Sometimes in life we break a bone in such a way that it needs to be reset. Sometimes, this bone is set incorrectly, and although the bond is hypothetically healing, the break isn’t healing in a way that supports you.
Life has moments just like this. Moments where you need to break an old wound in order to properly heal… Just after spring break, I broke. After not seeing Todd for 5 months, I sat curled up in a blanket in his porch describing that I felt stuck in my process of healing, Todd asked me; Sarah what secrets are you keeping? Please remember, the foundation of my healing is TRUTH, me being honest with myself.
“My secret is… I am not doing it for me”
Up to that point in my healing I had periodically minimized and stopped purging because I was scared to be judged. My family and close friends now knew about my habit and I was scared of failing THEM. But with every fibre of my being, my addiction was still active, I was winning purely because of will power. Every day I had to convince myself the pain was no longer there.
At one point during our conversation Todd asked if I would follow his exercise regime, as a counter to my regular routine. I had been pushing my body to the point of exhaustion, Waking up before work at 5 am to run every morning, working out 7 days a week, sometimes twice a day.
As Todd described his proposed “exercise regime”… Which was drastically different than mine, I felt my body physically reacting. I couldn’t breathe, my chest tightened. What Todd was describing wasn’t exercise in my mind. I was panicking. I sat there as Todd continue to describe he benefits of this regime, and finally told him that I was distracted and barely listening — I told him of the stress I was experiencing.
I cried and yelled as Todd continued to dig, to push me to my breaking point. He questioned my love of being active and healthy, of working out, even if my love of hiking. He questioned my motives. How could I be sure I loved hiking and working out, if the root motive is to be thin? It was a passion fuelled by my addiction.
My reaction. That stress. It was the power of the addiction showing its true colours. Working out had become a need, a new vice to experience pain so I wouldn’t have to acknowledge the emotional pain I was actually experiencing.
Sarah, what are you scared of?
I was scared of gaining weight of never being happy.
The truth came out… I linked weight to beauty, and beauty to being a priority, a priority to being valuable, and valuable to being worthy of love. If I am not thin, I am not a priority, and not valuable, how could I be loveable?
I left our session feeling crippled. Feeling more broken and raw than when I arrived, questioning everything about my life and my happiness. Who was I?
I spent the day following day reflecting, contemplating, and questioning. Messaging Todd as clarity hit and pieces of the puzzle came together. I needed to find a balance. As long as I was still feeling the NEED to workout as a strategy to being thin, my addiction still had power.
This break, was a break through.
I acknowledged my pain. I released my pain – or at least began the process. I had reached a new level of self awareness, and began questioning my own thinking and my own motives. Opening up, releasing that emotion, and being honest with myself has been my path to healing, and the first step of me learning to love and nurture myself.
Allow yourself to feel.
Allow your heart to open and be vulnerable.
Acknowledging the pain is the first step forward toward healing.