I love Rebekah’s writing! She writes with such talent and depth. I wish I could say things as clearly as she does!

R is for Recovery (and Rebekah)

Part one can be found here and part two here. Feel free to check them out. They aren’t directed at anyone in particular (well, maybe you (and maybe you too)) but rather, are meant to be general in their content. This letter in particular is an interesting one – it comes from the other side of the fence, from a recovered mindset and is directed at someone who may still feel trapped by their eating disorder, or who is in recovery.

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The Two Sides of Me

“Restriction is still restriction whether it is food, fluid, life, relationships. The [eating disorder] is still at work getting what it wants, protecting in its way the need to deal with life and feelings.” – Surviving Anorexia

I’ve been in recovery for 18 months now. Lots of things have changed since I started this journey – I haven’t had a day where I’ve starved myself since 3rd January, 2011. Yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Terrifyingly, I’m almost back to my heaviest weight. This is causing no end of panic to my ED self AND my healthy self. I wasn’t healthy at that weight. I’m NOT healthy at this weight. It’s not about being as thin as I can be (really, I want to promise you it’s not) but I know I need to lose some of this weight if for nothing else than my own self confidence, be cause my weight is something I hide behind to stop me from even trying , it’s a wall I’ve put up to protect myself. I want to feel fit again, to feel able the do the things I use to do! Of course, there is the ED self telling me that I’m worthless, stupid, unlovable at this weight…which is not hard to challenge, but challenging I am! I know the number on the scales does not define my worth.

There is this extra “voice” though, and I’m not sure if it’s coming from my healthy self as a warning, or my ED self to stop me from giving it a go (Do you know how ridiculous you’ll look exercising?).This voice is saying any routine exercise – dance class, gym, swimming – is going to turn into a compulsion that I can’t escape from.

So what do I do? The science says everyone needs to exercise in order to be healthy, fit, strong and I’m tired of being afraid of my own body, of my own mind. I really do want just to be healthy, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to say “enough is enough”.

If you have an ED, what are your thoughts on exercise? If you don’t have an ED, what kind of low impact exercise can you possibly recommend for an unfit girl like me? How much is too much?

The Five Love Languages – Review (kind of)

Last week was spent mostly wallowing in self-pity about how much my situation sucks, and how there was like…nothing I could do about it. Really, brain? That’s what you’re going with right now? So, this week I’ve kind of set myself a few challenges. The first & foremost of these is to do something recovery related each day.

Today, I read Dr Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages.

At first glance, you’re probably thinking either a) what is that about? or if you know what it’s about b) how is that recovery related?

Well, The Five Love Languageis about five ways people express and feel love! These five primary ways are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts Of Service and Physical Touch. Each and every person has a “primary love language” – that is, the way in which they best feel that they are loved. Some people are bilingual – two ways, that above all others, make them best feel loved (I’m one of those lucky people!). The idea of the book is to try to help you work out your own love language and that of your spouse / partner so you can best love and be loved. There are also books for singles, children and teenagers. It’s a really cool, useful concept!

“That’s great”, I hear you say, “but what on earth does it have to with recovery?” Well, I’m glad you asked, because it has heaps to do with recovery! When we’re stuck in our addictions / disorders / mental illness, we become self-absorbed people. Oh, sure, we may look like we’re involved with other people, we may look like we’re even having great relationships, but at the heart of reality we’re not at all. This book makes you look outside yourself. It makes you think about your relationships (primarily romantic in this version) and how you can help them to flourish. And good, healthy relationships are one of the most important keys to recovery!

So, there you have it. I really recommend this book (or the other versions if this one doesn’t particularly suit your current situation). It’s has real life applications. It has tips. It’s very easy reading! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry…and you’ll be better off for reading it!

Sonja 🙂

STUCK.

I’ve been doing this thing lately. This thing where I do…nothing. Oh sure, some days I meet up with friends, but either side of those meet ups, I’m sitting in my bedroom, counting down how many more days hours minutes there are until a) Matt comes out of hospital and b) uni goes back . I hate having nothing to do.

Actually, I have plenty of things I could  be doing, but none are as fun or as time consuming as planning a wedding. Which I am no longer doing. We decided to put back the date. There is a long post here about the why & the how. So now my days are kind of…empty. I hadn’t realised how much of day was wedding related until I didn’t have it any more.

There is another thing that is keeping me firmly glued to my bed. FEAR. On a completely different tangent, it has little to do with the wedding (ok, a bit actually). It’s about my weight. I’m almost back up to my heaviest, simply because I’m too afraid to move. I’m scared to start exercising, because I don’t know how far it will go. Not that I did exerciseat all when I was acutely unwell. Just…I know that ED often rears it’s ugly head in entirely different & new ways just when you think you’ve got it conquered.

So, I’m well in truly stuck. Stuck in a cycle of ignoring and fear and running away (metaphorically). Stuck in a routine of sleeping at 2am and getting up at 10:30am. Stuck in place where it feels like I can do nothing, though I know everything I could be doing. Stuck in therapy that seems to now be going nowhere. It’s apparently a fairly normal at my stage of recovery, but I don’t like it. I can’t deal with it. It feels so much like the deep dark depression I was in, except that now I can actually do the things I want (I just don’t).

Sigh.