My journey to recovery is one of the most “selfish” things I have every done. From the start, the process has been all about me and my need to get over my food and emotion issues. It has felt amazing to finally allow myself to do something just for me. I spent so many years compromising my needs and feelings to bend this way and that around what I thought the people around me needed and wanted from me. But, when I finally entered treatment, I re-shifted my focus and started working on finding myself and discovering what I need and want and feel. Even this blog started out of my need to vent how I have been feeling and reacting through this process and my need to improve my self-esteem by having a place to work on my writing.
Yes, my dream career in an alternate universe is as a writer. Thankfully, writing is part of the job description in science because we have to share and communicate our work with the world through papers. I am also thankful for groups like the one organizing National Novel Writing Month that provide me a low-stakes outlet for living out my fantasy of writing novels.
All that said, I appreciate and love and am thankful for anyone who reads and comments on my entries. Even though this blog and my process in recovery started out as a process just for me, I am thankful for everyone who participates in that process and shows me that my recovery does not just have to be about me.
For example, one of my dear friends is trying to quit smoking. Now that I have spent so many months on fighting my own addiction, she has started bouncing ideas off me on how she can push through her walls. I am grateful for her trust in me and thankful that my perseverance is helping her gain confidence in her ability to fight her big fight.
One of my dear friends at work has a constant barrage of challenges thrown her way. It often seems like she can never catch a break. She had some more bad news this week and I admitted to her that I felt guilty in sharing that I was high on life when she has been struggling so much these last few days. She corrected me, saying that while it’s ok for me to feel guilty (yay, for validation of emotions!), she is actually grateful that I can share my happiness with her. She said that in seeing me persist through the ups and downs of my recovery process, she now has more faith in her own ability to overcome her life’s challenges. I wish I could do more to help her.
Even so, it is nice to know that just by finally letting myself work on and be who I want to be, I am still able to have a positive influence on others.