Maybe I opened Pandora’s box a little more than I meant to yesterday talking about exercise, body image, self-talk, etc.

I don’t often make my blog a place of SUPER SERIOUS TALK, but sometimes it just happens.

Because dear reader, I write my blog. So I write about my life. So some days my life isn’t always hilarious.

[A lot of days it is pretty hilarious. I’ll be honest.]

But even now, as I sit at my desk and look at a picture of myself from Fall 2009, I think, “why do I feel so disconnected from her?” What is going on in my head right now is nothing close to the positive self-talk that was her everyday staple. It feels like a different girl.

Nothing has happened. I’m wearing the same clothes, hanging with the same friends, I haven’t been hit in the face with a shovel or anything. But my mind has somewhat become an enemy.

[Before I continue, rest assured that people in my life are speaking into this. My blog isn’t a place that I share things looking for counseling. I LOVE your comments, but I just want you to know that my parents, my counselor, my accountability group, and my friends have been invited into this as well.]

Anyways.

I was telling my mom yesterday that the massive amount of lies and ugly self-talk that has been going on in my mind recently is unrivaled in the last ten years or so. It’s been bad.

Here’s the crazy thing. It used to be this bad all the time. I just didn’t know any different, so I accepted it. I was a prisoner in a dark dungeon for years- the kind of dungeon that doesn’t have room for fresh air and so you breathe stale gulps thinking it is sufficient to keep you alive.

But then I was free. And for years I have breathed real air. Everything changed. My mind knew freedom from the lies and it sighed with relief.

On and off, it has been a battle. Capturing the lies, throwing them away, replacing them with truth. Knowing who I am, who loves me, what I’m worth, and how carefully God made me.

For the love- I even WROTE A BOOK ABOUT IT. So certainly that means the battle is done. [Yeah right.]

But within the last few weeks, it has gotten miserable again. The stale air slips through my gritted teeth and after all those years of freedom, my lungs are begging for a breeze, for real air.

And it will come. This isn’t my home- this dungeon isn’t where I belong. But for a time, the battle happens here for me.

Normally, I wouldn’t talk about this. But here’s the thing- there are women around the globe who have read my book and found fresh air for the first time. And there are other women who have read it and think, “I can’t win this battle. I will never get out of here.”

To both groups of women, I want to say, “I know how you feel.”

I’m telling people what’s going on in my head. I’m talking to God about it. I’m reading my Bible and claiming truth. I’m working to remember all the things I know.

And I’m breathing.

Ingrid Michaelson has a song called Keep Breathing and my favorite line is, “all I can do is keep breathing…”

And so I will.

Because even though the dungeon is dark and I’m fighting every day to get out, and even though I’m honestly kind of scared and this hurts somethin’ fierce, I will keep breathing.

I won’t give up.

Just because I’m fighting doesn’t mean I’m losing.

All that I know is I’m breathing.

All I can do is keep breathing.