Make way! New thoughts coming through

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how much do I want to get better. I’ve been feeling that as much time as we’ve put in therapy we should be further along in the process than we are now. I’ve done fairly well at stopping some of those self-destructive behaviors that used to plague my existence. However, the eating disorder is what gets me stuck in time. I don’t understand how I could still be struggling with those behaviors based on how much inpatient, residential, and outpatient treatment we’ve had. But I’ve realized that one of the reasons recovery didn’t stick before was that I didn’t commit to it. I didn’t do everything I needed to in order to resist falling back into old, destructive coping habits. An area that I can pinpoint is the way we think about ourselves. When I first forayed into recovery, I did what my treatment team suggested. I gained weight. I followed a meal plan. I took my meds. By my actions it looked like I was in recovery, but in my head it was a different story. Not once did I stop to work on what I thought about myself. I thought I was fat, ugly, and repulsive. I didn’t even want to change my thinking. I wanted to hate myself. I felt better if I hated myself. If I liked myself then it was as if I was giving myself permission to love something worthless, defective, and damaged. In a sense, it was like I was protecting myself by letting myself think I was despicable. If I hated myself enough, if I called myself enough names, if I drank/cut/burned/purged/restricted enough maybe I would eventually change. Don’t get me wrong. I am nowhere near to accepting myself, much less loving myself. When I look in the mirror I see flaws, not fierceness. But what’s changed is that now I’m open to the idea of not hating myself. I’m open to the idea of changing the way I think and view myself. I finally see that in order to truly recover this time we are going to have to start thinking of ourselves differently and start accepting us.

6 thoughts on “Make way! New thoughts coming through

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  1. This is awesome and a HUGE step… good on you! I hope one day you can see yourself as others see you – caring, intelligent and so so strong.

    Take care,

  2. This is no small step! This is huge, I think. An area I struggle with big time is acceptance and love. I, too, see the abuse when I look in the mirror and think I did something to cause it, even tho – logically, I know that is not the case.
    I do have parts that are smart and funny and functional and I need to find a way to believe they are "good".
    Thank you for this post….and for sharing your thoughts/feelings/struggles here.

  3. CG,

    You are so kind. And as part of new commitment to be open to accepting us, I will take your compliments and say thank you. I won't argue with it in my head.

    Thanks for your comment. It means a lot.

  4. Grace,

    You're right. This is a huge step. I'm amazed at how much better I feel already. There's a calmness I've never felt before. I guess it's because we've laid down our fighting swords and are calling a truce. There's no fighting in my head right now and that's a wonderful feeling.

    You can have it too. I know how you struggle with loving yourself. But it really does feel good.

    Thanks for commenting. It's good to see you around again.

  5. I think you are beginning to see that it has to be your idea. You can't heal or change for anyone else but you. Do it for you.
    "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." …The Way of Lao-tzu – Chinese philosopher

  6. I agree with the others, that this is a huge step forward.

    I know that eating can be a proxy for other self-destructive behaviors. So, it's important to be careful that you aren't just fixing one behavior only to replace it with another.

    For me, I know that there is a specific alter who has these eating issues, and body perception, fat, gross, issues… I think now this alter is supported by the rest of the system because there is a sense of strength that the rest of the system has now that we didn't have before.

    So, some of my comments in the last post should be moderated by what I'm saying here…

    If you can build that sense of willingness on the part of the rest of the system, I think it does hold the part or parts of you who are struggling with these other issues.

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