About me

My name is Rachel, and this is my story.

I’ve always been a strange girl. Even as a child I would scratch my skin til it bled and refuse to eat (I never consciously knew why)
There are moments that stand out in my head, but I don’t believe there’s one particular event that you could point to and say “THIS is why”

I’ll be honest though, my issues started when I was young and only got worse as I grew.
I would hurt myself at any given opportunity. scratching, burning, cutting.
I was desperate for control over a life I felt I had no say in. I did this through food. Starving, binging, purging. It was in the following few years that I withdrew further and could count the list of people I interacted with on one hand. I lost a lot of weight to the point people were getting worried but as I had been overweight beforehand and hadn’t reached a ‘dangerous’ low weight I managed to hide it well with baggy clothes and sweatshirts all year round. In all truthfulness I’m unsure how I got such high grades let alone passed at all. I was barely getting 25 hours sleep a week due to my ‘routine’ that had to be completed. I can’t remember anything much from that time.

At the end of 2010 I finished 7th form, and made the decision not to go to Wellington and study psychology as planned, but rather to live and study in Wanganui. I went there to be closer to certain people, with the belief that the more I was around them the better things would be. I’d live the life I imagined.

I had an interview for a fine arts degree, and despite being severly hungover at the time, I was accepted instantly based on my photography portfolio. Once I was there I changed my degree to a one-year certificate programme which was essentially a basic foundation for the course I was already accepted into.

I soon realised that the fantasy I’d created inside my head wasn’t going to become reality, and it didn’t take long before I was self-destructing again. Gambling all my money away, smoking weed, skipping course, binge-drinking, passing out at bars, in gutters, on the floor.. contacting people I shouldn’t and getting myself in dangerous situations (don’t drink excessively, go walking alone at night, then get in cars with older guys #notetoself) My living situation was less than ideal and I was eventually given two weeks notice and told to leave, which is possibly the best thing (for me) that could have happened. being on my own a lot of the time my eating spiralled out of control. I was rapidly cycling between restricting and binging/purging and ‘trying’ to eat ‘normally’. It genuinely terrified me and naturally wrecked havoc on my physical, emotional, and financial state.
I hit proverbial rock bottom.

Then things started to improve. I moved into a flat where I met a wonderful guy who made an effort to become friends. He supported me and constantly told me I am worth it. Life is a series of moments and they’re all connected. “every path we take, every move we make, every interaction, starts a chain reaction.” One night I was walking to the supermarket, with every intention of buying food, knowing full well I would end the night on my knees with my head over the toilet. I saw no escape other than death. My life was a viscious cycle of addictions that each fuelled the others. As I was walking, a woman I had never met before (and haven’t seen since) stopped me. I will never forget the words she spoke. “Jesus loves you”

I had no idea what she was reffering to. I’d heard of Jesus. I had a vague idea. But that was the extent of it. I burst into tears. I didn’t even know why I was crying. It was what I needed, at that exact moment, I needed to hear that I was loved.

In the following weeks I started going to church, and learning as much as I possibly could. I loved it, and it made a huge difference to my life. I felt a sense of peace and it gave me something to look forward to each week. I remained defensive though. I wasn’t willing to open my eyes or heart to anything other than what I believed I knew to be true (that I was fat, worthless, and unloved)

As my course finished and I moved home at the end of the year, things spiralled out of control again. I continued to drink, and my eating was erratic at best.
I entered a brief relationship with someone I believed cared for me. But I was looking for the wrong kind of love in all the wrong places. He wasn’t physically abusive, but I am emotionally scarred. I lost my virginity to him, and he constantly objectified me in a way that left me confused and hurt. I tried many times to end things but I was constantly drawn back because I felt noone would possibly ever love me for anything more than my bra size.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment. But something within me changed. I no longer drink or take drugs, nor do I have any desire to do so. I eat regular and balanced meals and I understand my self worth is not based on the number I see on the scale, nor the reflection in the mirror.
My journey of recovery has not been an easy one, but i’m not doing this alone. I have God as my guide. I’ve realised He is the only one who can set me free.

Because if I can’t trust God with this, then what is there?
There’s nothing.
He knows my heart, and every part of me. He knows my needs, and desperations. And He loves me still. There is peace. It’s so easy to place limits on God, to imagine the impossible and delare it as that. But He is so much greater than our human minds could possibly fathom. And not all at once, but slowly, piece by piece, my heart has been put together.

Most importantly, I have faith and hope. Two things I never had before.

1 comment:

Just me said...

Oh my goodness, you beautiful & wonderful girl I am so happy for you and where you're headed! I'm so proud of how far you've come already and I am right behind you on this journey, you know I'm just an email away whenever you like :) Loads of love x x x