Thursday, 5 March 2009

Pushing Limits and Setting Boundaries

I tossed and turned all night, unable to stay asleep for more than half an hour at a time. I was annoyed with myself for a few reasons, and worried about friends and that I had stepped on people's toes yesterday.

I got up around 5am and sat smoking and drinking coffee and thinking. I was reading my old posts from when I was very active in eating disorders message boards where there are a lot of people not even contemplating recovery, and the shift in focus on my blog when my attention was drawn to the more recovery orientated blogging community.

I guess I am scared that I look to blogs a little too much for support and motivation, and I am worried that MY recovery is going to be dependant on other people's. Of course, that will never work- I need to OWN my recovery and be doing it for ME. Doing it for myself isn't the same as doing it by myself and I need to figure out a way to set some boundaries with myself regarding where I draw the line between using support whilst still remaining independently recovering. Does that make any sense?..

This is definitely an issue I have struggled with in the past- doing what everyone around me is doing because...well, if they can do it, so can I. It's hard for me to separate myself from anyone/everyone around me, and do what is right for ME- especially when I am struggling and either looking for justification for my behaviour, or reason to change. It's also been hard for me to feel good about myself/where I am when I go down the road of comparing myself to people who I was at school with and are now doctors/lawyers/architects, married, happy.

Essentially I think the problem is that I have no idea who I am, what I want or where I am going and I'm trying too hard to fit in where I perhaps don't really belong. Part of this is the huge ambivalence I apparently have towards recovery- don't get me wrong, I WANT to be free from anorexia, but struggle a lot with giving up the behaviours. for this reason, I don't fit in with the friends I have that don't want to get well, and I don't fit in with the friends I have who are actively making changes because I'm somewhere in between.

I have a tendency to put people on pedestals and give myself permission to eat/stop exercising/do XYZ because that is what my role models do and I really struggle to stay focused on my recovery when I see that the people I look up to are human too. And that's perfectly OKAY- the problem isn't THEM, it's my perception. I am fully aware of this.

This is not a criticism of anyone in particular, except myself- not even criticism so PLEASE don't see it that way. Merely an observance of my own thoughts, feelings, actions and a look at where I am right now. Food and weight issues aside, there is a hell of a lot of work I need to be doing with regards to recovery.

Anyway, onto my fun stuff...

Cheese is a bit of a "fear food" for me, so I decided I was going to incorporate it somehow into today's food. What did I come up with?

Apple cheddar oatmeal.

In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup oats cooked in water
  • apple
  • cinnamon
  • 1oz cheddar
I've never had apples with cheese before, but heard it was good- and it WAS! Love sweet + savoury combinations! Close up of the mixed-up cheesy goodness...

And due to Clif-burnout, a new snack :)

And finally, a quote I came across this morning...

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
- Ambrose Redmoon


Sarah said...

YOU.ARE.AMAZING. As always, I am so inspired by your honesty and self-awareness. While you might not be able to see it right now, you are such a STRONG, CAPABLE person whose words prove that you ARE well on your way to recovery, though it might not seem like it at the moment. Recovery is about changing behaviors, true, but it also requires digging deep inside yourself and picking out the worries and challenges and fears you have that brought ED about in the first place...and you are doing that!!

I understand completely about comparing yourself to others and needing to find a balance between what is right for you in recovery and wanting to emulate others who are well on their way to being healthy. As long are you are aware of the comparison, and allow yourself to get ideas and support but also think about what is right for YOU, that is all that matters! I know that isn't concrete or helpful, but since I struggle with it too it's all I can offer :)

Ellie, you are incredible, I hope you realize how much your blog motivates me EVERY day! Keep up the good work, you CAN do this!

Anonymous said...

I've had that quote stuck on my wall for about five years, it's one of my favourites.
I have fallen into some of the same traps as you're describing in the past, and I wish I had some advice as to how to avoid them. At least you are aware of it now, so hopefully it'll be easier to spot when you're doing it in the future. It's a bit like that autobiography in five chapters thing. Change happens slowly, but it is at least cumulative.
Thank you for your comments in my blog yesterday :)

Anonymous said...

