Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Healthy Addictions

my healthy addiction

“Addiction” has a negative connotation.  We think drugs and alcohol when we hear the word “addiction.”  For those of us in the eating disorder world, we’re told our eating disorder is an addiction.  For some of us, self-harm can be an addiction.

Letting go of an addiction is not as easy as just stopping.  If it were, there’d be no need for hospitals and residential treatment facilities.  We’d all just stop and be cured.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  But letting go of the eating disorder or self-harm, or any addiction, leaves a giant gaping hole in our lives.  That hole often drives us back to the very thing we tried to leave.

My suggestion (and it’s not really mine, the experts came up with it long ago): find something to replace the eating disorder and the self-harm.  In DBT-lingo, we call this “distract” with ACCEPTS.  Sounds easy, but there’s a slight problem: generally the thing we’re giving up is much much larger than the one thing we pick up to replace it, still resulting in a gaping hole.  A hole that’s slightly smaller than before, but still a hole.  And holes leave us feeling empty and hollow and quite crappy.

So my real suggestion is to find multiple addictions to replace what you’re giving up.  Here are mine:

knitting, crocheting, writing, reading, writing people letters, drawing, taking pictures

Right now, knitting and crocheting are my main addictions.  I always have multiple projects going because I have Yarn ADD.  Currently I’m working on an afghan (the very first one I’m making for me; I’ve always made them to give away), three different hats (I’m also addicted to hats), washcloths and hats to donate to various places, potholders, and a scarf.  There’s probably a couple other projects buried in the bottom of my basket that I’ve forgotten about, too.

The nice thing about knitting and crocheting, for me, is that it keeps my hands busy.  When I get urges to self-injure, keeping my hands busy is rather important.  And I feel good about myself if I’m working on a project for someone else.  And knitting and crocheting are things I can take pride in. And writing letters to people also keeps my hands busy and I love that I’m going to make someone smile when they open their mailbox.  I know I get this huge smile on my face when I get snail mail.  When I was recovering from the eating disorder, knitting and crocheting and writing letters were things I could do after I ate, when my stomach felt ugly-full and I felt awful.  The knitting and crocheting and writing letters took my mind off of those thoughts and feelings and kept me distracted until my stomach digested the food and settled down.

Taking pictures gets me out of the house, outside where I can breathe fresh air and see fresh things and take wonder in the amazing world around me.  Right now, flowers are starting to poke through the soil and peek out at the sun. Trees are starting to bud.  The air is getting warmer and the squirrels are more active and run in front of my floor length window and drive my cats absolutely crazy.

I would love for people to leave a comment here–not on facebook, because not everyone who reads this goes to facebook–with your healthy addictions.  I know that some of us are recovered and exercise has once again become a healthy form of release, but please keep in mind that for a great number of people reading this, that is not the case.  Try to leave suggestions that anyone at any stage of recovery could engage in.  Maybe, just maybe, someone will see something and think, “That sounds like fun; I could do that.”

And I dare each one of you to try one of these things or something you’ve always meant to try but never got around to.  Just one thing when you’re feeling stressed and anxious.  And if that one thing doesn’t work, try a different one next time.  Keep trying things until you find something that works for you.

Happy addiction hunting, y’all.

March 29, 2011 Posted by | coping, Eating Disorders, recovery, self harm | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

facebook is . . . ?

facebook

I have a feeling this may be an unpopular post.  But it’s an honest one, with some honest opinions and some honest questions.

Facebook was initially a way to stay connected with people you knew from high school or college or work.  It quickly grew and soon people were friending people based on mutual acquaintances or interests.  I myself have 717 friends and it’s a rare week that I don’t get at least two or three friend requests from strangers–and accept them.  People find me through this blog, through mutual friends, through common networks, etc.  And I have absolutely no problem with that.  Facebook has broken down a lot of walls in our social world.

Facebook has also become a place where people find support.  I honestly wish I had had this when I was an adolescent or in college, first struggling with Bipolar disorder and the eating disorder and feeling like a total freak because I must be the only one in the whole world to feel this way and do these things. Maybe I would have sought help earlier if I knew such a thing as help existed.  So all of these eating disorder groups are good things in my eyes.  And I know I’m on the very unpopular side here: but pro-ana groups even have their place.  I really do believe in the freedom of expression, and unless they are actively converting people, I think they should be allowed a place to converse and share their feelings.

