I don’t care how you get there…

by kristinwood

“I don’t care how you get there. Just get there and stay there.”

That’s a phrase I’ve been fixating on lately. Let me define “there” for you. By that I mean your goal life. I’m all about goals but I’m also quite infatuated with the journey. I’m the type of person that will start clear at the beginning of a story just to answer a small question. Calm me detail oriented but I like to think that I’m keeping you completely informed about all the background information.

I’ve heard the phrase “not to judge someone unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”. That might be one of my favorite pieces of advice I’ve ever heard. I’ve been getting a lot of complements lately about the way I look and it’s so exciting and also scary. People don’t know where I’ve been. They don’t see the daily battles I fight. They pin this sort of admiration on me for what I look like in that moment when really I’m shriveling inside because I might have just caved to a breakfast of hash browns and sausage gravy that day for breakfast.

In some ways I feel like Lance Armstrong after his many achievements. Then people found out he had not been honest and forthcoming about his abuse to his body. I abuse my body on a regular basis sometimes. I eat something I know I shouldn’t and then work it off. Maybe that’s exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, maybe not. All I know is that the journey is the best part of the story and often times, the part no one wants to hear about.

I just finished a book today titled She’s Come Undone. I am still struggling with words to describe it. All I know is that I was in a funk all week right alongside the character. It was so real and close to home, I felt like it was written about me. My favorite part of the book was when it describes her lowest point. She traveled several hours to where these whales were just beaching themselves for no reason. She got there and this massive whale was partly in the water and she watched and waited for her to die. And after the crowd had cleared she stripped down, got in the frigid water, swam down to look this whale in the eye and kill herself. She had come to a point in her life to where she couldn’t take it anymore. I can relate to that. I remember my lowest point just like it was yesterday. It was a terrible profound moment. I had faced lows so many times before and combated the vivid mental images of suicide. I had sat on the toilet stark naked and cut into my flesh with razor blades. I had felt the sting of rejection because I was too fat. I have held my breath while waiting in line at the airport and feared that I was too fat for the seatbelts. I have looked in the mirror and cursed myself over and over and I have pushed people away with evil words and ignorance. I didn’t love myself and I thought I never would.

After reading that chapter I wept with Dolores. I felt her anguish and pain. I saw my own reflection in the dead whales cloudy eye. I wanted to retreat and disappear. I won’t ruin the book for someone who might want to read it but I will say, that funk has lifted. I traveled her journey in that book and felt every high and low alongside her. Do I judge her now, absolutely not and I ask that anyone reading my story would refrain from judging me too. I may stumble I may fall but I’ve confronted the whale and I’ve surfaced. I’m still living to tell of my journey, whether you want to listen or not.