When I take a step back and think about my long history with an eating disorder, I truly do not understand how I got where I am today. Somedays it feels so foreign, like it wasn’t even me saying all those nasty things to myself and starving my body. Other days, it feels like yesterday. Like a wound that will never heal. Most days, I block out those little reminders of the person I use to be. Most days, I see the good in the world and in myself, but there are always those reminders. The scars on my legs from a time when the razor was the only comfort knew is the most frequent reminder. They have faded, but are definitely still that constant reminder of the person I was. There are some days where it feels like a good option to go back. Go back to the comfort of the eating disorder, go back to the safety of being the only one able to hurt me, but deep down, I know that if I went back there would be no more coming out. I truly believe all people in lasting recovery have gotten to the point of realizing that there is no alternative, there is no other option if you want to live. Making the choice every day to fight is not easy. And some days I do better than others. And you know what, that is ok. That is real and honest. Every single person has days where they are sad. Every person has days where they want to do nothing but go back in life to a time where things seemed more manageable (if you’re struggling with an eating disorder or other addiction, please don’t believe that though, that is a lie your addiction is telling you. Life sucked. Remember that). Having hard days is not what defines recovery. We ALL have days like that, whether in recovery or not, some days are just HARD and guess what…that is ok. And you are ok.
10 years of recovery has taught me that the hard days do not define you…the pushing through the hard days, allowing yourself the grace to feel what you need to feel (yes, be sad, be mad, feel whatever the hell YOU need to feel in that moment), AND still waking up the next day and trying again, giving the next day your all…THAT is what defines recovery. Not getting stuck in the place of self-pity, but allowing yourself to feel and then moving on. That is the key. Feel what you need to feel, but damnit, wake up tomorrow and try again. “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’” That is what defines recovery. Having the courage to have a bad day and waking up the next and giving your all to recovery again. You are allowed to struggle. You are allowed to have hard days…but let me be honest, you’re not allowed to give up. I am not allowed to give up. I am allowed to struggle, but I am not allowed to give up. WE have too much to offer the world. You and I. The world needs people to teach love and kindness. My family, my kids need me. Giving up is no longer an option. What you have to offer the world is too special. And, yes, it’s ok if you don’t believe me just yet. But I promise…hold on…keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will get there. Have the courage to try, my loves, you can do it.