Following Your Dreams Means Being Authentic

by | Oct 6, 2020 | Eating Disorder Recovery, Mental Health, Self Love | 0 comments

Authenticity has been one of the most important words for on this journey I’ve been on through eating disorder recovery, mental health management, and following my dreams.

It’s easy to get caught up and completely lost along the way, to start thinking more about different means you can reach more people instead of remaining true to the core values of what you stand for.

That honestly has been me over the last week. I’ve spent more time trying to sort out some magical plan of how to get my new book into the hands of other people, and less time focusing on the purpose as to why I’m here doing what I’m doing and sharing what I’m sharing.

Please proceed as you see fit. I’m not here to scare anyone, only to share with you my story to let people know that there is in fact, a way out.

If there is anything you get out of reading this, I hope that you can take away the fact that there is never anyone that is “sick enough” because there is no such thing as “the right amount of sick.” You don’t have to hit rock bottom to seek help. Your story doesn’t have to look like someone else’s to say that it’s not okay and it’s time to reach out a hand asking for help.

A year ago, I was at my absolute lowest. I genuinely didn’t believe that I would be here today writing this. I didn’t think I would be on this planet.

Spoiler Alert: I’m still here, and I am okay. I am better than okay, I am the complete embodiment of love. I have been diligently working with my therapist and other therapy groups over the last year that have helped me explore the other side of recovery, the beautiful side of it.

But at the time, I was on the side of defeat. I was lost in a world that was engulfed with self deprecating thoughts, false beliefs that I was not enough and never would be, that the people I knew would be better off without me.

There is a line that everyone is capable of reaching. It’s lonely, dark, and one of the most terrifying places to be in the entire world. I would equate this feeling to what hell feels like, if one could possibly fathom it.

Lauren Dow is a mental health advocate who has shared her story of suicide and mental health recovery.

Luna was the one who made me realize there was something, someone out there in this universe that needed me, and who I needed in return. She made me realize that I needed help.

I reached out and called someone to help me through a very dark place. He will forever hold a special place in my heart for this exact reason. I didn’t call on someone who has known me for years or shared the same genes as me. I called on someone who was just slightly enough on the outside of my circle, someone I thought I could handle disappointing with my inner dark thoughts and actions I almost took.

The point is, I had the numbers and I dialed them.

I don’t share this story with you to make you feel sorry for me. I don’t share this for pity, sympathy or likes. I share this because if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be my authentic self. I would not be able to continue facing my inner demons that unfortunately will live with me for the rest of my life.

But here is the most beautiful part. I rewrote the narrative.

I made a choice, a decision that only I could make to put in the work, to fight harder than I’ve ever fought in my entire life.

Through the battle, I fell. I fell a lot. And every time, I picked myself back up. If it wasn’t for Luna, for God, for the person on the other line, for the people that I very intentionally choose to surround myself with, I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be in love, I wouldn’t have published my first book, I wouldn’t have found genuine love for myself and for the life I have been blessed with. I wouldn’t have managed to see what the view looked like from the top.

I’ve spent the last week looking around at what else there was to explore instead of simply enjoying the view. So now, that is what I’m going to do.

I’m going to take a beat. A moment to breathe, to write, to love, to smile, to laugh, to live.

Because I fought tooth and nail to be able to do every single one of those simplistically beautiful things that life has to offer, and I want nothing more than to be able to continue doing just that for the rest of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have goals. Plenty of goals. I want to see my book on the shelves of bookstores and shops around the country. I want to have a family of my own and eight trillion dogs. I want to travel once I am able to.

But in order for me to get there and make my dreams and goals come to fruition, I have to slow down. I have to acknowledge that there is a lot of dark I could very easily fall back into if I don’t continue caring for myself.

But most importantly, I have to be 100% authentically myself because that has been the most important piece of my recovery puzzle.

My life is meant for only one person: me.

And you can’t bull shit yourself, no matter how hard you try

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional or any other type of medical professional. I am in recovery for my eating disorder. All of my posts on my website and social media presence are based off of my own personal experiences and opinions. If you are in need of professional help, contact NEDA today. If you or someone you know is suicidal or believe to be so, I strongly encourage you to contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.


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Meet the Author

Hey, I’m Lauren Dow. Author, podcast host, advocate, and feeler of the big feels. I’m here to provide a safe space to normalize the conversation about mental health and share about my journey of healing. Thanks for joining me on this wild ride.


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