If I were to ask you to tell me something that interests you or a talent you possess, what would your answer be?  Would you say, “Talents, whatever Cheryl, the only thing I’m good at is listening to Ed” or “I don’t have any talents or interests” or “My interest and talent is my ability to do behaviors and listen to my eating disorder.”  Those are the answers I told people when they asked me what I was good at.   Not only did I feel I didn’t have any talents or interests, Ed told me I didn’t and told me what my interest was…which was him.  I’m here to tell you NOT to listen to Ed because he lies.  I’m here to remind you to discover the talents and interests that do lie inside of you that Ed is hiding and keeping away.

After reflecting on it, if you can’t think of any talent or interest you have, one way to help you remember is to sit down and write a list of things that Ed tells you don’t like, you aren’t good enough at, or that you can’t do.  For example, Ed told me I wasn’t a good dancer, that I couldn’t have fun and go bowling with my friends, that I didn’t know how to write or express myself, that I looked funny doing yoga and that I didn’t deserve anything.  I recommend that you to do this exercise with supports as it helps to have someone there to brainstorm with and process any feelings that may come up as you write.

So, when I was with Ed it was difficult for me to realize I had talents or things that I was interested in because Ed was always yelling at me telling me lies BUT as my recovery progressed, I took risks and put myself out there to see what talents “I” had and what things interested “me” (not Ed).  Was it easy…no it was not because Ed chimed in but I yelled back and said NO I’m doing this for ME, NOT YOU.   So, I asked for support and joined a bowling league and realized I was good at it and had fun.  I took another risk in being social and went dancing with friends and realized I enjoyed dancing around to fun music.  I took a yoga class and realized no one was looking at me doing it and it helped my body and soul feel better.  I wrote down my feelings and began to find my voice and from that came my book Telling Ed No! and my passion to speak about recovery to those suffering and help them on their journey to freedom.

I encourage you to look within yourself, branch out and find those talents and interests that Ed has hidden away from you…they ARE THERE…you DO HAVE THEM.  Perhaps it is singing karaoke, writing poetry, signing up for an art class, the desire to teach something or take pictures.  We all have talents and interests that can help us feel alive and fulfilled.  Find them and you will begin to discover your true self and remember, you never know where your talents or interest will take you.  I took the risk to find my talents and interests which helped me realize the things I’m passionate about and that make my heart fuller and my soul happier.   Have fun, discover your talents and interests and see where they will take you.

With health, hope and strength,