September is often a very challenging time for those who are recovering. There are so many changes at this time and it can often result to us feeling very overwhelmed. As we enter a new semester it is important that we learn how to learn on this journey in order to speed it up. Continue reading on to find out more.
Quote of the Month:
Repetition is the mother of learning and the father of action
Welcome to New Semester of Learning
‘Seeing yourself as the way you want to be is the key to Personal Growth’
In Recovery we learn that life is an ongoing education. Recovery is our College, our PhD in Life which we are all capable of graduating with flying colours:)
When we are suffering from an Eating Distress we often see more obstacles then opportunities, more struggle then growth. This Summer you may have had some challenges, but with challenges come progression. Every single day brings learning in some shape or form. Which do we choose to focus on?
Click here to see what questions to ask yourself to help you progress this semester of Recovery
Charlie – Teachers Are Everywhere
Written by Elfy
There is a man standing at the junction of two busy roads near my house. He is there everyday. Selling newspapers between two lanes of traffic. Most people don’t see him or notice him. I’d like to tell you why I did.In the winter every dark, wet, blustery evening I saw him standing there selling papers in the dark. Rush hour traffic whizzing past and there I was in traffic, moaning in my head or busy being irritated about some-one or something, mostly myself. I saw Charlie on the road in his rain gear, a small flask on the wall with a lunchbox and there he stood papers in hand shouting hello to people who stopped to roll down their windows in the rain.
What irritated me was the fact he was so happy. His face was light and his eyes were genuine and just radiated goodness. Know why that irritated me? Because all the talk therapy, chanting and things can’t give me or you that. He probably isn’t even aware how jolly he is. He just is. I started noticing the words he used to people, respectful and dignified. “How are you this evening Sir?”
I wasn’t driving then so I had to walk past the “ready-break” man, all aglow in the wet, dull evening. Amidst all the congestion and pollution there he stands each day waving as you pass. My daughter (a teenager with big personality) well she’s a good judge of character. She said to me “Oh my God mam he is so genuinely jolly, there is no badness in his face, no resentment or ill will”.
So I started to look forward to waving at Charlie on my walk home from work. He has a menial job, he is standing between cars getting splashed and he’s a free spirit that is rare. It made me realise the “when I have the promotion, the car, the relationship, the body, the house, the degrees”, it’s not real. He has a cap job on the Howth road and he shines like a light bulb. And it has taught me a valuable lesson. When you CHOOSE to feel act and think that way it comes true. There is no happiness over the rainbow. It’s a choice.
I asked him his name today as I passed. “Charles” he said, then he chuckled a big chuckle saying “But you can call me Prince Charles”. And I thought to myself, your the nearest thing to a prince in a muddy puddle I’ve met on my doorstep. An example. You just decide to be like that. It’s a choice.
So I hear my grumbles and complaints as I meet people who live with integrity no matter if they have the crap job or no car or no promotion or no house. A little flask and a lunchbox and a smile for everyone who passes. Charles I don’t know you or where you are from maybe Nigeria? Standing on the Howth Road. Your brilliant. You shine. It makes me want to shine and light up when I meet people today. Teachers are everywhere.
Thank you Charles, the paper man…
Self-Talk in Your Recovery
Self-talk is the voice within our mind, it is our thinking, our inner conversation. Self-talk plays a very important role in building our self-esteem, we need to pay attention to the language that we use on a daily basis. Self-talk can be supportive or destructive. We think in words. Words are extremely powerful more than we sometime realise, they can be healing or damaging. Word is one of the smallest units of speech or writing that is the smallest isolable meaningful element of the language. Words are the foundation building blocks for human change and improvement. They provide us with many of the problems and indeed many solutions to life’s woes and difficulties. They can allow us to grow, develop and succeed while on the otherhand, using them poorly can cause stagnation and hardship.
Words are the drops of water in the sea of the language, but without the drops there is no sea. When people find recovery very difficult and go through confusing states of mind, sometimes it helps to just focus on the words they use in their communication. In recovery we learn to talk nicely to ourselves and other people as well.
Click here for more tips on how to master your self talk in recovery
The Importance of Learning How to Learn in Recovery
Written by Jacqueline
If there was one tip I would give my fellow Freedom Fighters, it would – “Don’t try and be good at this”. So often we try to be the “perfect recoveree” with more focus going on theory and talking instead of action. The condition brings such a fear of getting it “wrong” and fear of the unknown, but life is about embracing the magic of the unknown and engaging in wonder and curiousity.
Learn how to be a student. Surrender to the Freedom and that you have never done this before. Tune into your mentors, your guiders and carers. Let’s be honest, if we knew what was good for us we wouldn’t have the ED. The more you embrace being a student and become ethusiastic about learning the easier and faster this journey is :
Make your nuggets of success smaller – I don’t mean aim low, but the condition has such high expectations you could be made a saint tomorrow and it still wouldn’t be enough. Collect smaller pieces of credit & successes and watch them grow as you nourish them.
