Written by ClassmateXY
I’ve had family members doubt the process of Marino and if I didn’t understand the process and the teachings I probably would have to. I wanted to write this to anyone who is having doubts and is losing faith in the process. I want to share my views because the people who love me the most in the world i.e. my mam, who have doubted MTC recovery process did put fears in my head leading me to question if what I was doing was right for me. But I see now these little challenges had to happen for me to cement my faith in the professionals in MTC and, trust me, I am so glad I stuck to my gun and continued to dive into the ugliness of what was in my mind in order to discover the life that was waiting for minus the limitations and rules condition had built.
I think coming from a very vulnerable place in condition I latched on to MTC because I felt understood and the kindness I experience in MTC is like no other in the world, there is no power given to the condition in these walls, you are seen as the person you are rather than the condition you have.
In those early stages I didn’t even know why I was on the journey and didn’t know what I was actually getting myself into when I walked through the doors of MTC for the first time! The only thing that kept me going was doing it for my mam, I thought I’ll go for a while and just shut up my mam but I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. But then I began to realise these thoughts that were engraved in my head for years where not normal and it made me uncomfortable with the beliefs I held onto for so long. People don’t hate and punish themselves with food, they don’t try and sabotage and destroy every good thing in their life, they accept that people love them and want to help them. The last one still hits a nerve with me now. What I was doing to myself wasn’t just hurting me, it was hurting every person’s life I’m apart of and whether I liked it or not I was (and still am) a big part of a lot of people’s lives who love me. Love is one of the most powerful emotions, which I can now feel, and understand why this condition not only destroys the suffers life but all those who witness it. Nobody wants to see someone go through the torment and suffering of an ED.
Looking back now the early stages, although the most painful, upsetting and confusing time of my life, was the easiest. I didn’t have to think for myself(condition did that for me) I had no responsibilities, no one relied on me, asked me anywhere, no one wanted to upset me because I was sick and who wants to upset a sick person? And I got everything my way. I was so comfortable living in this cocoon, protected from the real world and life.
After a while I began wanting this thing called freedom I heard people talk about and seen people with, but I didn’t want to unleash what was inside me to get it. This vicious cycle kept me stuck and I pretended on the surface everything was alright, my family started thinking I was better and just went with it.
I had a lot of wasted sessions because I wasn’t putting in the work; I wasn’t willing to be honest with my thoughts in order to help myself. I blamed MTC a lot, and thought I’m not getting anything out of this anymore. I realise now I felt like this because as you move from the early stage you have to start thinking for yourself, and removing that crutch little by little. Recovery is about pushing yourself, discovering what you like and don’t like and removing all the deception in your mind tell you you’re not enough, you can’t do things, you’re not loved, worrying about what everyone else thinks about what you’re doing, fill in whatever condition nonsense here_______.
The more you’re willing to work on yourself and be honest that’s when things start moving and I’m not gonna lie it’s scary, really scary! Because for the first time ever YOU are making decisions, I always felt I was doing everything wrong and I was making mistakes, I would go 5 steps forward and 10 back! At times I felt I was on a merry go round and I was never going to get off but by ALWAYS going to group and going to sessions and hearing the same thing over and over again I began to trust. ‘Repetition becomes fact’. I started making myself let go off that merry go round slowly but surely, risking falling and getting hurt!
People ask me sometimes why I still go to Group, do I still feel like I need to go and do I actually get anything from it?
My answer is that I don’t feel like I need to go to group I WANT to go to group. Nowhere else in the world have I ever experienced such a fantastic group of brave, courageous humans who realise they want a better life and are committing to work on them self to achieve something better! I do get a lot from group, no lie! EVERY GROUP I go to I learn something, but it’s because I’m willing to learn! In the past I would have sat in group absent minded not knowing what was going on, thinking that things people were saying didn’t apply to me, but as the quote on the wall states ‘Recovery is not a la carte’. I can’t choose what parts of condition I want to let go of or keep, because them I’m not living truly as me.
I used to argue I didn’t get anything from group but it was because it didn’t suit me to get anything from it, I didn’t want the topic we were discussing to be brought up to the surface- but eventually in our life these thoughts that are constantly pushed to the back of the brain will come up and you will have to work on it so instead of waiting until later, do it now! I would consider myself at a high stage of recovery and a few weeks ago we talked about shame in group and it brought up a lot in me, which at first I was afraid to admit, but being recovered is being able to say ‘yes, I feel like xyzzz what am I going to do about it’?
Another point I wanted to say is, my family did give MTC a lot of stick and questioned if what they were telling me was the right advice, it’s too expensive etc. The practitioners are not there to be our friends. It is a business, a business to get people better and help them unlock their true self’s. The practitioners at MTC deeply care for each and every one of us but they can’t do recovery for us they can only guide us in the right direction, asking probing questions we don’t want to hear and to call out conditions nonsense! I used to go to Marino with the thoughts of making who ever I was seeing like me but they’re not there to be liked they are there to guide us, we choose whether we want to follow that advice or not.
Money!!—Yes recovery is expensive, and I have argued it for years and used it as an excuse as to why I couldn’t go to sessions. I used to be the girl that could go shopping and buy all these things I didn’t need but when it came to sessions I couldn’t afford it, and it was to do with my values. I felt I was missing out on ‘having’ the best shoes, the best holidays etc. but now I realise no amount of things or no amount of fantastic pictures of my travel experiences will ever bring me the joy and satisfaction being recovered can! You ARE worth it, invest in yourself and not something that will bring you 5 minutes of joy and looks good to others.
Recovery is a tiring, hard, painful, happy, timely, rewarding experience! I used to think being free would feel like I just won the lotto, but the truth is there is no physical reward, you don’t get a big cheque, or win a big car, you don’t get a degree to recognize all the blood sweat and tears of fighting emotional demons and its definitely not about posting it all over social media and sharing before and after pictures (since when did they help anyone lol )! But what you do get is an overwhelming satisfaction of peace in being yourself and nothing can compare to it. Recovery is for you, it matters, you matter and every bit of work is worth it. I have my own few little crinkles to iron out still and I don’t know when ill fully be free, but I’ve never felt so accepting of me and my life. I see life has no limits and it’s up to me what I want to do with this freedom- do I want to spend it chasing money, starting a family, travelling, writing, reading, becoming an astronaut or a curing cancer? There is no wrong way to live a life as you!
I’m not doing recovery for anyone. Not for Marie, Jacqueline, Andrea or even my Mother. I am doing it for me because I deserve to capture every bit of joy I can with the time I’ve been blessed with on this earth. I have no idea why I am here or what I am ‘supposed’ to do. But what I want to do is be me, enjoy being me, meet and learn about as many people as I can and experience life whole heartedly in the absence of fear.
I owe my life to MTC for challenging me, telling me things that condition or I didn’t want to hear and pushing me through the process and teaching me about life. I also owe it to myself for breaking down the beliefs, learning to trust the advice I was being told and putting in the time and work.
I feel this post is a very simplistic view of the process, but these are some doubts that came up in my journey and I hear people discussing so hopefully it will help someone. Sure recovery is all about simplicity aye 😉
Thank you for writing it and sharing. It is time to make some changes:) I found it very inspirational, feel so much more motivated now.