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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.


Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.

As I hear from womrescue_flare_at_night_imagesen in their thirties and beyond, saying they are stuck in the hard work of eating disorder recovery, I remember my personal experience.

Before bulimia had a name I had bulimia. If you have an eating disorder you know about the anguish and despair in that sentence. 

I kept my terrible and irresistible behavior of binging and purging a secret from everyone.  I didn't know that other behaviors and feelings that were torments in my life were part of the illness.  I didn't know I was ill.  I thought I was bad, and I thought I was stuck.

One night, sitting at a desk in the guest room of the home I lived in with my husband and child, I asked myself, "Who, of the people I know, could help me?  My answer was, "No one."

My second question: "Who might the people I know have contact with who could help me." Answer, "No one."

I felt so stuck, isolated, marooned, lost.  And I used those words in my mind to describe my situation to myself.  Those words helped me to freedom because I knew what you are supposed to do when you are marooned and lost. 

You set off a flare to let someone know that you are alive and where you are.  You set off a signal to reach beyond your situation and beyond your resources.

And that's what I did.  I had to move beyond my current circumstances to find the people and the resources that would help me help myself.  I hadn't a clue what was necessary.  But knowing that I could not possibly find it in the way I was living at the time, surrounded by the people I knew at the time, pushed me to step beyond my stuck place.

Unlike you, I didn't have the internet to research and explore my symptoms, my feelings, my desires, my local environment.  But I lived on the west side of Los Angeles in Pacific Palisades.  I had UCLA.  At thirty three I went back to finish my unfinished degree.

Surely, I thought, I would meet new people there who would expand my mind and my ability to see opportunity.  Yes, I binged and purged my way through, but I got stronger and through the community of people I developed around myself, I found the beginnings of the path to my own recovery.

If you are stuck, can you think of a way to set off a flare?  How can you let a greater world of people than you know, know that you exist and send them your location? 

You may be stuck because your mental, physical, emotional and human environment is too limited for what you need now.  Sometimes you can expand by the wonderful and simply act of pulling a book of a shelf and reading what a fine mind has to share with you.




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