Independence

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently – both in regards to my own situation and life in general. You see I’m the type of person that tries to make everyone else happy, and puts herself and her own personal needs, wants and desires last. Not that this is a bad thing mind you, but I’ve gotten to the point where almost anyone could get me to do anything , and to a point I would personally suffer neglect while I run around trying to make everyone else happy.

The truth is was (and still am sometimes) a slave to the opinions of others. So often I will do something just because I feel other people will look down on me if I don’t. So often I feel the need to do things “their” way, because I’m afraid of the way they will react if I voice another opinion. So often I do things just to please others, even if deep in my heart it’s the last thing I want to do.

But there are times you need to do what is right for you. You need to follow your heart regardless of what other people say or think – because that’s what will make you happy in the long run.

Oddly enough this is a lesson I re-enforced in my recovery from an ED.  When I first started my journey I tried to please everyone around me – to my own hurt. I did things that were triggering for me (like calorie counting) just because other people felt it would be a “good idea”. It might be a good idea for some people, but it sure wasn’t for me. I ate only sugary, high calorie foods because that’s what a doctor recommended for weight gain. I allowed myself to be weighed every 2 days, and also controlled that number just to make sure it was going up a minimum of 0.5 kgs a week Then I reached the point that I determined I was going to do recovery “for me”.  Up till then I was pretty much half-heartedly following what everyone else told me to do – just to make them happy. But the second they stepped out of the picture and left me to my own devices I would slip back into the way I had always done things. However at that moment I decided to start making my own choices and discovering what worked for me. No longer would I depend on someone to tell me what to do, to force me to eat or to keep me from exercising. I wanted heath, happiness and a long life and I was going to do it – no matter what it took.

My recovery journey has taken a somewhat unconventional route – so far I’ve done it without a “treatment team” and with just the general supervision of a doctor. I don’t count calories, I don’t weigh myself, and I don’t eat according to a meal plan. But those who know me will confirm that I am making tremendous steps of progress with every day that goes by – both physically and emotionally.

Alternately I could have done everything by the book just because it’s what everyone else felt comfortable with, and ended up suffering the whole time and relapsing the moment tight supervision was taken away from me. History tends to repeat itself, and this has already happened once. The route I’ve taken defies some people’s view of traditional recovery, and I’ve had a few conflicts with close friends and family members over my decisions. But now they know it was all for the best, and I do too.

Since then I’ve also been standing up more for myself in other areas of my life as well. I’m no longer such a pushover that I let others dictate my every move. I’m  not so dependent on their support and acceptance that I’m afraid to step out because of fear of criticism. I do appreciate the advice and opinions of those I look up to, but in the end it’s my life and I’m going to live it the way I know is best for me, even if some others criticize me for it. I am willing to stand up for what I know is right

 Any thoughts on the matter?

Are you easily influenced by others? Or are you the type of person that will stand up for what you know is right, regardless of what others think?

 

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5 comments

  1. Oh I feel you on this one. I do tend to do what makes others happy whether I want to or not. I mean, I DO keep my morals and such, but if it’s something like deciding what to eat or what activity to do, I usually let the other person decide. Assertiveness is something I need to work on…

    I’m glad that you are doing things “your way”! You know what’s best for YOU!

  2. Being in recovery from an eatind disorder has improved my assertivness a lot. I have changed so much in that area, while I used to please others, i know strive to please myself, and do what’s right for me. In terms of recovery, i have tried the traditional route 3 times, always ending up relapsing. Now im trying it out my way.

    • Wish you the best of luck girl! Recovering on your own takes a lot of effort and will power, but it’s such a rewarding feeling when you are able to reach your goals and gain victories. I know you can do it!

  3. My recovery has gone in almost the same pattern yours has. I don’t have a treatment team, I don’t have a meal plan, and I don’t have people telling me what to do. I do what I want in my recovery and I have made good progress. In the end, it is our lives and we have the say in what we do with it. We know ourselves and we know what works for us.

  4. i meant to comment on this earlier, but seriously – thanks for such a thoughtful post. i related to a lot of this – especially being really sensitive to the opinion of others. i think it definitely has something to do with security/insecurity – still figuring things out, but it’s def important to remember that we have inherent worth and dignity as human beings, our worth isn’t rooted in what people think of us or how we look or how much we achieve.


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