Sunday, September 28, 2008

Artifacts by Arielle

I have a little side business--an artistic jewelry business--called Artifacts by Arielle.

I've started creating "Recovery Jewelry" for eating disorders.

There are currently only 13 items up for sale on my merchant website, but I hope to add more this week and continue to add more items as I create them.

The descriptions and extra photos on the website say more, but here's a sample:

You can find more here: Artifacts by Arielle The first category at the bottom of the main page is "Recovery Jewelry."

I have a message and I'm trying to spread it. A reminder you can wear is always a good thing.
Sending love to all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

When "Triggers" Attack

Where there is the greatest understanding, the pain can also be very great. Like if a friend's parent dies…and you can understand better than anyone else, because you have a parent that died too. You have a bond with the friend, but at the same time, you are triggered into sad memories and your thinking can bring you down.


I think living with an eating disorder can be very similar.


When you're in a vulnerable state, you might think of removing yourself from things simply so you won't be triggered, but I ask you to think again. Sometimes being vulnerable and breaking down a bit is something that has to happen in order for us to move forward. It has to happen for us to get anywhere on a long-term basis.


And let's face it, a long-term solution is the one you're after. Short-term just isn't going to cut it where an eating disorder is concerned.


Removing yourself may seem possible, beneficial, and even necessary. It's very easy to do well when there is nothing triggering you. But it's only going to be a short-term solution—because the world is triggering. And that will never change…unless we can learn to deal with the triggering problems as they happen.


I remember when I was a member of an eating disorder therapy group a few years ago. It was very hard not to compare myself to the other girls and very hard to stay positive when there was so much negativity bouncing around all the time. BUT I kept going, and as the group became more bonded, we were able to see a lot more about each other and about ourselves…and the triggering nature of everything became less and less. We were able to work with it—the triggering aspects of a group of girls thrown together, constantly comparing themselves to each other—and move forward.


The potential to be triggered by what others say, do, and look like is a big one. It's so easy to over-analyze, to feel more insecure, to compare ourselves to others. It's prevalent and it's going to happen. It's the nature of the disease and of our society. An eating disorder thrives off of triggering moments and situations. Be aware of this. Be prepared for this. You'll be less apt to destroy yourself and more apt to survive.


And so, my whole point is: Don't be afraid of being triggered. Because it's going to happen. Sooner or later, frequently or infrequently. Life is about knowing what you want and being able to turn the bad around. And that takes time. The sooner we can learn to deal with what upsets us and sets us off, the better off we will be. That's a fact.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bravery and Boldness

To look straight into the face of pain and declare that you will prevail is not merely a display of courage; sometimes it's a true necessity. Getting thrown about in the waters of life is a circumstance that presents you with two options: thrash and swim and fight and reach shore OR let yourself drown. There is, actually, a middle option, but it's only a temporary solution. It is, nevertheless, better than drowning. And it is this: thrash and swim and fight and STAY AFLOAT until you can make it to shore.


Sometimes the shore is quite far away—off in the distance, glimmering like an unreachable mirage, so you can't be expected to reach it simply because you want to. But in time, you'll make it—if you manage to stay afloat and not give up.


So these are your options. Choose wisely.


Bravery and boldness are the essence of being able to prevail. Bravery and boldness will not just follow you. You have to channel them. They won't seek you out and they won't appear out of thin air. They may, in fact, seem to escape you when you need them most. You can't keep them in your back pocket, ready to pull them out a moment's notice.


Despite how elusive they seem, bravery and boldness can be learned—or found. And they can grow to be a part of you, so that the most you will have to do is tap into them when you have to fight your way in that troubling sea.


You have to realize that they exist—and that they exist for YOU. You're not an unlucky one—you have access to bravery and boldness, even if it's been taking you a while to find them. You have to think of bravery and boldness like a limb or some part of your body; they are part of you. Our arms are always there, but sometimes we don't use them. Bravery and boldness are like that. When faced with a difficulty/problem/pain/trying situation/despair/depression/failure/fear—you have to REMEMBER that bravery and boldness are there.


Just like your arms or your legs.


You know how people get so scared that they can't run?—even though they have legs? Or how people get so scared that they can't speak?—even though they have a voice?


Bravery and boldness are like that.


Don't forget to use them.


Monday, September 1, 2008

The Bigger Picture

It's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when there's something you want to accomplish but aren't quite sure how to get there. Your mind can get overwhelmed with what you want to achieve, what you want to BE, what you want to feel. You can lose control. You can turn to tactics to make you feel better. You can try to make it through the day so as not to freak out.

You slip at times back to where you started. To the very things you want to get away from. But you're trying to make yourself feel better. It's a strange concept. But it happens.

Lose weight
Eat less
Throw up dinner
Use the diet pills
Use the laxatives
Harm, hurt
Gain back the control

I'm all about living in the now--but what will those things do for you in the long run?

Make you sick?
Slowly kill you?
Wreck your life?
Destroy your pride?

Don't forget to look at the big picture in terms of recovery. Take one day at a time...but be sure to have a happy, healthy life as your long term goal. Let it be your candle in the darkness, your flag waving in the distance, your lighthouse beacon showing you the way to shore.

If you focus too much on all the little steps of recovery and forget what it is you're shooting for (i.e. a new life) you're doing yourself a harsh injustice and making your already difficult journey that much harder.