If someone had told me that in my lifetime, I would be living through a pandemic that would shut down my world, leaving me isolated from my family and friends, and make me concerned for my health and livelihood, I would have said. “no way I would survive that."
But I, like so many of you, have survived it. And I have learned quite a bit about myself. One of the most important being that I do not need so much stuff. I have taken the past year to evaluate the people and things that serve and support me. I have developed clarity on what and who brings me happiness. I have emerged from 2020 with a cleaner house, a calmer mind, and a deeper connection with the people whom I love.
I have the rest go.
Perhaps the tumultuous part of 2018 with my family was not a global pandemic. If someone had told me that I would someday face a crisis where my family would shut down, where I would feel isolated emotionally from my husband and afraid to be around my child, I would have said, “no way could I survive that."
But not only did I survive, I also continued to recover. And I learned quite a bit about myself. The most important being that I no longer needed the habits I had held onto for so many years, believing they were vital to my survival. With steadfast support from my friends and my treatment team, I got through the most stressful time in my life without relying on anorexia for comfort. I was able to withstand the constant anger that swirled around in my house without resorting to extreme exercise to numb the pain. I did not allow the neverending knot in my stomach from the persistent tension to prevent me from fueling my body nor did I turn to food restriction to find control during a time in my life where I felt I had none.
I am not quite sure how I did it and I am sure there were setbacks but nowhere in my my journals during that time can I find my thoughts around my body, exercise, or food intake. It was as if I went on auto pilot, knowing my family, especially my son, needed me—a mom with a rational brain and a strong body. He needed me to be his soft place to land in his world of sharp edges and dark corners. I had not provided that to him for many years, and I wanted more than ever to be there for him when he needed it most. I needed my family back more than I needed anorexia.
I came out of that dark year with a calmer household, a stronger mind, tighter pants, and the surprising realization that I didn’t need anorexia to survive. It no longer served a purpose.
It was time to let it go.