Tag Archive | learning

What Are You Afraid Of?

I used to be afraid at night. Afraid of the dark. Afraid that just beyond the point my eyesight allowed me to see that there was something lurking. Afraid that the darkness itself would somehow surround me and swallow me up…as if darkness were anything more than simply the absence of light.

I used to be afraid of tomorrow. Afraid that who I was would continually dictate who I am, and that who I would be might be someone who I didn’t like very much at all…as though there was no such thing as being made new.

I used to be afraid of opinions. Afraid that though words would not break my bones, they certainly would shatter my dreams…as though I started doing this for the approval of many, rather than the glory of One.

I used to be afraid of failure. Afraid of losing. Afraid of falling. Afraid of being wrong, creating busts, and looking absolutely stupid, because who am I to think that I could ever actually make a difference? As if those setbacks were anything more than the laying down of stepping stones on the path to success.

I used to be afraid.  Used to.

But then I did a little research.  And by that, I mean I re-searched, and I re-searched, and I re-searched, over and over again, and through all of my re-searching, I kept coming up with the same exact question:

What room does fear have?

What room does fear have when I cling to TRUST? What room does fear have when I lean on HOPE? What room does fear have when I search for something more, when I discover and realize what’s good, and when I stand in AWE? When I run with PERSEVERANCE, when I walk by FAITH, and when I rest in COMFORT. What room does fear have when I sing with PRAISE, when I take hold of INSPIRATION, explore the POSSIBILITIES, and step into FREEDOM? What room does fear have when I discover STRENGTH, EMBRACE COURAGE, REMEMBER PEACE, DECLARE TRUTH, CHOOSE JOY, EXPERIENCE LIFE and CONQUER DEATH? What room does fear have when I find perfection in the one place I never thought to look? In weakness, when I’m saved by the most unlikely of heroes. By grace, when I’m invited into a relationship more loving and intimate than I could ever imagine, as a child of God.

I’ll ask you again: what room does fear have when I step out of the darkness, and I bask in the light? When I let the past be the past and the future has no limit. When they can talk all they want, but their opinion doesn’t matter! And when failure is nothing more and nothing less than the road by which I walk my path to success.

I’ll ask you one last time: what room does fear have when in His Word, He tells me three hundred and sixty-five times DO. NOT. BE. AFRAID. As if I needed to hear that every single day. And as if that’s how many times I needed to hear it before I finally believed it.

What room does fear have when I make room for LOVE?

What are you afraid of? 

 

-Jon Jorgenson

 

Here is the video if you want to watch him speak it.

Rushing the Process

*Disclaimer: I’ve decided that I am currently dealing with life in the form of pictures!!! J I am now replying to emails and text messages in images!

I’m guilty of this. I’m the first to admit it. I can’t tell you how many times I sat in my therapist’s office telling her I’m sick of this process and asking her why I’m not done. In fact, I’ll give you a visual of how the conversation typically goes. It’s something along these lines….. (complete with illustrations):

Me: (agitated) I’m so sick of these appointments, and this eating disorder. I don’t want to come here anymore.

irritated meme

Psychologist: (in a calm voice) I know you are.

steph

Me: (slightly more agitated) I’m sick of talking about feelings and this process. I just want to be done with this already.

irritated meme2

Psychologist: (in a calm voice)I know you’re sick of this process. I know you want to be done. It’s a process and it can’t be rushed.

steph

Me: (super agitated) What? Who said I’m rushing it? I’m not rushing it.

frustrated

Psychologist: (in a calm voice) I’m just saying we can’t rush it. We’ve talked about this.

steph

Me: (super duper agitated) This is taking too long. I’ve been in therapy for too long. I should be done. I’m so sick of this. Why is it so hard? It needs to go faster. I should be almost done. Why am I not done yet?

irritated meme3

Psychologist: (still in a calm voice) It’s a process, Rachel. I know it’s hard. You’ve fought long and hard and you’re almost done. It’s not something that can be rushed. If you rush it, the learning won’t happen and it won’t stick.

steph

Me: (in a table flipping agitated voice) I’m sick of this process. It needs to be rushed. I’m done.

flip

Psychologist: (still in a calm voice) Take a look at the feelings list. What feelings are you feeling?

steph

I’m sure it doesn’t progress that quickly, but you get the point 🙂 I know I’m not the only person who has been sitting in a chair in therapy talking about how much we don’t like this process and how long it takes, and I could almost bet that I’m not the only person who is guilty of trying to rush the process.

