I've been fat my whole life. Okay, a little harsh there, yeah? I've been OVERWEIGHT my entire life. The only time I've been average or under average in the weight category has been when I've gone through spurts of starving myself for days or surrendering to the latest holistic health trend in the name of wellness. I'd adapt to the program to a T and think I was better than everyone else who still ate sugar or gluten. The end was always the same - I'd let go of a tiny piece of the highly controlled puzzle and then say fuck it and full on binge until I filled myself until I couldn't listen to my heart, I couldn't feel anything besides the tears rolling down my face and my villainous toxic thoughts laughing at me and congratulating me for fucking up, yet again. This disorder was my life for 20 years.
A year ago I chose the light, this road called recovery. And I strongly believe this road is a choice. Before I made that realization, I ran away from real life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to the most beautiful place in the world, Byron Bay, Australia. That's when the magic began to happen. And let's define magic - I realized I may live on this beautiful heaven on earth location, but my job was difficult, I couldn't find friends, I was no stick-thin bathing blond beauty like most of the other girls, I couldn't land a job for more money in order to pay my student loans back home. I was truly alone, I felt more self-conscious about my body than ever, my bank account seemed to be dwindling with every sensational sunset. And that my friend, is when the magic started to stir... I could have focused on the negative and cried and complained and bitched about how I dragged all my problems with me to a new location but instead I flipped the switch. I realized I could change me, the me I've defined and been disconnected from for my whole life.
I decided to wake up with those damned cockatoos and meditate on the beach as the sun awoke and then again before bed. My morning treat was a long black topped off with steamed coconut milk catching up with my favorite baristas. My favorite days began with a hike up to the lighthouse treating myself to 7 miles of strenuous movement before 8am. I chose a healthy body and a healthy mind. I worked very, very hard. Always walking or biking from here to there, eating the cleanest, purest foods grown a neighborhood away. Life was simple and very easy. That's why the masses flock to Byron after all.
Let's talk about the not so simple side of life - mental illness, depression, eating disorders, abandonment issues, attachment to relationships and humans in general, even if they're half a world away. These are the topics that I had to study about myself, dive deep and deal with through my meditations and through my writing. I read every book in the library self-help section. I took notes, I made this my work, my spirit was growing and changing from shady grey to clear blue skies. I found friends. I remembered what it felt like to laugh whole heartedly and how to dance with zero inhibitions. I made mistakes, I took drugs, I spent too much money on alcohol. I learned how to let that shit go!
Recovery is awesome. It's that space between who you thought you were and what you're blossoming to become. I love it. I love me. It hasn't been an easy 27 years of experience to get me here, but without it I'd be so boring. So boring. I often smile when I see tiny green growth bursting through the cracks in the sidewalk. Those wildflowers will flourish because they don't give a shit if you step on them or try to tear them down. They've been there, done that and will keep rising with the sunshine, one day bursting open with a beautiful blossom you won't be able to ignore.
Flourish, gorgeous one. Find your calling and learn how to own it. Practice meditation. Let yourself cry. Forgive those who have wronged you, forgive yourself. And let go. Life will be simple only if you allow it to be.
Allow it to be.