I write this post to explain the healing philosophy of my dear guide, that I blindly trust.
After so many frustration and disappointments with all conventional kinds of therapies accessible in the “mainstream” treatment system, I had the immense luck to come across her Instagram account, and my heart told me she would be the one to open my eyes, my heart, my mind.
I think that my previous treatments failed is because I didn’t get involved. I didn’t believe in them.
The problem was boiled down to food and weight. Thus the solution given was regular weighting, a meal plan, some cheat-chat with a therapist.
I was obedient. I followed each plan. Until I would be obsessed with it. My need for control and calculation was being fed by the therapy itself, and more and more weird behaviours started to become part of my ritualised life.
Not they, nor I, ever listened to my body. My emotions, my feelings, my soul, didn’t exist. My mind was left behind, for later, once my weight was a “recovered one”.
Why waiting to take care of the roots of the problem, and just focusing on the external part?
For 10 years, I failed. I was always below the recovery weight. I gave up, thinking that maybe that is just how I was. I got used to it, and in the end I didn’t even see it that bad. I managed to convince myself it was normal. I was guilty, but I deserved all this shame.
Being anorexic was the punishment for being this awful person that was still thriving on Earth.
I had anorexia. I was a chronic disease. My life kept going on, cut in half.
I never thought I could recover. Until that day I came across Vero.
Vero brought to me a holistic approach to my recovery, and to my whole experience of life.
I was skeptical in the beginning. Me breathing? Me meditating? Me taking things slowly? Me forgetting about meal plans and rules?
That didn’t sound like me.
But I am. We all are. We all can be more connected with our body, mind and soul. We all should, because a holistic approach is the key to recovery, and to life.
My mind is creating my reality.
I am learning to observe my thoughts, before they build up feelings and emotions, and before they become obsessions.
Paradoxically, we are not flushing them, nor changing them. It is much simpler than that! I am learning the mind do its job, which is to flow. I am starting to rest in the flow of experience.
Yes. It is already happening, also in you!
See!… There is the cloud of sadness, wiped by the breathe of joy. And when you notice it, you see the clear sky. And then a storm comes: “You retarded L., you dropped that glass! You don’t deserve to drink your coffee anymore.“
I accept it. I inhale, I see the thought still in the air. I exhale, I see the thought flowing already in the distance.
It is when we embrace stillness that things come to the surface. And only then we can let them go.
Chilling and breathing… that takes courage. There are very few people in this world who are brave enough to be still.
If you can control your nervous system response, you can overcome your greatest fears. It is true for any situation in life, but so very effective for mental health issues.
Vero has also taught me that only accepting my Eating Disorder will I be able to see it as an experience that arrived to my life, and not as a spell that will forever be by me.
I am not my Eating Disorder.
It has accompanied me for half of my life and in that time I have accomplished a lot.
It is true that I only had a half-life, that I missed many celebrations, I lost people, even myself.
But I am finding me again. And my eating disorder, just as anything else that has happened, is part of my story. I can’t delete it. Only flushing it away would it be a truly useless experience. How can I not learn from it?
No matter how low or awful you feel, no matter the volume of the noises in my head, no matter the terror going on, the self-doubt, the worry, the I’m not good enough, the I’ll be fat… it’s all a lesson. It is an opportunity to see beyond, because everything means something. There is always a chance-to turn it around, make it matter. To make it ours.
I am also learning to eat food, not labels, nor numbers.
Today we have too much information on everything, food included. There is a whole set of rules in the society about what is and when should be eaten.
When Vero first talked to me about mindful eating, I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t. How could I trust my body or listen to my stomach? I wasn’t even aware they were still there.
I was nor ready to eat mindfully. Restriction would come to trap me once more. I needed my plan. I want to gain weight! How could it be the time to let it go?
But I was only lying to myself. When are we ready to ready to complete from an eating disorder? There will always be that hypnotic voice saying: “WAIT“.
If there is now thing I have been deprived of is self-confidence, because the eating disorder voice is always there to make me feel safe and comfortable. Believing in me, taking care of myself, can only make him weaker. It is always time for that.
I am discovering the whole eating experience again. I am free to choose and this freedom comes with awareness and responsibility. The choice comes in the moment of mindfulness, when my anxious mind opens space to my body and my stomach, and I become aware of their needs and cravings.
I play and enjoy with food. I care about its colours and I dream with its smells. I go to the local market, I imagined the stories behind each bite I bring to my mouth.
I have given up calorie counting, food weighting. I have substituted it with much more fun, and my dishes have become tiny pieces of art. I nourish my body, but also my mind and my soul.
I have discovered the lightness of freedom.
I have learnt that happiness has an unexpected taste.
Freedom from anorexia is knowing that I have and will always have a mental illness, but remembering that I have the power to manage it and to prepare for it, never allowing it to seep into a dominant position in my brain again.
There is a problem, but also a solution lying within me.
I only need to be gentle, compassionate, creative, curious and flexible.
I am strong. I am determined. I am a warrior.
Thank you Vero, for believing in me, and taking me, hand by hand.
“People measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is… nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance