I have an eating disorder
Every single time I say that sentence I get a little bit braver. Every time I acknowledge that out loud, I become a little bit stronger, a little bit bolder. Because eating disorders are a shame based illness. They thrive in the darkness of your heart, they feed on your shame. Eating disorders tell you that you are alone. That there is no hope for you, that this disorder is what you deserve. It tells you daily that there is no one who will understand, no one who can carry this burden with you. That you are better off keeping this struggle a secret, which just allows it to sink it self even deeper into your soul. 

I have an eating disorder

I had no name for the bad feelings I had towards my body for a long time. I noticed it at 7 years old, in the Chapel of the little school I went to. My thighs looked different from the other girls, they spread out more. My jumper didn’t fit right over my tummy. Things stuck out where they should have stuck in. And as a lonely little girl, I took that to mean that something was very wrong with me. 

I have an eating disorder

At 11, my life was a constant state of change. My reality felt all twisted. I found solace in the fact that food still tasted the same. Food didn’t change, it wasn’t new, it wouldn’t leave. Food became synonymous with comfort. Food could be a friend. 

I have an eating disorder

At 15, I discovered that food could be controlled. Manipulating the amount food I ate meant that I had a miniscule amount of control in my life. I craved that feeling. I was a young girl who saw her body as a digusting, worthless prison. I was hellbent on mistreating it. I could eating small amounts of food for a few weeks, obsessively measuring my intake. I felt unstoppable in those times. But, it never lasted forever. I would swing in the other direction, binging wildly on anything in my sight. 

I have an eating disorder.

At 17, I entered treatment for this disorder. I would go to my regular school day, and then spend my afternoons in a facility talking about how food made me feel. I told very few people about it, and I felt like no one knew the battle I was fighting in plain sight.

I have an eating disorder.

I hit a low point at 18, I consumed food in mass quantity to forget mistakes I made. I put on more weight, which made my self hatred and poor body image spiral as far down as it could go. My body has been hurt by self harm for many years, and at this point I felt I couldn’t go on. 

I have an eating disorder

At 19, I entered mercy, and began working on the issues that caused me to turn towards food. I saw why it had a hold on me. I understood why I couldn’t break free of it by myself. My eating disorder was wrapped up in my own darkness, and could never be broken without being called into the light. My disorder couldn’t be fought alone. I needed Jesus to give me strength, and I needed others to love me through my darkness. In the light of Jesus I see my disorder as it truly is, and I understand the hold it can have over me. 

I have an eating disorder, and in sharing this I take more of it’s power away. I regain hope, and I remind myself and others that we are never alone, and that recovery is always worth it. You are not to much of a burden, and Jesus will never abandon you. 

You are loved infinitely and always,

Mal. 

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