I am so lucky to have 2 dogs, something I have wanted since I started talking when I was just a young girl. Mickey is 3 and Marely will be 2 in January and over the past 3 years I have learned a lot from the two of them. Yesterday when I was taking them for a walk, I was really intrigued by their personalities. I have known this stuff before, but you know how you all of a sudden have those moments of “ah….cool”. That’s what happened to me on the walk. Here’s what happened.
It has been snowing off and on for the past few days and when we went for a walk the sidewalks hadn’t been cleared yet, so we walked in the street through the neighborhoods. There was quite a big difference in height from the street to the top of the snow on the yards (especially near the street because of the city trucks who came through to plow the streets clean) nonetheless my Mr. Marley spent most of the walk up on the top of the snow piles, happy as a clam. Trotting along, peeing where he felt like it, and going down and up the snow banks. While Ms. Mickey stayed on the street walking in a straight line. Mr. Marley, my happy go lucky dog is like a child playing outside, he loves puddles, and piles of leaves, and big snow banks. While, Ms. Mickey is a little more serious, experiences anxiety, and has a bit of an attitude. She likes to keep her feet clean, avoids the crunching of the fallen leaves, and mostly stays out of the dirty puddles. Yet, Mickey has her way of having fun too; burying her head in the snow, going for a swim in lakes and rivers, and rolling around on her back playing with her toys.
As I walked with Mickey and Marley it hit me that the path to recovery is about incorporating their differing of personalities. I had to learn to let go of some of the perfectionistic qualities, be willing to get my feet dirty, and be okay with taking a road less traveled. Yes, everything has its place, but I didn’t need to be so serious all the time and I didn’t need to be goofy to be liked or gain friends. I needed to find my own rhythm, my own “Shira” and just be my own version of me. In the past 6 years I have enjoyed finding out who I am, getting to know myself, and letting others see all of me, not just the highlights.
If you are stuck in your eating disorder, how can you start letting go of the perfectionism mindset? How can you embrace the unknown? How can you find comfort in being you for you, and not having to impress others? No matter where you are along your journey, how can you incorporate some of Marley and some of Mickey into who you are. I have come to realize that there are no two days that are the same, I am not a robot, but a human who is fluid and constantly evolving.
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.