Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

my spirituality and my recovery


One of the questions I received is how my faith has impacted or influenced my recovery.  What I’d like to preface this entry with is as brief as possible explanation of what “faith” is in my life.  Faith isn’t a term I use very often, because I find it to be limiting.  Spirituality is the term I prefer to use, for I find it encompasses more.  As far as my faith is concerned, I belong to the Moravian Church, a Protestant denomination.  I consider myself to be a Christian, with a lot more thrown in.  And here is where I know I might rub people the wrong way or offend some people.  My spirituality encompasses much more than my Christian beliefs.  I find a lot of wisdom and comfort in Buddhist philosophy, and practice meditation and mindfulness.  Prayer is an important part of my spiritual life, although I do not limit myself to praying to what a lot of people consider the traditional concept of God.

Now, spirituality and my recovery.  I think in the beginning, I was rather angry.  I was trapped in the thinking that if you believed and were faithful, God would protect you from harm.  And I was praying to get better.  But, due to what I later acknowledged as choices I was making, I was not getting better, and at the time blamed it on my lack of faith.  Which really didn’t help my spirituality at all.  Guilt and blame can be very harmful emotions when it comes to belief (or just in general, actually).

Neither my faith nor my spirituality made me well.  I’m not sure when exactly I realized this, but praying to get better is not enough.  In fact, praying to get better really didn’t help me at all.  Recovery really was a series of choices that I had to make and then remain committed to.  God wasn’t going to reach down and make them for me, nor was he just going to touch me and *poof* make the eating disorder disappear.  (But wouldn’t that be nice?)

This is not to say that my spirituality did not play a crucial part in my recovery  or that it doesn’t continue to play a crucial role.  Prayer didn’t make me better.  Reading my Bible and other sacred texts did not heal me.  My devotional practice did not make symptoms disappear.  But all of these things did help my recovery.  I discovered that the more I allowed spirituality to play an active role in my life, the stronger I became and the better able I was to remain committed to my recovery.  I was able to draw strength from sources outside of myself, which was rather helpful on days when I felt anything but strong.  I was also able to feel a peace that I could never feel while engaging in eating disorder behaviors.  I don’t know how to describe it other than this peace allowed a type of rest I had never experienced and also a certain feeling of home and belonging that the eating disorder stole from me.  My spirituality has also been a great source of comfort on the hard days, and is one of my many healthy coping skills I have learned to develop in my journey of recovery.

I do not believe that you have to belong to any one religion or follow any one spiritual movement in order to recover.  But I do think that nurturing your spirit can help you with finding a source of strength and healing.  Perhaps walking in a beautiful park provides rest for your spirit.  Perhaps having a cup of tea with a friend.  Perhaps reading a spiritual or sacred text.  Perhaps meditation or prayer.  Each of us is a unique individual and we each have unique spiritual needs.  As with a lot of things in life, it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you, but I wish you the best on your spiritual journey and hope you find peace, a peace that will show you there is a reason to let go of the eating disorder.

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May 26, 2011 - Posted by | coping, Eating Disorders, faith, mindfulness, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. there is a God who create us and take us again…

    Comment by brandingthinking | May 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. there is a God who determine our life nameli ALLOH SWT……

    Comment by brandingthinking | May 26, 2011 | Reply


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