Becoming Happy

What does it mean to be 'happy'? I know that this sounds like it has a simple answer...but think about. REALLY think about it. What do you feel when you are happy? What makes you KNOW that you are happy?

When I really reflect on it, I think defining happiness is hard! I suppose I can say that when I am happy, I feel safe. I feel free. I feel that although hard times may soon come, right now, I am okay. Life can have good moments, and happiness is one of the best things about life.

Deep into ED, I had lost any sense of feeling emotions - especially good ones. I never felt 'happy' because I was a slave to this hostile monster. ED filled my head night and day with harsh comments, reminders that I was fat and ugly, and the constant orders to inflict starvation upon myself.

Don't eat. You must isolate yourself. Do not watch that movie, even if people call it funny. You do not need to laugh. You do not know HOW to laugh. You silly girl. No one likes you. You are fat and ugly and useless. Stay close to me...I will give you what you want. You don't need anything or anyone else.

And for a long time, I listened to ED. Having this disorder made me different from people - I didn't 'need' to eat because I was somehow special that way. I did not have to laugh because there was simply nothing good in my life to laugh about. I did not feel happy because I was not enjoying life. I was stuck in a never-ending hole of darkness, pain, and struggles.

Even in treatment, I have to admit, I was NOT happy. I was full of anger, hurt, and confusion. It was only when I realized that I had to overcome ED that I felt the need to be happy. If I did not want to get better, I could not beat ED. I had to feel that I was done with him. And thank God, I did. I started to take control of my health. I did not wait for doctors, my parents, or anyone else to tell me to care for myself. I did it. For me. Because I was worth it. And because I wanted to know what it really felt like to be 'happy'.

I cannot say that all my problems are over. Let's face it, everyone has obstacles in life. I have many. But I also have a God who cares for me, a family who loves me, and friends who support me. I can smile when I see a familiar face, I can laugh when I hear a funny joke, and I can confidently say that ED is not winning. I feel as though I have broken the chains that have held me victim for so long. I feel this sense of power and achievement. It feels great.

I suppose this is what feeling 'happy' means. To enjoy life to the fullest, knowing that I have done whatever I can to defeat ED. And knowing that at the end of the day, I refuse to let ED take over again.

"Cheer up, for I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

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