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“Truth without Judgement”

on September 12, 2012

Truth without fear of judgement is a core value taught here – that you can be authentic and true to oneself without fear of being judged or judgmental of others.

One of the therapists often refers to it in group. I asked her to write down her definition.

“Truth without Judgement means speaking your truth. Your feelings, your thoughts, your experiences in the moment without energy, persuasion or discrimination. Speak your mind without being judgmental…and DON’T be attached to the results.”

Truthfulness, authenticity, and integrity are keys to developing our vision and intuition, but being brutally honest and letting go of the consequences is hard. I met with a previous patient here last week and at the end of our chat, I asked her what was key to her recovery here. She said honesty. Honesty with oneself, your peers and the staff. I pondered on this for a while, until it dawned on me that I had been keeping a secret – a secret my illness had buried deep in my subconscious. I had to own up to them, and  to all of you who read this. The computer ban was largely enforced because I abused it. In a moment of insanity, I looked up the calorie content of the supplements we’re given. I knew I wouldn’t of been allowed, but after supplementing one of my meals, I felt compelled to know. Of course it didn’t put my mind at rest. It only added fuel to the fire and spun my head out even more. I owned up to my therapist, but realised my behavior had consequences for the rest of the group, who were understandably annoyed at not being able to go online. Yesterday, I nervously walked into group and  spat out the truth – willing to let go of the results. My biggest fear was rejection. I already felt immense guilt and shame, but I knew that in order to build trusting and lasting relationships with my peers, I needed to tell the truth. They were glad I had ‘owned’ my actions and appreciated me more for taking the risk to speak my truth. Secrets are dirty and my eating disorder thrives on them. Since then I actually feel closer to the girls. By being vulnerable, and risking my vulnerability I gained power.

It’s 9/11 today and there is a flag flying on the nearby university campus for each person who died. Each time I pass them, it reminds me of the fragility of life, something I have taken for granted. Eleven years ago today I watched the atrocity unfold on a television screen in my first treatment centre – I had just been diagnosed with anorexia. Little did I know that eleven years later I would be in treatment again marking the eleventh anniversary. That made me sad. Those people who lost their lives would give anything to be here today. I have lived every year since, trapped in my own living hell.

Today has been monumental in more ways than one. One of the therapists took me aside. She said my eating disorder needed a humongous boot in the ribs. It’s managed to seep it’s way in to a 24 hour intense therapy environment. It won’t let go. I’m still trying to process the conversation, but for the first time in a long time, and possibly ever, I got mad – really mad. I SHOUTED, “I like food, I F***** like food, and I want to be allowed to like it. I want my eating disorder to F*** off. I got so angry I wanted to pull my hair out. Anna was delighted! She had seen my healthy self show up. My eating disorder wants me to suffer – to continue the cycle of guilt and punishment. It doesn’t want my healthy self to admit that it’s sick of being miserable, and missing out on life. It wants to manipulate and control. My healthy self is terrified to let it go, to get well…who will love me just for being me? Despite the fear, I am no longer going to indulge in my ED and call it the ‘terrorist’. It is part of me. If you had a terrorist inside of you, wouldn’t you be terrified to come up against it in battle? I was told that my ED can’t be bigger than me, as IT is me. I told Anna I respected her more for challenging me – no one has ever dared question my anorexia like that before. I feel scared but also relieved. It had been playing a game of ‘hide and seek’ even here.

To end on high – a literal high, the Sunday outing this week was the best yet, and it was free! We went to the beach, the lifeguards look like cardboard cutouts from a Baywatch episode! My euphoric moment came when I dived high into the ocean. I felt alive. Totally free and at one with myself. As I danced the waves that crashed around me, my eating disorder had been left on the shore. Totally amazed,  I was again realized just how special life is. The millions of moments that I have let pass me, the millions of faces I have failed to notice – all because I have been on planet ‘misery’. If only I had just looked up and opened my eyes. As I sat down to dinner, I closed my eyes and imagined how I felt in the ocean. I opened them and read the blessing…

“You  Can’t Cross the Sea Merely by Standing at the Water”

Today I am grateful for being reminded just how precious life is. I am grateful to Anna for giving a big enough s*** about me, to tell me her truth, and to tell it without being attached to the results. She took a risk and I am grateful to her for that. I hope I can filter it all, and continue to allow my healthy self to show up for myself, my family and my loved ones.

Apologies for all the expletives, but to quote another therapist, my illness is a M*****F*****. The fight goes on!

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9 responses to ““Truth without Judgement”

  1. onemoremum says:

    Wow! Really, wow! This is such a fantastic post. I often read the blogs of people trying to recover, and think, this doesn’t look like recovery to me, it looks like trying to negotiate peace with anorexia. And anorexia doesn’t do compromise. I have often been wary about challenging my own daughter when she claims wo want to recover, but then obsessively counts calories, but I hold back from challenging, because I don’t want her to give up and stop eating.

    And I love the part about the ocean. Just keep swimming, and don’t stop. You can do this xx

  2. Roger Palamarczuk says:

    Thats my girl, fight for your life, you are worth it. I look forward to meeting the real Laura when you return to us.
    Roger

  3. Muriel says:

    What an amazing insight for all of us to read. Laura you are doing so well. We all love you for who you are, a lovely gentle caring person. Nobody minds what you say as long as it rids you of all the nasty feelings. Love x

  4. Lisa says:

    As always Laura, a beautiful, open and truly inspiring read. Thank you!
    P.S. The ocean will ALWAYS be there 😉

  5. Anna says:

    Laura, I’m so glad you’re making progress – and I don’t even know you but I’m still glad.
    There’s something in your writing for everyone to understand. Thought-provoking reading for us all to think about being honest without judgement.
    Sending you best wishes & a hug. Anna x

  6. Jane T says:

    Just read this after emailing you….YAY you go Laura!! xxxx

  7. linda marchant says:

    Dear Laura, I have just read this in my office and sat crying (they think I’m mad anyway so who cares!!) – and then laughing too, your humour always comes through! B****y well done!!! You have the capacity to not only change your own life but also the lives of others, you already are.
    xxx

  8. Clare Shakespeare says:

    F*****g well done Flick! Keep taking those risks and speak your truth xx

  9. I truly have a tendency to go along with the whole thing that was put into writing
    throughout “Truth without Judgement” alittlebitofwhatyoufancydoesyougood”.
    Thanks a lot for all of the details.Thanks-Sherlyn

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