Tuesday, 17 November 2015
"Recovery is a Daily Practice" (By: Nephie Snider)
My first attempt to recover from Bulimia Nervosa was in February of 2014. PTSD—the 5-ton gorilla of fear sitting on my chest—was just beginning to fade. Thanks to my yoga practice, I had tasted what life could be like without fear and I knew that Bulimia didn't belong in my fear-free world.
So, I decided that I was going to recover. I got a piece of paper and my favorite pen and I wrote down my plan. I started with three goals: I will not practice behaviors, step foot into [convenience store by my house], and buy diet products for one month. Then, I wrote down the corresponding rewards: I will give myself $250 to spend on new clothes, a day at a spa, and a weekend of yoga training. I posted the paper up in my room and thought: that's that. I'm in recovery.
I made it three days. Looking back, I remember how hard those three days were and how I earned every minute. Progress is so precious. The first steps are the hardest and the most heroic. I was trying my best to recover, but I was missing some very important information:
You have to want to recover in order to recover, but recovery does not simply happen because you want it to happen. Recovery happens because you want to recover AND you practice recovery over and over and over again until recovery becomes your way of life.
I used to hope I would wake up one day and I would be recovered. I used to pray that a fairy godmother would appear in my living room and she would see my tears and she would see how much I was resisting the impulse to do behaviors and she would wave her magic wand and say: “My dear child, recovery is yours.” Now, I see that the hard-fought struggle is an integral part of the recovery process.
In the struggle to recover, I developed the skills I needed in order to be recovered. So what if I only made it three days! I am so proud of those three days. No one can ever take those three days away from me. Those three days gave me the strength I needed to go five days, a week, two weeks, three weeks, a month, two months, four months, six months...and now I am coming up on a full year of no behaviors. I'm so much happier. I'm so much healthier. I'm so much more resilient.
Now, recovery isn't all sunshine and daisies. That's not what I'm trying to tell you. It's been 21 months since February 2014. Plenty of time for mess-ups. With each relapse, I learned something I really needed to know in order to have lasting recovery.
When you fall off the horse, you take a deep breath, brush yourself off, and get back on. You reflect and ask: why did I fall? what can I learn from this fall? What can I change, try, develop, let go of, and share with others in order to hold onto recovery a little bit longer next time?
About the Author
Nephie believes that movement is a celebration of life! As a certified yoga and fitness instructor, she teaches zumba, barre, and yoga classes in Nashville, TN. She also offers private yoga lessons. For more information (and to access awesome free content), please see visit Nephie's website: http://www.nephiesnider.com.
Posted on 11/17/2015 9:00 AM by Nephie Snider
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
"Freedom" (By:Maci Hughlett)
Freedom. We hear this word all of the time in a variety of circumstances. World peace calls for freedom. Prisoners find freedom. Nations fight and fall for the chance at a taste of freedom like what we have in the United States. Eating disorders taunt this word in our faces just out of arms reach.
There is joy in freedom, along with peace and relief. Freedom also brings along exhaustion, toughness, and strength. For most people, gaining freedom from any ailment is an uphill battle that leaves them breathless. No one goes through a war without some battle scars. Yes, there is joy in freedom, but on the same level there is hardness.
Hardness to the situation – to the capture. In relation to an eating disorder, hardness to your previous self surfaces once freedom is delivered. When I found freedom from bulimia – the first time and when I relapsed recently – an indescribable hardness came about to the life I had lived. I felt all that comes with recovery alongside a tougher sense amongst myself.
This sense is what keeps me in the recovery stage. This hardness to past habits exudes from me when it is my birthday and there is a cake with my name on it. Hardness heightens when my roommate surprises me with a milkshake while studying for an exam. The tough side of me comes out when my stomach growls and I am faced with a choice: to let the disorder take advantage and don’t eat, or show the eating disorder whose boss and eat breakfast because I do deserve to have a full stomach again.
Since finding recovery, I look in the mirror differently. I know that this sounds cliché and is what is supposed to happen during the recovery process, but hold on because it is true. I don’t see a girl who used to struggle to see food for what it is – good. A young woman stands before me that has a few battle scars. A woman that knows what it is like to be low, to climb a mountain, to fall downward, and knows to never climb alone again. Eating disorders and mirrors are each other’s own worst enemy. They cannot exist together. Fight on the side of the mirror and cut the disorder like glass. You will be tougher, stronger, and harder for it.
Yes, I have peace, joy, hope, and relief from the eating disorder. But I am just as equally unbreakable.
About the Author
Maci Hughlett is a girl on a mission. She loves Jesus, coffee, books, hiking, and sees everything as an adventure. Maci is studying at Johnson University with a double major in Bible & Theology and Human Services – Counseling. She is up for doing anything in life that will help people see the light and would love to use her testimony for the good of others. Maci is a Tennessee native, growing up in Knoxville and is always making trips up to Nashville to visit family. She has found recovery from a bulimia twice and plans to stand strong against any future temptation to fall into the food trap once more. Family, friends, and her local church have been such a blessing in her life, especially on the road of recovery and she cannot thank them enough. Blessings!
Posted on 11/10/2015 9:00 AM by Macie Hughlett