Ever since I was a pre-teen, I suffered from low self-esteem for as long as I can remember. I can remember thinking I was fat and ugly all the way back to the 5th grade.
I suffered from a really poor body image and probably because of the childhood trauma I experienced early on in my life.
I would starve myself and then binge eat and throw up. The urge to “get the food out or get fat” would consume me until I threw it up every time.
This cycle went on for years all at the same time I was pulling my hair.
The self-loathing fueled my eating disorders and hair pulling.
And a published medical study found that eating disorders are common in individuals with trichotillomania.
👉 the study showed 20% of the individuals with trichotillomania had an eating disorder.
Why is that so many people battle eating disorders AND trichotillomania?
I can tell you from personal experience that the insecurity I have felt my whole life runs so deep that it’s wreaked havoc on a lot of areas of my life.
My hair pulling became a way to self soothe my anxieties and the eating disorders were how I thought I could control my outward appearance.
I would starve myself and then binge eat and feel guilty. The guilt from the binge eating would have me feeling so bad I would throw it up afterward so that I wouldn’t get fat.
A percentage of girls and women with trichotillomania struggle with a bad body image and have anxieties that most can’t even understand.
Medications Were NOT The Answer
I went to the doctor for help and their answer was to prescribe different anxiety and depression drugs to see if that would help me.
At a very young age, I was put on these types of drugs and they only “medicated” me. I felt “head changes” but nothing went deep enough to stop this inner pain I always had.
Nothing they prescribed took away the low self-worth I was experiencing and certainly never stopped any of my body-focused repetitive behaviors like hair pulling.
The absolute worst part was the medications were causing me to GAIN weight or at least I thought they were.
Every time I looked in the mirror I saw a fat, ugly girl. My insecurities were fueling my hair pulling which only made me feel uglier.
I had to wear hats and bandanas, I had this weird comb-over thing I did in order to hide the thinning spots on my head.
I felt alone. I didn’t have anyone I felt like I could tell.
I was living in a prison in my own body and no medication ever took that away. No amount of drugs could remove the voices telling me I was ugly and fat.
The Position That Changed My Condition
When I was at a very low point in my life, I came across an Asian guy on TV preaching about Jesus.
At this point in my life, I was already saved. I had been a Christian for many years but the things this man was saying we’re bearing witness with me in a way that I had never experienced.
At first, I started mocking him and yelling at him as if he was actually in the room. I sat there like a crazy person in my living room talking back to a man on TV.
He would say things like, “Jesus bore my pain and illness” and I would scream at him “oh yeah, why do I still have them!!”
After watching him for a while, I started actually pulling up my bible and taking notes on what he was saying.
I woke up in the morning and I looked forward to hearing his sermon because it gave me peace inside.
Peace is something people with anxiety disorders rarely experience, I was always self-conscious but when I listened to him talk about Jesus, I became Jesus-conscious instead.
My bible started to make sense and what Jesus did started sinking into my heart more and more.
I started seeing scriptures for what they were. I started seeing me for what the Word said I was.
I can’t even say at what point the eating disorders stopped, I just noticed one day, I had not done it in a long time…. and to this day, I still don’t do it.
When I overeat, the urge to “throw it back up or else I’ll get fat” is gone. I still battle the body image issue at times but that particular way of handling it is not plaguing me anymore.
My desire to learn more about Jesus grew naturally and a lot of the issues from my past I was dealing with were starting to lose their grip. I started having less and less negative thoughts dominate my life.
It was this desire to keep focused on Jesus that led me to attend bible school, where I later got my associate degree in theology.
The more I have learned about Jesus, the more I have been set free of things that nothing could free me of before.
The more I learned about my position in Christ, the more it started changing my condition in life.
There’s this whole new identity that takes place when you place your trust in Jesus. As He is, so are you IN THIS WORLD.
Christ is seated above all authority and principality, and as He is, so are you in this world.
Christ is the name above all names, His name is above bulimia, His name is above anorexia, and His name is above every kind of impulse control disorder that can be named.
His right-standing with God, is our right-standing with God.
He gave us His wisdom, His righteousness, and His authority when we placed our trust in Him.
His body was broken for you. He wore the crown of thorns so you don’t have too. He took the scourging so that you could proclaim, “by His stripes I am healed!”
We have been given authority to use His name, we have been placed IN Christ, where nothing can touch us. We are sealed with His promise!
The more you begin to realize the position you have been given by grace, the more your condition in life changes for the better in many areas.
There’s nothing left for us to do.
There’s no rules to follow or laws to abide by.
Christ fulfilled all that for us and our only job is to rest in the position that He gave us when He finished His work on the cross.
Put your focus on Jesus and take it off of you.
The more you learn your position in Him, the more faith begins to rise up on the inside and the answers and miracles you need start to manifest on the outside.
God has given us everything by His grace, all the riches of glory are in Christ Jesus – and that is where He has placed you when you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
The work is finished.
Nothing else works but the finished work of Jesus.
The way to overcoming trichotillomania and eating disorders is found in Christ and lucky for us, that’s exactly where we are.
Your identity in Christ is where your focus should be. Your identity as a New Creation IN Christ is what will loose the grip of the enemy.
- You are loved.
- You are righteous.
- You are holy.
- You are healed.
- You are free.
As Jesus is, so are you IN THIS WORLD!
It is much easier for a soldier to hold their position in a battle than to gain one. You have been given a position in Christ that cannot be taken from you.
You don’t need to gain something you already have.
Just hold your position.
I take every thought captive as much as possible so the negative thoughts that pass by don’t build a nest in my head.
Eating disorders and trichotillomania have nothing over what the blood of Jesus accomplished and that is the truth I hold on too to help me battle these self-destructive habits in my life.