I started to work on my recovery back in April of 2011.
I had no idea what I was dealing with, only that I was miserable and abused food and my own body on a regular basis.
Over these four and a half years, I have learned so much about my disease, my body and my mind.
It's an incredible journey, one I am so proud of even, despite the stumbles and hard moments, there are plenty more positive ones!
Yesterday, I completed my step four for the first time ever. I have procrastinated this step for fear of revisiting my childhood, the people in it and my feelings. But amazingly, I pushed through it and the result was entirely different for me. It felt freeing and today I feel light, like a huge burden has been lifted off of my shoulders and I'm finally ready to let go, forgive and make some amends in the future. My sponsor has been entirely supportive and lets me do things at my own pace gratefully. I am stubborn in general, so no need to go into specifics about how stubborn my self-bully is in letting me progress to some place that has hope for positivity and forgiveness. The bully fights tooth and nail to keep me at the low-esteemed and hard place I feel miserable in.
I have always felt so ashamed of my childhood. I have been taught growing up that hiding my feelings was the best approach. I grew up internalizing and as an adult "ran with it" meaning it progressed to worse and even more worse through the years. I became a ball of anxiety, grief and it drove my self-esteem down as far as it would go. It's something I am working on though, because today I know I can make that young, pained girl not only resurface but I can pin her wings on her and let her soar and experience this world she never had the chance to know.
I don't believe in shaming, online or offline, so going into specifics of my childhood and the ways I felt hurt and shamed just isn't going to happen. I love most of the people who hurt me, and I know they may even feel guilt for what they did. Will I find forgiveness for them? Unsure. But, I know I can at least move forward and have hope to find forgiveness for myself and my part over the years. My shame and guilt are high, but for the first time I feel hope. I have always been a closed up human being, I shut in my feelings and close myself off from loving relationships so I wouldn't get hurt. My trust level is low. Today, as I work on my recovery though, I realize that while that changes, my trust is still low but for a different reason altogether. I have less trust for the people I should, because I have boundaries. In my past life, I let anyone hurtful in who didn't have my best interests at heart. That has changed now. Now I see who has my best interests at heart, and I can slowly let them in and distance those who are hurtful.
I feel a lot of changes in my future.
I'm proud of how far I have come, even if I walk step by step slower than the average bear, because I know that when it does stick, it sticks good. I learn over time, I grow slowly but I like that it's how I function and am embracing that about me. I am passionate about keeping it real, and it doesn't happen overnight.
That's okay. I am happy it just happens.
Forgiveness for myself is the biggest challenge. If I can achieve that, the rest is gravy.
Grateful for my sponsor, for you all who support and love me through this journey and mostly I am grateful for my continual determination.. to learn, to grow, to change, to understand and to forgive.
Because life is short and I have plenty of life to live looking at the world through my brand new eyes!