Happy Saturday my fellow bloggers. It is my honor to present another guest blogger on The Bipolar Writer blog. Today it my honor to present a piece from Emily. You can find her @ https://therealpuppetmaster.com
Running Towards Better Mental Health
My lungs and chest tightened; my legs had gone numb awhile ago. I had no idea how to make it up the mountain, the base of which our coach dropped us off earlier, telling us he would meet us at the top. This was my first week of training over the summer previous to my first year at VMI; being from Virginia Beach, the biggest mountain I’d run up was a hill called Mt. Trashmore- which is what is sounds like- a pile of trash that was then covered with grass, transformed into a park. I don’t know how I made it up that mountain in my first week, but after that, training was all mountains and hills- running them became easy- like breathing. The easier running became, the more weight I lost, and the more weight I lost, the faster I was. My coach had given me a goal weight when I came to VMI- 112 pounds at five foot, six inches. I scoffed at the time, being 120 pounds light and healthy. Cross country season flew by; I blinked and winter track had also passed. Spring track started and I was faster than ever and training to win our regional meet. I looked in the mirror and was pleased. I was 104 pounds; 104 pounds heavy. That season I placed third in all of my events at regionals, smashed my personal bests and surpassed expectations- especially for attending a military school where there was insufficient time to train and a constant lack of sleep, but I began to be injured more frequently. I knew I was too thin- I had anorexia and amenorrhea, so I started to eat, which led to binging and purging.
It took me three years to overcome this psychological addiction. It took external motivators at first, such as knowing the risk of my enamel. Eventually I was able to use internal motivators, such as the desire to overcome an urge.
Overcoming an addiction is extremely difficult. Obviously, it would be ideal if we didn’t let anyone or anything get to us to the point that we succumb to an unhealthy pattern that leads to addiction, but we also can’t just beat ourselves up for it. Life happens! Be patient with yourself and understand that even a psychological disorder such as an eating disorder is just as addictive as a drug addiction, even if society doesn’t see it that way. I was ashamed of my disorder at first, but once I embraced myself- who I am, what I’ve done and what I’ve been through- I started to love myself again. Never hide who you are. If anyone makes you feel ashamed for what you’ve been through or what you’re going through, they don’t deserve to know you. Surround yourself with people who are as real as you are.