A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Forever Paris Contest: using Pandora charms in my recovery

Pandora recently held a contest on Instagram to win a limited-edition gold Eiffel Tower charm. Fans were asked to, "Share a photo and write why you are a true Pandora fan." I submitted a photo and write-up on five of the six days that the contest ran. And one of my submissions won! This was my entry for June 22.

For your information the contest details are at the end of the post.

Using Pandora charms in my recovery

One of the unique things that I have done, as a true Pandora fan, is using charms as rewards in my recovery from an eating disorder and depression.

[Click on the links to read the full story for each of the charms highlighted]

The sea star and ocean waves charms on my Gift from the Sea bracelet

When my Pandora journey began in 2011, it started with the goal of being "symptom-free" i.e. no bingeing, purging or restricting. I used cheap knock-off charms: one a day for a week, and then one a week for a month. Finally, after one month symptom-free, I bought a bracelet and my first authentic Pandora charm: the "ocean waves." It represents my learning that it's ok to "Feel the feelings and ride the wave of emotions." The "sea star" charm encourages me to "Be like the star of the sea: strong, flexible and resilient." To mark my sixth month of recovery I had the Lucerne dangle engraved with "Healthy" and "Happy" to remind me that "I deserve to be healthy and happy."

The engraved Lucerne dangle on my Lucerne Recovery bracelet

Each charm that I earned represented something that kept me going and helped me stay symptom-free: an action, attitude or affirmation. These are just a few examples, from my menagerie:

"Sloooow down." (turtle)
"Honour the hungry hungry hippo."
"Just keep swimming." (fish)
"Be gentle and patient with yourself." (cow)
"Stop should-ing all over yourself." (scarab aka dung beetle)
"If you love your dog you walk it; if you love your body you move it." (dog)
"Stop catastrophizing." (Chicken Little)
"Use healthy assertive communication." (sideways fish) 

The photo for my submission

I also worked on "behaviour activation." Pandora charms were used as rewards for specific changes in behaviour, all essential in my recovery: making myself a healthy lunch every day ("picnic basket"), going for a daily meditative walk ("wildflower walk"), doing a Gratitude Journal every night ("treasure chest"), to name a few.
I've now been in recovery for over four years. As I continue to learn and practice and work on my mental health, I continue to add Pandora charms to my collection to represent lessons learned and accomplishments achieved.

My limited-edition Forever Paris #220 out of 500
The diamond is probably my favourite thing about the charm; the sparkle really adds to its beauty.

Related Posts:
Forever Paris Contest: grieving the loss of my mom - the winning story and photo, now with more photos of my mom's trip to Paris and the surprise I discovered; my submission for June 21, 2015
Forever Paris Contest: the meaning of Pandora's box - a story about how Pandora has helped me and what it represents, now with photos of my Pandora's box charm and the bracelet it's on; my submission for June 23, 2016
Forever Paris Contest: Pandora fans are not Grinches - a story about collecting Pandora promo items and the community of Pandora collectors (with some Dr. Seuss inspired rhyming); my submission for June 24, 2016
Forever Paris Contest: Ode to Pandora - a silly poem I wrote about Pandora, now with a photo for each stanza as well as a photo of my whole collection to date; my submission for June 26, 2016
Here is Pandora's description of the contest:
"To celebrate summer in the city of love, Pandora has created a limited-edition 'Forever Paris' dangle charm, and from June 20 - 26 you can win it in our #PandoraForeverParisContest. Each piece is beautifully crafted from 14K gold and features two diamonds.
"Because they are true collector's items, only 500 have been produced. Each dangle charm is engraved with a unique number (from 1-500) and they are only sold in selected stores in France but we have kept 10 for you!" 
Contest rules were available on Pandora.net.
The charm was valued at 599 € (approximately $860 CDN/$665 USD)

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