The world isn’t black and white. Recovery isn’t black and white either. Not too long ago, I thought it was only in my wildest dreams. It’s not though! Recovery is about forging a new path in the snow. It’s like the coach I met with me said, “Recovery is like taking a sled and going down a snowy hill. You’ve been going down the same path for SO long that the tracks from the sled are carved so deeply in the snow that making a new path seems absolutely terrifying. But that’s recovery. That’s what we have to do!! The first couple of times, it’s bumpy, you may fall off, there are unexpected twists and turns, but eventually you get to the bottom. Then, you climb back up and do it ALL over again. The more we create and form the new path, the easier it gets.”
That’s what I’ve been doing for the past 2 weeks, forming a new path in my head and creating new habits. I’ve been trying to let go of fear and learn more about me. Recovery is about a journey to your true self. The actual person you are, your authentic self. The self without the eating disorder. I have goals, wants and needs outside the eating disorder part of me. That part of me doesn’t call all the shots! The part of me that’s constantly scared, fearful of other’s opinions, anxiety ridden, and that walks around so bogged down from fear that I’m tired and can’t be happy sometimes is NOT my authentic self! I have to learn to listen to myself, to listen to my body and what it wants. Without constantly catering to what the eating disorder part of me wants, I can have more time to focus on other things….like finding an actual hobby. This week alone, I read books I wanted to, cleaned, changed our bed set up, and even baked something (that was a slight fiasco). Nevertheless, I did have some time to focus on other things. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard as hell some days. You know that saying, “fall down three times, stand back up four times”? Or whatever it is. Yeah, that’s what I’m living.
Not every day is easy. Not every day is even fun. Life isn’t happy-go-lucky as soon as you decide to just stop listening to the eating disorder part of you. It’s still there. It’s still real. It still hurts! But, that’s what recovery is about. It’s about saying “hey, eating disorder voice, I hear you, I hear what you’re saying, but I’m not going to deal with/listen to you right now. I’m going to go do….” Eating disorder recovery is about healing and part of that healing is learning about yourself. Which brings me to my next point…it’s about loving, accepting and being proud of yourself.
We live in a world where people preach confidence and then turn right around and criticize you for being confident and proud of yourself. I’m about to tell you that I’m learning to accept myself by saying “I am who I am. If you like me, great and if you don’t like me, that’s great too. But this is me, and I’m going to go on and be myself.’ I’m learning to try to be an actual friend to myself. I’m proud of myself for realizing that I need help. I’m proud of myself for meeting with someone. I’m proud of myself for being about to try and make a new path. I’m proud of myself for almost being through with student teaching (I finished my last evaluation this week.) I’m proud of myself for doing student teaching and somehow managing to get married in the middle! I’m proud of all of the things that my body can somehow manage to, and finally, I’m proud of myself for about to be a college graduate. I’m never actually thought it was okay to be proud of myself, but I had a short conversation with my coach today and she said to write down all of the things I was proud of myself for. She also said it’s great to be proud of yourself! That’s self-acceptance!!!! So, there is it. I’m proud of myself. You should be proud of yourself too.
In the spirit of the season of thankfulness (considering Thanksgiving is less than a week from today), on my way home I realized that I have so many things to be thankful for. I’m actually happy. I’m so incredibly blessed by everything that surrounds me and that has happened to me in the past couple of months. I’m thankful for my family (the new and old), my friends (especially the ones who have been with me through thick and thin…nudge, nudge), KIDS to teach, music, writing, books, GOD and the opportunities that I have been given in this life BY HIM. I find myself full of gratitude and looking at the world in a positive light rather than negative. Life is beautiful. Stay Fearless, y’all ❤