Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Finding Courage in Failure

So I am one of the rare people who love Kirsten Dunst; think she is a great actress and love the movie Elizabethtown. (I know, hard to find) One of my favorite parts of the movie is when her character, Claire, says to Drew (Orlando Bloom)….

” So you failed. Alright you really failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You think I care about that? I do understand. You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you're still smiling.”

This quote has always stuck with me, even more so in the past few days. I think it’s great when people are really amazing at things and rarely ever make mistakes(hello, I am a perfectionist after all), but what I find truly inspirational are the people who are able to brush themselves off and keep going after making a mistake. Even more so, those that are able to talk about it; share their mistakes/failures, show compassion towards themselves and move on. In my eyes, it’s one of the most admirable traits you can have and shows true strength. 

As I have mentioned in recent posts, I have been struggling. In the past week and a half I have made more mistakes (read as given into the eating disorder) more than I have in the past few months. I have tried all of its old tricks and flirted with all of its (my) old beliefs. I have even tried some new things that I thought that I never would. And I have been embarrassed/ashamed/disappointed in myself. I’ve felt defeated and like the biggest failure ever. So much so, that I have wanted to keep it all to myself, avoid blogging, avoid the people on my treatment team, avoid life. I even temporally convinced myself that I should just give up trying all together. The level of self berating and self hate that I have cooked up in the past week and a half has been astronomical. And it’s all been very disheartening. 

It’s hard to admit that I have clung greatly to the eating disorder once again. It’s even harder to admit that there are parts of it that I have enjoyed. It’s hard to admit that I am not positive towards recovery all of the time, especially since I have put my life out there by writing this blog. It’s hard to share pain, frustration, anger and hurt. It’s even harder to watch how I have hurt those around me. It’s hard to be vulnerable, open and honest. It’s hard to respond differently to myself then I have in the past, especially since they are the same mistakes. For me, the hardest part of it all is to forgive myself and react with compassion. It’s hard to let go.

One thing that I realized today while talking to some friends, is that inspiration doesn’t come from things being perfect or going right all of the time. The people that I truly admire are those that have stepped out of their comfort zones in times of desperate struggle and hard times in their lives. People that have sought out help and support when it was easier to run and hide. It’s not the people that have made it to the top of the hill in one leap carrying, 200lbs without breaking a sweat, but instead those that get back up every time they fall or ask for help when they encounter a road block. Courage isn’t reserved only for those who do extraordinary things easily. 

One of my biggest roadblocks in recovery is that I want it to be perfect. I want to look like I have it all together and can be the poster child for what to do. I want to be the person that inspires others and brings hope to those fighting the same fight. I want to be a role model, a warrior, someone that others can turn to. I don't want to let others down, make mistakes, screw up and give in.The thing is, the traits that I am longing for, are not the things that inspire others nor are they the things that are going to help me overcome this eating disorder. So for now, I am going to step out of my comfort zone, admit my mistakes and take responsibility for my actions and recovery. Writing this post and adhering to the steps that I just mentioned is about all of the courage that I can muster up right now. And right now, that is just going to have to be good enough. 

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." ~ Albert Einstein 

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