In other to help people, you need to reach them. And in order to reach them, you have to speak up.
I’ve been a witness of the goodness and power of God through my anorexia recovery and I can’t keep silent about it. I need to tell other sufferers that they have to trust and their lives will change, and that I’m looking forward to helping them if they want. I need to tell people who know sufferers that there’s hope for them and that, again, there’s this place they can come to if they need help. I need to tell society that eating disorders are not what most people think they are, and make them realize how messed up everyone’s relationship with food is becoming.
That’s why I’m so grateful I was given the chance to speak at the XX Catholics and Public Life Congress at the San Pablo CEU University in Madrid, Spain, on November 17th. There I talked about my recovery story, which I entitled “Rebuilding my soul and my body”.
You can watch it here (I’ve written English subtitles for you!):
It would mean the world if you could watch it, give it a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel (I’d be uploading more videos soon!). Also feel free to leave comments and to share it with people who might need to hear those words!
Or if you prefer to just read, here’s the transcript of the video:
“Well, since I have little time I start by saying that the title of my communication refers to my experience of recovering from en eating disorder, specifically from anorexia. And the first thing I wanted to say, so you can understand everything, is that in the root of my disorder there were two different things. And one was the one everyone can imagine, right? The physical issue, the obsession for thinness, etc.; but there’s another issue that we don’t usually talk about, and it was a religious point of view of all of this.
I believed in God and was very Catholic and for me it was my way to glorify God, to… you know, they always talk about sacrifice, about mortification, and for me it was like the way I had to do this sacrifice and to offer up my life. I think that in the root of all this is the fact that, well, I hadn’t always been Catholic, but I had a process of conversion, and then I had always felt like very overwhelmed by that notion of having been taken out, having been saved, and it was my way to respond.
“I had always felt very overwhelmed by that notion of having been saved, and it was my way to respond”
And well, that’s how things were from 9 to 20 years old more or less, and suddenly, something happened, which I call a divine enlightenment, because I was absolutely convinced, I had all my life already planned that way, because for me it was a perfectly acceptable lifestyle. And suddenly, when I reached rock bottom physically, psychologically, etc., is when suddenly the Lord enlightened me and I started to consider if everything I’d done until then in my life was wrong.
Then… you may think that like all the suffering was in the previous part, right? In all the fasting, all the restriction, all the obsession. But no. The suffering really started for me when I wanted to get out, because when you’re enslaved… it’s like when the people of Israel were in Egypt. Later, when they’re going through the desert towards the Promised Land, is when they say, “we were better there”, “we want to go back”, they don’t trust Moses who has taken them out of there…
“The suffering really started for me when I wanted to get out”
Well, the same thing happened to me, because a recovery process requires an absolutely blind trust. For me, the first year of my recovery was absolute trust. I thought I was doing everything horribly wrong. I had many physical fears, but above all I was afraid that I was offending God. I constantly thought “I’m a glutton”, even in a certain sense “I’m impure”.
Then, for me what really helped me most, and this is the best advice I can give, was finding my spiritual director and trusting him blindly, that is, with everything I couldn’t see and I thought wasn’t right, I trusted, I trusted and I kept going. And a very good piece of advice he told me —and I’ll say this and then conclude— was this… I was always saying, I’m scared of the future, of what’s going to happen, etc. When you think towards the future, you don’t have God’s grace to face what’s going to come, you’re thinking with your current mindset, and however, when you get there, then, that’s when God’s going to give you the grace to face it. And that’s what I’ve seen when I’ve got here, that none of my fears has come into reality.
“When you get there, then, that’s when God’s going to give you the grace to face it”
And just to finish, I wanted to say that now I have a blog, a platform called Swallow the World, that is, “devora el mundo” (in Spanish). I’ll be at the door with flyers and other things, and if someone wants to talk with me, I’m available too. And the purpose of it is helping people who are in my situation and, in general, fighting all this distorted mindset about food, exercise and health, that in the end is due to the distortion and the loss in society of the order that begins in God. Thank you so much”.
I hope this resonated with you. I was so nervous but I loved to be able to speak in front of an audience and then listen to their warm words of support. Unfortunately some of them knew people struggling with eating disorders… fortunately now they can offer them a new resource that will, I hope and with the help of the Holy Spirit, guide them towards recovery.