Recognizing when you are crossing a new threshold in your life is part of eating disorder recovery. Without recovery you remain in the grip of an eating disorder dominated consciousness. Concerns about weight and body appearance, obsessions about eating or not eating grasp your mind, heart and soul with such tenacity that opportunity for change or change itself may flow around you unrecognized.
I'm noticing that I'm crossing a threshold. I'm busy with my book launch. I'm active in my private practice which I love. It's a rich gift and joy for me to work with people striving for recovery.
But...something is missing. Tonight I was looking for a book I could not find. (I still haven't found it, but I may have stopped looking.) My search forced me to go through all the titles in my library. It was a wake up call.
In my professional life I read professional books in my field. I read Internet articles and participate in discussions. I read mystery novels, and I periodically dip in again to Harry Potter. I read self help books that help me in my life and helped give me a feel for the self help genre when I wrote Healing Your Hungry Heart. I read the newspaper and the occasional novel.
I read books about writing, the occasional autobiography and enjoy memoire by authors I respect.
My reconnaissance through my own bookshelves showed me what I stopped reading. They showed me what is patiently waiting for me to remember.
In this fast 24/7 world of get it done now I've moved away from the reading and writing that is close to my heart, that nourishes my soul and that enriches my mind. Waiting for me are the mythologies I love, the Greek playwrights I haven't finished, the works of Dickens with only a few read and a shelf of Mark Twain with only three in me. Great Buddhist writers from the across the ages have their own bookcase. Churchill's war volumes I read, but FDR is untouched, and I still haven't got past the first few pages of History of the English Speaking Peoples.
I enrolled in a Joshua Tree writers retreat where I will write with writers for three days. I'm taking a little short story class next week end. I'm happy. It's time for me to give attention to what I have postponed for so long I forgot I cared.
Before I began this post I wondered if I should share these thoughts and happenings with you. After all, what did my reading and writing dreams have to do with eating disorder recovery? Then I realized they have EVERYTHING to do with eating disorder recovery.
One way of looking at recovery is to look at the work required to get through the daily experience of living with an active eating disorder and find freedom. That's what Healing Your Hungry Heart is about.
Another way of looking at recovery is to look at the whole life you lived with an eating disorder and recover from that.
How many phases of living and development are there in a life? My hunch is that there are as many as you are equipped to have and as many as you go for. Evolution doesn't stop.
I'm committed to working for recovery in my private practice. I stand firm behind what I've written in Healing Your Hungry Heart. And now, to continue my own recovery from the life I led I'm going back to where I dropped my heart's desire. I'm picking it up again. So here comes a visit with Albert Camus in "The Stranger," and some lessons from Maren Ellwood on writing the short short story. If not now, when?
What about you? Have you left something behind that you care about? Do you walk past it every day while it or something in you waits for you to remember?