I am not one for grandiose New Year’s resolutions that often express “goals” that are either a) unrealistic or b) far too objective or overarching for one to know where to being going about achieving the resolution. It seems that as long as my memory serves me, “quit biting your nails” has been tops on the resolution list each year. However, each year, as in years past, I have not ceased biting my nails…not for wont of trying, however. I feel as though once-a-year resolutions may set us up to fail. I made “not biting my nails” a resolution, but did I address any of the practical steps towards achieving that resolution? No. I did not think of strategies to stop biting, I didn’t make a list of behaviors I could do instead of biting…nothing. I simply berated myself each time I found myself biting my nails. “You can start again tomorrow”, I would tell myself, “bite as much as you want today, and you can try again tomorrow.” Well, tomorrow turned into next week, next month, next year, you get the picture…until “not biting my nails” made it to next year’s resolution list. My ED has manifested itself in much the same way. When I found myself engaging in behaviors, I would often give excuses for engaging in them–that I needed to do X behavior because of X event or whatever. Then I would say that I would engage in all the ED behaviors for the day and start again tomorrow…which would turn into next week, next month…until I’ve held on to the behaviors for 17 years. Which only fueled the cycle of self-condemnation, low self-esteem and punishing myself for engaging in behaviors. I’ve found, through lots of mentorship, therapy, and recovery, that each moment is a moment to start anew. That just because I thought about or used behaviors this once, doesn’t mean they have to continue. I don’t have to wait for a new day, a new week, a new month, etc to start recovery again. NOW, now is the moment for recovery. Ok, so I thought about or used behaviors…what can I do right now in this moment to make sure I return to recovery? What can I do, right now, do make sure I do the best thing for my physical health, mental health and recovery? I’ve heard it put simply as this “Do the next right thing”. I encourage you this new year to do the next right thing each moment of every day. Don’t put off recovery for next year’s resolution list or even tomorrow’s resolution list. Recovery is a moment by moment, meal by meal event–not a once a year event. By doing the next right thing, you are putting you and your recovery first.
Each day is a new day January 1, 2013