Story of Faith: The Counts
Every month as I prepare to post a new Story of Faith, I am rocked to the core. I am so blown away by our Father who moves and loves us and just cares for us!!! There are so many stories out there waiting to be told!!!!! My prayer is that each Story encourages you in a new and FRESH way.
Introducing Hilary and Willy Counts.
I met up with the Counts to hear more of their story and left telling them more of mine. They are those kind of people... The kind that make you feel valued and important. The kind that take the time to listen more than they speak... but then when they speak.. they speak such life!!
And then... Their story blew my mind.
Praise the Lord!! Y'all, HE is still in the healing business and continues to move in so many new and cool ways.
Thank you Hilary for your courage and for being so open and sharing your story with us! Thank you Willy for leading and loving your lady so well!!!
PS Hilary recently started her own blog... so be sure to check it out!!! >> www.outofhiding.co
On October 18, 2016, after a tearful and very difficult goodbye to my husband Willy at the airport, I jumped on a plane and headed to a treatment center in Arizona. I would spend the next 45 days learning to recover from an eating disorder, and so much more. I was a dancer from early childhood and into high school. I was constantly comparing myself to the other girls. I began to restrict my food at about the age of 15. I was consumed with the way I looked. I was very familiar with a life on stage. I HAD to look perfect. It was obsessive...and I had no idea.
In college, I went through a difficult break up and began purging and restricting regularly. I was so depressed and lost a lot of weight. By 2006, I moved to Tulsa, OK to go to bible school and loved it. I started teaching dance at an amazing studio with wonderful people. I began doing music ministry and traveling with my husband. Things were going well. But the disease was only dormant.
My husband and I moved to Mississippi in 2014 and that's when things really got bad. We had great new jobs, bought our first house, traveled to Disney World and India and I was completely miserable. I started acting out in ways that really confused us both. My husband starting noticing that I was acting out in behaviors that an addict would usually perform. It didn't make sense. I didn't have an addiction...did I?
We found a treatment center here in town and this place has helped save my life. I found out I was severely depressed, had a panic disorder, and an addiction called an "eating disorder." I went from leading worship every weekend to spending 45 days inpatient in AZ and 10 weeks of intensive outpatient back at home. I attend EDA (eating disorders anonymous) where I've found the most amazing support groups and follow the 12 step program. I continue to see a therapist and dietician.
I started to let myself feel emotions. And my body freaked out. I started having the worst panic attacks because my body didn't know what to do with anger and even joy! As I looked back on the timeline of my life so far, every time there was a difficult situation, a heartbreak or loss, the addiction would rise to the top. To cope. To numb. To keep me from feeling these "bad" feelings. I would totally disassociate with anything negative.
Friends, if you are struggling with an addiction or think you might be, there is help and there is hope. If you are struggling with depression and anxiety, you are not alone. Do not let shame keep you from reaching out. Your life is important. You carry purpose. You are not a mistake. You are not an accident. You are not at fault. You are worth the help. You are worth the life. I challenge you to come out of hiding. To show up, baggage and all, hurt and all and be seen. I have spent so much of my life hiding. It's time to come out. The door is here. Will you open it? www.outofhiding.co