Your Early Eating Disorder Recovery and Mine: Flashes of Light and Life in the Dark
- Category: Coping Strategies
Eating Disorder Recovery Key Questions
How do you take effective action that will create a solid recovery path?
How do you maintain your sense of purpose so you keep to your recovery path despite painful challenges?
These are two vital questions I keep in mind about eating disorder recovery.
Terror and Hope in First Psychotherapy Session
I remember my first psychotherapy session with the psychotherapist who led me through the first yearsof my own recovery from bulimia. She was the third person I ever told I was bulimic and the first who was not in a 12-step program. I was terrified.
When I saw that she was still warm and interested in me and not overwhelmed by my revelation I thought I was free to breathe again. But then she said, “We’ll begin an interesting journey.”
I burst into tears. She was surprised. She wanted to know why I was crying. Perhaps you who are reading eating disorder recovery blogs and websites will understand.
My psychotherapist said we would begin a journey. I told her, I had been through years of hard work and despair to reach the point where I could sit before her. And she called this the beginning. I cried because my beginning was such a long time ago. I cried because I had come so far only to learn that this now was the beginning.
New Beginning Concept
I didn’t have much recovery to work with then so I didn’t appreciate the concept of “new beginning.” Now I realize that in recovery and in most or all areas of life, we always have an opportunity to see and live any and every moment as a new beginning.
I was bulimic then. I thought in terms of black and white, all or none. I thought in a linear fashion. I had no idea that my way of thinking was narrow and confining.
Lightning Flash of an Awakening Mind
Sometimes, on a dark night with heavy black clouds and pouring rain, the world seems mysterious, powerful and almost invisible. What you do see is distorted by slanting water, shadows and imagination. Then suddenly, from out of an unknown somewhere a bolt of lightning strikes out across the blackness.
The startling glare dispels shadows and brings the world up clear and vivid. The moment passes. The dark returns. But your memory of the light remains. You got a glimpse of the presence beneath the cloak of darkness.
Eating disorders are like that black stormy night, full of passion, fear and misguided distorted visions. The stroke of lightning is the life force in us that gives us a glimpse of who and where we really are.
We may not like what we see. But if we can hold that awareness a little longer each time our inner lightning strikes, our awareness will grow. We can use it to build our way out of the darkness and into an opportunity of finding our healthy and distortion free life.
Staying Power in Recovery Work
What equips you to get on and stay on your recovery path?
It has to do with keeping alive those many tiny glimpses of light and health that shoot through the eating disorder way of life. When you gather enough of those glimpses you have a compelling vision of a better life.
Lightning is raw energy. A glimpse of the truth of your life comes from your inner life force. That’s a kind of raw energy too. The awareness leads you to your recovery path. The energy helps keep you on that path.
Eventually, in your recovery, the bolt of lightning in the dark night transforms into the steady sunshine creating a clear bright day. It's your days of light and life you live free of your eating disorder.Have you had glimpses of what could be for you? Please share your visions, especially what seems too good to be true. Your too good to be true hopes while you are suffering from your eating disorder may be your real and coming life you see for a moment in a lightning flash of awareness.