thoughts that led me to believe that I am not meant to be alive on this earth. I am free from restricting my body of the nourishment it needs to LIVE. Mostly, I am free from from hitting the “pause" button on my life due to self destruction. I spent more than 3 years of being in and out of treatment centers, therapy sessions & dietician offices. Now, I'm finally getting the lost time back. Now, I know I'm meant to be here.
Choosing freedom is the difference between life and death. It's the difference between living and allowing yourself to truly be alive. Ultimately, freedom is trusting God with my life, not my disorder.
You, beautiful one, deserve to choose freedom over fear. Because you were created to be free. (Believe it) // Sydney