Summer 2016 and Your Recovery
Summer is here again. Many of us are delighted, but many people who are recovering from ED can find this time of the year more challenging than other times. Sunshine can show all the dust on our furniture, the same way it can often show us what we are missing in life when we have ED. These realisations need to be used as motivation and not to turn it into regrets.
Many parents/carers of ED sufferers often mistakenly think that a family holiday would make their loved one happier and it will speed up their recovery. Unless parents have very high knowledge of the freedom language and of the condition, family holidays are not often a great help in the recovery process. The condition also travels and it can often get much worse and become a potential barrier to the recovery process. If you have your holiday booked already, discuss this with your practitioner and explore how to make the best out if it. Good preparation is the best policy. Here are few tips how to make the best out of holiday:
- Remember what you learned about your Recovery
- Your duty on this holiday is to make the best out of it and have fun
- Do not pack your negativity in your suitcase, it could be too heavy
- Instead of worrying about how many calories you eat, think how much more you can enjoy yourself
- Share yourself with people and you will notice just how liked you are
- Write down your nice moments
- Take a lot of photos
- Instead of being absorbed in your condition and negativity, try to get absorbed in the culture and different lifestyles around you
- Do not feel guilty about anything, there is plenty time for that when you come home
- Do not starve – you are only shrinking your enjoyment and your self-esteem
- Drink more water than alcohol, you will feel better the next day!
- Talk to someone if your condition becomes overwhelming or write ho you would like to feel instead
- Be willing to feel happy
20 Ways to Learn to Like Your Body This Summer
Compiled by Margo Maine, Ph.D.
During this time of year there can be a lot of pressure on how our bodies look. This obsessive focus can lead us to feeling very heavy and experiencing a very low self esteem with the term “Not good enough” in our mind. Here are 20 different ways on how you can refocus from the pressure and learn to love your body :
- Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it.
- Create a list of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.
- Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.
- Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
- Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.
- Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.
- Wear comfortable clothes that you like, that express your personal style, and that feel good to your body.
- Count your blessings, not your blemishes.
- Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your body and appearance. Try one!
- Be your body’s friend and supporter, not its enemy.
- Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months. Your body is extraordinary–begin to respect and appreciate it.
- Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.
- Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.
- Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Don’t exercise to lose weight or to fight your body. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good. Exercise for the Three F’s: Fun, Fitness, and Friendship.
- Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body. Tell yourself you can feel like that again, even in this body at this age.
- Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself–without mentioning your appearance. Add to it!
- Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, “I’m beautiful inside and out.”
- Choose to find the beauty in the world and in yourself.
- Start saying to yourself, “Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.”
- Rest when you are tired. Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty.
Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem. It’s What’s Inside That Counts!
Never Ever Give up, Recovery is so Worth it
A reflection on recovery from a Recovered Freedom Fighter
I think it’s a good idea to look back and recapture a period of time because it’s helpful to see the growth, and feel gratitude for the learning. This time last year I was preparing to come home from living in the USA. I was full of beans as it was then I began to realise that I was no longer tormented by ED thoughts. I had so much more freedom in me. I had more confidence and passion, and couldn’t wait to get back and start a new job.
Well the new job taught me many lessons. The biggest lesson was that I didn’t want to work in the field I was working in. It came as a surprise to me too! But you see, I am passionate about life, about the body, and about freedom. I love science and figuring things out. I love adrenaline and excitement, and a fast pace. And that’s all fine and dandy as long as I’m living my freedom and the poxy condition doesn’t have the reigns. The job didn’t suit me, so I made my well-thought-out exit plan.
I used to imagine that one day I would realise I was recovered. I imagined it would happen on a day, at a time, at a minute! I imagined I would suddenly feel something wash over me, and I’d scream out OMG I am recovered.
The reality was different, and a lot less dramatic- like much of my life now (#sparemethedrama). I started to get periods of time where I realised I wasn’t being harassed in my head. Minutes turned to hours, sometimes even days. I started to flirt with the idea of being recovered. Am I? I think I am? But it was all very black and white. I suppose I wanted the title. I wanted to be told I ‘passed’ and maybe be given a little certificate…and a crown hehe. But the periods of relative freedom seemed to get longer. The condition voice just got quieter. I would catch myself humming or twirling my hair. I would catch myself reassuring myself- a new automatic thought. I would catch myself defending myself if a critical thought popped in my head. I would catch myself noticing an irrational food related thought, and letting it just come and go in my head.
Over the last few months I stopped asking myself all day if I was recovered or not. It wasn’t helping. I stopped trying to get Marie to tell me how recovered I was. And it’s really moved me along I think.
