Chasing, Gaining, Losing, Desiring Dreams

Cherry blossomsDreams are etched deeply into part of our being – our memories, minds, or spirits perhaps. They influence many vital decisions and alter the courses of our lives. You can choose to stifle them deep inside, never allowing them to see the light and grow into a branch of your life. Alternatively, you can take a wild chance and follow them, knowing they might lead to pain and difficulty. In the end, you will always wonder what would have happened if you never give those dreams a chance.

Still, chasing a dream and catching it only to have it crumble in your fingers is agonizing. Having a fleeting idea fail or not enjoying a temporary situation is frustrating. Yet, realizing your dream that you fought for is a thing you no longer desire wounds much deeper.

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What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

How often do you look at a little girl and tell her that she is ugly? Do you regularly tell a toddler that he is useless? Normally, we do not tell children these types of hurtful statements that we tell ourselves.

Yet, all of us were children at some point. One of the coping skills that I learned in treatment was to hang a picture of myself as a baby or toddler near the mirror. Whenever I wanted to degrade myself, I was supposed to look at the child that I was, the child that I remained to a certain extent.

Looking back, there are many messages that I wish I could tell myself. With this knowledge, I would have escaped heartbreak, rejection, and physical pain. However, lessons that made me a stronger person might have been lost.

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Recovery in the Media: #44. . . .And She Sparkled

One of the best picture books I have read, this tells the story of a child being forced to grow up but stay unique.

One of the best picture books I have read, this tells the story of a child being forced to grow up but stay unique.

44. . . . And She Sparkled by Joan Steffend

Browsing in a cute little shop, I saw this book on the shelf. For some reason, the plush front with a simplistic but mesmorizing silver design appealed to me. The connection to my life was instant as I read the picture book. Right then, I was in residential treatment and struggling to want recovery. Staying a safe child or sick patient seemed much better than growing up in a frightening and uncertain world. Thus, this book played an important role in reminding me of who I was under all of my pain and healing that inner child. It might be a picture book, but . . . And She Sparkled has a deep message about recovery.

Synopsis: This book tells the story of a little girl who sparkles. Joy follows her as she brings beauty and light into the world. Each day, she dreams of the next one with excitement and anticipation. However, her dance falters as difficulties begin to come into her innocent life. Others start telling her to be quieter, more sensible, and less childish. In an attempt to be good, she locks up the sparkle inside of her and hides it from the world. Darkness increases as she struggles to live each day the way people say she should. The sparkle waits inside, hoping to shine once again.

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Turning 22 Today

Turning 22 Today

A few weeks before turning 22

Today I am no longer 21, the age that is known for being young, alive, and exciting.  Since September 1st is my birthday, I am now 22.  Of course, one day does not seem to make a huge difference.  However, on each of my birthdays, I tend to feel several years older.  Although I love celebrating the day, I also feel anxious about growing up.  Also, I enjoy having people acknowledge my life but I feel guilty about all of the attention.  So birthdays leave me with mixed emotions.

This past year, I grew a great deal.  Looking back, I realize how far I have come in many areas.  No, I do not meet my entire meal plan but I climbed out of the relapse in anorexia I had last summer.  After being admitted into the hospital in December and doing day-treatment for depression, hope has appeared in my life for the first time in years.  Instead of stuffing down my emotions, I am beginning to allow myself to experience anger, sorrow, confusion, and happiness.  Blogging daily, participating in Toastmasters, and hanging out with friends more often have been huge steps toward interacting with others and learning social skills.  Traveling overseas helped me to fulfill a lifelong dream and gave me courage to keep seeking a better life.  Thus, there have been a lot of great accomplishments in my 21st year of life.

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