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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.


Thoughts on Easter


Holidays can be triggering for you if you have an eating disorder.  Easter can mean family gatherings, big dinners and Easter baskets loaded with candy.  You may be anxious if you are in the midst of such an experience.  You may be anxious and depressed if you are NOT in the midst of such an experience.

I invite you to step back from your current state of mind and take a look at the meaning of Easter. A friend wrote me today saying, "I don't get the connection between rabbits, eggs and Jesus."

Here's my response to her.
"Rabbits are fecund.  They are prolific and are a sign of the emergence of new life.  As prey they have many enemies.  They get gobbled up with great regularity. But they always come back.  Eggs also symbolize life.  There's a shell with something inside that you can't see.  And then new life emerges.

The story of Jesus is that he died. His body was put in a cave (dark). He emerged alive, out of the cave into the light.
It's all about being in the dark, dormant and seemingly dead because the life is invisible - and then - what do you know? - life emerges again, from the dark into the light."
If you are depressed or anxious or acting out your disorder or getting into catastrophic thinking, please remember, light and dark exist because they both exist. They are necessary to one another.  If my words now were as light as the background you wouldn't be able to read a thing.  Without dark there is no light.  Without light there is no dark.

Easter tells us that we continually go into the dark and we continually emerge into the light.

My friend didn't ask about how jelly beans and chocolate candy eggs are connected with this story.  I think they are part of the Easter tradition because they symbolize the sweetness of the message.  And even the candy is in an Easter basket - a nest" - cushioned with "Easter grass" designed symbolically to cherish and protect the new life about to come forth.

After all, it is sweet to know that no matter how dark we go into our hearts and souls, we can develop or transform.  And the Easter basket is a sweet reminder that we need to care for and protect ourselves while we are gestating.  Easter reminds us we can emerge anew yet again and dance in the light.

Please get out your journal and write about anything that occurs to you that comes out of the dark into the light: butterflies, hibernating bears, flower bulbs, human babies coming out of the womb, sleeping at night - waking up in the morning.  Just write it out.  See if this helps pull you out of your anxiety and into a more stable way of being present for your life.

Let me know what happens.

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