116 days ago I hit my rock bottom and 112 days ago, my last blog post revealed that I was still very much there. To bring you up to speed on the last few months there’s two things I will say; firstly, that the majority of these last few months have been spent solely in hospital and secondly, that I am still safely trapped within my rock bottom. Most likely not the responses you’d hoped to have heard but to be frank, these last few months have been a different kind of difficult and I have lost so much. I’ve lost hope, faith, time and loved ones, I’ve lost interest in the things I used to love, I’ve lost connections, I’ve lost the things that help my heart and my body function, I’ve lost conciseness at times, I’ve lost any will to live or fight, I’ve lost myself and so many things to my eating disorder and my depression; to Gollum. Oh how I wish I could regain some of those things..
If I were to be cliche I would state that life this year has been a rollercoaster and if I were to continue that cliche, I would describe the trajectory of that rollercoaster and going steeply downward – this would be fact. It’s not up until this past month or so where the rollercoaster has begun to slowly ascend. However for every one step forward, we receive three steps backwards but in saying that, I think the very fact that there have been steps forward shows progress nonetheless.
Bringing things back to my last blog post in July. The post touched on an afternoon when T came to visit me in hospital and an article she sent me. On that particular afternoon we were sitting down and she asked me how my faith was going. Upon bursting into tears I told her that I wasn’t sure where God was and that I didn’t feel His presence, I told her that I didn’t feel worthy of His forgiveness or grace. She asked me why I couldn’t just ‘surrender and let God love me?’ My response in short was that I didn’t deserve God’s love but the reasonings to follow were in hindsight reasonings in defence of my eating disorder. Each time T and I have had conversations surrounding my faith and surrendering, or allowing God to love me, I have listed off a series of reasons that I thought justified my fears and my shame but in reality it was only ever a series of excuses for holding onto Gollum. Gollum replaced God in my life and that’s a scary thing to admit. Somewhere along the line my anger towards God for ‘not protecting me during the traumas’ or ‘not looking out for me each time I was hurt’ or ‘for allowing bad things to happen to me’, that anger turned me towards a mindset that made me believe that God was never there but that Gollum was. Too often I would cry and scream at God, pleading with Hum until one day I gave up and stopped. In my heart I believed that Gollum ‘kept me safely trapped’, that he ‘stayed by my side and never left me alone’, that he ‘didn’t walk away like everyone else’, that he ‘understood me and loved me’.. You get the picture – a very distorted and backward mindset that I to this day struggle with. I find that I’ve been so angry at God. I’ve turned my back on Him and I’ve tried so hard to convince myself that it didn’t matter if I’d lost my faith and that God Himself wasn’t real. For most of this year I have lived a life separate to God and I quite frankly haven’t wanted anything to do with Him – I’m ashamed about this but it’s the truth. Throughout this last year of turning from God, I haven’t been able to escape from Him completely. Of course my family and the people I love are all in a relationship with God. People like mom, T, R and J have all continued to plant small seeds of faith and never gave up hope that I would one day return to my very own relationship with God. Aside from the connection to God through people, I’ve also remained going to church whenever I could and that’s a weird concept for someone who has been trying to escape and hide from God’s presence. Last week T asked me why I still went to church with her even if I didn’t believe and if I didn’t feel anything? Honestly, I had to think about that for a while but then I realised that maybe I still went because that was the only way for me to subconsciously hold onto a thread of hope that maybe I hadn’t completely lost my faith or my relationship with God? As I write that sentence I can hear T’s voice telling me over and over again that I haven’t ever lost my faith and that God has never left.
On that afternoon with T, I told her that surrendering to God and allowing Him to love me would mean that I’d have to surrender full control over this journey. She told me that in a sense that meant I would have to let go of Gollum and up until this point, the idea of losing Gollum and gaining God has seemed unattainable and quite frankly repulsive. I haven’t been able to think of anything worse, anything more scary or more unfathomable. After all, for so long now I’ve thought that Gollum has kept me safe, that he’s been a constant who hasn’t left me. I’ve been wrong. It wasn’t Gollum who kept my heart beating every time the doctors thought it would stop, it wasn’t Gollum who brought me back when I lost consciousness, it wasn’t Gollum who kept my body functioning when it was barely hanging on by a thread – there are many more examples but the point it that it was never Gollum – it was always God. God wasn’t the enemy, Gollum was but it’s taken me far too long to see that and somedays I still can’t see it clearly.
Over the last month I’ve felt that I’m approaching a point where this self destructive lifestyle isn’t maintainable and I’m realising that I can’t do this forever; living life on the brink of death, in and out of hospital and just waiting for death to arrive, isn’t in and of itself living. Gollum hasn’t brought me long-lasting fulfilment. Yes, there are moments where I find myself content within him but honestly, the 70+ kilos I’ve lost, the life I’ve lost and everything Gollum has brought destruction to, hasn’t been worth it. There has to be more to life than this, there has to be purpose and everyone I love and respect has told me there is. This can’t be the life God planned for me. I don’t want to send across false hope because as ready as I am to begin fighting, I’m still in reality very unwell and I’m still very deep within my depression and eating disorder. My body is still barely functioning and my weight is still dropping but I’m taking baby steps at a time. Realistically there will be a sixth and many more admissions but the difference this time is that those admissions won’t be because I’ve given up, they’ll be because my body needs a boost and they’ll be a part of my recovery. As dark as things are right now, for the first time I see a bit of hope that maybe just maybe there is a way out of this and maybe just maybe God is still on my side.
I’ve decided to continue taking baby steps, to work openly and honestly with those around me and to try and fix my relationship with God – none of these I take lightly. I don’t know what these feelings mean and I don’t know if God wants me back, but I do know that I want my relationship with God back and I do know that without a shadow of doubt, I can’t continue this long journey without Him.
Where I am is exactly where He meets me.
– c x