"I did not have an internal sense of self. It didn’t matter how much I accomplished or how many people I helped. I only measured positive outcomes by how others perceived and recognized me or my actions. The sooner we let go of labels, expectations, or the pain of past experiences, the sooner we will feel joy in our hearts."
"Drugs and alcohol were common place and I was constantly moving around. That’s not to say that my parents were using in front of me, just that it was fairly obvious as to what was going on. Because of this, I actually grew up attending AA meetings and was introduced to “recovery” pretty early on. Even so, I would go on to spend 16 years in an alcohol and drug-induced nightmare that almost consumed my life. Irony at its finest."
"What therapists would label as "mental health" issues—as I've aged and grown perspective in my life, I would have to disagree wholeheartedly. Unstable environments and adults that failed to protect me from predators were the sole contributors to my unstable years."
"I met my future husband when I was 26 but I never felt truly connected to him. I felt just as invisible to him as I did to everyone else. When we decided we wanted to have children, by some miracle, I was able to abstain from drinking just before and during my pregnancy. I coped by being very controlling, a shopaholic, and a workaholic. The twins were born when I was 31 and postpartum depression led me back to the only solution I thought I had: drinking"
"No one ever seemed to get it. It was never about being skinny. It was the sense of numbness, false sense of control, and comfort that kept me addicted to the high of this cycle. I was eventually hospitalized and then sent off to residential treatment."
"No one possesses the ultimate truth. The advice we receive from others is usually drawn from their personal experiences, but it doesn't necessarily mean their truth will align with ours. This includes advice from our parents. Although they usually offer guidance out of love, their narratives are unique to them and should not automatically become our narratives. We must consciously create our own stories, otherwise we risk blindly following in others' footsteps."
"The pregnancy ended up being even more high risk than my prior ones and I was placed in the hospital for six weeks. Depression and anxiety returned as my young daughter bounced between family and friends during my absence. I missed her terribly and my body ached without her presence, but I pushed forward knowing that each day I stayed pregnant brought us one day closer to our baby."
"One evening, I was running some errands for the rescue when I became mesmerized by the headlights of the oncoming cars. This thought popped into my head… if I just crossed the median, this could all be over in a second. That’s when I knew I had a serious happiness problem on my hands."
"I couldn’t allow myself to be happy. Even at my lowest weight (which is considered “underweight”), I hated who I saw in the mirror. It was never enough and it would never be enough because my actual body wasn’t the problem. I would never feel worthy until I gave that feeling of worthiness to myself. I always felt I was never enough. I was always anxious and nervous about food."
"Being sober or being 'okay' isn't about becoming perfect. A lot of people expect to look better or earn more or fall in love and so on. Sure, it can happen - but those are not pillars to build yourself on, because they can fade. You need to do an inventory with yourself or a therapist, look into who you are that brings you such shame or guilt, and start confronting that."