Today is an amazing a day. A day I have spent years fighting for. One I never thought would come
I share this story today because I know we all struggle with things in life. We all have moments where we feel hopeless, where we don’t understand why things happen. Where we can’t find the strength to stand up after we’ve fallen. When you get to a point where you don’t know where to turn, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do not think you are weak because you cannot do it alone. It takes real strength to come to that realization and reach out your hand. Don’t be afraid to keep fighting. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. You may not be able to see it right now, but it’s there. You are strong. You are amazing and you will get through it. Don’t ever stop believing.
Four years ago I found the strength to start a new chapter of my life. And even though I was able to build a life on my own two feet, part of the life I left behind always haunted me. The “you’ll never be good enough,” the “no one will ever love you for who you are.” It was ingrained in my head and it began a battle within me that I’ve been fighting ever since.
Every time I looked in the mirror all I ever saw was that girl who wasn’t enough. I was never skinny enough. I was never pretty enough. I was never good enough. The way I learned to cope with it all was by developing an eating disorder. A disorder I have fought every single day for the last 4 years. There were so many nights that I cried myself to sleep because it had spun so far out of control I didn’t even know how to find my way out. I didn’t tell a soul. I was supposed to be the strong one. The one who held everyone else together. I couldn’t let anyone see me fall apart.
Three years ago, I wrote myself a letter. A letter that I promised I wouldn’t open until I could go thirty days eating disorder free. The date on that envelope got crossed out and a new date had been written on that envelope many times. I’ve never been able to read it because thirty days never came.
Forty five ago, my doctor referred me to an intensive outpatient treatment program as her last option before sending me to a hospitalized program. I looked into it because I didn’t know what other choice I had.
Thirty days ago my dog got sick for the second time. He spent two more nights in the emergency animal hospital and I while I lay there with him on the cold floor, I made him a promise. A promise that if he came home to me that I would no longer spend my money on binge runs for food that wouldn’t stay down for even more than a minute. That I would find the strength to get better on my own so I could spend the money on helping him. I promised him that I would take care of myself so that I could love him with all I had.
During the rest of the time that DJ and I were given, I did just that. I kept my promise and I loved him with everything I had in me. And now that he’s gone, I refuse to break my promise to the one being who loved me through all of the good and all of the bad. The one who loved me unconditionally until his last breath. Today, for the first time in 4 years, I have officially been eating disorder free for 30 days.
My dog will never be “just a dog” to me. My dog gave me the strength to save myself. My dog showed me how to love myself again. Something that had been taken away from me all those years ago. Today, for the first time in a long time, I looked in the mirror and saw the person that my dog always knew I was, the girl someone else told me I would never be. I saw me, and that was good enough. It was always good enough. I just needed a reason to remember that. Thank you DJ for being my reason.