If you've read "My Story" you may have noticed some of my labels listed. If not, then let me begin by saying "Hi, I'm Corey. I'm 11 years deep into my recovery and healing process from bulimia and anorexia." That's a fun introduction, isn't it? Truth is, it isn't fun but it's life and it's a part of mine, so I embrace it. No, I don't introduce myself that way to strangers I meet along the street, nor do I say it when I'm Power Flowering someone in the gas station parking lot. But I do think it...especially when I'm Power Flowering, because it's one of the main reasons I started this practice.
It's incredible how much space something like an eating disorder or an addiction can take in our brains. I am constantly flabbergasted by the human ability to function (at least somewhat) and do everyday tasks while being consumed by the voices and thoughts that come along with these diseases. In their attempt to protect us from the big, scary, full-of-feeling world they strip us of any ability to truly connect to anyone outside of ourselves. It's exhausting. If you have your own experience with something like this, maybe you know what I'm talking about. If you don't, please do your best to practice empathy because believe me when I say, judgement only adds fuel to the fire of the disease.
When I first started out in facing my eating disorder, I thought ok...I will take these couple of months and get over this thing and then move on with me life. Ha! Not so much. Just like anything, it's an ongoing process. It's a part of me - sometimes it's a quieter, mild and easy going part that feels distant and containable. Other times it's an all consuming, enraged and dangerous storm that wreaks havoc through every part of my existence. I have learned (the hard way) that the best way to handle my recovery is to wake up every day and say hello to all of my different parts...the healthy and vibrant part, the controlling and vindictive part, the scared part, the brave part, the kind and gentle part and all of the other parts in between. Doing this is easier some days and like pulling teeth on others. I now know that I need as many positive reminders to help me get through the more difficult days...case in point, Power Flowering.
Last week was National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and I felt the need to acknowledge it in my own way. In our city we have access to some incredible resources for the support of recovery and there were events held throughout the week to support the growing awareness. Part of me wanted to make Power Flower Project a bigger part of the week, but I realized that I didn't have the energy to be that visible and vulnerable with something that I am that personally connected to. That may sound weird, since I am so willing to share details of my life and thoughts that many don't...but I just had to trust my gut and go with it.
So, in theme of many of the Power Flowerings I went more simple and decided to bring flowers to two of the events that were supporting T.H.E Center - a local nonprofit that provides support for those in recovery and their families. It wasn't grandiose or elaborate, but it was heart felt and genuine...exactly how I hope this project continues to grow. By doing this, I was able to continue to support my recovery and find comfort for that part of me that works so diligently to "protect" me. With each of the Power Flowers and messages I shared last week, I was able to gently remind my eating disorder that I don't have to be so scared of the world. SO I say "Thank You" to Power Flower Project, T.H.E Center, Clasique Acupuncture and Pilates, The Asheville JCC and my eating disorder for allowing my heart more moments of healing and strengthening.
In closing, if you are reading this and are in need of support for any mental illness or addiction PLEASE ask NOW! Recovery is difficult and scary and hard BUT if you have survived long enough to get to today, You have the strength to heal and there are so many people available to help you along the way. No one else can take the first step for you...but they will be there to walk along side of you once you move that foot forward.
Onward we GROW!!! TOGETHER!