Small steps/Big steps

I was talking to my therapist yesterday and I'd recently made some progress in recovery. I'm not going to go into specifics for privacy reasons, but it's something I had been working towards for quite some time.

I really didn't find the transition all that difficult. The issues that I had weren't strictly ED-related. They had more to do with time and money management than anorexia. Because I had been slowly taking small steps in that direction, it really didn't seem like all that big of a deal to me.

But it really was, my therapist reminded me. It only seemed easy because I was ready, and because I had done all of the hard work in preparation for this step. It took me several years of trying and working and screwing up and starting over for me to finally figure out what I needed to do and then, you know, actually do it. I tended to leap in too quickly, to (metaphorically and literally) bite off more than I could chew. Needless to say, it never ended well. This last time, we moved much more slowly. I was chafing at all of the restrictions quite a bit. They seemed totally unnecessary, except that they weren't.

It reminds me of when I tried to learn how to ride my bike without training wheels. I had to leave them on for much longer than any of my friends because if I tried to take them off, I fell. Finally, I felt ready and I managed just fine. It's similar here. I hated having recovery training wheels for so long, for so much longer than many people I knew and longer than I ever thought I would need them. Not wanting the extra help, however, didn't mean I didn't need the extra help.

And so here I am.

I'm reminded of the Neil Armstrong quote "This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," when he landed on the moon. When I was younger, I didn't quite get it. As I got older, I began to grasp the nuances. Now, though, I experienced it. The transition was actually pretty minute. Not much different from what I had been doing. At the same time, it was a big step, and I need to treat it as such.

It's an odd dialectic to contemplate- something so small and so significant at the same time.

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Unknown said...

So beautiful: "It only seemed easy because I was ready, and because I had done all of the hard work in preparation for this step."

hm said...

It seems that others see our progress so much more easily than we ourselves do, doesn't it? Kudos to you for continuing to move forward, in big and little ways. :)

Laura said...

totally! I've noticed this too. Big steps come easily when you do lots of slow, gradual work - and are very patient - in preparation.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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