I was listening to a woman talk the other night about how she is learning to do things that may be easy for other people but are harder for her. She mentioned getting healthy as one of those things and how it is something that doesn’t come easily to her. That got me thinking about my own journey to health.
I don’t find a lot of people who have eaten well and exercised their entire lives (although I’m sure they exist). Most people I have encountered have a story behind their motivation to live healthier. I am no different.
I used to get frustrated that everyone didn’t want to embrace a healthier style of living, but then I realized that not too long ago I also lived a very unhealthy lifestyle. I debated whether or not to share this much of my story on this blog, but I feel like only posting about the exercise and foods I eat now gives you an incomplete picture. It doesn’t tell you how I got to this point.
I was not always so receptive to treating myself well. This doesn’t only mean treating my body well, but also my mind, spirit, and everything that makes me who I am. I was very unhappy inside and had very little self esteem. You wouldn’t know from the outside because I was very good at maintaining a polished outer persona. During college, I turned to drugs and alcohol to make me feel “normal.” I received a bachelor’s degree in psychology but decided that I didn’t want to pursue further education in that field, so I was accepted to pharmacy school and moved out on my own.
It was living by myself that allowed me to let my life spiral out of control. I knew barely anyone in the area and there was little to no accountability for my actions. I became terrified of living life and the only thing that made me feel better was escaping. As my life continued to fall apart around me, I had no choice but to find my relief in more drugs and alcohol. To make a long story short, I lost my career, education, apartment, and my freedom. I had already lost my self-respect long before that.
I have not used drugs or alcohol since May 20th, 2010. I am gratefully in recovery and will be for the rest of my life. I have gotten so many things back (and more) after I reached out and asked for help, but it is still a process. Picking up the pieces has not been easy, but I am thankful for everything that has happened in my life because without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have learned that I will never be perfect (as much as I sometimes wish I was), but I can always try to be better than I was the day before.
Thank you everyone for reading and stay tuned for Part 2 where I will explain my decision to change my eating and physical habits and how it can still be a struggle to maintain balance.