I just read a meme online that said, "Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong."
That's what I felt. Stuck. I named it a few weeks ago, even started to write a song about it. I know when I get to that place it's mainly due to what I eat and the way it processes in my body. So, I tried to fix it. That lasted less than a week before the weekend temptations of wine parties and late night eateries. Of course, I gave in like R. Kelly in "Ignition Remix."
It wasn't just food that I felt stuck with, though. It was everything, so I responded with control, as a lot of people do, to attempt to get my life in order. Every effort failed. In fact, it made everything worse, especially my closest relationships. (Well, one in particular.) "This isn't me!" I kept thinking. "Where's the Anslee who loves and gives freely? Where's the Anslee who sees the joy of life and endlessly beautiful possibilities?! WHERE DID ANSLEE GO?! I WANT HER BACK RIGHT NOW!" As much as I stomped the feet of my heart, I stayed there in that chaos in my mind, feeling trapped and unsafe and unloved and unloveable. I had been there for months, with tiny reprieves every now and then. Those windows were amazing, too. I felt human again.
On one particular day, I had felt painstakingly lonely, but decided to just breathe through it. My boyfriend had a really rough day, so when he got home that night (with a gift for me in hand - HOW LOVED AM I?!?!?!), he really just needed to turn his brain off. He and my roommate played video games for a while, and although the previous feeling continued, I knew that it was my issue, and I needed to take the steps to change it because, honestly, I love myself enough to take that first step.
The next morning, a Saturday, at 9am, I took my friend Anne Marie with me downtown to my first recovery group meeting for food addiction. It was the 2nd group of people I've ever met where I felt immediately welcomed, and I cried most of the meeting, letting me know that - YES - I do belong here, and - YES - I can make the necessary changes for my life and my future right now. So many times during their stories, I thought, "This is me! I've taken food out of the trash, too!" or "Girlfriend, PREACH." I met a woman who keeps me accountable every morning at 7am with a food guide implemented by the organization, and even though it has only been a few days, I feel the clearest, happiest, and most positive I've felt in a very long time. I'm happier than a tampon commercial, guys! IT IS SO GREAT!
Today, I've been extremely emotional on the other end of the spectrum than what I had become accustomed to, expressing my gratitude to God and the people who have been placed on my path to recovery, the people who love me and have my best interest at heart, and me for responding to this call to truly honor and cherish myself in a way that will last. I'm about to bike over to a meeting right now! (Another victory - getting back on my bike again for the first time in months!!!)
Thank you for your love. Always.