As I sit here in prayer this morning, on what in the United States is a holiday to commemorate the many war veterans who have given their lives for the freedoms I enjoy today, I can’t help but be filled with gratitude. I can very fondly remember visiting a friend who lived on a Marine Corp Air Station near the airstrip one summer. As we were seated outside on her back porch having a lovely conversation while our girls played in the grass, there were fighter planes taking off and flying overhead. Each time the noise was so great we had to pause our conversation and following the dimming of sound she would say, “ah, the sound of freedom.” I was annoyed at the noise interrupting our warm summer afternoon and the conversation of friends who were separated for long stretches of time due to her family’s commitment to the US Armed Forces. Upon reflection, I was in the height of my food addiction then, not understanding the concept of freedom in any capacity.

I was compelled to eat and eat and eat at any chance I had. I was bound to a life of binging to the point of sickness. I was numbing out my emotions with more and more food. I was not free. I was enslaved to a disease that was wreaking havoc on my mind, body, and soul. I had no idea what true freedom sounded like, I only knew my compulsion to more and more. I was depressed and lonely in a sea of friends and family who I hoped understood freedom more than my feeble mind could muster.

I longed for freedom, but never knew how to attain said state of mind. It wasn’t until a doctor so boldly proclaimed that I was committing suicide with food that I finally took the huge step towards food addiction treatment and ultimately true freedom. When I began at Shift Recovery by Acorn, I was a broken woman who only wanted the pain to stop. Well, over time that pain did stop. But, what else was there to be gained in recovery? Over the past 2 ½ years, I have come to know a freedom that resounds in my heart, mind, and soul. A freedom from food obsession, a freedom from depression, a freedom from judgment and scorn, a freedom from a life of victimhood and trauma, and a freedom to love God, myself, and others in a more profound way. Am I perfect at living these freedoms? No, I am not. However, I am regularly feeling these freedoms and so ever grateful for them. I now understand what freedom means and I strive to live them daily.

In a recent visual imagery exercise, God led me out of a burning cabin, down a wooded path, and onto a sandy beach at a lakeside. It was there that I was able to fully feel the freedom that recovery has given to me. I stood on that beach with my arms outstretched and head tilted back, exclaiming “I am free, I am free.” Yes, today I am free. May God continue to let this freedom ring in my heart, mind, body, and soul.

Today, is my third Memorial Day that I am truly free. What I would give to go back to that warm summer afternoon, a conversation with a friend, and the concept of freedom. I want to whole heartedly proclaim with my friend, “ah, the sound of freedom.” Today, I am very grateful to the families who have given their lives in service to the US Armed Forces in numerous ways for my freedom. I am also grateful beyond words for those who have shown me the way to freedom from the effects of food addiction. I pray today for both groups in my life because it is you that have let freedom ring in my entire being. Thank you, God for this freedom, may I remember it always.

Blessings to all,

Lisa K.