**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.
By Elizabeth Capper, intern at The Emily Program
Several nights a week, I find myself lying wide awake at 4am struggling to persuade myself back to sleep. Perhaps what really is on my mind during these sleepless nights is everyone’s biggest nightmare: our insecurities.
For most of my high school and college career, I’ve let my own insecurities control every aspect of my life, finding great comfort within this control, while only furthering to harm myself during the process. For as long as I’ve known, I’ve always been a perpetual perfectionist, and never seemed to live up to my own unrealistic expectations. Whether it be the fact that “I wasn’t smart enough”, or “I wasn’t pretty enough”, I noticed myself constantly comparing myself to others.
However, through the process of my recovery, I have focused a great deal of energy on learning how to love my true self again, and how to cope with my insecurities. I was determined to rediscover who I really was behind the walls that had “protected” me for most of my life, and to become strong enough to stand on my own two feet again. As I continued to explore and unveil the depths of my depression and anxiety, self-affirmations and radical acceptance of my insecurities became essential for me. It took a lot of work. And it still does take a lot of time, patience, support, and courage to be my most vulnerable self in order to fully resonate with the idea that I am enough, and that I can overcome obstacles and pain. I continue to challenge myself daily to understand that I am exactly who I am meant to be in this moment; where I am meant to be on my journey to recovery, and who I am is enough for this day.
So I challenge you daily, when you wake up in the morning, to simply look into the mirror, stare into your eyes and remind yourself, “You are enough.” I challenge you to let these three words be your guide into the world of the unknown, in discovering your true self. This may involve having to pick yourself up over and over again until you feel stable. Each day strive for progress, not perfection. Even if a particular day is tough, keep going. You are enough. I challenge you to explore the depths of your soul and understand that your body is a gift with many unique features, beautiful in its own way. To comprehend that you are NOT alone, for you are loved by many others who care about you and who understand the depths of your struggle and successes. Most importantly I challenge you to remember that you are enough exactly as you are.
~ “Because to be no body but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~ e. e. cummings
Copyright © 2019 - Emily Program. All rights reserved.