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MIA and staying on the better path

Hi there! It’s been quite some time since I’ve been active on here. Over the past month I kept considering posting but choose not to do so ultimately because I wasn’t mentally there. It’s been a rough few months and admittedly I fell into the trap with my recovery of thinking I had been solid for over a year, and therefore I was “fine” and completely solid. Nope, cracks still exist.

Over the last bit I’ve been trying to accept that those cracks still exist and that I am not perfect in my recovery and that by trying to be so I will end up falling back rather than keeping going on the better path. Maybe I’ll always have those things that get me, and honestly after 10 years I probably will. Many times people think someone with a mental illness is good after treatment. That could not be further from the truth in most cases. Sure, they are better. Sure, they are functioning with society. But it’s still there. It’s called an illness for a reason. It doesn’t just magically go away.

I am a hell of a lot more aware of myself and my actions now than I ever have been in my life. I’m motivated. I’m hitting goals. I’m stronger mentally. I’m stronger physically. I’m stronger emotionally. BUT I still have cracks.

I’m grateful that I’ve been able to re-focus myself and see that what I was doing was just spiraling me backwards. Maladaptive behaviors are my high. They are numbing. They make me not feel my feelings. They make every problem go away because I get so wrapped up and consumed inside myself. One thing that has taken me forever to take away from my experience is that living in that high isn’t living. It’s self-limiting. It’s dangerous. It’s not worth it. It’s the opposite of what I actually truly want to be doing.

That’s why it’s referred to as an addiction. It is.

But breaking that? breaking those habits. breaking the cycle… that is living. That is pursing life and goals and hope and healing. It’s better. It’s life.

Right now I’m extremely focused on filling those cracks. I’m not trying to make them go away, I know they will always be with me, but I’m trying to bury them deeper. At this point in my life I am actively letting go of my past because it no longer serves me anything but instead I now see it’s hurting me more than I ever was aware of.

Right now, I’m focusing on just living. After all, it’s life.

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Being committed to recovery means that

If there was one single tidbit of advice (ok, two) that I could give out to those struggling with an eating disorder pursing their recovery it would be… that recovery is being committed to yourself, to the pursuit of your health (mental, emotional, physical), to overcoming those demons and striving to thrive in life rather than destroy yourself. Second, you’re not a failure if you go backwards and you’re not a failure if you don’t go backwards.

When I was in treatment a few years ago the hardest part for me at first was committing to myself. Sure I was the one who made the phone call, I drove down by myself for my intake, I went to all the meetings and necessary steps to get into the program. But at that point I wasn’t fully there. I knew it was what I needed, but not fully what I wanted. It was what was going to hopefully save my life, but I needed to commit myself to doing so. While I was going to have the support, that support would mean nothing more than guidance and short term love if I weren’t able to continue on with the process afterwards and always. I think recovery is a life long process. Treatment, therapy, groups, support networks, ect. – they teach the necessary tools for self-care, respect, and healing. But they don’t do the work. Only when the person who is struggling is ready at the level where they can commit themselves to the pursuit of healing and self-care can the fullest recovery process begin to unfold.

It’s tricky. I’m not going to short-hand that and say that this process is easy by any means. It’s the hardest thing I ever did and continue to do. I cannot even begin to express the variations of recovery I have seen and I think that is an extremely important point as well – everyone’s version of full recovery is different. By the books I’m recovered. However, I don’t really tend to associate with that, I say I’m in remission. For me that’s what works. I think finding that way, whatever it is, to keep yourself on the good road is what ultimately counts rather than throwing a label on it.

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Another really big hurdle for me was one I hit once I was full heartedly sure that I wanted recovery for myself… keeping that mindset. Keeping that focus, that drive; the relentless desire to heal. Writing down a list of what being committed to my recovery meant for me helped a lot in staying on a positive road. Here’s what worked for me, maybe it’ll work for you or someone you know who is struggling, maybe it won’t. That’s ok.

  • Tuning in and listening to what my body tells me.
  • Accepting where I am, and accepting where I want to go.
  • Knowing that having temptations, urges, and triggers is normal. Realizing that I don’t have to give in to them. Accepting that if I do, it’s not an end all be all. It’s a stepping stone.
  • Remembering to always ask for help when needed, it isn’t a sign of weakness rather a sign of strength. To know that you need help shows strength and courage. It’s hard, but it’s something everyone needs at some point or another in life.
  • I will place my health and my wellbeing first. After all, I’m my number one. In the end, it’s me for me. This is the only body and the only life I will be given, it’s my duty to honor both of those.
  • That I will get enough sleep. Trust me, it helps.
  • That while I may want to [inert negative behavior here], I will try my hardest to not. Whether this means reaching out, journaling, taking a walk, ect.
  • Being completely honest with my support system. It’s for the best, no matter what. This was hard for me in the beginning. I didn’t want to be completely vulnerable. I held stuff back. I wanted things to seem better than they were. What really helped me though was when I just “gave in” and made myself an open book so to speak.
  • Doing everything in my power to take care of my body in terms of both physical and mental health. This may include:
    • seeking a treatment program, therapist, nutritionist, group-therapy, ect.
    • yoga
    • meditation
    • journaling
    • practicing mindfulness
    • spending quality time with friends and/or family

