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  • Jamie

I Get it Now

I went to treatment for the first time when I was 12.


I went to treatment for the final time when I was 17, and graduated from it when I was 18 (like a college graduation except no one is happy when someone brings cake).


I've been back to therapy multiple times since then.


I've gained weight, lost weight, ate only "healthy" food, scheduled in cheat meals, made "protein dessert", pretended not to like chocolate, eaten cookie dough in private, gone to the gym twice a day, hired a coach, pretended not to track the meal plan he put me on, worked out 7 days a week, tried to schedule rest days, etc.


Then a second pink line appeared.


And it was no longer about me.


It didn't matter if I wanted to eat egg whites for breakfast, the nausea in me demanded oatmeal.


It didn't matter if the only protein I had for the day came from the "cheese" in Mac n' Cheese.


It didn't matter that I swapped my workouts for 2-3 hour naps.


It didn't matter that my shorts became too tight or I could only get to the gym twice a week, or that there is now currently a McDonald's kids meal container sitting on my counter because that's the only protein I could stomach.


It didn't matter, because it was no longer about me.


Everything changed; everything finally aligned.


I was suddenly responsible for this little person, and that responsibility started with making sure I was eating enough and working with my body instead of against it.


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Today (October 24, 2020) marks 9 years since I officially graduated treatment, went home & entered full-on recovery mode.


And although as of three days ago that little person is no longer with me, the instant knowledge holding responsibility for another human taught me continues to hang around.


Everything that I spent so many years struggling with seems so small and meaningless.


Fearing food for having calories seems so petty and pointless.


Hating the body she gave me isn't possible; because even though it wasn't enough to save her, it was enough for her to save me.


And while that may be the only barely-silver lining in this entire experience, maybe it's enough to keep me going another day.


And there's no option to fail now; I owe it to Raya, I owe it to any other children we have to stay on course.


Because even if she's not looking me in the eye, she's watching down on me.


And I can't fail her again.



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