It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia... No Wait, It's Always Morning Somewhere
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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia... No Wait, It's Always Morning Somewhere

Simply complex life updates

The picture taken above was recently taken on a trip to Atlanta to visit these lovely ladies who I met in Residential. ***NOTE: We all thoroughly enjoyed the tacos, quesadillas, chips, guac, and salsa

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia... No Wait, It's Always Morning Somewhere

It's been a while since the last post about my current situation and a lot has happened between then and now. I want to precede this post with an idea that developed today. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "The Lord's compassion never ends. It is only His mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness; His loving-kindness begins afresh each day." This verse came to mind when I spoke the words "It's never too late to restart your day." That quote was a guiding light in residential, a shoulder to lean on when struggling, and a reminder of better times ahead. I look at situations and life in general through a very black or white filter. There is no grey space. When one part of my day is bad, the entire day will be bad. The only way to start fresh would be to wait until the next day. However, it's never too late to restart your day because the Lord's loving-kindness and mercies are new every morning and if you think about it, every second of every day it's morning somewhere.

I started writing that back in late October but never finished. I'm promising to finish this post this time.

It's November 6, 2018. I left my day treatment program in Charlotte on October 31 and have been home in Boone for a week. It's been everything I could have hoped it would be but also one of the most painful transitions I've ever made. Leaving residential in Florida and coming "home" to Charlotte was hard but it was familiar in that it wasn't my life, it wasn't what I was accustomed to. The transition from Charlotte back to Boone has been a beautiful heartbreak. While I was spending my weeks in Charlotte, I was coming home on the weekends to spend time with friends. I reconnected with so many people and found myself overwhelmed by wanting to make up for lost time. The weekends in Boone were daydreams within the life I was living in Charlotte. On October 31 I found myself saying goodbye to the lovely ladies I had met in my day program, while completely consumed by thoughts, emotions, nerves, and expectations of returning to my life in Boone. I drove straight home from program and that evening, met with a very close friend, excited beyond compare to finally be back to normality. Within a matter of hours of returning to the mountains, to where I feel most alive, I felt completely and utterly lost. I was back but life wasn't normal.

When I left residential I thought I was doing so much better; I was so energized and ready to take on the "recovery life" and finally be free of the hardships and conflicts of a residential program. The first week in Charlotte showed me how wrong I was. I was presented with challenges in life that I was protected from in residential: I had to choose what to eat at meals and snacks, I had to choose how to spend my time given I wasn't allowed to pick my hobbies back up, I was alone with my parents in Charlotte without a community of like-minded individuals struggling through similar circumstances, I was so close but still so far away. This was hard but I was used to living a day-to-day life that was rather unfamiliar and unwelcomed. As the weeks went by in Charlotte I fell once again into the mindset that I was better, that I could handle life without the day program. Once I was discharged and found myself back in Boone, I was presented with the hardest challenge of my post-ED treatment life. Over the three months I was away in treatment, Boone became this fantasy land in my mind; a land of freedom, life, love, happiness, purpose, and meaning. I would talk to people like it was an oasis in the desert that I had been searching for years to find. I had supported and built my recovery upon the foundation that once I got back to Boone I would be fine. Little did I know how unprepared I truly was.

Halloween night I spent with a friend who I care a lot about, and have for a while. With Halloween costumes on, we went and got Chipotle and took it on the Parkway to enjoy (Parkway drives are a tradition for Boonies). Through conversation I began to get rather emotional as I realized, maybe I wasn't as prepared, ready, or "healed" as I thought I was. I left the day program just hours prior feeling on top of the world but the high was killed fairly quickly that evening. In the week since Halloween, I have experienced beauty in this life, back where I belong, but have also experienced extreme pain. The pain is from the realization that I will never be "normal", pain because I'm not "better" and have a good amount of emotional work still to do, pain because I do still feel disordered urges and hear the voice of Ed, pain because the lifestyle I was living was not healthy and I'm having to figure out life all over again, and the most pain when I feel like I've let people down now that I've return and I'm not "fixed", continuing to have daily battles that, maybe after three months, I shouldn't be having. However, these feelings of pain, these feelings of disgust, disappointment, and despair are becoming less and less as I focus on the beauty of my new life. There is beauty in the friendships I've seen blossom since returning, beauty in the bright colors of fall on the changing leaves, beauty in waking up and feeling cute in clothes despite having to buy bigger sizes, beauty in the freedom to have pizza and ice cream and tacos DESPITE the ED urges and voice, and beauty in the rejuvenated spirit and life that I feel within myself because I am making MY life about ME.

Without pain, how would we understand or appreciate what happiness, comfort, excitement, and growth really mean? Without darkness, we wouldn't be able to experience the light. Not every day is going to be perfect, actually, no day is going to be perfect. There will be bad days and there will be good days, but what's most important is finding the good in EVERY day. Focus on the positives; reframe and reappraise negative thoughts. I had sweet potato fries the other night and yes, I heard Ed screaming at me because I "should have gotten a salad", but I ate every single one of those fries and fucking enjoyed it. I let Ed's voice fade away as I focused on the flavors, the conversation, the atmosphere, and the fact that I am alive. It's hard to understand what truly living feels like until you have something to compare it to. The darkness I had been consumed with was a place I never want to experience again, but I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for my struggles because they have pushed me to find true life and love and happiness.

Guilt, shame, anger, sadness, regret, depression, and despair suck. That's a fact. Those feelings, however, will pass and you will find the happiness, freedom, joy, excitement, and peace that correspond if you allow yourself to. Remember, there is good in every day and it's your responsibility to find your happiness. It's never too late to restart your day if that's what you need. God's mercies are new every morning, and it's always morning somewhere.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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