the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming
Synonyms include: enslavement, fixation, hook, obsession, injurious habit
In response to Crazy Hungry, the following questions (or something like) have arisen:
- So, what are you (really) writing about again?
- Are you doing okay?
- You’re not still struggling with your eating disorder, are you?
Compassionate and willing-to-be-sympathetic friends and family have gingerly asked questions like these of me over the last few months. A very supportive group of loved ones have checked in to make sure that my advertising the link to these blog updates is not a cry for help. During the hustle and bustle that naturally moves forward November-December, dear ones have reminded me how much I am cared for in this season of life.
But I have also been reminded that there are serious and sometimes painful conversations stemming from the posts I’ve recently recorded.
Words are pouring out from women who are willing to self-evaluate: If I struggled with eating disorder(s) in my past, is it something I still live with? If so, why am I so persistent to hide the symptoms instead of deal with the root causes of my harmful relationship with food?
Questions are stirring from moms, aunts, friends,(and, yes, sometimes dads)about the signs of eating disorders so that they might early identify and encourage and fortify girls in this generation: our precious daughters.
Journal entries (i.e. conversations we have with ourselves) are allowing individuals to reflect on their past experiences with addictive behavior, all kinds of addictive behavior.
Conversations are happening that need to happen. RIGHT. NOW.
Why right now? Isn’t that a bit dramatic?
Well, let’s just call a spade a spade, as my dear old Granny used to say.
Addiction doesn’t go away without very hard soul work. Once your mind and/or body becomes addicted to any one behavior, you spend the rest of your life deciding, every day, not to let the abuser (that’s the addict) be abused (yep, the abused is also the same person) FOR THAT DAY.
It takes daily commitment to escape the trappings of this world, and addiction works the same. Day by day, asking the Lord for help, we have power over our addictions. As my own recovery study by Lynn Hoffman maintains, “The Holy Spirit reminds us,” Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God!” (1 Peter 1:18 MSG).
To walk this journey that God has allowed me to live takes courage. It takes even more courage to evaluate my past addictive behaviors and spill them out messy, all over the page. But the journeys He allows His people to walk are His gift to us – my journey, your journey, her journey (across the carpool line from you.) If we don’t ask the hard questions of ourselves and others when it comes to addiction (which an eating disorder certainly is), what do we gain?
I have an answer for that. In fact, I’m that girl who sits in the front row of the class, eagerly raising her hand to answer the tough questions, but not apply the answer to ME!
We gain shame, pride, guilt, and an ability to hide really well. And we know one particular woman who is famous for hiding in the Bible. Sweet, well-meaning, and probably a very hungry Eve. She ate the bright, very plump, perfectly-formed-on-the-outside apple from the only tree God forbade her to eat from.
And where did she end up after eating the only thing she was warned against? (Talk about an unhealthy relationship between a woman and her food.)
Aware of her body, ashamed of her nakedness, hiding from the Only One who would always see her.
So, I’m in a beautiful place. I want to ask the hard questions and see if there are addictive behaviors I’m clinging to. I want to see my sin. I want to seek healing everyday. I want to do the hard work of moving forward. And I believe asking the hard questions and looking at addiction head on is the only way to live, alive in the freedom of Christ.
I have a feeling that I’m not alone.