Tag Archive | Bad Days

Vacations

When you go on vacation, wouldn’t it be nice to take a vacation from your eating disorder instead of having your eating disorder travel with you?

I’m sure some of you are not even able to go on a vacation because it so stressful that is sets back your recovery. I wanted to write this post because so many people will be embarking on vacations over the next couple weeks due to the spring break from schools. Also, summer is on its way and people often take vacations in the summer. This post is designed to provide you and your loved ones with insight into the challenges faced on vacations and strategies for working through them.

I recently got back from a vacation and realized how nice it was to not have my eating disorder tagging along. In the past, it would involve itself in every move I made, ruining the trip to the point where I was desperate to be back in the safety of my routine, the sameness, the disordered prison I called “home”.

Why is going away so challenging when you have an eating disorder?

No matter what type of disorder you struggle with, there are issues that you face that non-disordered people simply don’t worry about.

The following are some quotes from some of my clients regarding their challenging experiences on recent vacations, due to their eating disorders.

“I don’t remember anything fun about my family vacation. The months prior to the trip, I spent endless hours trying to buy clothes that fit and wouldn’t make me feel enormous. All this clothes shopping made me obsess even more about my body and reinforced to me how abnormal I feel. As the trip got closer, I pulled out all the stops and used every disordered behavior in my arsenal, somehow thinking this would make me feel better before I got there. So, by the time the day arrived when we left, I felt horrible, washed out and more obsessed than ever.

All I remember about the resort was scoping out every single bathroom there that I could escape to in order to use my behaviors. I spent the entire trip pretending to be normal and eating normally. Then when no one was looking, I would bolt to the least conspicuous bathroom. I was exhausted, bloated and depressed. I snapped at my kids and my husband because I couldn’t enjoy all the fun events we were partaking in.”

_____________

“I show up at a tropical resort after weeks or possibly months of anticipation. I’ve probably spent those weeks or months dieting and exercising because I need to look semi-acceptable in ‘resort-clothing’. Chances are that I have failed to lose any weight, so that weighs heavily on me causing me to be cranky.  Part of me says, ‘It’s not over. Try again.’ So, I decide to eat only one meal while I’m there. In fact, I even select cocktails that aren’t high in calories.

The attractive, thin, people around me make me self-conscious.  I feel awkward when I have to talk to them because I think they think, ‘She’s way too fat to be here.’ I decline when they out of pure politeness invite me to 8am yoga.

I try to make healthy food choices, but it’s hard because I am limited to what it available.  Depending on where I am, there may be a plethora of food, but the quality or the preparation may be bad, so I end up feeling unsatisfied, causing me to eat excess Carbs.  (Lots of Carbs at resorts!)  If the quality is great, then I probably indulge and feel guilty after.

Needless to say, at some point in my vacation, I snap and become super-bitch.   After I snap, I hate myself for starting a petty argument and that blows up to hating myself for EVERYTHING bad that I am and have including my body.”

_____________

“My family looks forward to this family reunion on a cruise every year. We all go away for a week where all there is to do is eat, eat, eat. For the months prior to the cruise, I agonize over wearing a bathing suit. I feel so awkward showing my body but I know it would be weird to not wear one. I find myself body checking more and more the closer the trip approaches. I strategize for weeks about how I will handle all the food. I devise a great plan to eat only three small meals, lots of fruit and vegetables, walk around the deck for exercise and drink alcohol minimally.

I am with extended family all the time. There’s no escaping them. The drinks are pouring. They are all feasting at every chance they can get. They stay up till all hours of the night at the clubs drinking and then binge at the midnight buffet.

I usually last about two days with my plan of restricting myself till on about the third day, I can’t take it anymore and a switch is flipped. I go wild. I begin eating like a crazy person. I gorge myself at every chance I get. I spend the next 5 days bingeing and purging over and over and over…usually at least 4 or more times a day. I keep trying to get myself back on track but I don’t have the energy to do it. I just resign myself to being disordered for the rest of the trip.

My personality changes too. I drink and become a ‘party animal’, so everyone thinks I am having a ball. Little do they know I am screaming at myself behind the scenes.”

_____________

“We usually go on a big trip, often to Europe, in the summer. Last year it was to Italy and France. The thought of going somewhere this summer sends chills up my spine. I have such a hard time breaking out of my routine of safe foods and my exercise plan. Everyone tells me that I will do a lot of walking on my trip but it doesn’t feel the same. I end up with strong urges to compensate for the lack of regular exercise. I also have a really hard time eating in restaurants and when we go away, we eat all our meals out. I just get so scared about all the changes and things I can’t control, I do terribly while we are away.

My family ends up getting furious with me because I can’t enjoy the food like they do. I end up ruining all the meals because I always let them down by ordering the safest food on the menu. My parents get in arguments over my eating and then their trip is terrible. I feel like a burden.

When we get back from our trip, my parents get even angrier with me because my weight will be affected and then they are scrambling to get me to eat more to get back on track. It’s a disaster all around.”

_____________

Well…these four stories of vacations are all too real for those who struggle with these illnesses. So, what do you do? How can you go on vacation and keep your eating disorder from ruining it?

First, you need to understand that you have a psychological illness that has been used as a coping mechanism and it doesn’t just vanish because you decide to go away. (Wouldn’t that be nice if it did???) Depending where you are in your recovery, a vacation can be a positive experience or a negative one.

I have treated many clients who have had fabulous vacations, ones when their eating disorders haven’t ruined the trip for them. Those clients were either fairly far along in recovery and/or strategized for the trip so that they felt as comfortable as possible.

Some strategies for your vacation:

  • Accommodate the Time Difference: First, if you are going to fly, plan for your flight and the times changes if there are any. Often, when you are gaining time or getting up extra early, there may be some challenges with figuring out your meals. In my opinion, if you are awake for extra hours, you will need to have an additional meal or snack to accommodate the extra time. Plan for this “extra” and have something comfortable to add in for the day.

 

  • Bring Food:  If you are flying, bring food with you on the plane. You can either buy things at most any airport, or take food from home. Think about in what time frames you will be flying and what meals and/or snacks you would be consuming if you were home…if you weren’t flying. I have been to numerous airports and I have found the packaged foods to be quite universal. I usually bring protein bars, nuts, and dried fruits for snacks. Depending on what time my flight is, I will perhaps buy a sandwich or a salad at the airport if my flight will be during a meal time. I always buy a beverage after I go through the security gate so that I have a drink on the plane. If you are lucky, you might be offered something on the plane, but lately, you have to buy the food. Plus, plane food often sucks. Always be prepared. You never want to be left with no food choices while traveling. Always pack food in your suitcase. Plan to bring enough snacks for every day you will be gone, at every snack time. Worst case scenario, you can bring them home with you. I look at food as important as medicine, and you would never forget to take your medicine on a trip. If you have favorite foods (obviously they cannot be perishable if you are flying), bring them – cereal, peanut butter, crackers, bars, nuts, etc. 
     
