Topic Tuesday: Recovery
“Recovery is a Daily Practice” (By: Nephie Snider)
My first attempt to recover from Bulimia Nervosa was in February of 2014. PTSD—the 5-ton gorilla of fear sitting on my chest—was just beginning to fade. Thanks to my yoga practice, I had tasted what life could be like without fear and I knew that Bulimia didn’t belong in my fear-free world.
So, I decided that I was going to recover. I got a piece of paper and my favorite pen and I wrote down my plan. I started with three goals: I will not practice behaviors, step foot into [convenience store by my house], and buy diet products for one month. Then, I wrote down the corresponding rewards: I will give myself $250 to spend on new clothes, a day at a spa, and a weekend of yoga training. I posted the paper up in my room and thought: that’s that. I’m in recovery.
I made it three days. Looking back, I remember how hard those three days were and how I earned every minute. Progress is so precious. The first steps are the hardest and the most heroic. I was trying my best to recover, but I was missing some very important information:
You have to want to recover in order to recover, but recovery does not simply happen because you want it to happen. Recovery happens because you w
ant to recover AND you practice recovery over and over and over again until recovery becomes your way of life.
I used to hope I would wake up one day and I would be recovered. I used to pray that a fairy godmother would appear in my living room and she would see my tears and she would see how much I was resisting the impulse to do behaviors and she would wave her magic wand and say: “My dear child, recovery is yours.” Now, I see that the hard-fought struggle is an integral part of the recovery process.
In the struggle to recover, I developed the skills I needed in order to be recovered. So what if I only made it three days! I am so proud of those three days. No one can ever take those three days away from me. Those three days gave me the strength I needed to go five days, a week, two weeks, three weeks, a month, two months, four months, six months…and now I am coming up on a full year of no behaviors. I’m so much happier. I’m so much healthier. I’m so much more resilient.
Now, recovery isn’t all sunshine and daisies. That’s not what I’m trying to tell you. It’s been 21 months since February 2014. Plenty of time for mess-ups. With each relapse, I learned something I really needed to know in order to have lasting recovery.
When you fall off the horse, you take a deep breath, brush yourself off, and get back on. You reflect and ask: why did I fall? what can I learn from this fall? What can I change, try, develop, let go of, and share with others in order to hold onto recovery a little bit longer next time?
About the Author
Nephie believes that movement is a celebration of life! As a certified yoga and fitness instructor, she teaches zumba, barre, and yoga classes in Nashville, TN. She also offers private yoga lessons. For more information (and to access awesome free content), please see visit Nephie’s website: https://www.nephiesnider.com.