Nineteen life lessons for nineteen years.

Hey! Thought I would do a post on 19 lessons I’ve learnt this year as tomorrow it’s my 19th birthday! Writing this post really made me reflect on how far I’ve come and I’m proud of myself. Although this year has been the hardest ever, and hopefully the hardest I will ever have, I’m glad it’s over but it has got me to where I am today so I’m grateful for that! Hope you all have a lovely Sunday and enjoy this post. Big love.

1. I am growing (in more than one way) all the time.

I am on a huge journey right now and I’m on the way to greater consciousness. I can feel my old ED thoughts and habits fade away day by day and I think that’s pretty cool. I’ve learnt that these behaviours have made me who I am today but I can’t change the past. They’re kind of like the stabilisers you get for a bike; they’ve helped me get to where I am, but now they seem a bit crummy and slow and I’m ready to move on to bigger, better things.

2. Forgiveness is my greatest superpower.

Being able to forgive someone for their flaws, bad days, unkind moment and mistakes is amazing. I can even apply it to myself which is a complete game-changer and means I don’t have to punish myself 24/7! Imagine that.

3. I love myself.

I can now openly embrace a feeling of self-love. I love myself because I I understand who I am. I’m the most committed S/O that I will ever have. From now on, I’m going to show myself some love whenever I can and when I mess up and do something stupid, I’m going to let it pass. Turns out that I’m pretty cool and so many other people love me, so why shouldn’t I?

4. Being friendly buys happiness for free.

Friendliness is simple, and free, and amazing. I can make someone’s day a bit better by just smiling at them. How cool is that! I will always recognise that I have this power and won’t take it for granted.

5. I don’t take it personally.

If someone starts talking unkindly to me, I’ve learnt that they’ve probably got something going on that has nothing to do with me. Friends sometimes get things wrong and say things they don’t mean, but that’s okay. We’re only human.

6. I can always choose to be peaceful.

My heart is a peaceful, tranquil and untroubled place when I want it to be. It’s a place where confusion and chaos aren’t welcome but I can invite all my family and friends. My peacefulness is important and I’m going to make sure my heart stays peaceful so I can keep on enjoying life and making memories with the ones I love. I must protect my heart, and my calmness at all costs.

7. I’ve got the power!

Over the past year and a bit I’ve discovered my strength. I can do anything I set my mind to and will always try my hardest. I’ve got power because I’m grounded. I’m like a tank, not one that’s used for war but a peaceful, puppy and rainbow tank that feels strong and has the ability to do anything it wants, but doesn’t. I will harness my power when needs be, but it will be for happy, joyful reasons and not for destruction.

8. Nature is awesome.

Before you dismiss me as some hippie-dippy, just think about being outside. Talk a walk in the woods; smell those flowers; heck hug a tree if you want to! Nature is cool and we can all learn something from it. You might think I’m being ironic here, but even if you don’t agree and you do go and hug a tree, I can guarantee you it will hug you back. Nature doesn’t discriminate and neither should you.

9. There are always alternative options for me.

Even in the darkest moments, I am always open to an abundance of possibilities. I often need to remind myself of these unlimited options, but that’s alright. I guess you could say that life is a little bit like a hotel breakfast buffet (i.e. AMAZING). You get to choose whatever the heck you want, however weird. If you want some cold cuts with your cocopops, go for it. There are no limits. Who am I to judge other people’s options, too?

10. Generosity gets me places.

Giving generously to others around me is paramount, even when I feel I have nothing. I know that whatever is going around, there is more than enough for everyone and nobody deserves to be left out. If I stop the flow of giving I will feel like the person who breaks the conga or who doesn’t do the Mexican wave. (Not cool).

11. I am grateful for the little things.

I pledge to be thankful for all the little things. Even when big life sucks and I’ve lost all hope, I will think of a few things I can at least be a bit grateful for. I will never, ever take these things for granted again. Sweet potato. Hot showers. Shuggs. Guinea pigs squeaking. Hot chocolate. Fruit. And the fact that humans created a pretty amazing thing called the internet that allows me to have an incredible quality of life and keep in contact with my family and friends on the daily.

12. I can release myself from all judgement.

I find my inner critic, call it into my big swanky head office, and fire it. He should have gone a long time ago. As he leaves my office, I let out a big sigh, shake my head and say “who hired that guy anyway?”. Thank God he’s gone

13. Stretching outside my comfort zone is scary, but necessary.

To beat my eating disorder I need to be a really brave warrior. Showing it that I CAN and WILL eat more, eat “fear foods” and stop moving. By stepping outside my comfort zone everyday, I am getting closer to winning, step by step. Going through scary things is horrible, but it helps us grow and progress as humans.

14. I’m allowed to be gentle to myself.

Recovery is like, really tough. I’ve learnt I won’t recover fully if I don’t take the time to rest and nurture myself. If I was recovering from cancer or a heart attack or a broken leg I would allow myself to heal without a second thought. I need to do that for myself now. My body and brain need time, care, nourishment and a hell of a lot of TLC right now. I’ve been through hell. I’m allowed to be kind to myself.

15. The dark clouds always pass.

When times are dark and stormy, it can feel never-ending. It never is though. I just need to learn to hold on, be brave, distract myself and keep plodding on. It always passes.

16. Nothing good will happen if you don’t commit.

I will make today MY day. And tomorrow. And the next day. This year is MY year. I won’t give up until I win.

17. I am allowed to eat anything I want.

YES. Yes, the sweets by the counter are for me. Yes, the biscuits by the coffee is for me. Yes, the dessert is for me. Yes, the brownies being passed round school are for me. Yes, the choccies being eaten after dinner are for me. Yes, the free samples are for me. I am allowed to eat whatever and whenever I want. I will not let my eating disorder persuade me otherwise. I am allowed icecream, cake, pizza, porridge, curry, nuts, snacks, chips, curgers, bread, butter, sugar, cake, ice cream, ANYTHING! WITHOUT COMPENSATION

18. I respect myself and am stronger than I previously thought.

This was one of the hardest of them all. But the fact I can close my eyes, and feel my heart beating and doing it’s best every minute to the keep me alive shows how strong and incredible my body is. I destroyed it completely but still, it is working all the time to give me the best possible life. I respect my body and will do whatever I can to nourish and look after it.

19. Food is just food.

All over the world billions of people are eating and enjoying different types of food; enjoying different cuisines; taking pleasure in tastes and textures, colours, temperatures, comfort, fuel, fun. I can too. Why is a lollipop safe for a child to eat but not me? Why is lasagne safe for millions of people to eat but not me? I will question the ridiculous rules my eating disorder has established for me and rip them up. They are bollocks after all. (Isn’t that right, Mum?)

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