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TW: Eating Disorders

Welcome to my journal conversations, where I will reflect on old journal entries and write back to myself. Journaling means very much to me, and in many ways, has been vital to my growth and healing process. When I wrote this journal entry, I was going through a slight relapse with my eating disorders. I am lucky that a little over a month later, I’m doing so much better. I feel so much distance from this journal entry, even though it wasn’t too long ago. The distance exists not in time, but in the ways that I talk to myself… and THAT is where the real growth happened. So here is me to me, about a month apart:

From 7/29/2020: 

7/29: So much of my life revolves around making myself smaller when really I want to be louder.

9/5: You’re finding new ways to take up space. You’ve found that you actually don’t want to make yourself smaller… that you’ve just outgrown space that was no longer meant for you. Change is scary but so good for you. Because look at you now...  filling spaces that you’re meant to be in!

7/29: The motive to change the shape I’m in holds me on a leash. Choking me, trying to deprive me of the breath to carry me through this life.

9/5: This whole time, you were actually breaking yourself from this leash. You’re not choking anymore, but rather finding fresh air, supporting you through this beautiful life. 

7/29: I preach the concept of growth while I myself am shrinking. Stuck in a loop where I need to head forward, but deprive myself of the steps to get there.

9/5:  It was all growth. You didn’t see it at the time, but it was. Relapsing felt unexpected, shameful, and hopeless, but the reality is that you needed it to happen to trust the process and to remind yourself of the ways you have yet to grow. You didn’t deprive yourself of the steps to get there, because look where you are now.

From 7/29: “This is the last time, I swear,” I lie to myself, knowing I’ll listen to the louder voice that never fails to weigh in.

From 9/5: Maybe it wasn’t the last time; only the future can let you know.  Yes, that voice may always try to weigh in, but your voice is now louder.

From 7/29: Counting calories when I should really be counting blessings. I was never good at math, but all I know is that “greater than (>)”, never felt “great” to me.

From 9/5:  Regardless of how hard it was in the moment, you DID learn how to count your blessings. You’ve learned to find respect for your body that does so much for you, even when you weren’t doing much for it. You’ve found the people you feel most centered around. You’ve found new ways of coping that you haven’t encountered before. You’re genuinely happy now...and you do feel “great.” (the math hasn’t gotten better though, but that’s something we can live with).

 From 7/29: I know it’s bad, but I listen to the lies that tell me, “it’s not THAT bad.” I’m scared to let go, thinking I can’t live this life without it. But truthfully, this isn’t “living” in the slightest.

From 9/5: I’m proud of you because even at your low, you knew it wasn’t what you wanted. And look how quickly you bounced back! 

From 7/29: “What if you outgrow your clothes?” I ask myself, while I know in my heart that I’ve outgrown my past life and self. So tell me, honey, how do you expect these clothes to fit forever?

9/5: You had some hope for yourself here, and I have all the hope for us now… so give yourself some credit. You may have outgrown some of your clothes, but you’ve also outgrown parts of yourself that were no longer serving you.  Here’s your reminder that we grow with our lives, and our lives grow with us. It’s a beautiful thing to experience, and I’m so glad you’re here for it.  

  Kaylen, a Campus Correspondent for HC at Wells, is a senior at Wells College studying Women's and Gender Studies and Psychology.  "Like Ivy, we grew where there was room for us"-Miranda July
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