Written by ‘N’
Earlier this year the country was thrown into turmoil as we were faced with a health pandemic like we had never seen before! Schools and workplaces were closed down and people were told to seek shelter in the safety of their homes! We all went into lockdown! And just like that, life as we knew it, changed almost overnight! But after those few difficult weeks at the start, the chatter moved from lockdown to reopening the country! The word roadmap was hitting the headlines! We were all wondering what this would look like and how and when restrictions would be lifted! And when we could go back to enjoying some of the freedoms we had been used to up until lockdown started! As we are about to enter phase 2 of Ireland’s roadmap, I had found myself thinking that it might be very helpful for me to come up with my own one! I thought that a simple roadmap to recovery could maybe help it all seem a little clearer or progressive maybe! I also thought that if I have learned one thing along this journey that there really is only one way to get out of Condition! There is only one way to find freedom from ED! And that is by simplifying it all! So today I have decided to write my own roadmap to freedom! My own roadmap out of lockdown! A roadmap with simplicity at its core! So here I go…
Phase 1-Awareness Phase
- Notice the thoughts.
- Listen to the self-talk.
- Listen to the tone of your voice.
- Give yourself credit when you notice anything!
Phase 2-Curiousity Phase
Ask yourself questions.
- Are my thoughts helpful?
- Is my self-talk harsh or judgemental?
- Is my internal chatter fast and constant?
- Is there judgment or harshness or impatience with myself?
- Would I speak to my best friend the way I speak to myself?
- What stories am I telling myself?
- Are my beliefs based on fact or fiction?
- Does this thought or story make me feel heavy or light?
- Listen to the language of freedom used by your practitioners and others in group! Get curious about it! Ask yourself what is my definition of that word or phrase!
- Begin to notice body sensations and wonder what your body is trying to tell you!
- Get curious about what advice you are being given by your practitioners. They are really only trying to help you on the journey!
- Allow yourself to be open to learning new ways to think or act or be!
- Ask yourself what your values and beliefs are.
- Give yourself credit when you do any of the above!
Phase 3-Redirection Phase
- When you notice judgment or harshness stop and redirect.
- Change negative affirmations into positive ones.
- When you notice unhelpful thoughts say “Stop” and change them into helpful thoughts instead!
- When you notice the storytelling just stop and speak in key words.
- Be kind to yourself whenever you can!
- Consciously practice using more helpful lingo. Get rid of the cants and shoulds and I don’t knows! If you notice yourself using these just say the phrase or sentence again in a more positive way.
- If you notice behaviours or unhelpful thought patterns ask yourself “How can I make it easier?” or “How can I make this less complicated for me right now?”
- If you find it difficult to make decisions, look for the solution not the problem. As there is always a solution!
- Credit, credit and more credit!
Phase 4-Practice Phase
- Practice all you have learned in phase 1 to 3.
- Reflect regularly and notice success.
- Drop the judgment and just trust the process.
- Learn to trust yourself-your opinions and choices and decisions.
- Continue to be curious and wonder!
- Enjoy getting to know yourself.
- Let frustration and perfectionism go!
- Use simple, positive lingo always.
- Discover your talents and find out what you enjoy doing! And do it!
- Spend time in nature and notice all the wonderful things there are to see all around you!
- Find connection with others and spend time with the people who make you feel lighter!
- Praise yourself when you notice you have done any of these things!
Phase 5- Enjoyment Phase!
- By this point you will have quietened it all down.
- You will still use key words instead of complex sentences and stories.
- You will feel ease and contentment for the most part.
- You will be gentler on yourself.
- You will have created more space to just be present!
- You will have uncovered the true you and let Condition go!
- You will be able to enjoy what life has to offer!
- You will feel worthy!
- You will feel proud!
- You will feel free!
So there it is my roadmap to recovery! But just a little note before I go…
As with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown it may be necessary to go back to a previous phase or to spend a little longer in one phase than you had expected. And that is ok! And just like the citizens of Ireland, some people will want to rush through all the phases as quick as possible and get frustrated when it all doesn’t go as quick as they hoped! And that is understandable too! I was that person! (Still am at times!) But if there is one thing I have learned that it is better to go slowly and to keep it simple. The more I mastered this whole simplicity thing the easier it all became for me! I still need to be reminded to keep it simple as it can be easy to forget at times!
As I sit here now, I realise that, I seemed to have gotten close to the final phase in some areas of my recovery but other parts are still back at an earlier phase. I find this interesting and I suppose by writing this roadmap it has highlighted this fact to me. I have been feeling very frustrated and confused recently and I suppose now it all makes a bit more sense! Now I can clearly see how various parts of my recovery are in different phases! And sure no wonder I feel a bit all over the place! But now I will choose to tell myself that is ok too! And now I think I will choose to go back and pick up those parts that I left behind at an earlier phase. And move through the roadmap again until every part of my recovery has made it to phase 5! And the freedom I want and deserve will be mine! I will get myself out of the lockdown that is ED and spend the rest of my life enjoying the freedom that it took away from me for so long!