Growing Your Seeds: Self-Care

One thing that many of us excel at in life is self-care other-care. We give and give and give and care and care and care. Yet we forget to remember that we have to grow seeds in order to give seeds.

FlowersI am struck again and again of the lifespan of a sunflower. It starts as a seed and with much care (by others and nature: rain and food) it sprouts into a flower and grows. Then one day it blooms a sunflower head. The leaves stay folded into the center of the flower protecting the developing seeds. Then one day, as the seeds become fully grown, the petals unfold and reveal the sunflower seeds that the flower produced during its growing process.

 

Once the seeds are revealed, the flower drops them. Some of them set into the ground to grow new flowers, some are gathered by others to plant or eat.

So what does this mean for us as people?

Sometimes we need to

A. Let others nurture us, feed us, protect us, provide, and aid in our growth

B. Allow ourselves time to grow and bloom

C. Protecting our seeds (our gifts, skills, talents, energy)

and then- we are ready to release our time and seeds to others. Only after our own growth and self-care can we give back and care for others.

Impatient: (Re)Learning Emotion

im·pa·tient

adjective

1. not patient; not accepting delay, opposition, pain, etc., withcalm or patience.
2. indicating lack of patience: an impatient answer.
3. restless in desire or expectation; eagerly desirous.

Idioms

4. impatient of, intolerant of: impatient of any interruptions.
       Today I am choosing to blog on relearning the feeling of impatience. So why today? Well, you guessed it, I am feeling IMPATIENT! I recently ordered myself my first apply IPad. It is sitting at FedEx, and I am stuck in my office. Waiting.
      There are many things in life that cause us to feel impatient: the excitement of something new, the wait before an upcoming vacation, or when an ending of something dreadful is nowhere near sight.
     This last example is the one that I frequently hear from individuals in recovery (and from myself when I am faced with a change). Impatience is often expressed in the midst of recovery towards people. For example:
I am impatient towards my therapist who just wont answer my question or refuses to push me further.
I am impatient with my dietitian who just doesn’t understand that I cannot and will not do (fill in the blank).
I am impatient that my team is not listening to me or considering my point of view on a situation.
and the real biggy
I am impatient with myself. Why is my recovery not happening, right, NOW?
I know it is frustrating to sit with this feeling but it shows incredible growth and progress! It shows that you are willing to push forward, that you are not content in your disorder or negative coping behaviors, you are MOVING FORWARD!
So, instead of allowing these feeling of impatience towards yourself or others aiding in your recovery, embrace the feeling (cliche I know) and yet it is true. Embrace the feeling that accompanies change, and growth, and new experiences. This to shall pass.

Living in the “Shoulds” and “have toos'”

Recently I heard a girl in recovery say to another girl that

“If you are telling yourself you have do something, you shouldn’t be doing it”

These are hard words to swallow. Be it in recovery or in day to day living: you shouldn’t do something if you think that you have too.

IE: you shouldn’t exercise because you think you have too, you should exercise because it promotes the healthy lifestyle you want to live.

What areas are you pushing yourself to do things you “have” to do? and how can you modify them to make them more healthy?

Relationships in Recovery?

Being in a house full of teenage/young adult ladies, one would expect there to be at least some conversation around relationships. I’m not talking about just any relationship, I mean romantic relationships. As well as all the things that go along with romantic relationships such as dating, kissing, having sex, getting married, raising kids…. I think you get the point.

 

But here is the thing:

development

 

And that is the truth- unless you have tackled your own negative thoughts/habits/beliefs/patterns/coping skills then you cannot be fully available and present for someone else.

For those of you currently in recovery, remember that the choices you make today, effect your tomorrow. And if you want the healthy family that you so deeply want, then you need to take steps today. Because ultimately, you are the only one who can change you and you are the only one that can truly influence your tomorrow.

Decisions make Recovery

1467281_10151815917716868_844971334_n In recovery, it is your
job to get up every day, participate in all life is offering (even
when you don’t want to) and to choose to make decisions differently
than you have in the past. None of these things are an easy feat by
any means. But the real road to recovery is found in one small
decision after another. It is the choice this morning to eat, the
choice tonight to not drink, the choice at 4am to not binge or the
choice at 2pm to not purge. And soon, all those different choices,
each individually made, make up a life that is recovered. SO, do
your job today and someday you can walk recovered.
 

Reasons for Recovery: Freedom

Recovery is not an easy process, and yes, it is a process. There will be highs and lows; goods and bads; ups and downs; positives and negatives; growth and relapse. And most of the time, it is not fun. It is hard, repetitive, unenjoyable WORK. So, why they heck would one choose to begin the process of recovery?

Well, because sometimes the “Juice is worth the squeeze.” AKA: the benefits are worth work.

I think most people in recovery, be it from an eating disorder or an alcohol or drug addiction, will tell you there are many reasons they started the recovery process and many reasons they continue the process. But today I want to focus on FREEDOM.

To me, freedom implies the ability to make a choice based on my own thoughts, beliefs, opinions ect. regardless of any outside person, event, trigger, circumstance ext. (as long as I am not physically hurting someone else in the processes).

When I have freedom, I have the choice to eat.

Most of the time, when you are in the depths of your eating disorder, you don’t have the choice to eat. Your options are 1. don’t eat    2. don’t eat    3. don’t eat   4. eat and pay the price later   or 5. don’t eat.   I think you get my point. Ed tells you that you cannot eat or XYZ will happen. You will gain weight, you will lose control, you will have to feel something, you will fall apart, the world will collapse ext.

and this applies to other addictive behaviors too. An addiction to alcohol tells you 1. i cannot feel this 2. i have to drink 3. i have to drink 4. i have to drink 5. i cannot handle this, i must drink.

So if recovery brings about freedom (the choice to eat, the choice to feel, the choice to stay sober, the choice to not punish yourself) then isn’t it worth the work it takes to achieve ?

Authenticity and Boundaries

I have been thinking a lot lately about being authentic.

What does it mean to be authentic?

So, I turn to webster (big surprise) to be authentic is to be genuine, or true to origin. I could probably write several blogs about what it means to be authentic, accepting yourself, and embracing your ED. But my thoughts have been more focused on recovery and the aspect of setting boundaries, in order to get the help you need.

“How do boundaries correlate with authenticity”

Boundaries are set in order to 1. protect ourselves 2. guard ourselves 3.keep ourselves healthy 4.get the help we need ext.. (there are a multitude of reasons).  I keep thinking about recovery, and relationships with friends/family that have to have limits set with them, in order for recovery to happen.

In setting a boundary there first has to be the understanding that a boundary is needed. This implies that “I must be authentic enough with myself to know that what currently exists, is not working for me, and I accept that I need a safe guard or boundary to protect myself.” This also invokes some mindfulness techniques (just to throw that out there)

The second part of setting a boundary is defining what the boundary needs to be. This implies that “I am authentic enough with myself to know my limits, and yes, I have limits.” Trust me, we all have limits. We all can only handle so much of certain things, certain people, certain environments and we ALL have to set limits in order to take care of ourselves.

The third part of setting a boundary is letting those effected by the boundary know it has been set. This implies that “I am authentic enough to let others know that I am not okay right now, and I need a boundary, which may effect my relational dynamics with them, and I am okay with that. And I am aware that their reactions/response to this boundary is not my issue, but theirs.”

The fourth part of setting a boundary is actually adhering to the boundary (which in my opinion, is the hardest part).