To the Girl Who Feels Stuck

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To the girl who feels stuck,

You’re me right now. But I also know that a lot of other people feel stuck. So as much as this letter is to myself, it’s to all the other girls (and guys) out there who feel just as what the heck as I do.

You feel really stuck right now.

Like really stuck.

You thought you were doing great, you thought you were going 100 mph at everything, and you thought everything was under the control.

But then maybe you realized that things aren’t as hunky dory as you originally thought.

And that’s okay!!

But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt to realize that you’re still human. That you’re still a human in recovery.

(PS, stop cringing at the “in recovery” part. It’s fact. That’s not going away anytime soon. Yes, “recovered” will come, but you’re not there. It’s okay that you’re not recovered yet. That takes time. Years, even. You’ve only been out of treatment for nine months. You’re not supposed to have it all together yet.)

Anyway.

I know that it hurts. It actually hurts a lot to be smacked in the face with reality.

You thought you were going 100 mph, and maybe you were, but you just missed a few turns along the way. Or maybe you were going 75 mph, so just a little slower than you thought. Or maybe even you were going 120 mph, so fast that you were being reckless and missed a few stop signs. Regardless, you’re not where you thought.

And just because you’re not at your destination yet doesn’t mean that where you’re at isn’t beautiful and good too.

Appreciate where you’re at right now. It’s not the end point, and it may not even be the middle point, but it’s still a good point. It’s still worthy of being at.

You might not be as far as you thought you are, but that doesn’t change how far you’ve already come.

Girlfriend, you’ve come so dang far. You’ve conquered so many hard things that you never thought were possible.

So guess what?

You can keep conquering things.

You’re going to keep kicking things in the booty because that’s just who you are as a warrior.

I know that you feel stuck.

You thought you were at point D, but maybe you’re only at point C.

But hey, you’ve already passed points A and B.

And being at point C is pretty dang awesome.

Being at point C does not make you stuck.

It just means you’re at a different place than you originally thought.

And let me let you in on a little secret.

You’re not as stuck as you think you are.

You have some things to work through and some lingering thoughts to tackle.

But you’ve grown a lot of strength and endurance this past year, so you’re going to tackle and defeat these thoughts a lot quicker than you would have a year ago.

You’ve grown so much, girl.

You’re moving mountains.

You’re not stuck.

Hear me again.

You are not stuck.

You’re moving and you’re beating things and you’re conquering and winning.

And you’re still doing that, even at point C.

Don’t be discouraged.

You’re doing so good.

Keep it up. Don’t give in.

Don’t give in to the voice in your head that’s telling you that it’s not worth it anymore.

If something is telling you to quit just because you’re not as far as you thought, that is a voice that is not worth listening to.

You are worthy of continuing.

You are worthy of continuing because you are worthy of winning in the end.

You are worthy of the victory.

You might feel stuck, but you are not stuck.

Where you’re at is still worthy of being at, and your final destination is still worthy of fighting for.

You’re rocking it, girlfriend.

You’re inspiring as heck.

You’re me and you inspire me.

Present me is being inspired by past me because past me was a total kick butt rockstar and I know that present me is still that same girl.

Keep doing what you’re doing because it’s totally working.

Keep on keeping on.

You’re doing it, girlfriend.

You are doing it.

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Oh my Jesus, I am so sorry

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I don’t know what to say.

All I know to say is I am so sorry, Jesus. You are King and I nailed you to that cross. I nailed my King to the cross. I nailed my Savior to the cross. I nailed the very thing that I am living for to the cross.

My heart is breaking. When I sat down to read the crucifixion story tonight, I prayed that Jesus would not let me just read the words. I prayed that he would make it real in my heart, that I would feel the agony of what my sins did.

And oh my sweet Jesus let me see the crucifixion in all its pain and darkness.

I am Judas.

I am the one who turns on my Savior and betrays him in the very spot that I often meet with him.

I am Peter.

I am the one who denies knowing Christ because sometimes the world just seems so much better because being a Christian is hard and uncomfortable.

I am Pilate.

I am the one who knows the truth, but still turns away from it and does not stand up for what I believe in.

I am the crowd.

I am the one who yells to crucify the Lord; the one who mocks him and spits at him; the one who denies that he is King.

I am the men who nail him to the cross.

I am the one who murdered my precious Jesus.

My sins killed my Lord and my heart is so heavy.

Who am I to be loved by the man that I killed? Who am I?

I don’t know.

But I do know that where sin runs deep, grace is more.

Time and time again the Bible reminds us that Jesus came for a purpose. He came with full intention to die on the cross.

He came and loved the people even though he knew that they were going to kill him.

He willingly died even though he knew that thousands of years later we would still be sinning and turning away from him.

He knew, but he still did it.

And that just doesn’t make sense to me.

But that’s grace.

