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Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Lost count of how many gratitude lists I have done on the site. Sometimes you really need them and then you roll along for a while in what other people take for granted as normal life. I NEED this today. My thoughts are scattered and not focussing very well and much has to be done. Sophie is great, Will is not. And that’s about all I will say at this stage, apart from the heart felt cry of ‘how do you keep an 18 year old safe’ until he is able to engage with therapy.

1.  My son is alive

2. Autumn is the most beautiful season

3. I loaded the dishwasher and fed the cats (actually no, my partner fed the cats, damn)

4. There are people around who really care at a grass root level

5.  We had a friend come to the house and turn off the stove, because we had to bolt to find Will

6.  God has a definite plan for Will – he is not letting him slip away

7.  Never never fear police involvement. They go above and beyond the call of duty.

8. I am functioning (enough) and got dressed today.

9.  God is good. So very good.

My son is alive.

gratitude list

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It’s been a really busy couple of weeks. I am part of a group called International Eating Disorders Action, and I have been talking with The Butterfly Foundation for changes to some of their content. It’s critical that people in the ‘industry’ of eating disorder education, hope and treatment get their information right. I have also been asked to be a part of the committee for NSW Service Plan for Eating Disorders. This scares me a bit as I don’t have a degree and don’t feel I have the health qualifications needed. I am hoping they will hear what I have to say and treat it with respect.

On top of that I was asked to write an inspirational post for the blog “Beautifully Broken“. That got me thinking. What’s inspirational? Is what was inspiration to me or us, the same for others? What’s the point of the story – you fully recovered, you achieved what exactly? We love inspirational stories – feel good, warm, fuzzy, got a success to it. The social media world will either love you or hate you, depending upon the vibe of the day and click rate.

A lot of media only want the click bait inspiration too. They want the low weight, the NG tube feed, the hair failing out, pictures of before and after. That’s not inspirational, that’s sensational. It not only doesn’t tell the real story behind, it only makes it today’s news and nothing to hold onto.

Do I cite the way I watched my daughter fall back into relapse and then painfully picked herself back up again (and again, and again …) and continued toward recovery? Do I write about the way her support team was constant, unchanging and had endless patience with her? What about how she is fully recovered? How her inner true person fought to be heard above the anorexia voice and won. My daughter or her story is not something to hold up to inspire others. It can bring hope but the reality of holding it up as inspirational, places burden on both the giver and the receiver. Don’t get caught up in another’s story.

Sometimes what is encouraging to us, just pushes someone else’s buttons. I have lost count of the times I have seen Jenny Schaefer hate posts, simply because the person is so stuck or sick with ED they cannot see any light ahead. What about if Sophie crashes back into relapse and really struggles, how is that ‘inspiring’ after just writing how inspiring it is she is fully recovered. What if you don’t have a great team to support you? If your alone, your mum doesn’t take notice and medical services are too far away and too expensive. How inspiring is your story if no one can relate or finds that what you experienced is ‘so not’ the reality for them.

Inspiration shouldn’t come from only outside of yourself. It needs to also come from within. What inspires you to take the next step, for you, by you. Not because someone else did it. Inspiring yourself means building bridges and digging yourself out when times are tough and you keep desperately struggling. The personal inner journey is what can strengthen and build you more than someone else’s journey. Many find the exploration of their spiritual life the inspiration and strength here. Recovery is about exploring all of yourself in all areas for growth, maturity and to strengthen yourself again relapse.

So what is my inspirational piece. Just this:

  • Recover for yourself, not for someone else.
  • Your story/journey is the most important not someone else’s.
  • To never, ever give up hope nor feel that recovery is not something you can achieve.
  • Recovery is personal to each person in their own way and ability.
  • Don’t compare yourself with anyone else.
  • Find inspiration in all places that you can relate to.
  • Surround yourself with people who support your recovery.
  • Find role models if need be, but remember you are not them.
  • Inspiration is not all good, happy thoughts – it can be painful, letting go thoughts. Learn to leave false guilt behind.

 

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No matter how good our intentions at times, we can find it very hard to stand alone and not become part of the crowd we hang with. It is so easy to take on mannerisms, beliefs, attitudes, habits etc without even realising. It doesn’t matter whether you are online or in a physical social environment. We become, far too easy, what is around us. We may have the best hope and strength for recovery, but the everyday whittling away from those around us, particularly the online environment, can find us falling back into relapse or struggling more than we need to in our recovery.

