A For Effort
By: Hollyn Donovan

you-cant-please-everyone2Sometimes, I want to be pushed to eat more and to do better, because I know I need the push and I know I’m capable. Sometimes, being challenged is a good thing and is needed in order to make progress in recovery. Other times, I just want to hear that I’m doing well. Sometimes, I just want to be told that others know I’m trying. Sometimes, I want to know that my best is enough.

I don’t need to feel bad about having bad days, because bad days are proof that I’m trying. I don’t need to feel bad about seeking a different kind of care, because that’s what’s going to help me recover. I have every reason to be proud of being able to enjoy 1 meal in a given day, even if I had a hard time enjoying the other 2, because that shows that I’m making progress toward a healthy relationship with food again.

I’m learning that self-reliance is very important in recovery. I need to be able to rely more on myself for encouragement, praise, recognition, and validation. There is nothing wrong with looking to others for help and support, but personally, I tend to underestimate how much power I have and how much I can be my own resource if I allow myself to be. I can be a source of support and reassurance for myself, I just need to grow my confidence in that.

As I grow in my ability to rely on myself, I will lean on others as much as I feel I need to. I will use my support system of family, friends, and professionals. I will ask for reassurance, encouragement, and understanding. I will remind my family and friends that recovery is a slow process and will ask for their continued patience with me, with treatment, and with the recovery process. I know it must be hard for them to see me struggle, but I try to remind them that they’re doing the best they can to support me and that I’m doing the best I can to help myself.

Regardless of my ability to rely on and support myself, and even with the help and support from those around me, sometimes, I need an extra push. I need to be told that I’m doing well, that I’m worth recovery, and that slow and steady wins the race. Other times, it’s helpful to be reminded that practice makes progress and that recovery is neither a race nor a competition. With each passing day comes new challenges to face and new successes to celebrate. Triumphs or trials, 2 steps forward or 1 step back, it’s all a process. But sometimes, what I need more than anything else is for someone, anyone to recognize that I’m trying and to give me an A for Effort.

My name is Hollyn, and this is Where I Stand.