Alright everyone!! I am soo excited to start this blog! I have wanted to start one for quite some time but due to my perfectionist personality, which I constantly attempt to keep at bay like a fire that strives to rage despite firefighters efforts to squelch it, I have hesitated in starting it feeling like it was essential that my first post is so FANTASTIC that it blows everyone out of the water. Basically I decided I'd better just start it and eventually one of my blog posts will be meaningful and help some person with whatever they struggle with :). I love life! I love sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Now What

Okayyyy so there comes a point in a person's life who has an eating disorder where you realize that your life sucks. You may be suffering from depression, anxiety and panic attacks, loss of meaningful relationships, the constant battle between two monsters one, your physiological self which is singularly focused on your desperate need for food and two your desperate need for self esteem and self worth which keeps you from giving into the overwhelming need to feed. These contradicting forces keep you from focusing on anything else. Your whole life becomes the struggle between striving for self worth and happiness through avoiding your primal need. As a result of this many of the emotional/physical/social symptoms above become the state of your day to day life. A few people who I love have lately opened up to me about their position of being right in the thick of this. It is hell. And they ask what the first step I took was in getting out of it. Although a blog post can be a poor alternative to a therapy session with a trained therapist who has experience dealing with the ins and outs of an eating disorder, I really want to post this for a lot of reasons. I hope it helps :)

The fundamental belief that enabled my escape from the trap was my belief in a source of evil in the universe. I like to call this entity satan BUT if you don't like that name all you need in order for this post to be extremely helpful, whether you are religious or not, is for you to believe that there is an evil in the world, a force of falseness that ultimately will lead you to misery. All you need to believe is that there are dichotomic forces (or even forces on a continuum if you will) be they: positive vs negative, true vs false, evil vs good. If you believe that we can continue on the same path to get off of the terrible trap you or a loved one has fallen into.

For those of you who call the evil satan, there are two scriptures that are specifically pertinent to this topic, one of which was "my eating disorder scripture" if you will :) The first is

2 Nephi 2:18

And because [satan] had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind.

Fundamental to getting over an eating disorder is recognizing that satan is in it to make us miserable. And if we don't believe in him to believe that the negativity, the falseness, the evil will lead us to misery.

The second scripture, my saving scripture (the saving principle) is

Moses 4:4

And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, THE FATHER OF ALL LIES, to deceive and to blind men...

Recognizing and coming to believe that the raging voice inside telling us that in order to be happy we need to be skinny and if we are skinny we will be loved and happy and get everything we really want is satan. It is the evil, false, negative influence in our minds telling us lies.

This is the scariest thing I have ever done. Honestly. To believe that my every thought, my every action was influenced by evil and that my every effort was backed by the most evil identity and force in the universe scared me to death.

I vividly remember when I decided to believe. I decided to try to accept that I was being influenced by satan and that EVERYTHING I strove for and held to with desperation was an illusion. In that moment I turned to Christ. I had to. I was so helpless and so hopeless and I knew I could. not. do. it. alone. In the moments and minutes and days to come I literally felt Christ carrying me. I could not have done it alone. It was too scary. It was too hard. To take a step away from what I clung to for everything, I believed in the eating disorder with everything I had, to step away from that, take steps into the darkness reaching out my hand with my single motivation being the hope that since this eating disorder was satan and Christ was the source of all goodness and truth and could get me through anything I could try to step away from satan and towards Christ and also that my life was absolutely miserable and I needed to be happy I needed to get out of it.

So I had to pray. I prayed that I would believe that everything the eating disorder was telling me, what satan was telling me, was false. Like every other deception satan (evil,falseness,negativity, whatever your source is, etc) presents to us it often resembles the truth or has a portion of truth in it but is twisted just right to become false and warped. This is the nature of the lies that make up an eating disorder. My recovery was made up of recognizing thoughts, letting those thoughts lead me to a mentality I held, recognizing the source of that mentality, and knowing the source is the FATHER OF ALL LIES, then, recognizing it was false and if not completely false, oozing with falseness that needed to be unraveled and recrafted into the tapestry that makes up my beliefs about life, self esteem, lovableness and happiness.

Only through Christ could I have the comfort and support and hope and strength to abandon my belief that the ED would give me everything I wanted and take on the amazing feat of beginning to recover from an eating disorder. If you are struggling pray. Pray that God will help you to believe that an eating disorder is the way that satan is trying to keep you from everything beautiful. Everything wonderful everything amazing and everything full of love and peace. Life after recovery from an eating disorder is gloriously wonderful. I have relationships like I never could imagine, peace of mind and soul I never thought I would ever attain and love for myself and others that never EVER EVER would be possible while being controlled by the terrible miserable addiction of an eating disorder. You can do it. Through Christ and loved ones around you you can have a happy amazing life full of love and peace.

The first step is recognizing that the idea that being skinny will give you everything is a lie.

