“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anais Nin
This quote means a lot to me. For a while, I was ready to have it tattooed across my body. Here’s a little (highly personal) insight:
Remaining tight in a bud, to me, means holding on to my eating disorder. Working at a gym for the rest of my life because it’s comfortable, easy, and will keep me in the atmosphere where the shape of my body is my main concern and that’s okay and even applauded. Eating the same foods over and over again because I consider them “safe”. Maybe keeping a food diary to “stay on track” or counting my calories in my head or on paper. Deciding that maybe I should give up chocolate, or coffee, or peanut butter, or oatmeal—whatever food I’m feeling guilt around—just for “a while”. Working out compulsively, checking my heart rate monitor for calories burnt. Waking up early and making sure I work out first thing to keep my eating disorder happy or not exercising immediately upon waking but worrying about it all day instead. Only wearing certain outfits because they’re a certain size even though I’ve got a closet full of things to wear that fit me and look good. Always working on getting better but holding on to little things that keep Ed a part of my life.
Remaining tight in a bud means giving up. There’s something to be said for being gentle with yourself, taking time in recovery, and not rushing the process, but at certain times, it’s key to remind yourself that you deserve to get better, to be recovered, to blossom.
Allowing myself to blossom means moving on. Trusting that even though things are scary, in recovery is better than sick and recovered is the best yet. Being able to tell my friends when I think they’re being silly—white bread won’t kill you, your butt does not look big in those pants, and your life will not be any better if you lose five pounds. Going out for ice cream, a drink, dinner, whatever. Sleeping in, taking a nap, or doing absolutely nothing for a few minutes every day. Baking something for a potluck and actually eating it. Getting back to hopes, goals, and dreams. Allowing yourself to want things and to go for them, even if you’re not sure if you’re going to make it—that’s the part about the risk.
Maybe today’s your day. Maybe you’re not quite there yet. When you’re ready to blossom, you’re going to realize all the little things you’ve been missing on. Maybe it’s cream in your coffee. Reading a novel when you “should” be reading a textbook. Sleeping in when you could be at a spin class.
It’s all waiting for you, if you’re willing to try. There’s the toughie—willing to try means willing to fail. Recovery isn’t easy, doesn’t go in a straight path, and almost always comes only after a few “failures” and big lessons that you can only learn by doing.
After you allow yourself those little things, you’ll start to get to the big things. Discovering what you like and want for yourself. Finding and connecting with people you love. Finding your calling and following your heart.
Trust me, recovery is worth the risk!
*I realize that this is a little…deeper…than a picture of what I ate for breakfast. I also am really inspired by Jenni Schaefer’s presentation yesterday (which I went to with two good friends, thank you for the support folks) and I know that being open and writing are two ways that I can help. For some people, talking about E.D. is next to impossible. If I can help at least one person realize something along their way, or if blogging about this whole process helps me (which it does), it’s worth it.*