Earlier this week I addressed self-hate in eating disorder recovery, and today I’m going to explore a similar facet, self-sabotage. When you hate yourself as deeply as those with eating disorders, you tend to believe that you don’t deserve the good things in life. This not only leads you to punish yourself for tiny mistakes but also sabotage the good things that happen in your life.
I recently had an amazing opportunity and without realizing it spent all summer sabotaging it. I was given an opportunity to audition with a local choir, I found out about it in June. Being a part of this choir is a major dream of mine, singing is something I have only done when in recovery and stopping singing is almost like an early warning sign for relapse. Being a part of this choir is a major step towards like-long recovery and a very big deal in my life.
As soon as I found out about the audition I should have done everything I could to increase my chances of getting into the choir. I should have seen my old vocal teacher and had him help me prepare, started practicing my audition song, doing warm ups for my voice – I did none of this. I put my audition date (August 26th) in my calendar and didn’t talk about it. I didn’t contact anyone for help or even look at my music choices. I didn’t even tell anyone that I had an audition, only my therapist and my husband – I didn’t want everyone to ask how it went if I decided not to go. I picked three songs for me to choose from 2 days before the audition and only decided on a song 20 minutes before. I almost decided not to go, my back was sore and I didn’t want to face anyone or sing in front of them. Somehow I dragged myself into the audition.
Amazingly, I got into the choir! I got out of my own way and did well in the audition. It was hard, I had a lot of self-confidence issues but thankfully the director saw through those. I can’t believe that I almost let myself get in the way of this dream, this amazing opportunity. I was scared, scared that I might not get in and terrified of what getting in would mean. I still don’t believe that I got in, it’s going to be a lot of work for me to believe that I deserve to be there but I just have to trust the artistic director’s decision.
I guess the lesson in all this is that it is so easy to get in the way of the things you love because you don’t feel like you deserve to have wonderful things happen to you. It’s not always easy to allow these wonderful things to happen to you and sometimes it’s easier to put up roadblocks and obstacles so that the nice things don’t happen. A major part of recovering your life from your eating disorder is recognizing these time you let your critic get in the way of your dreams and getting out of your own way. All of your wildest dreams are within reach, if you only extend your arms.