Reaching out and getting support is a big step in recovery. However, it can be hard deciding within ourselves if we “deserve” help or if we want to get better. What if we are not sick enough to be in recovery?
This is a cognitive distortion that is common with eating disorders. In other words, the beliefs that we need to be sick enough or look sick enough is a lie. Sometimes, our mind even lies to us to make us believe maybe we are faking it and that there is a way to just “snap” out of it. Other times, we may not even see our behavior as a problem to be addressed. People around us may even unintentionally enable our beliefs with compliments or criticism around our looks or habits.
The question “Am I sick enough?” is no valid gauge to determine whether we need help. The word “enough” suggests that there is a standard to be met. Comparison defines that standard. When comparison is taken out of the question it becomes, “Am I sick?” or “Do I need support right now?” We all deserve support whether we are on a mountaintop or our lowest valley. Sick in the dictionary is defined as, “affected by physical or mental illness.” If your life, beliefs, or behaviors are affected in any way then yes you are sick, but why does it have to be enough? There is no singular look for what an eating disorder can look like. Yes, you are sick enough, but your mind will never believe it if you are going by this logic.
Here are some signs it is time to get support:
-written by student intern
Mental health is often stigmatized and treated like a secret no one must know about. It is just as important as physical health, and many people are affected by it personally, or know someone that has been affected. We can no longer put a hello-kitty band-aid on a wound that needs stitches. Internal pain that is dismissed gets worse over time, and it is not going to get better without the proper treatment, attention, care, and resources.
We talk about mental health because someone needs to know they are not alone. We talk about it because it is a silent killer whose signs and symptoms are ignored too often. We talk about mental health because it is not a fairy tale someone made up for attention. We are talking about life and death. A physical health problem gets treatment as soon as it is recognized. Likewise, if caught early, serious problems involving mental health can be avoided. A person diagnosed with stage 1 cancer does not wait until it is stage 4 to get treatment. A person suffering with mental health may not get this immediate treatment and may be afraid to speak up in fear of rejection, resentment or being seen differently.
Unfortunately, society does not do a good job portraying these issues and it is best understood by someone whose dealt with them first-hand to speak out. This can be as simple as greeting someone and asking, “How are you?” If they say good or fine, respond with the question, “Are you really?” Listen to them. This is the start of acknowledgment and acceptance. We talk about mental health because together we can break the stigma.
(written by BRR intern)
Whether we struggle with an eating disorder, addiction, or any other issues involving mental health, there is always hope for recovery. During recovery, or even after, it can be tempting to make our lives exactly how it was before. Though this may not happen, we can successfully manage our symptoms to where they do not rule over our lives. Here are 5 ways to live beyond rules:
2. Take off the shades of negativity
On a bright sunny day, you might be tempted to put on sunglasses. After all, they do protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, and then they are taken off when your eyes are safe from harm. Our negative ways of thinking may have been a way of coping in the past. They helped then, but in a place of recovery you are safe.
3. Be your closest friend
Treat yourself like you would a close friend. Anything you say to yourself imagine saying it to them. Name a person that is completely perfect. We are all human; give yourself grace. Grace is not earned; it is freely given despite accomplishments. You are not alone, you are understood, heard, and here for a reason. Make each day purposeful. Sometimes we feel like every day is a fight to survive. I understand this battle too well, let us both decide to live long enough to find our joy in life.
4. Live fully
Do not limit yourself based on what others say about you, or what you say about yourself. Try new things. Try Traveling, a new recipe, or activity. Maybe try something you have never done before like swimming with dolphins, getting a massage, ziplining, or trying out a float spa?
5. Reach out
Recovery is a tough battle, and it is hard to fight alone. Whatever the battle is, there is hope. Hope is for “Hold On Pain Ends.” We are well worth recovering. It is important to get a support person that can help hold us accountable when we are not able to. We can, and we will win this fight together.
I am a fighter.
No matter how tired I am at night
I get up in the morning ready to face the day.
Life wasn't always like that.
There were so many days that I was exhausted 24/7.
And even when I did go to sleep, I didn't sleep.
Then, when the morning came, the only thing I wanted was for the day to be over.
Those days, filled with so much misery and dread tested me to my limits.
I don't know why I was never successful with the times I tried to end my life or even why or how my body sustained such terrible treatment, neglect, and punishment I put myself through.
Yet my heart continued to tick every second and bring me to a time that I was ready to embrace life, deal with the crap, and move forward.
Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living.
Well so is falling down.
But falling down isn't the important part as humans.
We are trained to focus on the falling down when what we really should focus on is getting back up.
Maybe we fell down 1,000 times, yet we got up 1,001 times.
You can't learn without falling
So that means you can't live without falling.
Stop shaming yourself for all those falls because you wouldn't be living now without them.
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.