grace

As I mentioned in my last post, we often have to give ourselves permission to treat our bodies/hearts/minds with the same grace we so easily extend to others.  I love this quote from Tich Nhat Hanh, and when I first read it, it made me realize how often I blame myself as well :

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce.  You look for reasons it is not doing well.  It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun.  You never blame the lettuce.  Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person.  But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.  Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument.  That is my experience.  No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding.  If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”

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pardon the interruption

Apologies for going dark the past couple of months.  As any of you in recovery know, it’s sort of an up and down process and while my intention for the blog was to be totally transparent through the hard parts, it has been a little more difficult to practice than I realized.

A brief recap of life lately– I had a solid 5 week run with no bulimia.  HOORAY!  I can’t even describe what a huge milestone this was, and relatively easy.  Sure, there were moments when purging seemed like the thing I should do, but I just didn’t buy/eat that extra food.  Remarkably simple, really.

But as you may have already guessed, I hit a roadblock.  I had gained approx. 7 lbs and it got me really down.  I thought that if I went back to my old ways, I could lay off a bulk of the weight, and start back to being healthy when I hit my starting point again.  Reading this, I see how crazy my logic was, but it made sense in my head.

So I went back to purging.  Except this time, I felt the effects as if I had never felt them before.  My teeth hurt.  My throat burned like crazy.  But even worse, the negative self talk — not caring about my body, overly focused on my flaws– came back with a vengeance.  And that’s really the worst part.  Not believing that I am worth being healthy.  Not believing that I can succeed.  And then Maya Angelou up and died and the internet was flooded with her poems, quotes– all of her words that gave us freedom to accept and be who we really are.  It is crazy that sometimes we feel we need permission to be loveable and worth recovery or a good relationship or any other beautiful thing in life we think we don’t deserve.

So, faced with my failed logic (it would have been flawed even if I had lost weight, but I didn’t see any sustainable weight loss in the 2 wk period I went back to purging) and Maya’s encouragement, I back on track.  Taking it one day at a time, but knowing I really can do this, I really deserve recovery.

This may have been written from the viewpoint of a black slave, but truth is universal and I think there is a lot of good here:

Still I Rise

(Maya Angelou, 1928 – 2014)

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

 

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

 

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

 

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

 

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

 

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

 

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise

I rise.