Figuring Out My New Life

Happy almost Friday everyone,

Since I last wrote, I have officially moved to Washington (the state, not D.C.), got my own apartment and started my new job as a reporter for the main newspaper where I’m living.

When I used to talk about living in the gray, I had no idea just what that totally meant, and I still don’t think I know what it totally means, but I think I have a better idea of it now.

When I first started recovery, living in the gray meant not weighing myself and not knowing that number.

Then it meant letting go of my standards of self perfection.

Some days it meant going with the flow when my plans fell through.

Today, living in the gray means accepting that I would rather sleep an extra two hours than go to the gym before work.

Today, living in the gray means not knowing how I will meet all new friends and people, but that I will.

Today, living in the gray means not being able to try on all the old Ed clothes I gave away before I moved.

For now, the gray means this and only this: I am figuring things out.

And maybe it’s always been that simple all along.

One of the biggest changes that I’ve had in recovery since I’ve moved to Washington is that I no longer have a mirror in my room.

I actually only have one full length mirror now and it’s in my bathroom.

Not only is it in my bathroom, but it’s hanging on the inside of the cleaning supplies closet door in the bathroom; basically,  it’s as inaccessible as a mirror can be.

This means that I no longer wake up and do body checks in my bedroom.

I know that if I wanted to, I could stroll myself up to the bathroom, open the closet and lift up my shirt and do a check, but 9 days out of 10, that walk just feels defeating, like I am letting Ed start my day for me.

The three times that I have made that morning walk to that mirror and did my body check, I never once felt better. I didn’t feel relieved, I didn’t feel sad and I didn’t feel happy.

I felt empty. It didn’t bring me anything. It didn’t get me a cover story. It didn’t get me new friends.

My jeans still don’t button how they used to and I am still not comfortable in my skin how I would like to be, but that mirror is not going to bring me any of that.

On the days that I fight the urge to make that morning walk to my mirror, and on every single day since I’ve been here (with the exception of two days) that I didn’t go to the gym because I wanted to sleep more, I thought to myself, “good job Shira. You love you baby, love you.”

Yes, I really do talk to myself like that.

I love myself when I make sure I come home for lunch every day.

I love myself when I eat a snack every day.

And I surely loved myself when I left my very first city council meeting mid–way to go eat dinner and come right back.

Some nights, I  love myself so much I even have two desserts after dinner.

Tomorrow there is  a BBQ at my work and a going away party with cake, and I guess I’ll love myself through that too.

But above all, on my hardest days here, it is my family, friends and fellow fighters who have lifted me up.

I don’t care how much success I have in Washington and I don’t care if they make me a world known writer-I moved here never forgetting where I came from.

And I will never forget that.

I came from the fighter who started this blog.

I am still her and I will never let her out of my sight.

tattoo

For all of us fighters…Hello Life.

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Day 363: How Blessed I Would Be To Spend The Rest Of My Life In This Gray World

Hello everyone,

Today wasn’t the easiest day .

It wasn’t the easiest when it came to eating, since my body was sore and Ed was loud after my incredible dinner and dessert last night that I let myself fully enjoy without him in my way.

It wasn’t the easiest when my dinner plans that I had made got cancelled, which other than feeling kind of lonely also left me to eat with just Ed. An experience that while was hard, I can say I did pretty well and am proud of myself for.

But I’ve learned throughout this year that not everyday or every hour or even every meal for that matter is going to go the way we plan it.

And sometimes it’s ok for things to be canceled, or for feeling to be a little lonely, or for meals to be a little hard.

Maybe a year ago, before I began walking this path to recovery, I would have thought that today was a terrible day.

I would have thought that whoever cancelled on me is a terrible person, and I would have thought that because Ed is loud today it means I really messed up yesterday, and I would have thought that feeling lonely meant that I am alone in this world.

But I sit here tonight, and I truly don’t think any of those things are true today.

The person who cancelled on me had another plan come up, and while it’s not the same thing I would have done, they are just a human being, who like me, deserves some slack.

Just because Ed is loud today doesn’t mean I messed up yesterday, it means I stood up to him yesterday and enjoyed myself with my family. Good for me.

And just because I am feeling lonely at the moment, I know that I am so far from being lonely in life.

If anything, this journey has brought me the closest that I’ve ever been to my loved ones and friends.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that where at the beginning of this one year journey, I was scared to leave my world of black and white, I can now officially say that I’ve learned and embraced how to live in the gray.

I haven’t mastered it by any means, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job of learning how to live in it.

Of learning how to live in a world where canceled plans don’t ruin my day, where Ed being loud doesn’t mean I am a failure, and where feeling lonely is not a finite definition of my life.

I don’t think perfectionism can exist in a gray world.

I don’t even know if a perfectionist can live in a grey world.

With that being said, I don’t know if I can say that I am 100 percent free of my old perfectionist self, but I can say, that I’ve let go of a lot of her throughout this year.

The more I let my perfecionist self go, the more I learn how to master living in the gray.

The grey used to mean unknown weights, unknown calories and unknown foods.

But now it means understanding cancelled plans; it means knowing that feelings do not define us, and it means knowing the difference between Ed’s voice and my own voice.

If I am only seeing this beautiful part of the gray world after one year of recovery, I can only imagine what other beautiful parts of this world are still waiting for me to come discover them.

That’s definitely a journey that will take more than a year, and maybe it might even take a lifetime.

How blessed I would be to spend the rest of my life living and uncovering this gray world, and not another day living in the perfectionist, Ed-dominated world of the black and white.

Hello life.