How Getting Lost Can Help You Find Yourself

2016-08-15
Imagine yourself at the top of a mountain. The wind blowing slightly, the sun feeling a little closer, and hearing nothing but your own heartbeat and footsteps. You can see for miles, the world is still revolving. It hasn’t stopped, but for a moment it sure feels like it. Inhale. Exhale.

Living with an eating disorder can leave you feeling a little lost, am I right? It is easy to lose sight of who we are as a person when we are so consumed by our own thoughts and demons.

When I was in the depths of my eating disorder, I didn’t just lose who I was, I blatantly forgot. So when I recently graduated from college, I had to remember who I was, or rather, who I am.

We all know that when you enter the adult world, it is pretty common to feel a little lost, especially when you combine this with recovering from an eating disorder. I will be honest with you in saying that I was in a pretty dark place for a while.

But one day, I decided to go on a hike. It was forecasted to be a beautiful Summer day and I refused to sit inside and listen to my inner demons. Why not climb 4,000 feet above sea level? At first, the trail started out calm and easy but quickly changed to a steep, grueling terrain. The air smelled so fresh and it was so quiet. It reminded me of when I was a kid and would go for hikes with my father.

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That was it!

I started to find back the little things about myself – that got lost in the depths of my eating disorder – while actually being lost…in the woods. The sounds of nature and the fresh air drowned out any thoughts of the real world down below, and instead led to some major introspection. And I cannot (and will not) tell you how I exactly felt when I reached the peak. Just imagine it.

The important lesson I learned that day: Get lost. Go on adventures, whether it is by yourself, or with friends. (This does not necessarily need to involve exercise!) In order to start finding yourself again, whether you are recovering or just overwhelmed by daily life, getting lost may actually help you grow and get stronger. Maybe this is in the woods, on a riverbank, or maybe even on top of a skyscraper. Get lost and a piece of you will be found back. Maybe that piece is a memory, something you once enjoyed (um, chocolate, hello!), or discovering a new favorite hobby.

Eating disorders – and life – can make you feel like you’ve forgotten who you are as a person. They leave you feeling lost. Therefore, it makes so much sense to get lost to remember the amazing things that make you who you are.

Image Source: Flickr

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