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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.


My mom died of breast cancer about seven years ago and I often wonder what our relationship would be like now if she were still here. When she chose to discontinue chemo and was dying, I had to put aside most of the feelings I had about how she had been living her life and instead focus on how I wanted to be with her as she was dying. She did not go quietly and was angry a lot of her last year and said things that have stayed with me. Deep down though, she knew I loved her and I knew she loved me and there was peace in knowing I helped her die the way she wanted to.

I had an interesting experience a couple of days ago where some of my deep feelings regarding my mom came up. I haven't been taking the best care of myself and have been overworking and got sick and crashed last week. The docs think I might have an ulcer and made me go off my anti-inflammatory meds which I have relied on for nearly half of my life. In the throes of feeling sick, being scared that I'd done permanent damage to my gut, wondering what the pain would be like for my joints w/out my favorite meds, and theorizing that I wouldn't be able to meet some crucial work deadlines for next week, I had a huge sob fest. When I listened to my tears, I could hear them saying, "I'm sorry, I tried so hard to be strong, I tried to be good"...and I was saying those words to my mom, as if I'd failed her. I was apologizing to her for getting sick and being weak and for not being able to hold it all together.

I have not sorted it all out but it seems pretty clear that I still have strong feelings of failing her. What's interesting is that she always told me I was the strong one and she didn't have to worry about me. She said she knew I'd be OK. Maybe this is why I connect guilt and shame with having struggles whether they are mental or physical? Lots to think about.

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