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Journaling With Hope By Your Side

By June 15, 2024No Comments

 

With Hope By Your Side

 

Today’s Daily Tip in Recovery Now is about journaling. These days, we talk a lot about journaling, but sometimes it takes time to see the benefits. I have always been writing, and as I get older, I value it even more. We often forget how far we have come and that the things we wanted years ago are now part of our lives.

I would like to share a few lines from my book, Hope. In the past I used to feel very lonely and didn’t have many people to share with, writing to an invisible Friend was a great comfort. Through this sharing, you can truly see how important journaling is.

 

Saturday June 1985

Dear Friend,

So many times, I promised to myself I would never do it again, and look at me, sitting here, listening to the rain outside, feeling sorry for myself and miserable. I suppose it could not be worse. Food, food, bloody food, can I think of nothing else! Why me? Why am I crazy? Yes, I feel crazy, and I know I am. God, I am trying so hard. Every morning, I get up and say to myself, ‘This is the day.’ Every morning, I promise myself: never again. And then in couple of hours I am back to square one.

If I do not eat, I feel grand. I start the day with a couple of cups of black coffee, then some natural yoghurts and then for a while everything is okay. I make plans, I allow myself to look forward to something and I am constantly repeating to myself that this is the day and that I cannot go back. I just cannot! And then later, in one flash, all the optimism is gone. I do not even like to admit or tell you what follows.

The evenings are still the worst. The minute I start, I do not know how to stop. It is so hard. The depression is getting worse. Even the tablets I got from the doctor the last time do not help. I feel like a junkie. I swallow so many tablets a day that I am afraid to count them. Vitamin tablets, tablets for relaxation, tablets for sleep, tablets to feel better … I might as well take cocaine. At least it would be all in one. An what’s more I feel such a bad mother, that is always in the back of my mind.

But even when I am writing this I am so determined to get better. I know I have to do it. I know I will be better someday.

But the question is, where to start again? I think I did not even write to you that I made an appointment with a psychiatrist about two months ago, but it was a disaster. My appointment was for ten o’clock in the morning. I was so nervous I nearly left the waiting-room. When he asked me what was wrong I found it very hard to answer. I could not. I began to talk about other things which were not relevant to the question he asked. I tried to escape the real reason. I got flustered and went red in the face, and the sweat was running off my back. I started to stammer. When he saw me like that, he said I have an anxiety disorder and he prescribed me even more tablets. So the day I was expecting my cure to arrive I was not able to tell him even what was wrong with me. At the end of the session he recommended a stay in the psychiatric ward in the hospital. He said it could be beneficial to me.

I freaked out when I heard this. No way! I know I’m mad but I am not ready for that! I felt so furious, a wave of anger flooded over me. I was angry with him and even more angry with myself. My God, can you imagine if anybody found out that I was in a mental hospital! Nobody would ever want to talk to me again. I would be lost, more than I am now. At least now nobody knows. I would have no friends at all, not that I have many now, but I do know a lot of people. Can you imagine my parents coming to visit me! I think not. Mother would die  from embarrassment and father would have another heart attack. I just cannot believe that anyone could suggest I might be a mental patient.

But even whingeing here on the paper makes me more determined to get better one day.

 

Friday June 1994

Dear friend,

Today is a wonderful day and I would like to share this with you. So many exciting things happened in the last while that I could write a whole novel about it. I feel like it is only in the past few years that I am living. The person in the past was somebody else, somebody who looked like me but was not me. That was a person who had an eating disorder which made her blind, deaf and dumb. Today it is me, the recovered person, who is seeing so much, hearing the beautiful song of life and feeling all the enthusiasm of life and a lot of love.

Yes, I do definitely consider myself recovered and living. All my life I was analysing: Why me? Today I am living and why not? There is still this tiny little voice out of the past trying to tell me to be careful about feeling happy, that something might happen., But today I do not believe that. I take life day by day, minute by minute and make the best out of everything.

I have a long list of all the good things that have happened to me. And as I used to complain endlessly, today I could be listing all the positive achievements endlessly.

I feel like shouting to the whole world: Please do believe me, there is more to life than that crippling ‘food problem’. The recovery is worth it. There is a reason to live and what is more there are people who love you. Even I believe that I am loved and needed in this world. I have a mission now too. Maybe all these years, all that hardship, was just a preparation, was just another education for my new life. In the middle of the rain it is hard to imagine how the sunshine feels, but knowing that the sunshine will come makes the rain feeling less wet.

 

Saturday June 2024

I continue to journal every day, and I’ve come to realize that my invisible friend has always been ‘Hope.’ This realization has made my Freedom from ED an even deeper and more permanent part of my life.

Mx