Honesty in recovery

Is it ok to admit to being a fuck up?
The short answer is yes. In fact, I actually think it’s integral to recovery; if we don’t admit to fucking up (relapsing) we continue on in this perverse secret world that those who have an eating disorder have created for ourselves. I know how much easier it is for me to tell people I’ve had a good week than it is to admit to someone ‘actually I made myself sick three times yesterday because someone didn’t reply to a text in time so I convinced myself no one would ever love or understand me and so I ate (insert unfathomable amount of food here.)’ The truth is though, through admitting to people that care enough to ask how we are doing we are again holding ourselves accountable for our actions. It also opens up the dialogue of talking through any possible triggers and solutions to these triggers. Bare in mind I am speaking not from a place of high and mighty recovered bulimic but someone very much still in the throws of it (I binged this morning actually and am trying to break the purging cycle so am writing to try and stop myself)

When I have a good day and have no desire to engage in any of my disordered behaviours it’s almost always (unfortunately) because I’ve spent the day in someone elses’ company and have therefore not had to spend time with myself. Which again leads us back to the root cause of all of this for the vast majority of us; no self worth. But, how the hell do you go about getting any of that stuff?

I’ve been working with my therapist on coming up with a few ways to slowly help and perhaps they’ll be useful for some of you too so here we go…

Affirmations
Something I have never committed to doing before because it just seems so ridiculous to say I love myself when it’s so evidently not true, however my therapist and I decided that seeing as I can’t even say those words to myself in my head perhaps we should start with something a little more middle-ground so we decided on ‘I accept myself.’ In thinking about what the term acceptance really means it’s actually not so middle ground at all; in saying we fully and totally accept ourselves we are saying that every flaw, imperfection and perceived negative quality is recognized but is not in any way to be seen as a reason to punish ourselves and If we accept ourselves for who we are isn’t it just a small step from liking ourselves?

Reading
I’ve spent years reading articles, lectures, novels and self-help books on eating disorders and to be honest not one has ever been useful in any other way than teaching me new tricks. Something I do find helpful though is reading about the emotional side of the illness, the root causes and the psychological changes within us.
The latest books on my list to get through are Eating Mindfully by Susan Albers, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L.Hay and Healing The Child within by Charles L. Whitfield.

Exercise
This one is equal parts important as it is damaging to me because I still find it so hard to find middle ground with anything I do so I will either work out 2-3 hours a day and obsessively count my macros or I will do absolutely no exercise at all.
Undoubtedly though, when I have managed to stick to a normal routine and listen to my body I have felt a great deal of clarity and satisfaction from working out.
Don’t think that just because you don’t like running you don’t like exercise as well, it’s so important to find something that works for you, I can’t stand it when someone tells me I should try ‘tabata training’ because it’ll really help ‘lean me out’ Fuck off Gordon I’m trying not to die.
I love yoga and weightlifting, both make me feel strong and accomplished but to be honest I don’t do enough of either right now and I should probably be in the gym at the moment rather than writing this (I’m getting good at being honest.)

Band Trick
This is a new one from my therapist as well and it has already affected the way my inner monologue functions. It’s very simple; you wear a hair band around your wrist and every time you think or say something negative about yourself you switch it over to the other wrist. It gives you some realisation of just how many times a day you are saying something to yourself that is providing you with nothing but more negative energy and will bring you nothing but more pain and suffering. It doesn’t stop the thoughts but it helps you become aware and that’s the first step of changing an unhelpful behaviour.

This is by no means a conclusive list and I’d love to hear if you have any other suggestions. I’d also like to thank everyone that got in contact with me over the last week, I’ve had so many messages of support and love so thank you.

Love and light

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2 thoughts on “Honesty in recovery

  1. Love you Luce. The turning point in my own recovery was meeting someone who didn’t take any lies. “Why did you make yourself sick?”. That moment I thought you know what this is literally insane. Writing this all down is doing the exact same thing, bringing it out in the open and showing how insane yet hard to break it is. You can do this, I’m 100% certain you can do this. For me, it took a lot longer for me to be “OK” with myself than it took for me to stop damaging myself through eating/not eating/being sick. That came in time when I had gotten myself to a better place and could look back and say yes actually I respect myself more. I don’t respect my body 100% though, maybe it never goes. We just find new ways to hurt ourselves when we don’t feel good about ourselves of our lives. But tackle each day and each issue as it comes. Honesty is 100% the way to get through this. I’m so proud of you for being so honest, open, and so strong. Here for you always x

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