Let's Get Real

Let's Get Real

"It's the only way we ever heal."
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Life after treatment has definitely taken a different kind of toll on me. It's not that I would call it good or bad, but it's definitely different. And I'll be real, I'm afraid to be real. Ever since I was discharged, I've found it increasingly easier and easier to just say, "Life is great now!!" Don't get me wrong, I mean, it is. I am so grateful for the life I have been given, and I am content with what God is doing in my heart as I type you this message of hope. But, if I'm honest, I still struggle some days. Old thoughts try to push their way up to the front of my mind. The deadliest and worst of them all hit me right in my core, it attacks my identity. I beat myself down so hard when I make a mistake, and I tell myself that I am not good enough. I'm not good enough to sing, not good enough to play guitar, not good enough for the man I am dating, not good enough for literally anything. And then there are the days where I struggle to eat, because I am unhappy with my physical appearance. I struggle with anorexia and bulimia, still. Yes, the thoughts honestly still torture me, and I feel dishonest saying that they don't. It's a daily struggle of knowing that I am truly loved, and that my appearance does not at all define my heart or how worthy I really am. I have had days where I am tempted to engage in self-harm, even though I am finally six months clean.

But you know what? That's okay It's normal to continue to struggle, even when you're done with treatment and therapy. These are things that never fully go away, these are things that I need to rely on the Lord for. Everyday. When I am weak, He is strong. When I go to Him for a safe fortress, He is always there. He always protects, always provides and always helps me persevere. That is His love for me. His truth floods my heart when I go to His word. His armor protects me from the schemes of the enemy. His wisdom keeps me in rightful check and helps me to walk in truth, rather than the old familiar lies that feel oh too true. It's okay to struggle and doubt, but it's how we deal with it that matters.

Life isn't perfect, but it's good. I am so blessed to be with a man who loves me unconditionally and reflects Christ like love towards me. I'm grateful for my job and for my church family. I'm grateful for the opportunities that the Lord has been giving me in the music ministry industry, and I'm grateful for every learning experience that I encounter. So let's get real, it's the only way we ever heal.

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Sirnic

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Do Not Define Yourself By The Numbers On A Scale

The number on the scale shouldn't make you want to eat less.

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To everyone who said they would lose weight during 2019: Don't listen to the scale right now.

I made a resolution to lose weight this year. Generally, I wanted to get back on track with the healthy lifestyle I used to follow. I played sports in high school, but in college, I realized didn't have time for it anymore. Working out and eating healthy makes me feel good, so I thought it would be easy to get back to my routine.

It wasn't easy. My schedule is so packed that I have to schedule time to work out. And it's not always easy to stick to that schedule.

Because I can't literally dedicate my life to being healthy, I thought that counting calories and weighing myself every day would lead me to a healthier lifestyle.

It didn't. The scale made me feel worse. Gaining a pound started to mean failure to me.

Counting calories was not bad for me at first; it allowed me to be more conscious of my food choices and control my portion size. However, because of my self-critical nature, things soon took a sour turn.

I have a tendency to overeat because I don't eat regular meals every day (thanks, college). Any time I would overeat, I would weigh myself the next morning and feel a little upset if I gained even a little weight or lost a minuscule amount of weight. This mentality really doesn't make sense; you can't gain weight that fast, and your weight fluctuates depending on many factors.

I decided to take a less strict and more flexible approach to my healthy lifestyle. I'm not counting calories, but I'm keeping in mind how much I'm eating and being careful not to overeat. Every once in a while, I'll have a cookie and enjoy it. I've been doing that a lot more lately, and it's okay. These aren't your "cheat" days; you're living your life.

The way we talk about food is so important. Yes, America's obesity rates are very high, but because of this, the fear of being fat drives the need for dangerous diets with extreme calorie restriction. The fear of being fat leads to Instagram stars advertising tea that is supposed to lead to weight loss (I'm talking about you, Kim K).

If calorie restriction is so unhealthy, then why are we encouraging it?

Everything is okay in moderation. In fact, we shouldn't really be saying that certain types of food are okay and others aren't okay.

It's okay to eat something because it tastes good.

It's okay to choose a "healthier" food as an alternative to one that isn't as healthy, but it's also okay to do the opposite.

Dieting can ruin our mentality. Guilt should not be associated with food. Food is fuel. It's what keeps us going.

The number on the scale shouldn't make you want to eat less.

Yes, I am trying to eat less, but not in the way you think. I am trying to stop stress eating and binge-eating at night. I'm trying to develop a healthier relationship with food. I'm trying to lose weight, but I don't want it to control me.

I let it control me for a while. That made me hate myself. So now I'm learning to love my body, no matter what number the scale says, and I couldn't be happier.

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