I’ve always thought in opposites (use of the word ‘always’ is a case in point). Even as a little girl, the world looked good or bad, right or wrong, black or white.
When I worked at school, it was through the night, determined to get the best grades. When I took up running, I bought the complete kit and dedicated hours to perfecting my technique. When it came to losing weight, I ‘d either do it ‘properly’ or not at all.
My behaviour then, came from a certain way of thinking, a world-view. And this is also why ‘recovery’ feels so difficult. What is it that I’m ‘recovering’ from? If it’s an eating disorder or a dislike of certain foods or even a target weight, then I can reach the point where I say ‘ta-daa! All fixed. Next item on the agenda’. But if it’s a slavery to a system of thought, or being in control of life, then the solution isn’t quite so simple. I can transfer my affections and change my behaviour, but remain enslaved to a system of works or mindset that sees life through essentially the same lens.
I hate writing this. More than anything, I want to say that I’m a normal, healthy person with no weird thinking patterns or obsessions or compulsions or fears or anything else that makes me feel different and rubbish. I want to say ‘anorexia! Pah – done and dusted. Depression? – never again. OCD? That was the old me. Now I’ve changed’.
But in a sense, that sort of thinking is exactly what got me into the situation in the first place. It’s wanting to be perfect. Hating weakness. Wanting to rescue myself. Instead, I’m deeply sinful, flawed and scared. In Christ, I’m also redeemed, chosen, spotless and precious. I’m human. I don’t have the answers. I need help. And as the gospel reminds me, that’s the point.