Two years ago, when I found myself closest to death, I made the decision to choose life instead.
I suffered from anorexia for four years, as well as engaging in a handful of other maladaptive behaviors. I was unhappy, uncertain, and simply wanted to do anything I could to numb myself from all the pain.
Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed. Two years ago I had a seizure on my best friend’s bathroom floor due to my eating disorder.
From that moment forward, I promised myself that no matter how hard life would get, I would no longer attempt to solve my problems by starving myself. I never wanted to feel that extreme loss of control over my body ever again.
Since that day, I’ve learned a lot.
I learned that sometimes, life is extremely difficult, and that’s okay. There will be times where you break down, feel broken, alone, and afraid. You will go through heartbreak, loss, financial troubles, and personal crises. Feelings from the past will arise, and you may be blinded to all the progress that you’ve made.
And during those times, it is crucial to ask for help and remember that you deserve happiness as much as anyone else. Your worthiness is no less then your best friend’s, sister’s, mother’s, etc.
I learned that not everyone knows how to/wants to talk about their emotions. After being in multiple treatment centers for 3+ years, if there’s one thing that was affectively drilled into my brain, it was emotional intelligence.
I’d be talking about my feelings for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. It was almost harder to not master the art of speaking about your emotions, and how to listen and respond to others’.
Once I was out of that setting, I very quickly realized how undereducated our world is when it comes to feelings and emotions.
People are going to say the wrong things, and most of the time, it’s not because they are intentionally try to hurt you. They just never learned the right words to say, because many times society places emotional intelligence very low on the spectrum of “things you should learn” as a child.
I learned that sometimes the people that you love the most are actually the most toxic in your life. Letting go of these relationships is never easy, and even just admitting it seems to be the most complicated part. We want to be surrounded by good people, positive influences, and role models.
Sometimes, when we’re in a dark place, we attract dark people.
We latch on to them, because finally, someone else understands us. And they serve us while we’re in that place. But when the time comes when you want more light in your life, and they have no intention of leaving the darkness, we must let them go, in order to achieve our light.
One of the most difficult things that I’ve learned is that you cannot save anyone. For a long time, I tended to be drawn to seemingly broken people. I wanted to show them that they are capable of being happy, and tell them that they’re strong enough to get through whatever it is they might have been dealing with — but most importantly, I wanted to fix them.
The truth of it is that you can help carry people through difficult times, give them unconditional love and support, and remind them every day how incredible you think that they are — but you cannot save them.
When we are battling our own demons, no matter how much the people who love you want you to get better or win the fight, it is purely up to ourselves to decide that we want to get better and reclaim our lives.