Thursday, February 5, 2015

Guest Post: What does Recovery mean to You?

When the recovery process began for me back in September of 2007, I had a clear image of what recovery meant to me at the end of this journey.  Seven years later it is now clear to me that image never existed, and there is no real end to this journey, which has given me such a sense of relief, and calmness, and clarity to live again.

No matter your age, now, or at the beginning of your journey, one thing that is certain is this journey is your own, and must be directed by you.  I was 37 years old, and had lived with my eating disorder for 7 years before finally asking for help.  My doctor, family and friends were to say the least shocked to hear of my disorder, we can all relate to the loneliness of this disease.  It was at a time of my life that I knew I would not be able to move forward without help and support, it was at a time that I knew I had to choose to live my life for me again and not the disease.

My stubbornness and years of positive thinking and training had me believing that once I got help I would have this problem fixed in no time.  I remember when my doctor told me that because I was not “sick” enough, there would be minimal help and support for me.  Now it was my turn to be shocked, but that was not part of my plan, that was not possible I thought, how could this be?  Before my journey to my recovery began I felt it was already over.   So off to the dietician I went, every week for one hour for 4 years, it may not have been the road to recovery I had planned, but it was amazing the support and education I received.

For me this was not fast enough, I needed more help, I needed to find more support, I needed to try all that was out there, so I did.  From attending ABA groups, to working with psychiatrists in training, to attending short term groups, I was there.  For my recovery once my secret was out, it was out, that was my choice. And do you know what was interesting about that?  It made no difference to anybody. Not to my friends, not my family, nobody.  In fact, I found that if I didn’t bring it up, nobody else did – that was somewhat sad, but again a relief.  One of my favorite sayings is “we don’t know what we don’t know” – and through my recovery there was a lot "I don’t know's".

Quitting was never an option. One certainty for us all is we have nothing but time. Time to grow, time to recover, time to be happy.  So no matter how long it took / takes, I choose to continue to try and find that peace and recovery I so desperately need, because the time I do have I want to spend living.

My recovery has been on my own, it has been me that has kept moving forward, learning new tools to help me change the habits that are a part of this disease.  Tools that focus on the positive, tools that change the way I look at myself which included daily reminders in my phone, tapping, coaching others, and using the dry erase marker to write my favorite sayings on the mirrors in my home, such as, “if I always do what I have always done, I will always get what I have always got”. 

Why?  Because I am a beautiful deserving woman, you are a beautiful deserving woman/man, we are all beautiful deserving people.  I believe that with all my heart and soul.

So what does recovery mean to me?  It means slipping from time to time.  It means medication to help with my anxiety.  It means it is not perfect.  It means I am still working at it.  But most importantly,  it means I am living again. Living at being me, living at knowing I am happy with who I am, never quitting, and accepting me as I am now.  That is what recovery means to me. It is not that 'perfect image' I imagined when I began, nor does it have an ending --and I am okay with that. For me, that is what is important right now.  What will recovery mean for me in 1 year, 2 years, 10 years --I cannot say, but ensuring peace is in my life will always be a priority.

Whatever recovery means to you, let it mean living, let it mean happiness, or let it mean acceptance with who you are now.  Maybe it will mean setting one goal at a time, or letting you learn the tools you need, or let it mean removing the shame …. But most of all, let it mean peace in your life.

About TK:
A highly motivated self-starter with over 18 years of management experience, who has worked for several of Canada’s top Financial and Retail companies. From starting her own production company with one of her best friends, to her 20 years of Life Coach training, TK continues to grow, learn, educate, support and nurture herself and those she comes in touch with daily. You will usually find TK with a smile on her face and energy that you can physically feel, with a laugh that often has people wondering what she is so happy about.  Live, laugh and love everyday with pride, harmony and respect to all.

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