Tonight I am thinking with gratitude about having not been beaten down by my recent slip and the truth is, it is inspiring to me. I am hoping that I can spread some of what this experience is.
Listen, please to this:
to me one important recent lesson has been about extracting from what is available to me the help that I need. I no longer have the support of a caring therapist, and nobody is going to save me, and I don't need them to. There is support, in life. And there is ... well ... there are pieces of music like this one, which seem to say "This hellish wood has been clawed through before. You're not alone." I think that it is important to be open to what is available. When the person in front of you doesn't understand, or makes it worse, to begin to build strength at knowing that doesn't mean support isn't out there. I think one of the most important things that I do now, that I never used to do, is to be understanding of the terror or whatever other emotion it is that I fall familiarly back into, enough to say "ok, fine, so what do I need to get out?" It's kind of like being accepting, but unstuck from the emotion. I once sat in the basement of our community centre reading a thread of inspiring quotations until I found myself able to go upstairs and order lunch - the difference between eating lunch and staying on track with recovery, and slipping further into patterns that only get worse. All this talk about how to connect to and use the song and I am hardly talking yet about what magic lies in it!
Or maybe I am ...
So, I did slip. And I didn't spiral. I want anyone who doubts it to believe that this can be done. I am clawing my way up through this hell, and with each time I'm unsteady it is less hopeless, less is lost, I am more protected. The thing is - and this is where the content of the song relates to my side rant about being open to inspiration - we are so powerful. It is simply true, this uncomplicated and totally f**king difficult thing to learn, that within us there is the power to change our realities. I think that although it is definitely the case that eating disorder recovery is one of the most monumentally difficult things that a person can face, truly, simply, that power, that choice, that change, is open to us when we are open to it. I think that's one of the hardest parts, that shift, but it's simple at the same time. Imagine triggering yourself with hope and reassurance and beauty and really, really being committed to that truth, instead of sinking into the old things you triggered yourself with?
Unbelievably hard as it is, in part, it is that simple, I think...
Sigh. Both things are true.
It's true, or I wouldn't have been able to move forward again from a place that quickly cascaded in about 30 seconds into the most hellish kinds of thoughts again. But I did. I'm back to the real reality, the new reality, instead of the fear one. It's new territory for me... bear with me, I am still a little amazed.
Anyway. I hope this song is a crack of light for you right now and that you are reminded of the persistence within you, and you keep going.
I think this is why I'm inspired by and believe so much in this blog, for instance, or more broadly in the dialogue of eating disorder recovery. I think it is stellar that we can be inspired by each other. So, in the spirit of the gratitude I am feeling right now I feel like thanking you for participating, by reading, in the kind of inspiring that has moved me this far through the hell, to the point of being able to more and more run on my own steam, so to speak - and to use sources of fuel like artists like Leonard Cohen in real ways. Not just hearing them and knowing they're true and being disconnected. Being open to the fact that there is an infinity of possibility that is open to whoever will dare to be that connected, fueled and fierce.
What fuels you? Where do you seek it out? How do you turn your mind to the approach of seeking it out, rather than being too scared to open up for fear there's nothing to reassure you...?
I'm still figuring that out ...
Thanks for reading. Sorry for being late.