Topic Tuesday: Freedom

“Freedom” (By:Maci Hughlett)

FreedomMacie H. We hear this word all of the time in a variety of circumstances. World peace calls for freedom. Prisoners find freedom. Nations fight and fall for the chance at a taste of freedom like what we have in the United States. Eating disorders taunt this word in our faces just out of arms reach.

There is joy in freedom, along with peace and relief. Freedom also brings along exhaustion, toughness, and strength. For most people, gaining freedom from any ailment is an uphill battle that leaves them breathless. No one goes through a war without some battle scars. Yes, there is joy in freedom, but on the same level there is hardness.

Hardness to the situation – to the capture. In relation to an eating disorder, hardness to your previous self surfaces once freedom is delivered. When I found freedom from bulimia – the first time and when I relapsed recently – an indescribable hardness came about to the life I had lived. I felt all that comes with recovery alongside a tougher sense amongst myself.

This sense is what keeps me in the recovery stage. This hardness to past habits exudes from me when it is my birthday and there is a cake with my name on it. Hardness heightens when my roommate surprises me with a milkshake while studying for an exam. The tough side of me comes out when my stomach growls and I am faced with a choice: to let the disorder take advantage and don’t eat, or show the eating disorder whose boss and eat breakfast because I do deserve to have a full stomach again.

Since finding recovery, I look in the mirror differently. I know that this sounds cliché and is what is supposed to happen during the recovery process, but hold on because it is true. I don’t see a girl who used to struggle to see food for what it is – good. A young woman stands before me that has a few battle scars. A woman that knows what it is like to be low, to climb a mountain, to fall downward, and knows to never climb alone again. Eating disorders and mirrors are each other’s own worst enemy. They cannot exist together. Fight on the side of the mirror and cut the disorder like glass. You will be tougher, stronger, and harder for it.

Yes, I have peace, joy, hope, and relief from the eating disorder. But I am just as equally unbreakable.

About the Author

Maci Hughlett is a girl on a mission. She loves Jesus, coffee, books, hiking, and sees everything as an adventure. Maci is studying at Johnson University with a double major in Bible & Theology and Human Services – Counseling. She is up for doing anything in life that will help people see the light and would love to use her testimony for the good of others. Maci is a Tennessee native, growing up in Knoxville and is always making trips up to Nashville to visit family. She has found recovery from a bulimia twice and plans to stand strong against any future temptation to fall into the food trap once more. Family, friends, and her local church have been such a blessing in her life, especially on the road of recovery and she cannot thank them enough. Blessings!