    If you are going to a destination and staying in a house or condo, hopefully you will have access to a grocery store once you get there and you might want to go to the store within a short period of time after you arrive so you have all the food you need. You will most likely have some meals in the house/condo which will provide you with structure and familiarity.If you are traveling somewhere by car, bring food as well. The good thing about traveling in a car is that you can bring perishable food with you like yogurt, cheese, sandwiches, etc. If you like to make stops periodically to get food along the way, you will have a choice of either getting something at the restaurant or “rest stop” or eat what you have brought with you. This would be a good time to challenge yourself if the restaurant or ”rest stop” has comfortable food. Most restaurants have a variety of options for a variety of needs. Get as much information about where you will be stopping before you stop so that you have a good game plan.

 

  • Add Structure to Your Meals:  You may need to be flexible if traveling with several people because everyone’s needs will vary, but try to get as much structure in your meals as possible on travel days as well as on vacation days. When you know where you will be going, make a “healthy” mental game plan for your meals and snacks. The last thing you want to do is plan to use behaviors while you are away. That will certainly ruin your trip.  Try to make sure your plan is to eat as recovery-focused, comfortable, and satisfying as possible. Planning to restrict, binge or purge will put your eating disorder in charge from the start and you will not enjoy yourself.

 

  • Try to Avoid Catastrophizing Things:  No matter how long or short your trip is, don’t let the time you are away overshadow the work you have done the other days, weeks and months of the year. Remember, it’s a vacation – a reprieve from the stresses of life.

 

  • Try Not to Compare Yourself to Other People:  You don’t want to ruin your trip by making comparisons that will only serve to make your eating disorder stronger. If you are feeling awkward, remember that people don’t really care what you are doing. They are more interested in what they are doing. On my recent vacation, we were on the beach every day. It was so freeing to just enjoy the sun and the water without feeling the awkwardness that my eating disorder used to inflict upon me. There was the momentary discomfort of walking across the beach into the water but the water felt so good and I am sure no one cared what I wore or what I looked like. Even if they did, I didn’t know any of them and I will never see any of them again.

 

  • Keep Your Food Expectations Realistic:   No matter what eating disorder you struggle with, the food will NOT be the same as it is at home. It most likely will elicit some challenging thoughts and feelings. Your eating won’t be perfect. It’s not supposed to be. This goes back to what I said previously. Go into the trip with a “healthy” positive, recovery-focused game plan and expect that you can’t control everything. On my vacation, the food was not that good. I was in an all-inclusive resort. Frankly, the food was disappointing. But, I ate what I liked, felt excited about a few things and was disappointed by a number of things. The food is a big part of what I look forward to on a trip, but although I was a little disappointed overall, I tried to maintain perspective and for me, perspective is key! If I look too much toward the food as the “make or break” aspect of the trip, I am often let down.

 

  • Get Support:  If you are traveling with family or other people, find someone who will support you when things are difficult. Maybe this will be a parent, friend, sibling, or significant other. Reach out and speak up about what your worries are. They may not “get” it but they can help support you through a rough patch, it can help prevent a disastrous trip.

 

  • Change Your Movement Expectations:  If you worry about movement during your trip, remember, once again, you are on vacation. Things will most likely not be the same as they are at home. Try to change your expectations about movement. If you follow an exercise routine at home and you won’t be able to do the same routine while you are away, use the trip as a time to practice flexibility in your routine. Please try not to catastrophize the change. Change is often very challenging for some people with eating disorders. Sameness is so safe, but once again, try to keep your expectations realistic. I find vacations to be a good opportunity to recharge myself, not to put pressure on myself to do everything the same.  The more pressure you put on yourself about all the things you “should” do on vacation, the more “guilt” your eating disorder will make you feel.

 

  • Stay OUT of Your Head!!! If you start going into eating disorder mode, press your mental “reset” button and try to challenge any negative thoughts and behaviors before they take over.

Remember, there are 365 days a year and your vacation is a small period of time within that year. Try to make the most of it. Try NOT to let your eating disorder and all the associated obsessions and compulsions ruin what could be a fun-filled break from the stressors you experience during the rest of the year.

Share on Facebook

Owning My Recovery

The following post is from a client of mine. Thank you for writing this, PR. I think that many will find inspiration in your words.

A year ago I wrote a post titled Awake and Alive and I talked about the “pink cloud” I found myself in after committing to recovery. Today, I want to write about owning my recovery after a full year of struggling and fighting to stay “awake and alive”.

The “pink cloud” I experienced a year ago was the initial burst of good energy and happiness that followed my strong commitment to recovery. It was my first glimpse of how amazing my life could be without my eating disorder. It was the first feeling of freedom from the obsessions and rituals of my eating disorder. Unfortunately, the “pink cloud experience” didn’t last. It wasn’t that I gave up. It was just the natural evaporation of the cloud; as all clouds go. All was not lost though. Having the “pink cloud experience” showed me what my life could be like. It was a gift that gave me the opportunity to experience the beauty of life without my eating disorder. But gifts offer only fleeting moments of joy. True and lasting happiness comes from hard work and sometimes struggles through which one begins to establish ownership over their accomplishments. And that is what I’ve been doing for the past year. Struggling and fighting to own my recovery. Struggling and fighting to solidify my recovery and make it my own so that it could not and would not evaporate.

I will not whitewash the hard work of taking ownership of my recovery. There were times where I wanted to give up and times where I almost did give up. Then I would have to weigh the pros and cons. Did I really want to go back to my eating disorder with its obsessive, isolative nature? Or, did I want to continue on the road to recovery? I knew that the road of recovery was the only place where joy and happiness could be found. Yet, it was also a road full of obstacles, bumps, ditches, and boulders. Walking this road was tiring and sometimes I didn’t feel like going on. The battle of whether to continue the struggle or take the easy slide down was constant. And yet, amidst the tears I found moments of joy, beauty, and freedom which I knew I would never find elsewhere. By holding on to those nuggets of pleasure I managed to continue on.

