Peacing it Together

Life keeps happening and it happens fast.

I am so grateful for this past year. For the good and the bad. For all that I have learned and for those who have helped me learn it.

I am grateful for the mistakes I have made and the obstacles I have overcome. I am grateful for 365 days of freedom to make mistakes. I’m grateful for the courses I’ve taken and the jobs I’ve had. I’m grateful for the holidays I’ve shared and the people I’ve met. I’m grateful for the things that have stayed the same and for those that have changed.

I never could have predicted I would wind up where I am, but I have learned that almost nothing is predictable, and almost everything winds up okay. Continue reading “Peacing it Together”

Leave It to Change

Awe.

Integration has been a concept I thought I knew, and am only now coming to understand. It isn’t the moments I take a deep breath and realize I just “deep breathed”, or maybe it is. But what I’ve found it is, on a greater level, is the moments I realize I’m safe and it’s because of the actions I took that day, without even trying. It’s the weeks that pass by without any significant events occurring that are so significant, because that’s normal. I’ve consistently been in awe of the experience of myself and my life, as I watch the way I go through my days in ways I forgot or, maybe, never knew.

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The time that has elapsed since I discharged from residential is the same amount of time it took me to relapse between my prior discharge in January and my readmission in March. That baffles me. I’ve lived a lot of my adolescence into young adult life on the edge of my seat. There’s been constant changes, moves, transitions, and experiences that have caused (or been the cause of) chaos at best, catastrophes at worst. Yet, these past couple of months have been comparatively still.

Continue reading “Leave It to Change”

Making Ends Eat

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I can’t believe it’s August 30th.

Over the past month, so much has happened, it’s hard to know where to begin. When I think back to my last post, I was in such a fragile state, it was truly a tipping point. In the actions that were to follow, I would determine to which side I would fall. Thankfully, I fell forward.

When I discharged from residential, I wasn’t sure of anything except for how badly I wanted to move on and how hard I would try. I was not aware of my own strengths or how things would unravel. Over the past month, I have learned my strength in completely new ways. In the past month, I overcame some of the most challenging moments and, each time, I grew. I’ve always been opposed to the saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” but the sentiment that some of the most difficult obstacles can be some of the greatest growing points has proven true for me as of late.

It is within this past month that I really believe I can say I’ve let go. I’ve let go of so much of the rigidity that has been the place where my disorder has lived, even at times when my behaviors have been at bay. I have let myself throw up my hands and give in to the moments that felt like they would destroy me and have learned that the resistance was where those moments were gaining power- that all that needed to be done to move forward was to accept and to experience. I have learned that no feeling will kill me, it is my reaction that will. I have seen that I can stay safe if I protect myself through my own love and an unwillingness to betray myself or my values.

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I have done this by going through my step-down process with a determined attitude to do whatever it took to live freely and, in doing so, an ability to take the lead of professionals and comply with rules or take advice with which I might otherwise disagree. I have given myself the benefit of the doubt, I have given myself chances to prove I can be better, I have surrounded myself with love, compassion, and hope, and I have taken each moment as it comes. I have made mistakes, and I have taken the next best action. I have pushed through the hard, and looked out for and sought out the good. I have become a puppy’s godmother, gotten a tattoo, and visited home. I have been honest, open, and willing, and that’s all it’s taken.

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Sometimes things are really, really hard, until they’re not.

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This past month, I discharged from day treatment, visited California, and moved back to college. Being back on campus, I am now at home base. Here, I realize all that has transpired since I last resided at BC. It’s heart-breaking in all ways. It’s devastating in some- to see how paralyzed I once was and how quickly that occurred- and it’s also overwhelmingly joyful- to realize how much one can evolve and find peace once again.

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By no means am I done. I am working. But, it is because of all of the work that I have already done that I am able to do this work. I can cry and laugh and sit and connect. I can see where I need to improve and all of the areas in which I have already surpassed my greatest expectations. I am able to step back and start conversations about thoughts I left a long time ago, and I have room to develop new thoughts that spark new conversations. Where I left off, I begin again, with greater tools and a new perspective and awareness.

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I am proud of myself- for this past month, and the ability to be writing this post from my dorm room, where I can say that I am safe, and am learning to be less afraid.

Cheers!

Alexandra

I’m Bringing Happy Back

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Things have not gone as expected. Food is fine, but life is…not, which, I guess, is a part of life. However, I’ve been so used to the hurdles I come across being the ones I’ve created, that actually being exposed to obstacles I can’t resolve and did not cause has been extraordinarily trying. Because of being, in many ways, caught blind-sided by the difficulties in my environment, my motivation has been tested, as has my hope.

As much as I don’t want to be sad, though, it is far more welcome when it’s about what’s going on around me rather than what’s going on inside of me. Though I can’t change my circumstances, I can combat depression in familiar ways and it does not have to rock my safety.

The first few days, I cried. And, as unpleasant as it was to feel and expose my overwhelming upset, letting out what I was experiencing gave me space to move through it. Letting the waves crash made way for a settling.

Still, the tears weren’t pleasant and, after having had time to feel sad, hurt, and confused, as well as the myriad of difficult emotions I was noticing, I realized I didn’t want to feel those ways anymore. Though I can’t help continuing to feel upset when small things remind me of the many ways I am having to go through a variety of experiences right now I do not enjoy in my transition out of residential, it is not the only thing I have to feel. It is so crucial that at times when I do not enjoy what’s happening, I do things I do enjoy.

Hopelessness is the fuel for my downfall and it is with every ounce of my soul that I do not want to ever feel the ways I once did. That means that I, in making a commitment to move forward, have to also make daily commitments to protect myself from the things that pull me back.

So, after the tears passed, I made a decision that the things out of my control I may not like, but there are so many things I can still do that I do like, and that I will do my best to incorporate those. It takes effort. It takes saying no, when my mind says stay in bed. It means thinking about what I enjoy in moments where joy is vacant. It means detaching from the darkness with the memory of the light. It means caring more about what could be than what is.

These past couple of days, sans (most) tears, I have begun to compile a list of and plan for the things I can do within these next few weeks to make myself feel connected to why I want to survive and thrive. Part of that is just writing this blog- just writing in general. Each night, I’ve kept a list of things I’m proud of about myself in that day. I went back to the good old Bucket List. I’ve explored new areas of Boston and found a yoga studio I immediately loved. I went kayaking and made sure every morning I got out of bed and out of my apartment and into the world. I went back to BC to remind myself of what I’ll soon be immersed in and what I’m recovering to. I made plans with friends and scheduled a trip to go home. I am keeping an eye on the good.

And that’s all I can do. But, it’s changed things significantly. Even when it feels like everything’s out of my hands- even when most things are- my happiness is mine.

Cheers!

Alexandra