When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
- Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh
Was she so loved because her eyes were so beautiful, or were her eyes so beautiful because she was so loved?
- Anzia Yenerska
When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.
- Barbara Bloom
Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn't angry enough.
Unfortunately, sometimes people don't hear you until you scream.
- Stefanie Powers
It's too dark a night to walk with your eyes closed.
- Sturn Brightblade
I had been withdrawing into a retreat of numbness: it is so much safer not to feel, not to let the world touch one. But my honest self revolted at this, hated me for doing this.
- Sylvia Plath
I refuse now to be a victim of my own guilt.
- Tori Amos
You can't change what's happened in the past, but you can decide how you'll get up in the morning.
- Tori Amos
The idea is to rescue myself from the role of a victim. That I have a choice left. Though I can't change what has happened, I can choose how to react. And I don't want to spend the rest of my life being bitter and locked up.
- Tori Amos
People are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much, but you have to crawl into the wound to discover what your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.
- Tori Amos
I think you have to know who you are, get to know the monster that lives in your soul, dive deep into your soul and explore it. I don’t want to renounce my dark side. The truth has always held an enormous interest for me. Everything is therapeutic, no matter what you do.
- Tori Amos
I know I’m an acquired taste: I’m anchovies. And not everyone wants those hairy little things. If I was potato chips, I could go more places.
- Tori Amos
The body can’t distinguish between cleansing and punishing for the body is ignorant, and mute besides.
- Joyce Carol Oates
I am convinced that life in a physical body is meant to be an ecstatic experience.
- Shakti Gawain
The body is shaped, disciplined, honored, and in time, trusted.
- Martha Graham
The body is a sacred garment.
- Martha Graham
Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.
- Henry Miller
Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death.
- Harold Wilson
The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
- Anna Quindlen
The hatred you're carrying is a live coal in your heart - far more damaging to yourself than to them.
- Lawana Blackwell
You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation...and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.
- Hermann Hesse
The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.
- Helen Keller
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.
- Albert Camus
They say it takes, on average, seven tries to quit smoking. If someone fails on their sixth attempt, it doesn't mean they're a failure; it just means they haven't hit that seventh attempt yet. Recovery from eating disorders is like that. Missing the mark once doesn't make you a failure; slipping repeatedly doesn't mean you're hopeless. It just means you haven't tried enough times yet.
- Dr. Caryn Bello
All of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.
- Dale Carnegie
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.
- Margaret Bonano
To be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else--means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
- e.e. cummings
How do I change?
If I feel depressed I will sing.
If I feel sad I will laugh.
If I feel ill I will double my labor.
If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.
If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.
If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.
If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.
If I feel incompetent I will think of past success.
If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.
Today I will be the master of my emotions.
- Og Mandino, “The Greatest Salesman in the World”
The inside of a binge is deep and dark; it is a descent into a world in which every restriction you have placed on yourself is cut loose. The forbidden is obtainable. Nothing matters not friends, not family, not lovers. Nothing matters but food. Lifting, chewing, and swallowing - mechanical frenzied acts, one follwoing the other until a physical limit, usually nausea, is reached. Then comes the sought-after numbness, the daze, the indifference to emotional pain. Like a good drug, food knocks out sensation.
A few years ago, when I was caught in the eye of my worst eating days, I wrote: 'I feel so insane when I binge, as if there is no reality but the loud pounding voice inside my head screaming for me to eat. At that moment nothing else exists; yet because I am so aware that everything else does in fact exist, the contrast and craziness of what I am doing to myself make the insanity even sharper. I know I am destroying myself, but I can't stop. I am so driven at that point that no one I know whould recognize me. In those moments, the darkness is so pervasive that it is as if I have descended into another realm. When I surface and see that other people are here, that there is actually sunlight and words, that the bougainvillea outside my window is budding with tiny white insides, I feel infinitely relieved - and then even more shattered for having just experienced a thirty-minute frenzy, a dive into hell.'
At the core of a binge is deprivation, scarcity, a feeling that you can never get enough.
- Geneen Roth, Feeding the Hungry Heart
Binges are purposeful acts, not demented journeys. They do not signify a lack of willpower or the inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, a binge can actually be an urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for.
Binges speak the voice of survival. They are protective mechanisms. Binges are signals that something is terribly wrong, that you are not giving yourself what you need - either physically (with food) or emotionally (with intimacy, work, relationships). They are your last stand against deprivation.
