Written by ‘N’
Taking a Risk on Recovery
There were many topics up for discussion in group this morning but the one that provided me with the most learning today was the topic of Risk Taking!
My mind has been going in all sorts of directions since group so bear with as I endeavour to clarify it all tonight….!
My meaning of the words Risk Taking has been evolving all day, since I first heard the question asked this morning! I think that in the past I may have thought of risk taking as doing some mad or crazy activity such as paragliding or parachute jumping or scuba diving or some other “dangerous” pursuit like that! Any activity that could potentially cause death or serious injury! But as I sit here now and reflect on my recovery journey, I see now, how so many elements of my life were filled with the fear of taking a risk! I may not have identified my actions with these words back then but I certainly can see it clearly now!
At one point in my life, I can see how, sometimes even getting out of bed in the morning felt like a risky thing to do! Many other everyday things felt too risky for me to face and much of the time I felt a bit like I was living on the edge! Things, like eating food or relaxing my body or spending time alone or connecting with others or accepting myself felt way too risky for me to do! So I think, that maybe, rather than choosing to take a risk, I just decided to try to create a safe place for myself. A life of routines and behaviours which in turn ended up leading to a life of anger and guilt and disconnection. In hindsight I suppose, somewhere inside, I hoped this would make me feel safer but now I see how, in fact, over time this just made my world narrower and scarier. And in the end there seemed to be risks around every corner and I felt trapped and I didn’t know how to set myself free!
I am noticing now how heavy and sad these realisations make me feel!
So I’ll move swiftly on….
Ok so, on a brighter note, I am realising that thankfully there has been a lot of changes been happening since then! I am also realising that daily living maybe isn’t so “risky” after all! And I have also learned that looking back is only useful if I can see what I have learned so….
I think that’s enough talk about how bad my life used to be! Now I will focus on using all of this learning to help me move forward!
So what have I decided to do?
Well, I decided earlier today that from now on, I am going to play the role of a Risk Taker! I have realised that I have actually taken so many risks already on my recovery journey and by doing this I have managed to let go of so much of the fear I held so I guess I figured, that maybe, if I begin to take even more risks then surely it can only help me to move forward!
Now before you get any mad ideas, I would like to tell you that, I will not be choosing to jump out of a plane or abseil off a mountain (maybe one day but not yet!) but I have come up with plenty of other things that I can do to help me to play my new role!
And here are some of them….
- Choose to see risks as opportunities!
- Say yes when fear makes me want to say no!
- Say no when obligation or duty makes me want to say yes!
- Hear the voice that says, “You can’t” or “You shouldn’t” and tell myself that I can and that I will!
- Change the self-judgement into self-praise!
- Notice the safety behaviours and practice letting them go!
- Notice the kind words and kind actions gifted to me by others and believe that they are true!
- Tell myself I am worthy and amazing and wonderful!
- Treat myself with gentleness and compassion!
- Notice my successes each and every day-the big and the small!
- Give myself credit often!
- Nourish myself fully and listen to my body as best I can!
- Rest when I feel my body and mind needs it!
- Choose to stop judging myself-and know I don’t deserve it!
The word Risky is defined in the dictionary as something that is full of the possibility of danger, failure or loss.
For so long, the voice of ED told me, that if I engaged in the “risky” pursuits mentioned in my list above that bad things could happen and I suppose I must have believed the story it was telling me.
But now, as I read my list of “Risks”, I notice that there are some of them that still feel a bit riskier than others and I also notice that there are many that don’t feel too “risky” at all! I remind myself that, in the not so distant past, all of the actions on my list seemed impossible to do! And that gives me hope and shows me that I have faced and conquered many risks along my journey already!
And guess what?
Nothing bad has happened! In fact by choosing to take these risks I have finally begun to feel lighter and freer than I have ever felt before! And it feels amazing and I am so grateful!
And now I remind myself that….
I took the biggest risk of my life choosing Recovery over ED in the first place and I will remind myself to be proud of that.
I will continue to take all the risks that I am faced with, whenever I am able, so that one day I will be free!