There were days where bad body image skewed my ability to think clearly. Those were days where my perspective on life would become distorted and I would imagine that my happiness would only come from being a specific shape or size. On those days, I would cry and pound the walls in fury. I threw tantrums rivaling a two-year old. I hated myself and hid under the covers refusing to meet the world. And yet, despite the fear, terror, and self-hate that consumed me during those times I continued to walk on the road of recovery. Using reserves of strengths I never knew existed within me, I pushed onward.

Sometimes, the demands of my life overwhelmed me and I thought it would be impossible to go on. I needed my eating disorder to help me control my anxiety, and depression. I would dream about how nice it would be to use behaviors that would make me forget about everything else. Yet each time these thoughts surfaced I would force myself to see the bigger picture. Using behaviors and going back to my eating disorder was a packaged deal. Along with it, came the obsessions, rituals, and isolation. Later on would come the strong winds of depression and an inability to access the joys in my life. Did I really want to go back there? It was a question I faced again and again and again.

Owning my recovery meant learning to rely on myself for strength, encouragement, and love. This was perhaps the most difficult part of my recovery. When faced with challenges, I forced myself to go deep within and use my own resources to move forward. I built a support system for myself and wrote a list of activities that would distract as well as soothe me. Then, I made sure to use the list when the going got rough. I fought my eating disorder using every skill I could remember and created some of my own. I found the voice of my inner self and allowed it to speak against my eating disorder. I cried and laughed, learning to show and experience a range of emotions. I put words to my struggles and found new insight in every challenge. I made sure to learn from every mistake and used each experience as a stepping stone to greater heights. Most importantly, I learned to put the focus on myself. Recovering from my eating disorder was my responsibility. It was my fight, my struggle, my challenges. I was the most important person in my life and I came first. All the time, every time.

Today, I stand proud and tall on the top of the mountain. I see other mountains in the distance and I know that I must continue to climb. But today I am taking the time to notice and experience the joy of owning my recovery. I have scaled the mountain that is my eating disorder. I know there is no going back. The world stretches out before me, beckoning with all its beauty and hope. There is so much to live for and I am full of true joy and happiness. Life is beautiful. My life is beautiful. I hug myself and smile. I own my recovery. It is strong and solid beneath my feet.

Share on Facebook

What Are You Addicted To???

Disordered habits are addictive. Healthy non-disordered habits are difficult to adopt, let alone adhere to. So many times, clients will say to me:

“I didn’t think it was a big deal to skip that one snack.”

“I only wanted to binge once. I figured then I could give it up.”

“I promised myself that after this binge/purge, I’d never do it again.”

“I wanted to push myself to do more exercise just once, to see if I could do it.”

Eating disordered behaviors are addictive. You NEVER want to engage in them “just once”. Once you engage in them one time…just one time, you CRAVE them. You may not like them, they may be painful, they make you feel terrible about yourself, but you become addicted to the “high”, the relief, the numbness you get from them. Unfortunately, each time you use eating disordered behaviors in order to numb out, avoid, distract or lower your anxiety, you set yourself up for having a more difficult time stopping them and finding new “healthy habits” such as effective communication, feelings and needs identification and coping mechanisms.

Don’t fool yourself into believing that if you engage in an eating disordered behavior today that you will “want” to give it up tomorrow or that it will be easier to give it up at a time in the future. It is HARD giving up disordered behaviors. It will bring up anxiety and discomfort when you resist using disordered behaviors. It is hard finding healthy behaviors in place of disordered ones. That’s why recovery is arduous and using eating disordered behaviors is more comfortable (even though they are painful). Each day you engage in disordered behaviors like restriction, bingeing, purging, overexercising, use of other addictive substances like laxatives, diet pills etc, you are making it more difficult to live without them.

The “high” isn’t worth it when it sets up an addiction that is so difficult to break and prevents you from leading a healthier life and learning healthy habits. You must resist the instant gratification of the addictive behavior. You must try to look beyond it, and think of how you want to feel in the long run. What is your choice…short-term gratification for long-term pain and suffering OR short-term discomfort for long-term health and recovery? It is ALWAYS a choice!

I found three quotes that I felt accurately illustrate this topic!

Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.  ~St. Augustine

Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables.  ~Spanish Proverb

Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.  ~Yiddish Proverb

Share on Facebook

Yikes! I’m having a Bad Body Image day! HELP!

A fabulous post from a client.

Most of you, or even all of you with an eating disorder, can relate to having a “bad body image day” and the experience of being overwhelmed with hateful and negative feelings on these days. At one of our support group meetings, the group spent some time discussing the issue of bad body image and ways to deal with the barrage of negativity that accompanies it. I took the liberty of putting together some of the ideas we shared so that all of us can benefit from it. Please feel free to add your comments and thoughts so that we can continue to support each other in fighting this powerful demon.

DISTRACTION! On those days, when your body is your worst enemy, distraction is the weapon of choice. Do not do anything that will cause you to add unnecessary focus on your body. In this battle, the more time you spend in face-to-face combat, the more danger you are liable to find yourself in. Read a book, play with your cat, or go for a walk. Call a friend and chat – do not spend time talking about your body! Focus on your relationship and find something fun and meaningful which you can do together. When all else fails, take a nap or if it is nighttime, go to sleep. Things may look very different tomorrow.

Your body IMAGE is a PERCEPTION! While distraction is very important, there are many times when it is clearly not enough. Therefore, you might have to add a dose of self-talk to your distraction. If you can’t talk to yourself (because you’re taking a walk in the park and are afraid that people will think you’re crazy) then you can think it. Even better, write it down on an index card when you have a chance and keep it with you at all times. Here is something to remember:

An image is a perception. Therefore, your body image is YOUR perception of your body. Generally, that perception is not based on reality. I’d like to share some of my thoughts on this. I am usually told unequivocally that my perception of my body is NOT grounded in reality. However, as an intelligent person I always find that a little disconcerting. I like to believe that I’m capable of recognizing the truth in myself and the world around me so I don’t like being told that my understanding of my body is imaginary. However, recently I came to realize that my eating disorder has skewed my ability to see my body for what it is. The lens I look through when I look at my body has not yet been properly set, thus making it impossible for me to see myself the way others see me. Therefore, I need to accept that the way I see myself IS a perception and is NOT based on reality. I believe this is universal to all of us with eating disorders. And acceptance of this is critical. Body IMAGE is a perception and remembering this when the going gets tough is a sure way to rack of points against your eating disorder.

