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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.

Baby Nest machinery Oil on canvas. SurrealismWhere is your safe place or nest?

Where were you born? I mean specifically. Were you born in a bed, a hospital, a private home, or a boat? Perhaps in a taxi? Maybe you were born on a blanket on the ground. Was it quiet or noisy around you? Was it a safe place, or was danger lurking or exploding? Where did you go after you were born? Who was around you? What was your nest?

Wherever you were born and in whatever circumstance, your mother was there too. Your coming into this world involved the atmosphere of the times, your health and strength, her ability to make choices and her ability to cope with the challenges around her. You got here. (* photo credit below)

Maybe she kept you. Maybe she didn't. Maybe she died. Maybe she loved you. Maybe she didn't. Maybe someone else raised you. Maybe you learned to call another woman, "Mom," and she is the mother you think of on Mother's Day.

Regardless of the joy and pain that blossomed in your relationship with your mother, if you are reading this, you got here, and you are still here. This is a day of celebration. You and your mother came through the trials of your human development and hers to reach this present moment.

In recovery, people often bring up festering old wounds from childhood. This is as it should be. Those wounds need to come into awareness, be understood, healed and resolved. When you have an eating disorder, your psyche can go to extremes in evaluating anything and anyone, including your mother.

Before you have full recovery it's difficult to hold the good and bad things about a person at the same time. So, when you think about your mother, she may be completely wonderful and flawless. Or, if she has a flaw, it is tiny and inconsequential. The same goes for thinking about her as a negative in your life. If that is your thinking, then any good quality may seem tiny and inconsequential.

Eating disorder recovery brings you to the woman you actually are now, an assortment of positive and negative qualities that you try to integrate as you develop into a healthy wholeness you may have never experienced before. With that comes your ability to see other people, including your mother, in more mature terms.

Women are human. Mothers have limitations and flaws. Mothers may have time limits. Mothers can be wonderful mothers for specific ages. Some are great with infants. Some shine with a toddler

Others need a more mature child to relate to. Some mothers are terrific throughout their life span. Others can only give quality care when the child is at a particular stage of development and the mother is incapable of relating to her child at other stages.

Some of you are mothers. You know what an ongoing and emotional task it is to love and raise a child, or several, in this challenging and dangerous world. You might find a way to appreciate your own mother by discovering what happened when she was born. Can you answer the questions in the first paragraph of this article from her perspective?

There was she born, specifically? Was she born on a bed or in a hospital or private home or automobile or boat?

  1. Was she born indoors or outdoors?
  2. Was she born in a quiet setting or was there noise and tensions?
  3. Was she born in a peaceful or violent atmosphere?
  4. What happened after she was born?
  5. Who took care of her and how?
  6. What was her nest?

Answering these questions can help you come to a more rich understanding and appreciation of your mother and your relationship with her. Answering these questions may bring you to a greater appreciation of your mother and yourself on this Mother's Day.

You can go beyond two generations and discover as much as you can about how your grandmother and great-grandmother would answer these questions. What were their nests? How far back can you go?

You have a legacy of mothers behind you who raised daughters who became mothers. These women possible both your life and your ability to move on the opportunities before you.

Mother's Day history

Mother's Day more complete history - ancient and spiritual origins

Anna Jarvis and the creation of Mother's Day - many informative links

The radical history of Mother's Day

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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