Shake it Off

I wish I could tell you recovery was easy. I wish I could say you won’t have bad days. I wish I could say you will feel better all the time. But I cannot tell you these things because I would be lying. Yes, my recovery has been great; I am truly so much better and happier than I was even a few months ago. But sometimes…sometimes my thoughts and my mirror get the better of me.

I have always struggled in fitting in and feeling like I belong. A sense of belonging is one Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and I knew I could not achieve things higher on the pyramid because I was stuck feeling like an outsider. Being here at Cal Poly, making friends, being a part of a sorority, I finally felt like I found my place in this world, at least for now. I’m not saying those things have changed, but sometimes I can’t help but feel out of place.

Last night, I went Halloween costume shopping with my roommates–well, they shopped, I watched. I do not have the money to spend on a costume (or accessories for a costume) that I probably won’t wear again. I would much rather wear something I have and roll with it. As a college student, I cannot spend money I do not have. [Sidenote: dear Lord, I need a job. Remind me to job hunt later…] But they were all so excited and looking for specific things. I just kind of felt awkward and out of place, like I was bringing the mood of the evening down. I just needed to buy milk and cereal at Target, so for the first time, I didn’t want to be out shopping, tempting myself to spend money.

I also had to get back to campus because I had homework to finish. I was meeting my friend at the library at a certain time, and I could not miss it. When he got there, he peer-pressured me into studying with him and the rest of his pledge class (as in for a fraternity). I gave in because I figured I could still get work done; they all had homework too, after all. Also, because I’d already been feeling awkward and out of place, I thought I still would around them. My socially awkward tendencies would allow me to read and take notes for the pop quiz I knew I would take the next morning. At first, it was a little weird: one girl amongst about forty guys in a library after midnight. Without a doubt, that would make me an outsider.

In reality, though, they are a really great group of guys, and it was a little too easy to be comfortable with them. And this was where my night turned around, where I remembered why I wanted to go through this whole recovery process. And to top it off, I got a wonderful text from Vanessa saying “Ashley we’re having roomie separation anxiety we miss you :(” which made my day about five times better.

Those feelings aside, I have also been having a hard time with my body image these last few days. I consider skipping meals and whatnot, but I know that will just make me slip back into my old ways. I need to be healthy, not fake-healthy. It doesn’t help that I have about a dozen brownies in my pantry right now. They are too good to pass up sometimes. I just need to watch myself. It can be hard to look in the mirror and see my thigh gap shrink slightly or ignore my food-baby right after a meal, but skipping meals is not healthy; I know that. I just need reminding some days.

I am loved, and I believe that, bad days and all.

I also try to end these kinds of posts on a positive note because I realize how upsetting they can be. Plus, writing about the bright side of things makes me think on the bright side of things. That is very important. After how pessimistic I used to be, I am now being as optimistic as possible.

But that is my positive note: I went to be feeling good about myself. I am able to see all that is wonderful in my life without even glancing at the negative. I cannot even think of negative things happening right now. That is how I know I am healing. It’s a process, but I am embracing it.

But Halloween is tomorrow! I still don’t really know what I am going to be yet…My roomies and I were thinking about being the Pretty Little Liars because there are four of us. I guess I will have to go raid my closet and see what I can work with–or my roommates’ closets because we are all the same size. Any ideas? And I’d love to know what y’all are dressing up as!

ALSO: Taylor Swift’s new album is so freaking good. I cannot stop listening to it. I am obsessed!!

Hmmmm I think I need a midday nap right about now…it is much needed, as I was up until four in the morning. Go homework, procrastination, and distractions!



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