10 Lessons Recovery Is Teaching Me.

First, notice the choice of words. That was intentional. There’s a reason I said is teaching instead of has taught. Because recovering from addiction is a process.

It’s gradual, continuous, deliberate, repetitive. It’s step-by-step, moment-to-moment. It’s a daily decision not a final destination. But for those who endure the climb, there’s learning and growing and thriving to experience on the freefall.

Sometimes people question if I regret those stolen years marked by an eating disorder—if this life came with do-overs, would I make different choices or walk another path? The short answer is nope. Which might confuse whoever reads this.

Admitting that I wouldn’t change or erase the toughest circumstance I’ve encountered almost borders on masochistic, right?  Shouldn’t I jump at the chance to rewrite history, gloss over the past and sidestep the heartache? Also nope.

This eating disorder is not a stigma I can pretend doesn’t exist or a label I can never escape. It’s harrowing and frightening and dehumanizing and isolating. But this eating disorder is the story of where I’ve been, where I am, where I’m going. I wouldn’t revise a story like that for the greatest publishing deal on earth.

Choosing recovery hasn’t been straightforward. It goes against my instincts. It’s uncomfortable—painful even. Sometimes I despise recovery. But still I forge ahead. This crossroad leads to affirmation, acceptance, self-awareness. It’s worth the scrapes and scars.

How do I know? Because of all I’m learning…

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Yep. It really truly is.

February 26–March 4 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is “time to talk about it.” Don’t give into silence, shame or secrecy—join the conversation. And if you need support, call the NEDA helpline at      1-800-931-2237.

6 Uplifting Activities to Boost Your Mood Naturally {Guest Post}

Ever experienced one of those days where you just feel crappy for no apparent reason? Yep, we’ve all been there. And if this mood describes your current situation, then read on because the following activities are proven to turn that frown upside down!

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1.   Dance To the Groove.

Crank some upbeat music, sing those lungs out and dance around your bedroom. Even if this seems ridiculous, loosening up that body and embracing the freedom of movement can dissipate physical, mental or emotional tension. So, express yourself without inhibitions and reduce underlying stress in the process.

2.   Enjoy a Massage.

This healing modality dates back to prehistoric times as a method for relaxation and rejuvenation. In fact, the earliest text on massage Cong-Fu of the Toa-Tse was written in China around 3000 BC. Since then, massage has been used to soothe muscle discomfort, combat mental strain, and even relieve symptoms of arthritis or Parkinson’s disease. Not to mention, the calming atmosphere and invigorating smells awaken your senses for whole-body rejuvenation.

3.   Read In the Sun.

The benefits of Vitamin D are manifold, but did you know that frequent exposure can actually increase your serotonin levels? This chemical is the body’s “feel good” hormone, and spending time in the sunshine can trigger a serotonin release to make you feel both happier and healthier—with no extra effort on your part. Combine that with an enticing book, and you’ve got a recipe for optimism.

4.   Take Yourself On a Date.

Quality time with just “number one” might sound awkward or foreign, but it can work wonders for your mood. So, treat yourself to a lavish meal at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to check out, and maybe even purchase an outfit for the occasion. If the prospect of  new clothes, a gourmet dinner and free-flowing wine doesn’t make you smile, then bigger issues might need some addressing!

5.   Learn to Meditate.

This mindfulness practice is ideal for refocusing on the present and calming your distracted thoughts. The purpose of meditation is to direct your attention on deep, conscious breathing which generates inner peace. Numerous studies show that meditating for at least 20 minutes each day can reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression. If you’ve never tried meditation, this guide covers all the basics.

6.   Get Your Body Moving.

Although exercise might be your least concern in stressful situations, physical activity is a surefire mood booster. Movement releases endorphins which most people credit for that post-workout energy and gratification. In fact, endorphins create the same “high” experienced by certain drugs—but in a more natural and healthier way, of course! Plus, consistent exercise helps that body function at peak level.

Hopefully, these suggestions are just what you need to shake off the funk and get back to your own life. Because a positive mindset can make ALL the difference!


Akshata Mehta has a passion for traveling and exploring the world. She loves to write, and is especially interested in sustainability for everyday life. Being a foodie, she also enjoys cooking up healthy concoctions in her kitchen, recording these recipes and more on her blog With Love From Akshata.