Group therapy/Recovery classes – can be a good forum to educate ourselves on important topics that may not often be connected with recovery. Leaning from one another in the class/group can speed up your Recovery process. Group members(Classmates) also educate each other from their varied experiences in identifying and solving problems.
By sharing and listening to others, we learn that we are not alone in our experience of having an Eating Distress. It can enhance a person’s self-esteem just to realize that he/she is neither crazy nor alone. Some people handle certain issues better than others, and they help each other in this way. In Recovery classes we learn new ways of coping, to tolerate and accept one another experiences and to learn from it. Attending Recovery classes is a great way to enhance and shorten the recovery process.
The Benefits of Recovery Classes/Groups
Attending Recovery Class/Group for me is my constant connection and commitment to my recovery journey ..
It helps me to understand what’s been going on for me in condition and get clear about how to move forward in recovery and find freedom..
It’s a safe, honest space where I’m learning to express my truth..
I learn to share who I am slowly and surely..
I learn to accept myself through being accepted, worthy and all….
I learn about being human by listening to the stories of the other people in the class and how to be brave and courageous by sharing my stories.
Class/Group helps to lift me out of conditioned thinking.
I get great ideas and inspiration about living & life from other people on their journeys.
I find comfort & hope in listening to the stories of people who’ve gone through the journey and have come out the other side ..
Recovery class has helped me to speak up and speak out, although very daunting at first ..
People sharing in class helps me see what’s going on in me too that I may have been ignoring or denying because I had been to afraid to deal with it.
Because Recovery class/ group is facilitated by Marie it’s about recovery and freedom as opposed to rehashing all the harsh stuff of condition & getting stuck there ..
In short group helps me to stay sane, feel supported, comforted, inspired, clear and confident about a bright future.. It’s where the tools & techniques for living are learnt
For a while now I have been thinking about group, and the vital role it has played in my recovery.
A few weeks ago, just before a Tuesday group started, Marie looked round the room and remarked that there were more recovered people in the room than early stages. I find this quite hard to get my head round. Not that recovered people are going to group, but that there seems to be many people in recovery, especially in earlier stages, who aren’t prioritising group. I don’t want to come across as a martyr in this post, but it is something that has been on my mind for a while now and I feel strongly about it and so decided to write this post.
I can’t emphasise enough the crucial role group has played in my recovery. I prioritised group and have rarely missed from the beginning of my recovery journey. It wasn’t just a box-ticking exercise though. After every group I came away with new learnings, realisations and new understandings. Sometimes the reassurance of knowing that I’m not alone in this, and no matter what I was going through at any stage of my journey, somebody else has been through similar, was very powerful and comforting, and pulled me out of the ‘poor me’ syndrome. I got endless reassurance that my experiences were normal for somebody in my stage of recovery, and that if other people could get through it, then so could I. Sometimes, going to group was such a comfort, to know that I was in a room of people who understood exactly what I was going through, and could identify with anything I shared. I got so much from the honest sharing of others and am so thankful to everyone who shares and opens up in group.
One of the most comforting aspects of attending group, particularly in the early stages, was seeing people who were fully recovered and fully free, and reminding myself and reassuring myself that that could and would be me one day.
One thing I find very useful when at group is, if somebody is sharing something that isn’t directly relevant to me at that time, I use the same tips and strategies and find a way to apply it to my situation or whatever I’m going through at that time.
What I have learned about recovery is that it isn’t a big flashing light, a magic wand or anything like that. It is all the small actions, repDayseated regularly and consistently, that make the magic of recovery happen. It is repetition and consistency and commitment. I found the repetition of the messages in group really helped to get them into my subconscious mind, until I found that they were the first things that came to my mind when I was trying to challenge condition. This repetition is so simple, it is very easy to overlook. I have no doubt that attending group every Tuesday and Saturday has been a massive factor in my fast recovery, and I am still enjoying going to group and coming away with learnings, or being reminded of things I had forgotten about, as I strive for full freedom.
