Written by: Morgan, Founder and Creative Director of Unpolished Journey.
I have thought long and hard about what my #imnotsorry post was going to be about. I have watched others involved in Unpolished step out of their comfort zones and post their stories. Here I was, the founder of the organization who started this campaign, the one who is helping to orchestrate and promote it, and still I have yet to participate. Among other members of the Unpolished team it has become a running joke. “Go ahead and participate in your own god damn campaign already, Morgan.” Truth is I have wanted to participate this whole time and I knew I would eventually. I just didn’t know what I wanted to publicly apologize for.
Originally I had written up an #imnotsorry post for being quiet. That was the first thing that came to mind when thinking of what society tells me to change. It would have been a powerful post. It would have felt true, authentic, and real to my recovery experience, but sharing that doesn’t feel hard. Many people who know me know I am quiet. It took a long time, but I have come to accept this about myself. Though, I still struggle daily with thoughts of wishing to be more outgoing or extroverted, I don’t feel disabled by this insecurity. Therefore, I held off and didn’t post that #imnotsorry story.
Now, the past couple of weeks I have found myself in a slump. I have found recovery to be increasingly more difficult to justify. I have found my mind getting louder with unpleasant and self-deprecating thoughts. For the past couple of weeks, I have been fighting my eating disorder more intensely than I have in over a year. This struggle feels hard to admit. It feels real, authentic, true, and scary. But, that is how I know that this is what I am suppose to share as my #imnotsorry story. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquering of it– a continual theme for my recovery journey. I know that whatever scares me, but has the potential of reaping positive results is what needs to be done.
So here it is: #imnotsorry for struggling.
Yes, I am the founder of an organization that preaches recovery and a healthy relationship with your mind, body, and spirit. Yes, I am the one who posts inspirational quotes and stories every day on Instagram. Yes, I am the one creating a team at the NEDA walk and sharing the significant message behind the Embrace documentary. Yes, I believe every woman needs to love and accept themselves for the way they naturally are. And despite all of this outpouring of inspiration that I give, I also have an eating disorder. I am not separate from the recovery journey that I write and speak about. I am in it. I am it. The journey is my everyday battle. Morning, afternoon, and night. The struggle is there. The thoughts are deprecating. There are good days and bad and just because I preach a mindset of wholeness and acceptance that doesn’t mean that I am successful in living this out all the time.
I struggle too. I struggle just like all of the readers and followers of Unpolished Journey. I have an eating disorder and my recovery never has been or will be perfect. Sometimes my eating disorder makes it hard to get up in the morning, hard to choose what to have for breakfast, hard to go to sleep with a full belly, hard to make sense of my worth in the world. Sometimes my eating disorder still wins. Sometimes I find myself feeling completely defeated at the end of the day. Other times the opposite is true and I fall into bed at night with a spirit full of strength and hope. But that’s recovery. Recovery is not a straight line, nor is it a narrow path. Recovery takes many twists and turns. You run into countless obstacles along the way. Recovery is sticky, messy, gross, and wonderful all at once. But, above all recovery is not perfect.
I feel as though it would be a disservice to myself as well as anyone who finds inspiration behind Unpolished Journey’s mission not to speak about both the great and the hard times in recovery. The good/bad battle with food. The push/pull relationship with exercise. The body hatred/acceptance arguments in my head. I am not perfect. My recovery is certainly not perfect, but I am not going to apologize for my constant struggle. Because Unpolished Journey is not about this illusion that recovery is always a wonderful thing that I am happily choosing every day. No, here I will be straight up and real. Recovery is messy messy messy and it is probably the hardest thing I will ever do.