I’ve had a very action packed month. Old me would have floundered, and gone running back to old ways to numb the stress. New me (or maybe the me that was there all along!) coped brilliantly, if I do say so myself lol. I signed up for a crazy exam that to be fair was a pretty ambitious idea. Nobody thought I’d pass. But I chipped away at the study, and was sitting in Tuesday group the night before, because recovery really is my number 1 value now. I went to the exam armed with a tesco bag full of brain fuel. I was a woman on a mission, and it would be done with SO much self care. Well guess what, your girl passed the crazy exam!!! And I’ve been lapping up the hugs and praise since. And I am loving every minute of it. Why the hell not? I didn’t sacrifice my mental health for an exam, and the gas thing is that all the sleep and rest and relaxing strolls and fun and reassurance and early nights actually paid off. I didn’t come out of the exam and fall apart, I just carried on. I actually went shopping after to buy my first suit! I am such a grown up…
This month I also flew abroad twice for training courses and had such a lot of fun. Of course I had to miss Saturday group which bothered me a little because I love group, but these courses needed to be done. I had such fun, going on the London underground, being a nerd, wandering around Camden, drinking cocktails. And when I found out I passed my exam I decided to treat myself to a bottle of my favourite perfume. I was stood holding the 50ml and 100ml bottles, and decided sure wasn’t I worth the 100ml 😛
I’ve an interview for a new job starting in 6 weeks. The girl I currently work with quit, so I’m doing her job too. And I’m ‘busy’, but I’m ok! Recovery has brought the ability to divide into two people haha. A worrying little health problem has cropped up requiring investigation. There’s a hum of stress about the day, but I am managing it all. The days in work are longer, but I am still seeing my friends, doing fun things, getting out and about, resting etc. This week we hosted a dinner party where our friends announced they’re having a baby (#jealous!). This weekend we have been wedding planning- looking at wedding venues, discussing decorations and eating out with my parents. The relationship with my mum really suffered when I had ED, so I can’t even put into words how great it is to be able to have this relationship back again.
The life I always wanted was right there. It was always within my reach. It’s nothing fancy, it’s all rather simple actually. But here I am, just being a ‘normal’ person going about her day.
Previously I felt I was trying to prove I was recovered to everyone. I had doubts. I was all about the title. But now I seem to feel it in my heart. I know ED is over. It’s gone. The idea of depriving myself , doing behaviours or pushing myself beyond the limit is so foreign to me now. I hit my rock bottom XXX years ago and it’s been a steady incline since. The contrast between then and now is literally unbelievable. And I am so so so grateful for my recovery, and for all the help I received in Marino, especially from Marie and those in group. I love you guys!
The best part is, I have full freedom to look forward to. It gives me tingles to think that I could enjoy my life more than I do, or that I could be even more content, more confident, and more at ease with myself and my body.
Life doesn’t get easier as you recover, it’s just you feel more able to handle it.
Never ever give up. Recovery is so worth it. And I have it on good authority that being fully free is pretty great too. I’ll let you know when I get there! 😉
Walking the Talk
I used this phrase throughout thousands of conversations, full of its meaning, its importance, and also full of a complete disregard for it. The thing is, I didn’t understand it. Looking back, I can see that I was convinced that what mattered were my words; my tone, inflection, tact, articulation, and my body language- but only my body language with regard to contact with the other person. The thought of my body’s unconscious signals never entered my mind.
I had absolutely no value on my physicality and my being. It seemed irrelevant; a vessel, yes, but not more. I could see people around me who had strong physical presence, and I put it down purely to their choices of movement, and so I echoed them, unaware of the fact that all my motions were empty, my words void.
I see it now, remembering others in condition, myself deeply in condition, and observing those still in its clutch, and it’s an overwhelming realisation. Who would have thought that one’s treatment of oneself could be so blatantly and obviously on display, undermining every word, every movement? But it is, it really is. I feel it so strongly that I honestly think even if I had begun spouting, say, a constant stream of genuine revelations about the inner workings of rocket science, it would have still been utterly meaningless, and I doubt anybody would have listened.
Over the past few months, I’ve found myself looking back over the past with fear and hatred. Traumatic experiences within the year and never ending panic caused me to lose touch with the world around me. I struggled to see any reason for gratitude instead choosing to believe that all was miserable, and while it can be said that it certainly was no holiday, slowly and surely I am realizing the great learning this year has given me.
A friend of mine shared a great quote with me:
“Rather than seeing the pain and struggle as obstacles, start seeing them as opportunities to step up and show the world how great you are”
Yes, this year has been tough, as I am sure it has been tough for others, but at the same time I believe that we have to see it as a chance to grow. I have been gifted with a chance to learn so much more than I ever believed possible because of this year. And while I won’t lie and say I have completely come to terms with the year I’ve had, I am learning, and I am grateful for it. Oftentimes I find myself blocking the past year out, instead focusing on happier memories or comparing the year to the year that friends have had. Condition 101. But now I am fighting it, remembering how I made it through this year, have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and of course giving myself credit for it. All memories are treasures of the heart, no matter how challenging, and they make us who we are. Be grateful.
It’s no secret that showing gratitude in this world is more difficult than one would hope. Everyday we are bombarded with bad news. It seems as though every two minutes there is a new breaking news story. Instead of focusing on these, seek out the good in each day, because believe me there is a lot of it. Did you know that there are 225 births worldwide a minute? That’s 4.3 new lives brought into this world every second. Be grateful for that. Around 500 couples are married each day. Where are these statistics in the news when they are fighting over a budget deficit? We need to find these statistics and make it news! We need the world to be grateful!!
