Tag Archive | process

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 🙂

What my hip injury is beginning to teach me….

Backstory – I’ve had hip pain for quite some time. I have been ignoring it and chalking it up to being overworked and not having enough strength. I’ve had a pulled hip flexor and it felt somewhat the same, and I have a high pain tolerance, so it’s something I can work through. As I increased some of my activities, the pain followed. I finally decided that my running seasons haven’t been going so well and I can’t do what I want without getting it checked out. As the pain continued, I went to the doctor and an MRI is the next step. The suspicion is that something could be torn – or that a piece of my bone has chipped off needing surgery to repair.

So…. In processing I have been able to sit with these feelings and also determine some important things. Now, don’t get me wrong – my initial reaction was to avoid the feelings, but that has changed to exploring feelings to try to understand them/the situation and accept them.

So… these feelings I have found…. They are there, they are real, and they are okay…..

There is a slight bit of guilt that I may have caused this injury with my unhealthy habits; my past eating and exercise behaviors.

I am disappointed in myself for not going to the doctor sooner; waiting over a year isn’t so smart.

I am sad that there is a chance I may need surgery or will be out of my activities.

I’m fearful that being out of activities will mean that I could fall out of shape completely, and gain weight.

It’s stressful knowing the work that will come with this recovery. I’m sick of recovery from things – will there ever be a time when I’m no longer broken?

My activities don’t define me, but they do make me happy –how will I find stress relief and independence without them?

It feels like my activity level is just something else being ripped away from me. Keeping balance in my activity level makes me feel like I have control and balance in my life.

I am overwhelmed with appointments and this will just add to it.

So, in processing all of this, I have found that I have a habit of not knowing parameters of self-care. Explanation:

As a child, if I was sick – I was sent to school anyway. I was only permitted to be sent home if I threw up.

In high school, I was quite sick, but it didn’t seem “bad enough” because my parents really didn’t do much in terms of my health. All of my dangerous episodes weren’t “serious enough” to keep me in treatment, so I learned that my body can handle a lot.  

I’ve always been a middle-distance runner so my races were “fast and hard”. My expertise is the 400m dash – you basically go as hard as you can and “gut it out” until you can’t go anymore; sometimes resulting in a collapse at the finish. You go and hold on; you just don’t stop; it’s understood.

I’ve always continued to play field hockey injured, and through pain, so I’ve never had parameters of injury and healing. In college, you do what has to be done to still play – there was never a point where you should stop to take care of yourself (unless something breaks or tears and forces you out); the game just meant too much.  There was a time in college when I had mono and shouldn’t have been playing the game – I never rested, per the doctor, and went to preseason anyway (my parents didn’t stop me – it’s dedication, right?) – My coach just strapped a quarterback check protection pad across my stomach (to try protect my enlarged spleen from rupturing), and I played anyway.

Often, if I am tired or sore from activity, I think, “oh, I’ll be fine; I just need to push through it; I’ve handled worse”. This has created a habit of not listening to or being aware of my body.

When I was sick before I went into treatment I was running numb; I felt strong – I didn’t hear my body because I have never learned how to listen to it. Eventually, out of nowhere, a stress fracture formed. I searched for the shortest amount of time off because “healing” was a waste of time.

I minimized so many things until others have made me aware of the severity. I didn’t think that low blood pressure, rapid/slow heart rate, and chest pain was dangerous. I had to be informed and convinced it was a big deal because, to me, those things were only “serious for other people” and “my body can handle a lot”.

To me, when something wasn’t right, 1 day of rest was good enough and 2-3 was often too much.

 

So, from this situation I have learned that I am unaware of the parameters of my body and self-care. I have always “pushed through” so there was never a need to stop and assess myself. As I started recovery, I began to “feel” my body. I have become aware of how it becomes tired, sore, energetic etc. This was very different from anything that I’ve done before. I have learned my whole life to mentally block out everything and push through …. and now I have to feel it all. I have to feel the struggle of getting in shape and the difficulties of soreness from overworking my body.

