Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

New Beginnings

Guest Post By: Vanessa A. Davis (CW Alumnus)       
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost
The fall, the holiday season, family, extra travel, not exactly the easiest time of year- Immediately, I feel my chest anxiously tighten, overwhelmed with fears of the uncertain and “what ifs.” Without second thought, I begin to play out the various and endless potential situations and interactions.  “Who will I see?” “What will I say?” “Where have I been?” “How do I act?” “Who do they expect or want me to be?”  “Um….food?!?” Insanity at its finest. Truth, I know all the answers to the aforementioned and I am certain many of you do as well. I always did. Even in the very unexpected, I have found a way through and out, knowing how to handle just about anything  thrown my way with the aid of my eating disorder often combined with a multitude of other addictions and harmful coping mechanisms. For me, the end results were always the same- numb, disconnected, and further down the path of self-destruction and isolation from my family and world at large.  I continued to confirm I was the “black sheep”  and didn’t fit in. I thought I was forever destined to feel alone, unloveable, not wanted, and too different. After several years of robotically functioning and managing from an unhealthy, non self led place, I have some of my own personal insight and awareness. Even further, I have tested it out with rewarding, positive, and hopeful results, only making tomorrow that much brighter. What I have learned- Mistakes and the past will forever dictate our present and future unless we empower ourselves to see the importance of personal freedom and choice. It’s about taking the past and using it to our advantage to grow and make the choice to step outside the false sense of safety provided by the eating disorder. One must see and believe in his or her’s very own potential even in moments of doubt and insecurity. What will you choose this holiday season? Sticking with the familiar  or branching outside of your comfort zone into the foreign, usually uncomfortable, territories of something new? Imagine how freeing it would be to just be YOU- no expectations, no nothing, just you. This in and of itself is a profound and beautiful journey of self-discovery we each deserve. Simply put, and much easier said than done….. Seize the day. Seize the moment. Let this holiday season be the beginning of something new. Prove yourself wrong. Replace the negative thoughts with that of optimism and curiousity. Be gentle with yourself. Welcome the gifts of being present, connected and sincerely alive with your body, mind and soul as well as that of others. Take the risk. Stare fear in the face and take the road less traveled. Leave the light ON. Be vulnerable. And remember it takes a person of great strength and courage to reach out, ask for support, call a friend, forgive,  and set aside time for just YOU. “And suddenly you know...It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

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