I can’t believe it. I knew what I wanted this whole time, I just didn’t realize it.
Jose and I are moving into a new home. Naturally, as we go through closets and tucked away boxes, we are coming across a lot of items we forgot we had and memories long forgotten. For me, this showed up in the form of my old journals.
Sadly, I remember a few years ago tearing out several pages and shredding them, embarrassed and honestly mortified by the thought of anyone ever finding and reading them.
But there were still a lot of pages left.
Enough, at least, to remind me of what I used to feel, or at least think about. I don’t think there was much feeling done back then.
I am very grateful for the journal entries I held on to. Because, in my current version of myself, with all of the growth I have experienced in the past 2 years, I can’t seem to remember what was going on in my mind or body and what I was actually thinking about or experiencing during my time in the depths of my eating disorder, especially during my time of restricting and over eating.
But these journals reminded me, like the universe served it on a platter, what I used to think. I needed to find these journals to help remind me of how far I have come and how I do have the ability and capacity to help others that have been or are still in similar phase of their journey.
As I sat there and re-read my journal entries, I did not shy away, I did not feel like tearing the pages out and destroying the evidence. Instead, I felt like singing from the roof tops. Look at where I was and look at where I am now.
I can read those journal entries and I can see now how my evolved, mature self could help someone that is currently experiencing the same thing, because I was able to help myself. And, in the process of helping myself, not only did I learn tools and frameworks to help guide healing, but I have also been able to fully embody the practices and the work.
Look at where I was and look at where I am now.
I can sit here, as my evolved, mature self and think back to that previous version of myself, reflect back, and meet her where she is, exactly where she is.
And in doing so, I can hold her, hug her, and say; “Baby girl, I am so sorry that we went through this. My goodness I am so sorry that I could not be there for you any sooner. But, everything happens for a reason and everything happens when it should and needs to happen. And sweet girl, we did it. We made it you and I. This darkness, this stuck-ness, it will pass. I got you girl, I am here for you, I am here for you then, I am here for you now, and I will always be there for you.”
And I hug her so tight, and place my hand on her heart and my other hand on my heart. And with that, I know, she knows, we know, that it was all worth it; the lessons learned, the journey we took, so that we can be that beacon of light for others.
Without that darkness I would not be able to experience so much appreciation for the lightness.
It is almost funny to witness this. In my journals, I actually wrote down the things I was craving and needing to help heal. I knew what I needed, I just didn’t realize it. Even though I physically wrote down what it was I was needing and craving, I did not have enough awareness, nor was I in the present moment enough to see that I was actually writing them down, right in front me of.
It was flowing through me and I could not see.
Even if I recognized in the moment that I was writing down exactly what I needed, there is no way I was in a place to see that I needed to meet those things on my own. I needed to meet them for myself, and not from external sources.
It was like I knew I needed something, I just didn’t realize I was the answer. I was the medicine.
Since I did not know that, I tried to get it from external things. For me, I used excessive compulsive exercise and eating. I ran away my feelings, I ran away the guilt of eating, I ran to deserve food, I ran to prove that I was different, unique, special, hard-working, and unstoppable. Running gave me armor and protection. I overanalyzed all of my running and workouts. I restricted my food all day, just to overeat at night. Because that was my way to control situations, to control my life and the outcomes.
And I did all of that to falsely meet my needs
A few of my journal entries.
“THE SIGHT OF HOME HEALS A LOT OF PAIN”
Woke up telling myself I am pretty, but now I am sad because I am home sick.
I want to write more, I just don’t know how to. I just want it to go away. I have been done, I want this to drop, but for some reason I still hold on. I am ready to surrender. I just don’t know how!!
There is no choice but to just stop.
It is my drug,
It will kill me,
It will bring me down.
Like it does every day.
Everyday is full of regret. SO STOP
I miss having love, family, excitement, distractions. I DON’T LIKE WHO I HAVE BECOME.
But it is the only kind of comfort.
Those are just a few examples of entries from my journal that really went straight to my heart.
The first quote, “The sight of home heals a lot of pain.” shows me that I knew back then, as I know now, home represents warmth, love, and safety. I knew, even in the first year of my eating disorder that I needed and wanted this, I just did not know how to give it to myself. I did not recognize it, I did not have full awareness, and instead I met my needs in false, unfulfilling ways.
In the second journal entry, I write about telling myself I am pretty, but then getting very sad and homesick. Every day I would wake up hating myself… regretting what I did the day before, hating myself for that, for how I looked, for how I performed, and on and on. I would force it in my head and to my ego, saying over and over again, “I am pretty, I am pretty”, hoping I could overcome those horrible thoughts. But words won’t last if your beliefs don’t match. I admitted I was sad and again, was craving home. That feeling of home. But I did not know how to give it to myself.
In the last few entries listed above, I admitted I was ready to surrender, I knew how badly my behaviors were affecting me and my mental and physical health. I knew it, but I did not know what to do. To me, my eating disorder was my only form of comfort.
I was too disconnected from my body to know what to do, to know what to give it.
It amazes me that just 2 months after the last entry that I wrote above is when Jose and I started dating. During the first 5 years of our relationship, I definitely still struggled with restricting and over eating and being very controlling in the kitchen and over food. But the love and comfort I began to have sips of from him helped me to begin my journey of healing.
Honestly, it was not until 2020 when I really understood the power of connecting to your body, of listening to your body in order to truly give it what it wants and needs.
Guess what…. my wants and needs now are the same as back then. Love, comfort, safety, connection, purpose. A sense of worth, of being enough as I am.
But now, I know how to be in tune and connected to my body and to meet those needs on my own, whether it be something I do for myself, or by communicating the need to someone I love and trust.
Embodiment, to me, is the equivalent of coming home.
If I embodied back then what I embody now, I could have avoided a decade of struggle. But I would not be where I am now and I would not have as much appreciation for life, love, feelings, emotions, and my empathy. So, I am thankful for my journey and I am so ready to help others just like me.
Thank you to my previous version of myself for going through that, thank you for my current self for trusting in the process and in herself to do the work. Thank you to all of you reading this.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out through the form below, or hop over to my contact page to find other ways to reach me.