Lent used to be rather simple. Give up candy. Don’t eat sweets. Turn down desserts.
However, anorexia made it more confusing and dangerous. Recovering from that the next few years was difficult but possible. Trying to find a new way to fast that did not include restriction made me creative.
This year is different. Restriction is sometimes a problem still, but the less that I do and more worthless that I feel, the more binges followed by purges become a problem. Thus, I decided to stop this cycle for Lent.
I feel awful doing this, but my fasting this Lent will be not overeating and/or purging. How will this happen when it has become such a normal part of life? There are several ways.
Firstly, I am not going to buy food that I binge. Right now, that is too much of a temptation. This feels like a step backwards because it sounds like food judgements. However, knowing your own limitations is important. One day, I will be able to eat a normal amount of those foods again. Right now, doing that alone is too difficult.
Secondly, I am going to use more coping skills. Drawing, singing, dancing, writing – there are so many things that I could be doing besides wallowing in my eating disorder. Using those skills again will be very helpful.
Finally, exploring more of my faith during this time is important. Lately, I have been pretty bitter regarding the Church, God, and people of faith as a whole. Hopefully, this will be a time of healing.
Another hope is that I can begin to eat normally again. I am sick of eating too much or not enough. It seems like I am doomed to do that for the rest of my life. Will I ever just eat normal? I don’t know. That terrifies me.
Here is to another year, another Lent, another time to reflect and sacrifice. My prayer is to make it through this one stronger.