Accept yourself in your current body! Recognizing that your body is constantly evolving during recovery and that where you are now is not where you will stay might make it easier to fight bad body image.

Very Important! Remember that your body is genetically set for a specific size and weight. It is virtually impossible to change unless you are using behaviors. Unfortunately, in today’s society we expect everyone to fit into a certain mold and size. But think of it this way. We don’t force everyone into the same shoe size because we recognize that each individual’s foot has a specific genetic size. In China, the women used to break their toes so that they could all have “little feet”. Today, we consider that barbaric and medieval. However; in our Western “enlightened and advanced” society we are using similar methods to make sure we all have “little bodies”. The methods might be different but the torture we put our bodies through is the same.

Focusing on your body image is coming closer to the edge of the cliff and from there it is a slippery slope down to the rocks below. Play it out in your mind. What will you gain from using behaviors to have the body you think you want? For one thing you will never really have the body you want because you will never be happy with any weight or size you are at. Your eating disorder will make sure of that. Think back. Have you ever been happy when you were using behaviors? What is your life like when you use behaviors in an effort to create a body that is not your own? Obsessive? Unhappy? Lonely? Depressed? Do any of these words sound familiar? And what exactly will you gain from having a certain type of body? Happiness? Love? Self-Esteem? It is impossible to get the things you really want from life by using your eating disorder because focusing on this one external aspect of yourself makes it impossible to develop your inner self. And happiness, love, self-esteem, and joy come from inside.

One more thing. We often say that our eating disorders make us “unique”. The individuality we think we gain from our eating disorders makes us want to hold onto it. However; have you ever stopped to realize that your eating disorder takes away your uniqueness and individuality? You become a number in the statistical data of individuals with eating disorders. You become a file in the hospital or program you enter. On the other hand, fighting your eating disorder and recovering gives you the gift of true uniqueness. Without your eating disorder all your individual talents and abilities can blossom and bloom. Without your eating disorder, you become a true unique individual because it is only then that your distinct personality can shine through. So go ahead. Take the road to recovery and begin the journey to discover your true individuality. The world needs you because there is no one that is just like you.

Share on Facebook

Life’s Lessons Never End

When do the lessons ever get learned???  That’s the first question I keep asking myself? Is there such a thing as getting comfortable with your feelings? That’s the second question. Why do I continue to feel the same stuff over and over and why can’t I just move past these issues? That’s the third question. For goodness sake, I’ve had enough practice at all this!!! I want to just feel the good stuff!  Wow! That sounds really unrealistic and misses the point of the lessons I MUST learn!

So, seeing as it is Sunday, of course I am learning a ton of lessons today. You see, I’m no different than all of you. I have ups and downs. I feel all sorts of painful emotions that I want to make go away. But I am determined to fight through it all because I don’t want to ever go back to my eating disorder to “save” me from it all. I always say that my worst day well is still better than my best day sick. Some days it is harder to hang onto that notion but it is still my mantra.

So…here goes with my story of the week. Recently, I got a call from an old friend who I lost touch with many many years ago. She learned of my whereabouts through a mutual professional colleague and she decided it would be nice to catch up. I was so surprised to hear from her after 25 years but was very excited to see her and catch up on our lives. We met for coffee this week and when I first saw her, she looked exactly as I had remembered her, as though time had stood still. She had a smile that lit up the room. She was lovely! We got our drinks and sat in a quiet corner to chat.

She asked me lots of questions about my life…was I married? Did I have children? Where did I live? How did I like my work? Etc. I was happy and excited to tell her all the details. She told me all about her life as well. This is where I started wilting like a weed. She was extremely humble, but revealed that she was extraordinarily happy in her marriage of 20 years. Her husband was “the best friend I could ever have”.  She said she has 4 beautiful children – 2 boys and 2 girls. (She showed me a photo. They were “picture perfect”.)  She’s the president of a very big company. She has her “main house” in a different state and her “summer/weekend house” at the Jersey shore. Meantime, I know exactly where her summer/weekend house is and it is twice as big, and ten times nicer than my only house. She started giving me details about how nice it is to get away with her family to the summer/weekend house where they swim and play tennis on their private tennis court. I felt myself really making an effort to be happy for her. After all, she worked very hard for her success and deserves to be happy. She asked me if I was happy and I said “yes, but I wish I had a little more free time”. I asked her if she was happy and she said “oh yes, I have a very good life!” Then, she asked me “what do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? You must have some down time.” You would have thought she asked me a question about quantum physics. I just stared at her and thought to myself “I have no idea”. I said to her “I am so busy, I really don’t have a lot of down time to do much of anything else besides work-related things.” “Really?” she said. “I started running marathons a few years ago and I play tennis and golf. You should try them. They are a lot of fun and really good for your mind.” “Good for you!” I said. “I’m so happy for you.”

After two hours, we both had to leave and promised to catch up once or twice a year. She invited me to come to her weekend/summer house some time, to which I replied “I’d love to!” We hugged goodbye and went our separate ways. She got into her BMW. I got into my GMC.

What are my lessons???

First of all, my life is my life. My life is not her life. Sure, her life sounded perfect but there is truly no such thing as a perfect life. And, even if her life is perfect, it is hers. If I continue to focus on her life, I lose the focus on my own. If I continue to focus on hers, in no way will that misguided attention improve mine. It will only serve to make me feel inadequate. You see, for all the good in my life, there is still the little nagging part in the recesses of my mind that is always anxious to make me feel inadequate, like that young girl who never felt good enough.

Never ever compare yourself to others. If someone else appears to have everything you want, they probably don’t. My friend surely appeared to have everything she ever dreamed of, but I’m sure, in our two-hour meeting, she didn’t feel compelled or comfortable telling me the negative stuff she has gone through.

I’m not even intent on comparing  her job with mine because I love my job. I can’t imagine doing anything else. It is extremely rewarding and gives me immense pleasure. I too, have a good marriage and wonderful children. And my home is just fine for me. I don’t need a second home either. The comparison came in when it dawned on me that she had such extreme confidence and lightheartedness. She was completely comfortable in her skin and in her life. It just felt to me like she never struggles. She has never suffered from a mental illness. She has never felt inadequate. She likes herself and she doesn’t have to work for it. That was the rough part. I have worked for years at feeling all those things she felt naturally.

