Find Your Balance, that’s what the front of my shirt says that I bought at Old Navy today. First I was drawn to it because it was lavender, my favorite color, but then when I read the words it spoke to me. Balance- the thing I have been trying to find for years now. When does something become too much? When is something not enough? When does something fit your soul just right?
I haven’t blogged in awhile and I feel like a piece of me has been missing. I have told myself all week I would finally write a post but I found myself doing anything but writing. I tried to reflect at night why once again another day has gone and I didn’t write. I found I was almost ashamed of myself for letting this much time go by without connecting with my online family. I started graduate school this past fall to get my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, something I have wanted to pursue ever since going into recovery. My excuse would be between working full time as a teacher, going to graduate school full time as a student, and maintaining some sort of social life, I put blogging on hold.
Life has changed a lot since I last wrote. I have met the person I want to be with and who loves me for all that I am. We are coming up on our one year anniversary (even though it feels like we’ve been together for ten) and we recently just moved in together. I have resigned from teaching to focus on finishing my degree, which has left me a bit lost and scared for the future. And in all of that I have been trying to keep my head above water and still focus on recovery. I made sure to keep my weekly therapy sessions a top priority, which got me through a lot of difficult times this past year.
The biggest and BEST news to announce though is I broke up with Jim!!! AKA- the gym. If you’ve followed my blog you know that I was obsessed with working out, like not a healthy balance at all. Even through all my treatments and when the doctor forbid me to work out in fear of breaking a bone since I developed osteopenia, I did it anyways. The gym was always the one thing I didn’t want to confront or deal with. I still went about my workouts, over exercising when I shouldn’t have, and putting the gym before anything else in life. After meeting my boyfriend, the gym wasn’t forefront anymore. It definitely wasn’t when work and school started and although I HATED having to skip a workout, the gym was not my priority. Finishing a paper, working on a group project, completing report cards, and spending time with my guy was the priority now. Trust me it didn’t just happen with a snap of my fingers. I would beat myself up all day and night for not getting a workout in, for being “lazy” (as I saw myself as for not getting to the gym), and for feeling worthless and fat. It took many of months until I was able to say out loud to myself- THE GYM IS NOT MY PRIORITY ANYMORE AND IT’S OK!!!! It’s funny because once I put the gym completely out of my mind it got easier to ignore and step away from.
Now it’s the summer, which means I don’t have to work. I took some summer classes but nothing like the work load I had in the fall and spring. Therefore, I have more time to workout- yikes! I couldn’t fathom going to the gym again knowing people would know I haven’t been in forever so I called and cancelled my membership. I recognize that cancelling my membership because I am scared of what other people may think of me isn’t the best reason to do so but I will tell you it was the biggest relief I have ever felt. I am free! I am free of the place I have been chained to for yearsssss now. Ultimately, I didn’t need it in my life, I didn’t need to go make myself workout and then compare myself to every.single.person in there for an hour or more. It was exhausting! I left not only physically exhausted but emotionally and I finally recognized it was not healthy for me anymore. Since then, I have started working out at home and love it! I set a timer and limit myself to one hour, there is no need to do more or I will become obsessive. I go on YouTube and workout to a video in my own living room in my own time. I no longer have to set an alarm in the morning to get up and make the 9:30 class or say no to lunch with a friend because I want to take spin at noon. I am free to make my own schedule, workout whenever I want, and however I want and let me tell you something- it is so liberating!
Of course I still struggle with finding the balance. I overexercise some days or if I finish my hour I think about doing more. There are times when I wake up and all I think about is getting a workout in or sometimes I am afraid to take a day off even though my body is tired and I need to. But what I have learned is, during those months when I wasn’t working out at all, my body didn’t change that much. Sure I didn’t feel as flexible or as in shape but my fear has always been I will get “fat” (ugh I hate that word but it is what ED still calls me in my mind) and I proved that wrong.
I think finding a balance is what most everyone strives for. It isn’t easy to find. It is a lot of trials and tribulations. I know I still have a long way to go but I am a lot farther than I was before. I am still hard on myself, I still stand in the mirror and shriek, and ED still likes to chime in throughout the day. I hope and pray in my heart one day ED will be a faint whisper but for now I am going to continue working on recovery and finding MY balance.
Currently finding MY balance, blogging and enjoy a glass of vino- cheers!