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Marino Practitioner Andrea Discusses How to find Balance & Freedom with Clean Eating In Irish Examiner
Is your ‘clean eating’ driven by fear and an obsession?
Are you in control or being control?
Eating Distress Practitioner at the Marino Therapy Centre, Andrea Weldon promoting full freedom from Eating Distress. An obsession with ‘clean’ eating is more than just taking a healthy diet too far, reports Joyce Fegan.
Click here to read the full article in the Irish Examiner
Exam Update & More Tips from Freedom Fighter Tiger Lily
Hello again fellow freedom fighters! I just thought I would update those of you still yet to do exams and encourage you that self-care truly works. As I mentioned in my previous sharing of my learnings, for the first time this year I had a pro-self-support exam time. I could concentrate better, I was less anxious and the doubtful thoughts were continuously stomped out through use of reassurance. I got my results on Monday and although I didn’t need external validation that what I did worked for me, it was nice to see that the marriage of recovery and studying can truly yield that results that one desires!! I cannot express enough my gratitude for those who have taught me this and also I am giving myself credit for my new approach. I actually kind of enjoyed the exams this year if I take away the condition trying to lure me into the drama. I remember another freedom fighter sharing with me on Iceberg when I was doing my leaving cert, encouraging the same thing that I am saying today but at the time I didn’t listen. Maybe things would have worked out better if I had of acted sooner?? So don’t do what I did and ‘pfft sure easy for her to say’ – because it’s not. This was new to me too and it was challenging but it is a worthwhile challenge!
So I have a little list of things that helped me and may be of use:
- Before the exams, don’t engage or listen to classmates’ drama and fear. Steer clear!
- …If you don’t know where to steer clear to, I suggest the bathrooms – go in and do a power pose like a superhero because you can do it ! (Watch TED talk!)
- Use your favourite black/blue pen to write with
- I have a little heart that M gave out at group one evening that I put on my desk to ground me and remind me to breath – so if you have something like that or a necklace or something or even a squirt of perfume
- Bring water for hydration
- Bring a snack! Those exams are long and a little something during the exam kicks your brain back into gear (choose something non-crunchy however to respect the others around lol)
- Keep to your timing. Spending all the time on one question to make that one question perfect is not actually worth it. Having something written for each question is a far better tactic. There is only so much marks for one question so by not getting to the next question you get 0 for that and 65 for the other instead of maybe getting 50 and 50 for each. (I never fully got that concept until recently either! But it makes sense!)
- Keep everything simple. Remember – what am I trying to say in this answer
Finally, well done for even turning up to the exam. That in itself is something worthy of massive credit. Keep breathing and grounding yourself and it will work.
What do we Learn from our Classes/Groups?
If you are unable to make our group sessions be sure to catch up with what topics and learning came up through the news section of our website.
Click here to read what Recovery topics we have been exploring
What is Film Therapy & How does it Help?
Films affect us powerfully because the synergistic impact of music, dialogue, lighting, cameras angles and sound effects enables a film to bypass our ordinary defensive censors. They draw us into the viewing experience and at the same time –often more easily then in real life- afford a unique opportunity to retain a perspective outside the experience, the observers view. Movies connect a person’s world to the characters and plot-furnishing role models, providing inspirations and hope, offering new solutions to old problems. They assure people that they are not alone, that others have experienced hardships and triumphed.
“Movie therapy is so powerful because it accesses feelings and emotions quickly, bringing them to the surface like a magnet,” explains Professor Bernie Wooder. “Films provide role models, clarify relationship issues, identify problems and solutions, inspire and motivate. And because you watch from a third person perspective, your defences are down, so the film can act as a springboard for self discovery.”
Why film therapy works?
One aspect of most films is that they serve as allegories, in much the same way as do stories, myths jokes or dreams which can all be utilised in therapy. The cognitive effective of film can be explained through recent theories of learning and creativity, which suggest that we have seven “intelligences”. The more of these intelligences we access, the faster we can learn because they employ different of information processing. Watching a film can engage all of them.
- Logical = plot
- Linguistic = dialogs
- Visual-spatial = pictures, colours, symbols.
- Musical = sounds and music.
- Interpersonal = storying
- Kinaesthetic = moving
- Intra-psychic = inner-guidance
Inside out is a wonderful, colourful film that I would definitely recommend anyone at any stage of Recovery to watch. The film explores the goings on in a little girls conscious and subconscious mind as she is growing up and going through changes. It nice and clearly simplifies how are thoughts give way to our feelings and then create our behaviours. I would recommend everyone to watch this film. Recovery can be quite challenging for people with personal experiences and carers and sometimes it is challenging to understand some of the distorted thinking patterns that can emerge as a result of conditioned thinking.
Watch the trailer here:
Inside Out Trailer 2 UK – Official Disney Pixar | HD
Saturdays: 10.30am – 12. 00pm – Carers & Sufferers
**From 26th April 2016 All Tuesday Groups will run from 7.30pm-9.00pm**