I had a conversation – well, not a conversation, more of a word-vomit – with a friend this week. It was Thursday night and I was struggling just to keep my head above water; every conversation, look, sound reminding me of what a freak I was. I was paralyzed with fear at every social interaction, even with people I knew, and was absolutely at the end of my rope. To add insult to injury, I had a board meeting that evening for a non-profit I’m involved with and found myself even more convinced that I have absolutely nothing to offer this group.
I’m just tired of fighting, I said, my head resting on the back of the couch at the prayer room, my body curled up. I’m so tired. She asks if the fighting is good or bad, unsure yet if she should encourage me to continue fighting or give up.
Fighting is good. Fighting is the struggle – sometimes hour-by-hour, often minute-by-minute, and even second-by-second – to do what I know I must to be healthy. It is the constant act of forcing myself to eat, or hold back in a workout, or turn to paper and pen instead of a razor. It requires a lot of energy and time in the fight. And a lot of times, I just don’t know if I’ve got any fight left in me. This week has been filled with those moments where I think it would be simply easier to go back to the way it was before I attempted recovery [again].
After this conversation, I drove to the part of town where my church is, where this non-profit is pouring its energy, where I will soon be moving and taking up residence. I sat through the board meeting, trying even as we discussed vision and strategy to convince myself that I could ever recover. That I could ever be healthy enough to be of some good to this board, to this community, to this city.
I said almost nothing during the meeting, just listened to the voices in the room and those in my head. But it was the strangest thing – I left the meeting energized, renewed, ready to fight again. There was something about being in that conference room, with people who shared my passion and heart for the community that reminded me why I’m fighting. There was an acknowledgment in that moment that I was exactly where I was supposed to be – that Africa may be on the horizon at some point, but now…now is for this city, this community, these neighbors.
And now is for me. To learn to fight, to learn to love, to learn to be a part of something bigger than myself.
So I’m fighting.
I am fighting for health.
I am fighting for the day I am completely surrendered to God.
I am fighting for the people in this little corner of my city:
I am fighting for the day that I own my story without shame, the day that I look back and say, “Look what God did.”
I am fighting for every man, woman, and child that will hear that story and recognize some of their own struggle and redemption.
I am fighting for the day that I look at my body and see its strength, not its flaws.
I am fighting for the day that I don’t have to lie about my weight, my diet, my plans for the day.
I am fighting for my friendships, which have been woefully one-sided lately.
I am fighting to be the best “aunt” ever to those kids that I love so dearly.
I am fighting for fullness of life.
I am fighting the good fight. Pray that I remain faithful.