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My forty-second chance

I have been given so many chances in my life, so many opportunities to change, but I haven’t done anything about it yet. I feel as though I’ve not only let my friends and family down, but also myself. All these second chances have been piling up, and my karma bill is running high.

Me, age 17.

Having an eating disorder for 6+ years has taken a huge toll on my life. It’s affected my relationships with the people I love, it’s ravaged my body, and it made me feel as though I was simply a passive observer in my own life. I hadn’t really been living: the disease made me reclusive, secretive, manipulative. It grew inside me like a parasite, taking over from the inside out and eating me alive. I wasn’t me anymore, just a weakened shell of my former self.

In the second semester of my freshman year of college, I was taken out of school and hospitalized for treatment. I was there for two months, living first as an inpatient on the unit and later in a halfway house with other eating disorder patients. While I was there, I was stripped of all control, all privacy and trust. Without my eating disorder, I felt like I had nothing, when really I was being given a chance to regain my life.

The universe has dealt me a difficult hand, although it has also given me strength to push forward, and to use my experiences as a way to help others and spread awareness. I am truly blessed to be alive, and to have family and friends who have stuck by me despite my not being present for almost a decade.

Me, today.

This blog is for them as much as it is for me. It is a way to document my journey to good health as well as hold me accountable for sticking with it.

No more chances – it’s time for change.

Please join me on this rambling road of recovery, of good health and spirit, and happy mind. I’m going to share my own personal stories alongside articles about health and wellness, and hopefully by making this public I’ll realize that I can’t afford to mess up this forty-second chance at life.

3 Comments on My forty-second chance

  1. Natalie Ball // November 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm // Reply

    Amazing Alexa. I had chills reading this. Your struggles are being funneled into such positive and healthy attitudes and behaviors (aka this!) I love you and am so proud of you. And understand and relate and break and feel every single thing you have written thus far. Im always here. Love Natalie (one of your FORMER ED patients)

  2. Thank goodness there were concerned people in your life who helped to you to secure help, even if it meant put life and moving forward with your education on hold temporarily. You may not realize it now, but, it seems like you are a strong person and it’s probably because you’ve overcome so many obstacles. Something that I’ve always had to struggle with is my level of self-esteem and I think the more love that we have for ourselves, the more we will treat ourselves better.

    • Rosie, thanks for your comment! I’m glad there’s some crossover readers from the Lymphie Life :)

      As always, your words mean a lot. I think, for us, the lymphedema makes it a lot more difficult to accept ourselves as the beautiful beings we are. You’re absolutely right, too – if you love yourself, you’ll treat yourself a whole lot better. It’s something I’m working on, and I hope you’re working on it, too.

      Be well!

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