The Power Of Prayer For Many Things

I really suck at sleeping through the night.

My mind has difficulty completely shutting down so I tend to wake up frequently and very rarely feel rested. 

I think a lot of people have this problem and regardless of how much I read before I go to bed, how long my electronics are aways from me, how exhausted I might feel; it really doesn’t matter because a good night’s sleep is a very rare occurance.

Last night was particularly irritating because I couldn’t fall assleep either, which is not typically a problem for me, but I seriously tossed and turned for an hour thinking about who knows what, trying not to crawl out of my own skin.

Then I remembered the one useful tip I ever took from yoga.

(I personally don’t care for yoga and feel very much like Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love when she was distracted by building her own yoga room, the entire duration of her meditation…ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I have trouble staying quiet.)

Anyway, this yoga teacher I met during one of my stays in treatment, told me to use this mantra, which sounded like a soothing lullaby, and gently press the tip of my thumb to each one of my fingers as I sung it in my hear or out loud in bed.

Apparently the combination of these two things was supposed to be calming, and one night out of desperation I tried it.

“Sa, ta, na, ma…Sa, ta, na, ma…Sa, ta, na, ma…”

I methodically touched my fingers to one another and continued the verse for a few mintues.

That was all I remember because I fell assleep shortly after!

So that is definitely one trick I have been using to aid with my sleep issues recently, but the method I prefer most often is prayer.

I apologize to God almost daily because I typically fall asleep during my nighttime ritual, but speaking with my higher power is something I have done since I was a little girl.

When I started, sitting next to my Mimi after she read me a bedtime story, I had a standard prayer I said every night; “Now I lay me down to sleep…”

But now I tend to talk to the Lord as a friend, and I find it so calming it puts me to sleep.  (FYI, I found out God doesn’t really care when you pray, so sometimes I finish up in the morning, while taking a walk, driving, whenever…)

Perhaps it is because my mind is on happier things…not necessarily worrying about all the aspects of life I normally do in a day, but it is really comforting to confide in someone who I don’t feel is judging me in a negative way, and who accepts my faults as they are.

The reason I bring this up today is to serve as a reminder for me, that on nights when I wake at 3 am and cannot sleep, I do have skills that are positive and might do the trick to cure my insomnia. <—Last night I just spent an hour being annoyed and staring at my ceiling.

But also, and probably more importantly, to combat the New Year’s resolutions I am so sick of hearing about on TV.

Even my beloved Today Show harps on losing weight and exercising more as the best options for NY promises, and of course those are great, but there are other things people can adopt to improve upon, as well, and I feel like we, as a society, lose sight of them this time of year.

I won’t do the cliche New Year’s Resolution post and then recap it at the end of the month, and forget about it the other 11 months of the year, because I am hoping my aspirations stick for the rest of my life.

So instead of a resolution, I prefer to think of these as daily goals, for now, and then hopefully just good habits:

1. Continue improving my relationship with God, since it definitely fell by the way side in the depths of being sick.

2. Be a better family member, friend, and person.

3. Have more patience with people, my animals, and myself.

4. Volunteer more and appreciate the things I was blessed with, rather than being so mopey about things no one really cares about but me (um, poor body image should not be a reason to stay in my house all day and be sad…no, I should be thankful I still have mobility and use of a lot of my organs…)

I want to feel good about myself as a whole person, and a lot of why I was abusing my exterior was because I was not happy with my interior; where true beauty should lie.

I am not going to be one of those people who tells you appearance is not important, because let’s face it, in today’s world, it really doesn’t hurt to be attractive, but that means nothing if you are boring, mean, and miserable.

New Year, new me?

Not quite, but hopefully a better me 🙂

YOU (And I) Are Worth It

Wednesday did not start out so well.

I slept through my alarm…woke up naturally about fifteen minutes late, which really was no big deal, but what happened a few hours later did not make me happy.

Now that the incident has passed I can kind of laugh about it, but I started my car in the garage before I realized I forgot my CSA box, which needs to be returned on a weekly basis since the farm recycles.

Apparently I did not put the car all the way in park because as soon as I got out (driver side door still left wide open) the car decided to leave without me.

I turned around and my Equinox was making its way toward the yard with the door nearly ripped off it’s hinges since the garage bay isn’t all that wide.

Like a scene out of a movie I started running in my work heels after the vehicle trying to catch up to it, jump in and shut the damn thing off.

Needless to say, with no door it was not driveable.

Ryan was already at work, but thankfully Lindsay could give me a ride, otherwise I would have been late for school, which would have been icing on top of the cake for my OCD driven brain.

Fortunately I have a few friends in the car business and got everything straigthened out as best as I could, but I am now driving a loaner for what is forecasted to be a few weeks until the door can be re-attached and the damage can be fixed.

At least no one was hurt.

But despite the comedic side I can see of this scenerio NOW…heck my neighbors must have thought I was nuts chasing my car up the hill…the few hours after the accident I felt so guilty.

Excess guilt, recovery, and a full work day can be kind of exhausting so even though I had big plans to clean and disinfect my kitchen before dinner, that portion of the schedule got ammended.

I did wipe down all the woodwork and chop the veggies from my CSA. I did the daily chores of unloading and loading the dishwashers, but I was tired and just wanted to make and easy dinner and relax.

