Sep 11, 2012
Today marks the 11th year anniversary of the four terrorist attacks via passenger jets on the U.S.A. As we remember the nearly 3000 people who lost their lives that day, today we are filled with gratitude at the second chance at life that recovery offers us.
Today many of our eating disorder clients are rehashing where they were on September 11, 2001. Some were in high school, others in college, some were taking care of children and in the peaks of their career. The contrast of their lives 11 years ago versus being in eating disorder treatment today is dramatically different. Eleven years ago many of them were in the early stages of their eating disorders or in the middle of them. Today they are eager to gain recovery, going to therapy, seeing their nutritionists and also remembering how many lives were lost on September 11th 2001.
Over 3000 lives were lost on September 11th. It is estimated that 350,000 people die yearly from eating disorders. Today the Victorian house is taking a moment to be grateful for the hearts they have that are still beating and the lives that can be reclaimed through recovery. We honor those lives that have been lost and the men and women who served the US. We also honor our own clinicians, nurses and staff who work day in and day out to help our clients in the darkest parts of their life. Today our motto is “Keep Calm and Love Who You Are.”
What does September
11th remind you to be grateful for?
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Mar 30, 2010
Valentines Day is coming…. And though the moans and sighs of Victorian clients fill the house, there is some wisdom amongst the women without a partner to share the lovers holiday with.
I have seen the women rally around each other and finding the positive side of being in Eating Disorder treatment over the holiday. Many note that being in treatment will make them a better wife, girlfriend and mother in the long run. Treatment allows them the opportunity to love deeper and better.
As I hear the women talk I am reminded of an old adage, “Before you can love anyone else, you must first love yourself.” The first time I heard this was when I was about 17. These words sounded like a foreign language to me. I envisioned myself on a football field, all suited up and ready to play, but before I could even step on the field the referee stopped me before I ever touched the sidelines with the prerequisite, “You must love yourself first, BEFORE you can step on the field and play.” Up until that point I had always believed that love was an open game for anyone to play, that is anyone who had the “courage” to play.
Since the first time I have heard this saying about loving yourself first, I have learned that courage definitely is necessary to love, but the courage must be rooted in a deep love to love yourself through thick and thin. The best way I can paint this picture is with a high school. All high school teenagers go through a phase of insecurity, self doubt and confusion. While they are trying to figure out where they belong amongst cheerleaders and the artsy crew, they cling to their close friends for reassurance and praise that they do in deed have a place to belong. I’m sure all of us remember “cliques” in high school. Not loving yourself first is like being a hormonal teenager in a clique. You cling to a group or best friend to validate you, define you and give you purpose. Eventually though we all learn that our best friends are flawed too. That just because they are in our clique doesn’t make them infalliable. This realization that our clique isn't perfect sends us into a tail spin, that we aren't safe in the world any longer.
The truth is when you love yourself you can step out of a clique and say, “Wow, I’m not as loud as a cheerleader. I’m not as deep as the drama kids. I’m not as charismatic as the ASB president. In honesty, I’m a talented individual who can make great tea pots with clay, I’m an average student, but I’m a kind person and I’m a great friend and I draw well with pastels. And now that I see that I am not perfect I can also see that other people aren’t perfect. I can see where I have a temper, insecurity and fear and I still love myself for that. I don’t need anyone’s validation that I am smart or pretty enough, because I know that I am just fine where I am. When we get to this spot of accepting ourselves and not clinging to anything or anyone to keep us safe we can freely and openly love people. We can see our partners for their weaknesses and flaws and say, I know you’re not perfect and I know I’m not perfect, but I still love you and I still love me.
In all honesty I think it’s actually harder to love yourself than to love another person. Because at the end of the day we know our flaws. We know where we are ignorant, rude and inconsiderate. The hard thing is to be able to look at ourselves honestly and say, “I know you’re not perfect and I still LOVE you.” When we can do that for ourselves we can honestly and sincerely grow close to other people. We can see where they are not perfect and instead of being disappointed or critical of them we can instead relate to that imperfection and in turn say, “I know you’re not perfect, but I still LOVE you.”
Happy Valentines to all! May you love much and well this year and may you most importantly, LOVE YOURSELF FIRST!