Recovery is Worth It!

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Getting healthy, putting faith into a treatment team and a future that you can’t even imagine, takes incredible strength – but the payoff is absolutely unbeatable.

Many times, especially early in my work with someone who is in recovery, be it from depression, anxiety, or in eating disorder recovery, I find myself trying to “sell” them on getting healthy. It’s so hard for someone who has felt down and potentially malnourished for so long to imagine that the hope of recovery actually applies to them. “I’ve seen people recover from a very similar place,” I say, hoping that my expertise lends some credibility to the healthy self inside them. “I know you didn’t always feel this way,” I say, encouraging them to recapture their former selves. “That is the disease talking,” I say, urging them not to take their hopelessness so seriously. It is nearly impossible to imagine that the dawn will come when the darkness of night has been so long.

And yet today, in more dramatic ways than typical, I saw that hope and that future take on concrete form. All in one day, I learned that three (!) of my amazingly strong, brilliant clients got into the colleges of their choice. The joy literally could not be contained, spilling out into the waiting room. Days, weeks, semesters of pent up anxiety suddenly dissipated, promises of (in this case) eating disorder recovery coming to fruition, hope reborn in an instant. It turns out, that recovery is in fact worth it. It turns out that facing your fears and “going all in” often turns out well.

Getting healthy, putting faith into a treatment team and a future that you can’t even imagine takes incredible strength, but the payoff is absolutely unbeatable. Ask yourself, if you went “all in” by letting go of shame, self-judgment, and fear of vulnerability, what might you be capable of? I dare you to find out what your recovery looks like…

Finding Joy Amidst the Holiday Chaos

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“More than anything, finding joy in the holidays is about giving ourselves permission to slow down and savor the little moments”

Tis the season for holiday events and parties of all types. These days it is harder than ever to actually enjoy all the festive opportunities this season offers. Whether struggling with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, or just everyday busy-ness, the holidays can amplify stress rather than provide a reprieve from it. So, how do we set aside the chaos and make room for joy?

While the holidays may feel like a landmine at times, building in time for your own favorite festive activities is a sure fire way of balancing out the potential for stress. For some that might be spending low-key time with family or friends, for others it might be quiet time in a house of worship, for others still the best holiday memories are traditional activities like decorating the Christmas tree. Making time for yourself and finding joy over the holidays doesn’t have anything to do with making sure you attend every event and complete every task on your to do list. In fact, more than anything, finding joy in the holidays is about giving ourselves permission to slow down and savor the little moments instead.

So, go ahead and take a moment – even if you feel you don’t have one – to reflect on what you actually are looking forward to this holiday season. Choose a few activities or people that consistently bring you joy and truly protect the time you spent engaged with those things or people. Savoring those moments, however fleeting, will leave you feeling fulfilled rather than purely exhausted come 2015.

Wishing you moments of joy and peace this holiday season.