Psalm 55:6 “I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. (NLT)
Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (NLT)
Isaiah 12:2 “Surely God is my salvaton; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation
I have been home from my summer home for exactly one week, and I yearn to return to its distractions and serenity. It is there where I wish to fly away and be at rest even though my eating disorder and the nerve pain does not completely slumber when I am Up North. They both taunt me and torment me, but somehow their voices are slightly muted in the presence of God’s beauty, and often drowned out by the laughter of family and friends.
Both the eating disorder and nerve are by no means silenced as they flare at different times through out the summer. Some days I give into the fear of my weight and purge, over exercise, restrict, or any combination of three. I fear losing control as I am up there living for 6 weeks, where as my rotating house guests are up there for a week of vacation. They eat and drink like they are on vacation. I know that I simply can’t do that and maintain my weight, and/or ending up with a stint at “Betty Ford” to dry out. I do however envy their ability to let their guard down enjoying any bounty set before them. I want to try to live this way if only for a week of the summer, but I fail at it and find myself falling into my purging more than a few times the first week. My body isn’t too pleased and my energy dips and I feel like I have more PVC’s (irregular heart beats) than a regular heart rhythm.
It is the cocktail hour spread of food and drink that seems to entice me and repulse me it the same time. I want to partake, but know I can’t. I have a difficult time with indulgence, yet alone over indulgence. It isn’t just the over indulgence of food and drink, but also the over indulgence in love and laughter that somehow feels uncomfortable to me. Maybe the day is coming that I will be okay, but not yet! I need a proactive plan so I don’t default to my reactive defense of purging and restricting. I try to take myself away from the temptation, which also takes me away momentarily from relationship with people. I take a late yoga class, pick up the dock, write, read, or sit in the sun until I am the last one in for the day. Since, I am the last one in, I shower and take my time dressing while the others indulge. I don’t begrudge them this luxury, but am saddened that I can’t join them. It is a hard choice that those of us in recovery sometimes have to make. I ask myself if this is feeding the eating disorder, or protecting myself from the eating disorder? It is a question I would rather have swirling in my head than my food in toilet basin. So, I decide I am protecting myself from the eating disorder and if sometimes recovery mean taking myself out of a triggering situation, I am ok with that.
I remain more than just a little active why I am on vacation. When I am not running along the bay or the trails, I am paddle boarding, kayaking, and running up and down the hillside to grab the dogs, a snack, sunscreen, and anything else I decide we may need on the dock. Still I feel and fear the weight creeping up on me. Even though I maybe eating and drinking a little more, I am dumbfounded. How can I possibly gain weight when I am in perpetual motion. Okay, I seem to have 2 speeds on and off. See, even before I came up to the cottage for the summer, I knew my weight was up even though I am barely eating more than when I was restricting. What has changed? My age, or that I am purging less. I can barely stand to look at myself in the mirror, but of course I do every flipping day, and my jeans of judgement are never out of reach. It isn’t so much the weight that scares me as much as figuring out where it has come from.
I speak with my dietician by phone and I truly believe believe despite the one little cut on my arm, and 2 purges after the first week, I am doing well. Almost like “Rocky” approaching the top of the stairs. I can smell my victory that God has promised and see us standing at the top as he lifts our hands in triumph. She begins to once again challenge me in a way that feels more like therapy than keeping me safe around my food, weight and body image. Clearly, I need help in this area, but I could also use some commendations for winning more battles in the last few weeks than I have lost. I remind both of us that she is new to my recovery story, and may not know how God has transformed me.
As we speak begin to doubt myself and wonder if I am not close to the top of those infamous steps, like Rocky, but an opponent down on the mat for the count. I try to stand up for myself and my progress, but end up feeling defensive. I hear God speak as tears begin to roll slowly down my sun kissed cheeks, “Liz, you may not have met her expectations, but you have met yours and I love you. Get off the mat and stay in this fight.” He knows how easily I can allow some one’s criticism to shroud my triumphs.
This year I don’t mind that at times I do feel like I am running a bed and breakfast. We have the second cottage now allowing for me to keep some sense of order in the cottage. My room I always keep tidy. When there is chaos either good or bad, I always have my place of refuge. Oh to have the wings of a dove…..