So, we’ve all been told that rushing the process is a bad idea. Apparently the professionals were all right! I have found that rushing the process with anything in life is a bad idea.

Here are a few times when I’ve rushed the process and it didn’t turn out so well:

  • Cooking on the stove – I turned up the heat on my pancakes – it just burned and I set off the fire alarm in the ENTIRE DORM. #fail omg
  • A shower before work – I didn’t get all the conditioner out of my hair – that was a ponytail day. greasy hair
  • ACL surgery recovery – that set me back some time and reinjured me. (no picture necessary)
  • Baking – didn’t read the directions first (or skipped steps as I frequently do) and many items came out flat, bad tasting, or just gross.

cake

  • Text messages – unedited text messages sent with the use of Siri that accidentally had unwanted sexual innuendos. AWKWARD!awkward
  • Running – training too fast = injuries.
  • Driving on a back road – $159 later I regretted rushing that process home.

why

  • Learning to ride a bike – my sister tried to teach me and pushed me down a steep grassy hill. My mom’s flower bed fell victim to my poor steering.bike
  • Editing – rushing the process of editing for typos – they are easy to miss and can really “mess” up your day!

Espanol

The lesson learned???? Try to respect the process of recovery! Don’t rush it! 🙂

And double check your spelling! 🙂 nobody wants to read that their potato has 47 assholes 🙂

On Addictions In Our Lives

This is actually an old post that is edited, so if’ you’ve been “around this town” for a while, it might look slightly familiar…. yet different 🙂

Addictions came up this Thanksgiving when I went back home to visit my family. I realized a lot about my family (and myself) and it was a bit of a tough time. I have been struggling as I have been reflecting on the things I saw, learned, and realized about myself/family. I went back to read what I previously wrote and it has actually helped me try put things into perspective.

I was listening to a Joyce Meyer podcast on my way to work and what was said really hit me quite hard. The topic was about emotional healing but the focus was on addiction. It was how addiction changes us and affects us as we are trying to live our life.

When referring to addiction, for me, I’m talking more about the addiction of over exercise and weight loss; anorexia. Addictions come in many forms and manifest in different ways – work, alcohol, sex, drugs, food, exercise etc. just to name a few.

A few small comments about addiction really made so much sense, and it got me thinking. I was well aware about my addiction to exercise/weight loss and what it has done to my life. There really isn’t an addiction that is great or that will do something positive for a person (unless it’s an addiction to your faith). Addictions control a person’s being from the core. When you are addicted to something, it lets go of the person we really are and also lets go of our purpose in life.

When I was obsessed with weight loss at the depths of anorexia, nothing else mattered. My day was focused on when I will work out, how much I will run, what food I will eat and what my estimated weight loss of the day could be. My purpose in everything else was lost. The addiction becomes your only purpose and that purpose is empty. It’s an emptiness in us that is filled quickly by immediate gratification and more emptiness. The different between addictions and things we do (habits) is when we can’t function without thinking about it. When your purpose is based around that addiction, it is something that is no longer positive in your life.

old you

Addiction is obsessing over and worshiping what is comfortable. It’s easy to stay in the same place when we are comfortable (and by “comfortable” I mean we are used to it). It’s difficult to change – anything! But that comfort of “I don’t want to have to do _____ and start over” is dangerous when it is severe enough to stop us from making happy and healthy decisions. It is very easy to fall apart and stay in the addiction, what is hard is working to make the change it and keep it together.

Many of us are ashamed to admit our addictions. The secret of our addiction is what keeps us sick in the moment. We are not able to heal until we are open about it. That’s why AA meetings start with “Hi my name is ______ and I’m an alcoholic.” (I could be totally wrong, but I have had enough therapy that I’m pretty sure that’s the case!) When you can take the power from the secret, you are well on your way to understanding that addiction and not allowing it to be your purpose in life. Exercise, weight loss and anorexia was my “purpose” every day until I was able to look at my psychologist and say that I have a problem, and this is out of control, and this is no longer “an eating thing” that I am controlling. Yes, for QUITE SOME TIME I called my anorexia “an eating thing”…. And I worked so hard to convince her that is just what it was…. I was in control! <insert sarcasm> Truthfully, it was controlling my life. It was controlling my every day. My purpose in life was lost. It was more important than my husband, my poodles, friends, who I was as a teacher and woman of God.

[Admittedly…. I’m addicted to standard poodles and spoiling them as well! 🙂 ]

Sophie, Remmington, Bella

Sophie, Remmington, Bella

 

Often we choose an addiction as a means of survival. It feels like it serves a purpose for quite some time. And, truthfully, I think it does. I think it is a coping skill that is there to keep us trying to work with/deal with/avoid something painful. What is that pain? It’s different for all of us. Trauma, family struggles, emotional struggles etc. That addiction is something that we do in efforts to survive in some way, shape or form. It becomes dangerous when it is a part of us – when it is something that we can’t see ourselves without. When I started running everyone thought it was great and gave encouragement, and understood why I couldn’t meet them because I had to get 10 miles in…. but it quickly moved to something I had to do every night, or there was some sort of despair attached for my failure.

One of the hard things I had to try to figure out is that my addiction to losing weight and exercise was not a reflection of who I was as a person. As I previously stated that my purpose in life was lost (because addiction sucks it out of you), it also makes you believe that you are not worthy of anything. Addiction has an amazing way of making you feel a shame (so deep that you almost feel it physically in your core) for being “bound” to the addiction. Being “bound” or “chained” to an addiction is not a reflection of you as a person. It is a maladaptive coping skill because you don’t know how to deal with things when it gets tough – when you’re scared, anxious, stressed, nervous, depressed etc. It has nothing to do with your worth. Your addiction has absolutely nothing to do with your worth or who you are as a person, it only has to do with how you react to situations in your life. Go back and read that sentence again.

So where do you go when addiction has become such a problem in your life? People love miracles. We want so badly for God to deliver us from whatever struggle we have. Sometimes we want to bypass all of the struggle because it’s so tough. Admittedly, I wanted to bypass everything – I still do at times! This is where patience is key (if you haven’t read my post on patience, it might be purposeful). Each time I try to have patience, but want to move through this process quickly, my psychologist is quick to remind me that the healing is in the learning. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to be delivered from the pain and struggles of the path of recovery. At times, it sucks eating, gaining weight, adding variety and figuring out if I’m over exercising (and by “at times” I really mean ALWAYS). She has taught me that I can’t make recovery stick until I learn and go through the process. Moving through the process is where the learning and change comes. I can’t fast-forward to being recovered because I’ll never understand the core of this issue. I have found this to also be true in faith. The patience, faith, trust and learning comes in the struggle. God doesn’t give you the struggle, but He does give you the learning in the struggle so there is meaning in the end.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we want clear answers, but sometimes we won’t get it. As much as we want to be delivered, there are times when maybe our journey is to just go through (as much as that feels terrible). If we want to move out of the “comfortable” spot, we have to allow ourselves to feel uncomfortable. We have to be willing to disturb the “peace” in our life in order to make the real and true peace happen. Real and true peace is impossible with an addiction. It is impossible when we are bound by something. We can’t live our life by our feelings. If we lived by our feelings we would miss out on so much! If we want find happiness, we have to move from trying to survive….. to working to thrive. I truly believe that is the only way to reach true happiness.

 

WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE…. from years of recovery!

This illness has taken a lot from me. I could speak on the lengths of stays in treatment facilities, or the how deeply anorexia has ravished my body leaving me with medical consequences, but that does nothing for anyone. We all have stories about how this disorder has negatively affected us and our families, and many of us could fill hours of discussion. Sometimes, we fail to see what this illness has taught us. As I’ve traveled through recovery, and hoping to soon say I’m recovered, I’ve realized a lot of things. I’ve learned a lot, and I think passing on what we learn is much more beneficial than saying “this is my struggle.” So, without wasting any more time, here is what I know for sure:

