I Am I & You Are You
Why are you ashamed of crying, of showing your emotions, showing your pain? Vulnerability is an opening, a freedom, and the gateway to acceptance. You are not messed up. You are not weak. You are flawed, you are honest, and you are human. You are you.
Growing up, I constantly questioned what was wrong with me. I am an introvert by nature but I accepted my shyness as a fault. People would ask, why are you so quiet? I would wonder why I was this way, why my voice began to shake in front of a crowd, why I wanted to be alone, why I felt so different. Until I entered treatment for anorexia many years later, I never saw its connection with my eating disorder. Avoiding emotion with my use or restriction and control comforted the emptiness, draining my too sensitive and shy ways I had confirmed based on the opinions of others. Consequently, I completely isolated myself within my eating disorder and I was utterly alone; I felt everything down to the bone.
During my time in treatment, I felt an anger I had never encountered at my loss of control. I began to feel emotions I had avoided due to their negative connotation, but I learned how to feel. I felt proud of myself one day, and the next I couldn’t get myself up off of the floor. The ups-and-downs were extreme, but I am thankful every day that I stayed, that I chose recovery over escape. Emotions are such a genuinely beautiful part of life, and I want you to feel. I want you to know that if someone asks you why you are the way you are, you do not need to have an explanation. You are you. I am quiet, but I can hear. I am shy and that is a part of who I am, softness I have learned to appreciate. I am I.