You binge on foods that you don't otherwise allow yourself to eat. Something that is being forbidden is needed by the body or the psyche, and a binge is your way of letting yourself know. If deprivation worked, binges would not be necessary. Binges are valuable messages; they are worth listening to.
Bingeing is the only way many of us know how to give to ourselves without holding back. Binges are acts of rebellion. They are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad. I am tired of constant restrictions. Go to hell.'
As painful as they are, they serve an important function in the binger's life. Aside from being a direct line to a self that is calling out to be valued, they provide emotional release from situations that are difficult to handle.
- Geneen Roth, Feeding the Hungry Heart
When I first begin working with people in my groups, they tell me that who they are and what they feel are wrong. This feeling is the foundationon which everything else is built.
If who you are is wrong, then what you want is also wrong. If what you want is wrong, you must constantly be on guard against yourself, depriving yourself, never giving yourself what you want because that's also wrong; you can't be trusted. The fear is that if you allowed yourself to be yourself, you would devour the whole world. And on an emotional level, if you let yourself be yourself, no one would love you.
The antidote to this feeling of essential wrongness has to do with a mixture of forgiveness, acceptance, and the cultivation of self-trust; the antidote to deprivation is the cultivation of abundance, both literal and figurative.
Imagine yourself going to the grocery store with an unlimited amo9unt of money to spend and choosing all the foods you want, all the foods you have not allowed yourself to eat. [Note: she does not consider bingeing "really eating."] Imagine yourself filling your kitchen with all the foods you love, tasting and eating them. Stay with yourself - notice the fear, the dread, the exhilaration of being surrounded by foods you crave. Notice what it feels like to give yourself what you want. By giving attention to a voice of trust and confidence that has been heretofore ignored, you can start nurturing your self-respect.
Buy one 'forbidden' food a week. Eat it when you are hungry and when you want it. Over and over, give yourself the message that you need not deprive yourself, that you can be trusted to care for yourself. You will probably have to do this many times in order for your voice of 'essential wrongness' to hear you.
In time your bingeing will cease. It will drop away slowly, almost impercetibly, as you start giving yourself what you need in ways other than with food. It does not happen forcefully or with pressure; the process is natural, evolving as your self-concept changes. After a while, you will realize you haven't binged in six months, nine months, a year. When you are no longer depriving yourself, the need to binge drops away. As a snake molts last year's skin, you step out of your bingeing because it has outlived its usefulness.
- Geneen Roth
The first step in recovering from anorexia is simply to choose life. You don't even have to know how in order to make this choice, but you must affirm, at a very basic level, that you want to live. Think about it: anorexia does not really allow you to live - it enables you to survive, and sometimes just barely that.
Think back to a recent important event. It could be a vacation, graduation party, wedding, or night out with friends. Did you look forward to it, or were you obsessing about food and calories? Did you laugh and have fun, or were you concentrating on ways to avoid eating? Did you converse with other people, or did you carry on an inner dialogue about your weight and worthlessness?
Can you see how anorexia seeps into all aspects of your experience? It distances you from yourself and others, preoccupies your mind, numbs your feelings, ruins your health, and diminishes the quality and meaning of almost everything that you do. What you think you are controlling is really controlling you. It may be slowly killing you.
You can do more than just survive in this world; you can live in it. If you are willing to work hard on your recovery, you can transform your life into one that feels rewarding and fulfilling. This requires being patient, present, and accepting during all stages of your progress. It also means looking at yourself objectively, and getting to know who you really are. Choosing life means believing that someday - regardless of how long it takes - you will be free.
- Lindsey Hall and Monika Ostroff, Anorexia Nervosa: A Guide to Recovery
What if she doesn’t worry about her body and eats enough for all the growing she has to do? She might rip her stockings and slam-dance on a forged ID to the Pogues, and walk home barefoot, holding her shoes, alone at dawn; she might baby-sit in a battered-women’s shelter once night a month; she might skateboard down Lombard Street with its seven hairpin turns, or fall in love with her best friend and do something about it, or lose herself for hours gazing into test tubes with her hair a mess, or climb a promontory with the girls and get drunk at the top, or sit down when the Pledge of Allegiance says stand, or hop a freight train, or take lovers without telling her last name, or run away to sea. She might revel in all the freedoms that seem so trivial to those who take them for granted; she might dream seriously the dreams that seem so obvious to those who grew up with them really available. Who knows what she would do? Who knows what it would feel like?
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