Intro by Jonathan: Hi Readers, as you know, my relationship with my clients is private and confidential—meaning I never disclose my clients names nor their information unless I have their express permission to do so. This is one of those situations. Amanda wanted to share this experience publicly for the benefit of others who may also be suffering with an eating disorder, body image and/or self-esteem issues. Further, she wished to do it openly instead of anonymously to demonstrate to herself that she no longer needs to hide from nor be ashamed of who she is. I have great respect for her, and for all, who break the chains of silence and seek help for themselves and offer it to others. Read on...
By Guest Blogger, Amanda K. Cerveny
I needed to get rid of my bathroom scale. I wanted it out of my life and I wanted to be free from it. I was sick of it weighing me down. I talked about it for months. I hated it and how it made me feel. I even took a Sharpie to it to express my feelings about it. I wrote all the things this object was to me. Here is the list:
- "You are negative."
- "I don't want you in my life!"
- "You are a waste of space!"
- "I don't want to think about you all the time!"
- "You are unforgiving."
- "You do not determine my self-worth."
- "I hate you."
- "You weight me down."
- "You are not kind."
- "You bring me down."
- "I want to be set free from you!"
- "You do not compliment my efforts."
- "You are never constant."
- "You're ugly."
- "You don't care about me."
The only thing I could relate my feelings to this scale would be “Wilson,” the volleyball in the movie Castaway, that gave Tom Hank’s character comfort, companionship, and sanity. A silly object for him meant something to hang on to and to have hope for. My object, my “Wilson” was no Wilson—it provided no solace in my suffering—instead, it proffered only self-loathing. The object that became my anchor, guide to self worth, and even the decision-maker and gauge as to how I would start my day every day WAS nothing more than a bathroom scale. An object became the decider of how I felt about me! Like in the movie, my object became my obsession.
For me this was no ordinary scale. This was my supporting partner, one of my enablers to my current and longtime (15 year) battle with bulimia. I can’t even describe how painful it is for me to write this. What was I thinking?! How could I let such a DUMB thing control my life and define who I am as a person? Like a relationship that you know is no good for you, I decided it was time to end the relationship—this time for good.
I took that scale, with all it’s writings (I can’t believe I held onto it and waited so long to get rid of it!), out to my husband’s shop, put it in a metal vice (all of this while talking to my counselor Jonathan on the phone), tightened the grip so it would not move (get away) and like the torture it has given me I took great pleasure knowing it’s imminent demise. I then grabbed the sledge hammer and my heart started to race. For a moment I thought I could not do it. I had anxiety about getting rid of something I felt I needed. But I put the cell phone on speaker, placed it on the table next to me so Jonathan could hear the destruction. I took a deep breath, raised the sledgehammer and whacked the Hell out if it over, and over, and over again until I KNEW it was done and gone. There was a part of me that wanted to cry. I was sad I let myself be controlled by a lifeless, LOVELESS object.
That was a about a week ago. I have not looked back. I no longer think about it as my first thought every morning of every day. I want to be free from this, my disorder, entirely. I know it will be a long journey, and at times hurt, but I have accepted this. I know that the pain is nothing compared to the addiction and the hurt it has brought me. I have faith and remember the teaching of the Gospel and essentially what the Atonement is for and the glory in the end far outweighs the pain. I have a testimony of this and continue to give God my strength and not my disorder. I am thankful to know that this is also not a road I have to travel alone and will do all I can to help others. I share this with tears in my eyes as I type, in the name of Jesus Christ, humbly hoping it will help another who suffers as I have.
Jonathan asked if I wanted to post this anonymously. I told him, "Please sign my full name. It is symbolic of not hiding my disorder any more. All of this is hard but I know necessary."
I am leaving you with my favorite quote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” —Lao Tzu
—Amanda K. Cerveny
Note: Jonathan here again. Hearing parts fly as she "whacked the Hell" out of that scale were some of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard! It was such a hard step to take and she did it with powerfully destructive glory and with no more holding back. It can take a long time to get the courage to let go of what we erroneously think is part of our "solution." I couldn't be more proud of her, as I am of all the chainbreakers of the world who take a stand and say, "No more!" I salute you all.