Finding Hope Through Faith

Contributor: Susan Entriken, Eating Disorder Hope valued community member

Susan EntrikenRecovery…, such a complex word that can look very different for each of us recovering from eating disorders, yet it is the hope for all of us suffering from eating disorders. However, hope, and thus, recovery, can be hard to find.

For me, my recovery from anorexia would not have looked as hopeful if it wasn’t for one word…, faith. My faith became my cornerstone that I built my recovery on, and what pulled me from the pit into the light.

Anorexia took over my life when I was sixteen and remained for six longs years. What began as a way to deal with the chaos in my life; became something I felt I could control, to something that ultimately controlled me.

Anorexia pulled me down into a pit that I felt I was unable to get out of, because I felt I deserved it. In my six-year struggle, I found my eating disorder started out as a friend, one who actually understood me, and turned into the thing that kept me from my friends and family.

After six years of staying under the radar so that my anorexia friend could stay around, I hit my rock bottom just after getting married. I felt invisible- I mean, here, I was wasting away; how could those around me not see it? Was I just fading into the background?

One night, unable to sleep because of both the physical and emotional pain, I found myself in our kitchen, contemplating the end of my life. Either I was going to have to have the courage to end it myself, or I was going to die from this eating disorder.

I hit my knees, and with tears streaming down my face, I prayed for it all to end. I prayed “God give me the strength to end it myself or let someone just see me, to see the pain I was in.” And from deep inside, I felt a hope I had not felt in years, hearing a voice say in return, “I see you.”

From that night on, things changed dramatically. I was seen, not only by those around me, but by God. My doctor, during my physical, expressed great concern for my health, and from that point on became one of my greatest advocates. My new husband found the courage to express his fear of losing me and took steps to ensure I got help.

My family, all in their own ways, saw me, and showed their support for me getting into treatment. Now at first, all this was incredibly hard. My anorexia was in control of me life, and was not going to let go without a fight. I wanted to be seen, but at the same time, I was terrified at what others would say about what they saw.

However, the voice from that dark night continued to speak to me, encouraging and loving me, so that soon I was able to step into recovery. This voice reminded that I was a beloved child of God; loved beyond my understanding.

Recovering from eating disorders is a complex journey that will be part of my story forever. I found the hope I so desperately needed for this journey, in God. He has been the light my path and carries me on the days I cannot stand on my own.

My faith that God was there for became the difference between suffering and recovering. Now eighteen years later, my faith still carries me in this journey, and is the hope I share.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 11, 2015
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