self esteem: the thread in the quilt of recovery

a quilt in the makinghere is another interview with someone recovering from an eating disorder. this person used to eat too much, and has been and still is dealing with it by going to overeaters anonymous.

isabella: “you’ve come a long way, baby” – how long HAVE you come? what’s changed?

OA person: how long have i come? i would say the longest i have come is out of isolation. i am very aware of the benefits of talking/writing/meeting with others to discuss what is a core weakness in my life with people who understand. i carried the burden alone in my childhood. i am no longer a silent-suffering victim. i am an active participant in my recovery. so i am greatly empowered.

isabella: what’s the most important thing in your recovery?

OA person: the most important thing in my recovery is: hmm…self love

isabella: how would you characterize your relationship with your body?

OA person: my relationship with my body is greatly healed but there is still some ‘disconnect’ and i still need to ‘care more’ for self (especially losing weight). i am grateful for my body. it is relatively healthy. again, it is an improved relationship, big time.

isabella: self esteem – how does it fit into the quilt of your recovery?

OA person: self esteem is like the threads in the quilt of my recovery. i have to think i am worthy of a better life before i can embark on one. the more i use and grow the threads, the bigger and stronger the quilt!

isabella: any other comments or suggestions for someone with a story similar to yours?

OA person: just keep coming back. don’t give up. try something new in recovery. allow yourself to feel like crap if you do. but then move on. feel the feelings and then let them go. break out of isolation and start talking to people, sharing at meetings, phoning or emailing or whatever you can do today to get out of yourself. my biggest ‘trap’ is self.


a note from isabella: “keep coming back” is a phrase often used in 12-step meetings. it means don’t give up, keep trying. it can also carry the meaning of “keep remembering who you truly are, in all your beauty and health.”

image by open threads


  1. Self esteem may be to of the most misused or at least misunderstood words in modern culture.

    This story exemplifies what self esteem really is, true self love. It also shows the important role it plays in our recovery. The image of being the threads in our quilt of recovery is wonderful.

    Often, I think we, (society) sends the message that we must have self esteem beyond all else and somewhere in the translation it becomes confused with a superior regard for ones self rather than the self acceptance or self love you speak of in the post.

    The danger lies in the interpretation of the message by someone who is already not feeling good about themselves adding on the message that the lack of self esteem makes them even more abnormal.

    “Keep coming back” is so powerful as it is the only way that we build a better image of ourselves. The greatest gains come from struggling through our problems even when we want to give up. Eventually we see the great things inside us that have been hidden away waiting to emerge.

    Thank you for posting this.


    Roger’s last blog post..Dreams

  2. isabella –

    It’s wonderful to hear from someone who is “an active participant in my recovery.” That is so central in my experience. In addition to the beautiful quilt image and the “keep coming back” idea – which the other comments have mentioned – another thought rings so true – feel the feeling and then let it go. That sounds so simple and yet without self-esteem it’s almost impossible. What should be a breeze or quick flash of lightening is caught and held in. It grows into something it doesn’t have to be – a twisting pain to the soul. Every simple feeling can become so tortured if it’s not allowed to be felt for what it is and then – let go.

    Great interview!

    All my best — John

    John Folk-Williams’s last blog post..What We Deserve from Life

  3. The greatest level of self-esteem is achieved when you realize every person perceives every other person in a way that is completely different to how that person perceives you.

  4. Self-love…there is no greater power to heal anything that ails us. Here is something that works really well to increase it….Look at yourself in the mirror every day and say “I love you!” until it becomes real for you.

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  6. Приветствую!
    Жара в этом году бьёт все рекорды и я уже не знаю где освобождаться, жарко даже в теньке, вентиляторы тупо разгоняют жару и всё, поэтому решил подкупать себе в комнату кондей дабы что бы дремать нормально, не в бане, буду брать вследствие инет, в вот такой кондиционерчик, как куплю – отпишусь о впечатлениях. Вам тоже я рекомендую задуматься о приобретении кондея.

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