Which Voice?

So many voices compete for our attention.  Most of them are good/necessary.  There’s the voice that tells you when to eat, or when to give someone a hug.  There’s the voice that gently insists that it’s probably not a great idea to have a second piece of cake, and the voice that reminds you to give strangers their space.  Then there’s a voice that tells you to have no cake.  Or to not eat.  Or that you’re fat, and your pants look horrid.

It seems like the solution would be easy: just listen to the nicer voice (the reasonable voice).  Ignore the nasty voice (the ED voice), right?  Well, it would be a great solution, except that it’s not quite that easy.  The ED voice has a way of drowning out the nice voice – a way of hiding the reasonable option.  ED makes his victim believe every word, and take it to heart.

Here’s a story:

The other day, I put on a pair of pants that I hadn’t worn for a couple of weeks.  They seemed a bit tighter, and ED flung a dart.

Wow, your pants are already tighter.  Sheesh.

But I was on my way out the door to church, and I didn’t have time to really negotiate by changing my clothes, so I just went with it.  After Sunday School, I remembered that I should eat my snack.  It was nothing big, but it was a snack…and ED fired another arrow.

You don’t need that snack.  Remember how your pants fit?  Just don’t go there.

But after some thought, I ate part of my snack anyways. But by the end of church, I burned through my too-light snack, and the hunger was about to throw a tantrum.  I.was.RAVENOUS.

We went to our typical Sunday-after-church- restaurant, but found it to be jam packed.  A cranky customer and a cranky waitress later, and I was a cranky mess. I needed food and I needed it fast.

We headed across the street to another restaurant, and after we were seated, mom offered to order me an appetizer.  My family rarely orders appetizers, and as she placed the order, and ED realized that he couldn’t keep me from eating, he decided to use another tactic.  He said,

You are SUCH a burden.  Look at this, ordering an appetizer, bending over backwards just to get you something to eat.  And look how cranky you are!  Man-oh-man, they’re all just walking on eggshells around you.  What a burden.

And I believed him for a while.

Of course, after eating, I felt much better, and I was able to talk through the situation with Ron and my parents, but that sense of being a burden lingered.  So I brought it up in counseling.  Wanna know what I learned?

ED is the burden.  We all bend over backwards for ED.  We all walk on eggshells around ED.  Not me, but ED.  Even I walk on eggshells and bend over backwards for ED.  If I didn’t cater to him so, I might very well be in a different place today.

In reflection, for every nasty statement from ED that day, there was a counter-statement from the reasonable voice.  When ED berated me for my pants feeling tighter, there was another voice cheering – by the grace of God, I’m meeting my goals.  When ED didn’t want me to eat the snack, there was a voice reminding me that I need the snack for energy and body repair.  When ED told me I was a burden, there was a voice reminding me that my loved ones want to take care of me.

Two voices.  One constructive, the other destructive.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

Two voices.  One the voice of God, the other, the voice of the enemy.

Which voice will you listen to?


4 thoughts on “Which Voice?

  1. You are not a burden, will never be a burden. ED is the stinker! Remember that. ED is a brat who will try to spoil things for everyone. Keep on listening to the right voice. Loving you bunches, Mom

  2. I marvel at your discernment! I seriously believe that it’s one of the hardest things ever to identify the negative self-talk that subconsciously dictates the way that we act and react. As always, you handle yourself with commendable poise! YOU are wonderful!!!! Now come back to Washington so I can say so in person! (jk…but seriously.)

    • Awww thank you, roomie! Although I would have never chosen an eating disorder, I’ve grown so much through it. “What if your blessings come through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears” 🙂

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