Since I’ve last written, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster. And the time has come to get myself to a more stable place. So before I explain why I will be writing a blog post every day for the next month, let me start by saying what’s brought me to this place.
Last week I flew home and graduated college and got to see my family and friends for the firs time since moving to Washington two and half months ago.
I was so worried about everyone seeing my new body and my bigger self. While I know that’s not what my family or friends care about, by natural instinct and habit, I kept thinking it’s the only thing people would see.
They didn’t see that-and they frankly didn’t care about how I looked-but I did.
I so did. Every minute. Every picture. Every event. Probably every other sentence that I said had to do about the way I looked.
I remember the night before my college graduation I was sitting in bed in tears over how I could only bring my long flowy dresses with me to wear since nothing else fit.
But then I got a message from another Hello Life fighter. She told me how Ed took over her college graduation. It broke my heart for her, and for me, thinking that I could also be heading down that same path the very next day.
I already have enough years and events in my life that Ed has taken over. I didn’t want to add my college graduation to that list.
Especially a graduation that I worked so hard to reach.
I worked to graduate even through my recovery-even through my heart ache with my break up with my ex of 3 years-even through moving to Washington-I came back home to walk across that stage.
Of course I didn’t have a number on a scale to dictate my graduation day for me and for that I am so proud. And really, I am proud of myself for being as in the moment as I could be on that day. It was not easy.
I took pictures. I saw friends. I smiled. I was with my family and I made them proud,and most importantly, I made myself proud.
Even though every picture I took I had to check myself in, and some I could not stand–I tried to delete them off my phone before anyone else could even see them.
While those moments took up parts of that day, they did not define it.
I still went to Cheesecake Factory with my family and had my amazing Linda’s fudge cake afterwards and I still had dinner with my family that night and kissed and hugged my baby brothers and didn’t let anything in the world take away from that.
I realize latley that I have forgotten to celebrate my own small victories.
Yes, I checked every photo of myself that day. Yes, I disliked almost every single one and yes, I was thinking about what everyone was thinking when they saw me.
But, I was there. I was present. I walked on the stage and I did it for me. I loved my family. And that took a lot of power I don’t think I gave myself credit for that day, and I really deserved to.
Even through these two and half months I’ve eaten unmindfully and yes, I’ve gotten consumed with Ed’s vicious thoughts.
But I’ve also moved states to start my career. I’ve mad an impact on people’s lives. I got up and chased my dream to be a reporter and that deserves some kind of recognition, even if Ed doesn’t think so.
And on the note of recognition, I want to take a moment to recognize that we came very close to winning a $10,000 award that would have helped turn this blog into a non-profit organization to help other fighters like us.
I say we, because if not for everyone reading this blog, it would not be what it is and therefore would not have even made it into the final stages of that award that it did.
We did not win the award. But the person who did win deserved it, and I say that whole heartedly and I’m so happy for her.
I know that all this means is that we need to find plan B. I cried about this loss. And I grieved it. And now we will move forward and find another way to make it happen.
But I wanted to take a second and realize that victory that we even got so close to winning.We were one of three finalist chosen from 18 people. That’s pretty incredible if we think about the fact that this blog started as one individual journey and now became the journey of hundreds.
Moving on to today and this post about blogging every day.
I sit here now writing this blog post after my best friend came to visit me this weekend.
I cried to her on Saturday night about how miserable I am in this new body, how hard it is to wear clothes every day that are so tight and uncomfortable and don’t even button and how trapped I feel.
I cry to E about this every week too. I cried about to her when I saw her last week when I came home.
But, a weekend of good times with my best friend including good food and good laughs, and an entire shopping spree later with clothes that fit my new body, I am in the place to write what I am about to say.
I’ve been thinking of making this commitment for a while now, but I haven’t had the courage yet.
But new wardrobe in hand, a dose of my best friend and some positive self talk later, I am ready.
I am ready to stop fighting this part of my journey alone and work on it with all of you behind me.
I don’t mind having this new bigger body if it’s where I am supposed to be. I do mind, however, not being mindful.
And I mean that in all aspects of my life: not being mindful in my eating, in my fullness levels, in what TV shows I want to watch, in what ways I want to relax, even in how much I need to sleep.
And since moving to Washington, I have not been mindful of those things.
What TV shows do I enjoy? What things make me relaxed now?
What food is fuel for my body and what am I really craving? Am I even respecting when my body is full?
Am I sleeping when I’m tired?
And I reaching out for help when I need it?
The answers to all of those is no. Not lately.
I have the urge to go back to my old ways—to go back to Ed-to counting calories, to limiting myself, to punishing myself for the lack of discipline I’ve shown over the past few months.
And I thought about doing that, and then I thought, how would I explain that to you all, and to myself?
I could go back to old ways-and I don’t even think anyone would really blame me for it and at some level, I don’t even think I would blame myself, knowing the place of desperation I am in.
But, if I were to do that, it better be after I tried my very best-and I mean, my very very very damn best.
And I haven’t tried my very best yet.
So, Ive’ decided to do what led me through my first year in recovery: make a commitment and keep myself accountable through this blog.
I am going to be blogging about a “Month of Mindfulness.”
Every day, starting tomorrow, which is May 27, to June 27 (which comes out to 32 days), I am going to blog about re-discovering how to be mindful again.
I am not saying I will have a lot to say every day, or even anything really moving or powerful to say every day. But I will write every day for this month.
I thought about just doing a month commitment to myself, but I know what works for me: and this blog is what works for me.
I can’t give up on myself if I make a promise to not just me but to all 600 of us in this fight together, especially now after journeying with you all for the past year and a half.
So, here we go.
A month of mindfulness.
One month of re-learning how to be mindful. One month of really paying attention to my needs, my wants, my own willpower and my own strength.
And one month of hopefully reminding myself that I haven’t totally lost touch with who I am.
Tomorrow will be day 1 of our one month daily journey together.
Until tomorrow…hello life.