My second lesson is that no one should ever lose themselves to anything so much that they lose the passion for doing good things for themselves. I see this all the time in my practice. People become so focused on their eating disorders that they forget who they really are, they forget what their real strengths are and what other qualities they possess. They also don’t take the time to develop other skills, passions, relationships and talents. This was a wake up call for me. When I thought about the question “what do you do in your spare time?” all I could think of was the many things I used to do that I no longer do. I thought, “Why don’t I do those things anymore?” I have become so busy with work that I stopped having hobbies or self-care activities. That is the very thing I always encourage my clients to do and I stopped doing it! Yikes! I failed at my own advice!

My third lesson is that we are always learning lessons… until the day we die. Even though I think I’ve learned some of these lessons already, I am still learning them. I guess we are in for a lifetime of “the school of life”. In addition to accepting that these lessons are lifelong, I cannot ever expect to feel only the positive feelings. I tell my clients this all the time as well. We all need to feel a complete array of feelings and we have to be able to be comfortable being uncomfortable. That is an absolute necessity for life and for recovery.

So, I have made four goals that I encourage you all to make with me, if you aren’t already doing them:

  1. I will make time to do more of things I used to enjoy so much. I will try to get more balance in my life. I will not lose sight of the many aspects of who I am.
  2. I will feel all my feelings, no matter how bad or good they are. They are a part of me and they all deserve to be expressed.
  3. I will not compare myself or my life with others. I will focus only on mine. It’s the only one I have. (this lesson must be continually be popping up for a reason)
  4. I will accept that life’s lessons are lifelong. Some are easier to grasp. Others take longer to learn. I am never done.

 

Coping with life’s ups and downs is your responsibility. Your eating disorder can mask life, but will never ever be able to help you live your life to its fullest.

Share on Facebook

Stop Keeping Score!

I don’t know exactly why I learn most of my life’s lessons on Sundays but it happens and I am grateful for my lessons…always.

Today (Sunday), I learned an important lesson that I’d like to pass along to you. STOP KEEPING SCORE!

It was a very typical Sunday morning and I was feeling pretty much the same as I do on every Sunday morning, a bit sad that the weekend is almost over and a little overwhelmed by the week ahead. Then my husband said “I’m going to clean up the garage today because it’s a beautiful day and I don’t want to be inside.” So, the first thing that went through my mind is “why do you consider being in the garage as being outside?” But the answer to that is that he keeps the door open. The second thing that went through my mind is “I know the cleaning of the garage is going to cause him to find things that he will get mad at me for keeping instead of throwing out.” You see, my husband is a bit of a “neat freak” and I am not. So, I know that whenever he starts cleaning anything, I will start to feel bad that I’m not as neat. He will also point out things that bother him…in a “friendly” sort of way.

So, I continued doing my morning jobs around the house when I heard the door from the garage to the house open up. In he walked with a large pot. It was presumably full by the way he was carrying it. He said “what’s this?” with an unpleasant look on his face. Well, I know exactly what it was. A couple months ago, I had made a huge pot of soup and after a few days of eating it, instead of portioning it out into individual containers, I completely forgot it was in the garage refrigerator, and so it sat. I’m sure you can only imagine what it looked like after a couple months. He handed it to me with a look on his face that can only be described as “I can’t believe you would leave this in the fridge for two months!” I simply took the pot from him and lightheartedly said “that’s what you get when you live with me!” I walked into the house and proceeded to dispose of the indescribable contents of the pot, scrubbed the pot clean and continued with my jobs around the house.

For the next two hours, there were more assorted things brought into the house for me to have to decide what to do with, like a hefty bag of clothes, a couple bins of food that my kids brought home from college, some other assorted containers, cups, and work-related items. Each time the door opened, I braced myself for some sort of sarcastic remark about how the garage is such a mess, how the garage is not a garbage dump, etc. Then, there were jobs I needed to help him with in the garage, like moving heavy things, rearranging and lifting things. I HATE moving and lifting things. I am a self-professed “weakling” and I have no spatial awareness. Inevitably whenever I help him with these types of jobs, he laughs at my lack of “skill”. Finally, and ever so quietly, I retreated upstairs to my study to write, thus avoiding the multiple comments and awful jobs. Here I sit to write about the “lesson” I have learned as a result.

I will NOT keep score! I will not keep score with MYSELF. You see, my husband doesn’t hold any of this against me. He knows he is a “neat freak”. He knows I am the “creative” one and I am not nearly as neat as he is. He knows that there are many skills that I am not only bad at, but really don’t care to improve upon. He laughs at the differences between us. He has strengths and weaknesses and I do too. He is bothered by certain things I do, but he still loves me.

The problem is that I have the tendency to hold these things against myself. But it doesn’t stop at the “neatness issue” or the “spatial awareness deficit”. I begin to start to keep score with myself. Only, it’s never fair. After a morning like this, I begin to think of all the other things I am not good at. I begin to make a mental list of the infinite traits and skills I DON’T have. Let me assure you, when I start making this list, it never ends. I have the ability to create things on my list that would be impossible for me to be good at. As I mentioned, it’s not fair.

Believe me, when anyone starts making list of their deficits, it is a slippery slope. There is nothing good that can come out of it. Well, maybe if you have a very strong sense of self and you can use a list to improve on a couple of the things you aren’t good at then I can see something good coming from it. But, if you are anything like me, a list will never be fair, and it will be fuel for the negative self-critical side of your mind to make you feel really bad about yourself.

I honestly don’t care if I stink at moving or lifting things. I care that I’m not a neat freak, but not enough to focus an enormous amount of energy on it. I am not good at geography or history. I’m not skilled in financial matters. I hate economics. I hate going to the car wash. I hate doing paperwork. I stink at many things.

BUT, I am good at a few things. The list may be small but it is all I have. PLUS, I am a good person. When I weigh that against all the stuff on the other list, being a good person is the one thing that is good enough for me. The stuff I stink at doesn’t make me a bad person, it makes me a person. I wouldn’t trade my few “good” things for ALL the things on the other list.

The lesson learned is that as a person, you cannot possibly be good at everything. Don’t make a list of good vs bad. There’s a good possibility that your list will be uneven like mine is. Then, as a result, you might use the list of “bad” things against yourself. This is where you could get into serious trouble. The self-critical side of your mind will use this “bad” list to make you feel bad about yourself and then how do you try to “feel better”??? Using your eating disordered behaviors, of course. You must must must focus on the “good” in yourself. “Goodness” isn’t about skills; it is about humanness and character. Goodness is about love, kindness, fairness, good intentions, sincerity.

Please don’t keep score. Don’t make a list. Try to imagine and focus on ONLY your positive self-affirming personality traits. I am going to immediately begin to focus on mine!!!

