Then vs. Now

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It’s been about 6 months since I really kicked into gear this whole “recovery”/finding a better life process. I want to check in and honestly tell you how it has been. It was so, so helpful for me to hear other’s success stories in the beginning of the process because it let me know that it was possible. (Even though I really doubted it actually was). I have been journaling throughout the whole six months, and I was looking back today on something I wrote in August. It was about my feelings/rules that I had had at the time. It was so interesting to see how much I really have changed since that journal entry. Sometimes I think we can be critical of ourselves even in our progress— maybe we think we aren’t progressing fast enough or that we haven’t changed enough. Keeping track of thoughts at different times in the process is SO helpful to see that this isn’t true. So— here we go, I’m going to give you a list of words that I am/was identifying with (literally verbatim from what I wrote) of then and now. Some of it is intense, and some might not even make sense. But I’m not leaving anything out.

Then:

No red meat

No processed food

No sugar/dessert

No alcohol

No going out/very rare

Isolation

Rules — strict, guilt if broken

Hatred

Never enough

Numb

Confused

Tired

Compulsive Exercise

Panic Attacks

Don’t want to do housework

Barely wear makeup

Messy

Hungry

Weak

Sad

Alone

Worthless 

Autopilot

 

Now:

Cheeseburgers

Pizza (yes, I actually wrote these things)

Vegetables sometimes (enough)

Ice Cream

Not enough interaction with friends

No connection

Don’t get dressed — no energy

Fun

Friends

Drinks

Ambition

Moody (lol that doesn’t change ;))

Energy

Feisty (…)

Full

Happy

Motivated

Exercise, healthy amount

Better understanding of self

Dramatic 

Exploring

Loving

Weird

Funny (ya, I think I’m funny)

Gets dressed, loves clothes

Makeup

Shopping

TV

Relax

Yoga

Walking

Nature

 

Okay — so, that is what I have written down from a real place. I look at it even right now and can’t believe what I’m seeing. The thing about obsessions, addictions, depression/anxiety, eating issues is that when you’re deep into it, sometimes you don’t even realize how you actually feel until its extreme. I didn’t think that I felt THAT bad (as what I wrote) when I was engaging in the behaviors and the anxiety. It becomes normal. But it’s not normal. No matter how many diet magazines you read or how many “clean” recipes you look up, you won’t replace what’s missing in your life. It’s a distraction. I thought I needed a traumatic reason to have this problem— but looking at the list I think it was really that I felt isolated. I did that to myself. Highly sensitive people tend to escape feelings by ignoring them. And it doesn’t help because feelings don’t go away. 

If you compare those two lists— there is a very big distinction. I didn’t google words to write that I thought would look good. That’s actually how I feel, and it’s amazing. Disclaimer though...It was in no way easy to get there. You have to take a leap of faith and do small things one step at a time in the direction of where you want to be. I remember eating a piece of pizza, or half a burger, or cutting my exercise down by 20 minutes, and those small changes lead to bigger changes. You eventually realize that you’re scared of something and running from something that isn’t real. Sure, I’ve lost a little bit of muscle tone and strength— but my size is basically the same and my life is much more full. In all ways.

So heres to 2018— and taking a leap of faith. It’s not easy and it’s never going to be perfect. You aren’t going to magically change everything in your life to being amazing, but you can change yourself and your mindset. When you accept yourself, you naturally start to accept everything else. Even hard times. You start living a better and more productive life. It IS possible. And I’m here for you.

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Shelbye Schlange