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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.

Compassionate handsInspiring details of anorexia recovery challenges are in this letter from a courageous 57 year old woman. (Letter reprinted with permission of author.  Name changed to protect confidentiality.) *pix

Letter from Laurel


I am so blessed to be on your mailing list! So blessed to "hear" you when you communicate about eating disorders. So blessed that you 'have been there', that you also are a healer, and that you share so much of yourself, and of what you have learned.

My history: anorexia from 16 - 57 years old; mother bulimic for 45 years

I am 57 years old (and have written to you before), and my anorexia began when I was 16 and hospitalized in NYC.

But before that, I strongly remember wanting to steal a lot of food. ..The feeling that I "needed a lot of food".

My mother was bulimic for 45 years, and she died of esophageal-stomach cancer, secondary to all of that purging and alcohol abuse and smoking....

But I am surviving! And I (finally) feel as if I am recovering.

Facing an eating disorder trigger. Last night, I was in a situation with a woman about whom I had an idea that she has eating dis-order. Traditionally, this is such a trigger for me.

In my crazy thoughts, I think that I somehow will be able to be the one that controls her ED.... (crazy thoughts, and probably a result of living with my Mother....)

Anyway, as I looked at her, and 'stared' at the way she was eating, I could clearly see ED behaviors (small bites, body language that was saying how scared she was to be eating.) As I struggled with my obsession with this woman, I started fantasising, and setting up a Binge in my Mind.

But I kept on talking to myself.

Overcoming the eating disorder trigger I asked myself: What do I need right now? What am I depriving myself of? I was not hungry, clearly. I was running from uncomfortable feelings.

And then ---- I realized: Of course, she DOES have an eating disorder, AND SHE IS SUFFERING. And I know that suffering, and I found a pocket of Compassion in My Soul for her.

I did not binge, I made it through, Joanna, and I am so glad. So glad. Compassion for self and others, passion for life This is what it is about, I believe.

Not dipping into the ED behaviors, but developing compassion for my Self, and finding out who I am, and what I believe, and dedicating myself to my Life!

Thank you so much, Joanna.

cc: to my ED therapist and to my ED nutritionist


Dear Laurel,

Thank you so much for writing! Your experience that you share is a major recovery moment. Once a moment like that occurs you'll find that you have another and yet another. And so recovery gains momentum in your life. I'm so happy for you. May I have permission to post your letter on my blog? I'll change your name, of course. I am certain your post will inspire many other people.

Warm regards and many congratulations,


Surely, Joanna, that would be a privilege and an honor to be posted on your blog. Thank you, Joanna. Please, if you can, tell other people that "moments like" the ones I experienced lead to increased momentum in recovery. I am able to feel that too. I am blessed to know you.


I'm confident that people will feel blessed to know Laurel's story and draw strength and wisdom from her experience.

*pix English: taking care of our heart
Date 13 November 2013, 05:26:54
Source Own work
Author Enver Rahmanov
licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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