Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Getting Rid of the Bad By Bringing in Some Good

I used to do this when I was feeling particularly low.

What are 10 things that make you feel good or happy? List them. Here are some of mine for inspiration to get your thoughts moving in the right direction.

1) Watching a Shirley Temple movie.

2) Baking something.

3) Painting or drawing.

4) Turning on some classic rock LOUD and dancing around.

5) Taking a bath (actually, reading a good book in the bath).

Try it. List 10. Then when you’re feeling horrible and can’t seem to pick yourself up, choose one of your things and DO IT. Think of it as a way to take care of yourself. Think of creative ways to keep this list ready and easily accessible. For example:

Get a little corkboard, cut your 10 things into strips, and tack them up in a random fashion on the board. Display the board somewhere near your desk or a place you frequent. Let your eyes dart from idea to idea when you’re feeling depressed and when something looks comforting to you, go with it.


Write each of your 10 things on 10 separate colorful pieces of paper (maybe even post-its if you’d like). Then, put each thing in a place you tend to stray to when you’re having a bad day or a hard time, i.e. near the toilet so you’re less apt to purge (if this is a habit of yours), on the fridge so you’re less apt to binge (if this is a habit of yours), where you keep your alcohol if you’d be likely to turn there for comfort, even near your bed so you’re less apt to just lie there and/or cry and let your low mood take hold.

Everyone is different. We all have different problems and different preferences. But there are simple ways we can comfort ourselves if we just bother to take note of what works for us. I have noticed that watching an old Shirley Temple movie, maybe with a cup of tea, always puts me in a better mood, makes me smile, and gives me a little comfort. Recognizing this allowed me to create something to do when I was feeling desperate and wretched. You’d be surprised how little things like this incorporated into your week (and more importantly, your life) can make a big difference. Because you’re taking care of YOU when you do them. You’re not fighting yourself. You’re not giving in to bad habits or destructive ways. You’re not wallowing in self-hate, depression, or whatever else might be plaguing you. You are giving yourself something good.

And a little good can go a long way.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Addressing the Tunnel

It’s funny how you can grow to know yourself as a person—a whole person—and like what you know. It’s a fun discovery sometimes, to dip into the soul of someone who’s been with you all along, but never really seen as a complete entity. It’s so easy to know yourself as depressed, or crazy, or worried, or anxious—or as a body. But to really know yourself for what you are—totally—is something altogether fascinating. Of course, you may not like everything you learn about yourself, but we all have faults and discrepancies within ourselves. It’s only natural to find yourself imperfect. But you know, it’s true what your teachers always used to say: “Nobody’s perfect.” But you can be good at being you. You can be real.

I list a lot of techniques and strategies for a recovery-helpful lifestyle on this blog, all of which I feel strongly about, but when it comes right down to it, you have to be willing to go into yourself and feel. And then get rid of the bullshit. And the voices from others. And the worry. And the self-pity. And the not feeling good enough. And only then will you be able to get rid of the pain.

The right path is never the easiest one, you know. And the more you struggle, the better you will feel when you’ve overcome what it is that is bringing you down. In essence, everything worth fighting for starts with a struggle. And believe me, your health and your happiness are definitely worth fighting for. I may not have known at the beginning that I would feel as good as I do, but I wouldn’t go back to that horrid beginning for anything. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And if you don’t see it yet, climb a little farther. And when you begin to see the glowing edges of that light, you will want with all your might to reach it and come out on the other side, free at last from the stifling and dark tunnel you’ve struggled through so long. It only makes sense, doesn’t it?

But as always, saying is easier than doing. Much easier. But every action starts with a thought. So let this post be your thought. And begin.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Time Out

I've let the blog fall by the wayside for a little while. My wedding planning has me incredibly busy most of the time, and between that and work I don't have much time to write.


The invitations are now out in the mail...and the big day is only 9 weeks away. Hopefully that means more free time post-wedding!

I feel so neglectful because there is often so much I want to say and share, but I suppose it's only natural that when a person is dealing with something tremendous in her life, she put some other things on hold.

I'm just taking a little time out. Getting married to me is so so so much more about the marriage than about the actual wedding, but nevertheless there is still so much to do and so little time to do it in, considering I do work all day Monday through Friday. Plus, I'm excited and I'm happy and I'm just plain overwhelmed at times with obligations and appointments and to-dos. But as I said, the list is dwindling and the day is fast approaching. Soon I will be Mrs. Bair and on my way to St. Lucia for a wonderful honeymoon.

I have not forgotten and will not forget this blog. It's extremely important to me.

I hope everyone out there in the void is doing well or at least hanging in as best you can. I'm continuously thinking about you and wishing you well.

As always, if you need somewhere to turn or someone to talk to, you can always write me here: arielle.becker@gmail.com

I'm still using Arielle Lee Becker as my writing name when I'm married! :)