Recovery from an eating disorder
By the time I reached my mid-twenties I had tried and failed to seek recovery from anorexia numerous times. I was trying to do it all in my own strength, to pull myself out of the mire. It was only when I became a Christian that I began to comprehend that the reason I had not achieved my goal was that God had never intended for me to do it alone. My church family showed me the acceptance, love and mercy I had been unable to give myself.
After my baptism in 2002 I made a decision that I would commit my recovery to the Lord and trust in his provision and grace. This year became pivotal to my restoration. God provided me with a fantastic doctor who had worked at the Priory and had a great deal of knowledge and experience with mental illness. For the first time I felt like someone really understood me and later that year I was admitted to Marchwood Priory Eating Disorder Unit. During my admission I received numerous cards, flowers and letters from my church family and knowing that they were supporting me made this difficult time much more bearable.
Although I have required further hospitalisations over the past years each time the support and love shown to me by my church family has been such a strength and motivation. It certainly spoke volumes to the hospital staff and patients that the two rooms resembling a florist were inhabited by Christians. God has opened so many doors for me to talk about his faithfulness and grace as I have found that it is in hospital where people really start to think about what really matters to them.
Recently, through having my book ‘Goodbye Ana’ on anorexia recovery published, I have been able to share in-depth how God has brought me back each time anorexia has threatened to take my life. I used to think that I was completely useless to God because of my illness, when in fact it is my illness/hospitalisations that God has used the most! My husband and I currently have a ministry in meeting supporting others with mental illness and have in recent months been seeing real fruit in this area, through prodigals returning to church.
Two promises, given to me when I became a Christian, have kept me moving forward towards full recovery: 1) God truly has a plan for my life, plans to prosper and not to harm me & 2) God will restore the years the locusts have eaten away. In this past year I have experienced a real fulfillment of these promises as God had opened up so many doors through publishing my work.