Posted in Recovery

The Girl I’ve Become

I wrote this after getting home from my last day as a patient at EDCD. I had so much going on in my head that I just started writing and this is what came of it. I like how raw and authentic I was. My thoughts have changed since coming home and transitioning back into my normal life, and I’m not as optimistic now as I was here but it’s nice to know that I was here once so I can get here again.

I am done. Well, not done done but done with treatment. Done with EDCD. Holy crap. I can’t believe the day is finally here and it came and left.Today was great. So incredibly great. It just reassured me in how far I’ve come, how far I still have to go, and in who I want to become. There’s nothing like raw, beautiful, authentic words of encouragement and challenges and hopes and love from people who have seen you at some of your best times and at some of your absolute worst to really give you insight and perspective and motivation to become who they see you as and who they think you can be.

I want to be authentic. I want to be me. I want to be the person that I became here and not lose it because I love this person. I love how happy she is and how she knows she is loved and has support and that not everyone is going to forget about her when she leaves or isn’t around them. I love that she can accept things and move on and not hold on to them. I love that she can ask for support and receive it without feeling weak or guilty or whatever. I love that she can give support. She isn’t in her head so much worrying about what the perfect thing to say is or what the other person is thinking of her. She can say what she wants to say and leave it at that. She doesn’t have to worry for the rest of the day about how she sounded or what the other person got from it, because the other person is most likely definitely not thinking about it at all.

I love that she is starting to realize that things that can be true for other people can be true for her. That if other people can recover and deserve recovery then maybe she does too. That if it’s okay for others to ask for help and they’re not being weak that maybe it’s okay for her too. That other people are struggling and are imperfect and don’t have everything figured out and that that’s completely acceptable. That’s what life is. Life is a great big unknown and you don’t have to have it all together (or pretend to have it all together) all of the time. No one expects that. People love authenticity. She loves when people are honest with her about how they are doing and if they’re struggling so maybe, just maybe, it’s okay for her to be honest too.

No one is going to change their opinion of her if she gets a B or even a C in a class, if she isn’t taking a ridiculous amount of credit hours or if, God forbid, she eats a meal. With other people. And enjoys it. Even if her opinion of herself changes with those things, that is not who everyone else sees and maybe everyone else has a better view of herself than she does at the moment.  Maybe she doesn’t have to believe the same things or think the same way that she used to. Things change. People change, life changes, everything changes and that’s fine. That means she can change.

That means she is allowed to give herself permission to do things that she didn’t before, like cry or be happy or not have it all together all the time. That means she can change things about herself that she doesn’t like and make them useful. She can take her drive and passion for school and use it to achieve her dreams and do what she wants to do instead of using it to get straight A’s and pouring herself into school until she’s miserable. She can live in the awkwardness, live with the knowledge that it doesn’t have to be black or white, one end or the other, things can be in the gray and that’s okay. Sure they’re awkward and uncomfortable but it’s in the awkwardness that we grow and we learn.

She can be happy. She can allow herself to think that maybe, just maybe, she deserves to be happy. Not pretty happy but miserable on the inside or completely miserable but pretending to be happy. No façade. No mask. No front. Happy. Truly happy. Because at some point she will hopefully see her value. She will be able to believe the things that others say about her. She’ll be able to realize that she is enough, just the way she is, and that searching for that validation in an eating disorder or in perfectionism or through sources outside of herself is not the way to find it. She is already enough. She has always been enough, it is already within her. Not believing that she isn’t enough isn’t going to make her enough. Because eventually she will realize just how loved she is. By her family, her friends, and especially by her God. She will be able to see her worth how God sees it. How she is perfect because He said she is. How she is more loved and cherished and cared for than she could ever imagine.

My hope is that all of these will happen one day but until then, I am so so thankful for the girl that she is right now and how hard she fought and how hard she worked, and how hard she is continuing to fight and work, to become her. How she was able to get incredibly honest with herself and tell her deepest fears and the thoughts and beliefs of herself that plagued her head and led her astray. How she was able to see that she is so much more than an eating disorder. She is so much more than what she allows herself to believe. She is worth it, and it’s okay for her to believe that. That she gets to keep making choices and keep working towards the person that she wants to become and can look back on all of the work that she has already done. And she gets to keep all of this work. It’s hers and no one else can take it from her or devalue it or minimize it except for her.

How she can use it and realize that it is completely acceptable to be content with where she is. She doesn’t always have to look forward and tell herself that where she is isn’t good enough because she should be further along or look back and criticize herself for everything she could have done better. She can be where she is and appreciate that and enjoy it and just take it in. Life is meant to be lived, emotions are meant to be felt, we were meant to create connections, and she was meant to be happier than she ever thought she was allowed to be because she’s pretty awesome.

I am definitely not in that place right now and felt like a little bit of a fraud typing some of that stuff but the fact that I was able to say them at all, to even recognize them as possibilities in the first place and then start to believe that they could be true makes me incredibly proud. I am not where I want to be but I am so glad that I can look back and see where I came from and where I am now. It’s time for me to truly get my life back from ED and start living and I couldn’t be more excited.

 

Remember that you deserve this. You do.

 

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Posted in Recovery, Uncategorized

I Am…

We had to write this poem for a group one of the first weeks I was at EDCD. The class was primarily about learning how to distinguish your eating disorder self from your authentic self and it basically caused me to have a mid-mid-life crisis and made me realize I had no idea, at all, who I was without my eating disorder. So this poem, which was made to be written in about an hour took me a week-and-a-half, but I did finish it and am pretty proud of it. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about my eating disorder, about so many things since I wrote this and I think it all still stands true. I know that I still have a long ways to go as far as learning who I am, but I think this definitely gives me some good goals. I’m hoping there is a day that I can read this and say that it is who I am and not who I want to be, but we call that future-tripping in treatment so I’m just going to focus on who I am and where I am right now. 🙂

Hi! I’m Melissa,

I’m Melissa and honestly I’m not too sure who I am but I know for sure that I’m not my eating disorder.

Here’s who I think I am and who I’m trying to become:

I am intelligent.

I am a baby sister and a best friend.

I am a born and bred Hoosier.

I am organized and neat (sometimes a little too much).

I am incredibly independent (but I’m learning that it’s okay to ask for help too.)

I am a little fish in a big pond that is getting smaller.

I am caring and compassionate.

I am driven.

I am a Christian.

Sometimes I think I’m a burden.

(I’m working on believing that that’s not true.)

I am a student and a self-declared life-long learner.

I am a mentor and a leader.

Sometimes I am outgoing and passionate, sometimes I’m quiet and reserved.

I am a planner who is trying to learn to accept spontaneity.

Sometimes I feel ashamed and alone.

Sometimes I don’t know how to express how I feel.

I am athletic and outdoorsy.

I am always down for a good hike or a game of soccer.

I am both a dreamer and a doer (although I am a dreamer that could probably believe in her dreams a little more and a doer that could probably doubt herself less).

Sometimes I am brave, sometimes I’m scared.

I am giving.

I am someone who truly wants to make a difference (even if it’s just a small one).

A lot of the time I feel inadequate but I’m really working on believing that I am enough.

Sometimes I feel hopeless.

I am loved (although sometimes I feel unlovable).

I am stronger than I think.

I am an encourager who is learning how to be encouraged.

Sometimes I feel proud of my accomplishments and sometimes I am worried that I won’t amount to anything.

I believe that life is better when you’re laughing.

I am incredibly sarcastic.

I believe that vulnerability leads to connection.

I am a complex hodgepodge of emotions and feelings.

I am learning that it’s okay to not be okay.

I’m glad to be alive.

I am who I am and I am learning how to accept that.