When I was younger, I was always eager to grow up. I wanted to drive, I wanted independence, I wanted freedom. Years later and some days all I wish is to go back and have everything taken care of for me.
Recovery from an eating disorder isn’t easy. My sickest years were from 18 to 23 and I missed learning how to be an adult. I didn’t move out when all my friends did. I didn’t hold down a job like I was supposed to because I couldn’t function well enough to feed myself or not hurt myself consistently, so who could rely on me to be a good employee. I self-destructed on a daily basis.
I didn’t learn to fend for myself. I didn’t learn about taxes, or bills, insurance and checks took a backseat to the necessary process of learning how to feed myself again. It wasn’t that those things weren’t important, learning how to feed myself through recovery has been the most important thing I’ve done in the last four years, but I missed out on some key lessons as well.
I’m doing my best at learning how to be an adult now, at almost 24. This past month has been a crash course in responsibilities and adulting. Paying bills, washing dishes, cleaning, and so much more has now become my reality. Crash courses can be pretty overwhelming though.
Now, as I finally am growing into the adult that I need to be, I see it wasn’t all that young me dreamt of. It’s damn hard to fend for yourself. It’s hard to be stubborn, and actually quite childish to think that you don’t need anyone at all.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned about being an adult is that while you have to be able to take care of yourself, you still need people. You need family, friends, a partner. You need people around you for support. You may be responsible for taking care of yourself financially, getting yourself to and from work, etc. but you need people to lean on. People to listen on the hard days.
Being an adult doesn’t mean being the sole piling holder a pier up, it means being one of many pilings working together to hold the pier up as a group.
I’m still getting a hold of this whole ‘adulting’ thing, but I have so many around me helping to lift the weight of that pier off my shoulders. I know in the end, it’ll all be alright.