Giving up self-loathing for Lent didn’t just mean “stop being mean to myself”. It meant that I had to take some positive steps towards practicing honest self-care and working toward loving myself. This involved a few physical changes I was not prepared for and some life changes that have me feeling exhilarated and terrified in perfect combination.
Some of the changes, like eating better and exercising, have been a long time coming. Shaving my head to a much shorter hairstyle meant I would spend less time being angry at the fact that I can’t maintain my hair properly and more time enjoying life. Spending at least part of my day moving and stretching instead of sitting all day.
The other changes, however, are much larger and scarier in scope.
I have a goal to be published (or at the very least close to being published) in a year. The book will be talking about support and moving the conversation about chronic and mental illness past just acceptance and into truly supporting those that live with these things, may it be ourselves or each other. This goal is going to be difficult, but with enough push and people willing to hold me accountable to my deadlines and my end goal, I know its possible.
I’m taking steps to getting more involved with my church and my faith. This is a space and a group of people in which I feel welcomed and comforted, encouraged and motivated. When I walk through the doors of either our church or the pub we also worship in, I feel stronger. Bringing the faith that helps me feel that way into my home more is going to be a great step towards keeping that flame alive in me all the time.
Finally, the biggest change and the big secret I’ve been hinting at. I’m going back to school to earn my bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I’ve been accepted into Cornerstone University’s online accelerated program and should have my degree in a little under two years. Going back to school has been something I’ve wanted to do for quite a long time and never had the courage to pursue, but when you discover your time on this earth is much more limited than you first thought, it’s amazing how much harder it is to justify not doing something your heart is telling you to do.
So there you have it. From eating better to major life changes, I move forward. I’ve shared it with all of you now, so there’s no backing out. No pause button.
Illness: 0. Katie: 1.