This past weekend I spent almost all of my time cheering on the Gators Softball team. Going into the Regional Tournament the Gators were ranked 5th in the nation. There was definite talk of the WCWS in their future. And then they fell apart. On Friday, 3 of the Gator starters were kicked off of the team and the Gators lost to FGCU, a team that had never made it to the NCAA tournament before and just recently joined Division 1 Softball. It was a pretty devastating day.
Saturday rolled around and the Gators came back and won both of their games. Even with a new line up, a lot of distractions and even more doubters they rallied together and pulled it off. Even though I was a little concerned with how they had played the night before, I stood by the team, cheered them on and never lost hope.
On Sunday I went back to the stadium, sunburn and all, to continue to support the team against USF. Although they ended up losing 1-0, they fought hard the entire game and never gave up. Even with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th inning, Gator fans remained in the stadium and cheered on the team. It was obvious that they were going to lose, but all of us hardcore fans rallied on.
If you are reading this, you probably could care less about softball and are wondering why I am recapping the games for you. If you are a Gator hater you might even be glad that we lost. It’s ok, we can still be friends. But the point of this post has nothing to do with softball.
Despite my recent post documenting my grocery shopping success, I have been struggling a lot. The combination of stress in my life, horrible body image issues and allowing myself to get too caught up in other people’s lives/problems has caused me to take a dive off of the deep end. Although I have been treading fiercely to keep my head above water, in the past few days I have sunk and I haven’t tried that hard to remain afloat.
I have come a very long way since last August, yet some days I still feel hopeless. Some days I really want to give up. Recovery is hard, exhausting and seems to take way more effort than I have some of the time. I get overwhelmed with everything that life throws at me and the eating disorder seems like the only way to make it through the day. It feels like a protector; a shield that I can wrap around me to make everything ok. And it works.
However, it comes with a cost and I am not naive enough to believe otherwise. Right now I can come up with a never ending list of how the eating disorder is harming me and not productive at all. I am aware of what I am doing and where it leads. After all, I have been down this road a few thousand times before. I have even seen glimpses of the other side and it’s pretty wonderful.
Now that I am semi out of my denial bubble (I spent a few days ignoring everything recovery related including blogs, people on my treatment team, ripping inspirational things off of my wall and continued to insist that I was “fine”), I have been trying to figure this out from a rational perspective. I have tried to use logic to figure out why I continue to do something that is harmful to me, when I know the consequences and results. And I have gotten absolutely no where, except maybe a little more frustrated. There isn’t anything rational about eating disorders so trying to logically rationalize myself out of this probably isn’t going to happen.
So I am trying to rally. Even though I feel just as hopeless as I did yesterday, I am trying to use the same strategy that I mentioned above in my softball example. I don’t see the finish line and I don’t feel like I am ever going to win, but I am trying to work up the courage to step up to the plate anyways. Just like the Gators probably felt on Friday, I feel like this came out of no where. My recovery was going pretty smoothly and I am not quite sure where the tide turned. But it doesn’t matter.
Giving up is easier and sounds great. But then I stop and think about the amazing support system that I have on my side and the future that I want to have. I think about all of the awesome people that I have cheering me on, even when I don’t want to hear it. I think about John, my number one fan, who is constantly supporting me and standing strongly by my side. I think about all of the people I know and don’t know that are out there fighting every day against eating disorders and other illnesses. I think about my purpose and all of the amazing opportunities I have been given. It’s then that I can’t help but fight and rally on.