I’m Not The Girl I Was 5 Years Ago & That’s Okay

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Recovery is a marvelously dangerous place to be. The fact that you were able to get help in the first place is everything but the journey to getting better will not be an easy road to take. Once you have come to terms with your inner demons and have decided to fight to save yourself, the real trying begins. When you are recovering from something, you are trying to stop the bad behaviors, thoughts, feelings, etc… that have taken control of your life and turned you into a different version of yourself. For anyone who has been in recovery, is starting recovery or thinking about recovery, know that this is an amazing journey you are entering upon, but also know that it’s one hell of a fight.

Even after almost five years in recovery, I am still finding days where I feel like the control I worked so hard to regain is once again slipping through my fingers. There are days when I feel myself thinking about my old ways and wanting to shut the world out and indulge in the habits that have been my best friends for the past 18 years. There are days when I need to lay in my bed and listen to my music in order to let myself feel and force myself to fight through any urges or feelings of my disorders. Every day for the rest of your life, you will have to WANT to get better and FIGHT for your life.

Cliché as it is, you are the only one who can save YOU. Along your journey, you will get help from your loved ones, strangers, your faith, a book, a movie, a random thought, a feeling of hope, etc… When I was deep into my eating disorder, I desperately searched the internet to find someone to relate to. One day, I came across a girl who struggled with an eating disorder and was videotaping her journey to recovery and bravely sharing it with the world. Something I always wished I could do (& have accomplished this goal a few years ago!). Through being able to find a connection with something, someone, I was able to slowly feel again. This complete stranger helped me through a difficult time in my life. Although finding connections will happen and help you continue on your path, you have to be the one to decide to keep fighting.

I have had many amazing people come into my life and physically, mentally & spiritually mold me into who I am and through my recovery but they can’t keep me there. You need to be the one to want to live and choose to get help. I have struggled with my issues for over 18 years and at the age of 22, I am now just starting to truly loving myself. For the first time in my life I am learning to be content with the things I can’t control. Everything is far from fixed but I am strong enough now to fight like hell to figure it all out. I am starting to push through the things that turned me into my past self. This is the first time I’m finally letting myself feel every emotion that consumes me. I am no longer allowing myself to escape and run away from the feelings that are brought to the surface.

I am learning to accept the good and bad features that make up who I am. When I point out something I dislike about myself, I am saying three things I like about myself in return. I am far from where I want to be, but I’m currently my most confident. For years I let people decide what I would see when I looked into the mirror. Today, I regained back my perspective. I am most confident when I have no makeup on and wearing sweatpants with my hair up in a bun. I am starting to love myself and in doing so, I am learning to accept who I am skin deep. I have been working hard over the past few months to change my perspective on how I view myself & the world around me. I am working on fixing the things that have bothered me about myself for years and learning to love every inch of my mind, body & spirit.

I am pushing my limits with the things that scare me and have instilled fear into my life. I am being honest with myself and others. I am no longer holding in a million of my deepest darkest secrets. I am releasing the pressures of coming up with lies in order to avoid confronting my problems. I am pushing myself to come to terms with what I’m afraid of and forcing myself to deal with the reasons why they exist in the first place. I am being open about my story and including every hard, scary, positive, negative and painful piece that comes along with it. When you have no secrets and live without lying, there is a calming feeling about it. For the first time in my life, I feel free. I feel like myself and being able to accept everything that is inside of me is freeing. After 18 years of being lost, I have finally found my way out of the tunnel into freedom.

Two words that are needed throughout everyone’s journey is WANT and TRY. You have to WANT to get help and fix your life. You need to TRY every day for the rest of your life to work on the things that make you feel anything but positive toward yourself. It is NEVER too late to find happiness; you just need to make a choice.

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