recovery challenge

How to broach a difficult subject with your therapist

Here are some tips that work very well! Also, my favorite tips are to:

  • email them beforehand that I would like to bring up (x subject). Email feels more removed and safer to me, and this way the pressure is off me to bring it up. I can also include in the email how I feel about talking about it, and ask the therapist to be accommodating.

    Example: “Hi, I want to talk about my concerns RE: eating/body image next session but I don’t quite feel comfortable talking about it. I think it would be easier if you asked more of the questions/simpler questions so there was less pressure to talk about it. Is that okay?” or “I think I need to talk about my eating issues next session. There’s a few things I’m sensitive about. Please go slowly when you ask questions just in case something comes up that gets overwhelming. Thanks.”

  • write it down on a notecard, in bullet points or with short sentences you can read right off the card. Even if you freeze up during the appointment, you can just hand them the card.

  • remember that you can go as slow as you need to. Sometimes it’s helpful to have the first half or even a whole session dedicated to just talking around the issue. Example: “I need to talk about something, but I don’t know if I’m ready to talk about it yet.” A good therapist will meet you where you are and work with your feelings around bringing it up, and then when you feel ready to actually name/talk about it can just go right ahead.
30 day recovery challenge

I made this challenge because I really wanted to do one! However, the only ones I could find were so specific about eating disorders or self harm. So I decided to make one that is really general, so anyone in recovery can do it!

I added questions from assignments I have been given from my addiction counselor. a few questions are inspired by the 12 steps. I also generalized a few questions from other recovery challenges.

this is how it will work: once a day, please answer the question! if any are too personal or you are not comfortable answering, skip it! you can start or stop the challenge at anytime.

**if you decide to participate in the recovery challenge, please tag you answers with believeinrecovery so i can check out and/or reblog your answers! 

Keep reading

The brain does weird things when you deprive it of food.

And I don’t mean just calorically. Even if you’re eating 2000, 3000 calories a day in recovery, if they’re all safe, you’re still going to be obsessed with food and what you “can’t” have.

(AKA a friendly reminder to challenge yourself today.)

Miraculous things happen when you decide to do hard things. In spite of all the reasons not to. In spite of all the obstacles. In spite of all the things to blame. Follow, follow, follow your heart to the life you want. In the end, it is all yours to create.
—  Erin Brown
Recovery Challenge: How to Forgive Yourself -- No Matter What

Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes they are small and forgettable, and sometimes they are big, but too often we can’t seem to stop beating ourselves up about it, way past the point where it’s helpful.

This is something I’ve found helpful for reconciling that just because I did something bad doesn’t mean that I am doomed to always be a bad person — no matter what I’ve done, I can learn from it and change for the better, and so can you.

1. Identify when you are beating yourself up, as it is happening. 

  • Example A: I failed my math test.
  • Example B: I lashed out in anger and hurt someone I care about.

2. Identify the thought and put it into words.

  • Example A: “I’m so stupid.” “I’m just terrible at math.” “I’ll never succeed.”
  • Example B: “I am a terrible person. What I did is unforgivable; I hate myself for what I have done.”

3. Limit the damage mentally, both in terms of extent AND duration. This is where you regain control over your thoughts by reminding yourself that you can come back from this. It is NOT an excuse; It doesn’t mean that your mistake wasn’t a mistake, or that it was okay to do (this applies especially if other people were hurt by your mistake). It just means that who you are and what you choose to do in the future are not defined by your past mistakes.

  • Example A: instead of “I failed this test” say, “I got a bad grade on this test.” Instead of “I always fail math tests” say “I have been getting bad grades on my math tests.” Instead of “I AM stupid,” say, “I am having trouble with math.” 
  • Example B: Instead of “I can’t believe that I’m the kind of person who would do something like that,” say “It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that I did such a bad thing.” If you were in control at any point, recognize the areas where you WERE in control — “At least I kept myself from using physical violence” “At least I stopped when I realized what I was doing”. If you were not in control at any point of the encounter (emotions were overwhelming, you were under the influence of drugs/alcohol, etc.), know that you are in control NOW, and that you are alive and capable of making positive changes moving forward.

