Not to beat a dead horse, but after yesterday’s post I wanted add more because a) I want make sure that I emphasize God’s role in all this, and b) occasionally parents who know a little about my history will come to me about their daughters who are suffering from anorexia. They want advice about how to react and what they can do for their daughters, And, truthfully, I really don’t know what to tell them.
Mostly because my memory of the time was sort of foggy – I was so busy trying to juggle everything that was going on... keeping my life together – job, finances, relationships... and the weird thing about the healing process for this particular disease is that even while you may be trying to get better, you are also trying to hang on to it... because you’re afraid of what might happen when you “get fat.”
This is what happened to me... I attended sessions with a therapist at Duke’s outpatient clinic, and I am sure this helped... but more importantly: I, who fancied myself a sort of goth hipster, fell in with some Christians... which led to going to church, which led to being personally counseled by Randy Russell – one of the church’s pastors, who has written a great short book about self image. If you’re interested, I’ll ask him if I can share it.
All the people of the church really rallied around me – figuratively speaking, of course. They actually served as the Body of Christ – acting as His agents to show me the love. One woman in the church who had suffered from anorexia met to talk with me on a regular basis – we are still good friends to this day. And my own friends and family surrounded me with metaphorical hugs. My friend Suzanne sent me $40 for my first therapy session; my sister Eve sent me a teddy bear, and both my sisters came a long way to attend a family therapy session... My roommate Alecia should get an award just for putting up with me. There were so many other things that people did for me that I just can’t name them all.
So, having been surrounded by all this love and many prayers, as well as actual medical support... I heard a writer/speaker named Larry Crabb say something like this: You never realize the depth of your sin until you finally see how much it is hurting the people you love. And all those people that I mentioned – and many others – flashed before my eyes... Then I went home and started to eat. Then I had more friends who would go out to eat with me... Did I say I love my friends?!
Once you start to eat, and feel better physically, it gets easier to make rational decisions, so eventually you get better. And that’s what happened. So I guess I would say to parents: get medical help, but also rally around and smother that child with love! Help her to know God – through His people is a good way. And pray. I don’t know if any of this will help, but ... it worked for me!
PS: I have no photo for this one because NO ONE wanted to take my pic in those days!