Category Archives: Inner Harvest

Inner Harvest: April 16

I can treat myself well, whatever the scale reports.

“How thin is thin enough? What do I have to weigh in order to be acceptable?”

“These are questions we ask when we realize we may be endangering our physical and emotional health in an attempt to conform to what we think is ideal.

Our society extols slenderness, and some of us have made it our number-one goal.

Yes, we want to be fit and attractive, but we are discovering  there is much more to life than external appearance and numbers on a scale. As we learn to eat for health, we put aside obsession with weight and allow ourselves to develop new interests.

Our program directs our attention away from weight toward the building of a rich and spiritual life. Once we commit ourselves to an appropriate food plan we can let our body make its own adjustments gradually while we get on with the rest of life. We can be kind and patient with ourselves in our progress toward recovery.

I will take care of myself today and let my food plan take care of my weight.

There were a few things that stuck out, distinctively from this daily reading. The first is that I have totally forgotten about reading my meditations for the day. Especially, my Inner Harvest readings because they are geared toward eating disorders and have practical motivational affirmations or self-directions that will move me toward recovery.

And while it’s been a bumpy month with my eating disorder, I do want to be free of it, it’s just not a quick fix. Now dealing with my trauma and my, cough cough, sexual assault (still feel off saying that), the eating disorder has become extremely active, mostly in the past week to two weeks.

I’m not proud of this, but I am human. Its hard to stop a behavior that works in the moment. But then it becomes so blurred and the next thing I know, I have immediately become obsessed with my body. Again, it IS understandable, and as my therapist would say, it makes sense.

But, it’s not an easy thing to accept that, hey, I have an eating disorder still, I’m not recovered and I’m struggling right now. Yeah, that sucks. And the tighter the grips get, the further away I become from progress.

So, I guess the first part that is difficult with this is: My name is Anonymous, and I have an eating disorder. Yeah, just check back with me tomorrow when I’m back to acting like I don’t have a problem, and that it’s just a memory of a problem.

Okay, second thing I took from this reflection is the simple fact that I totally don’t have a meal plan. I don’t have my intake planned out, and I don’t tell on myself with this. I get away with it. No bueno.

The last thing I realized is probably the positive in this post: I’d like to emphasize the part about getting on with life. As I’ve had strong moments in my eating disorder recovery, I have found that goals surface where food used to be. My entire direction for my life has changed and I’m trying to take steps to get to where I want to be. I have “dream” job ideas now, and I have desires, and hopes. And the biggest one right now, that would really make me feel oh, so good inside, is getting a new job and living in my new community.

At least now I know what I want to do with my life. The eating disorder masked that, took away my dreams and ambitions. At least I have that going for me right now. I just realize through this, though, that I have been asking myself these questions of: How thin is too thin, and when is it enough because my emotional and physical are at risk if i can’t get out of this set back.

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Inner Harvest-March 20: We can practice forgiveness each day

“In the interest of recovery, in my own best interest, I can continue to forgive each day. I may not be able to forgive the person once and for all, but I can do it right now, just for today. With practice, who knows? Perhaps the resentment will disappear.

When I remember that my track records are far from perfect, I realize that I could use some daily forgiveness too. Both from others, and from myself.”

‘ Just for now, I can let go of resentments and forgive. If resentments come back, I can forgive again.’

Today’s reading in Inner Harvest was all about forgiveness. The hardest part for me is not forgiving others, but having the forgiveness happen inside, of myself. There are many things in my life that I have done that I would like to change (God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change) but I simply cannot. There are experiences that pain me, make me shake, want to throw up that is no longer in the dark closet.

But now, it’s the practice that I cannot grasp, of feeling that inner peace, knowing that it can be forgiven. I’ve prayed, surrendered, begged, “confessed” so to speak. Perhaps I am impatient. I want the healing to be done and over with, but I keep going back to this idea of “walking around with open wounds” and it is true. Wounds take time to heal, with the right people, right support, right love, right “compassion”, and a lot of courage to make the right choices today, and now (the courage to change the things that I can).

