one girl's thoughts on life, mental illness, eating disorder recovery, and hope.

Recovery’s Baby Steps January 7, 2013

Baby steps. We hear about them all the time. Baby steps towards recovery. Baby steps towards a healthy relationship with food. Baby steps. Sometimes I just want to say “Screw baby steps, I’m jumping in and you can’t stop me. I want recovery NOW!” I am terribly impatient when it comes to recovery. Unfortunately, that’s typically when I fall on my rear and am gently reminded about baby steps (or, in many instances, a not so gentle reminder of “I told you so”). My nephew is currently on the verge of walking…and as I watch him try so desperately to get to where he wants to be, I’m reminded again of baby steps. My nephew, Wyatt, is a year and a half old and has Loeys-Dietz Syndrome (LDS). In fact, he is one of, if not the, youngest child in the US to be diagnosed with LDS. LDS is a genetic disorder that affects connective tissues as well as the cardiovascular, skin and musculoskeletal systems. This makes walking, and many other functions we take for granted, difficult for him. He has had surgery on his spine and skull, hernia operations, wrist splints, heart problems, pulse oximeter when sleeping, physical and occupational therapy, ankle braces, glasses and numerous medications…all without complaint. This little man is a fighter. And this little man wants to walk. If baby steps are good enough for Wyatt, certainly they’re good enough for me, right? If Wyatt, with all his baby drive and enthusiasm of being able to take steps to get what he needs, is happy with eensy-weensy baby steps, why can’t I be satisfied with my own baby steps in recovery? I feel like throwing my hands up every time the insurance does not cover a service I need, each time a doctor does not understand EDs, each time I use ED behaviors, every time something in my life does not go exactly as I planned or envisioned…the list is endless. But I remember little Wyatt, and I see the joy he has as he takes his baby steps and the passion he has for an accomplishment that others may see as simple. I remember the constant smile he has spread across his cherubic face, the way his blue eyes spark with delight each time he stands, and the way he claps for himself whenever he is able to take a step. Sure, he has moments of terror as his diapered bottom hits the floor after a failed attempt…but he gets back up and tries again, no matter how hard he fell. He also takes time to celebrate his progress. By clapping for himself, Wyatt is teaching me that it is ok to celebrate progress…all progress. Even baby steps are progress and are just as important to recovery as huge steps; if not more important. So, I have decided to stop trying to jump into recovery and start taking baby steps. If baby steps are good enough for Wyatt, they’re good enough for me too…and they’re good enough for YOU! So celebrate the baby steps, celebrate your accomplishments and celebrate life!

Is this not the cutest kid in the world?

Is this not the cutest kid in the world? His mouth is full of goldfish in this picture or he would be smiling. He is always happy.

Also, I heard this song on the radio today…which inspired this post..It is by Toby Mac and is called “Get back up”

We lose our way,
We get back up again
It’s never too late to get back up again,
One day you will shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,
Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up, get up,
You gonna shine again,
Never too late to get back up again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever
(May be knocked down but not out forever)


2 Responses to “Recovery’s Baby Steps”

  1. He is adorable. Between his goldfish mouth and his spectacles, he looks like a little professor. He’s ready to start teaching.

    Baby steps can be one of the hardest things to learn. Celebrating little victories can be even harder. I’m glad little Wyatt helped you to gain some perspective.

    • rheasofhope Says:

      He is cute, isn’t he? I agree that baby steps are often the hardest things to learn, but they are, often times, the most important. It is hard to learn to be satisfied with baby steps and small victories, but always remember, that even small steps towards recovery and small victories are one more nail in ED’s coffin. Keep up the good work on your recovery!

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