I recovered from my eating disorder by retraining my focus away from body image and self-esteem to the relationships that mattered most to me: my wife, my son, friends, and family. But what sustains my recovery? How do I keep from falling back into old patterns that are so ingrained in me? Simple. I follow my passions now.
My greatest passion from my earliest memories was music. As I write this blog, I’ve my sound system cranked listening to new artists I’ve discovered like jazz singer Zara McFarlane, R&B/rock singer Paulo Nutini, and classic blue-eyed soul from Dr. John. I let my body sway to their propulsive beat, no different than the way I would conduct along to classical music in my crib as a toddler. It’s the rhythm of my soul and I can’t help myself now. But I used to. I was embarrassed by my body, the way the fat jiggled around it, the way I felt un-sexy if not flat out ugly in my movement. Now? F-it. I’m going to let it all hang out the way James Brown told me to.
When, in those rare moments my depression or anxiety are active and my eating disorder and self-loathing thoughts creep in, I don’t succumb because I know what passion feels like. I seek it out because I know it feels so much better to do “Da-butt” and “Rock with You,” play my drums, pound my bass, and scream distorted melodies with my guitar, voicing my rebellion in my most positive way. My passion is all about finding ways to “Funk My Life Up” so I don’t f**k it up.
That’s passion for me. What’s your passion?
By Andrew Walen, LCSW-C - Founder, Executive Director, Psychotherapist at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Andrew please call 443-602-6515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.