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Recovery Tip Tuesday: Spirituality

Welcome to Recovery Tip Tuesday, a weekly update about a skill that’s worked for me in ED recovery.*

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Spirituality.  Why is everyone so afraid of it?  Maybe because we’ve seen those religious extremists who’ve taken it way too far.  Or maybe it’s because the word “God” (Dun-dun-DAH) is involved in it.  Or maybe it’s because self-help groups which claim spirituality as its base struck us as cult-like.  Either way, I personally find it unfortunate that some shy away from this, because your spirituality or God could be a can of tomato soup.

What do I mean?  Well, let me give you an example.  Right after treatment, I worked a job in Harvard Square at an upscale boutique.  I took the T home daily, and got off at Davis Square.  I had been feeling pretty lonely, and fairly lost, because of my recent necessity to quit my regular job to attend treatment.  One day, I had gotten off the T, and all of a sudden, time seemed to slow down.  I noticed everyone around me, walking, running home, all doing and participating in the same thing.  All humans, just trying to achieve the same simple goals, of making enough money to survive or thrive and to be able to enjoy life with their loved ones.

And I, suddenly, felt connected.  Because I was doing the same thing:  I was part of a whole.

And that’s spirituality to me.  That feeling of connectedness that hits you unexpectedly, rendering you ever so present, aware, mindful, and humble.

And connectedness kills eating disorders.  EDs thrive in isolation.

That day was groundbreaking to me, because it reminded me I would never be alone, even if I was alone.  Who knows why it happened – maybe it was some higher power, or maybe, because I was finally feeding my body, my mind was able to be totally and beautifully present.

And I now attempt to utilize it daily.  I’m not perfect, but I try.  When I try to make the right choices about food, I remind myself I’m not alone.  That if others who went before me could trust that eating full meals everyday worked and didn’t make me fat, so could I.  I remind myself that if I need to stop a behavior, I can call someone or pray.  Yes, that scary word, pray.  (To me, prayer is as simple as a dialectical skill, a pause between a feeling and an action, so it’s not that scary anymore.)

What is your form of spirituality, if you have one?  Is it connecting to nature?  Is it healthy exercise?  What other recovery strategies have worked for you?

 

*  What worked for me may not work for you!  So proceed at your own risk.

(Image provided by adaliaconfidenceandsuccessblog.)

4 thoughts on “Recovery Tip Tuesday: Spirituality

  1. This is such a beautiful post! I’m still attempting to figure out my take on religion, but I do agree with you wholeheartedly about being a part of a community. That was one of the lifelong goals that I laid down for myself the summer before college: to be a part of something larger than myself.

    My form of spirituality, at this point in my life, is blogging. (Which may sound a little premature, given that I’ve only been blogging for a short while!) Blogging has connected me to people who have gone through the same exact things I have, and the support and love I’ve received from the community is so incredible. But blogging also allows me to help other people who are going through the same things that I went through, and that, I think, is even more incredible. I received an email the other day that brought me to tears because of how touched the reader was by my blog, and how she finally felt like she was no longer alone. It was an amazing moment.

    1. Thank you! I think it’s awesome blogging has connected you to others, and be proud that you inspired someone so much – that is awesome 🙂

  2. Sometimes I recite parts of prayers or bible verses I’ve heard over the years to distract myself from negative thoughts. I also write “Dear God” entries to God on my private blog. Ever since a few weeks ago I’ve had an amazing spiritual awakening and it has opened my eyes to how soothing talking to God can be.

    1. That’s great! Yeah, I at times have no idea what God is, but talking to him still works. Glad you can identify!

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