Posts Tagged ‘helping yourself’

Letting it be

Friday, November 19th, 2010

The past few days have been much better.

Not perfect, but there have been some gaps in the clouds; and I am learning to let these, and the clouds themselves, be.

This has been the important bit that I had nearly forgotten how to do.

Sit with the discomfort for a little bit in order to acknowledge whatever’s going on and then learn that it passes.

Wedge a few crucial seconds in between thought and action so that I can think about whether I really want to do what I’m about to do.

Give the moments where I sit though the former and walk away from the latter room to breathe so that I don’t crush the good bits before they’ve had time to grow -

Let it be. 

So simple, and yet so hard when impulsivity and fear have been leading the way. 

Self Talking

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Thanks to some intensive therapy, I am now queen of self-talk; and, whilst I don’t always feel like “being positive” or “having an internal conversation”, an article last week got me thinking about just how valuable this is.

To emphasise the point, the ‘fact’ on my shampoo bottles (shampoo: “who is the person you talk to most?” / conditioner: “yourself”) have concurred to make the message heard. This is clearly a subject that I am meant to be writing about –

Self-talking is something I now do on a regular basis. It kicks in, the moment my head kicks off – and seems to work through a few key themes:


The Self Help Sceptic

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

As a self help sceptic (reformed), the irony inherent in my blog has not been missed.

If you’d given me a web address or a self help book a few years back, I’d have turned my nose straight up.

There was a certain arrogance to my eating disorder (what would they know?) that sneered at self help (like it’s that easy) and people who claimed to “understand”; an automatic scepticism towards shop brought solutions and the hollowness of a few positive words that couldn’t possibly appreciate my pain –

I might have been wrong.

Five Good Things

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

I am not great at positive affirmations and platitudes. I’ll do them – spontaneously and under a different name – but I find forced sentimentality a little nauseating…

Which is why my next strategy may come as a bit of a surprise!

‘Five Good Things’ is my version of the ‘things that I am grateful for today’ concept. I have used it at various stages in my illness, my recovery, and in those horrible periods when life seemed pretty bleak and it was hard to see the point.

Interestingly – and unintentionally – it also proved a great way of falling asleep at night; particularly during times when my head refused to be quiet or the emptiness of going to bed with a mind full of miserable thoughts was just too much to bear.

Now, it’s good for days when I have that nagging sense of dissatisfaction, or when I get caught up in the hype and forget that it’s the little things that really make the difference –

Because ‘Five Good Things’ is really simple and all about recognising the brief moments of specialness – so that they become a lot bigger.

Skipping With Flo Rida

Monday, September 7th, 2009

It has been a bleak day – and so I have been skipping.

Not with a rope – I hasten to add – but kiddie style, with an i-pod and Flo Rida, and because the sun is shining, even though I have had a bleak day.

I have learnt how to cheer myself up now.

I have been shown a few little tricks to ward off the black clouds and evade the tug of addiction

Either / Or and If / Then

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

The recession has taught us some important lessons: actions come with costs and consequences; and, resources are finite – sometimes you have to make a choice.

I wish that I’d applied the logic a little earlier.

In an age of instant and ongoing gratification and when you’re used to living for the moment, either / or tends to be an afterthought; the consequences of any action too distant to consider –

– until it all comes crashing down.

Mind Games

Friday, June 19th, 2009

It’s hard to muster up the enthusiasm to get stuck into therapy exercises.  They can reek of chat show sentimentalism, are often suggested by people who have no idea what they are talking about, and – to top it off – rarely come with a time limit or guarantee.

Nevertheless; when you’ve sunk to the depths of despair, anything’s worth a go.

And there are a few things I wish I’d tried before hitting the bottom.

Dream Diaries

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Dream Diaries are great – even though they sound like a lot of work and it’s hard to see the point at first.

When you’re stuck in a place that you don’t want to be stuck in and have lost that little propeller which, in better days, keeps you heading in the right direction (forwards), writing a dream diary can really flick that subconscious switch. It’s just a case of making yourself pick up that pen in the first place…..


Lucky Dip

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

This one was inspired by Rhinehart’s novel, The Dice Man. I didn’t quite get to the end of the novel – and I’ve a feeling the concept may have altered a little!! – but I did get thinking about control and chance.

In anorexia, there’s a lot of the former. In life, there’s a lot of the latter.

Plus, I reached a point where I knew that there were lots of things that I needed to start doing again and I wanted a safe way to start doing them. Don’t think too much about the control paradox there.

The unoriginally named ‘Lucky Dip’ is a bag of things that you want to do or try. The idea is simple: every morning, you take out a piece of paper and do what the piece of paper says.

My lucky dips helped me to do different things in different ways; and made trying new things a little less daunting and a little more do-able.


The ‘everything happens for a (positive) reason’ approach.

Friday, June 12th, 2009

A wise man once asked me what good had come out of my eating disorder. If it had happened so that something positive could come out of the whole experience; what would that positive be?

Sweet FA was my answer for a very long time.

But I was missing the point.