Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Need A Break

If I could have one super power, I would have the ability to turn off my brain at the end of the day. That way, I could get some sleep, recharge and escape the nonstop, worrisome, over thinking thought processes that take place up there.

Sometimes a girl just needs a break.

Recovering from an eating disorder, however, is a little bit different than recovering from any other addiction. Drug addicts and alcoholics, for example, can avoid their symptom of choice completely and eliminate people or situations from their lives as a way to keep them safe. Avoiding all people and situations that involve food, while recovering from an eating disorder, is not only a bad idea, it is also nearly impossible.


Learning how to eat again can often feel as foreign as learning a new language. It can feel frustrating, overwhelming, intimidating, anxiety provoking, life threatening, and chaotic. In contrast to completely eliminating our "drug of choice," like the other addictions out there, we are forced to face it five or six times every single day.

I have had to explain to my dad in the past that recovery is a full time job in itself. There are days when I am exhausted after doing very little physical work, but the constant battles in my head never stop.  Choosing to constantly look on the bright side of a situation when part of your brain is screaming at you to do the opposite, makes me crave my afternoon nap.

The truth is, while recovering from an eating disorder, breaks don't really exist. There are days when I have to push through my tiredness because I know the alternative is no longer an option.

Luckily, after complaining to my therapist yesterday about how pooped I was, we thought of a few good ways to distract my brain for awhile; making it seem like a mini vacation. These can also be used as rewards or ways to treat yourself after a long day of hard work. In the past, I have found it helpful to set aside time each day and force myself to take a break as a way to avoid burn out (like I'm feeling now).

Here are a few of my favorites:

Watch a movie or two
Have a do-it-yourself mani/pedi night
Take a nap (my favorite)
Listen to music
Go for a small walk outside
Read a book or magazine
Chat with a friend
Watch something funny on YouTube
Take a shower or a bubble bath
Try an at home facial
Two words: Dance Party
Make a gratitude list
Cuddle with a pet

I'm jealous of her right now.
Recently, a few different people have asked me how I keep going and stay positive through my recovery; the truth is, I have my bad days, too. For me, it has been really important to take things slowly and don't push myself until I feel ready. There are days when all I feel like doing is sleeping, like yesterday, for example; but learning to also do things that distract the never ending banter in my head, will help me recharge my batteries.

So even though I don't have my super power of choice, at least there are a few things I can try to distract my brain from the madness; even if it is temporary. 

I am tired, but that's okay. Today I will make a change and plan in a little "Kelsi Time."

Progress.

3 comments:

  1. I love love this post! Everyone deserves a break and sometimes it's hard for us to give one to ourselves, but when we listen to our bodies, wonderful things happen!

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    1. Tayla, thank you! I saw that you weren't feeling the gym today, so you honored your body and took a break. That's wonderful! Learning to listen to our bodies isn't easy, but it does happen with time! <3

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