I am a firm believer that time heals all wounds. Riding the wave, waiting for the storm to pass, dancing in the rain; all that good stuff. But let me tell ya, every single time I walk into a doctor’s office, a familiar brush of panic washes over me as I am asked to hop on the scale.
It has been 5 years since I began my recovery journey and I have yet to regret a single step along the way. I write and run this blog. And hell, I am less than 6 months away from becoming a licensed counselor. But as soon as I caught wind of the fact that I have gained 20 pounds in a matter of 2 years, I crumbled like the piece of cake I didn’t think twice about eating for breakfast this morning.
Would this realization have brought me to my knees (and probably right into treatment) if I had seen those numbers before I began to choose recovery? Absolutely. Did I still end up sobbing into the arms of my roommate and yelling at my therapist over a text message because of the shame I was experiencing? You bet’cha!
But as I have been able to take a step back from it all and recognize this as merely a bump in the road, I can slowly, but surely, grant myself some grace. I have been considering myself in recovery from my eating disorder for over 5 years, but it has been only in the past 2 years that I began recovering from a toxic lifestyle. It was not until I admitted to myself that I was so deeply buried in a grave of narcissism, manipulation, and neglect that I realized something needed to change. I had been conditioned my entire life to expect abuse and the last place I was ever able to find safety was in my own body.
It was on February 19th, 2017 that I last experienced physical, mental, and emotional abuse at the hands of my own blood. And ever since then I have been able to recognize my self-worth and establish the boundaries that ultimately saved my life. So yes, I have gained 20 pounds in these 2 years. But I have also gained a life that I am happy to call my own. And so, in celebration of that life, here are the 20 things that I truly gained since 2017.
- My own home
- A supportive roommate
- A rescue puppy
- Safety from abusive relationships
- 3 new jobs
- 4 amazing little girls
- A therapist who has never stopped fighting alongside me
- My best friends
- A renewed love for Portillo’s
- A healthy sex life
- A good night’s sleep
- My dream internship
- 2 passed licensure exams
- 4 successful half marathons
- 5 new tattoos
- A real connection with my yoga practice
- A voice that I am not afraid to share with those around me
- Strength in vulnerability
- Self-forgiveness and patience
Written and contributed by Megan Rose.