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What is the most helpful thing that I have learned on my journey so far?

By May 12, 2022June 22nd, 2022No Comments

Written by Nicky


“By being yourself, you put something wonderful into the world, that was not there before!”
Edwin Elliot

Hi! My gorgeous name is Nicky!
I am 41 years old!
I live in Dublin!
I love cats!
I am kind and caring!
I am determined and hard working!
I am enthusiastic and love learning!
I am intelligent and creative!
I am talented and funny!
I am interesting and inspiring!
I love and am loved!

I have so many wonderful people in my life who love me! I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, an auntie and a friend! I am a mother to the most amazing little 11 year old girl on this planet! She is kind and brave and beautiful and loving! And she loves me so much, just as I am! I am her crazy mammy who sings all the time! The one who talks a lot! The one who makes her feel safe! She tells me this all of the time! And I love her with every inch of my heart!
I am a teacher! I have spent my life teaching in various settings! I feel inspired each and every day by the children I meet! And I, in turn, inspire them in many ways! I help them with their academics but I am especially proud that I am able to help them to see their own worth and to speak kindly to themselves! That I help them to feel proud of who they are and to celebrate themselves! I teach them all the skills that I have learned along the way so that hopefully they can enjoy their life as much as possible!

I am a musician! I play the flute and the piano! I have brought the joy of music to hundreds of children over the years! I use my talent, enthusiasm and deep love of music to bring people together to sing and to dance! I make them laugh with my crazy piano playing dance moves (their words! Not mine!) and I help them to feel brave and confident in their own musical abilities! Audience participation is always encouraged, regardless of the venue and I have helped to entertain numerous mammies and daddies and priests and grannies! (Sometimes I forget we are not on Broadway and that we are in fact just in the local church!!) I help them to smile! I help them to create memories!
I love to dance! In the kitchen! In the garden! In the car! Everywhere and anywhere! I turn the music up and off I go! Shaking this way and that way and every way in between! It helps me feel light and always brightens my mood!
I love spending time by the sea! I love the sound of the waves! Sometimes, gently rolling on to the shore and other times breaking loudly as they tumble onto the sand! The sea helps me feel calm and makes it easier for me to be in the present moment..which is my favourite place to be!

I love walking under trees and listening to how they creek and how the leaves rustle in the wind! I like to listen to the birds and see how many different birdcalls I can hear! I love how the light shines through the trees creating the most beautiful pictures! I love to sit on the grass or on a bench and drink coffee beneath the leaves and watch the people or birds go by!
I love the sky! I love how it is always changing! I love the beautiful colours that light up the sky like magic at sunset and sunrise! I love to watch the fluffy clouds or the aeroplanes! I love rainbows and sometimes I even like the rain!
I love connecting with people! I love to spend time chatting and laughing with all kinds of people! I love to hear what other people think about life and I like to share my thoughts! I love to tell stories and to listen to others telling them too! I love to offer helpful words to them! I learn so much from other people and it never fails to amaze me how many interesting people there are in this world!

An lastly..
I am in recovery from ED! I have worked very hard to get to this point! I have learned and unlearned so much and continue to do so every day! I have kept on going, dragged myself out of some dark places, so that I could find the light again! By helping myself, I have already helped and continue to help other people to do the same! I am proud of all that I have achieved!

The last few days I had found myself in the darkness again! It is a place I have been before..many times! Negative thinking, self-doubt and self-judgment were having a party in my head, making me feel worthless and hopeless and like a failure! But earlier today, I paused and reminded myself I had a choice! I could stay there in the darkness or I could take back control of my mind! I chose the latter and while I was thinking about the best way to do it, I was reminded of a wonderful question somebody asked in group last night!

“What do you wish someone had told you about the recovery process?”
And this got me thinking…!
I changed the question around a little…
I asked myself;
“What is the most helpful thing that I have learned on my journey so far?”
I came up with many theories and answers and ideas but in the end, I settled on this!
• Discover who YOU are!
• Find out what makes YOU happy! And do it often!
• Focus on YOUR talents!
• Notice all the wonderful things YOU do each day!
• Learn to value who YOU are!
• And repeat, repeat, repeat!

And so today I decided to follow my own advice (something I am getting better at!) and I sat down to write this blog! I wanted to remind myself about all of the wonderful things I do and the amazing person that I am, as I think I had forgotten how important it is to do that (hence the descent into darkness!!).
I am a good few years into my Recovery and yet, writing a list like this, all about how wonderful I am, is not and has never been easy for me especially when I am consumed with negativity!
Even today, I nearly didn’t write it at all! As I began to write I froze and wondered what the point was! I was very uncomfortable, but I ignored the thoughts that told me “You can’t write that!” and the ones that shouted at me to just accept that I am not now nor ever will be wonderful!
I purposely chose not to write down any negative things about myself! When they crept in to my mind or on to the page, I pressed delete! I persevered and continued to write this blog! And despite my initial unease, in the end I could have written so many more words! I am not sure if I will actually be brave enough to share this blog with anyone else but regardless, I am happy I spent the time writing it!! As I notice how much better I feel after spending a few hours thinking and writing about all the wonderful things I have discovered since my Recovery Journey began!
I have read and re-read over my blog a number of times throughout the day! And although I am not quite ready to dance through the streets (yet) I definitely feel like the darkness has lifted a little! And I know , that just like in the past, if I continue to focus on what I am instead of what I am not then before I know it the lightness will return!

So I guess the moral of the story is..

Recovery is not about trying to find all the problems that need “fixing” in your life!
It is not about reading 100 books and listening to 100 podcasts looking for the magic words that will make all the madness go away!
It is about getting to know yourself again and learning to be proud of who you already are!!
So my advice to me and anyone else reading this..
Spend some time creating your own list all about how wonderful you are, read it often and add to it! As I’m sure there is loads to discover!
Use your energy and time wisely!
Use it to discover and celebrate who you already are!
Once you have done that, don’t forget to remind yourself about it every day!
There is a quote stuck on my wall at school that says;
“By being yourself, you put something wonderful into the world, that was not there before!”
(Edwin Elliot)
And although it has been stuck there for years, it has taken me a very long time to realise that Mr. Elliot might have actually been referring to me too!!
It has taken many years for me to discover all of the things on my list above and even longer to begin to value them!! It is challenging to look at yourself less negatively! But little by little I am learning to do it!! I know there is still so much I am yet to find out!!
And as I have proven to myself again today…
It is so worth it!
As when you begin to discover your own wonderfulness all of the other stuff just slowly melts away!!
And that is when your Freedom begins to take hold and when your wonderful life truly begins!!