Not exactly a novel idea right? Yet it seems to be something we (myself included) forget. “Ugh, this is impossible, I’ll always be this way. I can’t overcome it.” Well gee, not with that attitude my friend!
I genuinely believe we can make things harder or easier on ourselves just by our outlook on it. If you decide it’s going to be impossible to love yourself and just give up on positive body image, you’ve nailed your coffin as far as I’m concerned.
I recently hung out with a friend who has suffered from depression and her own ED (strictly anorexia.) We have been friends since sophomore year of high school when we both became “home-schooled” and try as we might, we just clash. We used to clash because we fed off of each other. We were both drastically underweight and in the midst of exercise and food comparison. Now, after all these years, we still clash. Why? Because I may still have leaps and bound to go until I’m completely free of my shackles, but I am nowhere near where I used to be. She is. She is exactly as she was all of those years ago. She avoids food, is always hanging out away from home so that she cannot eat, and exercising to burn calories. She even said to me, “I know this is something I’ll just always have. Jesus gave me this and I must always live with it.” Excuses. Nothing makes me more upset than excuses. It shocked me how, as a devoted Christian, she used the Lord as an excuse to let her stop eating any time something minor happened. Because of this, we had to cut ties. I pray for her and still think she’s an amazing person, but to have such a source of negativity and the opposite of what I need in my life right now. Selfish, right? Well it’s about time we are a little selfish. People (I think women especially) feel the need to give and give and put everyone above themselves all the time until we reach a breaking point.
But guess what? Unlike my friend I refuse to believe I can’t beat this and I refuse the idea that I must always live with this. I get so down on myself sometimes when I have skipped exercise for a week and been a hermit and maybe overate way too much, but that doesn’t help me move forward. I look back and remember that girl I was. I remember being afraid my heart would stop beating in the middle of the night and I’d never see my family again. I remember sobbing and profusely apologizing to God for wasting so many blessings on me.
But I’m not her. I have lasting health effects from knowing her. I am a completely different person thanks to her. Someone I’m proud of. I definitely still struggle with self-love and feeling worthy but I have come so far and am so grateful for the journey. I remember feeling like I could never change but day by day, small changes would happen. I stopped feeling sorry for myself and realized I made me feel this way, no one else did. I decided that the fight was worth it and that I was going all in; And guess what? I’m winning.
Decide. Right now. I want you to decide that you are worth it, your life is so worth it. It is hard but it is possible and damn it is an amazing world. One that you can’t enjoy with your friend Ana tagging along. She’s a party pooper, the one judging you from the corner of the party bus by herself. She doesn’t want to go on the journey with you and thank God for that, kick her off at the next stop and party on my friends. Because you are so worth it. You are beautiful and funny and intelligent and so so special. No one else can be you, how freaking cool is that?! Just decide. That’s all you have to do.
Sorry this turned into a rambly post! I just had a lot of random thoughts come to mind after seeing my old friend. And with that, I encourage you to read the much wittier, funnier, and eloquent Snack Therapy’s post Worth the Weight.