I understand the need to set boundaries. I sometimes feel as though maybe I am too involved in blogging rather than really taking a vested intrest in myself. Like maybe I am concentrating too much on other bloggers instead of myself. I am glad that you realize the need to recover yourself, and your recovery is your own. It's important not to worry about other people. I love your observations--they are observations that I make of myself everyday.

Lexi said...

Hey girl. Your post was extremely honest and I appreciate that. I often struggle answering the "who am I" question as well. Let's keep thinking about this and share with each other what we've come up with! Deal? Can't wait to keep reading your blog.

Anna said...

I'm so glad you commented on my blog because that led me to you! I just read through some of your posts and you have some really inspirational and thought provoking musings. Now I'm looking forward to hearing more of what you have to say!

Your oats look amazing. You're totally giving me new ideas for my own!

Danielle said...

Great post!
I love the cheese and apples in the oats, what a great creative idea!

Nutritious is Delicious said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the quote! Stay strong and do this for yourself!!

Gelato is so close to ice cream it's scarry! YUMM!

dancelikenooneiswatching said...

thank you for your honesty...i must be honest, i feel the same..i worry about recovery and whether im doing it quickly enough and how to cope with the mental battles, i dont challenge myself enough and often compare to other people...but we are all different and have different needs and expectations...remember recovery is about embracing you and loving yourself xxxx

Lauryn said...

WOW! apple cheddar oatmeal, so creative and amazing -- almost as great as you! i didn't get to comment on last night's post, but i want you to know that i think you're doing SUCH a fantastic job, and your blog is such a positive place; you should be so proud!

i totally feel ya about comparing yourself to people, i've done that my wholeee life, but i'm beginning to see how it just makes me miserable! we are who we are for a reason, right?

hope you had a great thursday! xoxo

Sheena said...

First of all, I totally am there with you on comparing myself to other blogs and relying a bit too much on the community. Lately my comments on my blog have decreased and that bothered me a bit. Then, on a couple of the blogs I read regularly the people were relapsing and close to stopping their recovery. I told my boyfriend about how sad that made me and then later that night I had a HUGE b/p incident. My boyfriend told me the next day he was worried that I was more vulnerable from how I sounded when takling about the other people's blogs.

I know I have to rely on myself and not let others affect me. But this really has become a community of bloggers, and it's hard not to let things affect our own thoughts on recovery. I don't really ahve any answers, but I just wanted to let you know you are not alone with that.

And secondly, cheddar apple oatmeal? OMG! I have never seen that combo before, and now I am very intrigued. I am not a huge apple fan, unless they are softened and cooked. And I have never had chaddar with apples. But I might have to give that a try sometime.

Take care sweetie and hang in there. You have come so far, and realizing some of these challenges is important and progress in itself. Stay strong!

Pammy said...

Happy Odwalla day to you too! Im so proud of you for having it. Ive never had that flavor- how was it?

your doing amazing- keep it up girl

Elle said...

Hi Ellie,

I know what you mean about comparing yourself to other blogs and worrying about being too reliant on/comparing myself to them...but as so many of the other commenters have noted, I think that the fact that you're aware of this and that it worries you is really important. You are a strong, insightful woman and I really, really hope that you continue to blog. We're all at different points in our struggle with anorexia, so while we think we might have some basis for comparison, we have to remind ourselves that this is a hugely personal battle...and we have to take care of ourselves first. You deserve as much of your own support and love as you so generously bestow on other bloggers with your kind comments and words of wisdom. Don't forget that for a second.

Anonymous said...

You made apple cheddar oats! I was so tempted to do that the other day :D I actually going to this morning, but ended up not wanting oats today. Glad it tasted good. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog. Hopefully you will no longer stay in lurkdom.