I recently re-read a quote that has stuck with me for years since the first time I read it. "A flower does not compete with the one next to it, it just blooms".
I did a series of equine therapy sessions and this is the exact take away I got from those times in the pasture with the horses. I went into equine therapy with this notion that I was never good enough and that I always let people down no matter what I did. I cared so much of what people thought of me that it affected my actions, it affected how I lived in this world, it kept me stuck in the cycle of the eating disorder symptoms. What I learned from those horses is that they are always themselves. They stand in the pasture not comparing themselves to each other, they eat hay when they are hungry, they poop and pee when they need to, they play when they want, they run when they feel like it, they lay down and sleep when they are tired. Horses, even amongst 15 of them, do exactly what they want to do because they think about themselves. The horse doesn't compete with another horse, it doesn't feel jealous; the horse is the horse, and spends its day being just that. And that is enough.
I learned that I needed to be more like the horses. Be who I am and that is enough. It's easier now living without an eating disorder to say that I am proud of who I am and what I have accomplished for myself, but when I was deep in my eating disorder I was ashamed of myself, I was not confident, I was not healthy to make important decisions. Now, I'm lucky to say those days are over. When I look in the mirror I can look back at myself and feel a sense of pride, confidence, excitement and happiness. Yes some people's options of me still get me down at times, but not nearly as much as they used to. It's all about progress not perfection; and I am definitely making huge strides.
The Beyond Rules Recovery blog is written by people who are passionate about mental health and wants to spread the message of hope, resiliency, and recovery.