Happy New Year! Here is to a happy new you, and a year filled with blessing, love, and happiness. Namaste.
So that is all I am going to say about the new year. Right now I could write an entry about how I am going to make this year better than last, how I am going to continue to work through recovery, finally figure out what I am going to do with my life, or go in the direction towards my dream. But no, I am not going to write on that. Why? Because recovery is a full time job, I will never know what I am going to do with my life (only God knows and directs), and he points me in the direction of my dreams. So I want to write on how mental health/depression/addictions/ED’s etc…can hurt not just you but those who you love most.
When you are in the depths of your disease (insert your addiction, mental illness, or combo) you are not aware of the damage you are doing. Not only are you doing damage to your own body, but you are damaging others. But you cannot see the damage because you are in delusion that your disease can hurt you because it is your friend; and you definitely cannot see the damage it does to your loved ones because you are selfish. Yes, I said it. Selfish. Your disease is all about you. Your disease is about surviving, hiding, and internally dying;while it is telling you that you are living, thriving, and being beautiful. Your disease does not see outside of your own mind it cannot see that with every lie, every drink, every purge, every opportunity to numb yourself, that it hurts your parents/boyfriend/girlfriend/best friends. This awareness of outside damage does not occur until one begins to do the work of recovery and their mind starts to think clearly. Even then there are chances that you will still hurt those you love.
One of the first people we hurt are our parents. Our parental relationship is probably most difficult relationship to grow and nurture in our lives even if we don’t have a disease. I remember when I was really deep in the pits of my ED that they constantly hurt me. I found out they were talking about me behind my back, talking about my extreme weight loss, and mood swings. So I got upset. I got mad at them which drove me into a deeper pit of purging and resenting them because instead of helping me seek treatment they talked to others and tried to force me to eat or make me gain weight. I thought they didn’t love me. But after many sessions in therapy I realized they did love me, it is just that they didn’t know how to deal with the situation. How could they? No one they knew had an ED. They didn’t know how to help, they felt just as helpless as I did. When they would see me hurt myself, they would hurt because they didn’t know what to do. Now, many years later I have made amends and can put myself in their place. I know if I was to have a daughter or son who had a disease it would hurt me too. So, for those of you out there who haven’t made amends with your parents, meditate and pray about it. They do care about you but most of the time they don’t know how to help themselves let alone help you. Just like it hurts God when we hurt ourselves, it hurts them when we hurt ourselves. They love regardless and parents will always be there.
The next relationship that we can hurt the most is the one we share our life with. For me it is my husband. I still hurt him even though I have been in recovery for some time and he was the one who helped me get help and has sat through many therapy sessions with me. Marriage is difficult. It is filled with compromise, unconditional love, loving another more than yourself, and giving. I think that when I am in a relapse or having a depressive episode there is nothing I hate more than when I see my husband being helpless because he can’t help me. Lately I have been experiencing this more than anything else. My depression and the lovely *not* Melvin has been really prevalent in my life as of late and it has seeped into my marriage life. I have been laying in bed to depressed to move, eating nothing but cereal, and shutting down in my communication, withdrawing (unfortunately, it is a skill I have mastered whether well). I didn’t even enjoy my favorite holiday season, Christmas. While I am in the midst of this, I can see the pain I bring my husband. The helplessness in his eyes because he loves me unconditionally and there is nothing he can do. When I see that in his eyes, it actually makes me wanna get better and climb out of my little abyss of depression and bowls of cereal. Because I love him more than I love myself and definitely love him more than Melvin.
Deep down I am a lover. A let us all sing peace, love, and kumbaya individual. The last thing I would ever want to do is hurt someone. Here is where recovery comes in. Once we have tasted recovery and cleared our mind to find our inner selves all we want to do is be better. Be the best versions of our selves we can be because we know what it is like to be the worst version of our self. So to be the best version of our self we need to be aware of the potential hurt and pain we can cause those we love.
When you find yourself to blue to get out of the bed or found yourself on your fifth bowl of cereal and you see the pain in your loved ones eyes;remember how far you have come. That you have tasted love and know that there is someone else who loves you more than you can imagine. Give into that supporting relationship’s hugs and kisses. They can be the one who sends you down that ladder to climb out of that abyss.