Tell Me If This Ever Happened To You. - Ash Cebulka

Tell Me If This Ever Happened To You.

Last week I wrote about changing your story, a topic I could talk about for days.

Mostly because it changed my freakin’ life and I’ve seen that very act change the lives of countless women around the globe.

Two days after that email landed in your inbox, my husband and I took on the hot-as-hell task of cleaning out our attic.

Sweating our buns off looking through all the stuff we’d stored above our living space, I came across that folder. The one I never knew I saved, I actually couldn’t believe I held onto it.

“Renfrew Eating Disorder Facility” was printed in big bold silver letters across the bright purple folder. Underneath, those words were,

Ashley Swider – patient.

Memories started flooding my mind, how I felt the day I was admitted. Scared, selfish and exhausted.

It was the day after 9/11. The whole world was grieving the unfathomable tragedy that had happened in our country.


There I was in a eating disorder hospital. Again. WTF.


Memories of how I felt, walking the halls and being surrounded by so many women who looked sick. They looked lost, frantic and quite frankly, some looked out of their minds. Some were. That’s what malnutrition can do to you. I felt a pit in my stomach.


I thought to myself,

“I’m never coming back here. I’m never getting admitting to a hospital for this shit again. This has to change, or I’ll end up like her, down the hall. She’s spent her whole life savings on this joint for a two month stay because she’s too scared to be out in the ‘real’ world. Whatever the hell that means. I’m pretty sure THIS is way worse than the ‘real world’.”


I would wake up everyday determined to get the hell outta that place. I didn’t care what it took. I spent 10 years immersed in the world of obsessing over how ‘Not good enough I was. Not skinny enough, pretty enough, smart enough, successful enough, blah blah blah.’


I spent 10 + years hating myself and it was exhausting.


Then, It hit me like a ton of bricks.


Holy Shit, I can throw this away. Just Like That. I’m not tied to that story, that identity or really anything about that part of my life anymore. I’d let go of it a long time ago. Now, this physical envelope was the lingering piece, I didn’t even know I had, that I could ceremoniously let go of.


That ceremony consisted of, joyfully throwing it in the trash can and not looking back.


*Sigh* like, lot’s of sighs.


I felt free. Really free and in love with my life.


Then I thought about the email I wrote you just 2 days before this, about letting go of old stories so you can write and live a new one for your life.


It all starts with a decision.


Here I was emptying an attic filled with beautiful childhood memories, way too much stuff my hubby had accumulated throughout the years and some stuff it was time to let go of completely.


I was cleaning house, literally, of the nonsense that used to create cobwebs in my mind.


The cobwebs that kept me from both seeing and feeling the truth of who I really am and what I’m capable of.


Has this ever happened to you?


Where you realized you just didn’t need to hold on anymore? To that thing, that story, that belief, that old relationship, that internal dialogue.. whatever it may be. Then just like that you decided to let go and remembered your freedom?


It’s freaking amazing right?!


We all need to clean the proverbial attic in our minds from time to time. Actually quite often. It’s wildly liberating to realize, we don’t need to hold onto any stories, beliefs, resentments, feelings, energy, doubts, that hold us back from feeling our best. We can let go of what makes us feel small and quite frankly, limited.


That’s what limited beliefs are, thoughts that tell us we’re limited in some way and some of those puppies are hard wired. So we’ve got to focus our energy into rewiring the way we think and what we believe about ourselves.


We’ve gotta let go of what weighs us down, to remember our strength.


Yet sometimes, it really can be as simple as deciding to let go. To trash the folder, burn the journal, rip up the papers, bag the old beliefs, kick the old grievances to the curb and move on. Just like that.


Because you decided to and the power of choice, is everything.

All love,


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