The first one is self as context. This means that you are not truly one thing. You don’t have to mold yourself into what you believe you are or have to be. It makes labels not make sense. Sometimes I am shy, sometimes I am outgoing. I cannot label myself as either one because every moment and every experience calls for something different. (This skill took me awhile to understand, so if I am wrong on this skill, feel free to correct me).
Then I love mindfulness. This one started as boring for me and then turned into something I use almost everyday. This is where you make sure you are aware of your surroundings. This helps immensely with anxiety. You occupy your mind while you tell yourself to look for certain colors around the room. Or you just sit outside looking at nature and make sure you notice and feel every single wonderful thing.
Building mastery. This is when you learn new things in order to gain self-esteem or a sense of accomplishment. This one is obviously self explanatory and if you are learning something new, you are already using this skill. However, this is something you need to keep in mind if you are in a rut and feel you need something to get yourself out.
I talk about changing your perspective all the time in this blog so it’s only appropriate that I share it here. This skill is when you take something you dislike about yourself and then you change it into something positive. This is what I try to do with this blog. Share the wonderfulness that I see in every aspect of all everyone can be. Tall or short? You can love yourself if you are either. It makes sense. Two people who are completely the opposite physically or mentally both have the option to love themselves; both have the capacity to be confident. You cannot look at someone and say with fact, “That person has got to be confident.” Just like you cannot look at someone and also say with fact, “That person has got to be insecure.” There is no universal type of person who is the epitome of confidence. That is saved for someone who is just actually incredibly confident no matter who they are. Every single person on this planet has the power inside of them for self-love. Which means your insecurities are not true. If confidence about some aspect of yourself is not inside of you but is inside of someone else just like you, you can find it too. And every category of person has many people who are confident in that aspect of themselves.
And then there is opposite to emotion. I use this a lot when I cross the street oddly enough. I hate crossing the street at cross walks if there are cars. “What if they wave me on but I can’t see them through the glare in their window and I just stand there awkwardly?” “What if I think they let me go first but then they begin to drive as I start crossing and I have to jump back with embarrassment?” “I’m almost to a cross walk and there’s a car coming. Maybe I should stop and look at my phone and act like I’m too busy to cross the street until that car is gone.” … “No, I better just be strong and cross the street with that car. I’ll feel so much stronger when it’s over.” So yes, I often do cross the street especially when I don’t want to. It’s an incredible feeling, even crossing the street, to defy your fears.
I used to be ashamed of going to therapy like I believe a lot of people are, but now I am so extremely grateful for everything that I have learned. And this is not only because it helped me live a better life and everything therapy does for an individual…but because of going to therapy itself…I love myself for it. When most people think of going to therapy, they don’t think of going to therapy for the experience or think of going about and telling everyone how much they love themselves just for the act of going to therapy rather than the outcome itself. Many people just go to therapy for the outcome, which I obviously understand. But for me I finally found the beauty in the act of going to therapy rather than just the outcome. You can love what your soul became when you emerged from therapy but you can also love that fact that you went even if you aren’t completely cured from your ailments. You don’t have to look at your recovered self in your actions and wish, “I wish I was born this way,” or “I wish I could have gotten well on my own.” You can be okay with needing help and the things you learned along the way. Finding this kind of intelligence about mental health through my treatment and therapy journey has made things so much clearer in my head. I believe that therapy showed me my intelligence. Without being born with mental health struggles, I wouldn’t have wanted to learn about my brain. But I was forced to learn about it when my mental health deteriorated. I feel that I learned so much that I can speak intelligently about my own experiences, how I got well and can now see clearly what I believe is right and wrong. I know a lot about the brain and therapy skills now that I can speak of them with intelligence and say how much it worked because of how far gone I was in my eating disorder and managed to bounce back. Going to therapy I didn’t just learn to begin getting better, I learned like a student how to use my own opinions on the world and be able to express them and add my newfound therapy intelligence to my opinions. So be okay with yourself just for going to therapy every time you enter that room even if you still have negative thoughts every single day. Even if I was still trapped in my brain right now, I would be happy with what I have learned, even if I don’t have a desire to go to school to be a therapist.
