Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Slow Progress is still Progress

Om Namah Shivayah

Om Namah Shivayah

I’ve posted this picture before.  Om Namah Shivayah.  I respect the divinity within me.  I got this tattoo when I knew I would never ever go back to the eating disorder.

The previous 16 months have been 16 of the most difficult months I’ve lived.   Sorry for any repeated info:  the depressive cycle I was in was the most severe and the longest I have ever had, and I had actually scheduled out all the details of my suicide attempt in my weekly planner.  I moved from Missouri to New York to live with my parents–at 37 years of age.  Although the depression began improving, my physical body was being hit from wrecking balls on all sides, and no one could figure out what the hell was going on.  I am not able to work a “real” job with regular hours.  I certainly could not handle a full teaching load right now.

I had thought things would be different.  I’d move to NY, get better, apply for jobs, and be looking forward to a new teaching position for the fall semester.

I get frustrated with “where I am at” quite often.  I’m almost 38; I hadn’t planned on needing to live with my parents at this age.  I am not working, aka contributing to society.  I am a track and field official, which is a “real job” but it’s so far from where I wanted to be at this stage of life.

But I was reminded by a friend yesterday that, compared to ten years ago, none of this would have been possible.  I was sick with the eating disorder and the bipolar disorder was not controlled.  I wasn’t ready to start the PhD program I had dreamed about attending, but I went anyway–and then had to withdraw two years after I started.  One year ago, I pulled out of teaching–and I only had one class.  In May of 2014, I lived in a psych hospital.  Last summer, I slept more than I was awake.  This past fall found me fatigued and sore and in pain and going through medical tests almost every week.  In January, I wouldn’t have been able to officiate, but now I can do four meets in four days (with a lot of sleeping in the following mornings–but I can still officiate).  I am looking to see if any area colleges need a professor to teach one section of Freshmen Comp.

So no.  This is not my dream.  In fact, I am no longer sure if I will be able to ever meet that dream.  But right now, in this moment, I have much to be thankful for in terms of how far I have come compared to 16 months ago.  I am healing.  Maybe not as fast as I would have wanted, but I am healing.  And as another friend told me, “Slow progress is still progress.”


April 27, 2015 - Posted by | 1, addictions, bipolar disorder, Body Image, Communication, coping, depression, Eating Disorders, faith, feelings, guilt, health, mindfulness, progress, recovery, relationships, self harm, suicide | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Slow progress is indeed progress! Love you Lexi!

    Comment by Pam | April 27, 2015 | Reply

    • Love you, too, Pam, so very much!

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | April 27, 2015 | Reply

  2. Alexis, I so understand where you are coming from in terms of Bipolar Disorder, and how heinous and hellish the depressions can be. Every step you take is brave, and you are an amazing, strong, worthy, lovely woman. I’ve been following your blog for a long while now and in my worst times with the eating disorder have found it inspiring, though of course there were points at which I found hope in nothing…I’m in early recovery now, soon looking at stepping down after eleven months in a facility to transitional living, and have been lucky enough that a couple of wonderful friends are willing and excited to find a place with me in September. I know the feeling of not knowing if the limitations and lack of predictability with the mental illness will make it impossible to reach my dreams. It’s very sad, but you still contribute so much. You have certainly helped me.

    Comment by Sofia | April 27, 2015 | Reply

    • I am glad that you have found my words to be inspiring, Sofia. I am happy to hear about your progress, and your friends who are moving in with you! You know, I may not be able to predict where Bipolar Disorder will take me, but I can’t predict where my heart disease will take me either. I am, however, becoming more and more confident that I will still end up where I’m supposed to be.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | April 27, 2015 | Reply

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