  1. Eating disorders are serious. They are not a joke. It’s not a passing diet, and it’s not something you can control. Eating disorders are all dangerous! The damage done to your body when you have an eating disorder is serious and has dangerous consequences. Thinking you are not “sick enough” or “bad enough” to seek help should not exist. My serious health issues came AFTER I was at a healthy weight.
  2. Recovery is about facing fears. There is a reason you have this maladaptive coping skill. You are running from, afraid of or avoiding something. Recovery is about figuring that out and making that fear less painful. Every day you will face your fears… and every day it will get easier.
  3. Recovery is not beautiful. The end result is obviously beautiful, but the process is hard. It’s like writing a paper, or painting a portrait. It’s a hot mess until it’s finally done. That’s how life works – the process is ugly, but the end result is amazing. Recovery is just like everything else in life. Accept that it’s a ugly process and frequently look back to see how far you’ve come.
  4. It’s hard, but not impossible. There is not a nice way to put it. Recovery is just freaking hard! It’s hard as hell, but it is not impossible. It’s only impossible if you’re unwilling to grit your teeth and do all the dirty work.
  5. You have to jump in. You’ll never feel ready. We always want to “stick our toes in and test the water” but think about the people who do that when the water is cold… they struggle to get their feet, calves, thighs and hips in… and they whine the entire time!!! The ones floating around with smiles on their faces are the ones who decided to do a cannon ball! The next time you have to make a leap – scream “cannon ball!!”
  6. Gaining weight is the easy part. I gave my psychologist a scowl when she said that. I also called her a lair. She was more correct than I ever want to admit. Putting the weight on to get healthy feels like the easiest thing I’ve done in this whole process! The hard part is doing all the work after you struggle through the weight gain. After the weight comes on, the feelings make their presence known!!
  7. Feelings are important; they’re not going away. For me, the eating disorder was the way to cope with a past trauma, feelings of violation, anger, inadequacy, shame. Anorexia allowed me to stay distracted and ignore any feelings that developed. I felt really awful when I had to deal with all of that stuff while not in a full-blown bout of anorexia. Feelings are crucial to living a full and happy life; without them you pretty much experience nothing.
  8. You have to choose recovery. As much as you hate to admit it, recovery is a choice. It is not something that others can force upon you. Sure, you have your therapist, physician, nutritionist, family, and friends, who all keep a close eye on you, but at the end of the day, you have to make the choice to eat what you are supposed to eat to maintain your goal weight. You have to make a choice every day to find meaning in your life without the eating disorder. You have to choose to fight through meals and feelings to make strides. To be honest, the accomplishments I’ve made over the past few years have far outweighed any 10lbs that could ever be gained or lost.
  9. Be careful who you talk to. Not everyone wants recovery. As sad as it is, it’s true. Be careful who you speak to and with whom you seek advice. Your friends, family and loved ones most likely will not understand what you are going through, and that is hard! It’s hard because you just want to feel like somebody understands. That’s what your treatment team is for.
  10. I needed something bigger than me. I didn’t realize my missing piece was God. Whatever your higher power might be, I suggest running fast with open arms, and never looking back. If you don’t have a higher power, I suggest finding something that grounds you. My recovery changed once I made God a priority over my relationship with food.
  11. Recovery is painful. There is not easy way to say it… it hurts physically, emotionally and spiritually. My psychologist said, “In order for something to heal, it has to be broken” and nothing could be more correct. This process will feel like it’s breaking you, and like you can’t continue one, but somehow you find the strength. The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow. In order to grow, something has to give.
  12. Your treatment team will piss you off, and that’s okay. It’s their job. If you have never been uncomfortable in therapy, you’re not doing it right. Your therapist should push you past the limits you like and make you work. Your therapist is not there to be a friend and simply agree with what you’re feeling, they are there to help you find out who you are.
  13. Recovery is a roller coaster. You have to accept that recovery is going to be a roller coaster of ups and downs and twists and turns that you probably didn’t plan for. You will run toward the finish, and you will fall on your face. Families may not understand. You’ll feel happy, guilt and shame all at the same time. You’ll make new friends and lose old friends. It is ever-changing… but so is life!!! There are some days that I weigh (pun totally intended) the benefits of doing the best I can to grown and learn vs. leaving this all behind and going back down the black hole of an eating disorder. It’s a battle, but what I do know is that there are FAR FEWER days that I battle those ideas than there were when I started this journey.
  14. Relapse happens, and that’s not a bad thing. I was devastated when I was told I was relapsing. I thought I would be the one who did it all without mistakes. I have gained weight, lost weight, relapsed, gained weight, relapsed, gained weight and figured out how to lose weight… etc… I actually learned more about the disorder, and how much I hated it, each time I relapsed. I found that relapse happens and it’s a signal to take things more seriously, get in gear and work even harder. Now when that starts to happen, it’s a red flag that other things are going on and that I need to really take a hard look at my life and what I want. As much as it sucks, relapse can teach you a lot about where you are and where you are headed.
  15. It’s about the journey, not the destination. This is not a one-fits-all path that we will walk. Recovery is a journey of finding out who you are without the eating disorder and that is both frightening and exciting at the same time. This is a process that you have to accept, endure, walk through and not skip. As much as I want things done, I’ve also been told that lasting change cannot be learned over night. Instead of looking at how far you have to go, stop and look at how far you’ve come… it’s amazing to see the transformation.
  16. It’s about letting go. One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Whether it’s guilt, anger, love, loss, or betrayal. Change is never easy. We fight to hold on and we fight to let go. One of the happiest moments I’ve experienced is learning to let go of what I cannot change. This journey is about forgiving and learning from mistakes and victories.
  17. Body image sucks. There’s no way to say it… it just sucks. It gets better as time goes on…. but it sucks.

