Wednesday, December 3, 2014

You are not defined by your struggles

"Don't let your struggle become your identity."

This quote was posted on the I AM THAT GIRL Facebook page a few days ago. I clicked the "like" button, as I'm pretty quick to do that on the IATG page, and carried on with my day. That evening, I looked back (because I'm on that page more than any other), and the words hit me a whole lot harder.

You see, I spent a significant portion of my day picking out an outfit, curling my hair and worrying about my make up choices because today was picture day for the gymnastics team.

I found myself double and triple checking the mirror, snap chatting friends to see if various things looked okay, and I was stressed out.

What the hell for?

When I think back on the years (yes years) that I spent where I COULD NOT emotionally control the stress levels reached on days like this I get sad. I'm at a place in my life right now where I can CHOOSE to ignore those doubts, I can CHOOSE to see beauty in myself in a hoodie and messy bun, and I don't need to spend hours looking in the mirror.

"Don't let your struggle become your identity"

It took me a long time to decide that I was worth more than my eating disorder had allowed me to be. It had been my identity. I hid behind it, used it as an excuse and allowed it to consume every bit of myself.

It destroyed everything. It was like an abusive boyfriend. "He" decided when I ate (which was not often), what I ate (which was usually very little), where I went (almost always by myself), how much I worked out (which was usually a ton) and when I went to bed (usually very early).

It took until I could place the eating disorder in the above mentality for me to understand exactly what kind of abusive relationship I had been in. If it had been a friend with an abusive partner controlling her life, I would have been ALL OVER IT- but because it took me about four years to understand the situation, I spent all of those years drowning in overwhelming feelings of self-doubt and confusing depression. And that, my friends, is a very lonely way to live.

It saddens me now, when I hear of individuals struggling with the same condition. It breaks my heart, actually. I don't know if my illness could have been prevented, but I do know that seeing the messages posted by I AM THAT GIRL inspires every day. As healthy as I am today, there is still that little part of my heart that is unhealed by this disease. That little piece of me that needs constant care and consistent reminders that I am more than enough, just the way I am.

"Don't let your struggle become your identity"

I decided, quite a while ago, that I was done letting my disease define my life. And since then, I've felt unchained and liberated. I've found a courage and a trust in myself that I never knew existed, and I pray that with groups like I AM THAT GIRL, every woman who has these struggles will know support. That they will heal quickly and wholly. And that they will spread these encouraging messages with everyone they know!

PLEASE check out I AM THAT GIRL  see what they are doing, how they are inspiring, and check out the articles I've been writing for them :)

Love True,

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