here is the last instalment of my conversation with joanna poppink. this is part of a series of interviews about different topics in eating disorders.
originally, i was going to tack the answer to my last question on to the second part of the interview. however, i realized that the answer to this question is applicable to a much wider range of audience than “just” people with eating disorders, so i decided it deserved its own entry. here it is.
isabella: in your replies, you have often used the term “recovery”. what is your definition of recovery?
joanna: recovery is a noun that describes a continuing process. to start recovery is to start a journey.
to be on that journey is to be on your path to health and emotional and intellectual
development. the path leads to your true self, to your inner resources of courage, creativity, self respect, strength and ability to be committed and dedicated.
recovery from bulimia or anorexia or binge eating or compulsive eating is not just about making peace with food and developing healthy eating habits. recovery is not just about developing or forcing yourself into living with a realistic sense of your body.
recovery involves living a balanced life. it means feeling all you can feel and digesting your feelings so they inform and enrich your entire personhood. they don’t spill out for others to take care of. they don’t create such distress that you need to use food or drugs or sex or shopping or high drama or manipulations or dissociation to get relief.
recovery is about being real in the real world. it is about having the ability to live, cope, adapt, work, love, play in freedom. it means being responsible for yourself and your actions. it means respecting and honoring boundaries so you can truly take care of yourself while respecting and being in relationship with others.
it means more serenity, joy and smiles in your life. and it means being able to eat and enjoy food in freedom.
recovery is an endless journey where life continues to get better as you go.
image by tarzan
i want to feel healthy, be calm, be strong and mighty, feel attractive, be full of joy.
so many “i wants”. most of the time, just saying “i want” doesn’t make it so. it’s like painting a picture using a faint pencil with just a few outlines. much better than nothing, that’s for sure but if you show it to your friends, chances are they won’t “get the picture.” we need to use strong strokes and colours!
here’s an example of doing that – look at the strong brushstrokes and the colours:
what does it feel like when i’m healthy?
- able to move in whatever way, whenever
- “clean” inside
- full of a quiet, steady, abundant energy
- unencumbered physically
- able to physically relax whenever i want
- free from aches and pains
what does it feel like and what do i do when i’m calm?
- i feel centered and grounded
- i don’t feel attacked by outside forces
- i move from task to task efficiently yet without a hurry
- i don’t worry about not having enough time
what does it feel like and what do i do when i’m strong and mighty?
- i feel noticed
- i feel respected
- i feel that i can motivate others to cooperate with me
- i stand my ground
- i have more energy than needed to deal with whatever tasks i need to deal with
- i am able to judge at what point it’s necessary to defend myself
- i don’t think it’s anything special when i give in
- i know when to be generous
- i feel physically strong and powerful
- i feel confident that others see in me a power to be reckoned with
when i feel attractive, i
- look in the mirror and like what i see
- don’t feel i have to hide anything
- walk happy with the knowledge that i’m attractive
- have an inner “shine”
when i am full of joy, i
- feel connected to the divine
- notice and enjoy beauty everywhere
- pursue beauty
- want to share my joy with others
- feel to be an integral part of the universe
- go with the flow instead of “overcoming obstacles”
aah, yes, now “healthy, calm, strong and mighty, attractive, and joyful” have so much more – ooomph!
go on, try it yourself! what are your wants? what are your strong brushtrokes?
this is an entry for my participation in the 2008 blogathon, a 24-hour marathon of blogging. please support the cause and donate – however much, however little – to the canadian mental health association (vancouver/burnaby branch). to donate, email me or use this URL: www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=d2252. you should be able to get there by clicking the link; if not, just copy and paste the link into your browser. it will take you to the appropriate location at canada helps.
thank you for visiting, reading, commenting and, if you can, donating!
(image courtesy of kenneth parker)