Where our mind or thoughts are focussed on, that is where our heart resides.

We might have to rethink our lives, clear things out, stay away from social media, make new friends, look at our spiritual self, make our homes a safe and strong environment. Whatever it takes to continue recovery, to continue health.

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If you spend the most time with people who are consumed by calorie-counting and their appearance, you’ll probably start watching your food and nit-picking your body.

If you spend the most time with people who bash their bodies and themselves, you’ll probably start looking at yourself with disappointed, angry eyes.

If you spend the most time with people who consider themselves martyrs, you’ll probably start to feel selfish for practicing any kind of self-care.

If you spend the most time with people who don’t respect your privacy, like to gossip and are very judgmental, you’ll probably feel alone and hesitate to open up to anyone. You may even view humanity with some suspicion and dread.

If you spend the most time with people who have zero boundaries and get upset when you set yours, you might find it hard to have a healthy relationship with both them and yourself.

If you spend the most time with people who have strong boundaries and treat themselves kindly, you’ll probably be inspired to do the same.

If you spend the most time with people who love to laugh, really listen to their loved ones and practice self-care, you’ll probably feel more fulfilled and energised yourself.

If you spend the most time with people who love you for the real you, you might be inspired to turn this love inward and start the process of loving yourself.

It’s the same with the shows we watch, the books we read, the places we go, the things in our homes. We often are our environments. That’s why I suggest recycling diet books and “health” publications and creating a home that nourishes you and helps you feel good about yourself.

 

http:/blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2014/08/reflecting-on-the-people-in-your-life/

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This was going around Tumblr in the last few weeks. It encouraged me and reminded me of how important this is. What really spoke to me was the things listed. They weren’t huge goals. They weren’t nirvana situations. They were, instead, everyday little things. Grateful things, appreciative things. Things that you could instantly relate to and could achieve.

It is a very good idea and one that focuses you on the present and the future. Far too much of recovery is spent looking back, being caught in the past memories, past behaviours and fighting (exhaustingly and daily) the past. This is the nature of the ED illness and it wants to keep you looking back. It’s all about positive thinking as opposed to negative thinking. Let’s face it, ED’s are all about negative thinking so the more you can find things that help you learn to be positive is essential.

Recovery is about the present and the future. It is new not old and often it isn’t celebrated enough. Nor is enough notice or appreciation given for the small but critical moves forward. Even your therapist can brush over your achievements and focus back on old and past behaviours. Sometimes you just need a session that celebrates your moves forward, what you next move forward could be, how you feel about that.

Some of Sophie’s best good things about recovery were the small things. How good it is to eat strawberries again, how great it was to have her hair not fall out, how lovely it was to feel warm, how good food tasted, how wonderful it was to have people around her that helped her fight.

Other’s were big things: to be back at school, to be able to study, to not have weekly appointments, to have a life and future again.

Her celebrations helped to keep her focussed on the present and the future. Helped her fight back against the anorexic voice in her head. It wasn’t easy and many times the voice was stronger. But by writing down her ‘good things’ she could read them and remind herself any time she needed. Her mind was full enough with her voice, anorexic voice, therapist voices, family voices etc. By writing them down she could always cut across the voices and get out of her overwhelmed mind.

So the challenge for my readers this week is the same (if you struggle to find five, find three):

List 5 good things about recovery

 

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recovery and anorexiaThe quote below comes from just one of the most amazing, loving, inspirational young women I have met in this journey.  Her hope in recovery and her inner spirit shine. Whilst she knows she is not there yet, she continues to fight back against the anorexia, encouraging others and shining a light for them. To ‘B’, I am blessed to have you and your mum as part of my life.

