If you were to ask me a decade ago, where I see myself in ten years, I’m certain that my answer would reflect my current circumstances. Of course it wasn’t easy getting here.
I graduated high school 7th in my class with a 3.9 GPA. I was the ideal prospect for college and would be one of the first in my family to go. I went to college for two semesters and completely lost my identity. I developed a dangerous relationship with food and began using it as means of self infliction. Initially, I was in denial about how much damage I was doing. I assumed because I was strictly consuming healthy foods, there was no harm in my eating habits. I spent most of my time in the gym. I isolated myself because I didn’t want to be forced to eat outside of what my mind deemed “healthy.” I remember lying to people and telling them I had diabetes, so I wouldn’t be put in a situation where I had to eat pizza or ice cream. I dropped so much weight, that my body started shutting down. I was completely out of control. It wasn’t until one of the customers at the diner told me that I looked like an Ethiopian that I became self aware of how much damage I was doing.
Although, this was progress, it wasn’t the end. After depriving myself of brownies and donuts and sugar in general, I began to binge. Everyday after work I would sit in my mom’s kitchen shoving as much food as I possibly could into my body. I remember putting maple syrup on everything. I barely tasted the food because I was eating it so fast. After about 30 minutes of barbaric indulgence, I would go upstairs and sleep for two hours because I was so disgusted with myself. I gained 30 lbs in less than two months. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I finally got to a point where I wanted to get better, but I was too afraid to go to the gym in order to do so. I was so afraid of what everyone would think. I remember calling out of work,”fat.” I begged my sister to work for me because I felt too uncomfortable in my skin to even be seen in public. I bought some loose fitting clothes that were forgiving on my softer, curvier body. This motivated me to finally gather the courage to get back in the gym. At first it was awkward. People stared at me as if I was a stranger. I went from this 110 little figure with a six pack to a 170 lb potato sack. I remember a guy I would regularly see there asking me if I was pregnant. Although, it was painful to hear, I couldn’t blame him. I had literally gone from one extreme to the next in three months. I got better. I went to the gym regularly again and avoided my “triggers.” I accepted the fact that I had an addiction to food and I needed to find some balance.
It was right around the time that I was establishing balance that the man who would later be my husband asked me on a date. I hastily said yes and it wasn’t until an hour before the date, that I bailed on him. I was finally figuring myself out again and becoming comfortable with who I was, but I still wasn’t ready to date. About 6 months later, my future husband persisted and asked me out on a date again. This time I did not bail on him. It was history from there. I continued to practice healthy eating habits. I enjoyed pizza with him on Saturday nights and could eat a salad without feeling like I was going down a dark path of restricted eating again. Brandon was the one who fortified my quest for balance. He completed me in every way that I wasn’t. He loved me for the person I was, even though I was healing from an ugly version of myself.
A couple years later we moved in together and got a dog. This would be my first dog ever. I always wanted a golden retriever and my mom continually shut me down. She said when I moved out, I could get a dog. That’s what I did. Max filled in a part of my life, I never knew was vacant. I never knew how much I needed a dog, until I had one. About a year later, Brandon exploited Max’s cuteness with an adorable proposal. Max practically sealed the deal. How could I say no to those chocolate brown eyes? A year and a half later we had the most magical wedding outside of the Stonington borough. I knew that I had found the guy who completed me and loved me without limitations.
A couple months after being married, we decided we wanted to start a family. It felt like forever before I saw two pink lines appear on a pregnancy test. Month after month I would get discouraged that it wasn’t happening. We’ve been conditioned to believe that pregnancy can happen so quickly. Although that is true for some people, I was beginning to think it wasn’t our fate. A few days after my birthday, I sat on the toilet with Max at my feet trying not to look at the pregnancy test on the sink. I got up and prepared myself for defeat. It was to my surprise that the test read positive. That moment in time was pure euphoria. It has burrowed deep into my heart and will always be one of my favorite memories. I enjoyed being pregnant. My mind, body, soul and spirit have never felt more in harmony. I treasured every day I got to be a vessel to the greatest gift my body would ever give me. Our beautiful baby boy was born on December 14. I had an eventful labor and ended up getting a c section which would be my first surgery ever. Days after bringing beau home from the hospital my c section incision opened. This would prompt some of the most trying times of my life. I was so tired I was having hallucinations and pain radiated throughout my entire body with every move I made. I had to be a mom to this vulnerable little boy, when I myself, was weak. I began to have intrusive thoughts. I dwelled on the thought of dying and it robbed me of some of the most precious moments with my son. Slowly, I emerged from the depths of the newborn stage. I started to find a rhythm and Beau surrendered a couple hours of sleep here and there. I got better. I evolved into the mom, I always wanted to be. I love my son, but I also love motherhood. I feel so fortunate to relish in the purest form of love there could ever be.
Amongst all of the excitement of being new parents, Brandon and I bought a lot of land. Initially, we were looking to buy a house, but we were having a hard time finding our “dream home.” We are so excited to embark on the exciting and stressful endeavor of building.
This past decade has been an era of growth for me. I’ve hit rock bottom. I’ve been stripped down to the most vulnerable version of myself. I’ve convinced myself that I’m not cut out for this life. I’ve faced my demons from the inside out. I’ve accomplished dreams I used to fantasize about as a little girl playing with Barbie dolls. I’ve evolved into a woman that I’m proud of. I’m comfortable in my skin and so completely happy and grateful for the life I’m living. The last ten years has molded me into the person I was always meant to be. The good, the bad, the ugly. It all led me to this point. I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in ten years.