Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How did I recover, you ask?...

I have had numerous people in numerous situations ask me in numerous ways a question that always bites my tongue:

"How did you do it?" 
"How did you recover?" 
"How did you stop?" 
"How did you get over it?"

Anytime I have been asked any of the above, I feel as though I cannot speak. I have always been bad with words, well, spoken words. So, I have been thinking "hmmm, if I can't SAY it, maybe I can WRITE it..."

Well, here goes...

I have prepped for this blog with an attributable list of 3:

1. A miraculously divine work I could have never dreamed up - Thanks be to God.
[Psalm 119:105; 1 Peter 3:3-4; 1 Corinthians 9:22; Jeremiah 1:5, 17; Joshua 1:9]
2. REBT - Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy
3. The most impactful question I have ever been asked: "How would your life truly be different right now at this very moment if your body looked like that, that perfection...?"

1. God. Divinity and purpose... A miraculously divine work I could have never dreamed up.

I have mentioned number 1. in a number of blogs. I recently re-read a blog from July in which I spoke about my revolutionary experience of giving it up, my battle and my restless perfection seeking behavior, to God.
[mentioned July blog: Did I really just say that...?]

Holy chills, no pun intended. I believe the chills I got from re-reading that blog verify its truth and its divine power. I was always envious and vastly intrigued by those who make that statement: "I gave it to God."
How freeing and relieving does that sound? Well, let me tell you, it is way more freeing and relieving than it ever could sound. It is revolutionary. Since that day, I have evolved immensely for I am no longer her...

Not only am I no longer her but, I have truly started being me. I truly love myself (well, most of the time). And, I truly forgive myself. I no longer bruise myself with harsh thought and harsh emotion. I recognize harsh  thoughts and harsh emotions I have every now and then (we are all human, ya know) but then, I let them go. Like inhaling and exhaling, I let them in, I see them, I hear them and then, exhale.

Not only am I no longer her but, I have embraced my divine path as I have openly and willingly allowed myself to recognize and accept it. I am courageous and no longer nervous. I am real and no longer living a facade. I am confident and no longer afraid. And, I am proud and no longer ashamed. I am proud of myself and I am proud to have known her, for she has provided me with a priceless and divine gift -- knowledge, experience, humility, recovery. You can pay for school but you CANNOT buy real, raw, first-hand experience.

Accepting that what I have gone through is priceless and nothing short of divine has freed me.

2. REBT - Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

I have come to know the field of counseling through the University of South Florida's master's program in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. I have been introduced to many a techniques and models of therapy. One that has truly changed my life as I knew it is REBT, short for Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy. In short, the model's goal is to redirect a person's irrational, catastrophic thinking  about an activating event in order to produce a different emotional response.
A: Activating Event - So, something that happens...
B. Belief -  You form a subjective thought and belief about the situation
C. Consequence - Your emotional reaction
D. Dispute - change your thoughts from irrational to rational (hence RATIONAL emotive behavioral therapy)
A. You eat too many oreos.
B. You think of yourself and downright label yourself as a failure. You label the eating as an end-of-the-world catastrophe
C. You feel guilty, anxious and ashamed
--> The point is that A. does not cause C., B. causes C. Your subjective belief of the situation or event causes your emotional reaction.
--> The goal of REBT is the D. in the ABCD
D. Dispute - change your beliefs in order to change your subsequent emotional response
So, D. - Dispute - Why must it be a catastrophe? Is it really the end of the world? Will the world really stop spinning because you ate too many oreos? Maybe a better belief would be that "hey, it would have been better if I didn't eat that many oreos...next time."

This reminds me of two other blogs that will knock this dispute ball out of the park:

I Shouldn't/Musn't/Cannot vs. It Would Be Better if I Didn't.....


Pressure busts pipes...no pressure, no busted pipe.

3. The most impactful question I have ever been asked: "How would your life truly be different right now, at this very moment, if your body looked like that, like the perfect that you imagine...tell me, what would be different?"

Stumped. I was stumped by my short-lived therapist.
Dr. Langer at USF's Counseling center stumped me as she asked an entirely open-ended question. No, I did not "dump" her because she stumped me. I stopped attending therapy after 3 sessions this summer at USF's counseling center because she helped "cure" me.
This question absolutely stumped me in the best possible way. I had no answer then and I have no answer now. The world would and has remained just as it is regardless of my waist size or my legs'/behind's presence of cellulite. Nothing would truly change. Nothing.

Insight and inspiration. That is what I hope to provide to anyone of you out there reading this blog.

Counseling is all about "ah-hah moments". Those moments that you have that masterful and meaningful, eye-opening, brain-shifting epiphany... those moments when your beliefs and your perspectives suddenly shift.

Ah-hah...one for each, 1.-3.

1. Ah-hah - This was all a divinely planned, divinely designed miracle. I was meant to suffer. I was meant to suffer so I could fulfill my ultimate and divine purpose in life. To speak (or write) and to do it LOUD and to do it REAL.
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22

2. Ah-hah - it is NOT the end of the world. Ever. And, this shift in belief and in perspective is a choice. It is a choice I can decide to make on every single new today.

3. Ah-hah - Nothing would truly change. Nothing would change if my waist size changed. Nothing would change if my cellulite disappeared. Nothing would change if I was body "perfect". NOTHING.

This is my testimony and my story. My story of recovery 3 indisputable, undeniably divine AH-HAH moments later...

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