To Know The Difference

Welcome to DAY ONE of my week-long attempt to blog everyday.

Also known as my “week-long therapy assignment to attempt to feel accomplishment at something other than starving and exercise.”

While my counselor is not so naive as to think that simply feeling “accomplished” at something outside of my eating disorder will miraculously cure me, she does think that throwing some of the energy I usually spend on my disorder into other pursuits will go a long way to helping me rediscover who I am, what I like, and that I actually have talents and interests outside of food and exercise.  Who knew?!

So,  each day, a friend is going to provide me with a writing prompt that I’ll complete.  If you want to join in on giving me prompts, please do!  Leave a comment with a question you want me to answer, a topic you’d like to hear my opinion on, whatever.  I would love to begin expanding my blog topics beyond whining about my meal plan.  I’m sure you, as my readers, would love that, too.


Today’s prompt:  The Serenity Prayer

If you’re a twelve-stepper or, I imagine, a human being in America who has ever been in a cheesy gift shop, you are familiar with at least the first stanza of the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:  God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. My friend challenged me to write out the Serenity Prayer and expand it:  what are the things I cannot change, what things can I change, where do I need wisdom?

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

such as:

  • I am a woman
  • I have emotions
  • I have physical, emotional, and spiritual needs
  • Recovery means gaining and maintaining weight
  • My family is my family – period
  • I have been abused and neglected in my past
  • People may perceive me poorly
  • I do not know the future
  • I failed a class in college


…the courage to change the things I can

such as:

  • How I react to my family
  • How I present myself to the world
  • How I deal with stress
  • Eating properly to fuel my body
  • Working through my past to make sure past abuse doesn’t cause future problems
  • Making strides to become the woman I want to be
  • How I spend my free time (in reading, prayer, or worship)


…and the wisdom to know the difference

such as the differences:

  • between vigilance and obsession
  • between running because it feels good and running because I want to hurt myself
  • between healthy acceptance of circumstances and feeling defeated or giving up
  • between helpful self-reflection and crazy-making navel-gazing
  • between genuinely not enjoying the taste of a food and not enjoying a food because it has such strong emotional ties

What do you think, friends?  Did I miss anything?  What differences have you had to learn in your recovery process?  I genuinely want to know!



7 thoughts on “To Know The Difference

  1. I don’t have time for a reflective post because my family is visiting BUT I would love to know more about you. That is a post assignment–tell us more about you!

  2. Your list is so…profound!
    I love these ones:

    -Recovery means gaining and maintaining weight. (Can’t seem to get that in my head and heart.)
    -My family is my family – period. (Amen Sistah Friend!)

    And these I really have to ponder.
    – between vigilance and obsession (What did you mean by this, I have been hearing from God a lot lately and I have a feeling I was meant to see those two words.)

    -between healthy acceptance of circumstances and feeling defeated or giving up. (So hard.)

    -between helpful self-reflection and crazy-making navel-gazing (Sometimes you just have to let it go, let your freak flag fly!)


    • Missy,

      I think the “vigilant v. obsession” thing is a fine line, but one that God has been trying for months to get me to work on acknowledging. Vigilance means paying enough attention to your meals and snacks to ensure that you’re getting enough, but not obsessing over every portion size and whether or not you have one exchange too many or too few. Vigilance means paying attention to your weight/how clothes fit/whatever to ensure that you are gaining or maintaining (wherever you are on the journey), but not obsessing over every piece of fabric that touches your skin and whether or not it is tighter or looser than three days earlier and going down the crazy mind path that creates. Vigilance means knowing your triggers and checking with yourself on a daily basis to see where you’ve encountered triggers and how you’ve dealt with them, but not obsessing over every comment, interaction, e-mail, event.

      I think vigilance v. obsession probably looks different for a lot of people, but this is a lot of what it looks like for me. Because I struggle with very noticeable, very intrusive OCD symptoms when I am at my worst, it takes some amount of work and a LOT of grace to maintain forward momentum in recovery without giving into OCD thoughts and behaviours that will eventually derail my recovery.

      Did that make any sense?

      • YES!

        Jess….you wrote this around the time I blogged abouyt it being Christmas time and how I felt like I needed a “break in recovery” and when I read this I was like…wait. God is in this for realsie ….

        Cause this is what I was talking about….I don’t want to continue the OBSESSION but yes I do need to maintain vigilance. And, just be gentle with myself and the process.

        LIFE is what happens when we are busy recovering <—-HAH! That just poppped into my head and I love it!

  3. Pingback: The Long Road to the Kingdom, Part 1 « A Wilderness Love Story

  4. Wow, this is a really amazing activity! I want to think about it for myself and I hope it’s okay to post my responses on my blog.

    Your’s are amazing and so reflective, I really think the last one (knowing the difference) is so important and something you can do!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s