Day 331: Stripped Of Validations

Hi guys,

I want to say thank you so much for all the incredible love that everyone showed me after I wrote about me finishing college yesterday. Every comment and every e-mail truly makes me smile and it brings me so much strength and joy.

On that note, my one night of feeling so proud of myself was very short lived.

I went in for another job interview today, only to find  out that it was an unpaid internship, which means it’s not something that will work for  me right now, because I didn’t go to college to work for free.

I think I cried four times today, if I counted correctly and didn’t forget any.

I think I am about to face the hardest part of my journey to recovery.

In the beginning of my recovery and in the beginning of my journey of one year without a scale, not weighing myself for one day was a huge deal.

Then, not weighing myself every day after was that a big deal and it was a huge accomplishment; enough of an accomplishment to keep me feeling proud of myself.

As I moved through my recovery, I was able to add more accomplishments to feel proud of myself such as writing cover stories for my university newspaper, or breaking certain food rules, or getting good grades in school.

And I apologize if I have been writing about this subject frequently lately, but as you know, this blog is honest and real, and this is what I’ve been dealing with lately. 

What has happened to me that now being on day 331st day of not weighing myself is no longer enough to keep me feeling proud of myself?

What has happened that now following my meal plan, eating my sweets, and standing up to Ed on a daily basis isn’t enough to keep me feeling proud of myself?

What has happened that graduating college isn’t enough to keep me feeling proud of myself for more than one night?

I say that I think I will be facing the hardest part of recovery right now because this is actually the first time in recovery that I don’t have any of those things to help me feel validated.

This will be the first time in many years, that I will not turn to Ed for validation when other things are not working.

I am making that choice, but it’s a choice that I know I am going to have to fight for everyday.

It would be extremely easy to go back to the arms of Ed right now.

When there is no job, no exterior accomplishments and not even a scale to validate me, there is of course, always Ed and his rules of restricting to pat me on the back when I do a good job.

I don’t want to go there, and I refuse to go there. But just because I am choosing not to go there doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

I imagine myself as this really beautiful luxury car with all the bells and whistles; with a sunroof, fancy tints, nice rims and a really good stereo system inside.

What happens when you take away the nice rims? There are only tires.

What happens when you take away the tints? There are only regular windows.

What happens when you take away the sound system? There is only silence.

What happens when you remove the sun roof and the fancy paint job? There is just the metal frame of that car.

I am that metal frame right now.

I feel like I’ve been stripped of so many of the fancy validations that were taking Ed’s place up until now.

Stripped of my fancy title as senior reporter, stripped from my grades in school (since I am no longer in school), and even my accomplishments with recovery don’t feel as great as they once did.

But maybe this is all happening for a reason.

Maybe this is the part of recovery where I have to look at that metal frame; no body on it, no fancy titles on it, nothing on it. But just it’s frame.

Ed used to be that frame for me.

He was my foundation to the frame. He was the links that kept the metal frame together.

This is the first time that I need to look at that frame without Ed holding it up, and it scares me that I don’t know what I will find.

In one month, I won’t even have this blog to identify myself with.

I feel like I am stripped down to the core of my being.

But regardless of my fears of what I will find when I look at just my frame–plain and simple-I know this:  I will not find Ed.

I am not Ed.

And he is not me.

And he does not make up my frame anymore.

But if he doesn’t, then who does?

If a job, fancy title, or weight can’t make me who I am, then what does?

I don’t have the answers, but like everything else with this blog and this journey, I have hope that I will figure it out.

Hello life.

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One thought on “Day 331: Stripped Of Validations

  1. Shira,
    Recovery is a rebuilding process, not a redecorating process. You have to strip down to the bare frame in order to find the essential you. So goodbye to those rims and sound and sunroof and tinted windows. They’re just the furnishings, not the building. I know it’s scary to give up what you’ve known and what made you comfortable, but you are starting an exciting new adventure: your life as an adult woman. You have the courage. You have the wisdom. You have the tools. You will go far, and you are so loved!

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