But there’s one thing I don’t understand: status updates.  I mean, I understand the general idea.  But I don’t get the status updates that are along the lines of “Life totally sucks ass.  I’m going to give up on all of this shit.”  and “This is just waaaaaaaay too hard and not worth my time.  Definitely going back to the old way.”  I’ve seen both. Multiple times.  And I don’t respond.  It’s been my experience that the people who “give up” and “walk away” do so without saying anything to attract as little attention to themselves as possible and to avoid the pleas of not giving up and keep fighting and you can do it.  People who announce that they are going to give up want someone to convince them otherwise.

So my question is: Why not flat out ask for some support and that way you don’t waste time getting messages telling you that it’s worthwhile and that you shouldn’t give up.  Wouldn’t messages letting you know how to keep fighting and how to deal with life be more helpful? And wouldn’t status updates such as these let people know where you really stand and what you really need?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with flat out asking for support and encouragement.  Isn’t that why we all have friends we’ve never met in our networks?  We have similar struggles and we get that about each other and so saying, “I’m having a crappy day with X and could really use some support” will most likely result in that support.  I’ve seen status updates like that and the resulting responses that are full of encouragement and no judgment.

Letting people in is part often one of the difficulties of having an eating disorder.  What safer place to test out asking for support and help than someplace where you’re not going to see the people who read your status?  And then, maybe, just maybe, you’ll one day get up the courage to ask someone in real-time for such support and encouragement.

meanwhile, I have to go stop my cat from climbing on top of my wall phone.

let the public flaying begin  . . . .

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Body Image, Communication, Eating Disorders, feelings, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Big Choice

choices choices choices

I’m in the mood for citrus fruit and open my fridge and am confronted by two different kinds: Do I want an orange or a grapefruit?  Most of the time, the decision comes down to the time of day: Grapefruit were typically breakfast items in my house growing up, and I’ve sort of stuck with that tradition.

There are some other choices that aren’t as easy to make.

I did not choose to inherit the Bipolar gene that runs through our family like, well, like mad. (Pun fully intended this time.)  But I do choose to take the medications that help control the illness. Nor did I choose to inherit ARVD, the heart disease that caused a sudden cardiac arrest and countless trips to the ER because of arrhythmias. But I did choose to have a defibrillator inserted, and I choose every day to follow the doctor’s recommendations of no aerobic exercise and I limit my caffeine and sugar because both seem to aggravate my heart.

And some choices are more difficult than taking a pill or not going for a run.

I did not choose to develop an eating disorder.  I didn’t wake up one morning and think to myself, “Gee, I think I’ll stop eating so that I can worry the hell out of my family and friends, go to the ER for potassium drips, and be hospitalized multiple times so someone could make sure I eat and gain weight.  It’ll be fun to isolate myself from my friends and it’ll be fun to be on a first name basis with emergency room staff and it’ll be fun to be forced to take time off of school and get behind in my studies.”   Ummm. . . . not.

But it was and is a choice to recover.  I say was because I consider myself fully recovered.  I say is because it is still easy when I am depressed or physically sick to slip back into not eating without realizing I am doing so.  I have to remind myself that not eating will only make the depression worse and will impede physical recovery.

This choice to recover, to give up the eating disorder, was not as easy as opening a bottle of anti-depressants and anti-arrhythmia medication.  I knew the eating disorder was slowly killing me.  I watched it kill several friends from treatment.  But it still wasn’t an easy decision.  It meant giving up a lifestyle.  It meant giving up what I considered to be a close friend.  In my twisted ED-mind, I could always count on the eating disorder.  And, quite frankly, life scared the living shit out of me.  This is why people telling me to “just eat” was ineffective.  Recovering from an eating disorder involves more than “just eating.”  It involves giving up a very familiar way of living and choosing something new and, therefore, terrifying.

People have asked me what it took for me to make that choice.  I was at a conference with a friend, a friend who was a father figure and a constant source of support and encouragement.  A friend whose daughter had died from her eating disorder.  After dinner, we were having drinks in his hotel room with a couple of other friends and deciding where we wanted to go that night when my heart started beating extremely fast and quite erratically.  I had problems taking in a breath and felt weak.  He called the ambulance and off to the ER I went, with him by my side.  And all I kept thinking was, “He watched his daughter die from this.  I cannot make him go through that again.”  I got home from that conference and began seeking more intensive treatment.  It was not a magical turn-around.  I would end up seeking more intensive treatment again further on down the road.  I would have ups and downs–many of them–before I considered myself recovered.  And even though I consider myself recovered, I know that I still have to be on guard, for there are situations–namely change–that trigger that desire to retreat back to the eating disorder.

