“Fire is a natural part of the grassland ecosystem and helps maintain its health and vigor. It warms up the soil and reduces the leaf litter that accumulates each year, allowing sunlight to penetrate. Warming the soil increases microbial activity, which releases nutrients from decaying plant material that new grasses and flowers need to grow.” -source

“After a fire, blackened fields quickly revive with new, green grasses and abundant, showy wildflowers.”

I knew I needed help.

I knew I needed to talk to someone. Or rather, I knew I needed to take my body into the office of a psychotherapist and hope she thought she could help me from the few words I was able to get out from my completely frozen self.

I knew I needed to just show up.

Then, I knew I needed a hug.

I knew I needed connection beyond what I believed I was going to be allowed.

I knew I needed help beyond what I thought anyone could offer me.

But little-me begged me not to give up. Little-me begged me to explore those fears and say them out loud and start talking. When little-me showed up, things started to change.

I made some progress in the first year of therapy, I’m not denying that. But it was mundane, though necessary, progress. When I finally had enough nutrition back in my body to pay attention to my inner-child, recovery shifted in a tender, sacred, and fragile way.

The more I let the eating disorder go (and it has been an excruciatingly, painfully long process) the more I am my authentic self. The more space I have for things I love. The more it becomes clear that trauma has taken over my nervous system and the eating disorder served to protect me.

Right now, I know I need to keep letting go of my eating disorder. Every time it comes in to put out a trauma-fire, I need to surrender to my team if I can’t do it myself. The eating disorder doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t have any more water left in the tank to serve as a good firefighter. As sad as that sometimes makes me feel (because it was so easy and reliable), I have other things now that firefight better.

I want to start trusting myself more. I’ve always known what I needed to recover, but fear stifled my words and resources and ability to ask for help. In this area, I know I have progressed significantly. And, I want to keep diving in. I know in order to completely let go of my eating disorder, I need continued healing. I need holistic and out-of-the-box support. I need to feel sure I am safe and loved.

I am so lucky to have these things I am certain I need. I often wonder if I’m worthy of such great humans to be in my inner circle, steadfastly standing with me, sitting in my emotions with me, simultaneously holding me and offering space.

I’m feeling my body more and more and it takes my breath away. It makes me nauseous. It’s physically painful sometimes and sometimes it feels like a series of shockwaves without a concrete ending. I feel alone so quickly on off-days of support because I can’t explain this to anyone else. I truly believe you must either have gone through it yourself or be trained in trauma and how it affects the body to have a chance at understanding. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s overwhelming to reach out anywhere else save for here to strangers or to my team.

I’m in a semi-constant fight-or-flight-or-freeze state because all of this trauma is floating at the surface now. Even if we don’t talk about it, it’s there threatening to swallow me up.

And I sort of want it to. I want it to because it never did before. I had too many firefighters forcing me to march on—they’d deal with the fire, I could quite literally forget. But my body didn’t forget and I want to let the fire burn so something new can rise up from the ashes. I just have to keep diving in, and letting my wolf pack surround me.

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