Crazy amazing grace.

Tonight my heart is broken and raw because of what I did to my sweet Jesus.

I am broken inside knowing what I did to him, but I am full knowing what he does to me in return. 

Today is good, not because of what we did to our Lord, but because of what he did for us.

We don’t have to live in darkness anymore.

We get to live in the light as we wait for Sunday to come.

I am so thankful for this resurrection life that we don’t deserve to live.

But we’re living it, all thanks to a messy, yet beautiful cross thousands of years ago.

My Jesus, I am so sorry for what I did. But thank you for what you did in return.

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Approaching One Year

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Ahhhhhhhhhh.

That’s how I feel.

I can’t believe it’s already almost a year since I started recovery (330 days to be exact, but who’s counting?).

All year I’ve dreamed about getting close to the one year mark. I imagined it as a celebration – eating ice cream, living free, being so joyful. And I think it will be like that. Reaching the one year mark is really exciting and I’m so glad that I’ve made it this far.

But I’m also getting really anxious.

I’m an anxious person, so it’s nothing new to me that I’ve been experiencing anxiety, but I was surprised when I started having full blown panic attacks when I realized how close we were to all the important events that happened in my life last spring.

This time last year was when my treatment team decided that I had to either go to residential right then or go inpatient after my graduation. It was when everything went downhill as I was put on medical leave from my senior year and awaited my admittance date to Carolina House. It was when I was living in the worst days of my eating disorder.

It took me a while to name where my anxiety was coming from. At first I thought it was just because I was getting “close” to the hell of last year, and while I think that is still true, I don’t think that is the complete story.

My therapist explained to me that my anxiety and panic is coming from grief. Not only am I grieving all the life that I lost during my eating disorder, but I am grieving the loss of my eating disorder itself.

Don’t get me wrong, I love recovery. I would never go back to my eating disorder. But sometimes it’s hard to accept this as my new normal.

Grief is weird. It kinda hits you like a train and leaves you a little dazed. Grief makes you feel like you’re reliving the events that you’re grieving, but it also feels like you’re watching them happen from the outside. Grief. Is. Confusing. Especially when you’re grieving something that you shouldn’t (like your eating disorder).

In my wise mind, I don’t miss my eating disorder. I know the hell that it put me through and how it almost took my life. I know that it wasn’t glamorous or pretty or fun. I know that I know that I know that. But my eating disorder was my life for five years. It was my most used coping skill. It was how I lived. It became who I was. So recovering from my eating disorder was like losing myself.

But recovery is finding myself, my new self, my best self. And sometimes it hurts a lot.

There are days I miss my eating disorder so much. When I’m having a hard day, sometimes I miss being able to cope by keeping my stomach as empty and hollow as possible. When people post bikini pictures with their flat stomachs and thigh gaps, I miss the body that my eating disorder gave me. But I know that that was not my best life and that I don’t need (or want) to live like that anymore.

So getting close to my one year feels like getting close to freedom, but it also feels like getting close to my eating disorder. And I don’t want to be close to it. I want to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction.

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s real. Like, that was my life? I starved myself until I was nothing? I spent my summer in a treatment center? Someone had to check the toilet every time I used the bathroom? It’s weird. Sometimes I feel like I watched that happen; that it didn’t happen to me. But it did. So getting close to my one year mark makes it seem so real and so in my face.

I don’t want to relive my past. I sure as heck don’t want to relive my eating disorder, but I also don’t want to relive treatment. I am so so thankful for Carolina House and everything that happened there because I know I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for treatment, but I also never want to go back to that time of my life.

So I’m stuck in this weird place. I’m grieving as my one year of recovery approaches. But I’m also celebrating like crazy.

Like, I made it this far. I’m living a life without an eating disorder. So crazy and surreal.

But I’m also having to face and reflect on what life was like this time last year.

And that’s okay.

It’s okay and natural to grieve during recovery. The one year anniversary of entering treatment is like the one year anniversary of a loved one passing away. It’s hard and there’s a lot of emotions. But I’m not letting the emotions overtake me.

I can feel sad and angry. I can be mad for the five years of life that I lost to my eating disorder. I can feel upset that I had to enter treatment and that I missed my graduation. I can hurt because being forced to live in a new body that although it’s great and healthy, it’s foreign and confusing and not what I asked for.

I can feel these emotions and still celebrate one year of new life.

I can exist in both places at once.

So I’m going to grieve. But I’m also going to celebrate. I’m going to eat ice cream and thank Jesus and live my best life because recovery brings me so much joy that I never thought was possible.

I’m grieving and I’m celebrating as my one year of recovery approaches. The different emotions will eb and flow. And that’s okay.

I’m celebrating where I am because even though it may still be confusing and hard at times, I am so much further than I was a year ago.

And that (no matter the grief) is worth celebrating.

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