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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.

TOPSECRETWomen who are binge eaters are often terrified and feel that they need to hide their feelings and efforts to heal from everyone. This is a paraphrase and summary of what many frightened women who binge eat write to me. Can you identify?

Reaching out

I have read and reread your blog for hours. I’ve been doing this for months. I feel absurd in trying to reach out to you.

I thought maybe you could help me figure out what is wrong with me. I didn’t think I was a binger, but the internet has lots of information about BED. And I have all the symptoms. But I keep thinking that I don’t have to worry about this and that I just have a few bad eating habits I can change on my own.

After trying everything I can think of I know now that I can’t stop on my own. I’m afraid that if I keep on I will break somehow, maybe breakdown, maybe do something wild and irrational.

Wanting help with terms

I want help. I’m desperate. I want to be myself, and I’m stuck in this miserable eating thing. I want professional help, but I don’t want anyone to know who I am. I don’t want to speak in a group. I don’t want to go to meetings or be in a support group. I couldn’t bear talking with strangers about what is going on with me.

Can I have appointments with a psychotherapist without telling my real name or my address? Can I pay cash and be anonymous? Maybe a professional could tell me if I were really a binge eater or not. Maybe I could come to some middle ground somehow. I feel confused, and I don’t know what is wrong with me.

Reading between the lines

Fear pours through this request for help in ending her binge eating. . I can almost hear the trembling voice that cracks and with great effort, puts the words together.

I wonder how many people are in this situation and who are too afraid to speak even this far. In asking foreating disorder recovery help this woman feels like she is taking an enormous risk.

Her question becomes, how can she have some assurance that her taking the risk to come forward into recovery work is worthwhile?

She can't have any guarantees, of course. She can't have promises of ease or of pain free recovery work. But how can she rely on some belief, some tangible or intangible thread of hope and purpose so she can rally, fear and all, to work for her own recovery?

I'll talk about this in my next post. And I hope you will share your thoughts, feelings and experiences on stepping into fear in order to move into eating disorder recovery.

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