No one else can make this choice for you.  If that were true, I would have recovered years before I actually did.  And it may very well be the hardest choice you will ever make.  And once you make that choice, things don’t get easier.  A) Recovery involves some of the hardest work you will ever undertake.  B) Life is still out there, with all of its challenges and all of its painful moments.

I can’t guarantee that you will take X amount of months in treatment to recover, or even that you will take X number of times in treatment.  But I can guarantee that, even with the pain life is going throw in your direction, recovery is worth it.  You’ll be stronger and more resilient.  If you think of life as a dueling match, you’ll be able to spar with energy and strength that you didn’t know you had in you, because the eating disorder steals that strength and energy.  Recovery gives it back.  Recovery means your relationships will be more honest and free.  Recovery means going to class and thinking about what the teacher is lecturing about rather than what you aren’t going to eat at lunch time and what lie you’ll use to convince your friends that you already ate.  Recovery means watching spring bloom and taking joy in the beauty of it all and not obsessing about what lies you’ll use to explain why you’re wearing jeans and long sleeves to hide your body.  Recovery means the ability to experience joy and love and peace, all things the eating disorder likes to steal.

Again, recovering from an eating disorder involves some of the hardest work you will ever undertake.  But recovery also means freedom to experience the fullness of life and love.  Recovery means that your relationships will no longer be based on the other person’s worry for your safety, but on equality.  Recovery means the ability to grow and experience joy.

But it is a choice.  A damned hard choice, but still a choice, and it is a choice that will have to be made more than once.  But remember, that once you make that choice, you do not have to stand alone.  There are support groups, pro-recovery groups on facebook, and friends who will encourage you and support you in your quest for health.  They will celebrate the emergence of your true self, the self that got buried underneath the eating disorder, the self that is longing for a chance to grow and blossom and flourish.

March 19, 2011 Posted by | Body Image, depression, Eating Disorders, health, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lent and Mindfulness

the beginning of Spring

The beginning of Spring is creeping up on us–in fact, it will be here in just a couple of days (the 20th).  Finally.  Winter is over. 🙂

Arriving around the same time as Spring is Lent, which began on the 9th.  I know the tradition is to give something up for Lent, to sacrifice something.  But how many of us pick something that is an important part of our lives that we enjoy–and, of course, we do view it as a sacrifice.  But once Lent ends, that sacrifice is over.  Honestly, I’ve never really seen the point of that.  Shouldn’t we give something up that we need to give up–and then continue to give it up after Lent ends?

I’m going with a different approach to Lent this year.  This year, I decided to add something into my life, something that will help me become a better person, a healthier person.  I first encountered mindfulness when I was in a DBT program back in 1999.  And I wasn’t exactly receptive to it, to put it politely.  Since then, various people have continued to encourage me to give mindfulness another try.  And I have always brushed those encouragements aside.  But this previous year has shown me one thing: a formal mindfulness practice could be extremely beneficial and helpful in my life.

So I have this book: The Mindfulness Workbook: A Beginner’s Guide to Overcoming Fear & Embracing Compassion by Thomas Roberts, LCSW, LMFT.  I also have the classic, Wherever You Go, There You Are, on my Kindle, so I can pick it up and read on of its short chapters as I’m waiting in line or in a waiting room or *gasp* even in my own home.  I am committing myself to practicing mindfulness each and every day.  (My therapist is going to be overjoyed that I finally caved.)  I have a journal set aside to record my reflections from each day’s practice.

I have no idea what I’m going to find.  I’m trying not to go into it with too many expectations or requirements.  I’m trying to just let what happens happen.  This is a decidedly difficult stance for me, someone who likes to know exactly what is going to happen when and likes to be in control of that happening whenever possible.  So I’ve decided to slow down and be present in my world, fully present.  Not worrying about what I’m doing in an hour or the next day or the next week.  But right now.  That’s it: this current moment.

