The other day I did something completely out of my comfort zone.
This social-anxiety-ridden-introvert had to be social and go into a situation completely alone. I repeat, no babies, no husband, no support — just me, myself, and I. Okay, not had to, more like, chose to because I really wanted to.
This mom who never likes to be away from her kids left them for most of the afternoon — in the hands of her husband and parents… but still.
It was way out of my anxiety-neutral condition. As a stay-at-home mom, my day-to-day conversations consist of big girl undies, princesses, poopy-talk, and the word “no.” By the way, I am in no way complaining about this normal. This environment with my babies is risk-free to me. Yes, it’s chaos, but it’s my chaos — and I like being in it. So, the thought of talking to real adult humans that I didn’t know, and going into it all by my lonesome gave me intense anxiety.
But I forced myself to do it… Because that’s what I’ve been doing ever since I’ve entered eating disorder recovery — forcing myself out of my box because being in that box was too stuffy.
Nothing seemed to change there, and the unhealthy monotony almost killed me. And though my new monotony is very healthy and I can get easily content in that box because my personality resists new experiences, sometimes leaving that comfort is necessary if you want to make a change. Do something meaningful, and all that jazz.
So, I pushed myself into the uncomfortable.
And, it was very meaningful and worth it.
I was able to be myself in a new environment and saw I can actually be okay and accomplish things in that environment not as someone skinnier, prettier, smarter — but just as little old me.
And you know what? That realization was important to someone who used to think if she lost “five more pounds” her impact would be greater, and maybe she would finally be enough.
I was enough that day and am enough every day. And, I was taking up a lot of space, 31 weeks pregnant.
And guess what?
I met a lot of incredible people who are fighting for a loved one’s life with mental illness.
I saw how much love and warmth there is in people who have experienced pain.
I was able to make a difference because confidence really does exude from the inside out.
Right now, I am full not only physically, but as a mom, writer, eating disorder advocate, wife, and friend.
And when you are full, you can do anything — especially out of your box.
This story originally appeared on Living A FULL Life