Share on Facebook

Comparisons!!!

Today (Sunday) I woke up thinking about all the comparisons people make with others, especially when they are unhappy with themselves. Comparisons can be a breeding ground for discontent and are not motivators for taking care of oneself.  So today, as an experiment, I decided to find all the ways I could “negatively” compare myself and my choices to others and see the types of negative thoughts and feelings that I could conjure up as a result. Remember, this was just an experiment. I don’t actually have these thoughts and feelings associated with these situations. If I did, I would be a very sad, unhappy person.

It started at the local Cumberland Farms store where I bought my coffee and a local newspaper. First thing I noticed was how many people were buying the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Enter comparisons #1 and #2: “I bought the local paper and others bought the New York papers. They must be better educated and smarter than I am. I put half and half and sugar in my coffee and they didn’t. I must be less healthy than them.”

Then, I went to the gym and while I was on “my” machine, a woman got on the same type of machine next to me and as I was going a comfortable level, she kept pressing the “up” arrow until her level was almost 3 times higher than mine. Enter comparison #2: “She is in so much better shape than I am. I’m weak.” 

Also while at the gym, I observed people doing way more “reps” of weights than I was as well as ordering protein smoothies when they were done. Enter comparisons #3 and #4: “I should be doing more reps. I am weak. Why don’t I get a smoothie after my workout instead of going to the diner for my breakfast? I don’t eat as well as others.”

As an aside, in my opinion a gym can be a place that can trigger lots of comparisons and negative thoughts and feelings if you are body image distorted or place excessive emphasis on your body. I always notice all the people who are in the gym because I get bored easily and like to “people watch” but I never focus or obsess about people there.

Then, I went home but in the parking lot, I observed all the cars yet chose to focus on the expensive ones. Enter comparison #5: “My car isn’t good enough. These people with these nice expensive cars must have better jobs and make more money than me. They must be so much happier than me.”

I went home and then left for the grocery store, another site of potential comparisons. I filled my basket with all the foods my family likes. This was a tough one because there were such a variety of people with a variety of choices I couldn’t find a comparison other than the woman who bought only like ten items. An eating disordered comparison, comparison #6 could have been: “She’s buying such healthy foods and only a few of them. She must be healthy and have self-control and with all these foods in my cart (including lots of sweets and snacks), I must be eating too much and all the wrong foods. I must have no self-control.”

Later today, I went to Starbucks and Target with my daughter. First, at Starbucks there was a woman in front of us ordering a “skinny latte”. Enter comparison #7: “She must be healthy, in shape and happier than I am. I’m a bad person for ordering my “non-skinny” drink.”

At Target, of all days, their bathing suits were on sale so the department was crowded. Enter comparison #8: “Everyone here is trying on bikinis. I’m sure they all look good in their bikinis and I would look terrible in one. They must have such a great life and be so happy because they wear bikinis and I wear a one piece bathing suit.”

Wow!!!  I really could have had a horrible day if I had actually been comparing myself to all these “strangers” with a negative distorted mindset. It truly makes me feel very sad pondering if this were actually the way I thought and felt. The good news is that I felt none of these things.

The moral of this story is that you can go through your day in a negative mindset, comparing yourself with a bunch of strangers, only to end up feeling sad, unworthy and defeated…OR…you can go through your day focused on living in a way that makes you feel good about yourself, surrounding yourself with loving people who care about you just as you are. Do the best you can each day to live the best life you can, devoted to the health and happiness of you and your loved ones.  Never compare yourself with others, especially when you make unfounded judgments about how they live and how they feel.

So, now I am going to drink my coffee with half and half, read my local paper, enjoy the good food I bought at the grocery store, take pleasure in sitting in my sweats (no bathing suit today…too cold!) writing for my blog. I am content having no one to negatively compare myself to. I will strive to do my best to avoid all negative comparisons, and I hope you can do the same.

Share on Facebook

Guilty as Charged!

Take a look at Merriam-Webster’s definitions of guilt and guilty. Notice  several of the words and/or phrases in the definitions – breach of conduct, violating law, penalty, offense, inadequacy, self-reproach, grave, crime. 

Think of how you feel when you have engaged in a healthy eating behavior like following your meal plan well. Think about when you have “enjoyed” something to eat. Think about when you have had a successful day. Or, think of how you feel when you “slip” and use an eating disordered behavior. Is your eating disorder right there, waiting to tear you down for having a good day or doing something good for your recovery? Is the healthy part of your brain making you feel badly for making a mistake… for not being perfect?

Isn’t it incredible how almost anything you do with your food can elicit this powerful, negative, undermining feeling of guilt? Your eating disordered mind tries to make you feel “guilty” if you do the healthy thing so that you won’t do it again or makes you doubt if you can keep it up. That’s the game that your eating disorder plays. It’s a “no win” game that’s designed to make you lose, no matter what move you make. It’s like playing chess against an expert who knows all your moves in advance.

But, the perfectionistic, authoritative, inflexible part of your mind might also make you feel guilty when you make a mistake, as though you have to do everything perfectly in order to recover and if you make a mistake, you need to feel guilty or be “punished” in some way.

So, are you going to let this “brain-altering parasite” aka your eating disorder, steal away your recovery? Will you allow it to make you feel guilty for trying to save yourself? When you do self-caring behaviors, are you going to let your eating disordered thoughts hijack you and make you feel so bad and guilty that you immediately fall back into disordered behaviors?

No, no, no!!! When you do something good for yourself, you should have a victory party! You have NOT committed a crime for which you should feel guilt! You have performed a recovery step for which you should be PROUD!

Second, should you feel guilty for not having a flawless recovery? Are you going to let your perfectionistic mind (or the pressures from others) make you feel like you either have to get everything picture perfect or you’ve failed?

No, no, no!!!  Recovery cannot be perfect. That is an unattainable goal. Recovery is imperfect and has ups and downs. The key is that you are always trying to move forward, not backward. But in moving forward, you may take two steps forward and one step backward.

There is no room for guilt in recovery, not for doing the “right” thing, and not for making mistakes along the way. As long as you are trying to get better and learning from your mistakes, you should feel proud of yourself for fighting an illness that is challenging, confusing, fearful and one where there is no “magic pill” to make it go away.

Fight for your recovery, feel proud of your accomplishments, and by all means, don’t let guilt derail you off your path.

Share on Facebook

Slips


How many times have you gotten to the same place with your eating disorder recovery and then “quit” and gone back to the old familiar disordered patterns of behavior?

