All in Due Pause

I’m at a tipping point. The very edge of trepidation, nervous energy that’s both inspiring and terrifying.

As I sat down to write what I thought would be a post expressing my pent-up frustration with the absolute lack of thought behind many words put out into the universe (i.e. careless comments/messages made about food, body, “health”, etc. that can target susceptible individuals), I paused.

The thing is, I may still post about that later, tomorrow, tonight, in five minutes, because this is my blog and it highlights my recovery, and, though these topics are talked about over and over again in recovery, they can’t be stated enough. However, it wasn’t in justification or worthiness that I felt a hesitation, it was more in my energy.

I may still post about it. I will most definitely still think about it. And I am still as much of an advocate in educating about the truth of eating disorders and recovery. Yet, my energy fell slightly flat in that moment. There were a million other things I wanted to post about, too, many of which had nothing to do with food/exercise/weight/recovery/eating disorders, except for the fact that none of my recent experiences would be possible had I not eaten, exercised appropriately, weighed enough, maintained my recovery, and fought my eating disorder.

And that felt different. And it feels different. Which got me thinking. Where do I want to put my energy? It’s something that’s floated into and out of my mind for the past couple of weeks quite a bit, and I don’t really have an answer. I don’t know if there is an answer. It’s this debacle where, as much as I find it important to use my recovery to create my life, I don’t want my life to only be my recovery. As imperative as it is to use my history to enhance my future, it’s equally as pertinent to have my future be it’s own entity. Finally, as necessary as it is to use my newfound sensitivity to the fallacies that run rampant in society around subject matter such as food/exercise/weight/eating disorders/recovery to educate and advocate, I have other things to offer and I’m conflicted with where I stand in both.

Just as I took on the unhealthy identities of my eating disorder, general illnesses, a patient, and/or a problem, I have recategorized myself in ways that have uplifted me. I have become a mentor, a friend, a student, a fighter, and, ultimately, a person in recovery. Although I’ve been told many a time that I can use most, if not all, of the qualities that worked to destroy me to, conversely, save me, and I whole-heartedly believe that to be true, I also fear that I could entrap myself in that role and forget what else I am. That I am me, first.

In that pause, I let myself in on a truth that has been floating: I am uncertain of what else is me and in what quantities. I am in a new environment with new people and I’m not entirely sure how I want to show up in that yet. Each introduction, I’m unsure where to land. Honesty is inevitably where I end up, but every time I tell another person where I’ve been for the past year or simply that it hasn’t been school, I wonder how much of the truth I want to share and what my identity can be.

It’s true, I’m a woman in recovery from an eating disorder, and I have no shame in that. I have tremendous pride, in fact, but how much pride is too much and how much of myself do I want to give to that? It will always be true, but what else is? Do I begin submitting articles to various forms of publication I’ve signed up and applied to get involved with on how “healthy lifestyles” are vastly misrepresented on campus and wave the flags of recovery in all faces, or do I challenge myself to discover the millions of other thoughts I used to find inspiration through? Or can I have both? Do I want both? Is wanting one good and another bad? What does it all mean?

I imagine there is no right answer, and, also, that there are several. It’s also why I go to therapy, to ask all sorts of fun questions that can end pretty much anywhere, yet still keep me up at night, questioning my sanity. But, it made me pause.



3 Replies to “All in Due Pause”

  1. Oh Alexandra…you have no idea how proud I am of you. I love you so, so much, my Boston College student. Check out Harvard Square if you haven’t already! I’m in love with that area. Love you so so so so SO much.

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