Tonight was week 2 of my 10-week eating disorder program, and I wanted to get all the thoughts swirling around in my head down onto paper (website?) before I lose them.
Tonight was another night where at one point I felt uncomfortable again, like it was all taking too long. But yet again at the end of the session I realise it was exactly right, and that I’ve had some profound moments of self-discovery.
Weekly Check In
It started with our weekly check in, where we all said how our weeks had been, any challenges etc. My heart broke for some people really going through some tough times, and then it got to me.
We only had a couple of minutes each, and I talked about:
- Understanding why camping is one of my happy places (it feels like time slows down, my anxiety almost disappears, my body relaxes and thus I’m ready for bed by 8pm)
- Having an extremely long work day yesterday (8am – midnight) to deliver a project today
- The project being successful, and feeling so proud of it
- Having a lack of sleep because when I finally went to bed my husband snored and my son woke up needing a resettle, so I was operating on about 3 – 3.5 hours of sleep
- Being happy to be almost over the cold that put me on my ass last week
I felt happy, and I delivered my update feeling quite upbeat, joking around and saying that I felt quite positive and that I was ignoring any of the negative stuff.
As the group continued with their check-ins I suddenly realised I was starting to feel so guilty for being happy when there were so many others struggling. But then I checked myself and thought no, I shouldn’t feel guilty for being happy.
Then one person checked in, and they mentioned they were also happy. Then they said the key words “I’m enjoying this moment because I know there’ll be weeks where I might not be happy”. That clicked with me. I shouldn’t beat myself up at all for it – enjoy the moment while it lasts. There’s that old rollercoaster ride going on. Not to mention that it’s extremely unlikely anyone in the group would be upset that I’m happy and they’re not.
We’re all fighting our own battles.
Assumptions and the big picture
We did a reflection activity tonight, looking at one image and making a note of the thoughts we had, trying to guess what the image would be. Then we were shown a second image, and we realised the first image was actually just a small subset of the bigger picture.
The assumptions I had made were really interesting:
- I knew there would be a bigger picture – I had identified the macro photography style that was zoning in on one small section, highlighting textures and characteristics etc
- I found such beauty and strength in the details I noticed in the smaller picture
- When I saw the object as a big picture, I realised that “strength” was not a term used with the bigger object
That prompted some interesting questions:
- Do I neglect to see traits of things because I neglect to zone in on the details
- When it comes to myself am I the complete opposite? Have I zoned right in on the small picture (one part of me – my ED/weight) and refuse to look at the bigger picture (aka my true self)
- Am I letting the small picture define me?
- Why am I so accepting/understanding of small picture/big picture for everything else but myself?
- Do I refuse to accept there is a bigger picture of myself aka more to me than just an eating disorder/weight issue?
- What do I need to do to start looking at the bigger picture?
I’ll likely be thinking about that for a few days, especially when my inner critic becomes noisy.
After that we started to review a list of values and which ones resonated to me. About a month ago it came up in therapy that of all the values I wanted to prioritise, self-acceptance was the only one that I really felt I wasn’t working towards. I want to have that value, but I’m just struggling with making any true progress towards it.
Honestly, there were a lot of values on the list that I felt were important and resonated with me, but these were a few of the key ones:
- Assertiveness (which feeds into my self-worth)
Authenticity I really value with my blog – it’s why I share everything, warts and all. I want the real me to be visible….I just need to learn on working to love that person.
Understanding importance and worthiness
Next week we’ll start sharing our own individual stories, which is terrifying. I voiced a fear tonight which was shared by a few people in the group:
What if my story isn’t “bad” enough, and I’m not worthy to be here?
I’m just so incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to be part of this group, to continue to learn and work on my worst to be my best. But what if my worst is trivial to the rest of the group?
We discussed it amongst the group, and then one quote was dropped that I just couldn’t shake.
If it’s important to you then it’s important.– Anonymous
They were so right. I’m in this group because I have an eating disorder, and it was important enough for me to seek help. It’s important to me to overcome it, and not let it define me. It’s important enough for me to make time to work on it every single day. It’s important enough for me to practice being a good role model for my son.
So tonight I ended the session feeling a whole mixture of emotions, but I was confident about one thing.
My story is important.
I will keep marching on.