At the time of writing this, it is almost midnight on a Thursday. I haven’t published a blog in over six months, yet here I am, awake, sipping tea, and spilling my heart out on a page. The nostalgia is washing over me.
Confession: I have not held much integrity in this space.
When I first began blogging back in 2010, it was a way to track my recovery journey in a [very] public way and create conversation around a topic not many were discussing. I wrote mostly about Eating Disorders and Body Image, but at the core, it was simply about being open and honest about my struggles. My goal was twofold: to hold myself accountable, and to let others who could relate know they aren’t alone.
Somewhere along the line, I lost sight of that. Or maybe not sight, but feeling. I couldn’t feel the connection anymore. My relationship with you (my readers) is just that: a relationship. And as with most relationships, often when we feel a sense of disconnect it can be just as much about us stepping away and creating distance as it is about the other party doing the same. In this case, it was all me.
Slowly, and often subconsciously, I admit I’ve created distance over the years. As life trecked along and anxiety and depression settled in where an eating disorder once was, I began to fear the very safe space I’d created.
What was once a haven for connection with self and others became a space I wanted to hide from. Writing shifted in my mind, becoming a prison cell I’d escaped and continued desperately to run further and further away from.
However, in reality, it was the other way around: my hiding place was the prison, and writing is my freedom.
I’ve tried so many times to write this post, and yet each time I’ve fallen short because I never fully understood or connected with its purpose.
If you scroll through the archives here on this blog you will see a stream of resolutions, commitments, and posts entitled “I’m back….” buffered by little to no follow-through in between. On their own, there is nothing wrong with them. However, as a whole, they represent a loss of integrity, not only to others but to myself.
Every time I say I am “back,” every time I speak of plans, make commitments or otherwise promise change in action, I am making promises to myself just as much as I am to anyone who is reading. Because let’s be honest, the only guarantee reader for anything I write is myself.
But this post is not about dwelling on my failures or shortcomings. It’s about new beginnings. More than that, it’s about new commitments.
So what’s the difference between the commitments I am making now versus the ones I’ve made in the past?
The change is not in the commitments I am making, but in who I am being within these commitments.
What I am saying may sound redundant and exhausted at this point; however, how I am being makes this entirely new, and that’s what counts.
I am not the person I was 3 years ago, or even three months ago. Although there isn’t much evidence on the front-end, behind-the-scenes I’ve been fully dedicated to self-exploration and transformation. I’ve taken action through counselling, self-care practices, research, and working with a coach.
I am ready to recommit because I am finally equipped to follow through. I’ve done and continue to do the hard work, and I am ready to step up and move forward once again.
So here are my commitments:
- I commit to no longer avoid this space out of fear
- I commit to following through from a place of integrity
- I commit to showing up–in good times and bad–for you (my readers) but most importantly, for myself
Before I close off this piece, I want to address one final thing. As I mentioned at the beginning, I am writing this on a Thursday. You may not find this significant, but I do.
See, in the past, I always procrastinated recommitting to a fresh start with the excuse of it needing to be at a monumental time–“The new year” “next Monday” “The first of the month”.
I had used this mindset as an excuse to allow my fears and anxieties to take control.
Even with writing this piece and making a fresh commitment, my fear-driven self said I should wait until Monday, or the 1st of December, or better yet, New Year’s Day. A lifetime living with my own mind, however, has taught me that each time one of those days arrived, I’d find a reason to push it back to a more “perfect” or “momentous” day.
Posting this blog now is my way of breaking this pattern. It is a random day of the week, on a random day of the month, during a random month of the year.
Thursday, November 9th: it’s the perfect time for a new beginning, not because the day itself is special, but because the day is today.
How have you been showing up lately? If you could recommit and start again, how would you do it differently? How would you be?
Takeaway quote: “You’re under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.” (source)
In other news:
A new website design is coming soon! After redesigning Libero’s site (check it out) I need a creative break before tackling this next big project. But I published this post, anyways rather than waiting until my site looks “perfect”–another win!
Please take a minute to check out Libero’s #GivingTuesday Campaign. Giving Tuesday is November 28th and we’ve set a goal to raise $5,000 by the end of the year so we can continue fighting stigma and offering support for mental health! You can learn more and donate at liberomagazine.com/givingtuesday — If you aren’t able to give, please still help us spread the word about the campaign!
2 thoughts on “Showing Up and Holding Myself Accountable”
Lauren, thank you for your honesty in posting this. I know how it feels to want to hide and I acknowledge the courage it takes to break the familiar, comfortable patterns in honor of yourself and creating a new commitment.
Laura, thank you so much for this! It is always encouraging to know others can relate and have walked a similar journey. xLaurenB