[Valid Atom 1.0] Life With Cake: Eating Disorder Blog: Pie in the Sky

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pie in the Sky

Recently there has been a similar theme in several of the clients I work with. I guess the easiest way to describe it is that many have great difficulty imagining what recovery and freedom from the eating disorder looks like since they are in the beginning of their process.

I had one client say, "Recovery is like some 'Pie in the Sky' concept. I hear all of these people talk about what their experiences with EDs were like and how great their life is now. But what I don't hear is HOW their life got to be so wonderful."

It can be so difficult in new recovery to imagine how life can feel safe and fulfilling in the absence of the eating disorder. Just HOW is one supposed to deal with thoughts of emptiness, shame, guilt, self-loathing, body image issues, etc. The HOW is the work and it isn't always fun to do.

I am on the other side of this. HOW I got to where I am in recovery today is by identifying the psychodynamic issues, identifying my beliefs about myself around those issues, challenging my belief system, being willing to look at alternative perspectives, incorporating a new thought process and belief system into my daily life, implementing new coping mechanisms, and practicing not using ED symptoms. WOW, that's a bit exhausting just writing it!! BUT... it is SOOOOO worth it!!! And possible!

Coupled with this, it is imperative to have a desire to change, believe you have an ability to change, believe there is a reason to change, and believe there is a need to change, then YOU can commit to your recovery. Of the four areas in bold, if you feel ambivalent about any of those areas then that can be a good place to start the "HOW" work.

The "HOW" is about what you do on a daily basis. Making small, attainable goals is what I have found to be most helpful. Where are you in the process???


Jenn Lynne said...

That is an exhausting list!!!.. But a totally awesome one at the same time. I read it several times before I was able to really pick out where my weakness is right now: "challenging my belief system and being willing to look at alternative perspectives." I can go through the motions of not using behaviors, look at what's going on emotionally/mentally but challenging those thoughts is where I really get stuck. Its a combination of fear and just the shear fact that I've held these beliefs for soooo long and can't imagine anything differently. So for now I just trust people like you that say that it can/does get better if I put the work into it.

Kende Malamu said...

I just read a really interesting story about secretive eating called In the Basement on page 49 in Stefanie Freele's new book "Surrounded by Water." Her stories expose people in struggles that are so human, yet we do not have to flinch or turn away. I came away from this story with compassion and understanding for the character. Check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Surrounded-Water-Stefanie-Freele/dp/1935708570/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337369564&sr=8-1

A Place of Hope said...

This is great!!! Making small goals to achieve a bigger goal makes it easier!!!

Sarah Michelle said...

just wanted to say that today is the first day probably years that I have not hated my body and myself because of eating too much:)

greta gleissner said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!!