Written by: Ryan K
Originally posted: 12/17/2015
Actors, musicians and athletes are some of the most admired with some people going as far as calling them heroes. I used to feel envious whenever I watched an unbelievable game or live performance, and wonder why I wasn't granted such talent. But that's the thing; much of their success relies on innate abilities. Not saying it doesn't take hard work to hone your craft—whatever it is—but my perspective on the kind of achievement I deem admirable has changed. A lot.
In the spirit of #tbt, let’s go back to getting painfully real about struggling (ugh, this is gonna hurt), when the only five people who read this were me and a few people in India. Not really sure how that happened, but hi!
Last night, I fell down. After making so many sacrifices over this holiday season to put my recovery first, I fell.The holidays are known for being a stressful time of year, but for some of us … Oooh boy. It’s a doozie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super pumped that Jesus was born, but the circus that this time of year has become is really fucking tough.For one, there is food. Everywhere. All different types of food. I’m sure some of you who don’t get it are all, SMDH and rolling your eyes or whatever it is skeptics do, but let me assure you – this isn’t a cute little first-world problem simply based on the desire to be thin. Nobody chooses to have a crippling fear of what “normal” people enjoy. Nobody chooses to be consumed in anxiety for days leading up to a party – something that’s supposed to be fun. You may scoff at this now, but you probably have no idea if someone has enviously watched you enjoy the hors d'oeuvres and wish she or he could do the same. It’s simply not a silly phase that ends when you “snap out of it” and “just eat” and it’s vital for EVERYONE to be educated so we can get some proper mental health care in this country. Yes, everyone, whether you think this is relevant to your life or not. Spoiler alert: It is.
How about I see your eating disorder and raise you his buddy booze. Alcohol is absolutely rampant this time of year and excessive drinking is very much strongly encouraged. O Holy Night, the wine is freely flowing. I was a part of the madness for many years, oftentimes being the life of the party. With some help, I finally accept that drinking knocks ED recovery off the list of priorities and tends to start an extremely self-destructive cycle of self-loathe, numbness, rinse, repeat.
So not ideal.
Every day I battle these demons in my head. Sometimes it feels so loud up there I want to scream. Food and drink are major in-your-face parts of the holidays and I fight every day to navigate this endless maze. I skipped both of my company’s holiday parties—including the one last night--in order to stay on track. This wasn't easy because these were some of my favorite nights … Who doesn’t love feeling warm and fuzzy while brushing shoulders with the senior executives? But, no. I’ve put in so much work already and I know what I need to do.
I ended up going home and drinking a shitload of wine.
Today was hard. I was disappointed and ashamed but also really pissed. So I missed out on the party but ended up drinking anyway? What a moron. Why can’t I just be normal? Why can’t I just be a normal 30-year-old person who goes to the holiday party like a normal person and just have fun and then joke about the dumb shit people did and then life goes on? I felt like I had been grounded, but for the rest of my life. I tried hard to practice some of that good ‘ol self-compassion I like to talk about but it’s so much easier to believe others deserve it and not yourself.
But here’s the thing. Everyone is dealt different cards and it’s completely counterproductive to compare yourself to others. Just gotta do your best to make the most of what you’ve got. I know this, but I forgot for a little while. My heroes are the people who fight every day for recovery. The ones who face life’s usual challenges while fighting their own war every minute of every day. People may look down on people with “mental illness” and view them as weak or broken, but you have no idea how much strength is required to face these excruciating obstacles. Spoiler alert: It’s a fucking lot. People say we are only given what we are able to handle, and maybe the joke’s on everyone else because they wouldn’t be able to jump through these hoops with the same grace, courage and resilience as the amazing people I’ve met through this journey. So yeah, I fell, but I’m still strong. I didn't break.
I fell but watch me get the fuck back up again.
original blog can be found at www.ryandoesresi.com