I’m going to tell you something that’s going to change your life:
SAVED BY THE BELL IS ON NETFLIX!
I know. I’m sorry. Say goodbye to your social life because from now on, all you’re going to want to do is Netflix & Chill with “Preppy” and the gang.
But there’s something about Saved that is so alluring: Yes, Zack has some pretty funny antics and shenanigans; yes, all the girls want to be Kelly Kapowski and all the boys want to date her…
…yes, it’s a fabulous opportunity to relive the glory days of the nineties and its parachute pants and neon crop top splendor.
But the thing that most captivates audiences and keeps them coming back for more, is the camaraderie and the chemistry between the friends.
I mean, talk about #squadgoals!
But in all seriousness, the show works because the group is so on point. Tight nit. There for each other. And we, as the viewer, feel like part of the gang.
I’m in a season of my life right now that’s really “friend rich.” Which sounds pretty strange….Did she just brag on here? Did I read that right?
Yes. Except it’s not a brag. Because for a long, long time, that was not the case. At all.
During my anorexia, I was in a relational desert. To say the least.
The thing about eating disorders – or any addiction – is that you turn entirely into yourself. Just leave me alone with my disease.
My junior and senior year of high school, my friends saw me wasting away, and they were worried, They’d reach out, call, text, stop by my house, contact my mom – but I never returned any calls. I wouldn’t even pick up the phone. I was too wrapped up in my anorexia. I was in the midst of a mental hurricane, and just couldn’t escape.
And as a result, my relationships suffered. Not that my friends stopped caring, but after two years of reaching out and being turned away, they simply stopped calling.
I have regained most of those relationships, praise God, but a handful were never repaired.
So when I say that I’m in a “friend rich,” period of my life, I can only say that because I know the opposite. I have seen the bleakness of a life alone – alone with ED – and now truly appreciate the value of relationships.
I have woken up countless times after fun nights out with my friends, thinking to myself, “Wow — this is recovery. This is the best part of freedom from ED:” Loving people and letting them love me in return.
Because the fact is this: our hearts are made for community. We’re hardwired to share experiences, and laugh and lean on each other, and experience reciprocal trust with people who truly know who you are and love you just the same.
I’ve mentioned before I’ve deemed that this was the “Year of ‘Yes.’”
Well I’m giving a status report that a Life of “Yes” leads to abundance. Leads to joy. To adventures. To deep and honest relationships.
And to a support system. Here’s the truth: friends help you see your worth when you can’t see it yourself.
And often times, we don’t have to look farther than the people around our dinner table: our family.
Living in New York, my friends have become like family. It’s true. And I am so grateful for that. But being home for Easter, I was reminded just how special those relationships are.
My sister-in-law, my mom and I stayed up until 2am one night talking and laughing and sharing our hearts. That emotional vulnerability was simply non-existent during my disease. I let no one in. I was a frickin Fort Knox. But breaking down those walls, exposing the real me, and being at peace with who that is — that’s recovery. That’s living a life of freedom.
There are so many reasons we build walls around our hearts. Maybe you feel that you’re unlovable, like I did for a long time. Maybe you find yourself trapped in a mental hurricane of depression, or addiction, or doubt, or jealousy. Maybe you’ve been hurt before, and so opening up your heart is terrifying. Beyond your limitations. You’ve found your comfort zone behind the walls of distance, or busyness, or anger, or silence, or isolation.
There is an abundance of joy waiting outside those walls. Waiting to be seized.
And it starts with letting people in.
It starts with letting people experience the real you. The real you deserves a shot.
It starts with saying yes.