In the time I’ve spent away from my blog, I finished up my summer job, said goodbye to my family home, moved in with my boyfriend, and adopted my own cat. Oh, and in two weeks I start my senior year of college. I also bought a textbook that weighs more than my head that will supposedly get me into grad school. I’m applying for a joint masters/PhD program… it’s a long shot, but still… that could be a reality for me in a year.
Who decided I could be an adult? Two nights ago, my boyfriend and I hosted our friends over for dinner. In our apartment. With our own pots and pans. I bought wine at the grocery store.
I don’t mean for this to be another one of those, oh where does the time go? Gosh, time sure does fly posts, but gosh darn it- the world really does just spin and spin and spin. I don’t know where the last five years went.
Part of me wonders if it feels so vehemently rushed as a result of my eating disorder. I have no doubt that my eating disorder stunted my emotional growth. My maturity lingered below where it should be for a while because my brain was incapable of any growth. All throughout, I’ve felt like my mind is on overdrive trying to play catch up to where everyone else is. So far, I think I’ve done pretty well, but I know this is an area I struggle with, especially when a lot of changes are occurring around me.
On my last day of work, I cried at the smallest little issues, mainly because I was too embarrassed to cry over saying goodbye to the kids and my coworkers. I’ll easily cry over logistical issues like traffic (even though I’ve planned ahead for this- #typeA), but I might not cry over the death of a loved one.
I went for a walk this morning because I needed some time to myself while I processed all of this.
All of these changes going on in my life are for good.
I’m excited to begin my final year of university. I earned it. I worked my butt off to get here. I stayed diligent and dedicated to graduate in four years with two degrees. This is a time to celebrate, and instead here I am displacing all of those emotions into worry about what I will do afterward. Because I’m a senior, I have all the classes I wanted, and I’m genuinely excited to take them all. I’m ready to dive in, and that is the emotion I need to focus on. The positive, not the negative.
Moving in with my boyfriend is a large step. I fully understand that. 100%. I get it. I think everyone around me is a lot more concerned about the two of us than we are. We haven’t been together a year, and yet here we are committed and living together. Trust me, if I was a friend of mine, I’d be scratching my head trying to figure out just what I was thinking in making such a big step so early on in our relationship. But I have faith and confidence and absolutely no doubts about this decision. The one point of concern I have is my need for alone time. But we’ve had conversations about it, and I feel good about my ability to make the space. Surprisingly, this is the one change in my life I have no issue about.
I don’t know where I was going with all of this. I just missed writing on the blog and felt I needed to spew out my heart before I jumped back into blogging (which I really plan to do). I love my blog. I love my readers. I love the intellectual, respectful conversations we are capable of having even when I post controversial posts. I love everything this community provides for me. It’s such a joy to know that I have this space to write out my thoughts, especially, when they don’t exist in my head in such a manner that I can understand. It’s only after my fingers start jotting away that I look back and realize, oh, that’s what my heart what trying to tell me. ok, yeah, that makes much more sense.
I know this was a space for my eating disorder recovery, and in some ways, I think it always will be. I’ve given up on the idea that I’ll ever be 100% free from my disorder. I just don’t think a society rampant with diet culture and self-loathing allows for anyone to be free from disordered thoughts surrounding food + exercise. For right now, I’ve accepted that. I’m okay knowing that I’ll occasionally feel a twinge of guilt after eating certain foods or certain amounts of food. I’m okay knowing that I’ll want to compulsively exercise. What matters is that the thoughts only exist, not the actions.
That’s what recovery looks like to me. It also looks like eating a whole box of mac n cheese because that’s what my boyfriend wanted but neither of us wanted to share. It also looks like going out for pint night with my girlfriends after not seeing them for the summer. It also looks like joining in on potlucks and graciously accepting cookies when coworkers are generous. It also looks like snuggling with my new kitten instead of waking up early for a run. Recovery looks like ten thousand different things on any given day, but it is always right. And it is always worth it. It is always a little difficult, some days more than others, but it will always and forever be the right choice.
There are people in my life still currently and actively stuck in their disorders. It destroys me. I think about them when I can’t sleep at night. It’s not my place to write about them on the blog, because that’s their issue to deal with and not mine to publicly display. But I make this point for a reason: I think this is the reason why I still use my blog. I feel myself pulled in the direction of every person out there suffering with an eating disorder. We are a unique community, and unfortunately, we are a community that no one can understand unless they themselves also know the true horror of what it’s like to be a captive to thoughts of malice. So whenever I think about Drops of Jules, I think about my friends who are stuck in their disorders, and I also think about the thousands of readers I have here too.
Whether you are a silent reader, someone who comments, or someone who privately emails, each one of you hold a very dear nook in my heart.
I want everyone out there to get better, even if it means not all the way. There is a better life out there. I never imagined this life for myself; I never thought I was worthy. And yet, here I am. I know it’s possible for everyone.
Anyway, I don’t know why or how I got off on that tangent, but I want to be raw with you all, and share everything on my head, so that way afterward I can return to somewhat regular scheduling.
