My life has been a series of ups and downs. I’ve had good moments, I’ve had bad moments. I’ve had moments where I thought happiness was going to explode out of me, and I’ve had moments where I wished I could just fall asleep forever so that I didn’t have to deal with life anymore. Throughout my entire life I have developed my philosophy, and the mantras I try to live by.
The Body* [food].
I’ve struggled a lot with my body and with food. I have to try hard not to constantly calorie count. I struggle overcoming the urge to exercise after a binge to “purge” myself. I have a problem finding exercise enjoyable because I have never used it for enjoyment. I am trying to reteach myself to like moving my body, especially since it’s so good for me! My body is the best instrument I’m ever going to have. Sometimes I feel so blessed to have legs that take me places, arms that allow me to lift heavy cases of water, and a hungry stomach to be filled with good foods!
What I’ve learned is that healthy food can taste good. While not all healthy food tastes great (I wish I liked shrimp!), I am slowly experimenting to find delicious recipes that don’t have me crashing from sugar a few hours later. I have more energy and I feel better when I eat well. I am learning how to treat my body the way it deserves to be treated, with respect. I feel full for hours after a big bowl of oatmeal with toppings (raisins?!). I feel refreshed after a cold fruit smoothie. I love the way I feel! This doesn’t mean I’m waking up and springing out of bed because life is suddenly amazing, but I certainly do love breakfast (; Building this better relationship with food has helped to stop my eating disorder and given me more self-confidence. I am breaking out of perfectionist role, and learning to love my body the way it is right now.
The Mind* [academia].
I have always had a very competitive spirit. I’ve always pushed myself academically, often much harder than I should have. Sometimes in high school I would have fits after big tests because I felt like such a failure. A “B” was the devil to me. While I only got one as a grade all of high school, it was freshman year. It tortured me for those next 3 years. It stalked me, telling me I wasn’t good enough, whispering that it would come back on my next report card. I based my self-worth off of my report cards for far too long. My opinion on myself depended solely on my next test grade. Samm once said to me, “You need to ground yourself in love, not your GPA.” It’s a quote I wish I had followed earlier.
With therapy, I am working on my perfectionism. I have started to learn how to let go of bad grades, and cherish my good grades rather than just expecting them from myself. I am learning that life is not all about school, and how to find balance between school, friends, and having fun.
I have often avoided retreating into my own head. I find a lot of things in there I don’t like; demons that haunt me when I’m at my weakest. Certain exercises in therapy have forced me to go into my head and sort out the mess I’ve made of my mind. It’s no wonder I feel like going insane sometimes… I let so much stuff go on in there! I have stowed away so many useless feuds and grudges that it’s hard for me to pick out those good memories that I treasure so much. It’s never too late for a little spring cleaning.
The Soul* [growth].
I am trying to take the perfectionism away from my life. Away from my self-image, away from school, and away from my life. While it is wonderful that I have so much drive and motivation to succeed in life, it has taken over my life. Working with my therapist over the last 6 months has helped me sort through a lot of these behaviors to work on stopping them. Unfortunately, it took a big breaking point for me to finally seek the help I needed to realize that there was a problem.
I believe I have grown so much since beginning treatment. I believe I have grown so much this past year. Transitioning to college has forced me to face my demons head-on. I don’t think I could have done this without the help of my incredible, supportive parents, my amazing friends, and Adam. I am so thankful; they are all such big blessings in my life.
This year has allowed to me grow spiritually as well. I have grown a lot closer to God. I haven’t ever felt so connected to him before, and I love knowing that I am never alone. It’s a thought that keeps me sane when I feel like the world is about to fall apart.
I know that my journey is not over. I must continue growing and changing as the years go by. I don’t look forward to the problems I am going to have to face, but I look forward to the wisdom I will gain along the way.