Pick Up Your Pallet and Walk

Last night, at a very late hour, I completely broke down.  With tears streaming down my face I sat awake in bed and cried to God.  I told Him everything that has been bothering me over the past few weeks.  All of my hurts, all of my pain, all of my fears, all of my anger. 

To be honest I really feel as if I have messed up my recovery.  You see, even though I have broken the physical chains of my eating disorder by allowing myself to eat again, I still feel very very lost.  Many days I find myself in such a depressive state that I do not want to do anything.  I don’t want to get out of my bed, I don’t want to get ready, I don’t want to put the effort into cooking or anything.  The very thought of taking the time to do these things just overwhelms me somedays and I really just wish that I could press a button and have it all be done like “that.”

I have a hard time making decisions.  This is not a new thing but in the past year or so it has become quite vicious. I think it mainly stemmed from worrying about how to organize my day so that I could get exercise in, because if I couldn’t exercise, well, the world was going to end.  END.

I’ve gotten better at that, but still I find myself struggling, wrestling with the constant back and forth of the issue.  “Should I do it now, or later, well what about this well what about this.”  In short, this has applied to every area of my life lately and some days I just do not know what to do. About what food to eat. About what clothes to wear. About when to eat.  About when to exercise. About what to buy.  EVERYTHING.

I hate it. It is a very OCD, which I admit I have always struggled with, but this, THIS, is out of control.  I recently discussed it with my therapist and she said that it manifested itself from issues that have not been dealt with.  I can understand that.  I also know that the main reason WHY I cannot make decisions is that I am afraid to make the wrong choice.  Before, it was that I was afraid to screw up my exercise (major freakout).  Now–I am afraid to screw up my life.

And truly, I believe I have.  This summer I made a crucial decision to quit the job that I loved but at which I was frequently verbally abused my a mean coworker, to undertake a job I had no idea about.   On the surface it sounded great:  younger coworkers meant friends, a more professional facility, a slightly higher paycheck, flexible hours.  I felt that I could do it all and that if I took on this job I finally had a reason excuse to begin recovery.  Nice input from my anorexic brain huh? Boy was I messed up then….

Well, needless to say.  It didn’t happen like that.  Basically this job has turned out to be the worst thing ever.  I haven’t made any friends–the girls are mean as all get-out.  I am not getting the hours I wanted.  The pay I was promised never happened.  And there are so few residents in the place that sometimes I literally have nothing to do.  In fact, the first day on the job I FREAKED OUT! Or rather, the eating disorder part of me did.  I hated that we just stood around doing nothing.  Where was the freaking exercise?!  How was I going to maintain my tiny weight?!  It was the end of the world.

But strangely, I stuck with it.  And stuck with it.  And things didn’t get any better. But still I stuck with it.  This job has been painful. It has been tortorous at times and many many days I have come home so depressed.  But even though it has hurt me in so many ways, it has also stretched me farther that I ever though I could go. It taught me to accept times of inactivity, to drive to multiple locations in one day, to travel distances in the car of over 30 minutes, to move around my exercise, to eat my meals even when I thought I had barely moved at all. 

It has allowed me my recovery.

Still, I can’t help feeling tricked. Like I made a bad decision. I keep looking at the “before” and thinking I could have learned all of that at the other job, but, I guess, well, I KNOW, I couldn’t have.  I think that, very gently, God had to almost hide the truth of my new job knowing I would have never gone through with it otherwise.  Is this mean? No. I believe it is only the works of a loving, caring Father. He didn’t want me to die.  So he saved me.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah.  Anyways after my cry fest last night I went to bed—even more depressed.  I mean c’mon people, it’s not like my situation is going to change overnight!

But this morning I woke up and immediately a verse popped into my mind.

“Pick up your pallet and walk.” 

In these words I believe that God was trying to communicate to me that, yes, He is listening and He hears my words.  It’s like He is saying, “Daughter, you no longer need to be crippled as you are, and live in that way. I have released you from your chains.  I have freed you from your eating disorder.  Why do you continue to live your life as if you were still held captive?  Take up your pallet and walk.  Live in this way no longer. You are free.”

Amazing huh? I’m only paraphrasing what I believe He has told me but it has inspired me to look up that story later and reflect on it.  He is right though. In a lot of ways I still hold myself captive by not pushing myself to go further in my recovery.  Truth–I have been making the same dinner every night since about June.  Why?  Because it is safe, I don’t want to cook anymore, I’m tired of people commenting on my meals, and I’m tired of deciding what to eat every single freaking day.  But I am only holding myself back by doing this, essentially keeping me in my eating disorder.  It’s like I am at a healthy weight but I still have the anorexic behaviors. But I don’t need to! I am free!

What areas of your eating disorder are you still holding on to today that you maybe don’t need to anymore?

P.S. It’s Christmas Eve!  Go out and celebrate!

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