What if I told you it’s in your mind? An invalidating statement if I’ve ever heard one (which I have) but my intentions are good, I promise.
Hear me out….
There’s nothing out there that can change the life you live, challenges you face, and happiness you seek. No part, school, program, or scholarship will make you more, better or good enough. Going on pointe or not going on pointe you’re still the same. You’re you, that can’t change.
The acceptance and love for yourself and who you are is waiting for you in your body. Always has been, always will. You aren’t going to find yourself outside of yourself. No person, place or thing can fulfill the longing to be whole. Period.
The answer is in your mind.
You can have everything: job, car, boyfriend or girlfriend, talent, fame, hair and nails; and be totally miserable.
It won’t bring true happiness because you still hate yourself.
At first, I found self searching the, “You have the strength inside you”, “Your heart is your greatest companion”, or “ Just stop and listen to the soul”; a bunch of mumbo jumbo.
A little hocus-pocus if you ask me. (Color me cynical)
Searching takes energy, and at the moment you might be laying in bed, or standing in front of the toilet, or sitting on the floor with a sharp object.
The last thing you want to do is look inward because that’s where the demons live.
Demon’s of pain and agony are trapped inside your mind, your heart, your stomach. Maybe that’s why you’re not hungry; there’s no room.
But there’s hope… don’t worry. I won’t leave you like this.
The demons don’t belong there. They were born from a lie you are holding onto; it’s killing you.
The demons–let’s call them negative thoughts– are taking up too much space in your mind that could be filled by something else. They’ve hijacked you, and don’t want to leave.
So, what do you do?
You could release them, talk to your treatment team, take the medication….or you can dance with your demons.
Are you willing to let go? I can’t let go. Are you willing to risk, and take the biggest step towards eating disorder recovery? Maybe.
You have the power. It’s your life. But it doesn’t feel that way.
It’s all in your mind. I’m scared.
Let’s take the next step. Okay
Disclaimer: There are people out there that can help you through this process..it’s scary I know. I’ve been there.
Take a chance, you won’t regret it!
What would your life look like without your eating disorder?
A loaded question; I know.
Instead, let us start with something simple.
Do you have a morning routine? I’m not talking about get up, brush teeth, hair, get a drink of water….yada, yada, yada…..
More like a thought routine-thoughts that pop into your mind the moment sleep fades and awareness opens its eyes.
For example: What will I do for myself today? I can do this! I am excited to see what today holds! It may be tough but I have overcome so much already. Shut up, Ed!
Or is it more like: Oh no, not again…! I will breath in and out until I can go back to bed, hide under the covers so I don’t have to see myself or think. I can stay warm and safe. Unfortunately, the world beckons me 🙁 God, is that what I really look like? I’m screwed!
Feeling inadequate and broken can be part of life ,but does not have to be your life.
It had been a part of my life since I’d met Ed when I was 17 and lost my professional ballet career; I trusted a voice that told me, “If you can just stay thin, you can hold happiness.”
Once under its spell, I became obsessed with my body, perfection, a happiness that didn’t exist because it was contingent upon a weight that wasn’t even physically possible for my body.
Such a liar.
For years it seemed recovery was a permanent uphill climb. Some said it would get easier as I grew stronger and built my recovery voice. True. The kind of truth that hurts. It hurts to admit I doubted myself almost the entire time I fought Ed, however, that didn’t stop me from fighting, falling down, getting back up and fighting some more. Just because I doubted myself, didn’t mean I was going to give up.
It takes a stubborn, determined person to recover. It also takes a stubborn, determined person to stay sick.
Life with my eating disorder meant my thought routine was jacked, warped, infected with negativity. Mornings were the worst, they were…..UGH!
Now back to my original question…
What would your life look like without your eating disorder? How would your thoughts change, relationships, routines etc…
What would you live for if you weren’t trying to be skinny?
Think about it….
My name is Amy Waddle, a former pre-professional classical ballet dancer and eating disorder survivor. I lived with an eating disorder for 18 years; the dancing with Ed years. I struggled. I failed. I survived. I won.
Since then (exactly 4 1/2 years) my life has entered a new phase what I call Dancing In Recovery. There’s a whole bunch of exciting stuff to share about that time in my life when Ed got kicked to the curb, and I got my life back. However, this isn’t the time to share it. You will hear it some day-probably in book format.
This blog is to serve as a connection to those struggling with: food, body image, dieting, perfectionism, self-doubt, weight, stress in recovery, mental health is a big one! We’ll throw some of that in there, too! The focus is for dancers, former dancers etc.
I’m always on the look out for new resources to add to my recovery repertoire. Look out for those!
There’s no way any of us can brave a new day, face our fears, be strong in our efforts to stay healthy, all on our own. I have found in my recovery from bulimia and bipolar disorder, the moment I stop reaching out is the moment I get sick, again, and again, and again. It’s just not possible for me to recover while not leaving my house, not taking my meds, not seeing my doctors, or writing in my journal. (or writing anything for that matter) Part of recovery, for me, is accepting that fact. Amy’s not super recovery woman. I tried for years until I realized recovery’s a team sport. Connection. Always feeling stronger when I’m learning and growing-not sitting still in my thoughts. That is scary.
Because I am a dancer at heart, and teach ballet time to time; I love staying connected to dancers. Part of this blog is to share what I have learned about dance, ballet in particular, and how it relates to recovery. Love, love, love talking dance. Recovery and dance go hand in hand.
And with heart, and compassion, advocacy’s the next step. Becoming an advocate has meant putting myself out into the community, speaking and sharing my story. Discovering who’s working with dancers in recovery, learning all I can about the unique lifestyles and pressures, talking with doctors, nurses, therapists, parents, teachers with experience.
Great things are happening! Would love for you to be part of it.
Follow my blog, and remember you don’t have to dance through this alone.