Last night at my AA meeting, the discussion seemed to surround the topic of prayer. I have prayed more in my life this past week, than ever. And I have to practice patience. Perhaps if for today, when I feel that anger or that guilt and shame, I can try, as hard as I can, to let it go for that moment, each time it comes up… oh, and continue praying of course.

Inner Harvest-March 5: “Our effectiveness comes from within”

“Whatever we do, we will do it best when we are whole. Recovering from an eating disorder means knitting together the parts of ourselves that were separated and in conflict. We fought ourselves about what we ate, and out inner conflicts spilled over into our outward behavior.

When we give the warring elements within a chance to be heard and healed, we can stop fighting and get on with the business of living constructively. When we fill our bodies, minds, and hearts with the good things we need–rest, proper nutrition, satisfying work, loving and caring–our effectiveness grows.

We have a unique contribution to make. The further we get from food addiction, the closer we come to being the effective, well-integrated person we are meant to be.”

“Today, I will take steps to become a more whole person.”

I guess it is interesting that this is my reading for today. I feel like Ih ave so many pieces shattered everywhere and I don’t know how to put them back together. But some of the suggestions in this, living wholly, is a good thing to think about. What can I do today to help me get through, just today?

I will reach out, be in touch with my therapist, a few members from group. I will try and focus on just leaving work as work, maybe try and use it as a distraction. I will pray and think about how to tackle all of this.

I really need to figure out how I am going to heal from everything, how to push forward, dig in the dirt, do some weeding, so the flower can grow. It’s just painful, I guess. But for today, I will focus on how to make today as livable and manageable as possible.

 

Feb. 29-The Promise of a New Day: Patience

Patience is a particular requirement. Without it, you can destroy in an hour what it might take you weeks to repair.” -Charlie W. Shedd

‘Enjoying the moment, in its fullest, makes possible a patient and peaceful pace. Progress is guaranteed if our minds are centered, in the present, on the only event deserving of our attention. We can be certain that error and frustration will haunt us if our attention is divided.

Patience will see us through a troubled time, but how much easier it is to savor patience when it’s accompanied by faith. We know and fully trust that all is well-that our lives are on course-that individual experiences are exactly what we need at this moment. However, faith makes the knowing easier and the softness of a patient heart eases us through the times of challenge and uncertainty.”

“Patience slows me down long enough to notice another, and to be grateful for gifts of the moment. Patience promises me the power to move forward with purpose. Today’s fruits will be in proportion with my patience.”

Waiting for tomorrow is my first act of patience, for I always want to look ahead to “tomorrow’s” meditation reading. However, I chose not to peek to tomorrow in both The Promise of  a New Day and Inner Harvest. I will enjoy them tomorrow when I start off my day.

Hmm… patience. That’s a tricky one. I have found that one of my biggest struggles, right now, is my fear of lacking in growth and wanting to see the end. I am often afraid that I am going to go through all the pain of recovery to find that there is nothing on the other side.

But I totally believe that I need to work on my patience. I had been asked to reflect on how I am “getting better” or growing. I will post that list as well on a separate post.

I want to push through and get past the painful pieces of my recovery and because I am only in the beginning, almost every day hurts. I’m dealing with the emotions I’ve stuffed down for a majority of my life.

I guess I am experiencing growing pains. I will reread this post in the morning because I like the message and will apply patience to the remainder of my night and tomorrow morning. I will pray for patience.

Some new and refocused goals

Coming around my second month in this new approach to recovery, which is definitely working and it’s hard to see that off and on, especially these past two weeks, I think I need to focus on some goals for this week to keep me moving.