Choosing recovery was the biggest change of my life. Whenever I struggle with change, I think back to that time. I think about how terrified I was. Truthfully, I look back and a lot of the time I’m shocked I actually did it. Every piece of research would suggest that I should have died. I should have been someone who didn’t make it. But I did because something inside of me decided that change might be a good thing. And it so was.
If you’re considering recovery, but are too scared of all the changes, please know that is normal. It’s normal to be scared of gaining weight, of changing your routine, of eating foods that are not on your approved “safe” list. The stress of change can manifest in a multitude of ways, but oftentimes, if we are able to, we just neglect to change. That’s why so many people get stuck in recovery, or don’t make the commitment to their significant other, or don’t apply for the promotion at work, or don’t tell their friend they are hurt by something that was said.
Even if said change is positive (like recovery! or taking the next step in your relationship! or whatever!), it can still terrify us. When I write it out like that, it sounds so backwards, and that’s because it is. But no one ever said that being a human ever made any sense. Most of the time, it doesn’t. However, the more we can understand the complexities of our own minds, we can figure all of this out and cope better.
For starters, doing things we know help us are the first step to embracing change. Personally, taking walks first thing in the morning are essential when I need to clear my head. I feel rejuvenated, with the whole day ahead of me. I can tackle any fears wreaking havoc on my brain and make a plan for how I will combat any issues.
Find what helps you cope with change. Think about this. Find your source of comfort. You deserve that solace in the midst of change.
Writing also plays a large role in my coping regime. As you can see clearly from this blog post, I’m not always the most coherent writer, but that’s not the point. At least, not here on the blog. I can worry about outlines and timelines when it comes to my novels, but right here is my space. I decide what goes on here and if it needs to be some emotional, sappy thought-vomit, so be it.
If you can’t get out of your head, force it down on the page.
Whatever battle of change you’re currently facing, join me in embracing our transitions. You and I- we are in this together. I’m always here for each and every one of you. This life is hard. We live in difficult times of discrimination, hate, and so many other intolerable problems. The last thing we need to tack onto our own backs is the inability of coping with change… especially when it comes to recovery.
I always have to bring it back to recovery on here because that’s why the blog exists. If you are repelling the change to begin recovery, I want you to read through my words, and I want you to internalize what I’m saying. I’m not preaching to everyone but you. I’m preaching directly to you.
I’m terrified of all the change in my life- I’m pretty sure that’s the normal response when our routine is uprooted. It’d be strange for us all to approach new situations and think everything was peachy keen and dandy. If you’re worried about a change in your life, embrace the uneasiness and take it in stride. I’m right there with you, trying to embrace my own changes the best that I can.
We will undoubtedly make mistakes. That’s how change happens. We feel overwhelmed and revert back to old behavior. We do something unhealthy because that’s what makes us feel better. This is an area where I’ve gotten so much better at.
When I’m overwhelmed by the change in my life, I no longer starve my body or exercise excessively. I do still have some unhealthy coping mechanisms that don’t manifest in self-harm though. For example, I am quick to isolate myself when I’m tired and frustrated. I have a certain amount of interaction I can handle for the day and once my energy level has tanked, that’s about it for me. Instead of verbalizing that I need time to myself, I stagger off and ignore loved ones. This summer, I’ve seen how much that negatively affected others. I no longer want to do that. That’s not fair to those around me. Instead, I’m now making a point to communicate when I need my alone time before I get to my breaking point. I need to start recognizing the signs that I’m getting antsy and overtired.
I share that here on the blog because I think it’s really important to learn more about ourselves. Oftentimes, this is spoken as “discovering” ourselves, and while I don’t necessarily buy into that sort of rhetoric, the sentiment behind it resonates with me. We cannot be kind, compassionate, thriving human beings if we don’t understand our own needs and wants. We cannot love others until we love ourselves.
I’m taking the steps to be more mindful of how these changes impact my life, and hopefully that helps me grow. Especially when I’m thrilled about all of the changes going on, when I strip away the fears tied to them.
I’m quite excited about our little family. (if you follow me on Instagram, I apologize for all of the stories I’ve posted in the past few days. Dragon is just so darn cute. Thank you for all of the name suggestions!)
I’m signing off because I’m already at 2,154 words. It might all be useless drivel, but gosh it feels good to get it out of my system. I miss this blog space. I never want to write just to publish something, so know when I come on here, it’s because that connection is calling me. I’m sorry I don’t write about my recovery as often. It’s not that I’m struggling- just the opposite. Talking about recovery always excites me, because I love encouraging others to continue and press forward. Talking about my recovery though, feels… boring. There’s nothing new or exciting going on. I feel like a (semi) normal 21 year old gal.
But that’s the beauty of recovery. It stops being the center focus of your life when you stick with it.
All right. I love you all. Thank you for your time in reading my words!
- How do you cope with change?
- What changes are currently impacting your life?
- What’s NEW with you??? It’s been a while since we all just chatted so please give me any updates you want to share!