It’s 5:30 on a day that the kids are with their father and instead of doing absolutely everything on my to-do list… I have done a whole lot of nothing. Okay… not NOTHING, I did some cleaning because a kid-free house makes cleaning 5x easier. But I decided to do some writing and step work instead of my usual approach of DOING ALL THE THINGS. And maybe it’s because I have reached another step that is a bit grissly – Step 8 – or maybe it’s because the kids have been sick, I haven’t slept well and my energy tank is running on fumes – doesn’t matter – time to H.A.L.T.
We talked at the meeting last night about a classic AA phrase, “Faith without works is dead.” And that can mean different things to different people. Even the word “faith” can evoke different feelings across the board. For me, it’s a reminder that my Higher Power (and my guardian angels – don’t even try and laugh) are listening and doing their part, but they certainly aren’t going to do all the work – they aren’t genies! I have to keep staying in touch with my spiritual side – and in this house, in my life – that requires planning. I have to go to bed at a reasonable hour so I can wake up early and meditate, do my Artists’ Way morning pages, journal, do step work etc. Lately, I have noticed a gradual progression away from that routine. Part of me says, “it’s fine, you’ve got some recovery under your belt, we can get back to it later.” (And I say it with a British accent because my inner monologue has always been British, maybe that’s why I love Downton Abbey so much! What was I talking about…). But that’s exactly when it’s most important – recovery and the 12 steps aren’t something that you ever really finish. Getting too cocky with your recovery progress could easily land you back in the midst of your disease. So I started Step 8 over again since I had been sidetracked a few months ago. And I have been practicing H.A.L.T. – Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? a lot more these past 2 weeks. I am not just navigating recovery, but I am working through some other big life stuff – fun stuff – like a divorce and short-selling a house (both equally as agonizing, oddly enough) and all that “big life stuff” can give ED just the push he needs to initiate a relapse. So it’s imperative that I remember to check in on myself when I notice I am feeling more anxious, more like jumping on a plane to Italy, more like shutting down. And these tips aren’t just for those of you recovering from an eating disorder or another addiction – these are how everyone needs to treat themselves- Take care of yourself; love yourself – no one else is going to do that work for you! Today I was angry and tired so I chose to safely manage that. That’s what doing the next right thing is all about.
It’s Day 3 of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and I am thrilled to see the Empire State Building has been lit with NEDA’s colors to help spread awareness. And high fives all around again to Tumblr for banning ANY self-harm content or blogs – no more Pro Anorexic, Pro Bulimic or Thinspo blogs on Tumblr – which is huge because those images can be very triggering to anyone battling this disease – whether at the early stages or in recovery. The fact that instructions on how to be a “successful” anorexic or bulimic are out there for public consumption isn’t that surprising – I remember searching for them in the past – but it is something you can work to stop! Click for more info on NEDA’s Media Watchdog Program – or to report any content that you consider Pro Ana or Pro Mia.
And lastly, check out Operation Beautiful – what a great way to end negative self talk!
More than usual I ask you to share this with friends and family, to continue to spread awareness this week because … Everybody Knows Somebody.