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The Best Advice I Ever Got

There was a time in my life that I lived in a closet. And no, not the closet that’s being talked about during Pride month. I mean a literal closet.


I wish I had a good excuse like I was trapped in there or that I’m actually a wizard whose aunt and uncle are jerks- but I don’t.


The truth is that I was fifteen years old, incredibly depressed, being bullied at school (which I inevitably stopped going to), and found it easier to isolate myself, binge-eating and playing Pokémon platinum version in a small dark space than face the world that I felt had turned its back on me.


Now, I realize that most people would be ashamed to announce this to the rest of the world. To be totally honest, I still cringe a little bit when I think about that time in my life. But eh, if this helps someone else, then bring it on.


And, had I stayed there and never emerged from that closet, this would be a very different blog post. But I did make it out, and I have my family and friends to thank- but I especially need to give credit where it’s due, and that’s to my best friend Claire.


Now, just a little bit about Claire. Claire is a real adult, and she’s been the grown up in our relationship ever since I can remember. She has a well-paying job, is responsible, engaged to a great guy, and is strong and smart and brave. But more importantly, Claire is kind. So kind. Having undergone handfuls on hard experiences and unfair treatment, she’s told me that she holds on to those experiences so that she never treats anyone the same way she was treated.


SHE is a Recover Girl if I’ve ever seen one.


And when I was fifteen, Claire was my best friend. She was the only one outside of my mom and little sister to brave visiting me in my dark little closet. She stood up for me and stuck beside me when that wasn’t the popular or easy thing to do at our all girl’s private Catholic high school.


But, she also wasn’t afraid to tell me the truth and say it like it is. And for that, I am eternally grateful.


I can remember that day like it was yesterday. I was freshly showered because my four-year-old sister had told me the night before that I smelled like a trashcan, so I’d emerged from the pit. Claire had come over to bring me my homework since I’d skipped school, again. We walked around my front yard and we talked. At that time, the word around school is that the group of girls thought I should just die. And that day, I agreed with them.

“I’m so chubby and gross and so stupid and just live here in this stupid closet and can’t even go to school and everybody hates me and I’m so sad all the time and they’re- they’re right, I should just die,” I complained.


I imagine this wasn’t the first time Claire had heard this out of me. I can still see her face when she looked up at me and said, probably a bit out of frustration,


“Then DO something about it!”

..

.


You might be wondering, “Is that it? That’sthe best advice you ever got? Do something about it?”


I know that it sounds so simple, and it is, but for me it was revolutionary. It was like a light bulb went off inside my head.


Wait a second, maybe I do have some power here. Maybe there is something I can do. If things are going to change, they have to start with me.


And so I started walking- well, crawling really. That’s even one of the lyrics in one of my songs that I released when I was younger. “If you choose life, you might as well start crawling.” (sung in a country accent of course. At that time in my life I was literally making the choice between life and death, to stay inside of my prison or start moving forward.


So I did.


And when I say crawling, I mean crawling. Taking showers and brushing my teeth were hard. I didn’t want to, but I would hear those words over and over in my head like a bad pop song that you only know one line to,


Then do something about it.


Then do something about it.


Then do something about it.


That April, my little brother was born. I would emerge from my closet to hold him and love him. By getting out of myself and choosing to love, I found that I was able to do something about my situation. I also went to treatment for my eating disorder and stumbled my way through a healing process that unveiled a strength inside of myself I never knew I had. My Mom and my friend Claire held my hand the whole way.


But there’s something important to note here. Doing something about it didn’t mean that I willed my way out of depression. It didn’t mean that the girls stopped being mean to me. It didn’t mean that I sought revenge on them and came out on top. It didn’t remove the closet from my room, food from my house, or the temptation to escape. It didn’t mean I was cured instantly. It didn’t mean I was done growing.


Doing something about it meant taking one step, one tiny baby crawl step at a time. It was the bravery to say, “I’m hurting, but I’m not going to let that hurt dictate my life anymore. I’m going to do something about it.”


Your Task:


Today, wherever you are, whatever area you're struggling with or trying to grow in, whatever might be trying to take you out or defeat you- where can you let Claire’s words ring out true in your life? Are you going to lie there, or are you going to choose life and start crawling.


You CAN do something about it.



"Just hold my hand for this picture. It's not weird I swear!"

#recovergirl #truefriend #dosomethingaboutit

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