In honor of NEDA week I wanted to share a bit of a personal post with you guys. I’m a pretty reflective person [which is why I have 8 billion journals] and though I don’t share it a lot on the blog I do still deal daily with my ED in different varying degrees.
So this post is a reflection of that. Hang on tight ya’ll – this one could get bumpy.
Why I Won’t Let My ED Go
There isn’t a lot of people who are grateful for pain. We take measures daily to ensure that we live as pain free of a life as we can – whether that be by safety measures to protect us physically or by guarding our hearts emotionally with walls and barricades. Pain is bad – for the most part.
You see, as much as I want to hate, avoid and forget all of the heartache, tears and pain that my ED caused, I also don’t want to ever let go of it. Correction – I won’t ever let go of it. Is that healthy? I’m not really sure. But I do know that it serves a purpose, one I’m not ready to be without yet.
Why I hang on to my ED:
It made me strong
There’s nothing quite like having to dig yourself out of the ashes of an ED. Once its truly burned through your life – your heart, your soul, your confidence – you are left with nothing but embers, ash and charred skin. If you can pick yourself up and push past the pain to stand once again, I believe that you can take on anything else life throws your way.
I’ve known a lot of pain in my life, as I’m sure we all have, but nothing compared to that feeling of being completely and utterly alone, helpless and empty. An ED strips you to your core and burns away everything that was once good in your life. And beating that? Rising above it? That my friends, is a feeling of strength like nothing else.
It made me a fighter
I’ve always been stubborn, something that I never thought I’d be thankful for until my ED came around and took control of my life. Because that is essentially what an ED does. It takes over your life, holding it within its vise grip grasp and with every wiggle, pull and breath you try to take to free yourself it just cinches tighter and tighter, squeezing the life right out of you. It strips you of your identity. It rips everything you thought you knew about yourself away, burying it all so deep underground that even years later you find yourself still digging up pieces of yourself that you thought were lost.
But fighting through all of that – struggling each day even as the grip gets tighter, willing yourself to keep breathing even as the breath is taken right out of your lungs – that is what it takes to beat this thing. And when you finally free yourself from its grasp and take a deep unhindered breath you know that you are without a doubt a fighter worthy of her scars.
It made me appreciate my body
I tried for years to turn my body into someone [anyone] else’s. I was so unhappy with myself – with my body, my hair, my face, everything – that I didn’t even see me when I looked into mirrors. All I saw was all of the flaws and everything that I didn’t want to be staring right back at me.
It took time – lots and lots of time as well as prayer to get me where I’m at today. Sometimes there are still days when I don’t like what I see and have to step away from the mirror and the temptation to degrade myself. But even though I still have rough days, my ED gave me an appreciation for my body [as it truly is] that I might’ve never found otherwise.
Once I grasped the reality that my body was meant to be the way it is – athletic, curvy, strong as a damn ox – I was able to let go of the unrealistic picture in my head of myself.
And you want to know one of my favorite things about myself today? My body. Its power, its abilities, its strength – it’s all so beautiful and I can’t believe I never wanted any of it.
It serves as a reminder
I still have bad days. I still have days when I am battered and beaten down, where I can feel the flames of my ED licking at my skin searching for purchase against anything to engulf me. But it’s these days when I can pull from my past – from that pain – and step through the fire. It’s on these days that I close my eyes, reach deep within myself and grab hold of all that strength that I’ve built up over the years.
I truly believe that an ED never fully goes away. There will always be days that we struggle, that we have to fight, that we have to force ourselves to move forward instead of being pushed back. Holding onto my ED serves as a reminder of all I’ve been through, and thus overcome, and its like a flip being switched. I turn from a struggling, broken girl into a phoenix reborn who rises from the ashes.
Having an ED sucked. It was painful, lonely, depressing and utterly heartbreaking – but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I will never regret or wish away my past. That pain – that ED – made me who I am today. Being able to fight free of its grasp and control to reclaim my life is a feeling like no other and I don’t ever want to let that go. So I won’t.
Sorry Elsa but I just can’t let it go this time.
No questions, just reflections.