Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
In recovery we face our pain and fear without obsessing on food, weight and body image. This does not mean we never have food, weight or body image issues. It merely means we take it in stride when we do. Recovery means developing healthy perspectives, knowing we will do better some days than others, knowing we will never be perfect at anything including recovery, and knowing recovery is not freedom from trouble and pain but freedom from getting stuck in feelings of uselessness and self-pity.
We binged, starved, purged and obsessed in an effort to manage unwelcome emotions. The solution to an eating disorder has to do with accepting our thoughts and feelings, and finding safe and responsible ways to express them. There is no magic about recovery. When we take responsibility for understanding our needs and getting them met, we walk free. It sounds so simple, but it is hard work, especially at first.
Recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves and others, taking careful risks to learn what is safe and good for us. As we practice careful self-honesty and self-disclosure we regain perspective. Perspective enables us to see our options and make careful, responsible choices in our lives. As we learn careful self-expression, we regain lost authenticity, peace and power. The process is usually gradual and halting. New attitudes and behaviors are alien, and it is hard to feel safe and keep perspective. It is hard to remember we are aiming for balance, not perfection. It is very important for us to claim our successes in achieving balance and attaining perspective, in identifying our needs and in developing more resilient relationships with ourselves, with others and with food. This is just where “milestones of recovery” come in.
A “milestone of recovery” is a self-defined marker on our journey in recovery. It is essential to recognize that even on our worst days we do things that are right and good and supportive of our recovery. Milestones — which take myriad and often surprising forms — are bright spots in our meetings that inspire us with their honesty and reality. We find, often in retrospect, that our milestones express how we are working the principles of the program in our lives. The principles — embodied in the 12 Steps of EDA — include Honesty, Equality, Accountability, Love, Trust and Humility. We claim as many milestones as we can!
SUGGESTIONS FOR BUILDING RECOVERY
Eat when hungry, stop when moderately full. Consistent nutrition is essential for recovery.
Recovery is about feelings, not food, but we can’t reason or build trust when bingeing, purging or starving.
Get basic needs met first. If hungry, eat. If angry, find a safe outlet. If lonely, reach out. If tired, sleep. If ashamed, talk or write about it.
Be an adult. This takes training and practice. Get some!
Ask others for input and make your own decisions.
When anxious, get physical, get outside, pray. Then deal with the problem head-on.
Honesty restores integrity.
Develop willingness to look at things differently. Recovery is not rigid.
Go to 12-Step meetings, read the literature and work the steps.
Be proactive and plan your recovery
Info from www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org
This is what I gave my parents are my week one re-cap… whatta ya think?
Goals in the next couple weeks:
*Therapeutic meals once a week that I KNOW I am uncomfortable with, meal powder shakes
*Put down my radar- acknowledge I am hyper-aware of what others are thinking and it reflects on me and my actions/thoughts… so stop assuming. I acknowledge the ‘insanity’ in my thoughts and behaviors and change them, in the moment.
* Food, eating and recovery are my #1 priority in life, until I am better
*Stop future and past analyzing…live in the present and make decisions based on RIGHT NOW
*SET BOUNDARIES with people in my life
*Work on the hypoglycemia junk(a post of it’s own) and actually DO what the doctor said will help
Thoughts & realizations from Step one, Acceptance: It is very scary to admit that I am powerless. It makes me vulnerable. It makes me cry. But it also is the first step toward health. It’s a process. I am trying to let go of this idea that all this recovery has a destination or finish line you just get to and then all the bullshit is over. It is never ending- that scares me. And if I really, truly start accepting myself for who I am right in this moment, it means I have to accept that i need schedule. I like and need schedule. I need routine, but healthy routine. When I look at who I really am and stop living in amy head thinking about who I am, I realize I need to just be me and accept it. It is not a black and white disease, it is VERY gray.
Who are you?
I am a homebody
I am socially anxious
I am a nutrition nut
I am sensitive and insecure
I am easily distracted
I don’t deal well with spur of the moment decisions
I don’t know how to live in the present
I don’t sit well with myself
I need a schedule
I am a hard worker
I meet all my deadlines at my job
I don’t speak up when I am triggered
I don’t talk about emotions
I do everything I my power not to cry
I don’t cry around people
I love music and dancing
I love anything outside
I am a people watcher
I adore the un and the beach
I love dogs
I love helping other people
I love volunteering my time where it is wanted
To your parents & family?
