Challenge Accepted

For anyone who hasn’t noticed, I have been struggling. Struggling with the concept of recovery. With freedom. With any kind of belief it will happen for me. Of course it can happen for other people! That is a given. But me? I struggle to believe. And without hope and belief, recovery is impossible.

Today I was challenged to focus on freedom and recovery from a positive point of view. To let go of writing about the struggle (which is real) and to write about the goal (which is imaginary).

The reason I write (and many thousands of others write) about the struggle, is we want you to understand! We want to feel validated. We want the people in our lives to know we’re not just whinging and whining and being a big wet blanket because we want to. We have real problems – and the solutions are really difficult. The solutions are not always what you think and definitely not as simple as you might suggest.

  • Depression is not fixed by thinking positively
  • Anxiety is not fixed by stopping worrying
  • Bulimia is not fixed by stopping vomiting
  • Binge eating is not fixed by eating slowly

Obviously, if all these simple things were achievable, nobody would have a problem. We have all thought of these things before!!

Anyway – I have digressed. Being positive. Yes. That is a good start. I was well trained over the years to stop expecting positive results. If every time you got up, you were kicked down, it would be a struggle to get up off the floor every once in a while, don’t you think? To start wondering, why bother?! But a fatalistic mindset is not a recovery mindset.

So Rana*, I accept your challenge. The challenge to spend 30 days writing about what freedom looks like. How it would feel. What it would mean.  Not what will I eat and will I be living in a state of eternal bliss – that’s ridiculous. I have always been very practical. But what positives will there be in my life if recovery and freedom from the eating disorder miraculously appear. So I accept. Thank you for the challenge.

This is my first day. But this is not the first post… This is the pre-challenge post 😀

Along with my other issues that developed or progressed in recent years, I have a slight tendency to OCD-ness (please don’t make me leave the television volume at 14 – that’s just wrong!) So I have been cogitating upon this challenge today and this is what I will do – 30 letters for 30 days. Each letter will represent some kind of inspiration for recovery, or an image representing how my life might look if I wasn’t obsessed with food all the time (btw… have you known me a long time? Like – a really long time?! Because while the bulimia may have blown up in my face the past five years, disordered eating and food obsession has been hidden from you the other 46 years. It’s always been there. Always. This isn’t new…) I am very flitty today… I digressed again.

The 30 letters are “I Believe in My Freedom and Recovery”. Nifty huh?! I thought I should start my journey of positive posts, with a positive message.

I detest Pollyanna-ish, fakeness and pretense. That is not my goal. I want to be real – not pretend everything will be perfect or I can just learn to sweep negative emotions under the carpet and never have a sad thought again. That does not represent freedom to me.

Being positive is having a focus on moving forward – investigating and accepting our struggles, feeling the whole range of emotions unique to the human spirit, and realising there is a time and a place for everything – including sadness – and the aim of the game is to manage difficult emotions and circumstances in a productive manner, not ignore them.

I hope that makes sense. I find it deeply insulting if I have a problem and someone minimises my struggle by telling me all the related positives. That is a one-sided coin. It is as unbalanced as telling me all the negatives. For me a healthy life looks at both sides, then revels in the ups and works through the downs.

So folks, here we go. This will be the last Debbie Downer post for 30 days. I’m seeking the strength to visualise a tomorrow that is whole and healthy. Because right now I can’t visualise such a thing at all.

I accept the challenge. I believe in my freedom and recovery.

*Do you know someone with binge eating and/or bulimia issues? Because if you do, Rana’s closed Facebook Group is THE most awesome resource anybody could hope to find. I highly recommend it… Have a look.

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