Today was overwhelming, to put it nicely. One of my very best friends and, not biological, but God-given sisters checked into inpatient treatment for an eating disorder. I met this sweet sister of mine during my time in treatment in 2014. She is SUCH a courageous fighter and I know that God placed us together in our journeys intentionally so we could help each other grow in our faith, trust, and ultimately love for the world around us. I know she will flourish as she takes another go at surrendering. She will come out of this experience an even stronger woman, both in her mental and physical health, as well as her faith!
As I was en route to see my dietician (for the first time in 5 weeks!!!) I received tragic news. A woman who I was fortunate enough to cross paths with during my time in treatment has passed away due to her eating disorder. I was numb. I was numb first and then as the numbness faded I found myself filled with anger. I was sitting in my car talking at God, “It’s not fair!!! Why?! Why?! Why?!” There’s a whole slew of thoughts that ran rampant through my mind…Why her? Why are people relapsing – isn’t once painful enough? Why is this disease so powerful? Why does it even exist? Why am I okay when others aren’t? Why aren’t I struggling? Etc etc.
Don’t get me wrong – I am far from “fixed”. My life does not even begin to be classified as “easy” or “simple” or “healthy” mentally speaking. I am healthy on the outside – but that is no sign of the damage that still remains within. And it is that way with so many individuals. However, my weight is stable and in a good/healthy place – and things are easIER than they were in the past and I am getting healthIER mentally…slowly but surely, I am coming up out of the fog that surrounded me for so, SO long. Some days I can’t even see the tip of my nose, but more days than not, I have a pretty good and clear view on life – and I count each and every one of those days as a huge blessing, and the others – as a learning experience.
There’s a certain level of “survivors guilt”. A fear that comes, not from being sick and struggling, but from being alive and well. It’s almost as if I have a sense of helplessness due to being “fine”. (Gotta love that word…it’s one of my most frequently used! Haha) Sometimes I find myself feeling guilty for letting go of my eating disorder and moving on with my life…and I know that sounds crazy, believe me…I feel crazy for even writing it down.
I’m not really sure why I am where I am in life…I don’t think I could even say how I got here. But one thing is for sure…I am a lover of life; a life enthusiast. I have been so overcome with depression in the past that I doubted there was ever any point or reason to living. But after the past month, while I was in Burlington, Vermont…I have witnessed and felt freedom and I have gotten just a small taste of what it could be like to keep moving forward.
I want this life more than anything! I want to thrive and to grow and to never quit learning. I am thankful for each and every breath and every single day I am given. I am so grateful to have a second chance at living and I want to make the best of it. I genuinely WANT to be healthy…I WANT to be in a place where I can be present for my life and actively pursuing God’s plans for my life! For the longest time, even after treatment…I was so anxious and worried about my weight – constantly trying to control it and keep in from going up, up, up. I spent a lot of time ruminating on it and worrying about it.
Going away to camp for a month was surprisingly freeing, though. I felt like I could genuinely be myself and I was appreciated and accepted for who I was! I became a little bit more ME. And I ate like I was supposed too (even more than I was supposed too when I felt up for it) and I participated in things like soccer games and went walking with friends…and I enjoyed myself. I didn’t exercise to burn calories, I didn’t obsess over every single meal I ate…I focused on music and on ME. I grew as a musician, but where I really made progress was as an individual.
So, coming home is weird. And to be honest, I’m not really loving it. There are a lot of things about my home town which I find to be triggering/upsetting/generally extremely anxiety provoking. And I’ve found that during the past 3 days, I’ve lost a little bit of who I was starting to become at camp – ya know, the REAL me (as cliché as that sounds). I really want to make progress in becoming – not who others think I should be…not family, friends, medical team, etc…but who GOD has made me to be. I want to BECOME.
I have 5 more weeks at home. I want to BECOME a little bit more each and every day. I have 5 weeks to practice violin, learn everything that I can, and spend time with all my beautiful friends – the souls who make “home” truly home 🙂
I want to be fully alive more than anything else. I want to BECOME who God has planned for me to be and who I am destined to be. I want to be more ME than I have ever been before.
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”
― Mandy Hale