**** Thank you for all your kind words on my last post.
Just a quick update on Eden’s dad: He didn’t manage to go under surgery today, but will be tomorrow (Tuesday). Please continue keeping her and her dad in your prayers, as well as any other individuals who need it.
And also, I know it’s not the weekend…but being in a somber mood, I don’t feel like writing about food…yet I still feel like writing something (and not school-related). So a not-so-Weekend ED post it is…Check out my previous Weekend ED posts on my Weekend ED Series page if you want to. ****
On my last ED post, things were rather tumultuous between my parents and me to say the least. But I want to talk about one amazing blessing I received from being back at home from college for recovery. That blessing was being able to have a giant stretch of time with my parents and enjoy their attention.
I suppose they were my counselors in a way. And they were the best counselors ever, because they know me the best. They have been watching and loving and praying for me since I was born, after all.
They might not be professionally trained to deal with eating disordered individuals. They don’t have a master’s degree in psychology, and they don’t have any authority or knowledge to prescribe me drugs. But they were the best counselors for me, because they were the people who genuinely cared.
I write this post not just for the people who suffer from an eating disorder, but for the people who love an ED-victim.
I want to let you lovely people—you who can still love a person who acts like she/he’s been possessed by the ED Demon— know that we truly do appreciate you. Even if we don’t act like it. Especially when we don’t act like it.
And yes, spending time with us is exasperating. Yes, there really isn’t much you can do to “cure” us. But your love, you simply being there for us even during our weakest moments, is actually the best thing you can do for us.
I also write this post because too often times, we tend to adopt this dramatic “woe is me!” attitude and paint ourselves as pitiful, tragic victims. Even as I write this series, I worry that I might be getting too theatrical. I try to simply stay to the facts and honestly tell my story, because having an eating disorder is not a tragedy. It certainly is a horrible disease, but tell me who hasn’t suffered or know someone who suffer from some kind of illnesses and misfortunes.
We all have our trials in life. Nobody can avoid that. The only way we can truly overcome these trials is to give thanks for them, and to learn and grow from them.
One of my biggest thanksgivings for my eating disorder experience is that I got closer to my parents. Suddenly I was kind of like a baby being nursed by them again, but with a (slightly) more mature mind, thus being able to appreciate their love and care. As a baby, all you want from your parents is for them to feed you and wipe your poop. You cry and wail when you need them, and they fuss over you, without expecting you to do anything for them in return.
But as a grown individual (I was 18 at the time), your relationship with your parents turn more symbiotic. They still love you much more than you probably love them, and they will still take care of you if you need them, but they deserve understanding and appreciation in return.
Look, Anorexia is a very selfish disease. It made me live in my own world and become incredibly self-absorbed. But even so, thinking about myself 24/7 got tiring after awhile. So during those times, I turned my attention to my parents.
Throughout the six months I spent together with my parents, we talked a lot. Obviously some of our talks were tinged with raised voices of frustration or petty arguments, but otherwise, we enjoyed a lot of different discussions. But my favorite topic (besides me, myself and I) was my parents: Who are they? Why do they do what they do? What are they doing? How are they living?
I used to tell my friends that my parents are pastors, without really knowing what their ministry means to them.
But through my numerous conversations with my parents, I started learning and understanding more about my parents: their passions, their vision, their way of living, their way of thinking, their way of serving God. Sometimes, I wasn’t even speaking. I would just silently eavesdrop on my parents’ conversations, and just from that, gain many insights into their lives and philosophies. Or I would simply observe them.
My parents are busy people. Some people misunderstand that being a pastor means speaking a few bible quotes behind the pulpit every Sunday, but oh no, I assure you, being a pastor means much more than that. There are calls in and out all day, people visiting or people to visit, and oh dear, all sorts of church drama to deal with. Hey, we may be Christians, but we’re not perfect!
At times I would have questions, and that would lead into interesting and deep discussions. I have to give credit to my parents for being patient and eager to answer my questions, even if some of them were “blasphemous.” Because that was when I started to grow in spirit as a person, too.
I’d always known my parents were devoted people to Christ. But it wasn’t until I took the time and consideration to understand and watch their daily lives that I was this impressed by their passion and humility before the Lord. How the heck do they do what they do? How the heck do they continue to love and serve the way they do? And why? These were constant questions I had in my mind, and I became curious to know and experience God as much as they did on a daily basis.
It is a freaking amazing blessing to have all the time to just stop doing something, and instead observe another person. When else would I have this opportunity? I would probably never have gotten the chance, or even had the desire, to learn about who my parents are if not for my eating disorder. It was also the beginning of my attraction to God. I believe that through my parents, God Himself was calling out to me to seek Him.
So in a way, my eating disorder was my greatest trial in life, but also my greatest blessing in life. I think that’s the bittersweet beauty of life: you lose some, but you gain more.
Hm. Wow, I did not expect to be writing a positive post like this. But it sure did me a lot of good. I hope it did yours too.
Let’s share it. What are you thankful towards your trials in life?