There is a positive way of dealing with the disharmony and conflict in the world. We can focus on the new possibilities that are available to us rather than the influence of the past alone. (Monica A. Coleman, Making a Way Out of No Way, 67)
I was doing really well in staying positive and motivated about my recovery until I started comparing myself to others. I already talked about in my last post about how that practice can lead to feelings of shame. Well, this time it led to feelings of resentment. It started one night when a group of friends started talking about their dieting and I could not participate. You would think that this would be a good thing, but diet talk really triggers me. I remember how in control I felt when I used to diet and I start missing it. And if I listen to diet talk too long, then I start to glamorize my eating disorder. Then I'll become really sad and resentful, because I know I can never diet again, for if I do, my addictive behavior will start again and I won't stop restricting until I have made myself so depressed that I am back in the hospital. Usually I am strong enough to stand up for myself when people start talking about their diets and I will try to either tactfully change the subject or will start talking to someone else in the group, but this time I was in pain due to my fibromyalgia and so I had a harder time saying, "no" to my depression, resentment, and eating disorder. The subject did eventually change, but I did not. I went home feeling sorry for myself. I kept on thinking about all the things I need to do in order to stay healthy and I wished that I was like everyone else. The next day, I woke up to extremely cloudy skies, which affected my mood. They almost always do. My doctor wants me to get a light box to help boost my energy on dark days and I thought about that and then I thought, "another thing. It's just another thing I have to do." And I felt defeated. I already have a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) class that I am taking, which involves homework every week. I already have to exercise and watch what I eat. I already have the twelve steps and a DBT workbook to complete. I already have doctor and therapy appointments. I already have support groups to attend. I just canNOT do one more thing. No matter that ordering a light box would only take five minutes to do-I just felt defeated. I was certainly not focusing on new possibilities.
Monday night, I finally ordered a light box and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival. I have heard that its use can really help increase energy and a positive mood. Of course, what helps increase a positive mood more than a light box is to stop thinking "not another thing," but to embrace the changes in my life that I must make. My thoughts starting Sunday were like a disease spreading throughout my soul, dragging me down with negativity. I did not like feeling the way I was feeling and yet I was resisting change. My therapist told me my resistance was causing me my suffering. After several panic attacks, I finally really examined my feelings on Thursday and I realized that I had been way too hard on myself. I did not want to do anymore emotional work, because I felt pressure from myself to do it perfectly. I wanted results and I wanted them NOW, which isn't usually how life works. So I have a new mantra for myself: I am not perfect and that is okay. Now I am trying to look at the things I do as possibilities for positive change, instead of as burdens to be endured.
(My Nu Yearz resolushun iz tu maintane my perfekshun. U howeber, needz sum wurk.)
BTW, WEGO Health has declared April health activist writer's month and I am participating in their challenge. I am going to attempt to post thirty blog posts in thirty days, using their prompts. This will stretch me as a writer and I think it will be fun. Go here if you want to participate too. Follow @wegohealth on Twitter during April, as they'll be sharing the different posts.
Here are my recommended posts:
Fat Heffalump - Dear You, Volume 3
Let me tell you a little secret. All those confident people you see around you that you admire but think you could never be like them? You are already like them. Not only because you are taking that step out into the great world of self acceptance and positive self esteem (which is awesome!) but because they feel just the same way as you do. They feel scared, they feel like screw ups, they feel like imposters, they feel ugly, stupid, not good enough. The difference is, they know that those feelings are normal to have, and that they’re not always accurate depictions of themselves. They acknowledge those feelings first, and then they examine why they are feeling them.
ShoutOut! JMU: Your Source for Feminist Discourse Mythbustin’ Monday: If We Know That Sex Does Not Equal Gender, Why Are We Cissexist?
[...]even our very language can limit and constrain identity politics. What I do know is this: since sexism and the” War Against The Female Body” is rooted in misogyny and biological determinism (male is “superior” to female because of biology) and the hierarchy of social difference seeks to maintain male supremacy, then it is ESSENTIAL that we recognize that cissexism is rooted in a desire to maintain that hierarchy of difference (nothing would dismantle it faster than if we all collectively realized that sex and gender are not hard and fast rules or absolutes.) What we can do, before having some revamp-the-jargon-fest is very important conversations about cissexism and cisgender privilege, when we have it and what we gain from it, and how it excludes just as much as the other isms.
Body Love Wellness - How To Get Started With Health At Every Size
One of the beautiful things about HAES® is that each of the 3 main principles interact with one another. Respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes may lead you to respect your body more, which may lead you to eat and exercise in a more intuitive healing way. Paying attention to your hunger may allow you to notice what else you’re hungry for in your life, which may lead you down a very healing path of connecting with yourself and your desires. Moving your body with joy may allow you to see the beauty in a variety of bodies and your own body.
Excitable Gurelle: The Queen of Bipolar - When I Grow Up
Wrinkles, sagging skin, arthritis and all the other signs of aging aren’t fun, no doubt, but they are symptoms. Hopefully this also means we have grown wiser from time. We are young enough to still grow and change yet old enough to know what probably needs to change. Tonight I’m grateful for aging.
Healthy Place - Your Addiction Recovery Comes First
You deserve a life free from addictions, eating disorders, self-harm, etc. You deserve to value yourself. You are worthy of your own self love and acceptance. Begin now. Love yourself first.
I love the comment, "you know all those people you think are better than you and you can never be as good as them...you already are!"
Yup. It is so hard to keep who you are in perspective. (My son has SZ. It is so difficult to help him build his self esteem... We just keep trying.)
Believe it or not, there are people who look at you and think and feel the same thing!
Rock on, girl!