Body Acceptance, Eating Disorder, God, Recovery

Bumps and Lessons Learned

I have really struggled to update lately, as I’ve really been struggling with my own body/size acceptance and what that means on my recovery journey.  I knew if I wrote about body acceptance it would be nothing but hypocritical at this point and I am not about to do that.
Therefore, I knew if I had anything to update it would be this:
what I have learned from these bumps along the road of recovery. 

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Bumps in the road are inevitable.  Days where I don’t fully accept my body or my size are inevitable (at this point).  However, those bumps and rough days don’t mean I have to shut down because even through the difficulty there is always something to be learned.  And it has only taken me several weeks to learn that there are lessons to be learned.

  • I am not my sister’s (or friend’s) keeper.  I am Lane.  I am but one person and I am only in control of my own thoughts, actions, and behaviors.  Giving too much of myself to others who are also in recovery only leads me down the road to my own downward spiral.  I can be a support.  I can listen if someone needs to vent.  But ultimately it is not my job to “fix” them or to constantly hold them accountable.  Some days it is hard enough to make my own correct choices without the added self-induced pressure to ensure others do the same.  I’ve adopted the phrase “not my circus, not my monkeys” to help me reframe this issue when I feel my maternal and social work instincts start to kick in.
  • I am perfectly imperfect. If one thing is for certain, it is that I am not (by any stretch of the imagination) perfect.  Therefore, neither is my recovery.  Just like me, my recovery is perfectly imperfect.  There WILL be bumps in the road and it is up to me to try to navigate around, over, and through those bumps (or man-eating potholes).  To pick up the lessons from the bumps and apply them to the road moving forward because if there is one thing I know now, those pesky little bumps will pop up when I least expect them!
  • Recovery takes dedication and diligence.  I got complacent.  I thought I didn’t need the safety measures I put in place several months ago.  I was ready to take those dang training wheels off and try my hand at not planning my meals and snacks for the next day before I go to bed the night prior.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  I am still in the training wheels phase of recovery.  I still need that much food accountability in my daily life to help me keep clear of bumps.  I let my guard down and my eating disorder saw the chance to jump right in and take the wheel; steering me right into a relapse and several subsequent small lapses since.
  • Recovery takes time and patience.  See previous bullet point.  No, seriously, I got in a hurry.  I want to be at the end of my recovery road and reach a point of saying “recoverED” right now.  It isn’t a quick process and it certainly isn’t painless.  I need to learn to slow down and focus on the task right in front of me and stop trying to sprint to the finish line (I never was a very good sprinter).
  • Recovery takes a team.  I can’t do this on my own.  As much as I don’t like asking for help I need to reach out and use the supports that are right in front of me.  I have an amazingly supportive husband, who is always asking what he can do to help; an excellent treatment team who go above and beyond to help me in times of crisis; and I have God and my faith.  I will admit, I’ve been slacking in utilizing all three of those during the most recent relapse/lapses.  I stopped telling my husband what I needed, I tried being more deceptive with my treatment team, and I stopped praying meaningful prayers where I asked God to help me through.  I created my own perfect storm.  God placed these people in my life because He knew they would be there to help me when I needed it most.  Now I just have to stop being so stubborn and prideful and actually reach out to them when I need help.
  • Self-care is of the utmost importance.  Just like I stopped praying (and attending church for the last several weeks), I stopped caring for myself.  I stopped doing things that helped me relax and enjoy life.  I stopped my nighttime routine of stretching, breathing, and praying.  I stopped my morning routine of  waking up before my daughter to do yoga, pray, and read the Bible.  I stopped writing and journaling.  When I stopped doing those things I enjoy, that help me appreciate my life, I stopped caring for myself and left a big void that needed to be filled.  How do I fill that void?  You guessed it, I use my eating disorder.

I’m sure there are many more lessons I’ve learned from the recent bumps but that would make this post way too long (it already is).
As I think of them I will add them to my journal because I want to be reminded of what these bumps have taught me about myself and my recovery.  

With Body Love (I am getting back to that),
Lane

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