If you follow me on social media, you know that I love trees. Think Austin, Texas, treehugger. Last year, my neighbors helped me to save a tree on my property that was at risk of being cut down by the city. The tree, affectionately named Moose by the neighborhood, is alive and well today. (See the image of Moose and me to the left. You can kind of tell why the tree is named Moose, huh?) I was told by countless people that Moose wouldn’t make it, but, banded together with a team of advocates, we beat the odds. Yes, this is a metaphor for recovery. Never quit. When I received this Dream Big submission from Sally featuring her beautiful artwork, I just had to share her inspiring story. Sally’s artwork was an assignment in treatment; she explains what the image means below. Thank you, Sally, for giving us the gift of your experience, strength, and hope!
Values Tree of Life
When I fall deep into the eating disorder, I find that my creativity wanes. My inner spirit fades away, and my soul literally evaporates.
As soon as I begin obtaining life-sustaining nutrients, I become like a potted plant brought out from a dark room into a well-lit window. I blossom. I become so engaged and prolific in art and writing that I feel as if I am bursting with energy, inspired to express myself.
The roots of my tree of life represent activities that enable me to feel grounded, de-stress, and to help me maintain my focus. For example, I love taking walks in the park—not to exercise or to burn calories, but to breathe fresh air, recharge, and let go of anxiety.
My tree encompasses values that I consider essential to my well-being, such as creativity, compassion, intelligence, and empathy. The branches of my tree display beautiful flowers and leaves depicting my soul flourishing as I transform.
Recovery, to me, represents a rebirth, a dying flower garden regaining life as the sun fosters growth and development.
Recovery enables the soul to awaken.