Eating was hard after that. No, it wasn't hard-it was hell. Coming off of an addiction is hell. In my case, and the case of millions of others, it's being addicted to restriction. Coming off of an addiction is reteaching yourself everything in a new way. It's not a lightswitch kind of effect, it's a rebuilding the whole damn house kind of effect. It's changing your lifestyle, your mindset, your behavior, your relationships and everything in between. It's making your way through a foam pit kind of difficult. It's brutally hard work, but I learned much later, that it's good work. So I ate. I struggled, I cried, I failed, I fought, but ultimately I ate. I ate for 3 months straight. Not every meal was perfect, but grace was given abundantly. And so my parents, gave me my 3-month reward as promised. My parents sent my mom and I to NYC for a couple of days and it was magical. It was full and it was new. But to be honest, it was hard. I was out of my normal routine, I was eating foods that I feared and I was surrounded by the unknown. BUT I knew I would, eventually, be stronger than my ED.
Fast forward 3 years, here I am. In this picture I'm sitting 103 stories high on a (stronger than) plexiglass ledge overlooking all of Chicago. That was yesterday. Ever since that sweet, nervous little girl sat in the middle of a therapy circle reading her 3-month plan, my parents continue to surprise me with these Christmas Break trips. These trips are meaningful to say the least. These trips are full of sacred moments with my mom that I want to squeeze so tightly and never take for granted. It's time spent laughing watching TLC, time spent exchanging awkward eye contact while your UBER driver stops in the middle of the highway and time spent growing a relationship with the one who grew me. I love these trips with my mom, but most of all I love my mom. She's a warrior, the Queen and everything in between.
These trips remind me of where I've been and how I'm growing. Each trip gets easier, as far as eating goes. Life is still hard and full of ups and downs. But, time becomes sweeter, life becomes lighter and love gets stronger each year. This year marks our third trip, and it was the best one yet. It was full of pure love and delight for life and for each other.
So here's to all of you strong mamas holding and loving your sweet babies who are fighting against ED-keep holding. Hope is here. Here's to all you powerhouses fighting against your ED-keep fighting. Hope is here. And here's to me beginning my third year of recovery! Hope is here. Recovery looks a lot like pain, but also a lot like joy. It looks a lot like completing a triathalon, winded and scarred. It's hard, brutal work but it's also possible, rewarding work. Keep fighting, you moonbeams!!
Hope is here.