Don’t be a know it all – sure why would you, nobody likes those right? Embrace your vulnerability and ask more questions. Prepare for your sessions and groups and bring questions, the more questions you have the more you will LEARN how to recover as opposed to giving out to yourself and that you haven’t done it yet. From my personal experience on my journey to reaching Freedom, I knew too much and did too little . My advice to you. Know less, do more, and understand later 🙂
Your classmates are your allies not your enemy – whether it is a post on MTC website, a sharing at group or teachings from you mentors, understand that this is NOT a competition. Use people’s sharings to your recovery advantage and not as a comparison tool that will slow you down. Remind yourself you are not alone, they have either done it or are practicing doing it. Take the sharings you like and PRACTICE them. this journey is easy for nobody, but some of us make it easier for ourselves by just doing it (in saying this, yes that theory took me time to practice so no comparing 😉 )
So there you go, just a few simple tips to help you become a Freedom Fighting student this Semester!
What Is Freedom from ED?
Written by Andrea
Can you imagine a person who was imprisoned for years of their life? Locked away from the outside world for weeks and months at a time. Living in darkness and despair, wishing every day for freedom.
Imagine this person was freed from their jail, let loose on the world only to be told they had to wear handcuffs for the rest of their life-they are free but they can’t quite live life 100% with the handcuffs reminding them they are still under a certain kind of restraint. Is this even freedom? The handcuffs may be small but they are restricting. Is this the type of freedom you would be happy with? ED can often leave us feeling like a prisoner of our own minds and of course we all strive for freedom but, what is your definition of freedom?
Lately I’m seeing a lot in the media about people who claim to be free having recovered from Eating Distress but they also say that they will have to watch what they eat for the rest of their lives. They say they are free but they will always be subject to ED or destructive thoughts. Pause for a second-this is not freedom. This is still living with the handcuffs on-there are still conditions to this freedom, therefore it renders this so called freedom void.
Real freedom is 100%. There are no conditions when it comes to freedom. We all have different definitions of what Freedom means to us, what we want from life, what our goals are but I’m guessing nobody wants to limit their Freedom. There are no handcuffs, there are no conditions on food. There is no substituting one behaviour for another. Freedom is exactly what it says in the tin-FREEDOM. There are no limitations or restrictions.
In recovery I always strived for the very best definition of Freedom not because the ED told me too (ED likes to be the best) but because nothing less than full Freedom is what I deserved . There is no second best when it comes to life because you deserve the best possible life you can have-you only have one life. You need to make the most of it so give yourself a chance by striving for real freedom.
I find it disheartening to hear people claiming to be free or recovered when they quite clearly aren’t. It sends out the wrong message to people who are trying to recover-they are sending out the message that this is as good as it gets-still struggling albeit not as bad a struggle but struggling nonetheless. You do not deserve to struggle, remember you deserve much much more.
Life In Freedom
Written by UnaThis world is but a canvas to our imagination. (Henry David Thoreau)
Is it real? This new way of being in the world? I remember asking ‘what would I do with my time?’ If behaviour free what could I do? My life had become small. Out of touch with the true me.Numb. How would I cope with life, people, thoughts and feelings without destructive behaviours?
It seems strange now.
I am listening to the musical intonation of beautiful French accents on France Culture radio. The guests on the station are discussing marginalised sections of society, discrimination and oppression. Human rights. I have the phone radio plugged into a speaker system and the sound is superb especially to super sensitive ears. What a gift. I have my nail care bag ready for filing and painting my nails after a soak in a fragrant bubble bath. I anticipate Moisturising my skin with slow effleurage strokes afterwards. Green tea body lotion is sensual and refreshing.
I was watching trailers on the Odeon app earlier planning my films for the week- how exciting! I am especially looking forward to ‘Bad Moms’ ! Restorative Yoga and meditation are a daily opportunity to tune in to myself, nurture green thoughts and align with what I truly want. ( if red thoughts are overwhelming at the moment meditative focus may be best guided by your practitioner)
I enjoyed breakfast at a table set with pretty vases of colourful flowers plucked from the beautiful abundance of our marvellous earth. Perhaps described by ‘those who know’ as ‘weeds’ to me the vibrant orange and red shades of curling petals merging into stems knarled with buds and underlined with delicately veined leaves are the orchids of the wild. Clear water in the glass vase magnifies and changes the submerged flower stem reaching down with jagged edges for life giving water.
I had my iPad ready to engage with writing after thoroughly enjoying nourishing my body and mind. I am meeting a friend for coffee later which will be fun.
Gratitude, credit and affirmations are automatic now. Yet deserve emphasis as their simplicity can veil their impact.
I have a Mac in a sac for weather protection and ‘ I can handle it ‘ affirmations for thought protection.
The topics have changed to Politics Democracy and borders. I notice the focus on conflict affecting my mood so I change channel to ‘Rire’ the laughter is contagious and I smile with deep appreciation for the adventure of a wonderful day….
Freedom and Recovery worth it…..