For years, I believed things such as “You aren’t good enough” or “You aren’t pretty enough” or “You aren’t smart enough” or “You’re not skinny enough”. This basically all boiled down to the same concept…me feeling like I’m not enough. That I’m not worthy. That I’m not valuable. That I’m not perfect. These thoughts spiraled into me being diagnosed with depression and struggling with anorexia.
My eating disorder was a quest for perfection. It was a quest for me to be “enough”. I thought that if I had the perfect body, everything in my life would be perfect as well. However, that wasn’t true. Those thoughts only led to misery, sadness, loneliness, and more depression.
For four years, I was in and out of treatment. In and out of doctor’s appointments, nutritionist appointments, and countless hours of therapy. I was stubborn and didn’t see anything changing. I didn’t want to change. I was miserable before my eating disorder started because of how self-degrading I was to myself, and I was still miserable at my lowest weight. So why not be miserable and be skinny too? That was my life.
My eating disorder stole the majority of high school for me. Going out to dinner with people was out of the question. I stayed alone in my room all the time. My relationship with my parents was struggling. My brothers didn’t even know who their little sister was anymore. I was close to my life being fully taken due to the depression that my eating disorder caused. I was so depressed that I didn’t think life was worth living anymore. I didn’t want to be here anymore.
I was admitted to an inpatient program for four days at a mental hospital. As scary as that was, it was desperately needed. I never thought I would be someone who had to be admitted to a mental hospital, but it is a lot more common than people think. So many people struggle with mental illness, and it is extremely important to get help.
While I was in the hospital, something clicked. I realized that I couldn’t keep doing that to myself anymore. I had to make the choice to take a chance, to see if things could change. Upon being discharged from the hospital, I finally realized that those thoughts I was thinking were actually lies and not truth.
Each day after leaving the hospital, I got a little stronger. I decided I was going to continue to fight. I realized that my story was nowhere close to being over. I realized that I am enough, simply because I am ME. I realized that I am made to love others and be loved in return. I realized that my body, no matter what size, is also made to be loved simply because it was created perfectly, just the way it is. And most importantly, I realized that God had so much more for me than my eating disorder. I realized that I was fearfully and wonderfully made and that true joy and freedom could only be found in Jesus.
Encouragement for Others
Walking in freedom and walking in the truth is such a great feeling. No matter what you’ve thought about yourself, what you’ve been through, what you are struggling with, there is hope. I hope that through the book that I wrote, Perfectly Imperfect, it can allow people to see that they aren’t alone in their struggles. I hope they can see that recovery is possible. I hope that people who are struggling with the lie that they aren’t enough can see that they are. Not because of anything they’ve done, or anything they could do on their own power, but simply because they are sons and daughters of the one true God. Once we realize that we are more loved than we could ever imagine…not because of a number on a scale, or a number or miles run, or a size in a pair of jeans…it changes everything.
Marion has published her full recovery story. You can get it here.