A December in the Unknown

It is December.

I am not in a relapse. I am not planning one. I am not lacing up my running shoes and taking off down that path. For the first time since the start of the disorder I am here. I am here in this life healthy and in love and knowing joy. I am here in this life taking chances and living outside of my comfort zone and saying yes. I am here with a heart beating hard over passions I once forgot and a stomach fluttering over the possibilities of the dreams waiting to be fulfilled. I am here…

How do I feel about that?

I wish I could tell you that I share the same response as those around me. That I jump up and down and I squeal in excitement and I celebrate. I wish I could tell you tears of joy fall from my eyes and I walk around beaming because of this great accomplishment. I wish I could you that I can finally breathe a sigh of relief and feel the weight off my shoulders.

I wish for those things because they are not my reality.

The truth. I feel scared. Petrified actually. I am more fearful of living this life right now than I was over dying in the disorder. I have no idea what awaits me tomorrow or the next day or the next. Nothing about this new normal I find myself in is predictable, and that overwhelms me. I had my life down to the perfect schedule in the disorder. I could tell you exactly what January would bring, and I found comfort in the knowing. I like to have the answers, and I like to be in control, and I like to know; to know where I am going and what I am meant to be doing and who I am to be because frankly I do not even know who I am right now. So much change has happened in the past few months, and I have not really stopped in the midst of it all to sit down with myself and re-ask myself that very important question; who am I? Now out of the depths of the disorder and out of the shadows of certain people and standing on my two feet, what is my identity?

I feel lost.

In the confusion and the sadness and the pain, I cannot help but wonder. Am I created for this thing called life? Can I ever say that I am in recovery when I am feeling this way? Will this be my forever? Am I failing? I fight to not my mind go there and question where I am, but it is hard to not let them slip in. Doubt and fear and a shrinking self-confidence and worth will inevitably do that. To be honest, out of everything I have written on this page so far, those questions came out the easiest and the quickest. They are always there. They are always trying to rewrite my truth back to lies. They are always trying to demand my attention. They are always trying to make me veer off this path and go back on the one I know. They are always trying to call me to the place I once knew as home. And some days they make it pretty hard to say no to their presence. Some days I listen and I respond with what I once trained myself to believe; no, I am not created for this. No, I can never claim recovery. Yes, this will be my forever. Yes, I am failing.

I cannot give power to those thoughts.

Am I struggling? Yes. The days are hard right now and the thoughts are loud and the temptations are strong. But am I failing? No. Because those two are not synonymous. Go back to the beginning of this blog. What does it say?

It is December.
I am not in a relapse. I am not planning one. I am not lacing up my running shoes and taking off down that path. For the first time since the start of the disorder I am here.

To write those words means one thing; I have been fighting. I have been choosing every single second of the day to be alive. Of course I have scars and wounds and may walk with a limp some days. I may be worn down and battered and exhausted. But that indicates I have showed up. I have gone into the battle doing whatever it takes to claim victory. It shows I have not given up, have not accepted defeat, and a part of me, deep within, truly believes this is not my forever. I will get my happily ever after.

To be where I am after all I have been through and to stand in this place of light after living in that deep darkness five years ago, the word failure can never apply. This recovery is not flawless. It has had more ups and downs and twists and turns than I envisioned. It does not fit the mold perfectionist Jenna tried to force it into. And while I hoped I would be further than I am at this point in the journey, that does not take away from all that I HAVE done.

So no, I have no idea what comes next. I am clueless to how to live this life. I am relying purely on faith to guide my steps. And yes, that brings trials. The struggling is inevitable, but no growth can happen without it. It takes you higher. It transforms you. It brings the purpose closer. I refuse to let it destroy me. I choose instead to let it create me.  

And I have a feeling it is going to create something beautiful…

J.L.