Voices inside of me are screaming in protest–that this current moment has nothing to offer, that I’m going to miss things, that I’m not going to be able to do it, that it’s all overrated and over-hyped and isn’t worth my effort.  But I think of the people I know who do practice mindfulness and they are people I admire for various reasons.  I know their lives aren’t perfect, but I respect how they handle what comes their way.  They don’t carry around a huge sign that proclaims, “I AM AT PEACE!” but if I’m honest, it’s quite obvious they experience more peace than I do, and it’s certainly not because their lives are “easier” or “less complicated” or “less busy” than mine.  Usually they have fairly busy lives that are anything but “easy” or “uncomplicated.”

My goal for all of this?  To learn how to be present in the current moment, unencumbered by my worries about what I’m doing in an hour or in a week or in a month.  To accept Right Now with acceptance, patience, and perseverance.  What will I find?  I have no idea.  And part of me is saying that setting goals of what I want to find kind of goes against the whole idea of mindfulness and accepting what is.  My only concrete goal for this is to develop a habit that I can continue long past this season of Lent.

Some people have asked what mindfulness, an Eastern philosophy, has to do with Lent.  You know what?  I have no idea, and I don’t really care.  I have no problems adding something of another philosophy into my daily life as long as it continues to bring me closer to God.  And I truly believe that learning how to be present in the current moment will help me be present with God.  Why?  Where else is God but the here and now?

I realize I have an eclectic faith: I read my Bible and I use a devotional every evening, I’ve studied yoga since I was 18 and taught yoga for a number of those years, and now I’m adding in mindfulness to the mix.  It fits me. And if you don’t find a faith practice that fits you, how do expect to strengthen your own personal faith?

So here’s to the present moment.  I have no idea what I’m going to find.  A deeper understanding of myself?  A deeper understanding of God?  Of my faith?  Of the world around me?  All of these things?

March 17, 2011 Posted by | faith, health, identity, mindfulness | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Take Care of YOU

hope faith heal pray

One of my friends asked me a question the other day.  This young woman is someone I have watched grow from being entrenched in her eating disorder and fighting treatment to accepting help and healing and moving beyond her eating disorder and healing.  It’s been a truly beautiful process to witness.

But she’s currently in a dilemma, one that a lot of us who were sick with our eating disorders and moved on to healing have often been faced with.  When I was sick, most of my friends were sick.  We shared that “bond” of wanting our eating disorders and not wanting to accept the help of others, which we saw as an intrusion rather than help.  And then I made the decision to get better and sought treatment on my own.  The day I made the call for an admissions interview at a treatment center–the day I made that call on my own, without any prompting from friends or therapists–I called from a friend’s office.  I was in tears.  After I hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, “Sometimes choosing life is the most terrifying thing of all.”  And she was right.  The process of giving up my eating disorder and choosing life took not one, but two fairly long stays at a treatment center.  But in the end, it was worth it.  Still terrifying, but worth it.

And you think, “I’m recovered, so things will be fine now.”  And then you realize that some of your old friends are still very much attached to their eating disorders and aren’t all that supportive of your recovery.  Whether it’s because it means you’re different than they are now, or because it threatens them in their own eating disorders–there probably isn’t a really good way to put words to this.  But one thing is clear: maintaining certain old friendships holds you back from making further progress in recovery.  Where you are in recovery and where they are in recovery/illness work against one another.

The dilemma:  continue the friendship because you know what it’s like to be where that person is in illness and you don’t want to abandon him or her even if it’s threatening your own recovery, or step back from the friendship and limit contact with that person and move forward in your own recovery and health and hope they will see you as an example and choose to follow you.

At first glance, it seems rather simple: move on and protect your own recovery at all costs. But then what do you do with the heated comments from the people still enmeshed in their eating disorders?  The comments that accuse you of betraying them?  Or abandoning them?  Or of turning your back on them? Of being a traitor?  Of being unsympathetic, or selfish, or arrogant?  You know that the best thing for your own recovery is to move on and limit contact.  But that part of you that does know what it’s like to have people leave you because of your eating disorder is screaming for you to stay in the friendship and help them, save them, convince them that they can also recover and that it’s worth it.