 

Each day I choose recovery; I choose to fight against the negative thoughts.
When anorexia says I shouldn’t eat, I choose to nourish myself.
When anorexia tells me I am fat, I tell anorexia it is wrong.
When anorexia tells me I shouldn’t leave the house, I go out and see friends to have some fun, or go and enjoy myself at work.
When anorexia tells me that others are judging me, I ignore anorexia and remind myself that even if others are judging me, that is their problem not mine.
When anorexia says I am weak, I scream at anorexia and tell it I am strong.
When anorexia tells me I am a failure for regaining my life, I tell anorexia to shut up, because I deserve to live freely and I will be free.
Even on my worst days I know that relapse is not an option, and it is not worth it. I am looking forward to the day when anorexia no longer lives inside my head.
Recovery is possible; I have seen it. I am not yet recovered, but I know I am well on my way.
Choosing recovery

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gratitude listI really need to write this after the week we have been through and focus on some positive moments. Otherwise it just all becomes tragic and miserable. Will had it even tougher after my last post, so just surviving the week was a goal in itself.

1.  Will tells me when he has self-harmed. Even if it means the surreal moment of cleaning his distressed leg.

2.  Got a mental health plan done finally (that alone needs a post) so can now start the psychologist process.

3.  Will wanted a few hugs and kisses this week. Mostly he keeps to himself.

4.  Has been a good weekend for both of us, just keeping each other company.

5.  Sophie is doing so well. Has found a doctor, and put herself on his care list, checked her BMI and ordered blood tests to make sure she is going fine. Awesome girl.

6.  It rained last night. (simplistic – no way).

7.  God always has a plan, even if it takes a while to find it and you have to take the long way around.

8.  God has been so good in other areas, answered prayer and forward movement.

9.  Just breathing and realising that whilst I don’t have answers, it will be OK. Never give up hope.

10.  Gorgeous breeze after two shockingly humid and hot days.

11.  Ironing is almost done. Two shirts to go. I HATE ironing.

 

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I love this post from Stacy’s Heartprints of God

Makes you remember there is much to be thankful for and to realise everything is always part of a bigger picture.

 

1. Life is a gift. Don’t save it. Unwrap it and live every minute of it.

2.Mercy given doesn’t always come back to you from those you’ve given it to, but it does come back.
3. God can use anything in your life for His purpose and His glory. Let him work.
4. Yes, we are different – unlike anyone else. That’s what makes me, me and you, you.
5.  God can. God will. God does.
6.  Stepping out of your comfort zone is a good thing.
7.  God paints a new sky each moment. Look up. And, do it often.

 8. To look your best, all you have to do is smile.
9. “It’s OK” – Say it. Mean it. Believe it.
10.  Faith – You’ve got to have it.
11.  Life is full of little distractions. Keep your focus on that which matters most.
12.  Tears are the words of your heart. Don’t hold them in. Let them speak when you can’t.
13.  Give grace.  To others and yourself.
14. God first. People second. Everything else third.  Always.
15.  Time doesn’t heal all wounds; God does.
16.  Pain has a purpose.  Find it and make it count.
17.  JOY is one of your strongest spiritual weapons. Hold on to it with all you’ve got.
18.  Different isn’t necessarily wrong.
19.  Life can make you bitter or better. The choice is yours.
20.  “I can’t” never does.  “I can” usually will.
21.  What you do doesn’t define who you are.  God does.
22. God gives. God takes. When we live life open-handed, it makes both easier.
23. Laugh. Every chance you get.
24.  We aren’t called to be like other Christians; we are called to be like Christ.
25.  True happiness is found in true contentment.
26.  Accept others for who they are, not who they aren’t.
27.  Let your love for God change the world, but never let the world change your love for God.
28.  Everything can be a gift – even illnesses.
29. You never know who is looking up to you.  Always live so your life points up to God.
30.  Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it that way.
31. Sisters –  (and sisters in the Lord)  are one of God’s sweetest blessings.
32.  Praising God overcomes anything.
33. Be kind. Each word a gift.
34. We can have joy even though.
35. In spite of who we are, (amazingly!) God can use us to touch others.
36.  Meekness is not weakness.
37.  “I don’t know” – it’s ok to say it. Nobody knows it all.
38.  God does indeed grant us the desires of our heart.
39.  Memories – what a precious gift.
40. When things seem to be out of control, God is still in control. Rest in is faithfulness.
41. Eating and/or sleeping can make a “bad day” good again.
42.   Swings aren’t just for kids.
43.  When no one understands, God does. Go to Him.
44.  Say “Thank You” – people never grow tired of hearing it.
45. God is good.  All the time.
46. Live in the moment or you’ll miss it.
47.  Love them anyway.
48.  We are blessed to be a blessing.  Live to bless others.

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