Suppose I said, "Stop looking for eating disorder recovery." I'm a therapist in Los Angeles who's been specializing in eating disorder recovery for decades. Would you think I've given up or lost my mind?
Or would you perhaps think that maybe I've discovered something? Are you curious and even ready to explore a mystery that could surprise you by giving you the life you've yearned for?
In reviewing my own recovery from overeating and bulimia and the recovery of many of my patients I see what really works for success. It's not a secret, but I don't write about it much because you don't see the connection between what I say and the recovery you imagine. When I write about the details of an eating disorder you respond. When I write about owls or climate change or gardens or social justice or dogs and cats your response is minimal and then it's about what seems cute or interesting in a remote way.
When I post articles and videos about women accomplishing something powerful in music or politics or medicine or business, you respond minimally except perhaps to say the person is a favorite of yours or that she is inspiring. A link is missing between these posts and your understanding of my attempts to show you a path.
Now I intend to focus, not on eating disorder recovery, but on building your own path to your life of satisfaction, fulfillment, joy, love and meaning.
And that's what it's all about, isn't it? I mean, you say you want eating disorder recovery. But do you? Don't you want what you think you can have if you actually have eating disorder recovery? And don't you most certainly want to get rid of many aspects of your life that exist because you have an eating disorder? (Illness, fear, bloating, hiding, shame, false persona, weird and sometimes dangerous relationships, broken relationships, etc.)
So I say, let's not aim for eating disorder recovery. Let's aim for a good life, a wonderful life, a life that's so good you can't even imagine it when an eating disorder or any other limitation closes down your imagination. Let the eating disorder fade as you go after what's truly important to you, whether you know what that is yet or not. Let courage and discovery be your guide.
This will be the theme of my posts for a while. I've written so much about eating disorders including a book on how to recover. I've alluded to the real path that can take you to the life you were meant to live.
But now I'm going to be much more direct. I hope I will capture your imagination and the deep spark of wisdom within you that knows what you really want is to be truly alive and live a life worth living.
Here are some questions to think about. I hope you'll respond to some in the comment section below.
- Are you looking for eating disorder recovery?
- Have you found your method?
- How long have you been using it and does it work for you?
- What do you want out of life?
- What do you care about?
- What in the world makes you happy, sad, mad, glad, disappointed, inspired?
- If you were young, rich, strong, powerful, free, well-educated and confident what would you do in this world? Think Big.
Links to help prime your imagination:
- 10 Everyday Things Creative People Do That Lead to Success
- Creativity and Innovation: Your Keys to a Successful Organization
- Success through Creativity and Hard Work
- 6 Obstacles To Creative Thinking And How To Overcome Them: Develop Problem Solving Skills For Business Success
*pix Belvoir Fortress; This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Emír Balduin Hallef Omar Ali al-Adid bin Abú Sharee al-Kerak. This applies worldwide.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Written by Joanna Poppink, MFT. Joanna is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in eating disorder recovery, stress, PTSD, and adult development.
She is licensed in CA, AZ, OR, FL, and UT. Author of the Book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder
Appointments are virtual.
For a free telephone consultation, e-mail her at