What Did We Learned Last Year In Our Recovery Classes:
In 2016, MTC held 104 Recovery classes. We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who joined us over the year. Your presence and contributions are appreciated by many. In our Recovery classes/groups therapy, we learn from one another. By sharing our learning and realisations we are not only helping ourselves in our Recovery, but many others. Here is a synopsis from what we learnt in 2016:
Your values are the beliefs that define what is most important to you. They guide each of your choices in life. For example, someone who values family might try to spend extra time at home, while someone who values success in their career may do just the opposite. Understanding your values will help you recognize areas of your life need more attention, and what to prioritize in the future.
The ability to learn to express clearly and creatively can lead us to a deeper level of understanding and self-discovery, it is an important tool for leading a well-balanced life.
Self-discipline in recovery means training ourselves to be firm with ED and let go the condition and make balance choices in our life. Becoming self-disciplined is a core part of mental wellness. It helps us to realise where do we procrastinate and where do we need to pay more attention.
The Body is part of us. We only have one and it is for life. The more grateful we feel about our bodies, the happier and more content we are.
How can you use more creativity in Your Recovery? Feel the joy and satisfaction of creating something innovative and unique. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
‘I’m not good enough, and nothing I ever do is ever good enough’ is a total negation of self. The entire self has been rejected, and consigned to the scrap heap. It is time to make a change and to start to enjoy being good enough!
People who accept themselves are not over-critical of themselves or others; they are both compassionate and realistic. They look at themselves as they are and strive for a better understanding of what they want to change. We cannot remove a problem until we accept we have one.
We live in times when we value information more than an experience. We collect so much information without questioning and learning.
Our body wants to communicate with us, we need to accept it as our friend and to take care of it. Relationship with your body is relationship for life – it can be a great one – give a chance :):):)
We need to ask ourselves what does being healthy actually mean to us? So many of us are striving for this goal but do we even know where we are going?
Our body and our mind need proper care or they work against us. Mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health goes hand in hand.
Self-neglect is barrier to freedom, Self-care, self-love is your Freedom.
When we ruminate about the disappointments and stressors we get stuck in the problem, not a solution. Rumination makes life harder and eventually damages many of our relationships.
Simplicity is the bridge to recovery and it will lead us towards the light…..
What we get from life depends as much on our attitude and self-belief as on opportunities.
We create our own heave and our own hell by how we interpret and react to events.
Sensitivity is a gift, but you need to use it to your advantage.
Excellence – being willing to try new things, take risks, and learn from our mistakes.
Perfectionism – avoiding new experiences because we are terrified of making mistakes.
Conquering our perfectionism will release other abilities we didn’t know we had and will make life easier, more relaxed, more satisfying and more fun.
Recovery is re-discovering and re-claiming our own values. Recovery is letting of the self-destructive, condition’s values.
In order to progress in our Recovery we sometimes need to STOP, RE-EVALUATE and MOVE ON. Recovery is all about building bridges and solid foundation.
Resentment keeps us in a rigid judgment of who “should” and “shouldn’t” get or experience certain things in life. The emotion comes from replaying situations over and over in our head without any questioning or learning attached to it.
As human beings, we are a part of nature, we are capable of many great things, nobody is the special snowflake, this rule applies to everyone no matter how loud the voice in your head is say “Yeah, well not for me”. This is the voice of fear. This is the condition. This is not you.
In order to progress from one level of recovery to another I must consistently act upon self-honesty and not ignore the real me’s thoughts that can recognize the ED choice and the free choice.
Real self-worth comes from living a life coherent with your values. It is an inner state- a calmness, a sense of stillness and acceptance of who you are and what you stand for. We are worthy because we are alive, because we exist. ‘God makes no junk’.
The principle of transformation is that life change comes from the inside out. If you want the world change, you have to change.
Many of us can relate to the fact that Recovered is something we all want to be, but Recovery isn’t always something we want to do. On our journey to Freedom, it can often be quite challenging to stay enthusiastic about the process, but the secret is, the more enthusiasm we have for Recovery, the quicker we can get to Full Freedom.
