I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 22 - Remember This

Today’s prompt is inspired by the blog “The Things We Forget.”  Write yourself a reminder. It can be in the form of an online post – or a picture of an actual Post-It like the ones from the website.


Here's mine:

I obsess when I'm anxious. I AM OKAY.

I obsess a lot, because I am anxious a lot.  My therapist has taught me that if I realize that I am obsessing because I am anxious, then that simple realization will actually take away most of the anxiety's power and it will stop the obsessive thoughts.  I thought she was overly optimistic when she first told me that, but it actually works.  I tried it out for the first time last week.  I was at the mall and I purchased a small milkshake, but as soon as I paid for it, I started obsessing about how I shouldn't have ordered it in the first place.  Eating disorder thoughts came into my head and I told myself that I shouldn't have something that's unhealthy, that I shouldn't finish it, that I should throw it away, but that would waste my money, but that is an eating disordered thought and I don't want to give in to ED, oh no, I'm really not in recovery, I'm a failure...  All of those damaging thoughts went through my head in a matter of seconds and as you can see with each anxious thought, the scenario that I put myself in just got worse and worse and worse.  I was catastrophizing in a big way.  But before my thoughts manifested themselves into actual eating disorder behavior, I had a moment of clarity where I thought to myself:  
Wait a minute!  My therapist said that eating disorders are caused by anxiety.  I am thinking this way, because I am anxious.
and poof! Just like that the oppressive, anxious thoughts went away.  I was able to enjoy my milkshake in peace.  My disease had wanted to trick me into believing that I am not as recovered as I usually think I am, but I kicked it to the curb with my moment of clarity and reality.  As I enjoyed my shake, I knew the truth that I am okay.  I have used this trick now several times and it usually has helped me shake the negative thoughts.  I know that it will take a lot of practice for me to be able to catch myself obsessing and to remind myself what I am doing more quickly, but the peace of mind that results from it is so worth it.
(That's the creamy, oreo shake I enjoyed minus the whip cream-very delicious!)

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