Saturday, 25 February 2017

Everyone Has a Battle

I think it's time for an update: many of you been asking me for one!

Where do I start? It's been a journey, that's for sure! As you know, I am studying medicine. And I absolutely love it. This has always been my dream - to be able to use my knowledge and skills to help others. Granted, there are some long days of classes that make me tired and bored. There are times when I feel overwhelmed, and I even wonder if I can really do this! It can get stressful feeling this way. It can be difficult trying to balance my time between friends, family, volunteering, school, advocacy, and so on. At times, I feel as though I'm not even good enough to be in medicine. Will I ever be 'good enough?'.

And then, of course, there is the fact that I have struggled with anorexia in the past.

But, I need to get this message out, loud and clear: I AM NOT MY PAST. (And actually, no one is their own illness, struggles, or problems! You are YOU!!!)

Yes, I struggled with an eating disorder. Yes, there are times when I still feel worried about my weight, food intake, and so forth. But it no longer controls my life. And most days, I don't even remember that I have had this illness. Nor do I feel any different from anyone else.

But lately, I've felt something inside of me telling me to push a little harder. I am doing well now, thank God. But something still isn't right. Perhaps it is the fact that stress around me is increasing. School is getting tougher, and more responsibilities are being added to my plate. Life is moving fast, and I want to keep up with it. And a small voice in my head tells me that it is time to invest in myself a bit more. To show myself some extra love and kindness. And eat a little more.

And I hate that. I don't want to have to eat more. I don't want to deal with gaining weight again. But I know that I need it. I know that I need to gain some weight to maintain my strength for the future, as my career evolves and my responsibilities increase. But I'm scared. The thoughts of gaining too much weight lurk in my head. BUT... MY LIFE NEEDS THIS NOW.  I may not like it. I may be worried and terrified. But I know deep down inside, that a little extra strength will not harm me now.

I'm writing this here because I want you to all know that I'm okay. I'm healthy and strong. But I am not perfect. And I see now in my life a desire and requirement to admit that though I am well, I can be better. There is always room for improvement. It is my time now to improve. My time to realize that though I am strong, I can be stronger. And I pray that each of you finds it inside of yourself to also see that you are okay. You may be battling something...but you too can do this.

We all have battles in our lives that maybe no one knows about. And even if people know about them, they might not understand your battle in detail, or to what extent you are fighting. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that we show one another kindness. That we support one another as best we can. That we realize that you do not know what battles everyone is fighting against. But know this: we are here for one another. We are not perfect. But we fight, and we persevere.

I want to thank you ALL for being by my side. For those of you who are checking up on me, send me kind messages, or even smile at me. Thank you to the people who know about my journey, and who make every effort to be mindful of the way they address food, weight, body image, mental health, etc. Thank you to my friends and family, who always remind me of how strong I am. Thank you, God, for giving me the insight to see that I am doing well, but can still improve.

That is what life is about. I am not ashamed to admit that I have room to improve. I know that this is all preparing me for my future. I have come so far, and I am so grateful for my journey. I'm using my story to spread the message about wellness and mental health. I am using my experiences to encourage people to TALK about their struggles - because it is OKAY TO ADMIT THAT YOU ARE NOT PERFECT. Every struggle we go through teaches us something. Maybe my obstacle is different from yours. But that doesn't mean it is easier or harder. It just means that we are all fighting. But we emerge stronger, wiser, and more confident with every experience. 

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