Tuesday, 22 September 2015

"Finding Your Now" (By: Devin Raines)

Maybe when I graduate high school I will be recovered. Maybe when I enter college I will be recovered. Or maybe when I get my first professional job I will be on top of the world. Maybe when I graduate my first recovery program all this will disappear. Maybe just maybe if I actually listen to recovery and behave then my behaviors will cease my treatment team will dismiss me and I will live happily eternal ever after like a normal person and none of this will be remembered. Or maybe when I become a parent to my child things will lighten up.

We all have lived the "maybe when..." thoughts and all the maybe when's just exist as mere feelings of lies, disappointment and self hatred.

So what carries us over into the one moment? That you find within yourself to say "I am tearing off the mask, my life is glorious".

Finding your "now" moment.

For all of us the "now" is the hardest. Our disorder is going to use the negative emotions to hide our true selves. There is a "now" moment in all of us, we have to be willing to let nothing stand in our way of freedom.

Part of working as a nursing assistant full time in Intensive Care in one of the top regional hospitals of the Kentucky state I see a lot of drug abuse, respiratory and heart failure patients. Like us their illness just didn't hit them over night. At every moment I am with my patients no matter if their sedated or not I created a patient relationship like any other treatment team would have with their patients. One early morning I was talking to one patient who was withdrawing from drug abuse. The patient was talking about their young children. My last words to my patient was, "take care of yourself because your children need their daddy especially come their wedding day". At that moment was my "now" moment. I thought about what I said to my patient "take care of yourself". As a bride to be in just two months (November 2015) my fiancé is going to want to marry me and I want to marry my fiancé. My daddy is going to want to walk me down the aisle- and I couldn't be more excited for that daddy/ daughter moment.  I still have plans to complete my nursing degree. As well as my fiancé and I have plans to have a family one day. Lastly, I still have plans to be the best Aunt I can be to my niece, one day she will need me and I want to be there when she calls for me. In other words, I am needed in all aspects of life and so are you. And I may still be working on recovery and I may have a slip up somewhere. Do you ever wonder how you fall seven times and stand up eight? You keep trying and you hold on to your support team no matter how mad you can be at them - they're used to it and you will thank them later on. Then you keep your "now" moment written upon your heart and let your treatment team know all about your "now" moment and shout it to the world! And finally, accept where you are in recovery and in life because "loving ourselves through the process of owning our own story is the bravest thing we will ever do."  -Brene Brown

About the Author

Born and raised from Nashville, TN Devin is 23 years old. She was treated at Scales Nutrition and Wellness Center as well as The Renfrew Center both in Nashville, TN. Devin currently is proudly recovering with her team at a SNWC as well as with Reba Sloan in Nashville. She has struggle with anorexia since she was twelve years old. Devin is a graduated of Middle Tennessee State University. Received her BS in kinesiology. She has plans within the next two years to go back and complete her RN. Devin's hobbies are art, reading, writing and enjoying the great outdoors with her husband to be!


Posted on 09/22/2015 4:17 PM by Devin Raines

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

"Pretty" (By: Alexis Ryan)

 'Pretty' is a word you cannot use to describe most men. They will reject it at once. They will rear back and snort. They will scowl and shake their heads. They will swat the word away like a pesky fly. Why don't they want to be pretty? Why do they hate being pretty?

You know what's pretty?


Women are so pretty. Pretty like twinkling jewels, like sugared candies, like bright silks and satins. 'Pretty' is a word you can easily use to describe most women. Most women will let the word flutter down across their shoulders and wrap around them like a robe. Why don't women mind being pretty? Why do they love being pretty?

Prettiness denotes worth in a woman. If a woman is pretty, she is worth something. What is she worth exactly, from being so pretty?

Prettiness denotes nothing in a man. A man's worth is from his actions, from the things he creates, from the thoughts he thinks. 'Industrious'. 'Productive'. 'Strong'. 'Clever'. These are words that denote worth in a man. These are words you can use to describe a man. He won't snort and swat them away. He'll accept them. He'll carry them on his head like a crown.

How, after all these years, are women still so pretty? And not the good kind of pretty, of course, not the kind that's just one nice thing that a woman could be. I mean the bad kind of pretty... the weighted, mandatory, meaningful kind of pretty. The more important than anything else kind of pretty. The have it or pay kind of pretty.

Haven't women smashed the glass ceiling and won the right to vote and become public officials and bread winners and astronauts? Haven't women become more industrious, productive, strong, and clever... than pretty?

The suppression of women has been so great for so long, these steps we've taken towards gender equality are like climbing a foothill on the way up Mount Everest. Misogyny runs deep. Way below any broken ceiling or job title. It's in our relationships. It's in our identities.

Women should be pretty. They ought to be pretty. They better be pretty. Prettiness denotes worth in a woman. A woman is worth something if she is pretty, because a pretty woman is worth something to a man. A woman's worth is bound up in the privileged, sanctioned, dominant male perspective.

Why don't these privileged, sanctioned, dominant men want to be pretty? Why do they hate being pretty?

Because it's beneath them. It's a degradation. Prettiness is an accessory. A bauble. A bit of sparkly thread. A thing. And men know that they are more than that. They are taught that they are more than that. Women, of course, are taught how to be things at the earliest age. Pretty things. They learn how to objectify themselves. To be baubles, jewels, silks... things. No aspect of their own identity is worth as much to this world as their prettiness.

I had an eating disorder for fifteen years. For fifteen years I strove to be pretty. I strove for the worth pretty got me. I became a bauble. A thing. I did it well. Well enough to feel like I was winning at something, achieving something, reaching something. But what was it worth exactly... all that pretty? In the end, what was it that I won?

Anger saved me. Anger was the turning point in my recovery. So much anger at what I had endured as a woman in this world. How dare we be taught to be so pretty! How dare we still be second-tier after all these years! How dare someone suggest to me, for even a moment, that women have somehow gained enough to stop the fight, loosen the reigns, lighten up, settle down!

I gave up the eating disorder, but I kept the anger. It's still my talisman. It reminds me that I do mind being pretty. It reminds me that until this misogynistic world stops equating my worth with my ability to turn on a man, it's up to me to know better. To redefine my worth on my own terms. To stand up for myself in those dark, interior corners of the mind where self-hate dwells. It's up to me to know that I am more industrious, productive, strong, clever, and a thousand other things... than I am pretty.

About the Author

Alexis Ryan lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her two fabulous brothers, who grabbed her little hands six years ago and helped lift her out of her eating disorder. She is happily recovered, in school studying to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and ferocious about gender equality and the defense of human rights.  

Posted on 09/15/2015 9:30 AM by Alexis Ryan

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