  • Thoroughly write out a daily schedule to keep to every week
  • Meditate and journal 5 to 10 minutes every morning
  • Daily gratitude list
  • Daily pick-up around the house to keep clean, orderly and organized
  • Check in daily with my support system
  • Prayer/Bible reading daily 5 to 10 minutes
  • Start running again, five minutes in the morning
  • AA meeting every day (as long as schedule allows) If not, check in daily with my AA family regardless
  • Do step or AA reading 5 to 10 minutes daily

Feb. 18-Inner Harvest: Recovery never stops-There is always room for growth

“When is it over? When do we say, “Okay, now I’m well, so I can sit back and be recovered?”

Fortunately, we never arrive at that point. There is no finish line for emotional and spiritual growth. As human beings, we are continually evolving and becoming –getting better. Our lives are not static. We are constantly confronted with new challenges, which stretch us to further develop our potential. In order not to slip back, we must continue to move forward.

And that’s what makes life interesting and exciting. Now we are awake and aware, we can see possibilities that probably never occurred to us when we were controlled by our eating disorder.

One stage leads to another in our development as a caring, sensitive, productive individual. We can always learn to be more tolerant, humble, gracious, sincere, loving, courageous, generous, honest and integrated. Growth is what recovery is all about.

May I continue to work on recovering.

I have a lot to say about this reading today. It’s been a while since I have done my daily readings, so I make it a goal to schedule my daily reading, journaling and meditation every day at some point.

This reading is truth that needed to be heard for a while. Just yesterday, I was so frustrated with the concept that I was not getting better. I kept thinking about how I felt like everyone else was away, getting better, recovering and I was stuck, still sick and left behind.

In all actuality, I think I needed the reminder that growth is a process. I always want to grow but sometimes I get so impatient that I interpret the impatience as failure and not recovered.

I have 51 days of sobriety and came to the acceptance and understanding that I was, in fact an alcoholic. And 52 days ago, I was in a blackout, “partying” but in reality, I was aiding in the destruction of my life and progress.

I’ve come to greatly reduce my symptom use. I have had a bad week regarding my eating disorder, but it’s manageable.

I am honest, and expressing things that I feel when I have been wronged. It’s not perfect, but at least I am saying something. I guess I will revisit the facts of how I am getting better.

The day I can say I am recovered is the day that I have gone without symptom use, I’m still sober and a healing has happened allowing me to be able to Let Go and Let God, for good, not looking back.

Us addicts, alcoholics, disordered eaters, need to always remember that we can be clean from engagement of poor behaviors, but if there is not change, there is no growth… no growth, no life.

Today I commit to taking it one minute at a time. I am not where I was before. I am getting better, just slowly. I think it’s better that way. Although the impatience makes me want to rush, the truth is that I shouldn’t get better to fast, because I want to get better for good.

I’m not sure I believe everything I am saying here, but I believe the message and concept. So, I’ll guard my sobriety and continue taking steps to recover from an eating disorder.

When I am recovered from my addiction and eating disorder, then I can recover in life and continue to grow as an individual… but that is a different type of recovery I like to call as living.

So I don’t slip back, no matter what my setbacks, I’ll keep moving forward and recovering.

Inner Harvest Reading-January 30: The answers may be simple, but they’re not always easy

“We pray for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference. Even when we know the difference, accepting and changing my not be easy to do.

There may be “givens” in our current situation that we don’t like but must live with. We may be faced with the serious illness of a family member. Or we may realize that it’s necessary to relocate to keep our job. We may need to change some things — to leave unfulfilling jobs or to arrange to spend more time with our family.

The answers to our problems may be simple–accept this, change that– but when it comes to implementing these answers, we may need help. That’s when we call on the inner strength we build each day during our times of prayer and meditation.”

‘Today, I will seek a renewed supply of serenity. courage, and wisdom.’

It is very easy to be afraid when truth starts to show itself. I know this meditation reading is from yesterday, but it is relevant to current issues right now, that started yesterday. Remember, I have a very ah-ha Higher Power, so never be surprised by irony in my life and the messages I receive.

