putting in perspective

Dear Bee,

The past few days have been a whirlwind. One of my relatives is dying. It happened very suddenly; she’s old, she’s been sick for awhile, but it’s still the looming cloud of death, and that’s a tough pill for any living soul to swallow. Nothing puts life in perspective quite like death. I’ve been very emotional. Yesterday, fortunately, I was able to see her, tell her I love her, kiss her goodbye. I could hold it together while I was in the room with her; it was in my car that I broke down. Tears are good. Emotions are the windows to our hearts. I would rather flesh out the state of love and feel this kind of pain than build walls and stay isolated. Humans are meant for companionship; it is in our genetic biology.

I’ve been reaching out for support, and the response has been overwhelming. Before, I had the tendency to withhold in order to shoulder everyone else’s pain. Now, I actually feel allowed to admit when I am sad. It’s okay not to be okay.

This past week has been an instrumental one. The conference I attended really refined that I’m doing exactly what i’m meant to be doing (therapy), and that there is still so much in store for me regarding what I can achieve and how I can help people. It’s an exciting field, and it’s growing and expanding. I’m entering the workforce, it seems, at just the right time. 

I’ve also been really getting into meditation. One of the presenters, a world-famous neuroscientist and mindfulness therapist, who developed the wheel of consciousness (Daniel J. Siegel– Google this BOSS of a man), did a live demonstration that allowed me to actually, actually meditate for the first time in my life. I couldn’t even breathe uninterrupted for a minute without becoming restless and agitated before doing this activity. My boyfriend and I have been meditating once or twice a day now, and it’s been absolutely profound in enabling me to get in touch with my senses and appreciate the uniqueness of each passing moment. Now I get why mindfulness is such a thing. Once it clicks, it’s insanely euphoric.

Life is insanely unpredictable. With an eating disorder, I realized, I was trying to somehow control that unpredictability. I was trying to keep the world safe and tightly-sealed in my own container, absent of fear, anger, sadness, and insecurity. I didn’t want to be present: it was much too easier to focus and obsess on the future, while dwelling and ruminating on the mistakes shaping my past. I didn’t appreciate small things; I didn’t even really appreciate people. I sure as hell didn’t appreciate myself.

What has recovery given me?

Appreciation. Appreciation for love in all forms, appreciation for what I get to do every single day, appreciation for the rain that’s currently dancing on my rooftop, appreciation for the teenagers who will be confiding in me in a few hours, appreciation for the feeling of this soft blanket over my skin, appreciation for the ability to type this out right now.

To starve worry, you must binge on gratitude.