On the Road to a Miracle - A Story of Healing.
This is a topic that is extremely difficult to talk about. Women throughout history have had a hate/hate relationship with their weight. My purpose in sharing my health story is to show you that there is hope for healing. Not just in trauma over my weight and self-hate, but also depression, anxiety, grief, and stress. All of this combines to form a very dissonant symphony; one that isn't pleasing to our ears, nevermind our Chief Musician.
MY BATTLE with WEIGHT
My first diet was at two-years-old. I recently read the words DIET in my baby book under the “age of two” heading. My Mom said she had to take me off of whole milk and put on 1% milk because the doctor's charts said I was "too big."
I remember waking up at five-years-old thinking that God had performed a miracle. I went to bed the night before and prayed that Jesus would make me skinny. When I woke up the next morning, I was lying flat on my bed and could feel my ribs. God had answered my prayer. Until I stood up and my little five-year-old belly was still there. I was heart-broken.
I was a tall child. I was 5'10" in seventh grade! I grew quickly, and in middle school was a perfect 5'10" size 6/8, but was told that I was fat and too big compared to other girls my age. I needed to lose weight. I cry at how I wish that narrative were different. I wish the people in my life would have told me I was good where I was; I just was super tall compared to the smaller girls my age. But that narrative continued.
At fourteen my birthday gift from my grandmother was a year-long subscription to Jenny Craig, and a "fun Friday night out" didn't include going to the movies with my friends, but getting weighed in at Weight Watchers.
I was on diet pills throughout High School that made my heart race so much at times I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Those diet pills have been recalled for causing severe health problems including death.
In college, I didn't gain the "freshman fifteen, "I gained the freshman fifty, and my once tall and slim size in middle school was now replaced with obesity and health concerns.
Finally, at the end of my rope, I underwent gastric bypass surgery in my twenties to attempt to change the effects that yo-yo-dieting, abuse from the constant focus on weight and image, and the desire to once and for all be skinny. I lost 150 pounds but still had much more to go. Weight loss surgery is a tool; it isn't the solution I came to find out.
MY BATTLE with MENTAL HEALTH.
Depression and anxiety have been a frequent visitor to my door. I have always had bouts with depression, and anxiety was my good friend. Until recently, I never realized this wasn't "normal." I thought that everyone was like me. I am an overachiever, Enneagram 1, type-A personality, so I thought the intense anxiety was "just me." I never realized it wasn't who God created me to be.
In 2018, my word for the year was HEALING, and suddenly God said, "Okay, Erika, I am about to open your eyes to the years of abuse in your Temple." I had a nervous breakdown, daily bouts of anxiety attacks, and so much more that I'm not ready to talk about quite yet. I realized, "Okay, this can't be normal." I went to my doctor and was diagnosed with PMDD, major depression, adjustment disorder, and anxiety disorder. I was immediately put on two antidepressants and told to see a counselor.
THE ABUSE OF THE TEMPLE
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us that our bodies are the Temple of God. And how I cry at how I have abused this temple. Because I have failed to take care of the temple of God, I am suffering greatly even as I write this.
If you are looking for someone who has it all figured out and has found the five-step miracle to health, weight loss, and eternal bliss . . . You are in the wrong place. I am on "the road to a miracle." I am walking that journey, and along the way, I am learning things that hopefully help you as you walk your "road to a miracle."
Because of the abuse on my body with yo-yo-dieting and surgeries for over thirty years, my body is in a state of shock. The doctors and nutritionists have told me that basically, my body holds onto any fat it can get for fear that I am going to do something else to abuse it. I am taking steps to change this and will be sharing my plan with you. My nutritionist said that for what I eat, there is no scientific reason my body should be under attack and he apologized for not being able to help.
Because of the stress on my mind, my brain is in a state of trauma the doctors say. The constant stress, grief, depression, sadness, and strain has caused my brain to pretty much beg for rest. It isn't functioning the way it should, and again, I am taking steps in healing my mind and causing it to become healthy again.
Because of the nine months taking two antidepressants, my body and mind have basically shut down. The antidepressants have reaked havoc on my system. Now before you send me hate-mail, I am not nor ever will bash medicine. If it works for you and if your doctors are on board and your spirit is at ease with your choices . . . Do you. But for me, FOR ME . . . Once again . . . FOR ME . . . They did not work and made my symptoms 100x worse.
It turns out; I am one out of three who develops something called tachyphylaxis in which antidepressants stop working after a few months. The only solution is to continue switching antidepressants - something I wasn't willing to do. At the end of 2018, I took myself off of all antidepressants, and I can't wait to share the journey I am on of finding healing naturally.
THE ROAD TO A MIRACLE.
Years ago I wrote a song called "Road to a Miracle.” At the time I wrote it for someone who was undergoing a kidney transplant. Little did I know the song wasn't for him, it was for me.
My friend, my health has been abused; some by others some by myself. But I know a God!
I know a God who was . . .
"wounded for my sickness and bruised for my disease.
By His stripes, I am healed. I am free.
Until He manifests His healing in me . . .
I'm on the Road to a Miracle." (Road to a Miracle copyright 2011 Erika Michelle)
If you know me, this article may shock you. "You are so put together. You are still homeschooling, and running a business, and blogging, teaching and helping others while you are at the end of your rope falling apart. HOW?"
One word . . . GOD.
If it weren't for my Lord and Savior, I wouldn't be here today. He has been my Keeper, my Guard, my Safety, my Defender, and mostly my Friend when I felt I was no good to anyone.
YOUR LIFE. HIS SYMPHONY.
I am opening up my heart and sharing painful parts of my path for ONE REASON . . . I do not want you to end up where I was; where I am. I want to help walk alongside you as you journey on your Road to a Miracle. I want to give you the tools that I found are helping me, and I want you to know you are not alone.
Your life is a Symphony of Praise, my Friend, and your health is a big part of that symphony. Think of an orchestra. What would happen to the symphony if the strings started playing something different from the rest of the orchestra? The sound would collapse, the conductor would do his best to get them back in line with the rest of the group, and the string section would ultimately fall apart causing the entire symphony to crumble into a mess.
Your health is a section of your life's orchestra. You've got to take care of it. Don't do what I did; Don't abuse the temple. It will only lead to pain too much for one person to bear.
Walk with me, dear Friend, and let us walk to our Miracle. Let us find tune our instrument so that we can walk out the perfect Symphony of Praise.
More to come . . .
With all my heart,
What does your health journey look like? Has it been a struggle for you? Have you found healing? Share with us and encourage someone else with your testimony.