A Letter To My Body: I’m Sorry.

I have been thinking about this idea for a while. I never got around to it. It kept slipping from my mind because I really do avoid thinking about body image. It’s a sore spot. Recently, in therapy, it came up and I didn’t realize how much of a sore spot it was. Since that session, I can’t seem to get it out of my head. I’ve tried it all… nothing seems to work. Body image is now plaguing me! It now has to be dealt with, and there is no running from it.

In trying to figure out how to get relief and start healing. I decided to acknowledge what I’ve done to my body. I decided to look back and come to terms with it all. I decided to write an apology letter for all that I’ve done. I’m trying to learn how to appreciate my body for what it is, so logically, I should start by apologizing to it!

As I was writing and realizing all I’ve done, I re-read this letter and imagined if I were writing this letter to a friend. Our bodies are our friends, right? As I wrote, I realized how terrible this letter would sound if it were going to a close friend of mine. I would never treat any friend this way, but it was okay to do it to my body; myself?

With that said…. Below is the letter to my body.

 

Dear Body,

Let’s clear the air and talk about the elephant in the room. There has been some tension between us. I think most of it is my own doing. I have to admit, I feel like a complete hypocrite. I find beauty in other women’s bodies, and try my best to encourage them to see the beauty in it, when all along I was ashamed of you. I’ve been so focused on your “imperfections” when I should have seen what you’ve done for me.  

I am so sorry for the way I’ve treated you through the years. I’m sorry that I thought you were never good enough. I’m sorry for what I’ve said to you; yelled at you. That you’re too fat, not strong enough, too muscular, not thin enough, not flat enough, too soft.

It would be easy for me to point my finger at our Western culture and say that the messages sent by the media did it all. That would be a lie. Sure, they didn’t help, but some of the decisions I made were my own. I’m sorry that I allowed the photoshopped images to tell me that you weren’t good enough. I’m sorry that I never focused on what we could do together.

I’m sorry I don’t love you yet. I’m sorry I don’t appreciate you the way I should. I do have to be honest; you’ve done a lot for me. You’ve done so much for me, and I have not repaid you in any way. In fact, I have punished you for what you’ve given me.

I punished you for not listening to me, not reacting the way I expected, not giving me what I want. What I didn’t realize is that every decision you made was to save my life. When I wanted your number to get lower, and you wouldn’t budge, I was angry; furious; but it was for my own good. It was to save my life. I’m sorry that I didn’t (couldn’t) see it. I’m sorry that I revolted against you and just punished you further because I was sure you just didn’t get it. I do see it now.

I’m sorry for trying to “fix” you. For trying to take control and change who you really are. For depriving you of what you needed while feeding you the exercise I thought you should use. I neglected to give you the bare essentials that you needed, but you were still there for me. Even though I took from you, you still protected me.

I’m sorry for thinking you failed me in the past. When I was little. When I got injured. When I was trying to recover from surgery. I’m sorry I was angry with you for what you really didn’t do. I realize that you didn’t fail me… instead, I wasn’t listening to you. For the most part, you have done what was asked, and I only focused on your failures. You sent me critical messages that you were in a crisis, and I ignored you. I thought you were weak when things became dangerous. I was angry that you couldn’t keep up with my terrible regiments. I’m sorry. You were trying to save me.

