"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin
It is time for me to move forward in life. In each one of our lives reality shifts and changes. Nothing remains static. I can face the future with hope and courage, or I can face it with fear. I choose the first, and to accept that the dreams and hopes that I might have held at one time are no more.
For I do not want my life to shrink, become nothing more than waiting and dreaming for what will not happen. It has been three months — to the day — that David left, and there will be no reconciliation. Nothing can change that.
So I can choose to cry and rail against God or fate or whatever you want to call it. Or I can choose to move forward. The life I lead really depends upon me. I am now healthy and I am free. I feel strong in my recovery from anorexia, and thus those fears are not there anymore. I am proud of myself and I am fine with my body. I rarely think about being thinner or restricting or all the other things that came with the illness.
I am not saying things are perfect. Once in a while, I will get glimpse into the mirror or pull out the scale and weigh myself and I will feel an old, familiar twinge from days past. I just push it aside and think about what I stand to lose.
This might not be the life that I originally dreamed of when I started focusing on gaining weight and health three months ago. But as I wrote, realities change and you either accept it and move on or become bitter and stuck forever.
I think about the possibilities. I could move to Ireland after I finish graduate school. Or move south, away from Michigan's cold winters. I could do just about anything. I have far more blessings than many people. I am intelligent and educated. I have a variety of experiences in different fields. I have been told — although I still struggle to believe this about myself — that I am strong and courageous and beautiful.
Beautiful. There is such power in that word. Of course I like it when people say I am beautiful. Who doesn't? But I want to tell them to dig a little deeper, that perhaps real beauty can be found within people, including me. For I never again want to be trapped by anorexia, and part of me is afraid that one simple word is part of the trap.
You would be beautiful if only you were thinner...
This is one of the many thoughts I had before I became healthier. What nonsense! I can look at the pictures and see that at my thinnest, I was far from beautiful. I was emaciated and looked old and drained.
I would rather be thought of as strong and courageous and kind. These are the traits that open my world and allow others to be in it.
I am ready...It is scary because so much of the future is unknown. But in the end, isn't that really true of all of us? Can any one of us really say with complete certainty that this person or that job will be in our life tomorrow? Christ has taught me to not trust the things of this earth, for surely they will rust and decay and finally, disappear.
Make no mistake. I still believe in love and romance and the possibilities that exist. I am not bitter nor do I have a hatred of all men because of what David did. I am sometimes still angry and feel abandoned by him. But I am slowly moving through the stages of grief, and I am finally beginning to accept what has happened.
I am becoming myself, and I don't plan to lose that ever again.
And now, I step forward into the unknown...
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillippians 4:13