I thought I'd share a bit of my experience with you, because I feel that in many ways, we probably share similar life experiences. It's helpful to know that we are not alone in our struggles.
Yesterday was my 5 year wedding anniversary. It feels strange; it's been hard for me to know exactly what to feel and how to celebrate. The past 5 years have been some of the roughest of my life.
I have been thrown many curve balls and have really struggled with how to react to them. Additionally, this month marks 2 years free of prescription drugs (after 20 years of dependence) prescribed for depression, bipolar, anxiety, disordered eating habits, adult ADD, insomnia, and panic attacks. I just couldn't handle the side effects any more and I knew that the drugs were blunting my awareness and personal power.
The thing that happens after you come off those medications is that you go through a rebirthing process. In my case, I had to learn who I really was all over again, to navigate the normal ebb and flow of human/female emotions and to embrace all of them.
The hardest part of it all was realizing that I wasn't the same person I was when I married my husband and my husband really didn't know who he married. That created a huge amount of guilt, grief, and sadness, because how does one choose to move forward after realizing that?
As I tried to navigate each next step of my rebirthing process within my marriage, I found myself in a place of over-exercising, controlling my food again (this time orthorexia), and binge eating. This lead to some physical and metabolic challenges, driving me further into a body that was uncomfortable to be in.
Great news is that I finally learned what these symptoms were all about. They weren't symptoms that I needed to further control, but rather they were symptoms that were calling me to look deeper into my desires and my needs. I had to embrace my symptoms and get curious about them if I wanted to be a happy and healthy person in a body I loved and in a relationship that was mutually beneficial.
What I discovered was that I was ignoring and pushing away critical parts of my unique expression. I was denying myself emotional and physical expression that was authentically me. By hiding and pushing that all away, other unwanted behaviors and symptoms manifested to take the place of the unexpressed; a place holder if you will, calling me to come back to myself.
When I began to listen to the wisdom that my body was sending me through symptoms, I was able to reclaim myself and really step into being me. The natural side effect is drastically reduced binge eating episodes, less panic around food, and a better relationship with exercise.
The beauty of it all is that my body finally felt comfortable to lose excess weight and my relationship with my husband improved dramatically because I improved my relationship to my self dramatically.
No more pushing, pulling, and fighting against myself.
It is easy to shrug the over-exerciser off as someone who just wants to stay fit.
It's logical to say that someone with orthorexia is just a "health nut."
And it's easy to assume that binge eating is simply a willpower problem.
If we assume the aforementioned, we lose sight of the big picture, we miss the opportunity to heal and to find the deeper connection to Self that we truly desire underneath all the mind chatter and social influence.
So this is where I land today: I have a huge appreciation for how far I've come and the powerful messages in my symptoms and unwanted behaviors. I also have a huge appreciation for my husband's desire and willingness to shift, grow, and commit to a relationship that looks far different than it did 8 years ago. I celebrate our resiliency and our curiousity.
Life lessons are hard but if you are willing to invest in yourself, amazing things transpire and the right people will show up to help you along.
Sending you much love,
P.S. If you are tired of battling with yourself, tired of all the unwanted symptoms and behaviors, I invite you to connect with me to discover what you can learn from listening to your body's wisdom.
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's set up a free 30 minute discovery session call to see how I can help you attain food and body freedom.