“They say it takes, on average, seven tries to quit smoking. If someone fails on their sixth attempt, it doesn’t mean they’re a failure; it just means they haven’t hit that seventh attempt yet. Recovery from eating disorders is like that. Missing the mark once doesn’t make you a failure; slipping repeatedly doesn’t mean you’re hopeless. It just means you haven’t tried enough times yet.” -Dr. Caryn Bello
Patience plays a large part in recovery, especially with addictions. I recently quit smoking and have caught myself saying, ‘God I’m glad I don’t smoke anymore’ when I see others with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth. That’s because I pulled my head out of my arss and realized smoking simply did not mesh with my lifestyle. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a little part of me that misses it… I think that’s where the patience comes into play. It helps you coax that voice inside of you off the edge and not get upset about the fact that after months of quitting it still lingers. This is similar to when I was trying to heal from the damage an eating disorder did to my body (physically and emotionally). I would be fine for months and be working so hard to get back on track. I would still struggle every single day to maintain a healthy diet and a healthy mind. The reasons behind my ED were not because I wanted to be skinnier. They were created in my mind when the stress in my life at the time began to overwhelm me. When my anxiety began to creep up on me faster then usual and I didn’t feel in control any longer… I felt like my problems were swallowing me. That is when I had the hardest time. The feeling of not being able to control anything but what goes in and out of your body is a disgusting, painful, and scary feeling. You feel defeated and weak and begin to question your personal strength. But you just have to try again and when you begin to feel overpowered by the pain repeat the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never, never give up.”
I am healthy now and do not suffer from an ED, but like my situation with smoking there is always that voice, that “maybe/what if” in the back of my mind. When I feel the need to resort to these self-destructive activities I go for a run, I write, I meditate, or I’ll call one of my best friends. Kelsey Loraine, Maria, Maddy, and Alexis have all been more than I could ever ask for when it comes to the support necessary in the process of healing and moving past addictions. I love you girls so much, thank you will never be enough, you are angels.
Many of us have things like this we battle on a daily basis, whether it’s an addiction to nicotine, food, unhealthy relationships, etc. We all have them. And I think that is what makes me feel so much empathy as I go about this little thing called life. I see that even when you cover it all up you’ve still got some shit going on, so I wouldn’t ever want to add to that mountain of pain by judging you or making assumptions. Often when I see people in pain my eyeballs do that wiggly wobbly thang and I feel the flood gates begin to open and half the time I don’t even know the person. Maybe I’m sensitive (alright, let’s be real, I tend to be pretty sensitive) or maybe I just remember the many battles with myself and the worries and troubles life brings us all too well. I can relate, I understand, and I wish I could just dissolve each of those pains for that person. But I can’t. I can only be honest about my past and what I went through in hopes of bringing insight, inspiration, and love into your life.
I am not ashamed of having an eating disorder at one point of my life, nor am I ashamed of smoking cigarrettes for a few months. It happens to the best of us and like I’ve said before, I want to make it clear that nobody is alone. We all just need to let go of our egos and come together… Nobody should ever have to overcome an addiction alone, ever. And to those of you who have, I commend you, I admire you, and I respect you. Those of you who are currently in a tough situation, don’t give up, know that you are not alone and you are strong. You can do anything you set your mind to if you want it badly enough. Rise above my loves, and remember to have no shame, just patience.