Sit down and relax?

What?!

Just like a lot of the things I have discussed in recent posts, sitting down and relaxing before 7 PM was not even a consideration.

Now, on nights like last, when my legs are swollen from unloading 39494530985385 boxes of school supplies, my head is pounding because my allergies are bad, my mind is racing because I cannot believe my car tried to run away, and my tummy didn’t feel like waiting for a full scale preparation of dinner, a little computer surfing, painting my nails and a Kashi Steam-in-a-bag sounded like a great evening.

Reflecting on my decision to forgo the deep-clean and housework, I thought about Tuesday’s post.

A few people sent me e-mails about how I turned my “frown upside-down” by doing something for myself.

I used the example of taking the time for a more decadent breakfast, but explained that my point was not about the eggs I enjoyed, but more that I showed myself I was worth it; that I deserved self-care and love.

I think I did that again by electing nail-polish and a freezer meal and to me that is immense progress in my recovery.

So many times I have spoken with others who take care of everyone else. They spread themselves thin, not often liking the extra tasks they pile on but feel too bad saying no, and I am/was one of those people, but not anymore.

Why don’t I deserve the same happiness and life of my colleagues, friends, or fellow human-beings?

I DO!

The answer is I absolutely do deserve a good quality life, that I want for everyone else.

Of course there are going be times when I have to say yes, for work, or family, and I may not always want to, but there are also situations when I just might be people-pleasing and that can invoke personal neglect.

It certainly has in the past and the feelings of resentment that caused were really harmful to my health.

I would feel taken advantage of, over-tired and just worthless because my actions signaled I was a lesser individual than those around me and that just feeds into the stream of negative self-talk that already plagues my mind 24/7.

But by doing things like taking a bath, or chosing a super fun color and some glitter for my toes, I am reiterating that I DESERVE happiness. I deserve rest. I deserve to feel special and taken care of.

Ryan does a fabulous job of reminding me he loves me.

I thanked him yesterday for helping me out so much around the house, physically and emotionally, because all those things confirm he believes in me and thinks I am valuable, but what I have discovered is that love has to come from within for a person to truly be happy.

Someone else can “validate” me time and time again, but the novely wears off after a while and then when I was left feeling crappy about myself I started a cycle of ED behaviors, basically as a punishment because I felt inadequate.

It is only when (I say when because I am not totally there yet) I feel good about who I am; confident with the gifts God gave me, and BELIEVE I am WORTH IT, that I can become truly Happy, Healthy and Whole.

Think about that today.

What can or do you do, big or small that indicates you are WORTH IT?

Because you are. 🙂

Take A Risk

On Friday I played the lottery for the first time in my life.  Who didn’t, right?  With the Mega-Millions being some massive number that was 747464764 times more than most of us will see in a lifetime.  How silly would I have felt if I did not enter the $2.00 pool at the office and someone actually won?!

It did, however, take me a while to pony up the eight quarters, because in my world, you don’t do things unless they are pretty much a sure thing.  Gambling is definitely NOT on the list of things I do for fun.

Risk is not a word many associate with my name.  I am a pretty rigid person in all aspects of my life and unless I can do a relatively accurate cost-benefit analysis, a whimsical decision will not be made.

This drives Ryan insane because he enjoys spontaneity and taking a chance, whereas I will sit on the side of the pool and test the water before ever jumping in.

Hmhh…maybe this why I am so hesitant and passive when it comes to recovery?

No one can predict what will happen on a journey toward wellness, so there are no strict guidelines for me to follow; no precise description of how life on the “other side” will be for me.

One cannot simply go by someone else’s experience to determine their own, because bodies are different, people are unique and although I have met many who have similar personality traits, tendencies, etc., the outcome of their attempts has varied in nature.

That is why when reading forums on recovery websites, I don’t take what is written and assume I can do the exact same things and have the exact same results.

So what I need to think about now, is the pros and cons list for my PERSONAL purpose to press on down the windy road with the unknown destination, or stay right where I am in the “safe” zone.

What are the good things about maintaining my eating disorder?

  • a small level of comfort
  • not having to feel unwanted emotions
  • days where I can stand my body

That is a shorter list than I thought….

And why does my eating disorder suck?

  • I am constantly disappointing/worrying my family, causing a large strain on our relationships
  • guilt, shame and self-hatred
  • hermit like behaviors
  • limited opportunities
  • minimal exercise…boring forms of exercise
  • health problems
  • small clothing repertoire

…..I think I could go on for a while, but you all get the point.

One would look at these, compare, and assume the possibility of reversing or fixing the negatives would entice me to take the plunge and just do what I needed in order to get well.

The logical part of my brain totally agrees.

But it is VERY hard to change the way a mind is wired and mine just keeps saying, “you will be fat, ugly, disgusting, miserable, out of control, undisciplined and everyone will think you are a loser, if you do not stay the way you are.”

I would like to think that is not true.  And I would REALLY like to associate words like “strong, courageous, kind-hearted, athletic, and a genuinely good, worthy person,” with this process, instead.

I may not have won the Mega-Millions, but I guess I can settle for winning the battle against ED 😉

So wish me luck as I enter another week trying to make good choices, and take some risks that absolutely terrify me.