Determination and will. Those are two words that are very strong. Maya Angelou once said, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Each of us must care enough for ourselves that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed.”
I am a field hockey coach and I have been working hard to turn my team around. I took on a new team and I love these girls dearly. I have taught most of these girls in class and they are some of the best girls I’ve known. This season I’m teaching them how to care. I’m teaching them how to have school pride and how to protect one another. They are coming from 4+ seasons of 1 win and 16 losses. It’s hard to pull out of that. It’s hard to change that when you’re beaten down that way, but the change can happen if you want it to. Currently, 6 games into the season we are 3-3. They have already changed much of what they have done in the past.
Coaching these girls has been exhausting. Each day I’m fighting to make them believe me and believe in who they are and that they are skilled players worth winning. I am trying to teach them to be players on the field and have school spirit as well. Most importantly, I’m trying to get them to have the will to fight… to have the want to win… to not accept defeat and just roll over. “Each of us must care enough for ourselves that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed.” We have to care enough to be willing to fight for who we are. We have to be willing to fight for our school (East) and be willing to fight for what we believe in. As a team, they have to be willing to get angry at any other team that says a word about their teammate or coach or fan. As a team, they have to get angry at a player who shoves or disrespects their team or their school. We have to have the determination and will to fight because without that, there is no hope of victory.
As I stood in huddles and heard myself speaking and reflected on my drive home I realized this is no different than my own situation. This is exactly where I stand in recovery and where many of my friends stand as well. We are all on the same team and we have to be willing to fight for ourselves because that will allow others to fight. All of this pertains perfectly to the eating disorder. I cannot win in life with it. I cannot move forward in life with it. I cannot have what I want in life with it. I cannot be healthy in life with it. I cannot survive with it. A choice has to be made – I have to love myself enough to come to my own defense when and wherever needed … and somewhere along the line I lost that vision. I might have lost it, but it can be found again. Nobody can do it for me. I have a team coming to my defense, but I can’t forget that I’m in the game too. I can’t win the game without playing as well.
The truth is, just like with my team – it’s easy to say “I want it, I want to win” or “I want recovery” but until we get up and off our ass and do it, it’s not going to happen. Anyone can say they want to be in the Olympics and they want to be a singer. It is our actions that change who we are. It’s our actions that define us. We are not defined by our words, but our actions. For so long I said I wanted recovery and I was still restricting – I didn’t want it because I was still following Ed. If you want recovery, you can have it, but you have to fight for it. It’s a long and hard battle, and it really freaking sucks, but it’s worth it. From what I have experienced, it’s worth it. Moving through the stages of weight restoration etc. it is getting easier.
We have a choice to make – do we want to just accept defeat, or do we want to change what is expected? If you want to change it, you have to fight for it. You can’t fight for it for just one minute or one hour or one day. You have to fight for it non-stop. And when you’re tired of fighting, you have to fight harder because that is when you learn that fighting is most important. And when you feel like you can’t fight anymore, you stand back up and you keep fighting because that is when you learn that you are stronger than you ever thought you were. And when you are ready to give up, you do not accept defeat and you say, “no, not this time, because I’m better than that.” It really is your choice.
Speaking of a fight – against terrorism – where were you on 9/11?
Julie can love herself enough to come to her own defense! She is strong enough if she wants to be! Julie- you can choose life.