Recovery Self-Check: Writing Edition

Today I’m going to share my favorite writing prompt from treatment. It’s supposed to be a way of affirming your recovery process by honoring small victories; marking even the smallest changes as signs that you’re moving forward. I think I did this about once a month while I was there and it changed DRASTICALLY every time. I’m doing this for me, but who knows? Maybe it will inspire someone else, too.

  1. Lately, I’ve been more willing to…
  2. Something I see differently now is…
  3. …had a powerful effect on me.
  4. One of the ways I’m changing is…
  5. It is getting easier for me…
  6. I realize I can choose…
  7. A year from now I…
  8. I am grateful for…

Lately, I’ve been more willing to question my own beliefs. It’s atrociously difficult and feels awful 99% of the time, but the only way I’m ever going to change the way I think is by admitting that maybe some of the core beliefs I hold most dear, well, might be wrong. That’s a really hard thing to accept. But at least I’m letting myself listen to some of the arguments on the other side. Baby steps.

Something I see differently now is my perfectionism. I used to think that was what made me special – that I was always supposed to be great at everything I did. But I’m really starting to see all the ways it robbed me of my time, my happiness, and my health. I cannot and will not sacrifice anything else for the sake of some lofty, unattainable goal.

My family had, has, and will continue to have a powerful effect on me. I am a seriously lucky girl. I mean, I’m not exactly the world’s easiest child, but my parents have been nothing but loving, generous, and supportive. Plus I won the little brother lottery. I’m pretty sure family can’t get any better than mine.

One of the ways I’m changing is in regard to my relationship with money. I’ve always been a very frugal person, and spending, no matter what for, has always given me huge amounts of anxiety. Slowly, I’m teaching myself that there are things worth investing in; worth spending money on. Like my health and happiness. And I deserve to have those things, even if it means my account balance is a little bit lower.

It is getting easier for me to admit when I can’t do something on my own. Knowing that I need help may not be quite as effective as actually asking for it, but I will never be able to ask if I can’t recognize the times when I need it most. Again, baby steps.

I realize I can choose what matters to me. I’ve spent so much of my life basing my self-worth on other people’s standards, and that’s not fair to me. While there is no way of escaping the flood of expectations placed on me by the media or my professors or anyone else, there is a way to stop myself from drowning in it: by deciding what is really important, and ignoring the rest as best I can. How? Eh…I’ll get back to you on that one.

A year from now I will be strong. There’s no way to know where I’ll be next November – still in school, back at home, somewhere exotic, who knows? – but I am positive that wherever I am, I’ll be hauling ass and taking names. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself in the past year, it’s that I am a fighter. And nothing can keep me down long enough to break me. HA!

I am grateful for my life. I am grateful that no matter how many horrible things I’ve done to my body, my heart still beats and my legs still walk and my brain still dreams. Every day is a gift, and I’m grateful for all of them.

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11 comments

  1. I was in the middle if a comment and accidently hit something that took me to another site! Ugh..cell phone. Anyway, this hits terribly close to home. I’ve had a tough week, been wrestling a few demons and barely holding my own. This post is timely. Once again, thank you for your honesty. I wish I was a brave as you.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a crummy week. I’m glad I could help, even in a small way. And as far as bravery? I wouldn’t call myself brave. Just slightly less scared than I used to be šŸ™‚

  2. I can so relate. I recently starting seeking treatment for depression, and so far getting help has been very difficult and frustrating. It is really so important to recognize small improvements when progress seems slow! Thank you for having the courage to share a piece of your journey!

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