She sat wondering when it would all make sense, when this personal journey of hers for the last ten months would bring happiness, fulfillment, and peace. She wondered if she had made the right decisions and if she trusted herself to make the right decisions moving forward. She was judging every thought she had. Was she progressing or regressing? She felt lighter on some days, but on other days she felt so very heavy. The heaviness was what she tried to escape from, it laid on her chest. It sucked the breath out of her. It caused panic.
She felt that she was taking the steps toward leaving behind her disease, but she was only waist deep in its murky waters. She was trying to navigate delving in further, but was afraid of drowning. Getting further in meant that she had to trust that she would be okay without the life preserver that she thought was keeping her alive. She had to retrain herself to swim, not just to tread water. She had to trust others to keep an eye out for her on the shore, just in case she did panic or get caught up in the riptides. It was a difficult thing to do and she struggled.
She wasn’t used to writing down how she felt. She was used to stuffing it down, avoiding it. Yet, here she is everyday putting pen to paper in a journal that chronicles the journey to recovery. That takes courage. That takes strength. Old habits no longer served her, but she found her old friends waiting for her when the new friends seemed intimidating. How easily they welcomed her back. Yet, those old friends weren’t really friends at all. Simply put, they were abusive, destructive, negative, and toxic. The new friends were joyous, assertive, self sufficient, full-of-life and that scared her. Could she live up to that ideal?
The weight was a blanket of protection. It told people to stay away without having to say a word. It helped her to disappear in the background. It helped her to play out the role that she had been told to play years before. It kept her from succeeding. It allowed her to self-sabotage and self-destruct. It hid behind a smile, it hid behind helpful cheerfulness. She was dying on the inside, but you’d never know on the outside. You’d just see a woman who stood to lose weight.
She developed a food plan and exercised. She gained a group of people who understood her plight. She was able to be transparent with them. She started becoming more honest. She struggles with assertiveness, but her awareness is heightened. She has better coping mechanisms. She hopes that someday this won’t take up so much of her life, so that she may go on with her life.