Growing up I felt envy a lot. I was envious of girls if they were pretty, smart, funny etc because I wanted to be just like them. With an eating disorder there is a triggering aspect of one person doing a behavior and then the other person wanting to do the same thing. When one person says they have done something I feel horrible about myself for not doing it. It shows when I was in treatment and we would talk about our behaviors from the night before. If I did well, I felt bad for that if someone else used a behavior. The reason for this was because I felt they had more control than I did. Then I would go and do that behavior the next night. Once someone said something about something I ate in a treatment center and I have never been able to eat it since because I felt bad about myself. (This fear is a great motivation for being strong so I will get over this fear of this food and soon) Now that I am doing well I have something else to give to myself besides pain. My eating disorder was a form of self-harm I believed I deserved since I was young. Now I want to give myself physical and mental strength. When I see people who are strong, I look up to them, and then when all I want is some trivial, thing just to be accepted, I envy. Finding the beauty in a vision for yourself that also helps you life a happy life was my key for envy to disappear. Normally I would be jealous of the people who have what I strive for, but now I respect them for being this way. I respect my co-workers immensely for being all that they are. I don’t envy them, I admire them. I see them as beautiful but I don’t envy them, I look up to them. And the envy disintegrates as I make my way towards a recovered life forever. Recovery has given me the lovely feeling of seeing a dream of worthiness in myself reflected on someone else and being able to feel happiness instead of shame at my own self. Striving for strength seems to be the key. Striving for perfection left me envious and striving for strength left me inspired and happy. How much more free would we all feel with inspiration rather than evny? I would surely feel like I was dancing in the wind with birds fluttering around me writing yes into the sky. Moral: When you strive for something just so others look at you differently, this leads to insecurities and negative emotions. When you strive for something to help yourself, you can find the beauty in this new you and live a happy life.
I must say first that this method might not be for everyone. Eating disorders thrive on secrecy and if you are one of those people who feels that they need to hide their behaviors in order to continue doing them, then this isn’t the post for you. When I have been in treatment, you have to talk about your behaviors every morning. When I was in PHP last year we spent eleven hours in a program, seven days a week and went home to sleep. I was ready to recover so much. However, I get extremely triggered by talking about behaviors. If I didn’t do any behaviors that night and someone else did, I felt out of control and guilty. Then I immediately regretted it and wanted to do behaviors the next night. Sometimes the only thing that got me through that morning was the fact that no one else did any behaviors. I still do understand the secrecy though. If I had done behaviors, I might have kept them to myself, but I would have felt like I was in more control. So last year, I did something different. All of us had sheets we filled out that had charts to check off each morning. They would ask for behaviors and urges. After we read this aloud, they would always go to our therapists’ mail box for them to read. I would write down my answers honestly, to take away that secrecy, and then I would read them off as if I were cured. People would be talking about their behaviors and I would say I didn’t even have an urge. (I must also point out that I’m not trying to say people are weak for talking about behaviors. This is just me. If I go against a crowd doing these things, then I feel strong, but that doesn’t mean this kind of strength is strength for everyone. If secrecy is what your disorder thrives on, then you are strong for speaking of your behaviors) I would write down any urges and behaviors but make sure I didn’t say them aloud. This wasn’t me trying to be sneaky as it might sound, I was trying to be strong and defy the eating disorder. I felt like that picture I have that makes me love confidence. That girl getting her hair cut. My brain is telling me to be like everyone else. Do what everyone else did last night. Make sure they all know you are not weak. Make sure everyone knows you are in control. Or don’t tell them anything…but be in control. Well, letting everyone know I had no urges, I was looking up into the air with my eyes closed. Birds were fluttering around me writing yes into the sky. And as soon as the words escaped me, words that basically say, “I am cured,” I open my eyes and feel liberated. Image: Pinterest
I have been on this blog for one year today! I have also decided to change my name from recovery for all of my heart to blueprints to your worthiness. This is because when I first started this blog it was because I wanted to share my story about my eating disorder. When I started, I was recovering for others, not myself. So my blog was called recovery for all of my heart, because I was recovering for all that I loved. This blog has evolved from my story to helping people and I have found a purpose for this blog, thus finding a purpose for myself. Not only that though, this blog was the beginning to finding so many more reasons to recover for myself. So I changed my name so it no longer reflects only recovering for others because you need to recover for yourself. Blueprints to your worthiness is basically what I have been doing in this blog for awhile now. I know I get off topic sometimes and start talking about random therapy stuff, but for the most part, this blog is about showing the worthiness I see in everyone. How I was able to recover by seeing myself in someone else and I am showing what I see in you. So my posts are blueprints to each and every piece of worthiness in people.
