The Agony of Defeat

John 9:2-3 ” ‘Rabbi’ his disciples asked him, ‘why was this man born blind?  Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?’ ”

3 ‘It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,’ Jesus answered.  ‘this happened so that the power of God could be seen in him.’ ”

Why?  I believe it is our nature as human beings to simply ask this question when there is seemingly no simple answer to our struggles, illness, and tests of endurance.  So, today I offer you the “simple” answer as to why. It is in the end, to bring glory to God, but I like many of you I struggle to stay in the race.  My last three weeks feel like I have been running an ultra marathon and I forgot to train for it. I truly feel like this race is never ending. I see no finish line and although God calls us not to fear over 100 times in the scripture… I am afraid.  I am afraid, not of dying, but living with both the eating disorder voices that have yet to fall silent, the behavior that lingers and the pudendal nerve dysfunction.  Today it is the symptoms of the nerve that cause me  not to care about “Eating by Faith to combat eating disorder.  Why survive the eating disorder to live in torment from the nerve?

I have struggled with more questions than answers since returning from the NEDA conference.  Like why does the well known speaker and authority on her recovery still get to look thin (very thin) in her recovery and I don’t?  I have been pleading with my nutritionist, and therapist to hear me.  “I may look recovered on the outside, but I am sicker than ever on the inside.   I am eating fairly restrictive, yet my weight is creeping up.”  “How does this even whisper recovery,” I cry, as they sit and applaud my weight! I wonder aloud to my team “So, how does just the weight make me healthy, when my nutrition is slipping towards restriction?”  Please understand that I want to be recovered and if I had eaten my way here, it would be a victory, but I have not, so I simply feel defeat and that my body is at the mercy of something beyond my control.

Despite the fear, I have tried to  eat by faith and I have done my best to surrender my food, my body, and my weight to the Lord.  I pray for my team’s wisdom, so I have done all they have asked of me (except DBT) because I assume God is guiding them.  My setbacks have become fewer and fewer. I am purging infrequently and until this past week had not cut my own flesh, but the unexplained weight is more than I can handle and I restrict a little here and there. Oh, how this sounds so familiar as I recall how innocently my relapse began.

Psalm 62:5-7  “I depend on God alone, I put my hope in him.  He alone protects me; he is my defender and I shall never be defeated.  My salvation and honor depend on God; He is my strong protector, He is my shelter.” (TEV)

I am still here, hanging on by the tips of my fingers.  I try to hang onto God’s promise that I won’t be defeated, but I am feeling defeated.  I slither into my jeans and feel the rolls of  flesh spilling over the edges of my them while my thighs strain against the denim like sausages that when heated,  the fat swells threatening to split open their casings.  My discomfort is as physically uncomfortable as it is emotionally.  I can’t bare taking credit for the weight, when I haven’t worked for it, and since I haven’t worked for it, I detest it.  Or at least I hate these last few pounds that I haven’t worked for.  I worked so hard and held on to God’s hand for strength as I pulled my weight up initially, but now  I need to know why my body is behaving so oddly.  How can I possibly be expanding as I am working out daily, running miles, swimming miles, and yoga?  I need empirical data as to how 1+1 no longer equals 2, but 3,4,5…..

My therapist feels like I am stuck in my head with the eating disorder, trying to make sense of the senseless.  She seems so relieved that I am a “new thin” and not skeletal that I feel like she isn’t hearing me.  Nothing has changed about my diet, or my exercise to warrant this gain.  If anything my activity level is up due to a race I was training for. I count backwards to when my body began to double cross me; nothing has changed…… except….my meds! (stay tuned).

I am frustrated that my voice is lost in the eating disorders voice that everyone used to hearing.  I want to scream at all of them, “I am not stuck in my head!  You aren’t listening to me!!  I am stuck in my body and I want to crawl out of it.”  I remind myself that I am wonderfully made, or at least I was until I relapsed and stopped treating my body as The Lord’s temple.

I am sad and afraid.  I want to be the one to shed this old skin of the eating disorder.  Like a snake, I want to create the opening to slither out of the old, dull and too tight skin to reveal the soft, fresh skin of intricate design and color.  It is because of growth and survival the snake gets to shed this skin and move on.  No one pulls the skin off the snake she does it for her self.  I want to experience my own growth of my body and spirit and take responsibility for it.  I want to slither out of my skinny jeans and into a new pair, because I have worked so very hard to recover, not because my body has betrayed me once again.