Why do I have this problem? This simple question flooded my brain almost every day for eight years. I couldn’t understand why I saw food differently than everyone else, why it had to be so paradoxical. I loved food so much that I hated it; it was as simple as that.
“Just eat,” or “just stop when you’re full…” Everyone around me seemed to know how to make it go away. It all seemed so simple to them, but my routines, my beliefs, my truths…I knew them just as the sun knows when and where to rise and set. It doesn’t just go away.
Blame. It has to go somewhere, right? I wanted to blame everybody and everything. I needed a reason, and I needed to know why. Why was my mind so messed up, so tainted, so weak?
As a teenager, life seemed so permanent. My day to day life, the way I was treated, the things that I was good at, interested in, and involved with…in my mind those were all fixed and would never change. My life was what I saw in the mirror that day. I was a number, a lipstick tube, a brand on a shirt, a “You’re not fat; you’re just big” from a peer. My identity, bent and twisted, only truly existed when I stripped myself of the makeup, the brand names, the fake friends, and the belittling of others to make myself feel better. It was down there somewhere underneath it all; I just had to find it. I knew that much.
Life’s biggest heartaches revolve around reasons we don’t have. We want to know why life isn’t always fair and why we have to look, dress, and learn the way we do. We want someone or something to blame for how bad things are, for why we’re grouped and classified the way we are, or why things had to happen the way they did. Sadly, life doesn’t always provide us with these reasons. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it?
I’ve learned that nothing is easy when you’re growing up. Between who our parents want us to be and who our friends think we should be, discovering our identities is a grueling, never-ending battle. Without that third factor–God’s plan–living and existing in my life, I can’t even consider where I would be today. That underlying hope that there was more…that God had a deeper plan…that God would never forsake me…that is what kept me believing.
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” What peace comes from knowing that we don’t have to have all the answers; God holds them all in the palm of his hand!
God’s truth supersedes all of our made-up truths, and with this fact, we have a reason to live in freedom, not blame.
Kari Anderson, MS, LPC answers the question “Is there a common thread/reason among all who struggle with disordered eating?”