Sunday, 17 June 2018

Fox Tales Art


Art is how I work through my "stuff".


Whether this is my loneliness ....




My stubbornness ...




My fear ...




Or my joy ...


Art is my way of expressing what I can't find the words for.

Love, gratitude, and kindness to all.

- Kira
Blog Moderator

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

My Eating Disorder by Kasia


Recovery is work. Hard work. And when a doctor decides you are physically recovered, the psychological and emotional journey continues. It isn’t easy. There’s the physical changes, the thought patterns, the distressing emotions, and the feeling of being completely alone. I hope this blog can make our Recovery a bit easier, simply by knowing that we are NOT alone.




This week, Kasia describes her experience of physical recovery and that knowledge that the journey includes healing. A facilitator at Sheena’s Place says, a trigger is a place inside that needs to be healed. 


My Eating disorder 
(why not just call it rules and self inflicted unwritten prescriptions for the crazy societal norm)
started at around age 8 and a half.     
By the time i was 13 i was admitted to a Hospital for sick children
I was really confused to say the least.
I had to stay for about 7 weeks.  
31 years later i started getting my period
yet at this point in my life
I see my body with much more 
acceptance
than in previous years
yet i'm not done healing yet
just because the hormonal axis have managed to regulate themselves. 
Miraculously.

By Kasia

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If you would like to share your story, or other writings, please email your submission to Kmccarthy@sheenasplace.org

If you or someone in your life is struggling with an Eating Disorder, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) at http://nedic.ca 

If you would like more information or to register for groups, visit Sheena's Place website at www.sheenasplace.org



Art is property of © Fox Tales Art by Kira

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Art by Alexandra Zimbulidis

The long weekend can present opportunities for rest and relaxation, for traditions, for enjoying the warm weather, and for anxiety and stress around family gatherings. Remember to practice self-compassion as you navigate your way through your weekend. Self-care and self-kindness are not acts of selfishness. They are acts of resistance in a world that tells us to put ourselves last. You are allowed to take care of yourself in ways that you know are good for you. 
You are allowed to do what you need to do to be good to yourself. 

This week we are honoured to publish art created by Alexandra Zimbulidis.








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If you would like to share your story, art, or other writings, please email your submission to Kmccarthy@sheenasplace.org

If you or someone in your life is struggling with an Eating Disorder, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) at http://nedic.ca/ 

If you would like more information or to register for groups, visit Sheena's Place website at www.sheenasplace.org

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Making Connections - Making Friends


One of the most meaningful parts of being a client at Sheena's Place is the connections that you make with people in groups. Sitting in a room full of other people who just "get it" is a feeling like no other. The guidelines at SP make it a safe space to be authentic and vulnerable. It can be terrifying to walk through that door the first time. You approach the stairs and the front porch and don't know if you even want to touch the doorknob. And, as one of the facilitators likes to say, "next time it won't be your first time!"



If you are struggling with the anxiety about registering for a group, treat yourself with some kindness and compassion. You are not alone in your struggles with ED, you are not alone in the fear of attending a group. Most importantly, you are not alone. Your first step can simply be reading this blog. Maybe one day you will leave a comment on a post. Perhaps spark a conversation. And when you are ready and you still feel like you don't know if you can do it, all you have to do is open the door.





This week, Kim shares her story of how a friendship began through the connection made in an SP group.

Be kind to yourself,
Kira
Blog Moderator


Making Connections - Making Friends

By Kim 

Prompt: Write about a time when I experienced or felt vulnerability and it had a positive outcome.

At first I gagged thinking about this.  Ick.  Vulnerability.  No thank you!

One hard thing I did not that long ago was walk into Sheena's Place.  First I had to acknowledge to myself that my behaviours were actually a problem, not just "this is me."  Walking into the house was hard.  What if people saw me walk in there?  What if whoever was there called me on my self-diagnosis?  "You don't look like you have a real problem with an eating disorder. Are you sure you belong here?"  "Staff reserve the right to refuse service if clients are not "bad" enough to need the help offered there" .... OK, so a bit of a tangent...

My first group at Sheena's Place was about Trauma, The Body, and ED (Eating Disorders).  There were about 20 of us.  It got deep quickly, yet people kept their words high level enough to avoid triggering anyone.  During my 8-10 weeks attending this group, I also attended a one-day workshop on perfectionism where a co-trauma group member was also in attendance.  We had a little smile, a little connection.

On the last day of my trauma group, I fiddled with my papers.  I was trying to write a perfectly worded, not too desperate sounding note to her, telling her that I'd like to keep in touch, and if she was interested, here's my email.

I wrote the note a couple of times of course.  Then the group session was ending.  I was about to miss my chance.  I quickly got up, gave it to her, and scurried away, avoiding any direct rejection as fast as possible.

To my delight, she emailed me!  And we have been fast and close friends for the past two years.

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If you would like to share your story, or other writings, please email your submission to Kmccarthy@sheenasplace.org

If you or someone in your life is struggling with an Eating Disorder, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) at http://nedic.ca/ 

If you would like more information or to register for groups, visit Sheena's Place website at www.sheenasplace.org

Art is property of © Fox Tales Art by Kira



Sunday, 6 May 2018

"Consumed" by Samuel

Today, we are featuring a piece from Samuel. Thank you for taking the time to submit your story.


