Client Spotlight: Things I Wish For
We all have wishes. Things we long for, dream about, hope of. And I believe that taking care of our minds, bodies, and spirits is a pre-requisite to living a full and abundant life. A life that is full of wishes coming true. This beautifully written client spotlight could not capture these sentiments more completely. Imagine the possibilities when your whole health comes first.
Inside my body, my wishes circle my heart like little fish. Sometimes, when there is extra desire in a wish, that wish escapes from its place and wriggles up toward my throat. The wish can no longer be contained, and it grows so big that it keeps swimming, up past my throat into my eyes, where it finally gets released as tears. There are lots of things I wish for, but there are very few that have the potency to move me to tears. In fact, lately there has been just one, a yearning I feel more deeply than any other—the hunger for more human connection.
Actually, the word “connection” seems too casual, like something you can achieve with the barista at your local coffee shop as you purchase your daily cup of caffeine. Perhaps what I am talking about can be more accurately termed “bonding,” or “intimacy.” On one level, I want friends – genuine friends with whom I can be myself, and who like me for who I am, not what I can do for them. I want friendships without unspoken rules or contingencies, where communication is direct and honest. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this longing—for loyal, equal friendships with people who value me as much as I value them. I observe other people in their intimate pairings and I think: I want that.
Yet the notion of taking direct action is relatively new. My hunger pangs for connection are sharper and more acute than those I felt during the years that I starved myself from food. For such a long time, this appetite for intimacy went unacknowledged, sublimated with a much more easily satisfied fixation on food and body. How relatively easy it was to focus on miles run and calories consumed, rather than on developing intimacy and friendships with other people, people who would surely judge me, deem me unacceptable, and leave. This strategy of displacement worked brilliantly for many years, until, suddenly, it didn’t.
After years of working on recovery, I finally realized that all the attention I lavished on food and body would never be reciprocated, that I would always be alone unless I actively took steps to make room for other people. This new awareness marks one of the many shifts that has taken place inside me since I first made my commitment to recovery. The possibility of opening doors and cultivating relationships at once scares and intrigues me. I look forward to exploring this further.
What do you wish for?
This post speaks to me! I am currently working on forming connections with people as part of my recovery work. The author’s words “How relatively easy it was to focus on miles run and calories consumed, rather than on developing intimacy and friendships
with other people, people who would surely judge me, deem me unacceptable, and leave” and “The possibility of opening doors and cultivating relationships at once scares and intrigues me” could have been taken directly from my own mind. Thank you for sharing
I love this post, and I fully identify with it. Connecting to people is very scary but so important! I too am struggling to find connection. I have found that Step 1 can be connecting to a group that has a passion I share, such as taking a dance class
or joining a sports team or being part of a knitting group. I also long to get a puppy and will someday soon! When I had my first dog, who lived a long, wonderful life, I met everyone in my neighborhood. It was a safe way to feel connection. Plus my dog was
never in a bad mood, so he was always up to stopping and being patted (as opposed to me, often in a bad mood and not always up to being outside before I had brushed my teeth because my dog liked to get up EARLY). Good luck with this next phase of recovery.
It is probably the hardest work to be done, so I hope you can update us on your progress.
I love this post! I can relate so much to wanting to form more (and deeper) connections. It’s scary to open up to people and be vulnerable, but it is worth it- definitely something I’m working on as well as I progress in my recovery. Thank you for sharing!
I love this post. It is almost as if someone crept into the night, opened up my head and read my thoughts for this is exactly how I have been feeling. Lately I have found myself dissapointed by my so called “friends” who never seem to have any time for
me, and yet have ample time to post hourly updates on Facebook. They won’t respond to my emails, or find the time to meet me for coffee and “girl time” but they can post inane updates about what they are doing. I’m beginning to feel people are no longer capable
of connecting on an organic level– now it is all texting, Facebook or Tweets. I have one particular friend who constantly tells me how busy she is. So much so that I feel as though maybe what she’s really doing is giving me the brush off. I have stopped calling,
texting and emailing to see if I would hear from her and I haven’t. [Sigh]. I got divorced a few months ago and now more than ever I need that connection; however, I cannot seem to make it happen. The good thing is, I’m not turning to food for comfort (thanks
to Marci), when I have trouble identifying what I am feeling, I sit quietly in a room until my true feelings rise to the surface and then I analyze them for a while, and journal for a bit, and then I go do something constructive. Today I have been working
on my Vision Board and I am really enjoying cutting out images of things that inspire me.
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