I want to weigh hundreds of smiles,
Thousands of laughs,
And the weight of many miles
Traveled across oceans and seas.
I want to weigh the seasons
And feel their heat and feel their cold,
This picture was snapped on Christmas night; presents had been opened, dinner was over, jammies were on and I was getting ready to paint my sister’s toe nails. This is when my precious two-and-a-half-year-old niece asked if I would paint hers too. I said of course (with mommy’s approval) and took this quick photo. This moment, which may seem so small to most, meant more to me than any present under the tree...
Last week, I watched the ball drop while curled up on my plush living room armchair, sipping sparkling grape juice from a champagne flute, bargaining with my eyelids to stay open. I was ready to see 2018 come to a close. Last year brought joy and also pain. In the last 12 months I made a major career change, lived the busy life of a working mom and became pregnant with my second baby. Like you, I overcame painful obstacles and navigated some uncomfortable situations. I laughed, I cried, I did all the life things. I also worked on my recovery every day, managing anxiety and depression, seeking connection instead of perfection and practicing balanced behaviors. It was exhausting. And it was beautiful....
The thing I have realised with recovery is that people can help you and support you, but only you can make the decision to be okay. I probably sat through about a year and a half of counselling, but didn’t truly take on what we were saying in the appointments because deep down I was still clinging to my eating disorder as a form of identity. I knew that I didn’t want to continue living with it, but equally I couldn’t quite let it go. Because I hadn’t 100% put myself in the mindset for healing, I was stuck in limbo of not being quite as ill as I used to be, but equally not free from an eating disorder either...
Emily Estes lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her Goldendoodle pup, Miss Adley Mae. Recovery from her own struggle with an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression has led Emily to create community and resources to empower others on the journey. Emily owns Sage Nutrition, LLC where she serves as a Registered Dietitian. Her work revolves around her motto that "food is meant to nourish our bodies, not nurture us."