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self love in 2016

I posted this on my instagram, but I feel it belongs here as well.

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new year’s honesty post: I may talk a big talk about positivity and self love and all that stuff, but in actual fact I’m fucking awful at it. I’ve been struggling, hard. I’ve been beating myself up about all my failures, and forgetting how far I’ve come in this past year. but really? life doesn’t just hand you wonderful things, and if recovery were easy people wouldn’t struggle for years with eating disorders. with everything, you’ve got to fight for what you want in life, and accept that you’re gonna mess up once in a while. you don’t have to be perfect, no one is. just do the best you can. so, here’s to starting 2016 with a better attitude and a lil self compassion. ūüíē happy new years bys, don’t forget to be nice to and love yo’self this year

To add to that, I’m setting a few goals for 2016:

  • be healthy enough to train for and run the Tely10 Roadrace with mom in July
  • be more social, by which I mean seeing friends and leaving the house at least once a week
  • travel, somewhere, anywhere, at least once this year
  • be solid enough in recovery by December 2016 that I don’t need monthly checkups
  • have some kind of plans/be thinking about moving out in 2017 ?

I’m not so good at goals, but I need something to work towards; I’ve begun to feel useless and totally unmotivated lately. ¬†I think I can handle those things. ¬†Hereby giving myself a kick in the ass to step my game up, I’m going to make 2016 goooood.

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compare and despair

I have so many important¬†words and phrases highlighted in my copy of Life Without Ed, the book might as well have bright pink pages. ¬†One of those lil nuggets of wisdom is one I need a reminder of all too often – “compare and despair”.

I know recovery is a personal thing, I know everyone’s recovery looks different, and I know it does absolutely no good to compare your progress to that of others. ¬†But still, some days I find it hard to remember how far I’ve come, when others seem like they’ve gone so much further.

It’s strange, because even while I’m frustrated with myself and jealous of their progress, I am so incredibly happy when I see my recovery friends doing well. ¬†Seeing the difference between the sad, sick, empty girls I met last spring and the vibrant, happy, healthy girls I now call my friends is amazing. ¬†I can feel the difference when we’re together – the room is filled with hope and laughter and love (all rarities just a few months ago). ¬†It fills me with joy to see all the positive changes in my friends, and to see them leaving their eating disorders behind and moving on to better days.

The problem comes when I start the comparisons. ¬†Right now, a bunch of the girls who went through orientation with me and started group therapy at the same time I did are getting close to “graduating” from the Hope program. ¬†They’re all doing the “Stepping Stones” therapy group, which is basically the finishing up, review-what-you’ve-learned, end of your therapy and treatment. ¬†Never mind that I’m not doing any groups right now (so it’s not even a valid comparison), the fact that they’re doing the group and I’m not makes me feel awful.

This just starts a whole slew of worries and self-criticisms. ¬†Am I that far behind? ¬†What’s wrong with me? ¬†How come it’s so easy for them, while I’m still struggling? ¬†Have I even made any progress at this??

Another girl came in to group last week, noticeably happier than she’s been in weeks, saying she was feeling so good about recovery. ¬†She was having a good few weeks, and feeling happy, so she had started eating again! ¬†I’m sorry – what?!¬† I’ve had happy times, and sad times, and all the while I’ve eaten, and still had an eating disorder. ¬†You cannot tell me that it’s as simple a matter as being happier and deciding to eat. ¬†And yet, looking at some people’s recovery, it seems like it is just that easy.

I know, I have no idea what’s going on inside their heads, and I have no idea what issues are truly present in their lives and recovery. ¬†It’s just so frustrating when I keep seeing other girls making recovery look so easy. ¬†For me, it’s been anything but.

See? ¬†Even just trying to explain those comparisons comes out sad and negative. ¬†Jenni Shaefer knows what she’s talking about when she says compare and despair. ¬†I need her in my head constantly, reminding me to focus on my own recovery. ¬†When it’s not being compared to everyone around me, my progress is pretty impressive, too. ¬†This is my story, and my recovery, and I’m doing the best I can. ¬†Just gotta be good with that! ¬†(Although it doesn’t hurt to celebrate and be happy for my friends’ progress too – we’re all pretty great)

ūüôā

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accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

2014 was a struggle.

This year had some of the hardest times of my life, but¬†I’m thankful for everything that’s happened. ¬†I’m entering 2015 stronger, happier, and healthier than I’ve ever been, and I have the troubles¬†and awfulness of 2014 to thank for that. ¬†It was a necessary struggle, one that I should have undertaken years ago.

If 2014 was the year of bad times and sadness, I want 2015 to be a year filled with good times and happiness. ¬†I¬†wrote¬†in a previous post that I wouldn’t be making a resolution this year, but I’d like to change that, I think. ¬†There is too much negativity in my life, and there’s no reason to keep it around. ¬†This year I want to get rid of all the negative things and people that take away from my happiness and cause me grief. ¬†I’ve spent the past year fighting for my health and happiness, why should I keep anything around me that threatens that?

My crappy job, my half-assed “friends”, my eating disorder? ¬†I’ve run out of reasons to keep any of them around. ¬†It’s time to trade them in for more positive experiences, people, and habits.

I have high hopes for 2015. ¬†I think my recovery journey is finally getting on track, and I have so many wonderful plans for the coming year. ¬†I’m excited about life, and even that is a pretty cool feeling.

2014 taught me a lot and I’m all the better for it, no matter how terrible things may have been at times. ¬†With only a day left to the year, however, I’ll admit that I’m glad to see it gone. ¬†Happier, healthier, more wonderful days are ahead!

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New Day, New Week, New Month

Sometimes I hate being right. ¬†I predicted in my last “I love life, recovery is awesome” post that I was in for a few struggle-y days, and yup, this weekend was a struggle.

Still, it was different than most other times when I’ve had a lapse or bad feelings about recovery. ¬†More of a mental exhaustion than anything else, since I didn’t restrict or even consider giving up on my fight to recover. ¬†The anxiety was overwhelming though. ¬†I don’t think a single meal this weekend was easy; even foods that have never been a challenge caused me stress and overthinking. ¬†And then, I felt guilty about being stressed. ¬†I don’t want to be so anxious and uptight about foods, especially at this point in recovery! ¬†I¬†felt guilty for¬†not pushing myself, and for worrying about what my family was having for dinner, and for even having this kind of struggle after feeling so good just last week. ¬†I think I was really disappointed in myself for maybe not being as recovered as I had¬†told myself.

But today I’m making myself think about it differently. ¬†I’m well aware that “recovery is not a linear process”, and that it’s not going to be fun and exciting all the time. ¬†I’m allowed to have days where I don’t feel great, that’s normal. ¬†And having those days does nothing to take away from all the progress I’ve made (because I really have come a long way from where I was).

I talked to my mom this morning, and let her know how I’ve been feeling the past few days. ¬†And she basically told me what I knew already. ¬†It’s all going to be okay; I’m strong and I’m gonna fight for this and I’m gonna be alright. ¬†I feel like by acknowledging to myself and to mom that I’ve been struggling, I’m free now to shake off those bad vibes. ¬†It’s a new day, and a new week, and a new month. ¬†Time for a fresh start and renewed energy for recovery.

I’m alllllll about ‘dat positive attitude.

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