Bridges

Bridges

I have a lot of reasons to be writing this… a divorce (not mine) but one that felt like a sucker punch to the gut… a death in the family… speaking with a fellow warrior and finally telling her my story… And telling her of these last months…

You know those annoying notifications that pop up on your phone from God knows what app and you don’t have time to go through your apps to deactivate notifications… Well, Youtube is one of those… Until this song popped up the other day…

“You never told the broken they were whole
You spoke the truth that healed their broken souls
You’d never leave us here to fight alone”

We may be broken, but I’m here to tell you:

Tonight as you scour the internet, looking for someone who knows… someone who understands… someone to answer the questions whirling through your head tonight…

It does get better.

No matter what anyone says, recovery IS possible.

Complete recovery is possible.

A life you can’t even imagine is possible.

Keep going.

You may not even know why you are still fighting.

Keep going.

Reasons will become clear.

Answers will come.

Be patient.

You aren’t alone.

I’ve always loved bridges.

And maybe my wounds are my bridges.

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Flashbacks…

So… today of all days… this site I haven’t posted on since 2017 got a like…

All the reasons for which this is providential I cannot disclose or this wouldn’t be the space it is for me… a space that is even freer than my secret Pinterest boards on recovery or my Facebook posts which can only reveal part of what it is on my heart.

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It has been a week of flashbacks… for me and for others…

And only the pain of watching others relive memories has allowed me to not allow the pain to overwhelm me and suck me in…

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And the memories that the mind has protected itself from… come to the surface… so they can be healed…

The funny thing about being recovered… Really recovered… I do believe it is possible and I do believe I’ve beat the odds…

First you have to heal from the wounds that caused the disorder itself… then you heal from the disorder… then you heal from the wounds the disorder caused…

Or so I’m discovering…

 

Tears

I drove home from the city today with a baby screaming… not crying, screaming… for the whole way.

I so rarely cry anymore. How many days and nights I cried… and before that how many days and nights I held back or refused to cry…

The other day I was watching Cheaper By The Dozen 2… Steve Martin… and the tears spilled over. It was the dumbest scene ever. Steve Martin’s movies are hardly known for their emotional depth… but there I was.

I no longer fear tears.

There will surely be a day in the future when I cry more. 

But I never imagined I would make it to this place where I am no longer holding back and no longer crying daily…

Tears have helped me heal. They’ve helped me feel and express what I couldn’t express with words. They’ve washed away the barriers revealing the heart below.

Recovery

I haven’t written much… partly because I don’t have time… Partly because this process has many stages and some of them are to be lived and not written about.

But I look back and  I can’t believe how far I have come.

And this post is for all of those (who may not find this or read this) who are googling “eating disorder recovery.” That was me one day. I wanted to know if this was possible. I wanted to read a story of someone who had made it through. Because I wanted a story of someone who understood the battle and made it through. So many stories of “you will live with this forever”.. and I always preferred to believe in this impossible.

And I’m living the impossible. And I believe in something even better than what I’m living today. It hasn’t been perfect. There are still triggers. But I am living something that I never thought was possible.

It does get better. It is worth digging to find the root. Because finding the root – the hole you are trying to fill… It is painful… But when you find it, it does get better. It is scary as s***… It feels like it may break you. But it won’t. You are strong enough.

I found the root. It hurts. It still does. But it is healing.

And finding the root has changed the path of recovery. It took a lot of time. I had to dig through a lot of layers. I reached a point at which I thought I would never reach the bottom layer. I was tired. I am tired. But I have reached the bottom layer and it is healing…

And the recovery is happening… it takes time. But when you face the hole – you no longer have to try to fill it with food or the pain of hunger.

It does get better. And the journey changes you.

Hip Pain

Well, I didn’t run my marathon this year.

But I did manage to win every race I ran this season. I surprised myself. Racing does that to you.

“Your biggest challenge isn’t someone else. It’s the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells, “I CAN’T.” But you don’t listen, you just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper “I CAN” and you discover the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.”

I learn that every race. And the funny thing is that in hindsight I can’t remember any of it… not the ache, nor the sweat, nor the moment on that half marathon when I really thought I might just prefer to crawl up that last hill in mile 12.

But there is a nagging hip pain… Not real pain, not “lay me up and I can’t work out pain”… but “stand up from my desk and slightly wince pain”…

And that little pain reminds me of everything I put into it. I came out of this running season a different person – as I do after every race. I am stronger. And yet all the effort that goes into it and the determination required and the self-knowledge attained doesn’t come at no cost… There is a nagging hip almost-pain… which reminds me that I did something I didn’t think I could, that I am a different person… And that transformation isn’t always painless.

Disclaimer: I have consulted a medical professional on the hip pain and it nothing to be concerned about.

 

Too Much

Sometimes there is too much to write about.

Sometimes you just have to live it because processing is a luxury that will come but has yet to arrive.

Sometimes emotional bandwidth is to short, so you just hold on for the ride.

Sometimes you resist the waves.

Sometimes you let them flow over you.

And sometimes – you know that in time it will all settle.

But in the meantime, you wait. And just let it happen around you.

The eye of the storm – that is where I hung out during my brother’s wedding a few weeks ago. Because the dichotomy of something so incredibly beautiful matched by the incredible pain of being all together again and the triggers it provoked was too much to try to sort out.

And it still isn’t there…

So for now I’m hanging out in the eye of  the storm… waiting for it all to calm.

(And go figure – of course now would be when some guy decides it is a good time to pursue me… oh and that person I had to say goodbye to in the summer came in town to visit (hello emotions!) )

And the longing to reach for control is so strong… but I know that isn’t the answer…

So I keep waiting… Oh and hello holidays, bad timing – once again! So we are skipping town for the holidays… Because sometimes it is too much and that is okay. And sometimes we have to give ourselves permission… acknowledge that it being too much is not a mistake.

My spiritual director told me something a couple months ago – “N, you’ve got to accept your humanity.”

And the tears come… as I try to accept it wasn’t my fault I got hurt. I didn’t do something wrong that led me to get wounded. I wasn’t supposed to handle it all better – the high expectations, the perfectionism, the sensitivity, the bipolar parent, the unpredictability, the unpredictable environment, the lack of support, the emotional unavailability, etc, etc, etc… I wasn’t supposed to be able to handle it. It isn’t my fault I got hurt. I am human.

A year ago I started blogging again… sometimes I do… sometimes I don’t.

Tonight is one of those sometimes…

What seemed like the end…

I had to say goodbye to discover…

I had to rip the wound open to let it heal…

I had to face the darkness to find the light…

I think it must be something like childbirth. They say time lessens the pain but you never forget. (I wouldn’t know… at least not yet.)

But I do know that in my life turning upside down… many times over… I found things I never wold have imagined.

And tonight lying in bed, the wind whistling through the leaves on this Indian summer night… a little more crinkly now that they’ve begun to change…

Like I’ve changed… 

I’m not who I was a few months ago. I’ve gone through a lot of growth and transformation these past years… but always it has felt like a steep slope I could slide back down at any moment. But this is different. I don’t think I could go back if I wanted to.

These are new beginnings… but for a new beginning everything had to end… and that was the hard part…

But now, even as the pain is fresh (like new shoes) I also know I’m never going back.