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There are so many more things I could list, endless really. Those are the main points which helped me on my journey to reach a place where I am thriving, living my life, and loving all that I’m doing. I want any of you who are going through this process to know that you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. You will achieve recovery if that is what you want. You don’t need to want it at first, I don’t think that’s essential. I think knowing you need it is. Wanting comes after. It’s that whole pre-contemplation –> contemplation –> action concept.

“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.” – Nathan W. Morris

XO, S

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Current pursuits and revisiting my 2015 goals

Hey guys! Another full week of classes (no snow days) here and I’m beyond thrilled about that. #wearingmynerdhat. Today I wanted to revisit my goals for 2015, see where I stand,  and tell you a little bit about my current pursuits in life. Fascinating stuff, I know, contain yourself 😉

Back in January I set a bunch of goals for the upcoming year, and one thing I’m really trying to do is hold myself accountable to those goals. I also am being open with myself about circumstances which arise and also opportunities that I had never imaged. One thing I’ve struggled a lot with in the past is change. I get stuck in a place where even if I’m not entirely happy, I just get too comfortable. So that is one additional goal I have set for myself and am working on literally daily, and by working on I mean keeping in the back of my head.

  • Remain open to all opportunities. Don’t allow myself to get stuck in a situation which no longer serves me, merely because it’s a safety zone.

Then there are the things which I’m close to nailing down and it’s not even half way through the year.

  • I’ll be testing for my NASM-CPT certification in April and looking for a position as a personal trainer. Extremely excited about this opportunity. I think a huge component to life (at least for me) is helping others better themselves and hit their goals by providing support in things that you enjoy. For me, I live and love fitness and the pursuit of all things health and wellness and I am all about helping others reach their goals within this realm.
  • Start up at UNH. DONE, and I’m loving it.
  • Start being completely and entirely honest with myself. THIS. I’ve been doing very well with this and I think a lot of it comes from also focusing on not holding myself back. I feel like I’ve hit a spot in my life in the past few months where I feel great, am loving the direction I’m headed, and the more I focus on being my true self the more chances I’m being handed. In reality those chances have always been there I’ve just been way to deeply stuck in my head to actually consider going after them.
  • Stop taking ativan. I put this out there back in January and I’m here to say that I haven’t needed it since January. Again, I think this stems to just being true to myself. I still have considerable anxiety but I’m working on it and it’s something that is going to be very difficult for me to fully get past because I’ve dealt with it since I can remember (literally 3-4 years old). Another goal I had set is helping me on this one as well: let it be & let it go.

For pure entertainment purposes before I get into goals with aren’t being nailed down… here’s a snapshot circa 1994 (15 months old). Throwback much? I apparently thought I was a ghost, and my mother had solid taste in terms of my hair style.

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Things that I haven’t even attempted:

  • Competing in a powerlifting meet. I had my sights set on a potential meet in April but with a new school, pursing my NASM certification, and just trying to re-balance myself I found this wasn’t the best idea. With my competitive history I need to ensure for my health and my sanity that I am ready. I’m not there yet. I’m close but I know myself well enough to know that right now I need enjoyment, not competition. This fits right in hand with one of my other goals (yes not going after one actually correlates with hitting another right on the head): Determine a fitness routine which both heals my body and helps me gain strength. Let’s be honest, the end goal is to compete again and feel amazing doing so.
  • Try out a new gym. I technically did do this, a local crossfit that some friends go to. I think after trying three crossfit gyms I can say with certainty… it’s not for me. I’m branching this goal out with a new one: join a yoga studio… something I’ve pondered for years and after my recovery process and really finding healing help through yoga and mediation I think it would be a great idea.
  • Explore my own nourishment and the needs of my body. AKA my digestive system could use a tad bit of tlc. I’ll be honest here while I am doing very well with nourishment and providing my body with the building blocks of fuel it needs for life, school, learning, the gym, and just enjoyment I still have much work to do in terms for digestive health. I’m not entirely sure what gives but one thing I’ll be trying is giving up coffee for a period of time. Those of you who know me well enough know that this isn’t an easy task.

I highly recommend revisiting goals every few months because I’ve found this process to be extremely helpful in regards to opening up my sights and perspective on life and letting me really feel how I’m feeling.

 

“She is, and forever will be a lone wolf. She’s happy living life in her own mind and she’s content with watching the world around her in silence. She’ll never belong to anyone, and that’s what’s so beautiful about her, she’s running wild.” – Emily Trinkle