Yup. I’m a 21 year old Canadian female and only just recently got my ears pierced.
And then… un-pierced. And the whole debacle is what led to some leaps in my physical recovery from eating disorders, and a greater understanding of my personal identity.
Excessive? Allow me to explain.
I grew up with two sisters, and remember each of them getting their ears pierced. In fact, I remember each of them begging my mom to allow them to get their ears pierced at quite young ages.
But when my mom asked me if I ever wanted to get mine pierced, my answer, a few times over, was no. I just didn’t see the point in getting a needle put in my ears so that I could put jewelry in them. It just seemed like unnecessary efforts.
I’ve never been extremely opposed to the idea of having ear piercings, and definitely not to that of having piercings in general– I do, after all, have my belly button pierced. So when my friend Brooke and I went to get pedicures a few weeks ago and I noticed that the place did ear piercings for just $15 with free earrings, I thought, Why not?
Now, in hindsight, and after talking to a few friends afterward, I realize the question I really should have been asking when I saw that the piercing AND earrings together cost 15$ was Why?
In any case, I really liked the piercings for about a week after having them. They were easy to get used to, and easy to clean. I cleaned them thoroughly with warm salt water three times per day.
After about a week, though, I noticed the infection starting, and it only worsened over the next several days.
My dear friend, also known as my “soulmate” Bethany zeroed in on the infection the moment she saw me, and insisted upon taking me to Shoppers Drug Mart to get the appropriate products to fix it. I was incredibly grateful; I had not known what to do, especially with my go-to ailment-healer away at the cottage (my mom, of course).
And so, I set out to use the solution three times per day as Bethany had instructed, but soon realized that the infection was already too advanced. It would definitely require more serious care.
I decided to go to a walk-in clinic, where I was prescribed both a topical cream, and an antibiotic, by a patient doctor with a kind smile. The antibiotic was to be taken 4 times per day, with a decent meal each time.
It was when I realized how difficult it was for me to eat four large meals per day that I turned to prayer, confused.
I’m a “six small meals a day” kind of person, and this antibiotic did NOT work with snacks. If I didn’t have enough food with it, I noticed instantly that I had a horrible stomachache afterwards.
The last full update I did about eating disorder recovery is here.
After writing this one, I told myself that I would not qualify myself to give advice on my own experiences with recovery until I had gotten at least three periods in a row. I’ve experienced in the past “feeling” so educated on the topic of the recovery– and, from a knowledge-perspective, I am– but without having the success displayed in my own life.
So when I realized that the prospect of eating enough food at a time to make four large meals per day was mentally a little bit daunting, my reaction that of was fear and doubt.
Had I slipped back into more old habits than I’d realized?
I’ve spent a lot of this past week and a half reflecting on and praying about the previous year that I spent working at a health-food cafe.
I’ve already spoken about it to myself, and to some friends and family, and I don’t like to say it but acknowledging it was step one: some circumstances of the past year have triggered some old thought patterns which *sometimes* lead to old disordered behaviours.
That, and the reality that I could still relate so much to this video made me realize that “diet culture” had probably had its way with me more than I had previously admitted.
And, of course, my God and His timing? Sooo paramount.
The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. DEUTERONOMY 7:22
I’ve had to take this antibiotic and learn to be okay with eating four big meals a day (and snacks, too, if I want them) during my couple weeks off after leaving my job in the health food industry, and before starting my new one as a writer.
There has been an INCREDIBLE amount of healing during this time that I didn’t even know I needed. I plan to share more about the key areas of healing that God has revealed to me through prayer, time in the Word, and those around me. Removing myself from lies that I’ve believed in the past that were my everyday environment for a while again, repenting of believing them, and getting up close with Truth and Life in Jesus has been the desire of my soul. And He’s already reminded me that He already had victory over this battle, and that if there’s more that needs to be nailed to the cross, would He show me, but otherwise I can walk confidently in that victory.
Today, I simply want to highlight that something as seemingly insignificant as an ear infection can be a paramount turning point when entrusted to God.
He uses everything for His glory. Even a silly decision to take a nail artist up on a $15 piercing.