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This Beautiful Struggle Called Life

et certamen esse speciosae – a beautiful and necessary struggle…

Looking back on events of my life I see I started dropping out of life starting in 10th grade. I tried to speak about the abuse I was going through and was beaten and shamed as a result. When a “respected man” behaved abusively and inappropriately as well at a Christian school I attended, I now see, that was when the other shoe dropped, because if I couldn’t be safe in that environment, then where? Not understanding moving geographically doesn’t mean an alteration in patterns if they aren’t addressed, but how to address them if you aren’t even aware they exist? And then the weight started piling on. It took me awhile to realize I was an emotional eater and when I started becoming active in addressing this, is when all internal hell was breaking out, resulting in my having a complicated surgery last year. I’ve had varying degrees of frustration while building back my body, thinking the weight wasn’t coming off as quickly as I hoped. Friends, doctors, my brother, all have repeatedly told me to be patient and consistent. Grudgingly and at times eye-rolling, I agree as really, what other course of action, besides giving up did I have? I have been losing weight but only yesterday did it dawn on me I’m losing inches, especially around my abdomen. I have this jacket I’ve been wearing and it previously has been tight around the “jelly belly.” Yesterday, waiting outside, having the nip of impeding winter breeze whirling around, I pulled the jacket tighter around me. It dawned on me not only could I close the jacket but I also had room. I noticed this with my bathing suit a couple of weeks ago but rationalized how bathing suits loose shape and dismissed the freer space. There wasn’t any denying this. This jacket didn’t lose any of its give. I lost some more poundage! Since shifting into being healthier and not weight loss specific, I have been more at ease, more consistent and more progress has been the consequence. Change can be difficult and often a very necessary part of life. I’m glad as I’m changing, I’m grateful for changes within me returning. I do not mean less saddlebags and jiggle, though that is nice. I do mean parts of me I haven’t visited with in a while, like getting back into acting, making time to read, and writing. Getting back to the things that made me happy, made me, well, me. And I’m grateful for those in my life, no matter how frustrated I get with myself, times I may repeat, or even if they may be annoyed, I have people who genuinely care and pour into me, regularly. They see at times what I don’t and remind me often of my positive qualities as well are gentle yet firm when I need it. Be it abuse, an accident, loss of a job, important relationship, everyone experiences some type of loss. It is monumentally important to have people who will love and cover you with healthy support and not dysfunctional dependence, which usually only results in parasitic quid pro quo. Leaning on those with healthy insight may be necessary until building up or back your own reserves of your own autonomy. And you get stronger, you start to own the good and not so good elements of who you are. And your jacket, be it physical or conceptual will fit better over time.

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