I feel it when I’m not breathing correctly while running. I feel it when my muscles are tight. I feel it when my muscles need more oxygen. I feel it when I don’t have enough carbs to burn. I feel the weakness of my muscles as they are building. I now feel every second of every workout – and that is something I’ve never had to do before.

Knowing that I never had parameters for self-care leaves me constantly exploring. Although it’s uncharted territory, it will pay off in the end. Trial and error isn’t always fun (as I’ve proven with my cooking skills), but it will eventually pay off. I have to trust that what I notice is accurate and make positive self-care choices from there. It’s a journey! 🙂

 

Think about it. What is your self-care like? 

Cooking Parallels My Recovery

I’ll be blunt… I suck at cooking. I burn everything and I have no patience in the kitchen. This is obviously something I have to try to get over, but it is also not the easiest when you are recovering from an eating disorder. I have my fair share of anxiety about handling food, but I have also realized that who I am comes out in cooking.

First, my cooking looks like blindfolded monkeys cooked in the kitchen when I’m done! It’s that bad!

 cooking

I have come to realize that my cooking parallels my journey through recovery! I have been trying to diagnose my cooking issues to understand why something things fall apart after cooking, aren’t cooked through or just turn out NOT like I expected (sometimes not edible).

At one point, I was discussing my cooking habits with my therapist and it all made sense… I skip steps. If anyone knows me, they know I often say, “I do what I want.” Really…. I do…. My entire treatment team has had to have so much patience with me because I will do it my way as I’m always sure that my way is the way that will work!

recovery my way

 

As I try to conquer cooking I have come to realize that my way is not always the right way (I will never admit that I said that to my treatment team – my secret is safe with the world, right?). I have times when I leave out steps in the process of following a recipe. I might think, “well, I don’t feel like sautéing first” or “it says put it on parchment paper, but I’m just going to go with a regular ‘ol cookie sheet”. I do this all the time. A recipe calls for “Xanthan Gum” — what is that? Seriously… if I don’t know what it is, it’s not going in my recipe.

This is a problem.

My cooking parallels recovery.

If I would just follow the directions of cooking (and not skip steps), my food would turn out something like it is supposed to. Truthfully, every step in the cooking process is important. Apparently that’s why they take the time to write it all out 🙂

The same goes for recovery.

If I would have just followed what my therapist said all along, I may have been recovered by now! Each step of the process (variety, meal plans, challenges, food prep etc.) is important…. It’s there for a reason.

Now, don’t get me wrong…. My slips and relapses were worth something; they put me back into the thinking I just hated and wanted away from. I learned something new from each relapse and it has kept me moving forward knowing how much the eating disorder does nothing for me.

As far as recovery, there were many times when I have tried to skip steps in this process. Admittedly, I remember calling my therapist from my car outside of skinny camp (partial hospitalization) telling her that I didn’t need to be there. I told her that I was not as sick as the girls there, that my eating disorder thoughts and actions were not as severe and that I should be allowed to leave. Truth be told – I was sick. The program at Hershey was a necessary step that I had to take in my recovery.

I am getting better with patience and learning patience in this process (still a long way to go with cooking). My therapist commented on why this process takes so long – she said that it takes time to make lasting changes. People who will truly recovery will be doing this for a while…. and it’s worth it.

Looking at this parallel — if I skip steps in recovery, much like cooking, I can expect to have a terrible end-result. It will be something that I can’t eat (pun intended), something burnt, uncooked or just gross. We get what we put in.

I’ve learned that skipping steps is not the best choice in anything! 🙂

The Goal

The process is the goal. And this is always true. Otherwise, you get to where you believe the goal is, and you raise the proverbial bar. You make another goal. And then, you push to get to that one, that goal. And make another one. And in the meantime, you keep missing what you call your life. And then you wonder how it all went by so fast and where you were while it was happening. That’s how people get to the end of their lives and suddenly realize, they missed the gifts. The small moments. The ordinary moments, on the way to the Big Get. The Goal.

This moment, right now, is It.

-Geneen Roth