“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.” Laurie Halse Anderson
Yesterday after having routine blood work done, my friend encouraged me to go with her to get something to eat. I’ve been pondering how I can relate my experience to life as a whole, so please ride this thought train with me.
Since I wasn’t terribly hungry, I settled on a salad. As the server placed the plate on the table, I nearly had a mini panic attack. Although I try to work hard in my recovery, I still have bad habits which linger from my active disordered eating days. In order to judge the size of the meal I often feel the size of the plate. Well, this particular rectangular salad plate was abnormally large and quite scary compared to the real small size of the actual salad. My unhealthy illogical thoughts began to race and bubble to the surface. I was thankful my friend stepped in (she must have saw the panic on my face) and suggested we ask for a more reasonably sized plate. I then was able to divide and conquer my lunch. At times I feel frustrated because I still have these irrational thoughts and illogical fears.
How often is it in life with all its struggles and even triumphs we only see the big picture without focusing on the small details and become extremely overwhelmed? Our perceptions narrow and we are not able to enjoy the journey as it takes place. Lately I’ve noticed I focus on trying to answer questions which right now may not have nice tidy conclusions. I may not know the result of my job interview or the answers to health questions, but what matters most is every day I do my best to enjoy what I am given. Whether it’s the thrill of a new book or the peace of a hike to partake in nature and its beauty, God is still carrying out His plan.
I seem to always return to the notion that I need to learn to continually die to my unhealthy desires to learn to live in a world that at times may seem overwhelming. Although I struggle with intrusive negative body image thoughts which seem to derail my recovery efforts, I am learning by writing about my fears and misperceptions, I come a bit further and learning to like and appreciate the body I have been given.
If you are struggling with similar thoughts, please remember you are enough and beautiful the way you are. Trying to obtain an unrealistic self only results in further frustration, and happiness will never be found in the eating disorder. I write this as a reminder to myself for those days eating seems like a challenging chore and recovery an elusive goal.
Keep on keeping on and never give up on fighting back!
Until next time,