What makes you get so far and then quit???

What causes it? How long does it take before you quit?

Does it take one “bad” meal, one binge, a “bad” day, a week, a month???

I was with a patient this week who told me that she would get through part of her day or her week and then something would trigger her to “fall off” the recovery wagon and she’d say “screw it” and just throw in the towel and dive back into eating disordered behaviors. Then she’d say to herself “See, I can’t do it. I’m a failure at recovery.” But when we’d look in detail at the situations that triggered her, she could see that at any given time, she could have turned things around and kept on moving forward. It was the attitude of defeat that created the “failure” of a day or a week or a month. It was the obsessing over the “failure” that prevented her from achieving her next success that might have been right around the corner!

Having an attitude of defeat will only create or exacerbate defeat and stop you from attempting to get better. Please remember that eating disordered behaviors are addictive and you most definitely will be much more inclined to “want” to use them than to “not want” to use them. They have served a function that is very strong and powerful, and they are exceptionally familiar and comfortable.

In order to get better you need to actively, mindfully, and yes imperfectly strive to fight your negative self-defeating thoughts and disordered behaviors each meal of each day. If you slip, you haven’t failed unless you want to fail. If you want to fail then you may want to stay sick. If you want to get well then you have to want to succeed and you have to have an attitude of success. BUT, you have to also realize that recovery is based on a series of successes and failures (let’s call them “slips” from now on). No one recovers in a day, a week, a month…etc. No one recovers without slips. I’m not saying that you should negate or minimize your slips, but you have to be able to pick yourself up after a slip, put it into context, learn from it, and move past it. Eventually, the successes will outweigh the slips and you will begin to see recovery much more clearly. Your attitude is key!!! If you look at your slips as slips and not as failures, you will want to continue to try again and again and again until you regain your life. If you have a positive mindset, you will allow yourself to experience and appreciate your successes and not define yourself by those slips. Then, in time, the fruits of your efforts will emerge and you will experience recovery to its fullest.

Share on Facebook

Scale Popping

Does your bathroom scale boss you around?

Does your day feel “good” or “bad” based on what the scale says (or what you think it would say if you had one)? If the number goes down, you might feel “good, powerful, relieved” for a few fleeting minutes or perhaps a few hours, but it doesn’t last. The next time you do the exact same scale popping ritual, your entire well-being is hanging in the balance. What will it say today? There’s a 33.3% chance it will be down again and you will feel that same power, relief, surge of self-worth. Then your eating disorder will say “Great!  Keep it going! You definitely better not eat any more because you have to keep seeing those numbers go down.” Then, there’s a 33.3% chance your weight will be the same and your eating disorder will say, “At least it didn’t go up , but you better try harder tomorrow to get that number down or you will suffer the consequences.” And lastly, there’s a 33.3% chance the number will go up and all hell will break loose. Your eating disorder will RUN with that information and make you feel like you are a worthless human being, not fit to leave your house, not capable of seeing any people and certainly not worth being loved or cared for. Your eating disorder will tell you that you are a loser! It surely will make you want to do all sorts of disordered things to make sure the next time you step on the scale that number is less.

If you are a victim of your scale, if you let a number that you see on a hunk of metal dictate your value or self-worth, you are allowing yourself to be bullied! It is a “lose-lose” proposition because in any of the three scenarios, your eating disorder controls you. You cannot win…ever!

Do the other people who matter to you, judge you by the ounces or pounds you gain or lose in any given day? Do you have a neon sign that lights up on your forehead that says, “I suck today because I gained x amount of weight”? Or a sign that says “I’m worth your time and attention today because I lost x pounds”?

If you are a scale popper and a victim of this inanimate bully, why don’t you try an experiment? For a certain amount of time that you can handle, don’t get on the scale. Give it to someone you trust. You will definitely feel anxious because you may have no other way to determine who you are. For those days that you give it up, focus on non-weight traits that you have. Maybe you are a good student, wife, mother, friend or employee. Maybe people think you are generous, kind, funny, or warm-spirited. You must try to access the things about yourself that really matter because your weight isn’t and will never be one of them. No one who focuses on their body as their sole source of self-worth or happiness EVER achieves true happiness. It is like traveling west when your destination is east. You’ll never ever get there. After these few days or weeks, maybe you can try it for a few more days or another week. If you can’t stand it anymore and you get your scale back and pop back on it, see how long any “good” feeling lasts. I bet you’ll notice that you just sink back into the same trap of being bullied by that hunk of metal again.

You could really take charge and throw that scale in the garbage or smash it with a hammer and tell it who is truly the boss!

Please, remember that you cannot weigh your self-esteem on a scale or with a measuring tape or clothing size. It is what is inside that really counts in life. What do you want people to know you for? No one cares how much you weigh or what size your jeans are. Spend the time that you obsess over your weight and size on things that really matter like treating yourself and others with kindness and love.

That’s something worth obsessing over!

Share on Facebook

Snow Days!

 Wow!  There has been so much to write about in the past few days, I don’t know where to begin. This post is going to be a stream of consciousness post because I don’t want to censor it or water it down.

I can imagine for many of you, these past few days have been quite challenging to say the least. Mixed in with all the joy of the holidays, there are always challenges. And for those of you who live in the northeastern part of the US, there was a blizzard to top it all off.

Holidays mixed with snow days are a breeding ground for struggle if you have an eating disorder. I have gotten numerous emails and texts from people who are going “crazy”!  So, as many of you may be experiencing, there is an enormous amount of unstructured time, the inability to get out of the house, and food, food, food everywhere! Normal routine is completely lost and unhealthy distorted thoughts run rampant!

I have been snowed in, as many of us have, for the past couple of days. I am so glad I took this week of from work because I would have been off anyway since my street has not been plowed out. I have spent the past three days without any routine. I have been in my pajamas for the past two days, taking breaks from my couch only to shovel some snow (in my pajamas) and reheat leftovers from Christmas. I have not worn a stitch of makeup; I haven’t blown dry my hair. I have eaten cookies for breakfast…way too many. I’ve played electronic games, ping pong, watched lots of TV, and haven’t done any laundry or other household chores. I’ve gone to bed late and gotten up late. My routine is completely upside down. It feels great but very abnormal. I feel comfortable with it for a number of reasons but one of the main reasons is because it is only for a short period of time. Next week, I will have to get back to my regular routine. I want to enjoy these few days to their fullest. Once those cookies and Christmas leftovers are gone, I will be eating my usual fare. I will be back to work, chores will resume and my sleep-wake cycle will be back to normal.

