Since I discharged from the UCSD Intensive Outpatient Eating Disorder Program, I have been doing recovery workbooks in my free time. One of them is an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy book for people with anorexia, and me new favorite concept from that book is replacing “but” with “and”. I used to use the word “but” as an excuse for avoiding a lot of activities or for generally feeling uncomfortable. Yes, I can still feel uncomfortable AND I can participate. One example is saying that “It would be nice to hang out with my friends tonight, BUT I feel uncomfortable with my body.” Well, if I can be uncomfortable with my body AND hang out with friends, then I don’t have to miss out on fun with my friends. This also lets me acknowledge my feelings, such as discomfort or sadness, and see that they don’t have to interfere with being active. Previously, I used to want to push down those feelings because if I felt them, they would make me want to avoid participating or being active. Knowing that I can have the feelings and still get on with my life has been so empowering. I am no longer operating under black or white terms; I am finding and enjoying the gray…all from replacing the word BUT with AND!
Time for me to go play some board games with my friends right now 🙂