RheasOfHope

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

When you see the magic eye December 29, 2014

 

Like every child growing up in the early 90’s, I was obsessed with magic eye photos. I spent hours tucked in my room staring cross-eyed at photos, attempting to see the magic hidden peace sign or flower or whatever. I would get frustrated when I tried to show them to my father; “Look harder!” I would urge when he, inevitably, could not see the magic photo. Somehow I could shift my gaze to an area beyond the photo, allowing me to see the magic photo hidden within the designs.  I prided myself on my ability to see even the most difficult of magic eye photos; there was not a magic eye I could not conquer. I thought that it was so cool that I could see things that others could not while we both looked at the same thing.

 

Magic-eyes

Can you find the hidden magic photo in the fairy godmother’s explosion? hint, it was what the pumpkin became after a little magic was added.

 

Eventually, however, the popularity of the magic eye photos waned, and my skill set of cross-eyed photo viewing was no longer necessary, useful, or popular among my friends. My afternoons of magic eye book reading freed up and I was suddenly left with a lot of time on my hands.

 

My eating disorder is a lot like the magic eye photos…only significantly less cool.

 

The goal of the magic eye photo is to get us to see things that others may not be able to see. The objective is to shift our vision in order to view the magic hidden photo embedded in the repeating designs. ED’s goal is to get us to see things, think things, and do things that others may not (and should not). ED wants us to see, think and do what she wants; she completely shifts our vision to match hers. However, the outcome of shifting our vision from our own viewpoint to ED’s is not the ability to see a cute photo of a monkey holding a balloon. The outcome of shifting to ED’s point of view is sickness, pain, personal hell, and sometimes death. By allowing ED to shift our vision, we are allowing her control of our lives. We are basically handing our control to ED on a silver platter.  But I will let you in on a little secret ED does not want us to know, WE are in charge of our lives. No matter what ED says, remember this: ultimately, we are in charge of our own lives-for better or worse, we are in control. When we are able to shift our views away from ED and back to ourselves, we regain many things: the control we gave to ED, our lives, our health, our happiness and our hope. Each time we acknowledge ED and choose recovery, we practice this shift in vision. It is through this practice of recovery and vision shifting that we are able to take back our lives.

 

However, this shift in vision (from ED’s to our own) is not always easy.  You may have noticed I used the word practice in reference to recovery. Recovery takes practice…a LOT of practice. No recovery is perfect either (so you can omit the phrase “practice makes perfect” from your vocabulary). I have never heard of anyone recovering from their eating disorder in one day or on the first try; it will take practice. Recovery will take hard work and it will take time, but it is possible. It is important to remember to have grace and patience with ourselves through the process. Just as I did not learn to view magic eye photos on the first try, neither did I learn recovery on my first try…or my second…or even my third. However, I have never given up. No matter how long is takes me or how hard the work is, I know that I can never give up.  Eventually I will be able to view recovery as I do magic eye photos, as second nature. I cannot wait for the day when recovery becomes second nature. Recovery is real and I am shifting my vision to get there, and you can too.

 

 

1 Peter 3:3-4

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight

 

 

 

 

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When you make a wish December 7, 2014

Jiminy Cricket may have been on to something when he sang, “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires, will come to you.” Ok, so maybe taking life advice from a Walt Disney character–a cricket no less–is not the most sound of life choices. However, opportunities for wishes have started to appear a lot in my life as of late.

One traditional, yet thoroughly disgusting, method of wish-making, is snapping the wishbone of the Thanksgiving turkey. As is our custom, my sister and I snapped our turkey’s wishbone (despite the fact I’m a vegetarian and didn’t actually eat the turkey; does that cancel out the wish?). Because my sister has won more years than she has lost, I took my side of the wishbone and pulled without having a wish readily at hand. To my surprise, I got the bigger half…and the wish. My lack of preparedness came back to bite me in the rear. I made up a wish on the spot, however. And even though it is considered unlucky to share a wish, I am going to share it anyway (superstitions be damned). My wish was to be able to continue to afford my therapy sessions and, perhaps, save up enough money to begin seeing a nutritionist (as I do not have good insurance).

a blurry phone phone of a nasty wisbone

a blurry phone photo of a nasty wishbone

Also over the Thanksgiving weekend, I took Christmas card photos for a friend at the Cincinnati Art Museum. While I was scoping out the perfect spot to photograph her beautiful family, I noticed a piece entitled, “The Tree of Life”. I had read about it in my local paper, and who wouldn’t be drawn in by a painted tree with glass test tubes hanging from the branches. The tree itself is a real 19-foot crabapple tree that has been painted white and strung with glass test tubes filled with colorful wishes. At the end of the tree’s installation, all the wishes (both displayed and collected) will be burnt; the ash will then be used to fertilize the planting of a new tree at the art museum.

treeoflife

The description of the piece

wishes

Up close view of the wishes

wishesontree

A stunningly yellow phone photo of a white tree

wishtree

another view of the tree

 

 

Because I had some time to kill before my friend and her family arrived, due to my uncanny ability to be obnoxiously early for everything, I decided to take a slip of paper to write my own wish. I sat there in the gallery for at least five minutes before putting pen to paper. What to wish for? Who would read this wish? Should I write  my name? More questions than answers ran through my brain. Since I had already “won” a wish in breaking the wishbone with my sister, I decided not to be selfish by asking for another wish of my own; I wanted to share my Tree of Life wish with others. Again, I think there is some sort of mandate on sharing wishes, but, again, I don’t care. So, here is my wish.

rheaswish

“Awareness, education and research of eating disorders…as well as recovery for those afflicted” nationaleatingdisorders.org

 

While I may not have wished on a star, as per Jiminy Cricket’s suggestion, I made my wishes nonetheless. I share these wishes with you as well. I wish for you all to have happy, healthy, recovered lives.

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I took this photo this summer at a restaurant in Disneyworld. Much like Jiminy Cricket, the Blue Fairy is also full of wisdom, “You deserve to have your wish come true.”

 


 

Matthew 7:7

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

John 15:7

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.