“There is peace in surrender.”
On the 20 years I’ve been on this planet, I’ve learned that in creating more peace in my life, I’ve had to let go of what was hurting me. My eating disorder, toxic relationships, activities, sports, unhealthy coping mechanisms, etc. I get asked a lot how I overcame certain things, more specifically, my eating disorder and depression. Sometimes I struggle in formulating a great response, because there was no 4 step plan that I followed and felt automatically cured. A lot of my healing came in truly abandoning what was generating the most pain and suffering in my life.
A lot of us with eating disorders or mental illnesses don’t understand the concept of “softening.” Anorexia made me very hard, it made my edges sharp and left me with a constant itch to control every situation. Everything I ate, every workout I did… this is what I was always thinking about. I held on tightly to my love for restricting calories and purging my food through laxatives and overexercise, because it’s what felt easy for me. This is how I coped with the unknown of life, with the feelings that were not so pretty, with the anxieties that clouded my head. When we find a coping skill, we cling onto it: and this is what I did with my eating disorder- to the point that this disorder became who I was. What happened in my brain that ultimately led to a shift in how I was living my life? I realized what I was doing was not living. It was surviving. And from that point forward, I softened and let go. Was it a straight, easy path in letting go? Absolutely not. And I will never put that message out on the Internet or Instagram that my journey has’t been tough. Because it has been- it’s been messy and confusing, for losing the one thing that you thought was a part of you… losing your one coping skill… that’s challenging. But with inner strength, outside support, and just realizing it is so worth it to truly let go, you will find that peace in surrendering to this disorder.
Depression, on the other hand, made me numb. It left me with the inability to feel anything but sadness. I gripped onto the numb feeling, and felt guilt when any bit of happiness passed through me. I did not “deserve” that feeling like others did, and my mind left me convinced of that. With depression came unhealthy coping skills like sleeping too much, crying- a lot, isolating myself, and self-harming. These coping skills were what felt comfortable for me at the time. I let my depression harden me, make me weak, and leave me in a crippling state of sadness. It is what I knew, and it is how I thought my life was supposed to be. The same shift happened in my brain just as it did with my eating disorder. I realized what I was doing was not living. It was surviving. So again, I let go. I let go and in doing so realized other ways to cope with life’s difficulties that were far healthier than what depression gave me. I forgave myself for what this illness did to me, I did not rush my healing process, and I ultimately realized that strength did not come from holding onto my eating disorder or depression: what made me the strongest human came in letting go and surrendering.
“Letting go: being courageous to let go of things that make you feel bad and no longer serve you. /letting go creates space for something better/.”
What are you going to let go of today? How are you going to soften?
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