I have no simple answer.  I’ve done both, depending on the friend.  Sometimes, I have stayed in the friendship, when the other person allowed me to move on in recovery and did not accuse me of being a traitor (?) or being a hypocrite (?).  If the person allowed me to talk about recovery openly, and if that person didn’t continue to celebrate her eating disorder triumphs with me, I could safely stay in that friendship.  I have also left relationships.  There were people who felt threatened by my recovery and let me know that and there were people who called me names for choosing to leave the eating disorder behind, people who were accusative and non-supportive.  People who judged me openly for choosing recovery.  These relationships threatened my own recovery, and I chose to leave and/or severely limit the contact I had with them.

Facebook is rife with these relationships. People who have never met in real life but are connected by their eating disorders.  In the beginning of my recovery, I went through a massive “friend purge” and only kept those friends who were supportive of my stage of growth.  If I hadn’t done so, I am not sure I would be where I am in recovery right now.  As my time in recovery progressed, I began accepting friend requests from people in all stages of illness and recovery.  I now have over 700 friends on Facebook.  Only a small percentage of which I’ve actually met.  A great number of those friends are still stuck in their eating disorders and post status updates documenting their “progress” in their eating disorder, or they post pictures that once would have been triggering.  But I am now at a point in my recovery where I can read those updates and notes and see those pictures and not have it affect my own recovery.  Hopefully, my encouragement to continue fighting and to continue working toward recovery and celebrating their small (or large) steps of progress will help them.  I hope they can look at my profile and my pictures and my activities and see that recovery is possible and that it is worth it.  But again, I am not pulled back into the illness by looking at their profiles.

So my advice is to step back from friendships that threaten your own recovery.  You do not owe anyone an explanation.  You certainly do not owe them an apology.  You owe yourself everything you can do to protect and further your own recovery.  If at some point, you feel stronger and ready to see what could be triggering, you can always rejoin groups or friendships–if you want to. Something Fishy has several message boards, including one for “fishies” early in recovery and one for “fishies” who have been in recovery for a longer period of time but still need or want support for the daily trials of life.

My advice is to take time and ask yourself how strong your feel you are in recovery and how much it would take to threaten your recovery.  Ask yourself what kinds of things you are willing to see and read without them negatively affecting you.  Ask yourself what you are willing to do to protect your own recovery at all costs. Take an internal inventory of your own strengths and areas that still need strengthening.  Your only responsibility is to yourself.  A significant number of people with eating disorders are people pleasers, which only helped our eating disorders.  Part of recovery is learning to name your own needs and also to meet those needs.  That may require stepping away from the eating disorder community, and no one should make you feel guilty for doing so, because it means you are now building a life for yourself, a life free of the eating disorder.

Let me say for the third or fourth time: protect your own recovery at all costs. You will know when you are ready to step back in and offer encouragement.  It’ll be this feeling you have inside.  Until that feeling rises up, take care of you.

March 13, 2011 Posted by | Communication, Eating Disorders, recovery, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

academic explanations

what the heart wants . . .

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my academic status lately, so I thought I’d answer them once and for all in one convenient place.

I am no longer in the PhD program at Mizzou.  While I was in the hospital, I realized something: every time I return to school, I get sick.  My heart either acts up and I get physically sick and exhausted, more so than the average PhD-exhaustion, or the Bipolar Disorder gets the best of me.  I’ve always wanted my PhD, but I value my health more.  I cannot keep taking weeks off of school to go in the hospital or recover from a particularly bad heart spell.  I have my terminal degree for my field: my MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing.  I can go on the job market now.

So what makes me think I should go on the job market given what I just wrote?  One of the things that the PhD program entailed is taking a full load of classes and teaching two undergraduate courses.  Not being a TA and being a glorified grader, but actually having full control of my own two classes: writing the syllabi, doing the course prep, teaching the courses, writing the assignments and grading the assignments, and meeting with students outside of class as needed.  I can be a student or I can be a teacher.  I cannot be both at the same time.  My heart, literally, will not let me.

I am sure I could push through this and keep forcing myself to go to class and teach my classes and write my papers and all of that.  But I am also sure it would come at a cost, a cost I am not willing to pay.  As I said before, I value my health and would like to maintain my health as much as I can.  It took me a long time to learn that lesson; I’m not turning my back on it now.

So if anyone needs a freelance copy editor, I’m up for hire.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Full Catastrophe Living

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.

