A Step in the Right Direction

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ―Barbara Bloom

Well, the Japanese menders may feel this way, but I sure had a hard time believing it at the ophthalmologist last week.

It was my first visit, so I was inundated with forms to fill out. It was all pretty standard stuff—name, address, insurance, sign here, don’t sue us—until I got to the end of the Health History section. I had breezed through the bulk of it, gratefully checking “no” for everything from asthma to warts. But there it was, at the bottom of the page “Please list any other illnesses or conditions (past or present) in your health history.”

Anorexia is an illness. It’s a very serious condition. And very much a part of my health history. But I froze. I could not bring myself to write it down in black and white. So I left it blank and justified it by telling myself that anorexia has nothing to do with needing a new contact prescription anyway.

Actually I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s really not the issue here. The real problem was that the perfectionist in me did not want to look like a broken object. And she spoke so loudly and so forcefully that I believed the lie. I believed that I would be valued less if people knew who I really was, what I had really done.

It’s not true. I know it’s not true. In fact, in my own life I find that the exact opposite is true—those I know best, I love most…warts and all!

So today, when my dentist asked if I had any concerns about my teeth, I took a deep breath and said, “Yes… I… uh… I was anorexic and I am concerned about how that has affected my teeth.”

It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t smooth. But it was a step in the right direction.

Baby steps…baby steps…

Let It Be

Reposted from lisa’s Cheap Therapy Blog

My word for 2014 is Accept.

Accept is one of those words that often gets a bad rap.  Sometimes it’s confused with giving up.  On the contrary, accepting is about choice and power. It’s about recognizing what you can and can’t control and taking the next.right.step for yourself.

When life isn’t going as you’d prefer, accept that you can handle it.  You really can. Accept that you can simply say,”Bring it on! Here I am.  Let it be. I accept!”

So for this year of Sundays I’ll be posting different renditions of the song Let it Be.  I invite you to join in the fun by sending me your favorite covers of this great song to piergazer (at) gmail.com.  THANKS to all of you who are joining in the Let it Be Fun.

Keep ‘em coming!

THANKS to Effie Hawkinson for this fabulously ‘educational’ version!

For more “Let It Be” postings and other great stuff, go to: http://fromcheaptherapy.wordpress.com/


A Bad Day as a Butterfly

I have decided that I don’t like using the word recover because most definitions of the word deal with returning to a former state. I did not go through treatment to get back to anywhere I had ever been before—I did it to move forward.

Am I a recovered anorexic? I suppose you could call me that. But, do we call butterflies recovered caterpillars?

Some of the things I wondered about during those long, painful days of treatment were—What’s so bad about having an eating disorder? Anorexia has its good points . . . do I really want to “get over” this?

The truth is—life beyond anorexia is not all roses and sunshine.

But a bad day as a butterfly…

…is better than a good day as a caterpillar.

A Little Bit Stronger

Wikipedia tells me that the song A Little Bit Stronger is a mid-tempo country ballad, where the song’s female narrator describes going through her daily routine and being constantly reminded of her former love interest. But for me A Little Bit Stronger is my eating disorder recovery theme song.

The lyrics echo that deeply hidden part of me that wants to be strong and move forward—a reminder of a woman’s ability to move on and step by step get “a little bit stronger.”

Woke up late today,
And I still feel the sting of the pain,
But I brush my teeth anyway,
Got dressed through the mess,
and put a smile on my face
I got a little bit stonger

Ridin’ in the car to work,
And I’m tryin to ignore the hurt,
So I turned on the radio,
Stupid song made me think of you,
I listened to it for a minute,
But then I changed it,
I’m gettin a little bit stronger,
Just a little bit stronger

And I’m done hopin’ that we can work it out,
I’m done with how it feels, spinnin’ my wheels,
Lettin’ you drag my heart around, and oh,
And I’m done thinking you could ever change,
I know my heart will never be the same,
But I’m tellin’ myself I’ll be okay,
Even on my weakest days,
I get a little bit stronger

It doesn’t happen overnight,
but you turn around and months gone by,
And you realize you haven’t cried,
Not givin’ you an hour or a second or another minute longer,
I’m busy gettin’ stronger

I get a little bit stronger

Gettin’ on without you baby
I’m better off without you baby
How does it feel without me baby
I’m gettin’ stronger without you baby

I get a little bit stronger

Just a little bit stronger

Little bit, little bit, a little bit stronger

Get a little bit stronger

I Believe In Myself

The following ten sentences, accepted and internalized, have helped me move forward in recovery. Perhaps you will find some meaning and value in them too.

. . .

I believe in myself.

I do not mean to say this with egotism or arrogance.
But I believe in my capacity to do good,
to make some contribution to the society of which I am a part,
to grow and develop, and to do things that I may now think are impossible.

Though my work may be menial, I can perform it
with dignity and offer it with unselfishness.
My talents may not be great, but
I can use them to bless the lives of others.
I believe in the principle that I can make a difference in this world.
It may be ever so small, but it will count for the greater good.

I believe I am always divinely guided.
I believe I will always take the right road.
I believe God will always make a way where there is no way.

. . .

Adapted from This I Believe, by Gordon B. Hinckley presented at Brigham Young University 1 March 1992.