I cried during my lesson. It was so hard telling people about some of the struggles I’ve had. But I wanted to lay the groundwork for others to share some of their struggles and healings and miracles, so I thought it was worth the risk. I told them this experience and compared it to Matthew 9, which I so identify with — it’s the story about a woman who had been sick for twelve years.
I was bulimic for nearly thirty years. When I was pregnant with Mikelle 22 years ago, I checked myself into an eating disorders clinic in Salt Lake for six weeks. It was a terrifying and emotionally grueling experience. I was ashamed, alone, afraid, and pessimistic. My little one-year-old was at home without me. And my two other children were struggling as well. One day a friend of mine found Cameron in the basement with a loaded gun. I was falling apart. I knew I needed extensive and professional help but I couldn’t handle all the emotional trauma of being away from my children for so long, and dealing with and re-living all the personal poor choices that made bulimia seem like the only way for me to cope with life.
Bishop Michelson came to visit me and he gave me a blessing.
About two weeks into the program I started feeling a little stronger and a little more optimistic. I felt encouraged that I might finally overcome my eating disorder. I was able to be more honest with myself, and with the staff, who were specifically trained to help women with compulsive and self-destructive relationships with food. Gradually I became more receptive to what they were teaching and became hopeful, prayerful, and more optimistic for recovery.
Long story short, my mother came to visit me. It was on a Friday morning. I told her that on that Sunday I had recognized a change in me. I finally felt like I had turned a corner and that I was eventually going to be OK. During the conversation she let me know that the previous Sunday my entire family had held a family fast for me, and my situation. It was the very day that I had felt strength from the Lord.
One sister did share an amazing story about her son who had broke his back and then developed a serious life-threatening side affect in the hospital. She said through a Stake fast and much prayer he was healed. It was a perfect experience for her to share with us. We all cried, together.
After the leson another sister asked me if she could talk to me about everything. She has a similar situation and has wanted/needed to talk to someone she could trust . . . for years.
Maybe that was the whole purpose.
Of course, others couldn’t/wouldn’t make eye contact with me. Maybe it was all too personal for their comfort zone.
I’m thinking, maybe another calling would be better . . .