Confusion, sadness, anger, frustration- just a few of the many emotions you have had because of me, I know you still worry. I think for a long time you all tried to “get” it and all I can tell you is there’s nothing to really “get.” I can talk all about the reasons and motivations for my illness and try to find some secret answer but there’s no point because there isn’t one. The real answer for me is to stop this ridiculous searching for some ‘secret answer.’ I have to accept the fact that this is a biological predisposed illness, so making “sense” of it is not possible, it’s not curable, and it will be with me forever. There are no “whys” of anorexia.
I don’t want you to accept or see me as anorexic. There is SO much more to me than that. Mostly aspects of myself I have yet to discover or redefine, but I am not defined by the fact that I have an illness.
Activities from Step One
Understand this: Recovery is the last place you should feel the need to please people.
Food and it’s avoidance is a reason to avoid the present. I couldn’t go to social events that included food. I will make myself comfortable and manageable in social situations. If it means eating before I go, bringing food, or eating when it is over eating is my number one priority.
I can’t eat if I haven’t earned it. I couldn’t eat certain foods just because there really was no logic to why I cut out certain foods. Now there is, I admit my problem. I was never scared of fat like most anorexics. I just sort of decided one day that food was no longer okay to eat or was it okay to associate with, regardless of whether it was ‘healthy’ or not. I was terrified of food because I could control keeping it out of me. I came to realize I have some really bad reactions to certain foods and unavoidable mental consequences.
Isolation. I hated/hate being seen while eating. I hated going out to dinner and having to decide what to get. It was painful. I hate food and public associations with it. I know now I need it to live and it is the only path toward recovery. But sometimes I hate what I make and the act of swallowing. My anorexia was not in any way an attempt to look like some runway actor or something. It was simply the desire to control and disappear in a life I had no idea what to do in.
I think this is one of the hardest things for people to ‘understand’ about anorexia is that it is NOT about looks or about weight or food. There are always insane unknown subconscious issues elsewhere and they usually build up overtime making bigger deals out of what should have been tackled in the present long ago. Mine all lead to the desire of control because I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing in life. But I like being in control, especially when it comes to my body and my food. I look in the mirror and I don’t like what I see but it is a by-product of mental illness (thank you Katie!!). Because I still picture as an overweight freshmen 50 pound gainer college failure – somehow that haunts me all the time and it is what I SEE literally. But my eating disorder isn’t about my body image problems- it is the security and control over the only aspect of my life I can control. If it was about body issues, then our entire society would be hospitalized right now and that’s just not realistic.
What do you think? What will help you?
What am I doing?
Living, working and eating but with all my coping and control taken away, ALL OF IT. Everything is harder, and feelings are multiplied times a million. Every move, morning and night provoke anxiety. Its like I know nothing, none of my life is for sure anymore and it’s so stressful. Sometimes I just resist and cry or other times I just cry, but I keep going. I broke down like 2 times last week, just fell to pieces with myself in my bed, but as insane as I felt because it was provoked by nada, I am still here, without control and still alive. It sucks but I will make it. Then how do I know what to eat? Alas, I make it through. I can make decisions and figure things out in the moment.
When I worry or stress, it increases my anxiety and fear. Somehow I get a sick calmness from things like this. When I get lividly pissed about something it is reason to starve, reason to lash out against the world. Maybe I just need to get off the pity potty. There’s no good purpose or reason to my obsessive worrying 24/7.
IT COMES DOWN TO THIS:
I need to learn how to calm down, distress and un-worry wort myself and deal in the present- all decisions and all thoughts
Added for you guys:
How I feel: up in weight for the third week running… I feel like a beached whale…like absolutely huge. I am ALL BELLY. Ew… ok I needed to vent that. I literally feel insane when it comes to feeling my body, seeing it, and mentally picturing this ginormous blubbery BLEH. Gaining weight requires an absolutely ungodly shitload of food.
But I realize this is good, there’s no point in bull shitting recovery. If I act like most or a lot of ED people my ass will be stuck ‘in recovery’ my whole fucking life, in and out of treatment, fllowing and ‘breaking’ meal plans, exchanging food and obsessing over it, up and down in weight. I am not beating around the bush about something like this anymore. I am just not. So, beached whale or not, I am just fucking eating and getting better.