(Insert little blurb about how I know I haven't blogged in MONTHS and how I promise I'm going to get back into it like I used to be).
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Seasons. What does that word mean to you?? What connotations does it have?? For me, it means everything from Kentucky weather, arthritis episodes, and everything in between (positive AND negative). But more than anything, though, when I hear the word "seasons," my mind instantly goes to the word "change."
I'm going to start by using an analogy Rog made as he was driving home from visiting me in North Carolina a few weeks ago. As many of you know, I was a patient in UNC's Eating Disorders Program for 5 weeks, spanning half of September and 3 weeks of October. Those of you who live in an area densely populated with trees, and especially if you have ever driven through Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, or any other such comparable state in early fall are familiar with the beautiful changes the trees undergo. The lush greens of summer turn into breathtaking reds, oranges, and golds of fall. There are few things on earth that are as awe-inspiring as a multicolored forest in early October. What is even neater than the leaves changing colors, though, is that the changing colors are the first step to the tree being renewed, reborn, in the Spring. Of course, there are several interim stages between golden and red leaves and the new green colors that greet our eyes in March or April, but of one thing we can be sure -- the trees will rejuvenate themselves again, as they have every year they've been in existence thus far.
Now, how exactly does this relate to Recovery?? Particularly my recovery as I transitioned from one phase to another of UNC's program?? Well, I'm glad you asked!!
As with the trees, Recovery is a process. It is often cyclical (as is evidenced by the past 8 years of my life), and it provides you with constant opportunities for renewal. I equate the change from summer's green to fall's multicolored forest to the stage of Recovery I entered when transitioning from the Inpatient program to the Partial Hospitalization Program, as well as the preparations I made for the transition back home to Kentucky. Throughout the program, I underwent several changes, and most, if not all, of them helped make me into a more colorful and bright person (something my eating disorder had stolen from me). As the trees, so was I morphing from something I used to be into something I knew I could only be WITH Recovery.
You may be thinking, "Now, okay, that makes sense. But what about the part where the fall leaves literally fall off the tree and the tree dies?? What does that mean for your recovery??"
That is a little more tricky, but it IS understandable. Most people lament over the beautiful leaves falling to the ground and leaving us with dead trees. However, those same people are the first to rejoice when the trees bloom again come springtime (I am guilty of this, as well). What we (myself included) fail to acknowledge, though, is that the "death" of a tree can also be beautiful, because it is just another notch in the wheel of renewal. Relating to Recovery, I see the "death" of the trees as a parallel with the "death" of my eating disorder. Or, if not the complete death, the considerable lessening of the eating disorder's grasp on my life. And, as with the trees, I have been afforded the chance to move from that death into the springtime of Recovery.
Now, I am by no stretch of the imagination fully recovered. I am still not sure if I believe that is possible. But I do have a renewed sense of hope, and I am becoming a little more confident each day that the past 8 years I have spent in bondage to my eating disorder have merely been a season of my life--a season that is finally starting to draw to a close. There's no telling how long it will take for this season to fully end, but again, I am confident in my ability to handle it--however long it may take.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." -- Ecclesiastes 3:1