Some people under value what they are and over value what they are not’ this is one of my favourite quotes and it links into expectations, the ‘shoulds’ condition places on us, comparing life to other peoples, thinking I ‘should’ be somewhere else or doing something else.
Awareness and dealing with recovery obstacles can make the recovery journey lighter and brighter.
You see so much more when you pay attention to the situation you are in, instead of trying to whip yourself into the next one.
Recovery doesn’t need to be always a hard work. It can be just more noticing beauty in small things around us and a lot of repetition.
The ED condition hijacks sensitivity. It misinterprets this gift as a failing and an annoyance. And tries to make us believe that it is the root of all our problems. It’s not. The condition is! Recovery allows us to harness sensitivity, and to use it to our advantage to deepen our relationships and really connect to this life we are all muddling through.
Feelings are your own high tech, top of the range Sat-Nav system. They direct you through life and help you to avoid break downs (caused by exhaustion etc) or traffic jams. They can tell you when you need me time, more self-care, a nap, a walk outdoors, a chat with a friend, a night out! Every feeling tells you something.
The more we are learning in recovery and the more knowledge and tools we are enabling ourselvesself to have to battle against ED, is helping us to slowly bring “true” contentment back into our life and a proper understanding that it can be interpreted as a true happiness.
Beauty is not only the physical that you see of people. When I think of people that I believe are the most beautiful people I know it’s not because they look like they’ve stepped out of a magazine, it’s because of how they hold themselves, what they believe in, their uniqueness, their values, their love of life!!
My main learning has been just how beautiful humanity is!
Money is so closely connected to condition, deserving and being good enough. Essentially the way we use money shows us how we think about ourselves. Have we a future? Are we good enough? These money behaviours are driven by fear. In recovery it may take a while to value something that we do for ourselves.
The class/group on attractiveness was interesting to me the other night. From people’s sharing one massive theme emerged as far as I could see. And that was there’s a conflict between what people said they believed was attractive and what they really felt was attractive.
It is important to value what we bring to each day. We may not see what an impact we have on people by just being yourself, so instead of trying to cure the world, start with you and be an inspiration of Freedom!
We need to think assertively before we can behave assertively.
Over-analysing got me no place, only tying myself in knots and imagining scenarios that didn’t even exist.
Some of us build beautiful ivory towers, and try to convince ourselves that we will come down when we are ready. But the reality is that we are lonely and scared.
Recovery is an active process. It’s not something where we can tick the box or read the book and be grand; it’s an active, involved and committed journey.
Self-acceptance doesn’t close the door on change. On the contrary, it can open up our inner resources so that we can explore ourselves in a more relaxed way.
Beliefs are what cause some individuals to make the most of their lives, and become heroes. Beliefs are what keep some people in desperation.
Recovery is not just letting go of destructive behaviours, but also an understanding of what our life is about.
Our subconscious mind reacts to stories. We can identify and learn from them about our values, about our choices, they can help us to have realizations.
Being gentle with ourselves is how we heal, being harsh and valuing deprivation is how we stay stuck and trapped in a small painful, scary life.
These are some learning, thanks again everyone for joining us:)
I LOVE GROUP
I will start with what I learn’t from group on Tuesday night and whilst I know the topic was ‘Order and Organisation’ (more personal reflection needed before I share my thoughts on that, although balance is the word that springs to mind for me, being in balance, coming out of balance, in order to come into a new form of balance again and so on….) it will be off topic again as it was for me last Tuesday night. Towards the end of group some classmates were saying that they regretted not recovering sooner and I have gone through this feeling at different times along my recovery journey so i totally understand but as i was thinking about this, what popped into my head was: ” At least I do not regret being in Recovery and on the Recovery journey :)))” So big kudos for that and for the lovely realization.
Thinking about last Tuesday night and what I would like to share about group apart from my realization, brought me to the tittle of this piece ‘I LOVE GROUP’, that’s not to say its been plain sailing attending groups especially at the start and the two years of paranoia about my sharing,s and the fear of what would come up for me and how I would handle things, because I experienced all this too but of late every time I get to group I feel like I’ve come home again, to myself.