If you are reading this, I love you :) And I. am. here. for. you. If any of you want to talk to me about this or anything else just know I am dying to talk to you about it. Just let me know. I love you and you can be free. Love Callie

Friday, July 8, 2011

Addiction 101 and Eating Disorders: Explained, continued :)

I am so happy to be writing again!! I have been on a vacation with my family in Wyoming where we went to Lava Hot Springs and jumped off huge platforms into the water. It was an awesome challenge. Then we went down the snake river and saw all the little places from my parents past. They met and fell in l-o-v-e there you see. :)

My post today is about addictions. I feel that addictions are soo common and understanding the nature of an addiction is what grants us the ability to recognize it when it attempts to grab us in its insidious claws or to fight it if it has secured a grip already. I think that turning to an addiction all begins with emotion, whether it be the absence of an emotion we desire such as peace, self love, happiness etc. or the presence of a negative undesirable emotion such as failure, discouragement, hopelessness, depression, low self esteem etc. Due to ignorance, conceivably attributed to lack of life experience or lack of proper instruction, we don’t turn to true and functional ways of dealing with the negative emotion OR, in the case of the positive emotion, don’t have the understanding of how to cultivate a lifestyle which inevitably will lead to the presence of the positive emotions in our lives. So, lacking the knowledge of how to constructively deal with/keep at bay the negative emotions and create these positive emotions respectively, we turn to sources which AT SOME POINT in our lives we have been influenced to believe will give us relief from the negative emotions and the state of happiness we seek after.

This explanation is essential to continue the post Eating Disorder: Explained. And now I will continue to explain what the eating disorder was all about for me.

Not only did I have to be perfect in every area including school, sports, relations with other people etc. but feeling emotions such as rejection, embarrassment, self consciousness, sadness, fear were signs of weakness which made me imperfect. So basically I felt as if I was failing and I couldn't feel any "negative" emotions about anything. I felt the desperate need to be perfect and the desperate need to get rid of the "negative" emotions because I wanted soo badly to feel loved and feel of worth. So I turned to the idea that being skinny would give me worth and make me lovable because of the attraction and respect it would give me among either gender. I became obsessed with being skinny because I had a desire like non other to feel loved and valid as a human being and I embraced the belief that being skinny would give me self worth and lovableness. (SIDENOTE: The thought processes I have been describing were virtually all subconscious. I will write a post soon about my conscious thoughts later.) Whenever I felt a "negative" emotion whose presence in my mind threatened my very lovability and self worth, instead of dealing with them the way I do now, which I will blog about :), I turned to the addiction of being skinny to snuff out the emotion and clung to the belief that it would give me everything that I wanted.

I was so sick of failing in every other aspect that I decided that I didn't care about failing in any other area and I would focus all my effort and energy on being perfect in that one area, being skinny. And believe me, it requires all energy and effort musterable.

Eating Disorder: Explained.

As I sit here on MY COUCH at home in Arkansas with my little brother laying on the floor with his feet on the piano bench and my mother sewing on her sewing machine while we listen to I could hold you in my arms by Ray Lamontagne it is the perfect environment for writing. lol :)

I decided I need to make another blog so that I can write about things that aren't as intense as the explanation of what this blog is supposed to be.

So I am really excited because today I am going to write about what my eating disorder was. What contributed to it and whyyyyy I would turn to behavior which seems so odd to so many people. It really makes complete sense when you lay it all out. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! because I think if more people understood what eating disorders really are then they could take preventative action for themselves, their friends, their children etc and help those who are struggling!

Ooooookay here we go. One of the main aspects which contributed to the eating disorder was the mentality that in order to have self worth/be good enough/AND be lovable by anyone else I had to be perfect. Not just perfect in certain areas but in EVERYTHING. And an 98% was just as bad as a 15% because NOTHING but perfection was okay. Even the sliiightest weakness that caused me to be assessed as a fraction off of perfect was failure. (I have discovered through the help of an amazing friend why I developed that mentality and it is utterly fascinating. I will write about it at a later date.) So imagine (many of you don't have to imagine because you feel the exact same way), but imagine or remember what it feels like to feel like your most dire need, to feel self worth and self love and to feel loved by others is CONSTANTLY out of reach because none of us can be perfect at anything let alone in every area of our life. And imagine how it feels to be constantly attempting to reach this ideal which is literally impossible. So yeah that was really stressful. ENTER: The ideal body image/role of women mentalities. Now this next part is a little difficult to explain because I have not discovered the causes of this mentality although I have contemplated potential sources/influences so for the sake of a shorter post I will for now say that from somewhere, somehow I developed the mentality that women had a role and that role was to be attractive to men and only through magnifying that role could a woman receive all the things she really wanted. She could feel valued and loved. Somehow that morphed into not only being lovable to men but being lovable as a person in general, even to women. Related to the previous topic, from some source, which I have theories to its specific identification, I attained the belief that what was most attractive in women was a very thin body type. (This link is to an amazingly fascinating documentary that talks about how this women thinks that the media paints the role of women)

These two mentalities of exact perfectionism and a woman's worth coming from attraction and perfection in physical form combined to be the PERFECT environment for a terrible miserable addiction.

I am about to post the follow up to this post :)