Recovery: A Year Later

(play this while reading. opens a new tab. “Miracles” – Unbroken Soundtrack)

July 18, 2014: I departed from Kentucky and was on my way to start my new life in Chicago.

July 18, 2015: Nothing is the same.

Today, I have made 1 full year of recovery from anorexia nervosa.

Praise God! He has been my strength and joy. The Lord has poured his abundant blessings into my life. As I sit at the park on this beautiful summer day, I reflect on how different my life is now.

I remember coming to this same park every morning for my early-morning calorie burn. I remember sitting on the bench and making that fateful phone call to my dad telling him I wanted to go to Chicago. I remember driving here several times to make desperate phone calls to some stranger on the end of a hotline.

Now, I sit here admiring the beautiful mountain landscape, watching Dash play in the grass, listening to the birds and cicadas, breathing in the fresh air, feeling the gentle breeze across my face. So much has changed.

Over the last year, I have experienced more than a physical healing. I have experienced a spiritual healing.

I used to see these mountains as walls, trapping me in my despair. Now, I see them as God’s shoulders, lifting me up, giving me strength and reminding me of His mighty power and love.

When I left for Chicago, I felt like a new beginning was right in front of me. It was, but it wasn’t quite what I expected.

I thought that by this time I would be going to nursing school, speaking Assyrian, and falling in love with the city. I was so wrong. Instead, I find myself back in the very heart of Appalachia, happier and healthier than ever.

Don’t get me wrong: going to Chicago was necessary to my recovery and I don’t regret it in the least bit. It allowed me to get some distance and shed my skin. I just never expected to come back to Kentucky and find what I did. In fact, I feared my return would throw me into a relapse. What I discovered is that I did not come back to the same situation I had left. I remember a strange calm coming over me as I drove back from Chicago to the old bluegrass.

At first, I did miss Chicago, but I made a paramount decision: no more tears over it. I accepted where I was. I gave up fighting the present. It was time to let myself live.

That’s when God moved. I found friends. I found Higher Ground. I found love, peace, freedom, life. Life as God intended it — full of His grace and blessings.

My story is already being used to touch lives, and I know that God will continue to use me to bring light to the world.

I cannot express how grateful I am to be exactly where I am today. I love the people in my life. I love the happiness they bring to my life. I love the light in my eyes. I love the extra layer of tissue around my waist. I love the strength in my bones. I love these mountains. I love my job. I love what recovery has given me.

I love not knowing what’s next because it’s something far more wonderful than I could even fathom. I love my Heavenly Father. I love His grace. I love His love.

I will exalt you, LORD, because you have lifted me up. . .

LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you healed me. . .

there is joy in the morning. . .

LORD, you showed your favor, you made me stand like a strong mountain. . .

You turned my lament into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, so that I can sing to you and not be silent.

LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

Psalm 30


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