The Cost of Control By: Katie Pezzutto

The Cost of Control By: Katie Pezzutto

The second most terrifying moment of my life made its appearance when I almost lost my life. Really, I shouldn’t have been that surprised when my heart almost stopped. At that point potassium left in my body. I was weak, bent out of shape in mind and spirit, had yellowing teeth eaten by gastrointestinal acid and hair that came out in almost clumps. I was a hot mess.

If life was a contest, a competition, I was the last one in the running. As usual, I was failing and everyone around me knew it but they didn’t care. As far as those around us could see, they were failing as well. Regardless of our current positions, this was still a competition, even to the death.

If only we could have known what our prize would be. Maybe then we would stop grinding bone against bone, forcing our undernourished bodies to be slaves to our deranged mind. Maybe…

I let the thought run free, wrecking havoc in my mind as I quickly swept my eyes over the other girls who inhabited our cold, sterile prison of a hospital room. We were victims of the war that raged over us day and night. It was a battle that took human minds as casualties and human bodies as collateral damage, an added bonus.

The symptoms doctors used to diagnose us with our death sentences were quite similar and yet we were all so different. Some of us were bone thin but the degree to which this was true varied. Others would weigh in and be called a “normal body weight”, three words that would kill those girls from the inside out. I remember fighting so hard to not be like one of the “normal” girls. I would do anything to never be called average again, including starve myself to the point of emaciation. This was my control. But that “control” had a couple of strings attached. Big strings.

Fast forward five years and you will see an atmosphere that is complete opposite of a sterile, blue hospital room. I am sitting outside in the African sunshine, listening to angry monkey’s shriek in the distance. I watch as bright yellow bananas are being lifted from their branches and laid in baskets, harvested gently by the locals. It’s all so peaceful. As I soak up the sun I reminisce on why I had decided to travel across the world.  I had wanted to free my body to travel. That had worked. Unfortunately, the trip had not done wonders for my mind, the mind that was set in stone and possessed by the idea that I was not good enough.

There I sat, soaking up the warm rays, desperate to hear words coming from the mouth of the Creator, the One who made me.

His reply came as a still, quiet voice. “The choice is yours my daughter.”

If my heart had ears, I’m positive they would have been piqued. “How?” I asked with a half sob.

“Let go of your old ways. Give me your thoughts. Give me control.”

My heart jumped at His reply. What He was telling me to do was the most terrifying thing I had ever done. Would He, my heavenly Father, fail me as my earthly Father did? Would I be left alone again and completely void of all hope? Could I risk seeing His true nature?

After much contemplation and failed attempts at making things right in my own way I decided to do the thing that scared me the most, letting go of control. I spent time with the Lord every morning and evening, asking for His help and his protection. Every day I chose to eat what I knew my body needed then ask for God’s strength to fight the battle in my mind when I looked in the mirror afterwards. Every day was a battle, an incredible struggle but because of the Lord I have found myself victorious!

I could not have made a better decision, to let go of that control I held onto so tightly and let the Healer bring life and recovery the most broken part of his daughter’s soul.

All praise be unto His name.

Katie Pezzutto is an English and Education major at the University of Lethbridge who just finished writing her first YA novel. Feel free to check out her adventures at

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