Friday, November 16, 2012

The Cowardly Lion

Using Courage in Difficult Situations

An Affirmation and Quote

We are NOT like the cowardly lion!
The time has come for me to dig down deep and use the courage that I know lies somewhere within me. It has recently come to my attention that I have seemingly lost a significant amount of weight and my appearance has become somewhat startling. I don't weigh myself and haven't had a weigh-in for quite some time so I have no idea what my actual weight is. I am not making my deduction based on any quantitative information. Instead I am forcing myself to trust those around me- family and friends- who I have expressed concern regarding my current appearance. I don't see myself clearly when I look in the mirror. I can't deduct for myself if I have lost weight unless I see a number on a scale. Similarly I have been unaware that I have been restricting or that may behavior around food and friends has changed at all. I eat different things every day. I continue to have meals with other people. I have been going out and drinking with friends. I haven't been isolating like I have in the past when my eating disorder has slipped back into my life. But somehow the anorexia has returned without my noticing (it really is a sneaky bitch...) The final straw, that has led me to realize that I need to take action, occurred a couple days ago. My mom came into the city to go to an exhibit with me and she started hysterically crying upon seeing me. I had no idea that the weight loss had been that significant or that my appearance had changed drastically if at all. 
A sneaky bitch that must be fought!
Perhaps I have been in denial. Or maybe I have been refusing to see it because I have been cowardly. I didn't want to admit that I was struggling because I didn't believe that I possessed the courage to fight the eating disorder yet again. This has been a life long battle for me and I am tired. But I know for my family's sake, for my friends' sake, and for my own sake that I cannot afford to give in. I can't allow myself to be the cowardly lion. I must use courage in this difficult situation. I must fight for my health, my happiness, and my life. If I refuse to find and use my courage than the eating disorder will just continue to inhibit me from living the life that I want for myself. In the hopes of locating my courage and then proceeding to use it I am going to concentrate on an affirmation that I compiled in order to perfectly suit my personal needs today-

Great daring and courage is always at my disposal. I use this courage to do the things I fear and take control of my life.

I chose a two part affirmation because I need help with two tasks regarding courage. First, I must believe that I possess the courage that I need in order to fight. Second, I must convince myself to use this courage in order to overcome my challenges and face what scares me most. The second half of this affirmation is exceptionally relevant to my difficult situation. In order to rid myself of these eating disordered thoughts and subsequently the eating disorder itself I must "do the things I fear" and eat. By eating I will slowly be able to reclaim my mind, my actions, and my life. 
I must use courage to drink my supplements despite the fear and emotional pain that comes along. I need to continue to reach out and eat meals with friends despite the voices that tell me to isolate so that I can restrict. I have to convince myself to eat full meals even when I am on my own. I cannot be cowardly and take the easy way out by allowing my anorexia to control my life. I must use my courage to let go of the eating disorder that gives me a false sense of security. I must be courageous and fight so that I can regain control and continue to move in the direction of my dreams and goals. I am scared. But being afraid does not make me a coward. Giving into these fears would make me like the cowardly lion. If I choose to act against my fears- eat through pain and and frustration, drink supplements despite my tears, gain weight, fight the eating disorder that consumes me- than I am courageous. 
Time for supplements again-
We all have fears and difficult situations that can hinder the way we live our lives, that impede upon our progress to reaching our goals, that detract from our feelings of self-worth, that disable us. Having these fears does not make us cowardly. It is allowing these fears to overwhelm us, refusing to fight them head on, and letting them control our lives that makes a coward. We are not cowardly lions. It is time that we use our courage in difficult situations no matter what the trialing task is- confronting a friend, getting a shot, flying, eating a sandwich- and "take control of [our] lives" again. 

Don't let your fear stop your from confronting someone who has hurt you or made you feel worthless. Don't allow your anxiety prevent you from getting your flu shot. Don't let fear get in the way of you visiting a friend or taking a vacation that requires an airplane. And don't allow your eating disorder, your fear of food, your fright of gaining weight, stop you from eating, taking care of yourself, and living your life. 

"Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that's what makes you strong."

- Sarah Dessen

Lets differentiate ourselves from the "anyone(s)." Lets prove that we are courageous. Lets show ourselves how "strong" we can be. If we refuse to face up to our fears we are hiding. We are trapped in a closet that is shut off from the world. We are not living. It is up to us to face what scares us, figure out why we are afraid, and challenge it through action. If continue to hide from our fears we will never understand them and we will never be able to overcome them. The only way to move forward is to move through, to face the fears head on, to do the things that scare us most. Only by doing them will we ever be able to overcome them. So get on that plane! Get your flu shot! Eat a meatball sandwich! Do not be the cowardly lion! Use your courage to face your fears and live your life! 

Good luck to you all and please wish me luck in return,

Our courage may not be obvious but it is there as long as we look for it!