Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Leaps of Faith

"Life is all about huge leaps of faith.
That's what progress is."

A friend of mine from treatment framed this quote for me and gave it to me as a gift when I 'graduated' from treatment just over a year ago. The picture frame has been sitting on my dresser where I can blatantly see it ever since. Ironically, the word progress became my mantra no more than a month later when I started this blog.

After a conversation with one of my email recovery buddies about leaps of faith yesterday, I got to thinking about this quote. Leaps of faith are believing in something that is unimaginable, intangible, and even improvable. Leaps of faith provoke fear in all of us. 

Recovery, in many aspects, is a huge leap of faith. There are so many unknowns in the recovery process.

Who am I without my eating disorder?
How will I handle being at a different weight?
How will I cope without disordered behaviors?
Is the grass really greener on the other side?
Does my treatment team really know what they are talking about?
 How will I ever put the pieces of my life back together?
Will people accept me at a different weight?
Can I let go of that control?
Will I fall apart?

Recovery forces us to face these unknowns whether we are ready to or not. Oftentimes we go into situations completely blind without anything or anyone to trust except ourselves. But how are we supposed to trust ourselves when we ruined our lives in the past?
It's a leap of faith.

Even for those of us who have been in recovery for awhile, we often find ourselves holding onto old habits that keep us stuck - myself included. These old habits are barriers to a full recovery. They offer us alternative means to numb out and avoid direct communication with our feelings. Some examples might be over-exercising, workaholism, alcohol abuse, excessive caffeine, dependent relationships, skimping on calories here and there, avoiding social situations, excessive shopping, oversleeping, or manipulating weight on weigh-in days. 

For me personally, napping almost everyday, occasional alcohol abuse, and as much as I hate to admit it, occasional weigh-in day manipulation, are all symptoms I haven't been able to let go of yet. Without them I don't know how to cope with my anxieties.
Letting go is a leap of faith

So what is holding me back from completely letting go of these unhealthy coping mechanisms? Fear and nothing else. Fear of what will happen to me if I completely let go and leap into full recovery. 

As my quote says, however, life is all about leaps of faith and that's what my favorite word - progress - is all about. It's time to take that leap of faith and finally let go.



  1. And again i am speechless HOW you do that :D Thats exactly what i have been thinking about today : About what is holding me back to be truly myself and feel good in social situations.
    Why do you see napping as an unhealthy coping strategy ?
    Uh i manipulate too at weight-in days but only because i am too afraid to find out that my scale is incorrect so i manipulate my weight.

    1. Excessive napping is not good haha. I do it to escape. I think we'll figure out how to do it slowly and one thing at a time. <3

    2. oh ok i understand why you think its not that a good way to cope. i really want to try to do a guided meditation when i feel like i need to numb out or escape my feelings. sometimes its so relaxing and calming i just fall asleep feeling completely safe in the moment. maybe that would be a better way to nap on rought day. but i think its really hard to use helthy coping mechanisms instead of familiar ones :/ yes step by step <3

    3. I've heard great things about guided meditations. I should really get serious about trying them, too. Every time I do try them, I get distracted and then frustrated I can't focus. My brain never stops. ;)

    4. hm for me it really helps to focus on breathing, wearing comfortable clothes, and tell my self i can deal with whatever problems or thoughts arise i can deal with them later. what also helps is choosing meditations with specific audio frequncies that calm the brain similar to a sleeping state. and i usually hold something in my hands that feels nice a round stone or something like that it helps too. i hope you will find a way for you to discover how it can feel to be totally safe and calm through a mediation because i think thats what i miss most in my life - feeling safe and comfortable especially in social situations. my Ed makes me feel more safe sometimes but i found this new sense of safety and i think it is really powerful :)

    5. That's wonderful! I will definitely be experimenting with this. Thank you so much for the helpful ideas.

  2. I loved this post again. Trust is really hard for us. When I was in the other 12 step program (Al-Anon), my sponsor that time said this, "creatures like to live in their familiar areas, because they know what to do . It does not have to make them happy, as long as they know what to do because feeling safe." I heard what she meant. What is preventing me from moving on...? Yes, FEAR... I have a huge fear to move into a new area of my life. Even a new task at work.... I overreact, because I don't know if I can complete it. If I am overreacting for such a small thing, recovery is a huge risk for me. HUGE, but I have found it out that for some reasons, it is given to my life. I say this way, because some people would never have a chance to be aware or never want to try. It is a gift, and I gratefully keep trying. <3

    1. I thought you might like this post, Kyoko. ;) You inspired it. I hope you never stop trying. Keep fighting. Those familiar areas are nice, but there is so much more to life!

  3. this is so funny because I wrote a post all about this one quote and how it applied to recovery and honestly life in general. Great perspective.

    1. Did you?? I think I've done a topic that you wrote about first once before and didn't realize it ha. I'll have to go through your blog and see if I can find that post!