Last night, my mom asked me an intriguing question-- one that I could only answer with the most honesty and authenticity. "When did you have your 'aha' moment and what provoked it?" I was stunned. There was a time I never thought an 'aha' moment was in the cards for me. I thought my eating disorder would forever define who I am. Luckily, I got over that.
I suppose it was last October when I started thinking, really thinking. I reflected on my college career, including the causes I advocated for, the leadership positions I held, the charity work I engaged in, the classes I struggled through and the people who were and were not there. Then, I thought about how ED affected each of those components that made up the college experience. Anger set in. The two semesters spent away from Pittsburgh, the anxiety and fear that held me back, the rules and rituals that sheltered me all had traumatic and significant effects that led me to the ultimate 'aha' moment. I let too many opportunities pass me by, let too many people out of my life and perhaps most importantly, I let myself down one too many times.
Consequently, a few short, yet long, months ago I was struck with an indescribable anger and depressing sadness. I had had enough. Enough of 'just getting by', enough of disappointments, enough of loneliness, plenty enough of hurting and worrying others and enough of restraining the passions that reside deep within my core. I knew I was capable of being successful, sharing the abundance of love I have as well as letting it come in and of living the life I've always dreamed of. I told myself over and over again that I would no longer let the past dictate my feelings, and thus, actions, and I reminded myself that everyday is a chance to be whomever I want. There were no grudges to hold on to, and no amount of fear that could hold me back from trying. I wanted, more than anything, to be me. For good. So, I promised myself that I would do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult, how painful or how scary to work towards my life.
In short, the 'aha' moment came at a time when I realized that 'just getting by' wasn't getting me anywhere. I'd take one step forward and one step back, because I held onto the comfort of knowing that the possibility of going back was always an option. Well, the night I lay and truly reflected and re-evaluated my life was the the moment I knew going back would never, again, be an option. Perhaps, I realized my true strength-- I now know there is nothing that I can't achieve or accomplish, no matter how scary, stressful or impossible it may appear to be. Absolutely nothing. I've been to hell and back one too many times, and saw death staring at me straight in the eyes. But, despite the odds, I not only made a comeback, I surpassed my own expectations. And here I am: Alive, grateful, strong and passionate.
And I am never, ever, ever going back.
"The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." — Ralph Waldo Emerson