Why am I talking about this? Because many of you have such a difficult time with a lack of routine, worried that you will go “out of control” or that you will never get the routine back again. Yes, being around holiday foods and having a snow day can be stressful. You can’t do what you would do on a “normal” day.

What is the best thing to do with this type of time period? First off, remember that it will end. It is not forever. Structure will resume soon. Try not to catastrophize it, because it is not your norm! Don’t let your thoughts become distorted! Try to enjoy the time. Do things that you can’t do during other times. And then, before you know it, you will have your daily routine back…whatever “healthy” routine you have as a person in recovery.

So, tomorrow, presuming I can get out of my driveway, I will pry myself out of my pajamas, drive to the mall to partake in the after Christmas sales. I may go to the grocery store to get a variety of foods since I am a bit sick of Christmas food. I surely will not do any laundry or household chores. I may play a few more games of ping pong. I’ll write some things for the blog and overall, just enjoy the unstructured time!

Please, try to have a healthy perspective on this time. Get pleasure from it and embrace it. It will pass soon enough…

Share on Facebook

Expectations

Do you ever have a stretch of time when you feel you “got it”, when you can feel recovery is going well, you are putting the pieces together, and your eating disorder voice is NOT dictating your behaviors with food?  Then, almost without warning, you find yourself in the eating disorder “pit” again??? 

If this happens to you, try not to get discouraged. I know…easier said than done. If you have suffered for a long time with your eating disorder, it will take a while for you to put the pieces together, keep them together, and not have slips. Sometimes the power of your urges, or emotional “need” for an eating disordered behavior is stronger than you would expect in view of all the insight and tools you have developed during your recovery.

I had an adult client a couple weeks ago who was going through this exact type of issue. She had a really good period of putting all the pieces of her recovery together. She had worked really hard at eating well, taking care of her emotional needs, and communicating effectively. Then, she broke up with her significant other. Although she knew the breakup was the right thing to do, she didn’t expect the intensity of the pain and loss she would feel. She went on a two week self-described “eating disorder behavior fest” that was one of the worst she had ever experienced in all the years she had had her eating disorder. She used all the eating disordered behaviors she hadn’t used in years. She said that by using all these behaviors, she wanted to numb out from all her negative feelings and she wanted to inflict physical pain on herself (with pain from behaviors) so she didn’t have to feel the emotional pain. It doesn’t matter which specific behaviors she used for the purpose of this story. In my opinion, all behaviors are painful. Wow…my heart broke for her. The situation she was in appeared to be extraordinarily triggering. When we spoke about it, she realized that the breakup brought up so many feelings she hadn’t experienced for a long time, feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, fear of being alone forever.

I tell this story because she had been free of her eating disorder behaviors but was unprepared for the breakup and subsequent feelings. She wasn’t emotionally prepared and she didn’t think she would actively need to use her healthy tools, coping mechanisms and resources. She immediately resorted to her eating disorder to cope.

This story is not designed to make you feel like recovery is not possible. It is designed to help you see that when you go through very challenging times, you need to be especially vigilant, mindful and use all your healthy tools, coping mechanisms and resources or you will be susceptible to resorting to your eating disorder.

The good news with this client is that through this rough period, she learned a tremendous amount about herself and her needs in a relationship. She learned the feelings that were extremely powerful triggers, and she learned that she needs to be very actively and regularly using her healthy coping mechanisms to prevent herself from falling into the eating disorder “pit” again. She left the appointment not only feeling relieved, but optimistic!

So why does this type of “setback” happen? Well, the answers obviously will vary person to person but there are some common threads. One reason is that when you are doing well, you may lower your defenses and take some “chances” that you wouldn’t normally take. These chances may come in the form of a challenging food situation or in the form of a challenging emotional situation. It’s during challenging times that you will be “tested” and the urges to use eating disordered behaviors may increase. Also, sometimes you may get “hit” blindsided by a situation that is beyond your control and then you find yourself unprepared. Again, this is a trigger that is very powerful and can cause you to use behaviors when you haven’t used them in a while. I also look at triggers in degrees of severity. By this I mean that when triggers are mild to moderate, perhaps you can navigate through them with relative ease and use healthy coping mechanisms, but when the triggers are moderate to severe, you may have increased urges and difficulty refraining from using an eating disordered behavior or behaviors. Specific emotions may also trigger you more than others. For example, when you are overwhelmed or lonely you may be triggered more than when you are sad or angry or frustrated.

I could go on and on about why you might be susceptible to having a setback but the important thing to remember is that recovery is a process that is like traveling on a winding road. It is not a straight line. You will have periods when you feel you are totally “fine” and then times when you struggle more. Just try to gain as much insight as you can about the circumstances surrounding a setback so that you can help prevent it from happening over and over again. A setback doesn’t mean you have to have a “fall back” or relapse.

If your expectations are that you “should” be free of behaviors after a certain period of time and effort, remember that your behaviors have been an adaptive coping mechanism that you needed when you didn’t have the healthy alternatives. Throughout the recovery process, you may have developed a tremendous amount of insight about yourself and your eating disorder but insight is only part of the solution. You will need to actively resist using eating disordered behaviors until the time when you have put all the pieces together and your healthy coping mechanisms come more naturally. Then, you need to use your new found coping mechanisms actively whenever you need them!

Share on Facebook

One of Those Days

Sometimes we just have a bad day. We often look so deeply into things to determine the cause of our pain or to analyze our negative feelings and find a solution to the problem so we can prevent it from happening again, that we forget that it is normal to have bad days. Sometimes we just need to accept that we will periodically have bad days. Period. Then we need to move on and start anew the next day.

I spoke with numerous people today who were just having a bad day. It began at the university where I teach. Two of my students came up to me after class and burst into tears about how they were having a bad day. Then, on my way to the office, I got a couple texts from people who were having a bad day and just wanted to “vent”. At my office, everyone was having a bad day. Then, when I got home, I got a few more texts from people who were having a bad day. Some of the people I spoke to today had major problems they were trying to navigate through. Some were just having a bad day.

We will all have bad days now and then. It is important to try to differentiate between a “bad day” and a serious, complicated issue or issues. As we have heard numerous times before, “don’t sweat the small stuff!”

So, I’ve decided that today was just one of those bad days. It’s time to go to sleep, rest, and start anew tomorrow!

 Sleep well everyone!

Share on Facebook