Over 1/3 of my life has been consumed by my eating disorder (and I'm currently still in recovery, on the squiggly up-swing).


This period of time is a blessing and a curse simultaneously.  The blessing is, that it helped me cope for many years with other very distressing occurrences in my life.  The curse is, that I could have developed better coping mechanisms, but at the time it is all I had.  It seemed natural to get my self-worth from body image.  But it's not.  And so it began...

After a decade of my life passing in the grips of my eating disordered thoughts, I find it difficult to imagine what life would look like without them ruling the brain.  Relationships, career, hobbies, family, health, experiences, etc. What have I missed out on?  Or more importantly - what can I look forward to? :-)

Today, every day, I fight rigidity & self-hatred.  I know when I'm in my disease because it reflects in how I treat others [they are victim to my ED thoughts as much as I am].  To recover, I muster positive energy & re-wire neurons on a daily basis by engaging in healthier activities, behaviors, places, things & people.  Saying "yes" to new things is good for me, whether it is "yes" to foods, conversations, people, work, challenges, or trusting others.

I repeat:  Everything will be ok.  Everything will be ok.  Everything will be ok.  Just focus on recovery & fluidity (I come from cement rigidity).  There is no box to fit in, other than the one that floats around my body, formed on my changing self.

Samuel


If you would like to submit your writing or art, please email Kmccarthy@sheenasplace.org

Thursday, 3 May 2018

A Poem by Brooke


All the long-term
is futile
For a moment
it's relevant.

Then fleeting,
fleeting.
A comet passing
rapid cycle.

The gravity is in 
My gut.

Inertia in my veins
Inertia wanting to escape
My soul wanting to 
Flee.

The weight of gravity
Is tangible.
The opposite of
space,

Particles.
The airhead of
Recovery goals.
What a horrible, foreign
Definition.
Changing each moment.

However does one freefall,
From inertia to
clinging, 
to 
an icy, melting,
comet.

I've never been co-ordinated.

- Brooke

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Day by Day By Kate


This week, Kate writes about what it is like to face recovery one day at a time.  


You.

You lose your life to gain a new one.

Working and beating this manipulative disease we get up, day after day.

Working to lose the voice that has been following you around for your entire life feels like trying to outrun a shadow in a thunderstorm.

Yet, we run.

Taking off in a sprint screaming we won’t, we can’t, live like this anymore.

Because one thing we know is that there is nothing romantic about this life. There is nothing to be envious of, no secret tricks about how we got here, no crowd wanted when our limbs go raw and eyes run dry. I didn’t ask for this.

But we get up day after day.

Running after the voice that says the message we crave to hear. That message is the one we’ve tried telling ourselves for years, through treatment centers, doctors appointments and ECG’s. It’s the one that’s never been fully transposed; right now all we can hear is the voice that says this is the only way to live.

But we get up day after day.

We want perpetual control. We want certainty. We want a way to deal with our emotions, the ones that make you want to run into the storm and give up. It’s easier to pretend to have control through this toxicity than to face those dark places.

And as we run, day after day, we’ve found that all those safety behaviours, all that control – was just a fabrication of our fears. All the rules we made, all the things we thought we had to do to stay safe were built off our fears. They were built off the lies that we told ourselves. They were built to protect us from life’s chaos.

But look back, look at the isolating chaos we’ve created, that is the real storm, worse than the one we sought to avoid initially. And now we realize that those fears were false, that there was no need for that control. Because life is going to hurt. And it’s going to rain, and when it does it may pour. But protecting yourself from that by living in a hole doesn’t keep the water out.

Yet once we figured this out we’re already so deep in and the storm was coming quickly. Leaving that shelter we’ve built means giving up all we know. It means that the world is completely different from what we originally thought. It means being vulnerable to the fact that you can get hurt, but living with the confidence that you can and will be able to get through those tough times. 

Recovery is not and has never been about the object of our symptoms. That is a symptom of our control, it’s not the whole picture.

Because, day by day, as we lose our coping mechanisms we need to learn how to create the life that we thought we had. We realize that those fears tore our friends from us, led us to corrupt jobs and bad relationships – and now we have to learn to live in uncertainty.

It feels like floating in limbo. Never really knowing which way to go but hoping that one day you’ll end up on that side where the message is. You’re trying to build a completely new style of living, you’re switching everything you know, doing things that make you feel like you’re digging yourself into your own misery. Imagine having to go against every single instinct you have, every single moment of every single day. Because that is how you get the message. It’s by building your own. There is no way to live but one thing we can be certain about? The way we were living, the way that lead to the middle of storm? Was never the message that you intended to hear.

So day by day, we are jumping into the terrifying uncertainty that the new one we are chasing, is the one that will let us truly live.

And so we will get up, day by day.



Please submit your stories, poetry, art, narratives, prose, and other submissions to sheenassharedstories@gmail.com


Fox Tales Art