You Know You've Made It
By Alessia Turco
I never imagined I'd be here. I never imagined I'd be the one typing out a blog post such as this one. I never imagined I'd be speaking from a place of growth rather than a place of suffering. I never imagined I'd recover.
When healing begins to feel impossible, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel seems unrealistic. The truth is, it's hard to even search for the light. It is so easy to get engulfed by the darkness, to make a home in the shadows. I won't lie - it can get comfortable. It can get so comfortable that the thought of recovery can seem like nothing more than an immeasurable amount of unyielding commitment with no real reward.
When I was initially diagnosed with an eating disorder, I received support almost instantaneously. I feel so thankful to be able to say that, because, for others, help doesn't always come so readily available. Although it took me several years to come forward, when I did I was completely interested in the idea of aid, the idea of peace. The difficulty was that, once the glory period of initial strength and motivation passed, I was left in what felt like purgatory between suffering and recovering. The feeling of hopelessness can easily creep in. The darkness begins to welcome you and it feels comfortable and familiar. Don't let its soft embrace trick you into staying the week. Don't let the familiarity persuade you to believe that this is where you're supposed to be, that this is the destination, because when you get to recovery, you realize just how close you were after all.
Recovery is similar to climbing a mountain. It demands preparation, perseverance, and resilience. Sometimes the path is laid out for you and you soar up 100 feet with ease. Sometimes you have to go off-trail and the steepness can make you question why you began climbing in the first place. But once you approach the peak, once the fog lifts and you find yourself gazing at the panorama, you know you've made it. Once you can see others travelling the same path you did, once you feel empathy and compassion, you know you've made it. Once you kick the dirt off of your shoes and take in that first deep breath of crisp, mountain air, you know you've made it, and you will feel the most powerful and at peace you've ever felt before.
Alessia is a psychology major at Simon Fraser University and hopes to specialize in clinical counselling. Her interests lie in fine arts, poetry, and spending time with her loved ones. She openly speaks about her recovery and is always willing to lend a helping hand to those struggling with their mental health.