When I look back at the beginning of my struggles with food and my body, I can see that I pulled away from life. I isolated myself. And I came up with judgments about others and excuses for myself that cultivated my loneliness. An internal conflict that had never been there before was suddenly created. Food was not my struggle. And then, one Spring day, I decided to diet for the first time. I had no idea one day I would have to choose to recover.
At age fifteen, I spiraled down into dieting hell so quickly. The thought systems in place in my young mind laid the foundation for the struggle. The combination of my personality tendencies and the inevitable backlash of dieting created the perfect storm.
I can see that my struggle served a purpose. I was protecting myself from failure. And from rejection, from the new world of relationships, drugs and alcohol and changing identities that began to emerge all around me.
Looking back, I can also see that the moment I pulled back from life, I stopped growing.
When I stopped taking chances and risks, I reduced my life to the aspects I knew I could control.
A chain of small choices
Living with such a powerful internal conflict is a very selfish existence. We are not fully here nor there. Although self-love is the way through this struggle, the concept can easily be misconstrued. Self-love includes first and foremost taking responsibility for ourselves and the choices we make. To heal, we must begin to look at everything we do and each way we respond to life as a choice. There is a chain of small choices that leads to the larger outcome.
Without a sense of personal responsibility, we are powerless to change.
Realizing that we can change our own minds rather than the people around us, our environment, and even our behaviors is empowering. And it is essential to the healing process. And yet, once we learn to navigate our inner landscapes, we can see the external aspects of our lives with clarity.
We can choose to recover
We can then choose to create an external environment that reflects the life we want to be living. Healing is a dynamic process where our internal worlds begin to generate our external circumstances. The layers of our being become integrated with our soul-selves. And we find ourselves choosing to surround ourselves with people and environments that resonate with our own energetic life-force.
We must want to change more than we want to remain ill and conflicted.
I know this sounds strange, because one would assume a person in the depths of his/her struggles is desperate to change. However, the struggle serves a purpose. It keeps us small. It keeps us far away from risk and failure- from success and exposure.
Each time we choose to bring joy into our lives, to move with life and towards life, we transform the struggle into something beautiful.
Each time we open our minds and hearts, instead of closing them with fear, we are changing. We show up instead of retreat, and we give and receive. We live and love. And we surrender our struggles to guidance rooted in soul. We listen to our inner teachers and heal. Healing is the miracle.
Choose to recover
We have the ability to choose and re-choose to recover. Life is not a fixed experience, but rather an experiential process. We are both participants and observers. We make choices and we respond in the present moment.
The answers to our questions are within us.
We can quiet our minds and allow the voices of our inner teachers to gently spring forth. Opening our minds and our hearts, we allow love to soften fear. We will begin to observe many negative behaviors disappearing from our lives. Here, we take divine care of ourselves, each other, and this planet. We develop a sense of personal responsibility and we make way for miracles.
Yes! You are amazing lady. Thank you so much for writing this. I am sharing it with my community now. It such a gift to read your words and truly an honor to have connected with you via Recovery Warriors. Much love!
Thank you love!!!
Wonderful article. What serves us to start with soon limits us. We’re responsible and response able – something I learned from Steven Covey!
Thank you! And I love your take on it, as well as Steven Covey’s 🙂
Hi, I am 16yearsold and have had an eating disorder for 3 years. I keep trying to recover but I’m not sure how? can you please help thank you I love what you wrote it’s very heart warming
Thank you for you comment! I highly recommend reaching out and beginning to build a team of professionals who specialize in recovery. We can support you through your healing process (if you haven’t done so already). The “find help” connected part of this website is an amazing resource. Eating disorders are tricky, because they make you feel like you should be able to recover on your own, but the healing process (and life) requires support from others.
If you would like to connect with me for a free phone consultation, you can send me an email to schedule: email@example.com. I would be happy to offer more resources at that time.
Best of luck to you!