Recovery In the Midst of Mortality

recovery in the midst of mortality
My mom passed away on August 25, 2012 in an automobile accident and she struggled most of her life with many addictions. In the final few months of her life, the whole family had gotten together to help her get cleaned up in a recovery home and while there, I genuinely saw her as I had never seen her before. She was happy, stable, clear-minded, hopeful and radiant. She and I spent what would be, unbeknownst to both of us, the happiest and final two weeks of her life together.I felt hopeful and serene that everything was going to be alright. I had placed the situation in God’s hands, and I trusted him, no matter what the outcome.
Three weeks after I left her, she died. What I experienced is something like I could never write down in a billion books. I don’t even know the depth of my own sorrow for her.

Addictions kill if left untreated.

If you think that an eating disorder will not kill you, please think again. I remember growing up that before my mom developed her other addictions she had had a terrible time with bulimia. She openly shared about her bulimia with me and some of the family before she passed away while she was staying in the recovery home. I know that my mom was trying to connect and help me in any way she could with my disease.

You see, at the root of any addiction, is an addictive behavior, which tries to cover deeper emotional issues.

It is the emotional and mental issues that need to be dealt with properly, but you cannot do that until you stop the addictive behaviors. If you stop one addictive behavior it is likely that you can pick up another easily, just like my mother and I did.

I have had my fair share of addictions in my past. If it wasn’t for the food, it was drugs, smoking, or the other. Until I sought help two and a half years ago I was a total mess! The food has far and between been my biggest problem, and when my mom passed away it made me face my own mortality. It was tough enough to go to her funeral and know that she died way too young at forty-five years old, but myself, at twenty-seven, well, I wasn’t too far behind!

If we have suffered from the same problems, then it made life and dying all too real and that reality stung colder than the iciest, black winter night on my naked soul.

How do we cope with an eating disorder especially when faced with our own mortality? How do we deal with our addictions when going through life and the loss of a loved one? One day at a time. By accepting every day that we have a life-threatening illness that, if left untreated, will lead to our untimely death, and that we are powerless over our disease. We must turn it over to the care of God as we understand Him, and seek to do His will in our life, not our own. The 12 step program has been my one of my lifelines as well as journaling my thoughts, reaching out for support, and being that support system for others. One of the greatest enemies addictions have is a life lived for helping others. Getting out of self and living a life of selflessness is Step 12 of the 12 Step Program. Once I adopted these behaviors and ways of life, I saw my spirit rise to a whole new level. I no longer lived to eat, I ate to live. I lived to serve God and found myself asking God,

“What can I do for you today? Who can I help and encourage today through you?”

With these new-founded ways of life, I have learned that even in the midst of my mom’s death and facing the reality of my own, I have a guide on how to get through it calmly and with a stable spirit. I do not have to go through life another day depressed and defeated. However long God has me here on this Earth, I will live it with confidence, faith and to the fullest, knowing that He has an incredible journey left for me to fulfill and help others through the lessons I have learned.

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