Good morning everyone,
Wow, it is only the morning, yet already I am feeling the immense heaviness of today on my shoulders. It is not a bad kind of heaviness, it’s more like I am feeling the weight of my past.
Today is significant for two reasons.
First, today is my half birthday. I know, I know, it sounds a little ridiculous, maybe even a lot ridiculous, but it’s something I’ve always celebrated.
But today being my half birthday, gives me the opportunity to look back at exactly where I was 6 months ago from today.
I can actually recall exactly how my day went 6 months ago from today.
I woke up in the morning, and it was my 22nd birthday.
Before I did anything, I walked over to the closet, took out my scale, and stood in the kitchen to weigh myself.
I remember what the scale said that day. I wasn’t happy with it.
It was no where near what I had wanted it to have been, and therefore, I was still standing on the scale when I made the conscience decision to not allow myself to eat all the “birthday” foods that I wanted to eat that day.
I went to work at my new internship, and when one of the girls found out it was my birthday, she didn’t understand why I didn’t tell them earlier so we could have celebrated in the office.
I told her that I didn’t want to make a fuss because I was the new girl, but the reality was, I didn’t want to tell them because I didn’t want to have to eat cake or cupcakes with them.
After work, I met my mom and grandma at a deli for lunch–yes, a deli.
It was my birthday, and I chose a deli to meet them in because I knew that was the only restaurant I could possibly get away with eating an egg white omelet of some sort-basically, it was the only place I felt safe enough to eat and not destroy my calorie count too much.
I hated myself that day for even eating the omelet. I was mad that I even ate a quarter of the black and white cookie my mom got for me (me and my sister’s favorite).
Later on that night, before my now ex-boyfriend took me out to dinner, I made his mom take a picture of us-just so I can see what my body looked like. And at dinner, I didn’t get what I wanted.
I remember telling my boyfriend at the time how great the food was, but really, I was exploding with anxiety inside because we were at a restaurant and I didn’t know how it was made, or what was in it-even though there was not much I ordered.
I didn’t take more than three bites of my favorite cake in the entire world, even though I wanted to so badly.
And then my night ended. Just like that, I had spent an entire birthday-an entire day- all circled and devoted around my weight and around my eating disorder.
The saddest part about looking back on that day 6 months ago, isn’t the fact that I didn’t let myself eat-it’s the fact that I was surrounded by so many people that day who cared about me and loved me, and all I could see was that number on a scale.
Who cared that my mom and grandma made time for lunch for me that day? Who cared that the girls at my work wanted to celebrate with me? Who cared that my boyfriend at the time took me to my favorite restaurant?
Not me-I’m the one who did not care. All I cared about was that number and those calories and it breaks my heart to think about that.
My body literally feels heavy right now with the sadness that that day brought me.
But, at the same time of looking back at where I was 6 months ago, I have the gift of being able to see where I am today.
Today, I woke up and I did not weigh myself-today I actually woke up and celebrated the fact that I have not weighed myself in 87 days.
Today, I am not a number and a number on a scale will not define how my day will go or how little I will eat.
Today, I am able to open my eyes and my heart to the people in my life who love me and care about me, and instead of shut them out with Ed as my protector, I can openly embrace their warmth and charisma.
The second reason why today is significant is because today also would have been the 3 year anniversary for my now ex-boyfriend and I, who broke up a few months ago.
While it is sad to think about some of the things lost in those three years, it is empowering to know that I am spending today not by someone’s side who didn’t appreciate me for me-and when I made the choice to leave that relationship because I realized I deserved to be valued, I made the choice to choose recovery.
So, today as I look back on where I was 6 months ago, I can’t help but just feel so proud of the place I am standing in today.
I am healthier today, stronger today, and more confidant today than I have ever been before, and most importantly, I love the fact that I feel deserving of feeling all those things.
Today is a celebration.
It’s a celebration of the beauty and freedom that comes from struggle, suffering and pain-
It’s a celebration of realizing how far I’ve come in 6 months-
It’s a celebration that I have not weighed myself and essentially been in recovery for 87 days-
And most importantly, it’s a celebration of my new life.
Happy half birthday to me and hello life.