Tag Archive: Quotations


Today has been spent mostly in a sitting position. sitting

Not a problem for most people, admittedly.

However, for many of the ‘Eating Disorder community’, sitting for long periods of time can be as torturous as, say, sleep deprivation may be…

Not only is sitting physically uncomfortable when a person is very underweight it is, more importantly, another facet of the illness which demands constant movement in order to burn off calories. In my case, the cost of remaining seated, must be weighed according to the value of what is gained. So today, I spent time with my best friend and her lovely husband who are moving to Canada on Saturday. I will miss her all the more, knowing she is so far away.

All this is incidental because the reason I write is to share one of my favourite quotes by American lyrical poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow… A name fit for a Lord, for sure.

Sitting in the coffee shop with my most comfy friends, our conversation led to the conclusion that all of us, no matter who we were or how we appeared, were damaged in some way, broken. It is an inevitable part of the human condition. I challenge anyone to find a soul without a scar. Some psychologists even argue that it begins in the womb.

My friends are going out to Canada to help with the running of a very radical kind of church. It’s a church which mainly attracts those struggling with addiction, alcoholism, mental illness, Eating Disorders. A church where people are vulnerable, not ‘cured’, not ‘solved’ but very much in-the-thick-of-it. It sounds like the kind of place many of us would ‘fit’ and feel a sense of belonging. If only we were willing to disregard stigma and risk vulnerablilty.

Which all brings me to this:

 If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility”. 

We are all of us, walking wounded.

That’s how we bond. It’s how we grow and it’s how we come to experience hope. 2013-08-20 16.32.38

Oil in my Lamp

“To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it ” 

said Mother Theresa.  And assuming that the lamp to which she refers isn’t a £6.99, stretch neck, mains powered Argos job, which relies on an E14 Edison Golf Ball Light Bulb (in Cool White), then it (frequently) occurs to me, that she’s right.

Joking aside, although an obvious metaphor, it’s one of those things which is much easier to know and dismiss, than to know and apply. Especially where recovery is concerned.

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To keep the will to recover alive and at the fore, is one of the things I find toughest. Today, for instance, although I am determined that my weight will not go down, I’m not really intent on making it go up. It’s what I call, ‘living the half life’.

To be in recovery, we can’t afford to just sit around waiting for ‘it’ to happen. We can’t afford to submit to lethargy, apathy, ambivalence. We have to keep fighting, keep the oil topped up. No room for our will to ‘glow’. Nope. It has to shine bright.  

It’s only when the will to recover burns fiercely, that we can really fight hard. 

As my will feels as though it’s barely glowing,  I will remember Mother Theresa’s words together with the words of a hymn from my childhood, which pray, “Give Me Oil in my Lamp, Keep me Burning’ and repeat them as mindfully as I can. 

Are you in?