Classmates inspire me with their honesty and courage in their sharing. I hear my own challenges coming out of my lovely classmates mouths and I think, I know that feeling, I know that thought, thanks for sharing because I didn’t have the words or courage to put it out there and sometimes I think I will be brave, human and honest too now and share because it helps so much not to be alone and to realize that as human beings we are all going through or have gone through similar challenges and having come from a very strong conditioned mindset myself, I can always relate.
What I LOVE most is coming away from group and knowing that I can do this, or at least I can keep coming back till I know I can do this, I have renewed hope, I have tools and techniques now that I can try, I have other peoples stories about overcoming challenges to fuel me, small simple daily steps to help me on this road to freedom and people to support me every step of the way.
I now believe Recovery/Freedom is possible for everyone if we choose it and group helps make that possibility a reality
P>S Im working on simplicity but for now its all heartfelt xx
CiCi (a grateful classmate)
My Thoughts: Class/Group
Filled with images of TV versions of Alcoholics Anonymous groups, nauseatingly Americanised sharing, and a deep sense of dread, as I approached my first group session at Marino Therapy Centre, I could hardly describe myself as having been enthused. Armed with coffee and protective long, dark clothing, I buried myself in a chair, and attempted to practice the art of invisibility.
That first session was very much an introductory session; it was important to observe and learn from others, pick up on the unspoken respect for one another, and the general workings of the group. I cannot say that I was completely convinced after that first session of the declaration that the group could speed up and enhance the recovery process, but I was undoubtedly intrigued and convinced, at the very least, that going back would be interesting.
Although it took some time to adjust to the language of positivity that blossoms inside that room, and took an even longer time to pluck up the courage to speak without fearing inducing a heart attack or the like, I now cannot put into adequate words how essential these group sessions are. All of my initial reservations, such as the possibility of being thrust into situations of negative comparison, being sucked into further negativity by fellow sufferers, and so forth, were completely and utterly rebutted.
I believe that this is made so by is a combination of the vivacious and skilled leadership of Marie, the insight and wisdom demonstrated (not just spoken!) by Jacqueline and Andrea, and the beauty, compassion and honesty exhibited by fellow classmates. The energy that is bounced around the room during the varied conversations has an astonishing capacity to build what feels like a safe, life-giving bubble around the entirety of the circle. It would be very clear to any onlooker that this hour and a half truly transforms and recharges all of its participants; I am positive that Dublin is consistently a considerably brighter place at 9pm on a Tuesday, and 12pm on a Saturday.
“I went to group before I attended or signed up to any sessions and that first group was a game changer for me. I don’t even remember the topic but I do remember coming home feeling over the moon; I was not alone.
Recovery class/group has many benefits; topics are discussed, advice is given, realisations are made and bucket loads of inspiration is provided through the presence of those who are recovered or who are completely free from ED. However, for me, one of the biggest benefits is the support that group provides on so many different levels.
Everyone smiles. Smiles of welcome, smiles of understanding, smiles at some funny anecdote, smiles of encouragement to vocalise what is necessary…
There are tissues. These are used for momentous realisations, a challenging week, milestones reached, issues yet to be tackled, issues recently conquered…
Everyone understands. You think you are alone; that your thoughts and actions are uniquely yours or are in fact ‘normal’. Then you realise that they aren’t. Yes, you are told all of this in your sessions or carework (if you are attending these), but I think group hammers it home. When you suddenly realise an entire room is quietly nodding in agreement you or that you yourself are silently nodding too.
I look forward to class/group. It motivates, inspires and focuses me. I am not alone.”
A few words from a carer…
“As a carer it gives great comfort to be able to sit and listen as sufferers and carers alike share such honesty. No judgment just sharing.
Each Saturday helps me to regroup & keep me going for another week for whatever ED is going to throw at me. I get so much from each class and I know that I need it every bit as much as my daughter – maybe even more so. It’s the one place where I don’t have to justify or put on a facade. I don’t feel alone in my fight with ED.
Thank you Marie & everyone for helping through such honest sharing – I’m privileged to be part of it.”
You are not alone