Between driving the hour-long (one-way) trek back and forth to class in Wilmington during the day, immediately followed by a return trip to Cincinnati to lead my Vacation Bible School class, one could safely assume I have a lot on my plate. Only, here’s the thing, my plate is only full metaphorically. All too often I find myself using my busy schedule as an excuse to slide back into my eating disorder. I either over-extend myself so as to be busy during meal times, conveniently “forgetting” to pack food when I know I will need it, or not going home during the breaks in my schedule that I do have in order to eat. Ed loves it when I have a busy schedule; she uses every opportunity to prey on my weaknesses and weasel her way back into my life.
Unfortunately for Ed, I am on to her tricks. I may have fallen for them for a week or two, but I have now jumped back on the recovery train…thanks, in part, to the darling (yet precocious) 3 and 4-year-olds in my VBS classroom. While handing one of my boys his juice box for dinner, he turned his brown eyes up to me and said, “Miss Rachel, how many calories are in my juice box?” I was dumbfounded. I, of course, knew how many calories were in the juice box because Ed told me to look (but, of course, not to partake), but why would a three-year-old boy need to know? I told him how many calories were in the juice as he tilted the box looking for his answer. Keep in mind, however, that, even if he did find the nutrition facts, he is THREE and cannot yet read them. My student’s question was a wake up call of sorts. I realized what Ed was doing and that I had allowed her to do it. I immediately, although with a great amount of hesitance, reached out for the support I knew I needed. I also found comfort in the message of my VBS, Facing Fear Trusting God. There are five main “Dares” accompanying this message that I feel can also be applied to recovery (for those of like mindsets): dare to change, dare to speak up, dare to believe, dare to stand strong and dare to trust.
Dare to Change
Ed will convince you to the grave that she is right if you let her. As part of your recovery, you have to dare to change Ed’s destructive thoughts and replace them with your own, healthy, recovery-focused thoughts. You have to dare to challenge Ed’s messages, replace them with recovery oriented thoughts, and do the next right thing for your recovery
Dare to Speak Up
This dare could take many forms in your recovery. You could speak up to Ed; challenge her thoughts, disagree with what she tells you, speak up for your recovery. You could speak up to those around you who may be hampering your recovery. You could speak up for your recovery; tell others what you need to make your next right choice, seek out additional help when necessary, whatever it takes to further your recovery.
Dare to Believe
Dare to believe that you are beautiful. Dare to believe that you are worthy. Dare to believe that recovery is possible. Dare to believe that you are strong. Dare to believe that you are more than your eating disorder. Dare to believe that you can live a life free of Ed. Because they are all true.
Dare to Stand Strong
You can do this. Ed will try to stop you. Believe in your own strength and will to recover. The stronger the stance you take against Ed, the weaker her influence in your life will become.
Dare to Trust
Dare to trust in your own beliefs, your intelligence, your ability to overcome, your ability to regain a life outside of what Ed wants. Dare to trust that you have the power to ask for and accept help. Dare to trust that life is so much more beautiful on the other side of this. But, most of all, dare to trust in yourself.
2 Timothy 1:7 (the verse of this year’s VBS)
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline