This has been an incredibly transformative period of my life. After being released from the hospital, I ended a serious relationship of 4 years and moved in with my parents while I start to rebuild my life and body (which I talked more about in my last post: Didn’t Realize I Was a Skeleton Person).

A lot of emotional healing going on right now along with the physical. After unintentionally starving myself for half a year and not being able to move without pain, regular activities feel like a workout. I have to get used to walking again. Every time I eat I feel so ravenous because my body is in survival mode and goes into a panic that it won’t be able to get enough sustenance. That panic is finally starting to subside after 2 weeks and I feel like I can slow down a bit, but I still have a pretty big appetite that I’m not used to. It’s also the prednisone that I’m on which has the side effects of increased appetite and weight gain. Both great things for me right now.

But aside from this physical rehabilitation, my mind and emotions are also going through a lot of healing. I hadn’t even realized that things have been officially over and I’ve been apart from my partner for a full 2 weeks. Time has been moving at an odd pace since everything changed, and I think I’m finally settling back down to a normal pace again. It felt like it had been so much longer since we were together because for a while there every day lasted a lifetime. I had so much to accomplish within the span of a day that I could barely look ahead to what the next day held. Fortunately, the massive To-Do Lists have decreased in size and urgency. I feel like I can breathe a little now and not have to function at 100% capacity for a moment. The prednisone gave me the drive to push through the hardest part of the initial separation, and now that I’m tapering off with the dose I feel like I can return to myself and find some peace.

It’s been difficult to determine what parts of my personality have come through in this big life transformation, and how much of that was just me being on a steroid medication. I know that my anger and intensity were hard to reel in for the first week there, and I was definitely experiencing the “roid rage”. That was something I’ve never experienced before in my life, having a hard time controlling my heart rate and blood pressure. So I know that those parts were due to the prednisone for sure. I can be a little forward, but I’m not typically aggressive. Growing up as an oldest sibling, I took on the qualities of a leader. I like to take charge and get things done. I recently lost a lot of that drive while being sick and incapacitated by pain, so I think that my body had a lot of pent up energy that needed to get out. As my dose decreases, I’ll be able to find the balance of pushing forward and of holding back at times. I’d been running on an adrenaline high for over a week, and I think it’s finally subsiding. My body is letting me sleep more now that the fight or flight stress response is no longer needed.

Time to change things up a bit!

This haircut was a pretty drastic move for me. I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s very hard for me to let go of my hair because it plays a central role in my self-confidence. Years ago, when I was in a similar situation and coming out of a depression, I chopped my hair to above my shoulders. That took a long time to recover from and I realized I can never go back to short hair because it’s too much a part of me. This shaving off of the red hair was symbolic of letting go of how I’d been living and that I am ready to start over. The fact that not all the red was removed shows that I still have more work to do in order to break away from my old ways. (I was also too chicken to cut off more than this because I don’t like losing my hair as I’ve said multiple times already). After we can get this color fixed up and freshen up my color in general, I will feel so much better about how my hair looks. I think it will also help to encourage me that I am improving my life in so many ways and that it shows. I’m gaining weight and energy and strength, and most importantly: the will to live and love myself again 🙂

Now I’m entering the next phase: what to do next. I’ve broken away from what my life had been before being hospitalized, and I’m searching for a new direction to take it. This has been a time of serious self-reflection of the past 4 years that I spent in this relationship. I purged a lot of old pictures that held bitter memories and I’m also reading through my old journals that I kept through the last 4 years. I’ve noticed a lot of trends and warning signs that I think I just pushed aside in order to keep things together for so long. It’s not all bad, but now that I can look at it from the outside I feel like I can see what really happened between us and where things went wrong. I took a lot of the blame onto myself for the unhealthy aspects of our relationship and ignored the faults of my partner. It got to the point where I didn’t even see the emotional abuse going on when everyone else did. It’s still hard to admit that any of that was going on because I don’t want to harbor any bitterness or regret. I also still love him and know I always will. That period of time is going to be part of our lives forever, and I don’t regret any of it because I don’t believe in regret.

This is how I moved out: this and my parents car stacked full of my things and driven to their house. Now that I’ve organied all my belogings, I’m pretty sure I could pack them all into one vehucle and just take off! That’s not what I have in mind, but it feels good to say it. I guess you could say I’m kind of a “nomad” at heart, but I can’t stand when people describe themselves that way. For me at least, it’s actually just a tendency to run from my problems and an inability to put down roots and settle down…

You can’t tell, but there are a lot of books in this thing…

Now that my mind and soul are fully awake, I’m tuning into my true, unique path for the first time in my life. The future that I decide to follow, not based on anyone else’s expectations or limitations. I’m finally free to be… me. And from now to the future, I am going to be discovering what that means and what I spend my life energy on and who and what I choose to give my love to.

(I did not draw this but it sure is pretty!)

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