Archives for February, 2013

Good News

You Are Aware

This month's edition of "Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery" is now available and I wanted to share the inspiring message with you here in honor of NEDAwareness Week 2013 (February 24-March 2). I hope you enjoy it!

You Are Aware

If there is one thing I have actually managed to learn well over the past 42 years, it is that my struggles, more than anything else, are...
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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Here

It is that time again. Thank goodness. Each year, the National Eating Disorders Association spearheads a nationwide, growing movement to put eating disorders on everyone's radar. For some of us, we already know all about eating disorders. Perhaps we (me) have recovered from one. Or we know someone who is struggling to recover. Or we know someone who struggled but didn't make it. Or we know someone who struggled and did...
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What Emotions and Cravings Have in Common

For years I have been subscribing to a correspondence course that focuses on different aspects of self-care and self-improvement.

I like to save the lessons. Sometimes I also like to go back and read them years later. When I do this I often discover they are just as fresh and insightful as they were when I first received them (which either means I haven't learned anything or they are timeless. Personally, I prefer the latter interpretation).

Recently I read an old lesson about how to deal with cravings. The advice was simple - ignore them. They are like waves in the ocean - they arise and then they subside. For a moment I thought I had picked up the wrong lesson and was reading the one about how to deal with emotions instead.

It seems that great advice has many applications. Even better, I tried it on my cravings and it works just as well as it works on my emotions. Yahoo!!

As it turns out, emotions and cravings apparently share a common DNA. They both arise and subside. They both happen rather routinely. They both can encourage us to do or say things we later really wish we hadn't.

And they both are quite manageable if we know what to do.
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Lovesick Maidens

Recently my mom loaned me a book called "Peony in Love". The title sounded vaguely familiar, but included as it was in a stack of other book club books she had recently finished with, I didn't pay it too much mind initially.

Later, I was hunting around for something good to read and I rediscovered it. The first thing that fascinated me was that the author, Lisa See, was a Caucasian woman but all her books (excepting...
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Love is Not a Verb

Today is Valentine's Day. Again.

In years past this hasn't exactly been my favorite holiday, but this year I am endeavoring to change my association with its inevitable annual arrival to one which emits more, um, positive vibes.

On that subject, I recently read a very interesting piece about love. It challenged everything I thought I knew about the subject (which, judging from past romantic relationships, isn't much). Anyway, in the past, some articles I have read seemed to focus on making a distinction between whether love is an adjective or a verb. Other articles I have read have chosen to state that love is an action, not a word.

But this particular article put all of that aside, claimed semantics and then took a step beyond it all into brand new territory.

Love, said the writer, is not a thing at all. It is who we are - each of us - it is the essence of our being.

I don't know about you, but when I read this, something in my particular being breathed a sigh of relief. No more do I have to worry about "doing" it wrong. No longer do I have to struggle with the concept that I possess some kind of inner love "bank account" that I make deposits and withdrawals from.

Speaking of which, the author also asserted that love is not something that is exchanged between two people.
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Head Knowledge Versus Heart Knowledge

I will admit I do know the difference between listening to my head and listening to my heart.

But that doesn't mean I remember this distinction when crisis moments strike. I was telling a friend the other day that, while I don't believe my mind has independent intelligence and is out to get me, I do find it distressing how frequently it takes the "glass half empty" approach.

My mentor is continually reminding me that I will know...
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You Deserve Better Part 2

A week or so ago I wrote a post called "You Deserve Better". In this post, I shared that I struggle when people who love me say to me, "You deserve better". The post was an attempt to comprehend why I struggle, and of course to get your thoughts as I always love to do.

Recently I had an aha moment - an additional revelation if you will - about this phrase. I realized that "I deserve more" and "I want more" are not one and the same. At least in my world, one denotes comparison with outside others or forces, while the other emphasizes an inner very personal longing or a vision I have for my life.

For instance, for many years I have dated men who didn't give nearly as much as they would take from me. I allowed it for - well, several reasons. During these years, my close, loyal friends would periodically treat me to a well-intended mentoring session of "you deserve better", which I would listen to out of respect for the fact that they clearly loved me and were perceiving a happier state for me in their mind than what their eyes were showing them.

But I never broke up with the men on account of someone telling me I deserved better.
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When Hard Times Come

Each and every day is an unknown. Sometimes I am in awe that we wake up and jump (or in my case crawl) out of bed so casually, when absolutely anything could happen. We have no guarantee that all will be well, that anything we expect to happen will happen, or that everything we hope to avoid won't happen. We risk a lot, putting on our clothes and shoes, getting into our cars, driving out to be in the world for one more day.

Some days start out iffy, but then turn out so wonderfully by day's end. Other days - well, let's just say they seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and we go along for the ride whether we particularly want to or not. In my 42 years to date, I have had some of each and many with a bit of both, and I have learned only one thing:

I will get through it.

The good days pass, and so do the bad days. I can look back at days where I was on top of the world emotionally, and just feeling really grateful to be alive on that particular day to have that particular experience. Then I can look back at other days where it was literally a matter of gritting my teeth, breathing through my fear, exhaling out my anger, and opening again and again to the waves of grief pouring up and through me.

On these days too, I survived.
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