Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Response: Making A Change...

I'd like to respond publicly to another comment I received on my latest video post in the hopes that others out there are pondering the same thing and looking for some encouragement.

"Things got better for a few days, and then a week, until I find myself staring at the same question - do I WANT to get better and be more than this? I fight it everyday and some days I give up and give in...other days I'm strong (so to speak) and don't eat at all, I can't allow it. How did you go about making that change? I can't seem to find the middle ground, or even solid ground at this point to stand on. It's either all or nothing, black or white..."

The "all or nothing" attitude is something I understand well. I think many of us feel that way. So, at the very least, you're not alone. It is, nevertheless, frustrating.

But first things first: if you are writing that paragraph above--if you're bothering to take the time to write to me, to even come here and read my blog--you do in fact WANT to get better and be more than "this." It might not seem like you want it when bad days come around, but bad days only last so long. If you're here, you're at a starting point. Or perhaps a middle point. Or better yet--a breaking point.

And you can get past it. But you have to believe you can get past it. You have to take yourself by the shoulders, figuratively speaking, and say, "You can do this and you WILL do this." Nothing can come before that first move.

Part of recovery is that every day struggle you speak of. It's a process. It's a journey. It's a tough place. But you're moving. Because you don't sit there, day after day, with the exact same mindset. You question. You falter. You feel. You hurt. You are at a loss. But you're getting somewhere. You're not stagnant and still. Know what I mean?

It may actually (and understandably) be more frustrating to let days turn to a week or more of doing well, and then BAM--you suddenly feel you're back where you started. It's a let down. It's annoying. It certainly doesn't make you want to keep going, to try again. I feel ya on that one. You're forgetting one important thing, though: You aren't starting over from scratch. Those steps forward you made are not discounted or negated by the fact that you are now stalled again. If you start at point A and you are trying to get to point B, but you stop halfway there, it doesn't mean you're back at point A, does it?


It simply means you're in the middle, waiting. You might not have the strength or the stamina to keep going at this particular moment. But when you do decide to get moving again, heading towards point B, you won't be back where you started... as long as you don't let yourself move backward.

Remember to give yourself credit where credit is due. But back to the question at hand... how do you go about making that change?

The simple answer (but nevertheless, the true one) is: Gradually.

It's a process, as most things are. And you have to do your best to stay aware of everything you're doing and thinking. You have the power to make yourself stop in your tracks, but you have to channel it. You make the change by deciding this isn't the life you want. It's okay if you don't know how to GET to the life you want; all you have to do is want it. I wrote about my conscious decision/my turning point in my post Remembering the Realization. It's completely my personal experience, but perhaps you can pull something from it.

Hold on to the little part of you that you want to nurture and heal. Go with it when you're feeling particularly strong or motivated. Write a letter to yourself. Be kind, be helpful, and explain in detail what you want to be able to do for yourself. Keep it. Re-read it. Ponder it. Let it resonate. There's a post back from 2007 in which I shared a letter to myself from even longer ago. That is an example.

One more thing you need to keep in mind: You have unlimited chances. Do not give up. Don't ever give up. I'm rooting for you.


Michelle said...

Your posts are so helpful and so convincingly written. You really know how to speak directly to my "Eating disordered" mind in a way that that isn't terrifying but instead makes recovery seem like a tangible, doable process. And more importantly, your words remind that I AM something WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

Your posts also contain such useful dialectical questions. I really ought to print them out and tape them to my wall. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

~A continued supporter of your site,

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

Michelle, thank you for that kind and thoughtful comment. It's deeply appreciated. :) I'm so glad you can take something from here and use it, even if it's just something to ponder. I'm glad you left a comment! It meant so much to me to read this tonight. Thank you again. You are certainly something worth fighting for, and if there is ever anything you wish I'd talk about here, don't hesitate to let me know!

Much love,

Z said...

i have to agree with michelle. you really make recovering sound like it's worth consideration at the very least. i know that recovery comes gradually, but how can you decide to recover when you have no love for yourself, let alone the love needed to save yourself? do you siphon the courage from other people? is it possible to hate yourself more than you do when you're making yourself beautiful i.e. disordered? you've really given me a lot to think about when it comes to my own issues. i think you are beyond brave to speak out against such a silent horror. i hope one day we can all just look at this as a disease and not something we are meant to be so ashamed of. maybe then more of us would be willing to get help.

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...


Thank you! Recovery IS worth considering, though it's definitely no picnic at times. You asked me some questions in your comment I'd really like to answer...in detail, actually... may I do so in a new post so that others may read? I know many feel as you feel and want to ask what you have asked.

Keep fighting,

Z said...

please do. i would love to hear from you.

MrsMenopausal said...

Great post, Arielle. I've linked to it in my latest post. I hope you don't mind.

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

Thanks, Mrs. M. :) I don't mind at all!