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Saturday, March 26, 2011


I'm stuck!  Ever felt stuck? 

I've been stuck in my Eating Disorder and I've been stuck in my recovery.  In the past, I resisted it, hate it, yell and scream about it to others as well as yell and scream AT it or I can even push through it, avoid it, distract myself from it or get obsessed about it.  I can even accept it.  And, believe me I have done all of these things.  Only to end up feeling stickier.  I just feel like Braer Rabbit! But I'm realizing that it's less important to me to try and unstick myself as it is how I sit WITH the stickiness.   In other words, I am finding that what feels better is to merely allow myself to be sticky.  I don't think this is the same as accepting it.  Rather, it is an opening up of myself to the experience of "sticky".  I learned this concept from a very basic yet profound activity when I was in treatment.  I learned to "taste" my food again after many years of denying myself of this pleasure.  I would take the time to look, smell and then taste each bite as if each was a unique experience that would never occur again.  Later in my recovery, I broadened this lesson by having meals with my therapist and engaging in food challenges with my friends who were also in recovery from an Eating Disorder.  Over and over, I would experience this "stickiness." I remember it being challenging and I often HATED it, I fought it.  But, in time, I learned to enjoy the experience of being "sticky" with food. 

I no longer experience this sense of stickiness when interacting with food, but believe me, I experience it in life over and over again.  I often feel I can't move forward. I have the desire, I have the yearning but I am STUCK.  Stuck by and within a place in life, by circumstances, and by situations that are mostly outside my control.  And, again, the concept of merely accepting it sounds too simple and almost dismissive.  Instead, I imagine myself sitting beside the stickiness as if it is within me at all but a state of being.  Almost as if it is an alien I do not know anything about.  Because, in reality, it may not be me at all.  I have to ask myself  "Who am I to be so VAIN!" So, instead, I try to be-friend this stickiness.  I try to be gentle with it and listen to it, be curious about it.  Or if that's too difficult, I merely just sit with it.  I am patient with it and I am patient with myself as I am being patient with it!  And, amazingly enough, I often find that it is not as uncomfortable as I thought it was.  It is not as threatening.  It is not as awful. 

Throughout my recovery and throughout my life, I am learning that I have little control over most things, including (ironically enough) how quickly I recover.  But, though I have little control, I do have much impact. My impact comes from how I care for myself and how I care for life in general.  I am learning that when I feel stuck it is because I WANT more.  And that is a degree.  But, as my mother so frequently reminded me as I was growing up, I do not ALWAYS get what I want.  However, I want it none the less and I get angry that I can 't have it. Then I begin to resent IT or I resent the world or the universe or God or whatever is in front of me at the moment. When this happens, I soon feel helpless to change and then I get STUCK. But, I can, on the other hand, choose to be open and willing. I can invite this stickiness to stick with me just as I can reassure the stickiness that I will stick with it.     

So, in my last thought for this blog....Maybe this stickiness isn't so bad. After all, isn't there such a thing as "sticky sweet."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Self Soothing or Self Sacrifice

When was the last time you took a really long, hot shower? A shower that is truly enjoyable, with your favorite body washes. A shower in which you were mindful of how absolutely good it felt? Today, I realized that it had been months since I had taken that kind of shower. I have gotten into the habit of hopping in and hopping out, and gone astray from something that I once took true pleasure in.

I had a therapy appointment today, that was very insightful. I realized I have gotten out of the regular routine of self care, and self soothing. Hence, my serenity has been seriously interrupted. It's easy for me (as it is for all of us) to get caught up in all the things we have to do.  For me, that includes 2 part time jobs, a daily dog walking gig, school, a relationship, recovery, and maintaining responsibility as a productive member of society.  That's a big difference from where I used to be in my eating disorder.  There came a point in my eating disorder that I couldn't even function, I had nothing in my life but chaos and dis-order. I lived (rather, existed) in and out of hospitals or treatment centers. That was my life.  Through recovery, though, I got better. I learned not only to function without the eating disorder, but to enjoy life without the eating disorder. In time, my life became filled - and fulfilled. Five and a half years later, life is good. Better than I could have ever imagined it to be. Ah, but again, how easy it is to "forget", or let slide, one of the staples that helped me to recover in the first place - self care.

