In just a few short months, I will be celebrating 6 years since I began my recovery journey. 6 years of hard work, exhausting therapy, body changes, and new opportunities. There have been days that have brought me to my knees and nearly sent me back to the familiar warmth of my ED. There have been days of triumph and ineffable joy, and every and all kinds of days in between. And so, as Eating Disorder Awareness Week comes to an end, I have been feeling the pressure to write something profound. Something that encapsulates all that recovery has given to me and the “great wisdom” I have been accumulating. But alas, I am at a loss.
I could sit here and write about all the victories and heartaches that my recovery has presented to me. I could tell you the tips and trick I have gathered over the years that have helped me tackle that nasty beast. I could even tell you all how confronting that beast is a daily battle, but one that I no longer struggle to win. But I don’t want to. Yes, I want to (and hope I do!) inspire y’all with my words, but I want to take this time to reflect on what I truly want to leave behind in this world.
Recently I led a group at the treatment center I work at and we discussed the “legacies” we want to leave behind us. My clients blew my mind with the beautifully eloquent ways they articulated that they do not want to be remembered for their thigh gaps or the way they were “strong enough” to say ‘no’ to their own birthday cake. They wanted to be remembered for their words, their kindness, their laughter, and the ways in which they stared their ED in the face and outwardly defied it. They wanted to be remembered for the countless ways they became more than just “the girl with an eating disorder” and even more than “the girl who beat it.”
It’s not uncommon for me to be inspired by my clients. Hell, it’s nearly impossible not to be inspirited by them. And so, I was left thinking. Who do I want to be remembered as? How will I be thought of long after I am gone? And with that, I knew what I was going to share with you all today.
My legacy will not be the pounds I lost nor the meals I skipped.
At any cost I will be remembered as more.
I will leave the ones I loved with more than the size of my thighs and the number on a scale.
I will leave this world teaching others to take pride in their successes and ways in which they fail.
I will be remembered in the hugs I gave, the laughs I shared, and tears I’ve shed;
The words I spoke and the ways in which my heart broke.
The hands I’ve held and dreams I chased,
The respect I gave myself and miles I raced.
The hours spent learning and places I traveled.
I will be remembered in the mistakes I’ve made, the plans I had, and dues I paid.
And I promise to you and to me, I have learned to love the person I’ve become.
But most importantly, I want to be known as not the girl who fought, but as the woman who won.