Thank you, Anorexia.
Well, does that sound weird to read? This was a challenge given by my counselor years ago, to thank myself for my anorexia. I am sure my face scrunched up quite interestingly. Anorexia almost killed me and was a total living hell! Thank myself- that makes NO SENSE.
At that point of truly getting help I had stopped most of my destructive behaviors. But, my mind was in constant stress. I had been living with such shame, guilt and embarrassment for all of my unhealthy coping methods (anorexia wasn't the only one -I had to thank myself for a lot of harmful behaviors). It led me to a small life of fear, anxiety, hiding from the world and hiding from my true self.
I had developed trust with my counselor so I played along with this weird challenge. Guess what I found in it. FREEDOM. There was SO much power in flipping the script that I had told myself for all my “sins”.
Here’s the deal. Life had handed me stuff that I didn’t know how to handle. My response in trying to survive was to self sooth, find ways to numb and ways to cope. I ended up doing things I didn’t want to do. Things I “knew better” than to be doing. We are not stupid people. Most of us know “right from wrong”. We don’t just willy-nilly start something and say “whelp, this will surely screw me up, I’ll give it a try”. We slowly slip down a slope without even realizing it. But the truth is those destructive behaviors served a purpose. They got me to the next day, that got me to the next day that got me to the point of knowing I needed help. (this was a lot of years)
Thankfully, I had moments knowing that I wasn’t created for a life full of those behaviors. I was exhausted and didn’t want to continue living that way. Because of my faith in God, I saw glimpses of HOPE and deep down I believed I could change with God’s strength and love. I stepped into GRACE towards myself and seeing the purpose in those years that I had wanted to forget and wished I could redo.
So, I have thanked myself. I see the purpose. I have found blessings in those behaviors that have shaped me into who I am today. I don’t feel like a slave and when those patterns want to sneak in (because they do and they will). I say, "I see what’s happening here. I know a better way now – but thanks for reminding me of all I can overcome and getting me to this point."
So here is my challenge to you. Thank yourself for some behaviors that you are not proud of. See the purpose in them. Then allow yourself to see that you can grow, that you CAN change, that you can find new patterns and behaviors that serve you to live a life that you can sleep well at night with. To leave a legacy showing grace, hope and change. Remind yourself that you can find healthy patterns instead of destructive ones. Gracefully step into those and you take two steps forward and one step back establishing a life of health.
If you aren’t ready to thank yourself, I get that too. Maybe just open your mind to the possibility that you are behaving that way for a reason. That you are NOT a failure of a person or just weak minded.
If this is tripping you up please seek a counselor to help you dig into those behaviors. People can change. You were meant for more!
In good health
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