Reflecting. Reflecting all the time. Reflecting is one of my favorites.
It’s common for those with the textbook anorexia personality to coexist in dual worlds. One, a curated and polished external presentation to others. The other, trapped inside one’s mind with relentless rules, beliefs and discipline. Even before my eating disorder developed I’ve always analyzed my actions, other people’s reactions and spent a majority of my time contemplating scenarios, conversations, who I am, the past, the future… While sick, anorexia dominated my thoughts. Not anymore. Now as I reflect over this past year I am amazed.
I am healthier, happier and living with a more vibrant and alive soul than at the beginning of 2016, and perhaps more than any time my memory can recall. This reflection brings a warmth to my bones, my heart and my mind. I am grateful. After my birthday in October I started a new morning ritual. No longer do I weigh myself every morning, letting the number determine my self-worth, daily activities and false reality. Those days are long gone. Now when I rise I reach to my bedside table, open my journal and write down three things that I am grateful for. This daily reminder of what an incredibly privileged and wonderful life I live keeps me sane and humble. I realize how incredibly ridiculous it is to let the shape of my body and the force of gravity of my bones, organs and limbs place on the earth have even a micro negative impact on my day when I live in a safe place with running water, electricity and people who love me.
Here are several things that 2016 brought me that I am grateful for:
- Monumental strides in recovery. I still deal with an eating disorder, but now it is an annoying, but manageable factor in my life versus my entire world.
- Stronger relationships. With my family, friends old and new and myself.
- Starting this blog and owning my story. Anorexia does not define me, it is nothing to be ashamed of and the more I share the more I educate and help others. Becoming an executive board member for Michigan Eating Disorder Alliance lights a fire within me to give back and take power over a demon that kept me captive.
- Democracy. Even though the election certainly didn’t turn out how I’d hoped I feel lucky that I live in a country where I get the right to vote.
- Work. I am grateful that I have a job that intellectually challenges me, that pushes me to evolve and teaches me something new every day. I am incredibly grateful for my work family, which at certain times this year, kept me going. I have bonds with best friends at work that are hard to come by. Also, I get paid to read, write and unleash creativity. For that alone, I am lucky.
- My first international solo trip. A week in Montreal by myself was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. I explored, met new people, soaked in another culture and surrounded myself with live music.
- Heat, my car, no dress code at work, electricity, running water, my brother, smartphones, map apps (how did people find new places on small backroads without smart maps???), a free gym at work, a healthy body that allows me to work out, my own room, photos of my mother…
I am optimistic for 2017. My goals are not focused on my body, fitness, what I eat or what others think of me. Life is too astounding for that. I have complete freedom and the capability to make my one and only life as amazing as I want it to be.
I am healthy. I am happy. I am alive.
Goodnight 2016. Wishing you and yours a happy New year and a grateful 2017.