- Sara Mann
I haven't blogged in about a month. I've tried to start one every single week and I just can't write. What I'm going through feels too painful to share and I never want to come across as whining, so I've just not blogged. Truth is, this move has been extremely hard on me. Mentally, physically, emotionally....just hard. I've found myself in a bit of a relapse. I'm preoccupied with my weight, having an extremely difficult time eating, feeling an astronomical amount of stress, lonliness and anxiety with a side of depression. It's gotten so bad my dietician is putting me back on a meal plan and I have to write out all the food rules that have sneakily crept back into my life. There are a lot of things that have contributed to this happening. Some I can share openly and other that must remain private.
We are renovating our home. I don't have a healthy enough body to keep up with all of it, which has led me to feel inadequate and ashamed. Painting for just two hours leaves my body in so much pain it takes me two days to recover. This causes me to hate my body and we all know that living in hate isn't pretty. Renovating and moving is it's own category of stresses and wth? moments. Literally the day we moved in our furnace pump went out, we had a leak in the old sink that has caused our basement door to swell shut, I've uncovered layers upon layers of nasty wall paper and don't even get me started on going to the DMV to become a new resident. We are currently staying with my parents as our home is not livable (there is literally no kitchen right now and drywall dust everywhere). While living with them has been a huge blessing, (no seriously, my mom is amazing and watching my dad obsess over his chicken coup is fun) it's also very triggering. I have no normal. I have a very hard time eating meals in front of other people as well as resting the amount I must to heal without feeling shame or embarrassment or worrying about judgements that may or may not exist. I've lost my job. I'm a photographer and I had a huge clientele back in DC that I had to leave behind when I moved. I lost my ministry. The main thing that gave me worth and kept me going was my ministry. Now I don't even have a church that feels like home let alone a ministry. I was called fat three times by a person who shall remain nameless. (no, it wasn't my husband or parents) That is quite possibly the worst thing that anyone could say to me right now. The lowest blow. The below the belt hit. This triggered me into feeling like I don't deserve to eat. It's made it near impossible to quiet the voice in my mind reminding me over and over that fat is how people see me now and something they can say to me to shame me. This only increases the anxiety I feel over my recovery and when I will get my body back. I lost all my friends. I don't have someone to call up and sit and have a glass of wine with here. I feel isolated. I've lived in the city (big cities at that) for the past ten and a half years. I'm not use to the burbs and the lack of seeing tons of people at all times. And by the way, they don't even have grub hub here! I typed in my address to find a place to deliver food when I didn't have the energy to make my own and it literally said "no search results found near you." What has my life come to?! My health has backslid. I'm swelling more, my energy is drained, my hormones are back out of whack and I'm having a hard time keeping up with all the pills. My husband is now traveling a lot of the week so I find myself in the country, alone. I desire to go out and meet people but I'm so paralyzed by my body image that has plummeted down the crapper, that I can't bring myself to do it. Even my prayers have turned into a Job like saga about what in the literal heck is going on and why has God forgotten me?! It seems like everything has changed and I'm grasping for some normalcy that I just can't find. Doing all of this in the middle of recovery is something I far underestimated.
I contemplated so many times whether I was going to allow myself to write a blog like this. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer or a "Whoa is me" person. But hey, what would this blog be if I didn't share the low parts of recovery? If I always talk about how empowered I am or how I've made it through, then how can people relate to the struggle?
I'll say this. Even though I feel like I'm walking through the deepest valley, there have been a couple of things that have kept me going.
First of all, there are a few angels on earth that have checked in on me and encouraged me, prayed with me and supported me through all of this. I don't think it's a coincidence that on my hardest days God laid it on their hearts to give me a call and see what's up? I received calls from four people all within two days, telling me that I had just popped into their mind and they felt very pressed to call me. Their encouragement and listening ears helped me to sort through a lot of the pain I had been feeling. I felt relief being able to share with them my struggles instead of keeping them buried deep inside only to come out as starvation and insecurity.
Second of all, I was sitting in the guest room at my Mom's house and I saw a little cross with the verse Romans 8:38 on it. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any created thing, will be able to separate us form the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I studied Romans last year in my bible study, and one of the things they had us do was put this verse in our own words. So as I sat there, in the guest room, feeling defeated and overwhelmed, scared to eat breakfast after being called fat, worried about when I will get into my home and wondering what the heck my worth is now that I have no job, no ministry and no friends, I remembered that I am convinced, that neither death or nor life, loneliness or fear, a house with no kitchen, a person so hateful they would call me fat, my lack of clientele, my inability to see hope, a body that is failing, the ED lies that are screaming in my head and the defeat I feel from falling back into old starvation habits, will keep me from the love of God. While it seems like EVERYTHING has changed, God has remained the same. He loves me, and that my friends makes me pretty amazing and worthy of a joyful life.
Over the next week I will be working hard to get my groove back. I am committed to sticking to my meal plan, resting when my body needs it, challenging all the little lies that ED has been breaking me down with and getting back to the bad a$$ Sara that I know I am. I have a photo shoot coming up so I'll get to tap into my creativity again and it looks like our kitchen floor will be going in soon which makes me want to do a happy dance while I swig a gigantic glass of wine. I know in time things will get settled and I'll find my place here. Things can't stay this bad forever.
Thank you to all of you who have reached out and helped me get through this little blip in my path. It's as they say, recovery is not linear. It's a mess of ups and downs, forward steps and setbacks, huge accomplishments and deep pain. I learn every step of the way.
It's time to buckle up, stare this giant down and watch it fall. I told myself three years ago I would beat this thing, and dang it, I WILL!
- Sara -