I’ve written before about why I go to Alcoholics Anonymous. I always said I had a “drinking problem.” No fucking doubt, I am  substance abuser. But when the idea was raised that there is a chance I really am an alcoholic, something inside shut off. I cried and walked away in fear. I am not sure if I was comfortable announcing in AA meetings “I am an alcoholic and addict” because I was always substituting drugs, food and alcohol because of my drug-is a drug-is a drug theory. I knew I had a drinking problem, but I wasn’t an alcoholic.

I started reflecting on my time spent on drinking. While I was not a day in-day out drinker, the amount I consumed when I was drinking was heavy-duty. I could out drink almost everyone. I do believe that the only reason I was not drinking daily was because I had been in and out of the AA rooms for the past, at least, six months.

Had I not been in AA at all, ever, I am almost certain my drinking would escalate. But when I would drink, towards the end of my drinking and the beginning of my abstinence, I would drink so much I would black out. I’d finish off the bottle of vodka or finish drinking the beer, because the rule was, you can’t leave anything full.

I knew that as soon as I would have one drink, I was desperate to keep going. I would even engage in my bulimic behavior so I would not get sick from the alcohol and could keep drinking, deepening my drunken state. I felt guilt the next day. Blacking out was new to me… but this was only a couple of times a week, some times only a few times a month when I would “go off the wagon”. So, I couldn’t be an alcoholic, right? Of course, there were times I called out of work because I was still drunk when I woke up. But when I first came to AA, it was after being drunk into the next day. Some how, I found myself into the rooms of AA.

I honestly don’t know. I spent time talking to other young alcoholics and getting their feedback. My life had definitely become unmanageable, but I thought that was because of the eating disorder. Could I have been an alcoholic in training? A mini-holic? It is not a matter of me being an alcoholic. If someone was to say to me, “You are an alcoholic” I would accept it and okay, I’m an alcoholic. The withdraw from alcohol, okay: I had become depressed off and on (but that’s another issue as well), would have anxiety, guilt, cravings for specific alcoholic beverages. Cravings for being drunk. I didn’t want to drink for the flavor of a glass of wine, I wanted to drink so I wouldn’t have to stop.

But what about when it’s unclear and I don’t know? It’s hard to accept something I don’t understand. Obviously, I don’t want to drink. I have a previous drug problem. My technical terms, I am an addict. But for some reason, being eating disordered but in a different type of disorder territory due to the recovery process, not using drugs and being sober from alcohol… how could I have any of those problems? It’s this identity and life crisis. Part of me feels that if I am not technically an alcoholic, I am lying when I am in AA during the introductions. We don’t say, “Hi, my name is ___ and I am a substance abuser”. But then, if I am an alcoholic, I need the program. Hell, I need the program for many reasons. Just ready my post: “They said “Keep coming back”: My past 6 months in Alcoholics Anonymous and why I kept coming back.

I was so desperate for answers last night that I drove for an hour to make the last 30 minutes of an AA meeting. Needing those answers was a signal that I know something deep down. Another person said to me deep down inside, I probably know the answer but it’s hard to accept because accepting that I am an alcoholic and addict means numerous things, besides just abstinence and sobriety. Another said to me, “normal drinkers don’t question if they are alcoholic”. This whole process, going into AA was to stay sober to focus on recovery from an eating disorder. What I didn’t know was that I was going to learn through becoming sober and eating again that maybe I am an alcoholic.

Maybe I know the answer but it’s not an easy thing to accept so I keep trying to find reasons to not fit into the category of an alcoholic. If I am just a problem drinker or alcohol abuser, I can fix the problem and have control when I am older. I still don’t know the answer 100% and need help figuring this out between alcohol abuser and alcoholic. But if a drug-is a drug- is a drug— the answer isn’t easy. Acceptance may be the answer, but acceptance of what?