Tuesday 25 October 2011

As far as the east is from the west...

Out of the blue on Sunday morning I found myself en route to the church I first went to almost two years ago (during the long wait for treatment for Ben's anorexia and while Ben himself was rapidly and dramatically falling off a cliff). I only went to that church for three months. Although I was crying out inside - no - SCREAMING inside for help in a way only a parent can, I found the people I met at that church didn't or just couldn't 'get it'.

The problem was, I think, that the sheer depth, helplessness and unusual nature of my problem took them way beyond their comfort zone. They seemed to find it easier to talk about helping the needy (street people, third world, etc) than get to grips with something they found hard or impossible to understand... or just downright weird... anorexia nervosa.

Anyway, for some reason, I found myself back in that church on Sunday.

I crept in and sat at the back. I didn't particularly want to be noticed or for people to ask "How are things these days?" if they recognised me.

The reason I was there, I think, was to experience the sheer stark contrast between how I was feeling when I sat in that church two years ago compared with how I am feeling now.

Not wanting to sound religious, it came to me almost like a bolt out of the blue: the contrast.

The contrast between the internal screaming and desperation of two years ago as I helplessly watched my wonderful child fall off a cliff into the swirling depths of anorexia, not knowing how far he would have to fall before we got our first treatment appointment; I had been warned it might be five months before we saw anyone.

Back then, the ice cold feeling of fear, desperation and panic was ever-present.

It was as if we were standing in the path of a volcano which had erupted and our chances of getting out alive were pretty slim.

And I could never have known what horrors were to come between then and Ben turning a corner 12 months ago.

It's probably best I didn't.

But let's return to Sunday as I sat in that church, feeling powerfully serene and calm, my wonderful son beside me looking healthy and happy.

The sermon was based on Psalm 103 and the part that stood out for me flashing in Las Vegas Lights was verse 12: '...as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.'

Replace the word 'transgressions' with 'danger' or 'anorexia' and that sums up how I felt: the stark contrast between two years ago in this church and Sunday. It was as far as the east is from the west. That far. About as far as you can get or ever imagine.

Anyway, Ben and I crept out of the church at the end, as we'd planned.

We may never go back, but it was kind of weird that we ended up there on Sunday.

Read into that what you may...

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