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Thursday, December 23, 2010


This is my help blog that I mentioned in my story blog. Wait, before I get anywhere with this, I want to let you know that i am NOT posting a pro-ana blog right now. And if you are one of those people who visit pro-ana sites, please stop. You are not only hurting yourself, but your loved ones and other girls struggling with an eating disorder. Anyways, back to the subject. As you may already know, there are an infinite number of struggles that an eating disorder can cause in all other factors of life. Harsh as this sounds, you must remember that it is NOT your fault! Treat it as if it were cancer! Although we have little control over our ED at the start, we still have some. Not much, but a scrap of it. And this is where we have to take it into our own hands, as well as having support from a nutritionist, therapist, and loved ones around you.

You see, all you really want is control. We have just been driven to express that want through diet and exercise. This may take a while to accept, but....think of that little piece of you that is capable of counteracting your ED as your control. When I heard this at first, I was like "Pff! Total BS! It's not nearly the same thing!" I can guarantee you that almost all of you out there feel the same way. Honestly, at first, it’s really not rewarding. But you can NOT stop there and give up. You MUST keep your eyes on the prize at the end. Alas, of course, the ending comes with at least one sur'prize' that is undesirable (to put it very lightly): yeah, that great thing (gulp) weight gain. We feel like this is how we measure our worth, how valuable our existence is, and that being the skinny girl in your group of friends is the end-all be-all, and it is the only thing that makes you unique. This is the one thing I still struggle with the most. To keep yourself motivated while you are still in a very sick, just-starting-out part of recovery, I suggest planning out a possible life after the ED. Example:
  • What will you be doing as a hobby?
  • Who will you be friends with?
  • Where are you going to work, or are you going to volunteer?*
  • What will you be studying?
  • Who will your significant other be, if you don't already have one? What is his/her personality like? What do they look like? What do they have in common with you?
  • Where will you most often spend your time, other than your house? (I don't recommend saying "the gym")
  • What will your lifestyle be like? Busy/relaxed? Socially active/independent? Family/just you and your husband?
  • What silly things would you like to do, just for the heck of it?
  • Who in your life will you be closest to?
  • Will you own any pets?
  • Will you donate to a specific charity?
  • Are you going to get your name out there and get MORE than your 15 minutes of fame?
  • What does your dream, renovated house look like?
  • Where will you love to shop the most?
  • What are some goals you would like to achieve?
  • Would you like to get into any sports?(For fun and accomplishment and learning life lessons, not for the purpose of losing weight)
  • If you plan on having children or pets, what would their names be?
  • What would you like your yard to look like?
  • What category of life do you see yourself becoming strong in: art, music, dance, sports and rec, business, government, acting, fashion, cooking, etc.?
  • Would you write any books?
  • What is an achievable big dream of yours that you have always had in the back of your mind, but have not put any effort into?
  • What will your sleep routine be like?
  • Is there any material item in the world that you desperately want?
  • What is your car going to be like?
  • What colors will you paint your house?
  • How would you redecorate?
  • Will you plant a tree?
  • What stocks will you invest in?
  • In what bank account do you see yourself saving the most money (retirement, savings, college, etc.)?
  • What will you speak out passionately about?
  • What is going to make you stand out from the crowd?
  • Where would you like to travel?
  • Will you play an instrument?
  • If you are young, where will you go to college?
  • Do you plan on becoming an entrepreneur?
  • Are you going to broaden your vocabulary?
  • Are you going to read a book that the world has raved about, but you never read?
  • And the list goes on and on…
Describe, in all aspects of life, what your new life will be like. I know the effort recovery requires may not seem worth it at all, but it is! Ask any recovered bulimic or anorexic, and they will tell you the same. We aren’t lying. Anyway, back to helping y’all out; this is an acronym that used to help me a lot and give me a lot of suggestions for coping with extreme anxiety. It is used in the term “Wise Mind ACCEPTS”. Here it is:
Pushing away
                This acronym is part of DBT (dialectal behavioral therapy) and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). How can you use each one of these techniques to distract yourself from anxiety-provoking thoughts?
Activities: Do anything that makes you happy, but is not harmful. Go for a walk, draw, spend time with a pet or young children, dance, sing, call a friend, whatever. The most helpful activities tend to be the ones that take you out of the house, because it can help you feel even less trapped and bottled up. Make your own list of activities that are helpful to you. To get some ideas, go to this link:
Contributing: Participate in volunteer activities. Go to a nursing home, pick up trash, donate to charity, tutor, or babysit.
Comparing: Well… Be very careful about how you approach this, and I am going to present this as gingerly as possible. Many sources say that you can make yourself feel better by looking at those who aren’t doing as well as you in their recovery. But, in the case of an eating disorder, we compare with those sicker than us and tell ourselves “I need to be more like them. They are better at their eating disorder than me. I am weaker and lower in status because I am progressing more than they are.” So we deliberately drive ourselves downhill. But if you know that comparing helps you, then, heck, go ahead.
Emotions: The objective here is to counteract a negative emotion that you’re feeling with something that projects an opposite emotion. Example: Furious? Go for a drive down a rural quiet and pop in that relaxing spa CD. Feeling anxious? Do some yoga, talk to someone, watch a funny movie, or squeeze something really hard. You get the point. Although, sometimes just letting your feelings loose and getting them out can be helpful, too.
Pushing Away: Try to block a lingering, painful situation for a while. There are many guided imagery techniques associated with this. Some include: building a wall between you and the situation, placing the situation in a box and pushing it off a cliff with all your strength, and cleaning up a room, putting all the strewn objects back into the places where they belong.
Thoughts: Replace your troublesome thoughts with other (more positive or distracting) ones. Try counting things, such as stars, floor tiles, etc. (Note: for those of you who suffer from OCD, counting may not be right for you.) Or, do an activity that requires plenty of focus, such as brain teasers, crosswords, Sudoku, word searches, card games, etc.
Sensations: Giving yourself a sudden sensation can help to bring you out of your trance of pain. It can be calming and pleasant, such as petting an animal, feeling a soft blanket, playing with play-doh, silly putty or clay, and rubbing in lotion. Or, for a shocking, wake-up sensation; try an ice pack on your neck, blasting the radio, taking a hot or cold shower, snapping a rubber band on your wrist, tickling your feet, splashing your face with cold water, cracking your knuckles, neck or back, or put something really minty or spicy in your mouth.
Well that’s all the advice I have for now. But more will come eventually. Follow me! o->< J

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