Learning to love and respect your body is not just a part of ED recovery – it can enhance the way any person thinks about themselves. Once a week, this series will explore my own attitudes to body-loving, spread the love and wisdom of other bloggers and throw out any tips and steps I learn along the way.
There is no one reason why we are the way we are. All the fears, the little neuroses, the obsessions, the quirks, all of these are the build up of the years of tiny events that have happened in your life. When I first went into therapy, I felt pretty sure that I had one problem in life (my eating disorder) and that I knew exactly what the trigger was (a bad break up) and that once someone could tell me what to do when I felt the urge to binge (a nice quick fix if possible), I would be cured and I could start living the life I wanted to.
That was about two years ago. I have now been to enough doctors and therapist and had enough breakdowns and relapses and everything in between to know that just isn’t possible. The fact of the matter is that what happened to you happened. And trying to pinpoint a reason or assign blame as to why you find it difficult to trust others or why you have a compulsive need for perfection or why you perpetually think you will never be good enough is a futile exercise. What happened happened. The walls are built. You now need to break them down.
As part of the 12 step program I used to be in, I made a list of everyone I had harmed and everyone who hwas focusing ad harmed me. Then I had to apologise and make amends (nobody wanted anything from me and everyone was surprised that I was apologising at all.) The thing about it is that while this can be an effective program for some, it was not for me and the process didn’t help much with feeling any better about myself. What did help was forgiveness.
I had a list. I knew to some extent (therapy helped to add to this) what baggage I had been holding onto for years. I was focusing in on the last few months but in reality, I still had issues with people that I hadn’t even seen in years. So I took my list and I went through every name one by one and I forgave them. The people who had hurt me? I let it go. I sat alone in my room for about an hour and did just this. Then I went through all the horrendous things I had done myself and I forgave that too. And for the first time in a long time, I felt okay.
This is something that you can do over and over again. The only time guilt is helpful is before you do the bad thing. Maybe you might think again. Maybe you’ll learn the next time. But obsessing and damaging yourself is not helping you and its not helping anyone else.
We all fuck up. But regrets have no function except to hold you back. You learn from your mistakes and you move on.