The loss of my father brought about a profound change, not only in my experience of loss and mourning but also in how I approached life and my daily habits. His final words, “everything is okay,” provided me with unprecedented peace and became a guide during the uncertain times that followed. This loss set off a chain reaction of positive changes that would enrich my life in multiple aspects.
My view on exercise and body image underwent a radical transformation. Where I had previously been driven by insecurity and an obsession with the ideal body, I chose a healthier approach after my father’s death. My exercise regime became less intense, driven by a desire for well-being rather than an unattainable ideal. This shift towards self-acceptance freed me from the chains of strict routines and obsessive control over my weight.
This period also marked a new approach to nutrition. Gone were the days of obsessive dieting, driven by the fear of not being muscular enough. Instead, I embraced a more intuitive and freer way of eating, which benefited not only my physical but also my mental health. It was a conscious choice for self-care, nourishing my body in a way that was free from fear and restrictions.
My social life also underwent a significant change. For the first time at school, I formed deep friendships based on mutual respect, shared interests, and authentic connection. These friends brought peace and stability to my life, a welcome change after a period of turmoil.
Additionally, this was a time of exploration in the realm of romantic relationships. I evolved from fleeting flirts to more meaningful, albeit short, relationships. These relationships taught me a lot about love, communication, and self-knowledge, and helped me discover what I was looking for in a partner.
My work at the promotion office Opvallers in Eindhoven was crucial in this phase of my life. It provided not only a sense of purpose and community but also stimulated the development of my social skills. Interacting with a dynamic team of young people was enriching and taught me the value of teamwork, empathy, and leadership.
The academic challenges and delays I experienced now appeared in a different light. They were no longer signs of failure but of perseverance and growth. These experiences prepared me for the future and reflected my increasing resilience and self-confidence.
A dramatic turning point in this story of transformation was facing my most intense psychosis, further explored in my next life story. This was a time of deep inner struggle, yet it opened the door to a crucial process of self-discovery. The harsh confrontation with my own vulnerability, the need for unconditional self-care, and the importance of a supportive network marked this phase. It was a period that taught me recovery is far from linear; it is a profound holistic process, where every step, no matter how painful, leads towards healing.
As I close this chapter of my life story, I look back with gratitude for the lessons learned and the people who have supported me. I am determined to face future challenges with openness, resilience, and hope.
Thank you for following this part of my story. I hope my experiences can shed light on the paths of others and serve as a source of inspiration and support. In the upcoming parts, I will delve deeper into my most profound psychosis, followed by a reflection on my academic journey at the university of applied sciences. Until then, I encourage you to continue growing, learning, and loving.
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