It always surprises me to hear someone comment on how “together” they think my life is, especially when we’re talking about recovery. The truth is, no one has it all figured out. Not your therapist, not your psychiatrist, and not the world’s most successful coaches. Not any of the bloggers you follow on social media who seem to have the perfect life. Not celebrities and not spiritual gurus. No one. We’re all just as human and we’re all just operating from where we are in our lives, which means that we all still have growing to do. Some of us are using things we’ve learned in our textbooks to guide you, some of us are using our experiences to guide you, and some of us are combining the two. Neither is right or wrong. The world is in desperate need of healers- ALL kinds. of them Educate yourself, but don’t close yourself off to all the people who have the potential to rock your world just because they lack a degree. So much of the deeper aspects of healing depend on YOUR ability to shift your perspective. There is no one-sized fits all approach to recovery. The foundation of my recovery is made up of SO many different elements- mental, physical, emotional, environmental, and spiritual. Just sayin’.
One of the most empowering things I’ve learned throughout my recovery (I like to refer to it as my rediscovery) is that I have the capability to transform and heal any part of myself that I want to. The day I realized that I don’t have to be the “sick girl” is the day that I stopped being the sick girl. The day I stopped using my experiences as a crutch and I stopped making excuses for myself is the day I stopped feeling like a victim. The day I realized that my life is what I choose to make of it was the day I tore everything down and started to rebuild it. The day I realized that the darkest/heaviest parts of me are actually what makes me the most human is the day I stopped seeing those parts of me as a burden. I started seeing them as gifts and insights into all the intricate details that make me who I am without being defined by them. A puzzle isn’t defined by one piece, is it? The darkness actually gave me such deep-rooted compassion and empathy as well as my ability to understand people on such a intimate level without them needing to articulate anything. The day I stopped blaming my parents, the Universe (God), my old friends, ex-boyfriends, my rapist, stopped questioning my possible past-life karma, and my disease/disorder was the day I realized that I am and have always been exactly where I need to be. I wholeheartedly believe in divine timing and I’ve learned that the healing process can and should never be rushed.
My point is, I don’t have it all figured out. My life isn’t perfect…and I don’t want it to be. I want to be challenged because I want to keep growing. I want to be triggered so I can continue healing. I welcome the breakdowns because they lead to the breakthroughs. I want to keep stepping outside of my comfort zone so that my fear keeps shrinking. I want to be uncomfortable so that I can keep learning how to let go and how to be at peace with all the unknown. I don’t have it all figured out, I’ve just learned how stop looking at every challenge/bump in the road/ trigger/ undesirable situation as a burden. I’ve learned how to start looking at each trigger as a lesson and as an opportunity to grow. I literally started saying “ Thank you for this breakthrough” in the middle of my panic attacks. With tears streaming down my face in the depths of my lows, I express gratitude. I’ve learned how to create new patterns rather than reverting back to the old ones. I’ve learned how to get excited about “hitting those walls” in my re(dis)covery and about having to go back to the drawing board. I always picture the cartoon of Wiley Coyote going back to the drawing board (making a new plan) every single time he fails at catching the roadrunner. He never gives up. I’ve learned to look at EVERY experience, trauma, heartbreak, betrayal, trigger, and challenge as a gift…because they are. You just have to choose to see them that way- slowly and intentionally. Also, this does not mean that you don’t give yourself time to process anger or grief for what you may have lost to your disorder or as a result of your experiences. This is essential to your healing process, but it’s different to allow yourself the time and space to feel those things with the intention to heal (and move on) rather than choosing to live in that space for good. Too many of us get stuck there. Think of healing as a journey (because it totally is) and think of those moments of anger or grief as a pit stop on a road trip. You stop to do what you need to do (get snacks, use the restroom, take a nap) but then you keep moving forward using whatever you gained from that pit stop as fuel. There are SO many insights to be had in those dark moments, don’t let the fear of discomfort take that from you. Hopefully that makes sense!
I hope you all have a soft and rejuvenating holiday! Please remember to be kind to yourself and know that you are never alone. Also, Jimmy and I released the fourth and final episode of our holiday series for Healing Hour. We are SO beyond grateful for the amount of support and feedback we’ve received since starting the podcast this summer. This project has been healing for us on so many levels. We wholeheartedly believe that vulnerability, willingness and community make up the rich soil we all need in order to grow from our painful experiences. Thank you for being part of that for us, friends! <3