The Meaning Of Recovery & Finding Yourself: Sui’s Story, Part 3
Here’s part three of my interview with Sui from Cynosure. Her blog, which features posts on body image, binge eating and learning to love yourself, is incredibly inspiring. She clearly writes from her heart, which I very much admire. (To learn more, check out the links below.)
Here, Sui talks about the meaning of recovery, being your own best friend, finding yourself and your passion and much more.
Q: What does recovery mean to you?
A: Recovery means not just accepting myself but loving myself unconditionally. Being there for myself. Honoring my hungers. Trusting, respecting, and knowing I can depend on myself. Recovery means having faith in myself and the Universe that I am strong enough to take anything that comes my way, whether it’s even a hint of a relapse or a catastrophic, life-changing disaster. Recovery means settling into the love of the world.
Recovery means I can move on now. Recovery means I’ve learned to help myself and now, I can focus on helping others, and contributing to the world as much as I can. Recovery means I take care of myself now, and now I can help others do the same.
Q: On Cynosure, you talk a lot (and beautifully!) about empowering and loving yourself. How did you finally get to a place of self-love and empowerment?
A: As I mentioned before, even though I had stopped restricting, I binged a lot my first year of college. I was really, really sad– I’d cry from the moment I woke up when I realized that I was conscious again in a life I didn’t want to live. But the thing is, I had started learning to be happy– at least, when I was surrounded by people I loved.
I realized I had to be that person for myself– someone I loved, and someone that would love me. I had to be my own best friend or I would never be happy, I would always have to depend on someone or something outside of myself to be happy. So I started. I started being kinder to myself. I said affirmations. I wrote myself love letters. There was a lot of trial and failure, but it was so worth it.
Empowerment came as a result of loving myself, and, ironically, everything that caused my eating disorder. What I mean is, I realized that I (and most people in the developed world) were sold a message– a message that we aren’t good enough the way we are, that we have to buy a certain thing, look a certain way, conform, be what other people expect us to be.
I didn’t become angry when I realized that this message was what had caused my feelings of inadequacy, and even all the torture I lobbed at myself and my own body. Instead, I became passionate. A passionate warrior to fight FOR being yourself, loving yourself. To fight for saying YES and trying new things and owning your awesomeness.
Q: What are some ways you suggest readers find both themselves?
A: It can be damned difficult, especially when you think it’s impossible. What you need is patience, patience, patience, and a whole lot of perseverance. Empowerment comes with the confidence you get from loving yourself, so start loving yourself first.
If anything, simply BE KIND! Treat yourself as you would your most loved lover and your most cherished friend. Don’t settle for anything less than the best for yourself– it’s the least you deserve.
I actually have an e-course on loving yourself more and learning to find happiness within, and registration’s going on right now. It’s a 6-week journey filled with love and transformation that’s starting in September. You’ll get weekly assignments and daily lessons on different ways to learn to love yourself more, plus worksheets, videos, and other resources. You can click here to read more about it & reserve your spot (it’s over 30% off until August 5th!) I have firm confidence that it’ll help a lot of people– I’ve put my entire heart into it.
However, it can’t make you love yourself on its own– no matter what you do to start loving yourself, you need to have persistence and patience. It’s not easy, but that’s what makes it so rewarding. And I firmly believe that it’s something we all have to learn if we want to truly be happy at all.
Q: On Weightless, I’ve talked about the importance of finding your passion or your purpose because it puts life into perspective and gives us another reason to fight for ourselves. What is one (or several) of your passions?
A: Helping others. Even when I was a kid I always wanted to “change the world” or write a book that would leave people happier and kinder for it. One of my biggest problems, though, was that I thought I had to help others at the expense of myself– I always thought I had to be a martyr. Thankfully, I’ve learned to love myself, and now I can properly give to others. You can’t fill someone else’s cup if there’s nothing in yours to fill it with!
I also love growing! Seriously, I love learning and developing and challenging myself. I love setting intentions for myself. I love doing new things and conquering my fears. Now that I’ve stopped quashing my own amazing self with self-destructive behavior, I’m always living as the best self I can be.
And really, I love creating. Writing. I published my first book, an anthology of creative writing, last summer, and I still write– not just for cynosure, but creative pieces, poetry, short stories. My creative writing style is pretty weird though (you know what I mean if you’ve read Pleiades ;)), and I recognize that it’s not for everyone. Still, it just flows out of me. It’s in my soul.
Art. Music. Photography. I believe everyone is creative and talented– they just need to remember that they are, and tap into what already exists within them.
Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know about your story, Cynosure or eating disorders?
A: Even if you feel like you’re in a deep, bottomless abyss right now, it can get better. It really can. In fact, it’s going to get pretty amazing and one day you might even be crazygrateful that you’re going through this right now.
But the thing is, it starts with you. Unless you want to be happy, unless you want to love yourself and feel good again, you won’t get anywhere. You need to have perseverance. Don’t let it scare you. You already have all the strength and persistence you need in the world. You just have to let yourself be the strong, amazing person you are.
Be patient. Be understanding. Don’t give up.
You come from love, you are made of love, and you can’t be anything but love. Everything else is just illusion.
You’re already strong. You already have everything you need.
Be kind to yourself.
A huge thank-you to Sui for her thoughtful, honest and inspiring interview.
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P.S., One of our bloggers at Psych Central, Sandy Naiman, wrote an excellent piece on eating disorders in middle-age for The Toronto Star. I’m honored to be quoted. Please check it out!
Tartakovsky, M. (2011). The Meaning Of Recovery & Finding Yourself: Sui’s Story, Part 3. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2011/08/the-meaning-of-recovery-finding-yourself-sui%e2%80%99s-story-part-3/