Living in a life of secrets and shame keeps you from living. It keeps you from feeling deserving of friendship, relationship, and self-acceptance. I can remember living that life since I was 9, however, I doubt I wasn’t living in self-hatred long before that. I crawled through one addiction after another with the thought that if I succeeded at that behavior, that addiction, or that obsession, I would finally succeed at what life had to offer. But, as hard as I tried, I ended up right back at stage one, trying to find success by sacrificing myself. I couldn’t figure out how to even be okay.
What is the Cost?
Countless friendships lost and many, many failed relationships later, I still could not find solace in myself. Every treatment team, every therapist, every friend always relayed the same message: until you can be okay with yourself, there is no point in trying to find happiness elsewhere. I think I never really heard that until I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Enough is Enough
I have been fortunate enough to have had two therapists in my life who saved me from myself from the self-hatred that engulfed me.
I was not ready to realize that there was more to life than my ED until I was ready to accept that I was worthy of a life “bigger” than myself.
There are times during the day that the ED voice tries to drown out my wise mind, but the difference now is that I can acknowledge that ED is my anxiety and my depression trying to pull me back down into an empty life. And life is worth living.
Two Words That Keep ED Shook
During my time in and out and in and out of treatment there were two pieces of the puzzle that made us all quiver with fear and well, make us feel like running for the hills… First, the word “healthy”. To ED, it’s like saying: You fail. The other was acknowledging that I could be “Okay”. It seemed to invalidate me every struggling at all.
Looking back, I think I accepted “healthy” long before I accepted “okay.”
The Truth Is…
Although I still fight the urges to fall back into my old thoughts and behaviors, the difference now is that I can step out of the thoughts and make choices with my wise mind. In my disorder, I was so scared of being “healthy” OR giving up my eating disorder that I feared life without it; I had no clue what would I do or who would I be.
New View of Healthy
Now in my recovery, I understand that Being “healthy” means being scared to take the next step, asking for help, and taking it anyway.
It means trusting that you are worthy of love from wonderful people. It means acknowledging that insecurities don’t have to disappear, they simply have to be addressed head on.
It’s Okay to be Okay
The other piece of the puzzle is the willingness to accept that it is okay to be “okay.” My therapist jokes with me all the time and says, I will not spontaneously explode if things are going well for me. My life of self-sabotaging is in my past, it doesn’t have to be in my future. That the diagnosis of anorexia and bulimia is not the definition of ME.
Although, I have not figured out what the definition of ME is yet, I have begun accepting parts of myself and my life that I know to be true:
Being happy is okay.
Failure is okay.
Not knowing is okay.
Asking for help is okay.
Accepting love is okay.
Letting people in is okay.
Learning to love parts of yourself is okay.
Living is okay.
Being okay is definitely okay. ❤