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Currently, one of the things that I do while working on launching Where I Stand, teaching dance classes, and blog/advocate recovery in various ways is mentor women in the recovery process. A conversation tonight with one of these beautiful women sparked the idea for this post.

What is hope? Why is it important?

Tonight Jackie (name changed for privacy) had a rough night. She’s working on reducing behaviors and it’s a struggle. It reminds me of my struggle at the beginning of my recovery, and the struggle I have heard about, seen and witnessed in so many others.

So how do we have hope in that struggle? Where do we find it? How do we hold onto it?

Tonight in our conversation I asked Jackie: “Which fear is greater for you right now: the fear that your body might change, the fear of giving up control in the moment.. OR the fear of losing your life to your eating disorder?”

She said: “I’m starting to realize that.”

In that statement, I understood her realization that she is more afraid to lose the rest of her life to this disease than anything else. We continued to talk about it and I told her this is it. This is Hope.

That is Hope.

I never want anyone to think that hope is always sunshines and rainbows, puppy dogs and happy memories and ideas. In reality HOPE is positive change. Sometimes that positive change is half a step in the wrong direction that might SEEM like nothing to someone who does not understand, but in reality it is EVERYTHING to the person holding on with dear life.

My hope in recovery rested in knowing I have done difficult things before, so I can do difficult things again. My hope in recovery came from knowing others had walked this path before me. I found hope in every new change in perspective or shift or trial of a new idea (even if it didn’t work right away).

Recovery is Hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better, and if it isn’t then the next day will be. Hope is a belief that we learn from the past, it makes us stronger NOT weaker in the end. For recovery you need determination which is fueled by the HOPE that one day you will be free.

You will be free. Believe it. Have hope.
That is HOPE.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand

Photo on 7-5-13 at 11_Fotor5