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Death, taxes, and curveballs

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:51pm
I think that everyone who is recovered, or in recovery, has made some kind of serious error. Skipping breakfast because you wake up late (guilty). Deciding butter (or oil or cream cheese) is an unnecessary expense (guilty). Starting a new, hard-core exercise regime because you want to be more "toned" (guilty).

Well, you get the point.

I wanted the "perfect" recovery. I figured since I hadn't had the "perfect" eating disorder--whatever the hell that means--I needed to have the "perfect" recovery. That meant eating everything on my food plan, not a bite more, and never deviating. That meant I would never think about wanting to get sick again. I am done with you, anorexia! ::wipes hands::

Except that this isn't life, and sure ain't recovery. There will be curveballs . Ben Franklin said there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. Sorry, Ben, but there's a third: curveballs . Life isn't a straight path.

The point is to make these curveballs work for you. What can you learn? How can you make things different?

Oversleep and miss breakfast? What can you keep in the fridge/pantry to grab on your way out the door? Where is a place to pick something up?

Want to try a new workout? Can you get a friend to do it with you? Specifically a friend who knows about your eating disorder and will call you on your I-just-love-spending-30-hours-each-day-at-the-gym crap.

Slipping is one way to identify your own personal weak spots that Ed will continue to exploit, over and over and over. I used to tell myself that other people might need butter, indeed they might, but I was different. I didn't need butter. And I didn't always need breakfast.

Then I learned better. I didn't realize that one skipped meal could do me in. I didn't realize how crucial a good night's sleep was. This isn't to say "Go ahead, skip a meal! See if it affects you!" It's like the 6-year-old playing with firecrackers. Chances are, he'll survive. But he might not, and that's not something you want to chance.

Portia Nelson says it best:



I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk I fall in. I am lost ... I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place but, it isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in ... it's a habit. my eyes are open I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

What have you learned from your slips? What are you doing differently now?
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