I am graduating soon from college. I do not like my major whatsoever. I had so many plans when I was younger. I wanted to be a marine biologist but I don’t live around the ocean where I wanted to study, and I was too afraid to live far away from where I am from due to homesickness. I have a major I chose out of depression and it’s hard to be positive about my life, but I have been able to find the beauty in each path I might take. I might go back to school and pay for it by myself. Not only will I be doing what I love, but I will feel so much more accomplished paying for it myself. I love my minor of environmental studies so I have that possibility. But I also might get a job in the field of my major that I do not like. I might not live in a pretty place out of my home state surrounded by mountains and trees, or I might. I might not make a lot of money and have to live in an unsafe place. So here are all the possibilities of how my life, no matter what, can be a joyous occasion.
Getting a job with my major I don’t like: In this job it is very likely I will be in a cubicle surrounded by people. Watching the show the office makes me excited for this even though I don’t like my major. I know it might not be as fun as the show but it makes me excited and it makes me think about a lot of connection with people. When I drive to the shelter Wednesday mornings I pass a building with a lot of cubicles. I try to picture my life there and I’m okay with it. I don’t look at those cubicles and see a field I don’t enjoy. I see desks close together.
Living in a place that isn’t surrounded by nature: If I end up staying where I am, surrounded by houses instead of mountains and trees, it shows strength. I will have to work to get to a place like that. Sometimes I feel depressed when not around nature, so not living around nature means a strength for me. I have a way for every type of living situation to be beautiful to me but i’ll make a post about that at another time.
If you aren’t where you want to be, channel your depression and prove to yourself that you are strong enough to handle disappointment. The more struggles you face towards your dreams, the more meaningful the destination is. If your brain tells you that you didn’t struggle enough to get to your dreams, just tell that brain of yours, “Then I’ll dream again.” And dream some more and fight to get there.
I used to face my fears a lot as a child but not because I wanted to nor did I do it joyfully. I was afraid to tell someone that I didn’t want to do it, so I went ahead and did it. My fear of telling people no was an avoidance in itself obviously. I used to play in volleyball games when I was too nervous to. I used to give presentations when I would have rather done anything else. We all hear that facing our fears makes everything easier right? Well, that’s not what happened in my case, when I was insecure. When I finished facing my other fears, such as being the center of attention in the volleyball games or doing presentations anyway, the fear made me feel worse. I never thought of the fact that it was amazing for me to be facing this fear. Even if I am afraid to tell someone my fear, either way I am facing something. When I was done facing my fear, I only felt empowered if I didn’t feel fear during it. If I felt horrible during it, like the time I almost vomited during a presentation at school, I felt weak, because I felt weak. I didn’t feel strong because I got through it. Now I realize that even if I get through something and still shake through it and feel fear throughout the whole thing, that makes me even stronger. The fear stayed with me, because of my negative attitude. “I did horrible. I never want to do that again. I’ll always be afraid.” Now my attitude is, “I am strong for fighting through my fear. Lets try again next time.” I have shown you in my last post about the beauty I see in confidence. I faced my fears as a child but I never looked like that girl in the picture of my last post. The girl who is getting her hair cut and looking up with her eyes closed with confidence and ferocity. I faced my fear then got up with negativity filling my mind and walked off insecure…off to being scared in the future of the same exact thing. A lack of fear was the only road to confidence for me. But that mindset made me scared. I hated fear…so I had a lot of it. Now I’m okay with fear, and while I still have it, I am a lot happier. So face your fears, and let yourself shake or let yourself be steady, but when you are done, make eye contact with others, and walk off like you have just conquered the world.
The moral of this story that I needed to hear: Fear, failure…none of that matters. All that matters in life is that you try.