Since I started my journey of self discovery (therapy, group meetings, meds, lots of reading, etc) I have come across some resources that I love. This post is about those.
•Boundaries: One of the first books I read that started to really change the way I thought about myself is “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Prior to this point I was a fairly boundaryless person. I was prone to saying “Yes!” to everything and then lamenting after I became overwhelmed. Having healthy boundaries is life changing! You can buy the book here.
•12-Step: I also started attending 12 step meetings. At first I was terrified but after the first meeting I knew that I had found a tribe at 12 step. Something about the way I was raised caused me to sneer at 12 step type groups and their mantras but I quickly shed those thoughts as I soaked up the vulnerability and love I found at 12 step. There are support meetings to help through all sorts of different struggles. I HIGHLY recommend 12-step. If you aren’t ready to actually attend, you can buy a 12 step manual and read through it. The one I used had lots of personal experiences from others who were dealing with issues similar to mine. Knowing that I wasn’t alone was HUGE for my recovery and healing.
•Therapy. Therapy. Therapy: I cannot stress the benefits of a good therapist. I say good because I saw a not-good therapist once and it was awful. I left those very few sessions feeling gross, shamed. The amazing therapist that Donnie and I went to later, Adam Moore, (for individual and marriage counseling) practices here. I once asked him how to find a good therapist and this is what his suggestion was:
“If I were looking for a therapist, I would search Google and find ones with good websites that have lots of content. Articles, videos, etc. I’d read through them and see what they have to say. Then I’d ask around. I’d ask people I trust if they’d ever been to a therapist or if they knew anyone who had. Ask for recommendations. Then I’d call a few therapists and I’d only be willing to schedule with a therapist would would talk to my personally on the phone. It’s a sign of real commitment to people and great customer service. Therapists who are too busy to call people back might be good, but they won’t individually care about my needs–and I want someone who cares more than they reasonably should. Then I’d ask them some questions. What is their opinion on X Y or Z. How would they handle X Y or Z. The answers should be fluid, not forced, and genuine. Then I’d pick my top 3 and go to one of them. If after 3 sessions I didn’t like the relationship, I’d drop them and try the next until I found someone I trusted. It’s a long process, but I think it’s worth it. A good vs. bad therapist can make all the difference.”
•Brene Brown: Have you ever heard of Brene Brown? If you haven’t, click here, and go to her website right now. Order her books. Read them. Her books are now required reading for my kids before they can graduate from living at home. She researches shame and vulnerability and reading her work and listening to her TED talks was a key factor in my self worth getting better instead of worse because she helped me see my own value, the value of my story, and the value of being honest about my life. Honesty is one of the amazingest things I’ve learned through this journey and Brene Brown’s work played a huge part in me realizing that.
•Glennon: The value of honesty was reinforced to me when I read Glennon Melton’s first book “Carry on Warrior”. Glennon is a truth teller and people lover (and my hero). Since finishing her book I have been far more open about my life, about the weird thoughts I have, about my dysfunctional family, and I’ve been way more open to other people’s honesty. Ya know that phrase ‘the truth shall set you free’? It’s for real. Read Glennon’s book, and in August, read her new book coming out. But only if you like honesty.
•warriors rEDeemED: This awesome facebook page run by my amazing friend Tc Jolley, called warriors rEDeemEd is a place to come together with other warriors fighting their eating disorders. Tc has been through a lot, including inpatient treatment for anorexia. You can read about her story here and listen to a podcast that she did here. She is now working to bring together women who are ready to fight the fight together.
•support group: And lastly (for now), support. I can’t post a link to this because it’s unique to all of us but a good support group of real vulnerable people is key to a healthy, brave, and fulfilling life. I find it hard sometimes, especially when depression says “You aren’t loveable” and anxiety says “stay home and stay safe”, but when I get out there and connect with other real people who are trying, like I am, to show up and throw off the shame of their messy beautiful life, I feel alive.
I have used tons of other resources and I will certainly post about them as time goes on. If you have any questions or want more suggestions on good books, podcasts, etc, please please please reach out and contact me through my contact form. I can’t wait to hear from you!