For the past several months, I’ve been sharing excerpts from the memoir I’m writing, titled Digesting Life. The story of my struggle and recovery from an eating disorder is the basis for what led me to create the KARMA Method, the signature coaching and therapeutic method used by Bespoke Wellness Partners. My hope is that maybe some of these stories will resonate with you or make you more aware of where you are on your specific journey with whatever struggles you may be facing.
Towards the end of the year, I decided to take out my journal in which I documented my experiences in the United States. I was a little confused and scared that I was still binging and purging, and I thought that my arrival in the United States would have fixed my eating disorder. I believed that once I was removed from my dysfunctional and poor family and began my education, I would take my first big step towards recovery. I also opened up emotionally to my mom and felt that she still loved me and it felt like a big step towards my recovery. But as I was writing down my thoughts, I began wondering why I was still feeling sick and stuck.
I still had very strong urges to binge and purge and I wasn't sure what the next step should be. I then realized that as much as I knew I had eating disorders, I never acknowledged it and admitted to myself that I was sick and I needed help. As I was writing in my journal and admitting that I had an eating disorder, I figured out what the next step should be. I needed help. I wasn't sure that I was going to disclose my most private thoughts and feelings, let alone my most precious and disturbing behaviors, but at least I was willing to consider letting someone know that I am struggling.
My eating disorder journey to recovery was a long one, but the moment above shows a small step toward an integral step in the process: Acceptance. Have you been in a situation where you knew what you needed to do and every fiber in your body believed that it was the right thing to do, but for whatever reason, you weren’t able to actually follow through with what you believed was the right solution? Alternatively, do you ever know that what you are doing is the right thing and yet you are left with feelings of anxiety and guilt?
This week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Lisa, a successful 45-year-old woman who is the top executive at a big firm. While she holds an important position and manages many people and has a big say in many decisions, when it comes to making personal decisions for herself and taking some time off from work, she enters an emotional rollercoaster. We all know that once you enter that emotional rollercoaster and you are stuck in the loop, it is very hard to get out of it. So, my hope is that the following steps will help you develop better awareness, graduate to the acceptance stage which will help you feel better about your decision, and learn to be confident with yourself and trust your own decisions.
Step 1: Develop an awareness.
The most important question to ask yourself is why is it that despite knowing that what you need to do is the right thing, you don’t do it? The goal here is not to make yourself feel bad about making a decision that you know is not the right one, but rather, to find a way to bring this to a positive place—in other words, give yourself some credit for the decision being complicated and focus on your positive traits. In the example above, where my client didn’t want to take a vacation, the real reason for not taking time off was because she was being kind and considerate to everyone else who she works with and taking the responsibilities of her job very seriously. She also realized that the decision to take time off inevitably comes with a fear that she could lose her job or be passed up for a raise or promotion. So there are many factors that were playing into her decision not to take time off—and none of these make her a bad person.