Being Your Own Best Friend



If you have an eating disorder you often feel at war with yourself. Everything seems black or white, good or bad including yourself. This doesn't have to be so.

Resisting eating disorder urges and cravings becomes a moral issue. You judge yourself good if you resist and bad if you succumb.

Yet you are all of what you feel and wish for.  You can't destroy a part of yourself to allow another part to live freely.  You need to find a way to befriend yourself.

Suppose you set aside the battle between black and white and looked for ways to be kind to yourself.  How could each side of you befriend the other?

To start you off, here's a writing exercise.

1.   Choose any situation where you are fighting within yourself about a choice:

For example, to binge or not

to call someone or not

to attend a function or not


2.   Write out and answer these questions twice, once to each side of yourself.

a.  what benefits do you get from getting your way?

b.  what might getting your way cost you?


3.   Breathe for ten breaths, watching your breath move through your body and pay attention to what you experience in your body in great detail.


4.   Ask each side of yourself:

a.   how can I help you?

b.   what specific action can I take that will ease your situation?


5.  Ask each side of yourself:

a.  what's the first step I need to take to earn your trust?

b.  what's the first step I can take to be your friend?


Read the answers you have given yourself.  Breathe, watching your breath move through your body and read them again.


Let me know what you discover!

More readings on befriending yourself

Befriend and Be Kind to Your Self

Brefriending the self: mindfulness in clinical practice

Befriending Your Other Self

Befriending the Shadow

Befriending the Shadow (different from above)




0 # I was at a complete war with myself lastPTC 2010-10-23 05:22
I was at a complete war with myself last night. I wasn't hungry at dinner time (6PM). I was sort of hungry by 8 PM but didn't want to eat because I thought I'd just get more hungry. I finally ate an apple and then I was starving. I knew I needed to eat because that's what I'm supposed to do, but I didn't want to. It was late (9:30) and I didn't know what I wanted to eat and I didn't have anything that sounded appealing. I stood in the kitchen just trying to figure it out all it. It sucked. I finally had a little bit of oatmeal, but it wasn't satisfying. I had mixed emotions about eating it. I knew my body needed it and my mind felt a little better after, but I also felt like I shouldn't have eaten it. Ugh! This is frustrating.
0 # By the way, I like the picture. My catsPTC 2010-10-25 16:15
By the way, I like the picture. My cats don't do that.
0 # Wow Joanna, this has to be one of your bKym 2010-10-25 16:37

Wow Joanna, this has to be one of your best blogs!

I read the links (the ones that work for me) and I did your writing exercise.

What I learned was that the part of me that doesn't want to eat, doesn't trust my body. There are good reasons it doesn't trust my body; it's been obese twice, it's attracted men who hurt me, and it's causes me physical pain.

By listening and looking at my life and recovery from “hurt Kym's” view, I feel like I can start acknowledging the fears and mistrust and I can start to build up some trust between my two sides (sick and healthy sides).

Today I spent my morning at a local Grotto where I walked the labyrinth talking to “hurt Kym” and sat under the tall trees crying for her hurts and trying to understand what she needs.

After coming home I ate my entire lunch and took an hour long bubble bath as a way to nurture both parts of me.

I'm not sure where this approach will take me, but I want to thank you for challenging me to look at myself from a different view.

0 # Dear Kym, This is such good news. Yopinkjoanna 2010-10-25 22:39
Dear Kym,

This is such good news. You are answering your last question. The experience you describe as you connect and are kind to "hurt Kym" is what new development is all about. You have developed beyond your previous limit. Step by step you keep going - and that's how you continue your development.

I love hearing about a long bubble bath to nurture both parts of you simultaneously.



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