As I sit here at the kitchen counter in my joyfully quiet home at 6:29 am two days before Christmas, I am reminded of the place my eating disorder has held in my life. Its purpose and protection. Its rebellion and focus. Its ability to somehow guide me here.
I am grateful.
As a young child, I could not express the emotions I felt about the highly charged situations surrounding me. I had no sense of who I was, where I belonged, or what to expect. I felt alone and abandoned as I shuffled between uncertainty and fear.
As a teen, I used the substances that surrounded me in order to escape, soothe, and medicate: food, alcohol, drugs, unhealthy relationships; the list goes on and on. I endured bullying, teasing, and low self-esteem and longed second-by-second for the flavors on my tongue that distracted me from the thoughts in my head.
In my early twenties, I held so much regret in my body for a life I felt squandered. With the mirror of professional help, I saw the possiblities and began to understand the little girl inside who wanted to be protected in to adulthood. I indulged her and she allowed me to begin to take on adult responsibilities and consider giving food a less prominent position in my box of coping tools.
At 30 something, I met the man who would show me love, trust, and a daily assurance of not being abandoned. Together, we created a family and in my small sons I saw what is possible: attachment, unconditional love, forgiveness, and the reflection of a strong woman who could and would overcome just about anything. In fact, I discovered I could follow my passions and be okay.
So here I am. I will be 43 in a couple of weeks and a sea of optimism carries me daily. My fears are present and I understand their purpose, but do not let them guide me. I reject shame and believe in the power of recovery and relationships. There is much good will in the world and I embrace both that I am shown and that I deliver.
Through our stories we share our gifts with others so that they might also find a path. My own story has evolved through the many contributions of others and I pass it forward with the hope of reaching one or many.
"Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people's souls." Melody Beattie.
I wish you inward peace and contentment in the New Year!