One of the biggest - hardest - most painful lessons learned in taking a step into this journey of healing is knowing who will truly stand by your side no matter what you are going through. I have lost a lot of people in my life since my journey began; some of those people being family that I am no longer close to. It's heartbreaking, but I also have come to realize those are the people who held me back, and never allowed me to go forward.
I started to notice people in my life dropping off when I lost over 100 pounds back in 2004 from a heart condition I had that caused me to gain the weight over 5 year period.
The more weight I dropped, the more fit and healthy I became, the less important I was as a person and friend.
People started to down me and make me feel like I was doing something wrong; when in real I was doing something right- for me!
When I lost all that weight and started to body build and lift weights, My own father said to me "now don't lose too much weight, you look like you have already lost too much". or "is it healthy to be working out so much?" He didn't say "Good job" or "I am proud of you", it was "don't lose too much weight".
I would get together with friends and instead of praising my weight loss and the new size 9 jeans I was sporting proudly, it was "are you sure your not sick, maybe you should slow down a bit", "I think it's too much weight loss, you need to be careful".
I started to notice the trend of the people who slowly left my life as I made my changes - good changes - positive healthy changes.
The same thing happened when I began the journey to healing; when I took the steps towards healing my past from abuse.
Since I started therapy 6 years ago, There are people who were in my life before who have shut me out, turned their heads because they didn't like the strong willed person I was becoming. They didn't like the fact that I was standing up for myself now, or that I could say the word NO.
I had friends who didn't believe in the process of "therapy" and only believed that if I handed it over to God that (that) is where the true healing was for me.
While some of that is true, they missed the big part where God gives us people in our lives to lean on, not only on him. God wants us to learn and connect with others to creat unity, not just depend on the him; but the people he created in the light and image of him.
I have lost family to my healing. My own father said to me on the phone 2 years ago "you have changed" ... undoubtedly I have changed, for the GOOD. I was no longer the passive nieve person that everyone was used to seeing me be.
I had a voice and people were afraid of me using it. The more I spoke, the more people backed away from me. The bigger I became, the more fearful they were of themselves becoming smaller.
I even lost some of those people to the faith I chose - when I turned catholic.
I am no puppet - I am a person who has my own mind, my own wants, needs, and desires - and I even found how powerful the word NO can be, and because of that I lost some people.
Come to find out, it's not a loss, it only helps me to move forward without the weight of those people on me.
What I have gained are the people in my life who have stood by my side, and that allowed me to truly see the beauty in connection - real connection.
I have friends who have stuck by my side from the moment I dropped 1 pound, all the way to 6 years of hard work in therapy. Those friends and those people in my lives are the ones who I am truly blessed by. I am ashamed of those who walked away from me, because they never gave me the chance to be who I needed to be; but instead selfishly thought about what side of me was changing to the different.
Some people like the old me who was passive, a push over, always said yes, and never carried an opinion, it was easier to be my friend. When I was heavy from my weight gain due to my heart, there were people who felt better around me because my loss was their gain. My insecurities made THEM feel better.
Today I am fit, healthy, healing, and I am not the same person I was before this journey started, and those who stuck by me, are the ones I wil truly cherish for the rest of my life. Those people who are by my side right now are the ones I truly believe God created to be in my life as healthy whole hearted people. THOSE are the people I call my friends. Those are the people I call gifts from god. THOSE are the true and honest people.
There are a lot of people in my past that think therapy has changed me, that my therapist has taken me away from the people who love me, but what I have learned is different - I saw the true colors of those who did not support me, and therapy, healing and my therapist helped me to see those who were only in my life to keep me small, and never allow me to grow.
There are a lot of people who go through this when a life change happens, and I have learned who those people are, and who the people are that lovingly support me every day no matter who I am, what I do, what mistakes I make, or the goodness and hard work I bring about my healing.
If anything therapy and my therapist has helped me to see the healthy parts of relationships and the healthy people I can trust. My therapist is one of those people who see the goodness in me, and helps me to grow forward and not step backwards.
I am truly blessed for those who stuck by my side when the change was happening. It hurts to think I have lost some people who I thought truly loved me for me, but I came to find out they didn't love me as much as I thought they did, they loved what I wasn't .They loved all the things about me that made them feel better, and those are the people I dont need in my life.
I am so glad that this healing process has cleared my vision to those people, and allowed me to see the good that do surround me everyday. Those are the people I want to embrace, because I know I am accepted of me and who I am.
Those people who say I have changed, well you've got that right, I have changed, I have changed into someone who will no longer serve you, but to serve myself as the person I am meant to be and as the person God intended me to be - if you don't like it, please do me the favor and move on, because I want to surround myself with people who will fully accept me for ME and no one else.
I guess you would have to say this is yet another part of my healing journey is learning who will walk with me, and who won't, and to accept and blessed for those who do - unconditionally.
I love the life and the journey I am on, and although sometimes is painfully hard, at least I know who and all that are standing right by my side.