Sometimes I set goals for myself, goals that I believe will help me become a better counsellor, friend, partner, daughter, sister etc. I set these goals with the best of intentions and with the knowledge that if I take these necessary steps the results will better my life. Sometimes, however, I set these goals and then life gets busy or I get distracted and I end up not following through with them, even when I know they will help me.
I think it is important to realize how our inability to follow through with things that we know will make our lives better impacts our lives. Let’s take a look at how this applies to recovery.
When we are working on getting well and focusing on recovery, often we will set goals for ourselves that we know will help us. Maybe it’s planning in self-care every day. Or perhaps it is attending a group that we know will help us heal and be well. The person that set these goals is your healthy self, the person inside who believes you are worthy of love, happiness and health. These goals symbolize our commitment to ourselves and our commitment to getting well. So why is it that so often when we know these goals could be the difference between living with our eating disorder or recovering from our eating disorder we self sabotage and don’t follow through?
I believe everyone has a different core reason for this. Perhaps it is because being well actually scares you, or maybe you don’t see yourself as worthy of being happy and healthy. Whatever your core reason, and I highly encourage you to really invest in trying to find it, ask yourself what the cost will be in your life if you never fully commit yourself to the goals that will lead you in the direction your healthy self wants you to go? What will committing to your eating disorder will give you? Will it really set you free? Will your life be all that you want it to be if you keep ignoring your healthy self and not taking steps towards your goals? Listen to the answers that are coming up. Be aware of all of the excuses that will come up with those answers. Now take a moment to write the answers (and only the answers!) down on a piece of paper. They are telling you something.
I know recovery is hard. Some days it feels like the anxiety that you are faced with is going to swallow you whole. Others, the mere mention of recovery can leave us overwhelmed and flooded. It is hard, dirty, tiring, annoying work. But it is worth it. The ease, peace and freedom that comes when your eating disorder no longer has it’s life threatening grip on you always makes it worth it. So I am asking you to try. Try to remember or envision what some of those goals have been. Write them down as a commitment to yourself. Post them up somewhere where you will see them on a regular basis. Ground yourself in the things you know you’ve been avoiding, remove the excuses that are getting in the way of you accomplishing what you really want, and take a step towards your healthy self, she has been waiting for you for along time.