I’m sorry for not trusting you. For thinking that I know better, and that you didn’t have the understanding of what was important. I’m sorry for letting you down when all you were trying to do is support me. Trust isn’t something that comes lightly, and I ignored what you tried to give me. I understand why you don’t trust me. After all of this, who would?

I’m listening now. You are a precious gift given from God. I only get one “vehicle” in this life, and it’s time to really appreciate who you are, and what you can do. You’ve carried me through 31 years of my life, and you’ve promised to continue doing so, without me asking. You just want me to take care of you.

I know our relationship is a work in progress. I’m really trying here. I will try. I will work. It’s not that I don’t want to love you, because I do. I really do. I will learn to appreciate you for what you can do; what you have done. It’s time. Time to stop criticizing you. Time to focus on your strength.  Time to appreciate you. Time to embrace you. It might take a little work, but I’ll get there.

Hopefully soon I’ll be writing you again… but this time… a Thank You letter acknowledging how much I appreciate you and all you’ve done.

Until then…  please know that I do really care.

Sincerely,

Rachel

Why I Left Social Media.

 

I’ve been lucky to have to learn so much about a lot of personal things while dealing with this eating disorder (though you’ll never hear me say that again). To my benefit, I have had to look every little thing in my life in order to recover. I have had to examine what makes me happy/sad, what is positive/negative, what works/doesn’t work etc.  As I was cutting things from my life, I found that social media didn’t make the cut (Facebook is what we are talking about).

The entire idea of social media is changing. Before, it was a way to stay connected to people far away and to share information and to network – but what does that really mean? I have no clue! But I will tell you what it does NOT mean…. (with plenty of original and pictures stolen from the internet)

 

1. It is not a diary. Social media is not a place for you to air all of your dirty laundry. It’s not a place for you to tell your deepest darkest secret and feelings about everything, and how you are feeling about your terrible and awful life. Save it for the journal.

w9

2. It is not a log of your mundane life. Social media is not a timeline of your life. If I were to die right now and be frozen for 25 years, I could come back and see exactly what almost everyone has done while I was gone… right down to what they ate for dinner each night (with pictures).

w1

 

3. It is not a platform for your thoughts and opinions. Yes, we live in a country where we have freedom of speech – we are all entitled to our thoughts, but we are not entitled to push them on others. If you really want to debate the biggest political idea then grab a bottle of wine and sit down with your friend and do that. The rest of the world does not want to hear your close-minded rant – if you post it on your page, and I want to read it, then I will…. Spewing your thoughts on another person’s page is annoying. Just because they share an article doesn’t mean it’s game for you to comment. In addition, save us that finger swipe/scroll and refrain from posting the terribly obvious – pictures of your weather app on Polar Vortex Day saying “it’s cold outside”…. Thank you, Captain Obvious! (Really, facebook should make a “shut up” button)

w2

 

4. It is not a personal photo album. All of your “selfies” with your duck faces clogging up my news feed is just annoying. Nobody needs to see you at an angle where your chest looks bigger or you’re doing some ridiculous pose to try to flaunt something that you should or should not be flaunting. Let’s be honest…. The world does not think you are the center.  And people are so accustomed to snapping pictures and posting anywhere – we end up with pictures like this…. hopefully next time she’ll check the mirror :/

w3

 

5. It’s not therapy. If you want to talk about it, call someone and talk about it. My favorite is the one-liners that leave room for people to ask. You’re fishing for someone to talk to you. Posts like, “That’s it, I’m DONE” …. It’s called “vague-booking”. Your vague post leaving people to wonder is so you can have a reason to vomit your problems onto the world. Truthfully – if you’re at this point, you might as well go up to #1 and make it a diary entry because you know you want people to ask so you can tell. Stop fishing and shut up, already!

w4

 

6. It is not your BFF. Social media is not your best friend. Over-sharing is possible and it happens all the time. Your divorce – pictures of your baby’s poop – your latest trip to the doctor (with pictures detailing the experience) – your amazing out-pouring of love for everyone in your life… your terrible rant about how awful your life is, how nobody cares for you, and how you just want it to be over…. save the Oscar speech for your friends (in person)… we (your acquaintances) don’t care…. get a life, Debbie-downer.

w5

 

7. It’s not your GPS. Stop tagging yourself everywhere. If you have an excessive need to tell people where you are at all times, then try this for a change…. Send a group text to all of your friends informing them…. then see how fast that gets old. Just because you can click it does not mean you should. It’s kind of you to want to share, but I don’t need to know that you were in the restroom, nursery, in line at the grocery store, at Walmart and finally in bed. And quit tagging other people too…. It’s incredibly annoying!

w6

 

8. It’s not your stream of consciousness. Hash tags # are just annoying. They are annoying because it’s something you want to say, but you can’t find a way to fit it in, so if you add the hash tag, you think it’s socially appropriate.

