It’s Christmas Eve and the night is peaceful. It’s snowing lightly and there’s a fire burning in the fireplace. I was happy and everything was good.
I was celebrating Christmas with my boyfriend’s family and it was like a scene out of a movie. We ate a wonderful meal that I didn’t feel guilty about, went to mass, opened presents, and curled up to watch a movie together.
I didn’t think life could get any better.
Let’s back up a bit…
While that night was going great, I hadn’t been doing so great just a week before. After six months of a strong recovery, I had a slip up.
I gave into the eating disorder voice and as a result, the snowball effect returned. I was so mad at myself for getting back into that binge-purge cycle. But I felt helpless. I didn’t know what to do or how to get out of it.
The week leading up to the holiday was filled with depression and guilt – until Christmas Eve.
Yes, my Christmas Eve was picture-perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. However, when it struck midnight, I decided it was time for me to head out so I could wake up with my own family on Christmas day.
In an instant
At this point in the night, it had been lightly snowing for roughly three or four hours and I have an hour long drive through the bluffs ahead of me. Bluffs are steep hills covered in trees and rock with lots of curves, so not exactly a pleasant drive.
It was late and I was tired. I was also feeling guilt. Why don’t I feel happy? I have everything, yet I still feel so miserable and helpless.
Then I started to tear up. I silently asked my grandma to watch over me and help me. I started my drive home, wanting nothing more then to be sleeping in my own bed.
About 10 miles from home, I pass through the town right before my downhill descent into the bluffs. Up until then, the roads had been fine despite the snow.
I take the first curve and skid. I skid some more. And before I know it, my car is going sideways.
I’ve lost all control. And my car goes straight into the bluff, riding up it, and slides back down backwards on the opposite side of the highway in the ditch.
As soon as everything started, it stopped just as quick. I take in my surroundings as I sit in shock, just happy to still be conscious and breathing. What just happened? I thought as I see smoke coming from my car and a tire rolling away.
There are plastic car parts in the road. I snap into emergency mode, putting on my flashers and try to get out of the car. The driver’s side door is jammed and I can’t get out so I crawl over to check the passenger side.
I’m able to get out and immediately try to call my mom. I barely have any signal but the call goes through and my mom knew what happened right away despite breaking up and the call dropping.
Deep breath. My car is totaled. But I’m not hurt.
In an accident where I should be severely injured if not dead, I walk away unhurt. Why? I’m not done. My life isn’t over. I haven’t accomplished what I was put on this earth to do.
In an instant, my whole life changed. All of my previous worries disappeared because I was just happy to be alive.
The next day, after the car was towed and the crash was reported to the police, my mom and I went to retrieve the rest of my belongings from the car.
What we found was somehow even more amazing than me being unhurt.
We found a crucifix that was a part of a necklace sitting on the driver’s seat. That cross was my dads confirmation cross. It had been missing for 10 years even after my dad searched multiple times. I had never been a big believer before this experience, but I must admit, that has started to change.
It doesn’t take a near-death experience to overcome ED, but it does take faith. You have to have faith in what is planned for you, good or bad. You have to have faith in others, especially when they are your support system.
But most importantly, you have to have faith in yourself. Even with everything that has happened, I’m still not a “perfect recovery patient” nor do I want to be.
I know that I’ll still fall. But I rely on my faith in myself to get back up and be better than last time.
It’s okay to fall, warrior, we all do. Just make sure you get back up and keep getting up.
So keep striving to be a better version of you and have faith. Your still here for a reason.