… Now What?

i_love_blogging-787805I’ve been asked lately by several people if my blogging about my disordered eating issues is really helping me, or hurting me.

Every so often this conversation arises, and the more time that passes, the harder it gets to answer because I, myself, question this very notion.

Some days I am so sure I am doing the right thing here — sharing my experiences, offering a sounding board for others who are experiencing similar challenges, creating a community for like-minded people who also want to recover/get better.

But then other days I feel like I am just going in circles, not making progress, just rehashing the same scenarios time and time again as they occur.

In fact, I often wonder if I am hindering my own growth potential when I spend time in the weeds instead of in the field … or possibly hindering someone else’s when all they read about is my set-backs.

The truth is, I am at a tipping point. Ultimately, the only person who can decide if it’s helping is me. I feel a strong sense of ownership in that I love to write and maintain my blog, and the topic is clearly something I am passionate about.

Yet I realize writing about these issues very well could be fueling my disorder even further, in that I am still talking about it and thinking about it … and have surrounded myself with people who understand/empathize (or disagree and share their feelings with me offline).

We all know community can be helpful for so many reasons … but also potentially dangerous if it becomes something one is so deeply entrenched in that it’s hard to remove oneself from; it can become cultish, and that’s something I don’t want to see happen.

I DO want to get better, and I want to help others get better, too. And that means literally making a conscious decision every single day to make the right choices and to get better.

This very well might mean taking a break from blogging … while I focus on taking control of my own actions and choices. I’m not sure what I will do just yet, but all options are on the table as I ponder my next steps, my “what now?,” my action item, if you will.

Because the truth is, though through therapy I’ve changed many of my thoughts, I haven’t necessarily changed my behavior. And so one could argue I haven’t made much quantifiable/tangible progress with CBT, because I still exhibit OCD tendencies related to food/exercise. (I’m also aware they don’t dissipate overnight).

I mean, I’m very aware of why it might appear that therapy and blogging might not have helped as well as they could have … yet I do see some positives that have come from blogging and therapy.

True, I still sometimes chew and spit. But I do have a level of awareness I didn’t have a year ago, and it’s far less often and compulsive a habit than it was a year ago.

I sometimes over-exercise. But I do it much less often, and have been much better about listening to my body.

I still don’t love my body. But I have learned to appreciate it for what it does for me, and am trying to treat it better each day.

The bottom line is, I began this blog and therapy to help me recover and to help others along the way. That mission hasn’t changed.

What has perhaps changed in the past week or so is that I also don’t want to lose sight of what’s most important, and that is finding strength in myself … in my ability to make decisions and stick to them, to know myself and my potential.

To be confident that I can be in the driver’s seat of my recovery, versus viewing myself as a victim … something I’ve been feeling like lately.

I am taking Wednesday as a “Blackout Day,” as I noted in a previous post. And I hope to be back later this week with an update on my next steps as a blogger.

Until then, I need to do some soul searching. I don’t want to keep going round and round in circles; I want to make real, tangible progress. Not perfection, but measurable progress.

And I believe I can do it because ultimately, we ARE in control of our destinies. It’s just taken me a long time to see it that way, that I AM in more control than I sometimes want to give myself credit for.

I might be wondering the logistics of the “now what?” but I do know the direction I want to go in, and that is the direction of progress. I hope you’ll join me.

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11 thoughts on “… Now What?

  1. This is a very good post and a topic that I ponder often. Thanks for this post. I often wonder if I hurt myself or others by posting my blunders

  2. This has got me thinking, too – thank you. I have many of the same concerns as you do about blogging – is it healthy for me? Is it encouraging more of a preoccupation with food/exercise that could lead to more stumbling blocks? I know we all love to hear your thoughts on these topics, but also you have to do what is good for you. We’ll still be here. πŸ™‚

  3. I think this is part of your journey. Blogging is a self introspection journey, one I certainly didn’t prepare for nor expect.

    I had a few times that I was ready to ditch out, and I put my blog on hiatus. It gave me time to ponder. But I always came back to it because I love the community aspect of it. This blog you have created is no longer just about you, now you have a following of others that look to you for thoughts, advice, and understanding (kind of scary I know)

    You’ll figure out the best, healthiest path for yourself – just keep a very open mind and see where it leads you.

    Love
    mV

  4. Hey sweets!

    On my view, I think blogging has really helped in the beginning of my recovery process. However I did see how it could fuel a disorder.

    I think it might be important — and I have seen others do tis — to take a week away from blogging to gain perspective and prove that youcan be separated from it and that you don’t rely on it.

    You might not need that now, but it could be something to consider if you feel that your blogging could be detrimental. I hope you figure things out.

    Take Care.

  5. Thanks for all your support, dear readers,and for understanding why this is such a tough notion to ponder.I wish I had the answers.

    MamaV, that’s part of what makes it scary; I didn’t blog with the anticipation of it growing like it has … but I know what I’m doing is helping others; I just also need to be sure it’s helping me, too.

    All good food for thought, thank you.

    Sheena, that might be all it takes — a little time off. I know I don’t want to stop blogging completely- -I love to write and it’s a hobby … and I also don’t want to lose my ability to help others … I dunno, so confusing!

    I’ll be back tomorrow, most likely!

  6. i don’t blog about anything in particular, but i know that when something is bothering me or going wrong in my life and i really SHOULD write about it (because that’s how i journal and i’ve discovered that it does help me in the self-examination process), i often don’t want to because it means i have to face whatever is going on. my goal when i started to blog was to use it as a place to work through whatever was going on in my life, and i think that’s what you’re trying to do, too.

    if that’s the case, then there will be times when you feel you’re making progress. there will also be those times when you feel like you’re just treading water and rehashing the same thing over and over again. that’s just the nature of the beast. it’s how our minds work. and even in those times when you don’t feel like you’re making any progress, i think the fact that you are aware of what’s happening is itself a form of progress.

    one of the hardest lessons for me has been that life is all about baby steps. i’m so impatient with life, but i’ve just begun to figure out that everything is a process, and as long as we are still working on the process a little tiny bit every day, then we’re making progress.

    all that to say…i think the balance you strike on your blog is great. i know you feel a great responsibility to your readers because of the subject matter you write about, but you also need to be able to express what’s going on with you more than anything else. and you’re doing a wonderful job!

  7. You have my support. And I hope you can fine your strength that I know is there to provide yourself with as well. Take however much time or space you need from the blog and then I hope you come back to us. But if not, make sure you make the decision yourself and for yourself. You can do it. I wish you all the best πŸ™‚

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