#wehaveatoddlerrunningaround  #shesgrowingup

Why couldn’t you just say the sentence “we have a toddler running around” and “she’s growing up”? Why do I have to work hard to try to figure out what you are saying? Your everyday thoughts are not that important.

#ishouldnthavetothinkthishard

#thisisannoying

#please   #stop   …….   #seriously     #stop     #it

 

9. It is not an excuse for you to ignore the rules of the tongue. Grammar matters. Just because it’s the digital age, doesn’t mean we can ignore that there is a proper English language…. with correct spelling. “So sad about paul walker but Im so gladd its friday yippe cant wait to have fun to”…. and your entire post does not have to be in text message talk! Save that for the phone. Nobody likes a spelling Nazi, but you sound like a complete moron – and my intelligence goes down reading those posts.

w7

w8

 

10. It is not your primary means of communication. What happened to the world of personal communication? We are a new society who posts too much, shares too much and can’t seem to sit face-to-face and talk. Our society is lacking in the area of personal connections because the primary means of communication is not face-to-face interactions; it’s text messages and social media (this is my theory, anyway). Seriously, people are breaking up and getting fired via text. Put down the phones and try actually talking to a person and not their digital self.

w19

 

What worked for you?

“What worked for you?”

I’m often asked this question by other people going through recovery. The answer is always simple – “I don’t know.”

I answer “I don’t know” because I really just don’t know. If I look back and say what I’ve done with my therapist in the past, I could tell you several things we’ve tried (like the really annoying “responding to ED” with feelings), but I can’t tell you all that we’ve done; all that works. I sometimes write down notes and thoughts after sessions, but I don’t have a detailed record of all of it.

My answer is vague because I’ve come to realize that therapy just becomes a part of you. It becomes a part of your everyday life when you start making the changes that are suggested. Really, we are all in therapy because we have to change something, so to think that we don’t have to work for it, is absurd. When you “work” in therapy, the discussions, strategies etc. merge with who you are and who you will start to become.

I really don’t think there is one specific thing that will work for anyone. There isn’t one “ah-ha” strategy, or one thing that makes the big difference. Eating disorders are complicated illnesses to overcome, so to think that one thing will work is just asking to be frustrated – and it’s sending you on a hunt down a rabbit hole for something that is non-existent.

I remember walking into the treatment program at Hershey talking to my assigned therapist there. I said, “I want to recover. How do I make the best of being here and get the most out of it?” Her answer was so simple that it seemed like it wasn’t enough. She said, “Just be present – in all groups and discussions, be present and try to learn.” Admittedly, I walked out of her office saying she was a quack and that was the crappiest answer I’ve ever received…. but her answer was right on target. Let’s be honest, we hate to admit it, but it’s rare for your therapist to be completely wrong. Her answer sticks with me today, in therapy, and in everyday life. We are such busy people in our world today, and we learn to do so many things at once, we forget how to be present. There is always something else to worry about or something else crowding our mind.

Being present might be somewhat of a good answer to “what worked for you?” I’m constantly working on being present in everything I do. When I sit in church, I work to be there, in that moment listening to the Word and enjoying that experience. When I’m running or doing yoga, I work to use the time for myself; to enjoy that I can still do those activities and to not think about the other worries or obligations I have.

If there is anything that is easy and could work for everyone – it’s being present. Being present in all therapy, group, medical or dietary discussions. Being present, and a participant in discussions. I have noticed that this process goes faster when you are an active participant. Note that when I say “faster” I really mean that it goes at “normal speed” because when we aren’t active, we only slow ourselves down.

Truthfully, any person in any walk of life could work on being present. Happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a state of being.

Think about it —- where do you stand when it comes to being present and in the moment?