Reflections on Recovery: Finding Your Inner Hero
Everyone has a guide on the inside.
And its name is not “eating disorder.”
Its name is “Truth.”
Today, I will embrace my authentic self.
Who I really am and what I have to say is
worth attention. I now give that attention
to myself by showing up for my life.
– Making Peace with Your Plate (p. 174)
When I first started recovery, I had no idea who I was. My self-worth had been crippled by my eating disorder, and my perception of who I was had been broken. Over time, within recovery, I got distance from the eating disorder and its demands and began to realize that there was a voice within me that wanted to be heard.
When I talk about the voice within me, I’m not talking about the voice that comes from a highly perfectionistic, judgmental or even self-belittling part of ourselves. I’m talking about the voice that champions us and begs us to honor ourselves, the way a power greater than ourselves meant for us to be honored. It is the energy that skirts the line between being gentle with ourselves and being accountable. It is found in our intuition, our gut, our truth…and is just waiting for us to tap into it. Dr. Roger W. Teel calls it “a divine power within us that knows more than we do.” We all have this inner voice, our very own Inner Hero that is capable of greatness. We may call it by other names, such as authentic self, wise mind, greatness, our truth, or even God.
Many patients at Eating Recovery Center have asked me how I built a relationship with this self. Like anything in recovery, it came slowly and in ways I did not expect. It started with an acceptance of who I am — all of me, even the parts I don’t like. Then over time, I got to see who I really was as I listened to that voice within that was my truth — my Inner Hero. Each time I have chosen to listen to my needs and breathe life into them, the more I build a deeper relationship with myself.
To be clear, I cannot always come from a place of truth right off the bat. Sometimes I still go along, suffering, until I hear that voice inside me that says, “Listen to me.” Here’s what I do so that I can begin to listen:
1. Be very still: Sit in a quiet place and just breathe. Don’t try to control your feelings; just sit with them without judgment.
2. Acceptance: Accept that where you are is right here and right now. Accept that you are dealing with what you are dealing with. It is simply a fact.
3. Ask the questions: “Who am I without the negative voice?” and “What is it that you want me to hear?” Remember, your loving truth will come from a place of compassion and calmness, not anxiety or shame. If you don’t like sitting still, you can do this exercise via journaling also.
Over time in my recovery, my truth has become much louder than all of the negative talk, making it easier to tap into and make decisions based on it. I have learned that there is so much more to me — and indeed life — than the eating disorder would have had me believe and settle for. The truth is, whether we believe it right now or not, we are all capable of living from a place that fulfils us–honoring our needs, passions and true self.
In celebration of Eating Disorder Week, we are kicking off February by exploring the Inner Hero on our webinar:
Thursday, February 5th
6:30 – 7:30 PM
To keep the conversation going with your fellow recovery warriors, become a part of the#innerhero discussion on social media, too. I hope to see you on February 6th to continue the conversation online!