It was a hot summer day the first time I saw Lauryn. I was at the YMCA running on a treadmill and adjacent to me was a young woman working out on the stair master – Lauryn. I noticed her when I glanced to my left to check the time on the giant clock that hung on the wall. Lauryn’s physical appearance frightened me. Having myself recovered from anorexia, I can nine times out of ten pick out a woman who is struggling.
My heart started racing as I relived a night I could have died. I pressed pause on the treadmill and got off. I started to walk over to her, but then thought, No, I shouldn’t say anything I would never want to make her feel uncomfortable. But I wrestled with these thoughts for a moment because this beautiful woman looked as if at any moment she might pass out.
I got back on the treadmill and offered up a few miles for her. I didn’t know her name, but I knew our Father in Heaven did. I never stopped praying for her and wondered if I made the right choice in not saying anything at the gym. Miraculously, several weeks ago I meet her. She is right now undergoing treatment and I am grateful for the gift of her life. Lauryn is an exceedingly brave and courageous woman and I post this today to ask you to please pray for her.
It is not often that you meet someone who truly is vulnerable and writes from the heart. Well my friends, that is what Lauryn does everyday, as she blogs about the struggles and joys of recovery. Through her eloquent writing she takes you inside the mind of someone struggling for hope, struggling for change, struggling to fight and struggling to live.
The following post really touched my heart deeply, and is in essence why Made in His Image must be built. The following is written by Lauryn, and you can follow her blog here.
I Hate Anorexia!
I just received some sad, unsettling news yesterday that has really been on my mind a lot the past 24-hours.
My heart is weak.
This is something I know is a result from years of abuse and malnutrition in my body, but yesterday, I went to see a cardiologist for an EKG, ultrasound and stress-test on my heart. The stress test revealed my heart is not pumping at its peak, vibrant level.
The human machine was not meant to function off of minimum nutrients and over-work.
The body needs nourishment, activity, rest, sleep—all in proper balance.
For this neglect, I am now picking up the pieces, and praying that the damage that has been done is reversible.
I HATE anorexia! I HATE eating disorders! I HATE not living life to the fullest!
Anorexia is selfish—and takes all prisoner that it infects.
It is a horrible, silent, deadly disease that destroys—and leaves nothing unharmed if it can help it.
It wreaks havoc on the body, wringing it’s sly, grimy, smooth, forceful hands around the neck of the victim’s heart, organs, hair, skin, “life” in the eyes. Choking the victim’s ambitions, life pursuits, relationships, experiences.
Anorexia laughs at the sufferer in the face, while it’s victim discovers that what she once thought was her best friend, is really her worst enemy.
Anorexia seeps and sucks the joy out of her life. It keeps the victim to itself—not sharing her with anyone else—even those who love her most. Anorexia latches on to her, digging its fingernails deep into her skin, begging, pleading, “Don’t leave me. You need me. Life is meaningless without me.”
Anorexia creeps and crawls in the shadows. Anorexia loves the dark. Anorexia puts up a wall between its victim and the world around her—like she’s trapped in a bubble. Anorexia takes her hostage. It ties her hands behind her back and straps her to a chair with a bandana in her mouth. She is seen, but not heard. She fights, but cannot break free alone. Anorexia threatens, “If you make a peep, you’ll regret it. Sit still, don’t fight, don’t move.”
Anorexia whispers in her ear, “They don’t know what they are talking about. They don’t know YOU.” Anorexia pretends to care for her—but then turns its back on her, laughing and pointing in her face.
Anorexia also points and laughs when she looks in the mirror and it tells her “You’re too thin—look at how sick and disgusting you look,” or, “You’re fat and ugly and stupid.” Anorexia laughs when she pulls on her jeans and they fit tighter than they once did. “Look at your butt, look at your hips. They don’t look like they should…how could you let yourself go?!”
Anorexia is the ball and chain attached to her ankle—she drags it wherever she goes, no matter the change in scenery. For, change in environment is really not the answer to the solution; change in scenery doesn’t attack the root of the problem, but seemingly runs from the problem.
Anorexia killed one of her dear friends. The 20-year old girl didn’t see it coming. She was just living her life and she collapsed. Anorexia doesn’t discriminate and, whomever it can take hold of, its ultimate purpose is todestroy. Anorexia was laughing at her funeral.
Anorexia is the mean, big bully on the playground she doesn’t want to face, but she knows nothing will change until she does. She has to meet it “by the flagpole” and face it head on—although a bloody nose may ensue.
Anorexia wears boxing gloves—always ready to duke it out, punch her in the stomach and give her a bloody nose—when she least expects it.