Daydreaming By Heather Frymark
I have always been a daydreamer.  At the age of 5, I dreamed of becoming the PERFECT ballerina.  At the age of 10, the PERFECT daughter.  At the age of 14, the PERFECT friend.  At the age of 16, the PERFECT volleyball and basketball player.  At the age of 17, (dying to have) the PERFECT boyfriend and the PERFECT SKINNY body.  At the age of 18, the PERFECT OUTGOING personality.  Skip to age 22 and beyond…I dreamed of the PERFECT job, again the PERFECT body, the PERFECT closet full of designer clothes I couldn’t afford, being the PERFECT wife, having the PERFECT house, raising the PERFECT kids, and living in the most PERFECT mental state-of-mind and serenity.  HA!  Oh my lord, no wonder I became such a HOT MESS!  With this much pressure for perfection, of course my dreams got squashed!
But it is such a wonderful thing to daydream, especially as a child!  Your hopes and dreams seem so easily attainable when you’re young.  It’s such a beautiful thing!  And, it’s such a wonderful thing to BELIEVE! I have always believed in the goodness of others.  I do not judge, but wish for the best in those I come in contact with!  But I have NOT, necessarily, always believed in the goodness of myself.
This is a quote that I have in my kitchen, that I glance at every day.  
Every morning I try to promise myself to be strong, to be optimistic, to be the best I can be.  Throughout my life, I’ve had my good days and my bad days.  My good days were usually really, REALLY good! My bad days were often really, REALLY bad!  When I obviously couldn’t meet all of the unrealistic goals I had set for myself in life (aka my above-mentioned dreams), regret and shame escalated…and, self-worth plummeted! Some of my worst days were those consumed by my eating disorder- anorexia & bulimia.  I am now 15 years fully recovered, and will never go back to that hell.  But, I want to share this experience with you in hopes that you can either relate or you can help a loved one (a daughter, son, friend, etc) understand the issues at hand.  And, funny how an eating disorder can lead into other addictions…???  It totally makes sense! Until you figure out what you’re running from; you will continue on this self-destructive path.  
So please fill in the blank with one of your “bad habits” below.  I know mine…and, I’m sure, you know what haunts you!
Like any bad habit that you learn to love, you think it is a wonderful secret.  You trust “it”. He’s your best friend.  You can always count on it when you’re down, when you’re at your lowest. 
For me, at the age of 17, feeling skinny felt ethereal, felt heavenly.  Because I was extremely shy and socially awkward at times, starving myself was my way to get attention.  My voice couldn’t do it for me! But this obsession finally bit me in the ass…and it turned ugly!  I was starving myself; occasionally throwing up in bathrooms; filling up on an apple and a diet coke a day…friends and peers were saying how skinny I looked…the more they said this, the more I got “high” from their compliments!  And, of course, you think you are totally in control of this wonderful secret.  But little do you know, it’s totally in control of you! It’s laughing (secretly) behind your back…like a devil on your shoulder.  You think…”What an awesome deal!  I call for you!  You come running with arms wide open, no questions asked!” It tells you…”Don’t eat! Drink more! Swallow this pill to take the edge off”!  It’s a wonderful love affair.  You never want it to end! 
When you’re unhappy, it’s the only thing you can count on.  “He” has your back!  Until the day you don’t want “him” around anymore.  You used to love him- you used to need him!  But now he’s just getting down right annoying.  You want a little peace and self-control.  You truly want him to leave!   But that’s not the deal, my friend.  You brought it into your life.  You used it for your pure self-satisfaction.  It satisfied your needs, with no demands in return.  And now, you find yourself down on your hands and knees, pleading “him” to go away.  But NO!  He refuses to leave.  He taunts you to follow him!  Promising a good time.  And, once again, you crumble and give in.
Whatever your “drug” of choice is… It calms.  It soothes.  It numbs those intense feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, self-loathing, etc.  I was actually a very content, happy child and grew up with an awesome, cool, hilariously fun family!  But as I grew older, into my late 20’s and all through my 30’s, there was always a sense of some deeper darkness; a shadow I couldn’t shake.  I was hiding from something.  And I was always running away from confrontation with everything…my jobs, my husband, my friends, and especially my feelings…God forbid, I expressed my feelings!  I was very good at “running”, though! (And, funny…I took up “Track” my Freshman year at Clayton High School because I thought I was pretty fast…until I came across Missouri’s elite track runners from East St. Louis..Holy Shit, I couldn’t compete with them!)
So, back to running…when anything got complicated or confrontational in my life, I used my speed and ran as fast I as I could…away.  And I am fast, fucking fast…when it comes time to run away from my fears and insecurities!

But I have come to the conclusion that we all stumble through life.  We keep stumbling and hopefully as we stumble, we know there is always the opportunity to pick ourselves up.  If we can pick ourselves up and push so frickin’ hard through the challenges that life throws at us, we will become much stronger when we reach the other side.  We will find deeper meaning and peace in the end.

Addiction of any kind is not for the faint of heart.  It WILL bring you to your knees.  It takes great courage to make unfathomable changes in our lives.  No one CHOOSES to be an addict to anything…it eventually becomes an unrewarding habit that trades suffering for an oblivion that will never be satisfied.

I can only believe that God throws us challenges and obstacles in life (let it be addiction, cancer, poverty, death, etc) to make us grow stronger.  He has us endure heartbreak and pain to teach us how to truly love with our own hearts, in our own unique ways.  We are meant to experience and sustain our own pain and suffering so that we eventually have the empathy to help others conquer theirs’.

We are all in this together!  It’s okay to be honest.  It’s okay to ask for help.  It’s okay to say your stuck.  It’s okay to say that you’re haunted from deeply-buried demons.  It’s okay to say that you can’t begin to let go.  Screw the people that frown upon this!  Break the silence!  Break the cycle!  You are more than just your pain.

People need other people.  People love to help other people.  Your friends and family love to listen to you and lend a helping hand.  I’m still learning this, and I’m still learning to LET GO!

 Image From Kiannas Korner
At the end of the day, this is my wish for you!
Comfort on difficult days
Smiles when sadness intrudes
Laughter to lighten the load
Sunsets to warm your heart
Hugs when spirits sag
High fives to encourage your strength
Friendships to brighten your being
Beauty for your eyes to see
Confidence for when you doubt
Faith so that you can believe
Courage to know yourself
Patience to accept the truth
Love to complete your life
And…Hope that your dreams do come true
Life Can Be Beautiful,
Live It One Day At A Time!

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