In 1999, I was a patient at New York Hospital’s Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Program.  DBT, developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., for people with Borderline Personality Disorder and problems with self-harm, has four components: Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, Mindfulness, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.  It was a three-month program that, literally, changed my life.  I fully embraced the Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Effectiveness modules.  I did the homework for the Mindfulness component, but really didn’t believe in it and had absolutely no intention of continuing it after I left the program.  This is  called willfulness.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., is the author of Wherever You Go, There You Are, Full Catastrophe Living, and other books.  Mindfulness is an important part of Buddhist philosophy.  Kabat-Zinn adapted mindfulness in his stress reduction program and Linehan adapted mindfulness for her work with Borderline patients.  Anything that involved sitting still, staying in the moment, being aware of your thoughts and emotions–without trying to change them–all of that rubbed me the wrong way.  It sounded well and good, but it didn’t come naturally for me.  And if it didn’t come naturally for me at the time, I rejected it.

Well, the time is twelve years later.  And, lo and behold, I am working with another DBT therapist.  Except this time, I will grudgingly admit that mindfulness could be quite beneficial for me.  It still doesn’t come easily.  I still fight it.  But if you look at my Kindle, you’ll see Wherever You Go, There You Are as one of my books, there for anytime I feel like taking a few moments and, well, appreciating the moment.  Or learning to appreciate the moment.  And I also own Full Catastrophe Living, a book my therapist recommended to help me manage everything that comes along with this wonderful cardiac diagnosis of mine and all the lifestyle changes I have had to make.

Here are some words from Kabat-Zinn about “catastrophe” (and they might  not be what you expect.  at least they surprised me):  . . . ever since I first heard it, I have felt the phrase “the full catastrophe” captures something positive (?!?!?!?!?!?!) about the human spirit’s ability to come to grips with what is most difficult in life and to find within it the room to grow in strength and wisdom.  For me, facing the full catastrophe means finding and coming to terms with what is most human in ourselves.  /   “Catastrophe” here does not mean disaster. (?!?!?!?!?!?!) Rather it means the poignant enormity of our life experience.  It includes crises and disasters but also all the little things that go wrong and that add up.  The phrase reminds us that life is always in flux, that everything we think is permanent is actually only temporary and constantly changing.

He goes on to explain that “the full catastrophe” includes what we term “positive” and “thrilling.”  Full Catastrophe Living developed from his eight-week long Stress Reduction & Relaxation Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.  They believe that mental and emotional factors have a great deal to do with your physical health and ask their participants to practice mindfulness every day, six days a week for eight weeks.  The testimonials from some of the patients are amazing.

I admit I need this.  I also realize that I am now at a stage where I am willing to welcome this practice into my life.  Hence reading the book.  Hence taking a class called “mindful writing” even though I am withdrawing from the PhD program.  Hence me making a commitment to myself —and not any program or professional–to bring mindfulness practice into my life.  I have no idea what this is going to look like yet.  But I do know that I admire the people I know who do make it a part of their lives.

I’m not saying that I’m going to celebrate having a heart that is, literally, slowing dying.  That would, I believe, qualify me as insane.  But I do want to learn to be aware of what is going on in the moment, and to appreciate what is going on in the moment.  To not try to force things to go differently (that gets quite tiring, by the way).

A reporter once remarked to Kabat-Zinn in trying to understand mindfulness: “Oh, you mean to live for the moment.” His response was, “No, it isn’t that. That has a hedonistic ring to it.  I mean to live in the moment.”

This is quite a challenge.  There are a lot of moments I’d like to do away with.  And I spend a lot of time thinking about future moments, moments that must be better than the current one.  But guess what?  I can’t do away with the current moment.  It’s here.  Whether or not I like it.  Whether or not I like it is totally irrelevant.  And all that time spent thinking about the future?  That gets exhausting.  And, really, I have no idea what the future is going to bring.

So I’m giving this mindfulness program a shot.  I know I will complain.  I know there will be resistance.  I know it will be difficult.  But I’m hoping that when I’m done, I’ll be able to write a testimonial like the ones I read in the introduction and first chapter of this book.  So here’s to a couple of months of doing something I never thought I’d be willing to do.  Without anyone forcing me to do so.  See–miracles can happen.

March 2, 2011 Posted by | bipolar disorder, coping, death, depression, Eating Disorders, mindfulness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment