Did you know that the number 8 signifies Resurrection and Regeneration. If you dig into Biblical numerology you will also find that the number 8 means “new beginning”.
Today is a special day for me. Why? Because 8 years ago today I made one of the hardest but one of the best decisions of my life to date. 8 years ago today I CHOSE LIFE! I was in a dark hopeless place. I hated what I saw in the mirror and I hated who I had become. But on Monday, October 11, 2010 I chose to walk through the doors of an Eating Disorder Hospital.
I didn't think I would ever see a day that I didn't obsess about caloric intake, a day that I wouldn't obsessively weigh myself, a day where I no longer purged, a day where I no longer beat myself up for eating a piece of chocolate, a day that I didn’t fear gaining weight, a day where I could eat a cupcake without worry and compulsion to go for a run to burn it off.
I remember waking up early that Monday morning in Edwardsville, IL as I was staying with a friend. We woke up and she drove me to St. Louis, MO where I had a one way – nonstop flight to Los Angeles, California. I had never been to California and going to treatment wasn’t how I wanted my first trip to be.
I remember standing in the airport looking around and thinking about all the possible places the other passengers could be traveling to. I’m sure many were on business trips, others headed out on mission trips or deployments… and I remember thinking but how many are headed to treatment. It felt isolating and lonely. I also thought so many times that day… “I’m not that sick” or “I’ve weighed less than I do now, so I must be okay.” The enemy had me bound by a death grip and honestly I believe the enemy had a death wish for me. But God!
This day 8 years ago was just the beginning of my journey to recovery! A journey I wasn’t sure I really wanted to start. I had become very comfortable (also very sick) with anorexia. It was my way of numbing out the pain of all the abuse and brokenness I had endured in my childhood and on into my early adulthood. Weeks later I would learn that insurance had denied coverage and I would be sent home months prematurely.
Some dates are not worth remembering, they come and pass and we don’t think anything about it. But for me 10-11-10 was a pivotal moment! And now 8 years later I see the new beginning God has given me. It took me a few years before I was able to see and understand the impact of that one decision I had made! Over the last 8 years I’ve had to continuously choose life, choose God’s truths over the enemies lies! Some days I’m really successful at it and some days I struggle with it.
God continues to take me through all the deep layers of healing. I can honestly say that I'm the healthiest and happiest I've ever been! I will forever be grateful for the staff of Pacific Shores Hospital and all those who encouraged me along the journey! Not all of the patients that were there with me have experienced full healing and true freedom. Many of them lost their lives to the deadly disease! I will forever be an advocate for raising awareness for mental health and eating disorders, because everyone deserves to be free!
Today 10-11-18 I am NOT defined by my scale or by the size of my pants. I am NOT defined by any of the labels or diagnosis.
Today 10-11-18 I am an advocate. I am a trauma and attachment therapist. I am healed. I am whole. I am chosen. I am loved. I am seen. I am honored. I am empowered. I am redeemed. I am changed. I am recovered. I am FREE! I am WORTHY!
8 years ago God knew where I would be today! He knew that today would signify a new beginning. I can't wait to see what the next 8 years of living a life free of an eating disorder will look like! I imagine it will come with even greater healing and a deeper love and passion for God!