Friday, October 7, 2011

I Let Go

It's been said that recovery from an eating disorder can take years. My own therapist, Kristin, told me this will take a long time. I am currently entering year 3 in active recovery. One issue that has completely hung up and delayed progress was my need to control my own recovery. I had everyone in place: two MD's, a Ph.D, and a RD. I kept my appointments. I showed. I payed what I owed. But I bucked.
Kristin would tell me from time to time "You say you want to recover, but you don't do the work."
I would not do what my dietitian said.
At times I was non-compliant with all my meds.
Yes, that was me controlling my own recovery and working it my own way.

After over 2 years, I finally decided that I had to let go of everything: my pride, my need to control and perfect, and my need to direct my recovery. I was going no where until I let Kristin, Jocele, Tim, and Rhonda do their jobs and help me. I had to follow every direction.

And guess what?

It's true. Recovery can happen. I'm still in the process, but following all their directions has dramatically changed my outlook on things. I no longer think I will die from this disorder. I actually believe in full recovery, being recovered. Recovered. Fully. My moods are stabilizing. I have individual therapy, group therapy and medical appointments regularly. I'm actually enjoying therapy now!

Interestingly enough, I don't feel the need to control my recovery anymore. I just do the work, and that in itself is working. I'm excited right now; I get to make a recovery collage. I've never done that.

I let go. I'm meeting the real me for the first time in 18 years. And let me tell you, she's a pretty determined gal.
Don't give up. Let go. Let your team work you. And just believe in yourself. You're so worth it, and it's so possible.

Thanks for reading.


WHO | World Mental Health Day October 10, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Who Says...?

The following are lyrics to a song I heard in my diet-free living class tonight. I could not find a link for the actual song. Song inspired by the book When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies by Carol Munter and Jane Hirschmann.

Who Says...?

WHO SAYS my thighs gotta be thin, who says?
Who says my thighs gotta be thing, who says?
My thighs & hips are strong, you see, they carry all the rest of me
Who says my thighs gotta be thin, who says?

WHO SAYS my butt better be small, who says?
Who says my butt better be small, who says?
My butt supports me when I sit, without it none of my pants would fit
Who says my butt better be small, who says?

WHO SAYS my belly can't be round, who says?
Who says my belly can't be round, who says?
My belly is where I rest my hands, it holds the best of my female glands
Who says my belly can't be round, who says?

WHO SAYS my chin can't double, who says?
Who says my chin can't double, who says?
If one chin's a necessity, then why not two, or even three?
Who says my chin can't double, who says?

WHO SAYS my breasts ain't OK, who says?
Who says my breasts ain't OK, who says?
Breasts are where I laid my head & slept so sweet, 'n even got fed
Who says my breasts ain't OK, who says?

WHO SAYS stay young forever, who says?
Who says stay young forever, who says?
My wrinkles are a legacy, a roadmap of my herstory
Who says stay young forever, who says?

WHO SAYS that thin is better, who says?
Who says that thin is better, who says?
In this big complex universe where everyone is so diverse,
Demanding thin is so perverse , so, who says?

WHO SAYS my body is wrong, oh, who says?
Who says my body is wrong, oh, who says?
My cellulite is bad, my waist is too thick
And who I am so contradict...............NO!
I'm just fine it's the culture that's sick, oh, I says!
He manages to find me in my deepest despair
He proves to love when I think no one else would care
I can feel the warmth of True love in the depths of my heart
Only the Lord is able to give me the gift of a brand new start.
Starting over, I'm learning to love
Being reminded of peace like the ascension of a dove.
Blessed by a church family where God is my high
Without Him I know it, I've been told I'll die.
Don't let me stop this relationship that's been crafted
For I know my name has been written, no longer is it drafted.

Reminder That No One's Perfect

I have individual therapy once a week with a therapist named Kristin. I've been seeing her for over two years now, and we've covered a lot of ground work.
At the end of each session, she books me for the next week, and I pay my copay of $25. Sometimes I'll pay her with a check or cash - just to make it easy for her. Most of the time, though, she gets a debit or credit card.

Now, very briefly my copay changed to $37.18. That was only for about 6 months or so. Then it went back to $25. Again, I've been seeing her for over two years. The woman can't remember the amount. Ever. I sit on her couch and smack my forehead each time she asks me, "How much is it? $20?" She was able to remember $37.18 no problem, but to this day she cannot remember $25. Two years. Every week.

Highly educated and a specialist in eating disorders, she handed me my receipt and card back. She also took that opportunity to remind me that no one is perfect. We all have our imperfections.
She got me there. She told me to write about it. I told her I was going to blog about it.

It doesn't matter where you come from, how educated you are or how much money you one is perfect. We all have our things. Maybe I should lighten up on Kristin.


Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Body Image and Fear

My personal physician, Jocele, told me one time, "Embrace your body, not the disorder."

I'm taking a diet-free living class that's being taught by a registered dietitian that specializes in eating disorders. We get homework each week that's supposed to exercise our positive way of thinking. One part of this week's homework is to stand in front of a full-length mirror and pick out the parts that we like. As soon as our thoughts turned disordered, the exercise is done. Soooo....

I stood in front of the bathroom mirror after my shower. I tried to clear my mind of all thoughts and tried to ignore the fear that I felt. So I stared blankly at myself, hair wet and stringy, draping my face. I began to brush it and found the things that I liked. I then immediately stopped the exercise because I knew if I looked further south I would criticize myself harshly. We are not to criticize during this exercise.

I found it interesting that when something I do everyday seems so mundane, but when someone else is telling me to do it, I feel fear. Fear of what? It's the fear that maybe it won't be so bad and I'll actually be able to find that strength inside me to do it. The fear also stems from standing up to the eating disorder (ED). Negative self talk is extremely powerful, and for one moment I thought optimistically about myself.

I didn't think the topic on body image would be so difficult. Moreover, I didn't realize how much fear it would produce inside me. One step at a time. One exercise at a time. All at my own pace, and if I don't want to do it, I don't want to do it. No one says I have to. More importantly, I don't have to be afraid.

And neither do you.

Be Coolio