Monday, July 11, 2016

The Stillness of It All

When was the last time you just sat and listened to the world around you? Heard the birds chirp and the bees buzz? When did you last hear the breeze before it tousled your hair? When did you feel the heat on your skin before that first drop of sweat even formed?

I had the opportunity to be still twice this week and I will not likely forget either experience any time soon.

I recently met with my nutritionist. Did you know that the age you were when your eating disorder formed is the mental age you are currently when it comes to food? No wonder I get excited when I see ice cream! I am not placing blame because it's time I took the ownership of my disease, but with divorced parents, court battles, one parent with anorexia, one parent with compulsive overeating, and so much more in my formative years, it's no wonder I am struggling today. I could not control any of those factors then but I can be in control of my life now.

Halfway through my session, we went for a walk. In all my years of therapy, I never once took it outside of the office. We crossed the parking lot and sat on the dry grass and just took in the world around us. I did not think about food or hunger or my appetite or the way I view my body. I thought about nature and the beauty of everything that I am usually too busy to notice. I was able to step outside of myself and see how small I am in the scope of the world. It was pretty intense for me and it has stuck with me now, several days later.

The next day, I woke up, dropped Miranda off at school and went to the beach. It was a beach I had never been to before with a group of women that I had only ever met twice in my life. Our common thread is our babies that we carried in our bodies but now carry only in our hearts.

I extended my trip by one day. I just could not leave. With our toes in the sand and the ocean crashing on the shore, we talked. And we drank. And we laughed. And we remembered. 

In this forum, we were just a group of four regular moms bragging about our babies. There was no pity, no head-tilting, no disbelief. There was just love and compassion and a very special bond. Fortunate enough to all have rainbow babies, we also talked and talked about them. From potty training to bedtime to routines to school buses and birthday parties and vacations and girlfriends and jobs and grown up aspirations. We talked about the difference between having a baby versus having a stillborn. We all had babies. Little boys and little girls. They just happened to be born still. The same as if they were born with curly hair or ten fingers and ten toes. Being still does not define them. Or us. You are never the same after burying your child. But are you supposed to be?

I learned so much about myself this week and how the word "still" has so much meaning for me personally. I need to remember to be still and take it all in. I need to remember to still the voices in my head that spew negative thoughts. And I need to always remember that the baby I bore may have been born still, but she was (and is) so much more than that. So much more indeed.

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