Sunday, February 12, 2012

When you put limits on treatment...... end up putting limits on your recovery....and your LIFE!

I was speaking to students and faculty at a local college this past week, and one of the points I made, as I attempted to help educate them as future health care professionals; was how important it is to never minimize the seriousness of an eating disorder.
I thought of how many times I myself, while in the throes of this deadly illness, kept telling myself that 'tomorrow', I would change, and it would all be better. Of course, I had countless ways to rationalize and convince myself that I would finally 'do it', and I think at times, I believed it. I felt desperate, yet, also, set on not needing 'treatment', and believing that I had to be strong and 'just do it'. I did this for over 30 years, and I will never have those years back.
I run across people every day who regret not getting help sooner, and who feel guilty because they couldn't do it on their own. I understand that. But I also know that the sooner a person allows themselves to admit they cannot make the necessary decisions to recover on their own, the more of their life they will have to truly live.
Most people who suffer with an eating disorder worry about what other people think, or 'will' think if they seek treatment. There is no way that the people in their lives don't already know what is going on....usually. And if certain people don't already know, they certainly will, once the disorder causes the person to be completely dysfunctional. There is something about an eating disorder that causes the person suffering to believe that they will somehow be the one who doesn't have a heart attack, renal failure or sudden death. It doesn't work that way.
Full recovery is possible, but not without finally surrendering to those who truly know how to help, and being willing to do WHATEVER it takes to never have the eating disorder again. I had to commit to that, probably a hundred times or more, but had I continued to try to tailor my treatment to 'what I would do', and 'what I wouldn't do', in terms of willingness, I would be dead by now. I have NO doubt about that.
An eating disorder serves a purpose; or else no one would ever develop one. But there is a point where it's only purpose is to destroy. Is it really worth not feeling, hiding away, being in constant pain {physical and emotional}, and literally losing moments, days, weeks, and years of your life to hold onto some tiny aspect that offers {distorted} peace?
The truth is, the surrender involved in recovery offers rewards that cannot be seen until it's done.....and each day offers more.
What are you holding onto; and what are you sacrificing for that control?
An active eating disorder and LIFE are not compatible. The longer you wait to choose, the less of one you will experience.
Which one will it be?
Without apology.....♥

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What RULES your life?

How do you know what is 'right' when everything is 'wrong'?
If you could count how many times you 'should' yourself every day, would you be shocked? Probably.
What about those days when everything seems to be a challenge, and you don't think you can take one more problem?
"What am I doing wrong?"
"It's all my fault."
"I deserve to be sad, unhappy or [hungry]"
Do any of these sound familiar?
What about........
"I know I will make a mistake. There is no use in trying."
"I forgot to call my friend back last night. I am a terrible friend, forgetful, and not worth anyone spending time with. "
"My perfect score on the exam was just luck."
"No one called me back about the job. They hate me and I will never be hired."
"If I am not chosen to attend the seminar, I will ever have another opportunty."
"My entire family hates me because I have never done anything right."
These are examples of 'cognitive distortions'. When the internal (and often external) messages you send yourself are extreme, and often stem from negative beliefs or perspectives about yourself.
These messages most often greatly affect the quality of your life.
I was a victim of getting caught up in more than one of these, often for long periods of time.
Much of the time it centered around my core belief that I was a 'bad' person, and that I deserved to
be punished. Good/bad, right/wrong, and should/shoudn't, were the rules I lived by. They were not chosen rules, but rules that I truly felt sentenced to; as a life term.
It is much too complex to explain right here, but once I decided to allow myself to 'choose' what rules to follow, and what I truly believed,  the anger, resentment and frustration began to melt away. I began to respect myself and others more, and I let go of the guilt and fear that I had felt for most of my life. the midst of this process I could not see, nor could I even imagine things ever being better or even different. There is true beauty in hindsight.
Life is not fair. This is one I will always struggle with. When 'normal' pains and losses in life occur, I find myself trying to balance it all again. No longer is it about punishing myself, or is it related to eating or food. But I often find that I must again evaluate who I am in the bigger picture, and what meaning it all has for me. I don't have to always be happy or like the way I feel.
I simply need to keep going.
Without apology.....♥