Early in my recovery, I learned that I absolutely love long, hot showers. I love the way the hot water feels beating down on my skin. I love the smells of my favorite body wash, and the way my loofah feels. I love the way the water runs down my hair. I love scrubbing my head with my nails while I wash my hair.  Lastly, I love how clean and crisp and relaxed I feel when I get out. Yet, somewhere a long the way I let that go. I got busy and pre-occupied.  In fact, I have let a lot of self care and self soothing fall by the wayside.  Sure, it's easy to practice self care on my days off, but on the days when I'm going from here to there I treat myself more so like a human doing rather than a human being.

This is my commitment to myself to get back to basics. To make myself more of a priority. Regularly.This is  also my challenge to you, to do the same. 

Until next time, take care of yourself. It really does make all the difference!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Gotta Run"

Hello again my friend:  My friend and co-author wore a t-shirt the other day that reminded me of my recovery.  It read "Gotta Run."  I consider myself an avid runner, although I am by no means a "natural runner"  although as I write those words...maybe I am or at least I was.  Relevant to the message of this blog, while active in my eating disorder, I would have been easily defined as a "runner" by the definition as someone who runs.  I RAN, literally, and I RAN figuratively.  Running helped me cope.  I ran from problems.  Specifically, fear and insecurity. My Anorexia was at it's worse at a time in my life when I was the most alone.  I had few people I referred to as friends and no purpose except completing a masters degree (ironically enough in psychology).  I was faced with what my life meant and I had no answer to give.  So, I ran.

I ran from my past but I was not running to anything. I was lost and, as I sit here reflecting and writing to you, running in circles.  My co-author's last blog entry was about her experience with walking a labrynth and how it paralleled her search for the inner "truth."  The spiralling of the eating disorder was on her.  Well, running was like that for me.  Running (again, literally and figuratively) kept me from the introspection that my friend had experienced with the labrynth.  Running kept my mind and my body busy. 

One thing that made a huge difference (among so many on this journey of self discovery and life acceptance) was that I began to run because I enjoyed it, I wanted to do it and stopped running because I felt I HAD to.  I stopped running my life and started running purposefully.  The parallel of physically and running mentally is evident to you, I think. 

When I was active in my eating disorder I starved because I felt I HAD to and only then tricked myself into believing that I WANTED to.  No one WANTS to starve.  It is against every survival instinct.  But, amazingly enough, that is exactly what I was trying to do...SURVIVE.  All I knew to do was run.  Gotta Run!!!!  That was all that was in my head.  Over and over in my head....GOTTA RUN!!!!  I had no choice, didn't anyone understand that?!  I realize now, that I do have a choice.  When I run now, I listen to my body, sometimes I push it further to see how far I can but never too far.  I listen to it.  When it no longer becomes fun or meaningful I stop.  That was not a concept I was familiar with in life.  You mean, I can stop?  What?  That was baffoling.  I can stop the chaos?  What would I do, then?  I now know that if I push too far, I will feel bad afterwards, my body will be too tired, I will get easily irritated with others and I won't feel good.  When I was anorexic, non of that mattered.  All that mattered was that I was running.  I was surviving. 

People run from so much.  Our lives are so busy.  Everyone's running from somewhere to go somewhere else.  I saw a billboard the other day that read "Nice to meet you, gotta run."  That says it all, doesn't it?  It's encouraged to run so that you don't think and so that you don't feel.  I feel pained that it is that way.  I feel pain for old self that believed it and how painful it was to run. 

I run now because, as I said, I enjoy it.  I meditate, create, listen and am calmed by it.  I neither run from something nor am I running to something (say, a skinnier body), rather, I run because I feel good.  My readers, my friends---ask yourself "why do you run?"  And, on that guessed it...."GOTTA RUN!"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Visit Us on Myspace!

A new blog is in the making, but in the meantime "friend" us on Myspace by clicking HERE