4. Identify ways you can improve the current situation

  • Example A: “My grade is lower than I want it to be because of this grade. Perhaps I can ask the teacher for an extra credit assignment.”
  • Example B: Assess whether an apology is appropriate. Is it totally genuine? Will it help the other person? Keep in mind that many people want merely to forget about these situations entirely, and reminding them of the situation might only cause harm or conflicted feelings on their part. Know that they are entitled to feel whatever they may be feeling as a result — including resentment and other unpleasant feelings towards you —  and if/when you apologize, make sure to validate their feelings rather than excuse your behavior. This includes respecting their choices afterwards if they choose to distance themselves from or end the relationship. Accept responsibility for what you’ve done, that it is a part of your past which you can learn from but can’t erase. This can be a lot to stomach, especially if they choose not to forgive you, so recognize that you are making a CHOICE to improve and change, that that is a brave choice, and again that your past does not define your future.

5. Once you have done what you can to rectify the situation, find a lesson in the mistake.

  • Example A: “I should figure out which areas of math I struggle with BEFORE the exam.” “I must get help as soon as I realize I don’t understand, rather than putting it off.”
  • Example B: “I need to recognize when my anger starts interfering with my ability to control my actions.” “I need to limit my alcohol/drug consumption so that I remain in control of my actions.” “I need to be more aware of what actions are appropriate to the situation, and the consequences of my actions for others.”

6. Prevent this mistake in the future by committing yourself to a plan for practicing this lesson.

  • Example A: “I will bring questions about material I struggle with to the class before the next exam.”
  • Example B: “When I notice myself getting angry, I will take 10 deep breaths.” “If I start feeling out-of-control with anger, I will leave the room for 5 minutes and calm down.” “I will pace myself when drinking in order to avoid getting so dangerously drunk again.” “I will stop using alcohol/drugs and/or get help in order to do so.” “I will check in with the others involved in situations where I am unsure about what is appropriate.”

7. Look forward and forgive yourself. The purpose of guilt is to teach you a lesson, the lesson being “Hey! Don’t do that again!” It’s sort of like your brain’s built-in behavioral conditioning system. Now that you’ve learned this lesson and are committed to applying it, you can let go of this guilt. No matter the mistake you’ve made, you can always improve from here. You don’t have to be perfect to forgive yourself. You just have to try to be the best you know how to be from this point on. This step takes more practice, but until you’ve gotten the hang of it, start by just saying to yourself, “I made a mistake. I have done what I can to fix the situation and prevent this from happening in the future. I am a work in progress. I forgive myself.”

Recovery Challenge: Notice Your Body

Something that helps me a lot is watching my body as it moves. When I lean forward, I have belly rolls; if I stretch backwards, they stretch with me. When I sit down, my thighs spread out wide. Realizing that my rolls are just my skin being flexible to fit me, that my spreading thighs are where my body creatively turns currently-relaxed parts of my leg into a comfy seat just for me, helps me also realize that my body isn’t just one shape — that my “perfect shape” would be too rigid, stiff, and useless for me to be much more than a Barbie doll. Doing this thought exercise helps me realize that many of the “imperfections” I find with how I look are actually necessary for me to have a functioning human body — and that being flexible and capable of change is infinitely more valuable than fitting an arbitrary definition of “perfect.”

Sometimes the only person who can save you is you. I’m not saying we shouldn’t get advice from others. Useful advice can be the difference between success and failure. But more often than not, too much advice kills our mission and mojo. There’s no way around rolling up our sleeves and doing the work. You may need some training (I did). You may fail and fall (I still do), but if you have the passion and vision, the path to success is easier than you think
—  Kris Carr

Participate in Survive the Holidays BINGO and WIN 100RtR Stuff.

Here’s how it works. Starting today, Monday November 24th 2014, participate in Bingo. You have from today until Monday December 1st to send us proof that you’ve gotten Bingo! Send proof however you see fit - whether that be a picture, story, screencap, video or some other thing. 

Once you get BINGO (that’s proof of 5 activities in a row on the board, either across, down or diagonally - the middle space is a FREE space), send that proof to 

We will randomly draw FIVE PEOPLE to win a random item of 100 Reasons to Recover merch from the people who send us their BINGO wins. 

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, tag your proofs with #100rtrbingo and let the world see how you are ROCKING this holiday season. 

Remember, you MUST get your proofs in by Monday December 1, 2014 at 11:59pm EST to be entered into the giveaway.