Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Where is the oil from the olives?

In Israel we went to a place called Ya Hadmoshana, a kibbutz type village where they have replicas of various first century occurrences (I.e. tombs, olive press, threshing floor, watch tower, etc.). Iyelat was our guide and took us around to the various stations and explained why they were biblically significant.

One that I will never forget is the Olive Press. Back in the day, light, cooking, religious services, anointing, medicine, and other necessary things were only possible because of the olive oil they extracted from the olives. In order to get oil, olives have to be crushed (sometimes several different times). Iyelat explained that when we talk about being light to the world as Christians (how Jesus was or how we want to be), that the first century folks would have considered the olive crushing process before the light was even possible. I bought a ring to help me remember that when I am crushed or go through things that are hard, there will be light.

The thing I am challenged with now is... I want to know what the light is for before going through or during the crushing process... it would make it a lot easier to get through, wouldn't it? Well, seeing the future isn't always the case so I will trust and learn, extend hope, and dream about the light that I can shine...

Continue reading if you are interested in one dream that I am considering...

One of the most challenging things that I have faced and still deal with from time to time is a distorted sense of self worth value that contributes to guilt shame and perfectionism. This manifests itself in my life as unhealthy eating and exercise patterns. I am coming up on my 5 year anniversary of leaving the treatment center I spent a few months in. 

This is something to celebrate for sure!!! I'm grateful for healing :) 

Thank you to everyone who has been there for me, prayed for me and encouraged me through various levels of letting go. I couldn't have, and still can't do this alone. I am thankful to be free from the cage I once lived in. But, for all of us who struggle through addictions, cages look pretty attractive from time to time, don't they? 

So, back to my dream... at least once a month, if not once a week I am contacted by someone who knows someone who is or is personally struggling with distorted eating patterns. God has used me in several people's lives and I am thankful for that, but every once in a while I start thinking about doing something more than being a responsive sounding board. 

I want to be proactive.

I would love to start some type of group for people to come and get support, encouragement, and accountability while dealing with various levels of this disease. There is so much freedom that comes from healing and I desire for people to have a safe place to experience this.

My hesitancy up to this point has been that I don't want to make it worse for anyone because I'm not a therapist nor a nutritionist. But, I started thinking this morning about AA. I'm not quite sure how they structure their meetings or how it works, but I think something similar to this could work...

I would want folks who are family members, friends, or who are personally struggling to be involved.

My questions for you:

1) Do you think this would be beneficial for our community? 
2) Would you refer a friend or come yourself? (you don't have to answer this, just think about it)
3) Do you have experience with a group like AA? Could you share your experience with me? 
4) Is there anything I should consider before jumping in with 2 feet? (I often do things without thinking through all of the implications)


traci said...

So I just did some internet research and found Finding Balance: It looks promising... thoughts?


Dana Enzor said...

I think this is a great idea Traci. I think there are so many people around who have these type problems and either don't have anyone who understands to talk to, or feel like their problem is minor. It's hard to help someone if you've not been there, and I think this avenue could offer that support.

A further question, how do you refer someone to this group without being accusatory or condescending?

One thing I thought about: If someone doesn't admit to having these problems, do you think they will come? I think being anonomous and being a gateway to further help (medical, nutrition, pyschiatric, etc) is a great foundation for this type of organization/group, so finding how to pull people to this group without bringing too much attention to the person could really be helpful to those with the disorder.

traci said...

Great question Dana. I am trying to figure out how to get it started. I honestly think there are enough people who are aware and want to be in community with others are pursuing healing that we will have a core group. My hope is that once we establish that we can each extend hope and invitations to others in ways that are authentic and not condescending... we'll see... anyone have any thoughts on this?

Amy said...

Firstly I must say...you are a blogging machine lately :)
Secondly, I think this is a great idea. I did some research on the topic for a counseling class in college, and was amazed to find that statistically 98% of women struggle with these issues. I don't know how many actually develop eating disorders...but it seems to be pretty prevalent, and i think highly hidden.
Thirdly, I have thought about starting the same type of group in the past....sort of..without the focus specifically on eating disorders. You mentioned that you had a "distorted sense of self worth value that contributes to guilt shame and perfectionism" and that for you it was manifested through eating. I have never personally struggled with an eating disordered, but have for sure struggled with the core issues intensely. I think the same root causes, sometime manifest into an eating disorder, and sometimes into other things such as unhealthy relationships, sex, or self injury to name a few. Maybe it will be better to stick strictly to eating disorders, I don't know, but maybe it could be for anyone deeply struggling with self worth.

Anonymous said...

you might check CODA for their materials...also OA (even though it is overeaters anonymous it is really for all kinds of eating disorders...)CODAs end up dealing with the root causes that lead us to codependency and other dependencies. if you can get ahold of their materials they are 'meetings' in a box, with a great structure taken from AA....all those materials and meetings were really helpful to me... i kind of switch addictions from one to the other..so the cODA stuff was really good for me. i'd still like to go to those meetings, love, mom

traci said...

Mom, the coda materials are helpful, but it looks like they are focused on building healthy relationships, which is good of course and related to the issues I am talking about, but I am wondering about altering some of the steps and traditions to be specific to body image/ eating issues? It looks like that is what they have done from the AA stuff, so maybe its okay to do that.

Lots to think about for sure! Have you looked at teh Finding Balance website?

traci said...


Yeah, I think almost every woman struggles with identity, beauty, and self worth at varying degrees. I wonder how specific I should be in getting this thing going. I want it to be pretty open, but I also want it to be a place where people know they are not alone in the struggles the have with eating disorders and I fear that opening it up to, (from some one with an eating disorder's perspective) "normal" folks would limit the amount of sharing that occurs.

Maybe not, if we are up front about it... lots to consider.

Anonymous said...

Traci,i found a site caled EDA (Eating disorders anonymous. it looks great.) love, mom

Anonymous said...

it's eatingdisordersanonymous.org