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Therapist Blog

Emotions

Struggling with ED

Recently I've found it quite helpful for clients to separate the voice of their Eating Disorder from their own voice. To help personify this additional voice its often called ED in the world of Eating Disorder treatment, which I believe originated from the book "Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too" by Jenni Schaefer. 

By separating these two voices, the hope is that you can regain some power in your own voice, and remind yourself that its the ED that is telling you to restrict, binge, purge. over exercise etc.

An eating disorder becomes a relationship, and this relationship although abusive becomes whats closet to you, what comforts you when you feel out of control, and what can uniquely torcher you. This relationship can last for years like a nasty marriage that hides in the shadows of pain, isolation, and secrecy. Its never too early to divorce your relationship with ED, no matter how daunting it seems, hope is around the corner. 

Here are 5 steps you can take to separate yourself from ED:

1. Call it out for what it is, it's a painfully annoying relationship with your body, food, emotions and thoughts. Its an eating disorder

2. Seek out support from family and friends that are strong supporters 

3. Work to notice what thoughts are ED thoughts and what thoughts are your own

4. When facing an ED thought, think of what facts, evidence, proof you have to dispel the ED thought

5. Reach out for help from a professional 

Handling an Intense Emotion

Feelings of failure, sometimes I think I can't seem to escape them. For example, yet again today I experienced this gut wrenching feeling, the thought felt so automatic, as if I couldn't stop it from reading havoc on my brain. It was this overall "wtf", then a "why am I back in this place of feeling like I fail when someone else rejected me". I was totally filled with anger than a deep sadness, angry at them from rejecting me, angry at myself for being in a situation to be rejected, then sadness about the situation playing out as I wanted, sadness for disappointing myself. 

After those feelings floated around for like 10 minutes, I thought "I'm just gonna let myself feel these intense feelings" after all thats what i would suggest any individual i talk to, to do.

Then I reached out for support which kind of helped, i just vented and said that this all just sucked. 

Finally I thought to myself (about 30 minutes into intense emotion sesh) "where can I find trust and gratitude in this experience". Gratitude tends to be easier for me to find, so I thought, "okay I just learned something, I can be grateful for that learning opportunity". Then I search my thoughts and feelings for trust, I landed on the thought "Let me trust my feelings in knowing that that in rejection it was 100% okay to feel angry and sad and I was not over reacting" and that "I can trust that I will be okay if any person rejects me".

So thats my full circle of handling intense emotions, and I writing this as a way to have closure of that intense influx of emotions and as a way to communicate that when you do intentional emotional healing these methods or perhaps ones that work uniquely for you can be developed to help you cope, recover, find meaning and purpose in emotionally charged situations. 

Relationship Advice

At one point in your life you’ve probably wanted, gave, or heard relationship advice. Its a messy topic, “relationship” is even a complicated word, with many meanings, perhaps even some value/moral implications strung in there as well.
It was suggested to me to write an entry on cheating, expectations and boundary settings in relationships today. Although those are valid topics to be concerned about, using the forum of a blog to discuss such personal concerns, feels devaluing or impersonal to me.
What I’d suggest that anyone do, is remember that we have feelings in our body for a reason, they are trying to tell us something, and if we use our reasonable mind too much to think our way out of the emotion… Well thats not practicing wise mind. Emotions are only in life to make you stronger. Don’t waste those messages, use them to your advantage.