There’s something about being in the mountains that makes all my problems seem small and insignificant. I think it’s because they are so big and beautiful; there’s no room for anything else. A couple weeks ago, I got to stay in the Rocky Mountains for a few days with my boyfriend, Steven. We had a lot of fun, and it will always be one of my favorite memories. But for me, it was a little more than just a relaxing vacation.
I wasn’t planning to write about my experience, but a blogger that I’ve come to love wrote a post that changed my mind. I hope that by sharing this, I will encourage some of you who deal with the same things I do.
I got out to take some photos earlier this week, so you’ll get to see them too! 🙂
Before I write about the trip, I think that I need to explain a few things that have been going on in my life. Most of you know that I was very sick a few months ago, and I had gotten some medical diagnoses that weren’t good.
Here’s the part that you don’t know:
One day, I came across an article about eating disorders and their effects on the body. I curiously went through the list in the article, and I noticed that I had every physical symptom of being severely malnourished. I had a dangerously slow heart rate, thin hair growing everywhere, low body temp, and lots of other unpleasant things. I desperately needed to eat more.
But I was afraid. I was afraid of having pain and nausea and ending up back in the emergency room. I would go to bed hungry because it was easier than dealing with the anxiety around eating and the pain that usually followed.
Starvation causes the body to release endorphins that lower anxiety, so I didn’t know that I was hurting myself. I thought that I must be doing something right because my anxiety had dwindled down to zero. I actually felt better not eating.
After more research, I realized that I was not anywhere near okay, and I started the AIP Protocol for my Celiac Disease as well as making myself eat three meals and three snacks per day. Each meal and snack was a fight with my brain, and many times, I didn’t think my stomach could handle the food. Within the first week, I had gained ten pounds.
After a few more weeks, I was starting to trust my stomach a little more, but my anxiety had returned full force. I was afraid that my stomach would just keep stretching and stretching, and my confidence plummeted. I have never thought much about my looks, but having a disproportionate belly and stick thin arms and legs did start to get to me. It was just in time for me to see Steven after eight months apart. Great.
While he was here, I had terrible thoughts about myself. Even though I knew that he didn’t think anything of my new weird proportions, I felt ugly. I was embarrassed to eat outside of the house because of how big my stomach grew afterwards, but I knew that I had to eat to get better. So I ignored those thoughts!
Later on in the visit, we decided to take a weekend trip to the mountains so that we could have some time to ourselves to talk and catch up. It was beautiful and relaxing. The second day into our trip, though, I had a panic attack-the first in months. I had a twinge in my chest, and my brain blew it out of proportion. I was scared, and I cried a lot. I hated that he had to see me like that, but it meant so much to me that he was there to help me through it. After I had calmed down, we went for a drive, and all I could think was that I was a terrible girlfriend. I didn’t want to be such a mess for the short time we had together.
The last day arrived too soon, and we headed back home. We were both pretty down because we knew that it was almost time for goodbye again. I spent most of the ride home lost in my own thoughts, and they were still rotten. I was beating myself up about every little thing and thinking about my constantly bloated stomach way too much. I felt gross on the inside and the outside.
As I was looking out the window, my thoughts shifted to the creator of the mountains – a much better subject. I thought that if the mountains were this beautiful and amazing, He must be even more so.
And then something in my mind clicked, and I realized that the same creator that made those beautiful mountains made me too.
He looked down on all the beauty in the world and decided that it needed one of me.
Why would I say such hateful things about something created by the sculptor of the mountains?
This really came at the perfect time, and it brought me to tears (happy ones). I grabbed Steven’s hand and held it tight. I was so thankful for him, and I was so thankful for God.
I will always have bad days with my anxiety and thoughts, but knowing these things and reminding myself of them always pushes them farther away.
This post is a little scary for me, but I really wanted to share it after reading the post I linked above. I don’t think that I talk enough about my experiences and struggles, and I feel like my posts usually paint a much prettier picture of my life and thoughts than reality.
Anyway, thank you for reading and sticking with me through this strange time. Having everyone’s support means the world to me. 🙂
I hope you all have a fantastic week!