When you move you often find things you didn’t know you lost or things knew you lost but got tired of looking for. Currently, I am in the process of moving back to Cincinnati, and have spent the last week organizing, boxing, wrapping, moving and donating my things. I found my late grandmother’s necklace that I have been searching for for a few months, a Tupperware lid I lost the week I moved in but gave up on finding, and an old, discarded box of half used laxatives buried under pots and pans in my kitchen. Now, I didn’t even know I had them in my house seeing as how I have been laxative free for almost a year now…and I was not excited to find them like I was when I found my grandmother’s necklace. Rather, it was like finding a filthy stranger sitting in your kitchen wearing a grimy bathroom drinking rancid milk out of the container (missing occasionally and having it dribble down the robe in chunks, and, consequently, onto your floor) with his crusty feet propped up on your table.
As I stared at the worn box of pills, I began thinking about my wild journey towards recovery after 14 years of ED. I’ve had my share of ups and downs and sideways, but, overall, it’s been slow but steady forward progress. I started thinking of all the people who have shaped my journey: those that helped, those that never let me fail at recovery, those who stayed with me no matter what, and those who were not so helpful. I thought of my own hard work and how inconsequential it seemed at the time, but how it has added up to be so meaningful in recovery. As I held the box in my hand, I reflected on who I am as a person (outside of the ED)—who I am, where I want to be, what I like, what I don’t and a bunch of other things in between. For so long my identity has been wrapped up in ED, that I’ve lost Rhea. Finding those pills was the first step in unearthing Rhea from the rubble of ED. But first, I had to get rid of the pills.
I marched myself out to my building’s hulking brown dumpster in the parking lot. I leaned against the building, took the pills out of the box, popped one out of the foil and immediately knew what I had to do. As I threw the pill into the dumpster, I said aloud one thing I liked about myself. Each pill arced through the air paired with a positive thought about myself. Not a single pill entered the dumpster without an accompanying thought. One by one the pills fell into the dumpster with a reassuring plink, plink, plink as they hit the metal bottom. Each plink was a step closer to recovery. Each plink was me becoming a little bit stronger. Each plink lightened the load in my heart and my mind. When the final pill hit the bottom of the dumpster, I ripped up the box and scattered its many pieces into the dumpster and said a prayer. When I got back into my apartment, I looked up some of my favorite Bible quotes that remind me why I am so worth recovery. I want to share them with anyone reading them in the hopes that they bring you the peaces of mind, of heart and of body that I gain while reading them.
Psalms 139: 1-6 and 13-16
Lord, you have examined me and you know me. You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts. You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions. Even before I speak, you already know what I will say. You are all around me on very side; you protect me with your power. Your knowledge of me is too deep; it is beyond my understanding… For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
1 Peter 3:4
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.