The bane of a nursing mom’s existence.
I’ve had a huge plugged duct in my breast this weekend. Yes, it is as terrible as it sounds. It has had me laid out like no other with chills and a fever, incredible body aches, and extreme nausea. God help us I’m a grown woman but these are the moments I wish my mother would suddenly materialize in our home – you know, a mother’s touch. And cooking. And cleaning. And taking care of my own children.
Couldn’t keep anything down. Even the long-anticipated honey crisp apples that I love so much – those came back up pretty violently. And the grapes. And the bagel. Bad bagel, bad. And as I rested my head on the toilet seat I couldn’t help but remember when this – vomiting – was natural and easy to me.
― Brennan Manning
We had gotten in a fight.
He said something about me being thick. My body shaped like a block. And his grandmother saying something to the effect of my being fat especially for an Asian woman. Aren’t Korean girls supposed to be skinny? she asked him.
We were at a Blockbuster picking up a DVD to watch with his friend and his fiancé. I locked myself in the bathroom and looked down into the toilet. And let dinner, anger, and my self-loathing come rushing out.
I came out with slight tears in my eyes from the strain. But a smile to cover it up.
I was a college junior at the time. In the beginning I would binge and purge 10-15 times a day. I discovered which foods came up the easiest. Taco Bell. McDonalds. Wendy’s. Pretty much any fast food joint, come to think of it. My favorite were these huge burritos stuffed with rice and beans and guacamole. And soda pop. I had to have the carbonated drink so everything I gorged on would come up quicker. I planned which foods would be the “big meal.” I avoided spicy foods because those were painful coming up. And for the life of me I couldn’t do it with my mother’s cooking.
I lost my gag reflex. All I had to do was look at the toilet and it would come up – no finger or anything.
As time went on binging and purging was my coping mechanism for…life. For everything. It became a way to stifle my emotions and stuff them inside me. When I finally went to talk to someone about it she helped me see that I was praying to the wrong god.
I mean, I was praying to God. These sorts of dark nights of the soul may be heavy with God’s seeming absence but I kept reaching. When I was finally able to see I could feel that God was already holding me. But it was the reliance on being emotionless that became my god in a way, too. I didn’t have to deal with anything. I didn’t have to face or confront anything. But eventually I stopped feeling all the good and beautiful along with the hard and ugly. Feeling God’s nearness … it was heavy with shame and guilt.
This was not sustainable for living.
Like with any addiction I’m always going to be in recovery from this lifestyle. But isn’t that for most of us anyway? Those of us who profess an imperfect love and trust in the Triune God – aren’t we all in recovery from something? From abuse and materialism and violence…the list goes on.
And that was the miracle and revelation about redemption. About justification. And sanctification. Recovery is not too unlike sanctification. It just feels more realistic about the day to day and the process. Because there are lapses. And relapses. And victories. And defeat. But onward and upward…
These days there is a lot that contributes to my recovery. My babies. My husband. My work and writing. My babies. I’m thankful. Somedays less so but other days make up for it. But it’s a sign and symptom of recovery – gratitude. And feeling it is good.
but the circus never leaves town”
― Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith
Maybe sanctification makes something so reprobate like recovery - after all, isn’t that for the lowlifes and druggies? -
…all the more holy.