Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Outer Makeover, Inner Healing

So real quick before I start this post I wanted to announce a new tab you will see at the top: prayer requests. The power of prayer has become so evident in my life and recovery and I say the more prayer the better. Together we are a strong force. So when my friend shared prayer request for me today the idea got sprouted in my mind to share on here. So if you all have prayer request just email them to me :) Also, please pray for my friend who is in extreme pain and had breathing complications from anesthesia after a knee surgery. More details will be on the tab (probably tomorrow).  Now onto the post :)

Today two exciting things happen: I met my Xmas Angel and I got my hair redone. These are connected because my Xmas Angel owns a salon (will add name if I get her permission) and let me get my hair done and highlighted for free. This isn't even the wish she is granting...that is for specialized running shoes I will need once I get to the right weight. She is also forever a part of my life. She is an amazing, beautiful, shining example that recovery not only is possible but also is worth fighting for. She is my Xmas Angel, a new part of my family, and my newest hero :)

The experience of meeting my Xmas Angel was freaking amazing. She is so kind and open about her recovery. Seeing her...this real life example of recovery. A woman with a family, successful (and freaking awesome) salon, following her dreams, running 5Ks, and being screwed everything ED said. She is in recovery and she is ED's idea that recovery will make me feel horrible is a lie. She has a family and recovery doesn't mean I will be alone and unloveable (another lie revealed). She not only followed her dreams but got her dream of a ED's lies that I won't be successful is just that....a LIE. ED says I will never be able to be fit again unless I angel runs 5Ks in a healthy yet again another lie. And the idea that I will be fat and ugly by recovering....that idea was shattered and stomped out like the lie it was as soon as I laid eyes on this beautiful woman. I'm not exaggerating...she is gorgeous. But it didn't end there..the healing only begun.

It was then time for me to get my new hair-do. First off the stylist was brilliant and so much fun and actually wanted to get to know me. For a normal person, this may be an every day experience. To have a new person ask questions about you. But for me...for someone who thinks so low of was nice to have someone want to know about me. She made me feel like, in that moment, I was the only person that mattered. That she cared about me more than as a customer, but as a person. It also was nice to talk about myself and not feel bad about it. Also, by having me engage in coversation....ED had no way to talk. It was the best two hours of my life. ED was completely was just me, the stylist, my angel, and a great time.

Saying bye to my blonde :) 
And my time at the salon ended with me having a new hair-do, but I didn't realize till my ride home just what that new hairstyle did. First off, I will post pics, I just didn't have my charged camera so give me a few days and I will take pictures. But this trip was more than a new hairstyle. Let's start with the biggest change...the blonde I had in my hair (and hated so much) was gone. Taken out. Done. Literally you would never know there was blonde in my hair. This doesn't seem big...I know...but there is more to this.

This showed me the beauty in my Savior and how he sees me. Despite the "stains" in my life...the times I've messed up, the times I've struggled, all of the times I feel I let God down...he doesn't see those stains. Not only does he was them away like they did my blonde....but there is no remnants. Not a speck left....I am seen as clean and pure. This go for all my insecurities too. Everything I see as bright blonde in brunette hair...God washes it away with the truth that every part of me is part of his beautiful creation. That I am whole and beautiful the way I am. There are no streaks, or chunks, or bright colors out of place. Everything flows together smoothly and beautifully as he desires...just like my hair does now.

Another important thing about this blonde being gone, is it was from before I committed to recovery. It also wasn't something I chose but something I did to please others. Now, I am at a commited place in recovery. I am at a place where I am learning who I AM, I am doing the things I WANT, I am finding MYSELF. And I can't do that if I let others' opinions dictate my actions and decisions. So with this blonde gone...this piece of my past, this representation of how I valued others over myself...I don't know...I just feel more like Jess can shine through. I can't explain how exciting it was to look in the mirror and not see that blonde. Not see that constant reminder of letting others choose something for me. That blaring example of a flaw I saw in myself. It was gone...I was free...I am free...because it can never come back :)

Of course the makeover can't be about taking away the's about bringing in the new too. And that meant new highlights. Honestly I didn't know what color I wanted... I looked at pics online but nothing spoke to me. So I did something I don't do often...I put my trust in someone else. I let the stylist use me as her blank long as she promised no blonde :p Boy am I glad I did. I have these beautiful reddish-brownish highlights, that look natural yet light. I look mature. I have this glow and radiance about me. When I look in the mirror...I saw something beautiful. And that beauty was in me.

Honestly I spent the car ride just staring at myself in the mirror and checking out my new color. Do you get what this means? The fact that I spent a two hour car ride (thanks Atlanta traffic) looking in a mirror and not cutting myself down. It means there is something even more new about me than the highlights. The beginning sparks of acceptance, of possible self-love, but at least self-acceptance are starting to appear. I love my hair. I love how natural and flowy it is. Look...there is something about me I know people will see before they think about my weight (which they probably don't think about anyway). And even if they do...when I look in the mirror I see my new highlights before my shape. And right now I don't accept my body, but my highlights I love. This new color...its brought light back to me. I can look in the mirror and have time to see something I like  and then dart away before self-hate comes in. Maybe this will allow me to accept other parts of me too....but for now I am happy with where I am at.

Of course, love sometimes puts you in a mental place you don't listen and I also realized on my ride home that I didn't quite understand what the stylist had told me about my highlights. She said something about something washing out and all the sudden I freaked that she meant my highlights would rinse out. Luckily though....I have connections with an Xmas angel who got me the answers I needed. This brings us to my final transformation realization....basically a summary of recovery. You see the more I shampoo the more the gloss (that stuff needed to get rid of the blonde) will rinse out allowing my highlights to shine through.

Is that not recovery? I mean we take the leap of faith and get rid of our ED (the blonde) when we give in to recovery. We accept all the restrictions and rules of our team that are there to keep us safe. And we begin to make the steps to heal. You see the rules and restrictions are like the gloss...they get rid of our ED. And the steps to heal...well that's like the shampoo. So as we continue to heal the rules and restrictions get to be lifted as we begin to get stronger. To get strong enough to fight ED on our own. And as the restrictions fall away and we continue to practice recovery, the beautiful parts of our true self and of our new life of freedom...they shine through. These are the highlights.

You first in recovery we are so scared and so focused on the restrictions...we don't see the new future ahead of us. Even as we go through's not revealed all at once. Neither is our true self. Both our true self and our future we must discover slowly as we continue to take the right steps in recovery. But keep on going....keep on gaining the strength you need to be granted more freedom....and begin to see your highlights....the hope and joy of your future and yourself, breaking through. Then one day all the restrictions will be gone....and you will be there shining beautifully with your future in your hands. This will happen as surely for us all in recovery as it will happen with my hair. All the gloss will be gone and my highlights will shine bright...and for us all, if we keep working, keep pushing through...well our ED will be gone, the structure needed for us to fight it will be gone, and we will instead have complete freedom...and will be glowing in the joy that brings :)

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