I’ve been on this journey of recovery for several months now, and while there have been hiccups and stumbles, overall I can say it’s been going well – I’ve even been meltdown and panic free for over a month!
Until today. Today, I needed to go shopping.
I’m an uncharacteristic thirty-something female in that I don’t enjoy shopping. But I literally had no summer clothing and an impending trip to warmer climates necessitated I get out and get some new duds. I thought I was mentally prepared and emotionally stable, ready. I thought wrong.
A freak storm came through this morning and cut power to my house and the surrounding area. It took me nearly an hour to get out of my little Seattle suburb thanks to the storm and the dark stoplights, and the drive left me irritated and frustrated. Once I got to the mall I realized everyone else had the same idea; it took me twenty minutes to find a parking spot and then I got to hike three blocks through the rain to get inside. My stomach was growling, all I had was some toast for breakfast, and I felt a dull headache beginning to form in my temples. I pressed onward, to the store… and the dressing room.
Talk about a confidence crash. That big mirror and bright lights accentuating every perceived flaw, wrinkle, dimple, and blemish. As the pile of discarded clothes grew bigger, my self-image and confidence began to shrink and sputter. With every cast-off Ed whispered in my ear; I was nothing but fat, ugly, and a failure. I was in tears as I stumbled back to my car; I sat, with my tears mirroring the rain dripping on my windshield. I was done eating until further notice; I disregarded everything good that had been happening, every conversation with my therapist, actually convinced myself that she was really against me and I didn’t really have any eating or body issues at all and everything was just fine, thank you very much.
Then… God, in his infinite love, brought words from a fellow Chasing Freedom friend to mind and heart, and I turned my face plant into a prayer. As I cried out desperately to my Jesus, I thought of the future. God brought my attention off me, my freaking out, my momentary feelings, and asked… Are the lives of the girls I will someday mentor worth it? How about the lives of my future children? I am getting ready to move back overseas, something I’m absolutely thrilled about, is that worth it? How about my half marathon training? Because my decision to step off the wagon today has an eternal impact I can’t even begin to imagine. The “It’s just one day” could turn into a week, a month, a year; could keep me from running, send me to the hospital, keep me from moving overseas or having children or helping others. Really. Is it worth it to throw all of that away because of a few minutes of high emotions and low blood sugar?
I went and bought a sandwich and an apple and praised God for every bite. I realize I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m heading to bed without shame or guilt. I win.
“With your help, I can advance against a troop; with my God, I can scale a wall.” ~Psalm 18:2