Meaning of Self-Help in Eating Disorder Recovery


Excerpt from Chapter One of Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder

Self-help means helping yourself. It doesn't mean rejecting help from others.  It means finding and using a myriad of ways to bring genuine help into your life.

Shame, fear or need to isolate can create a false belief that healing happens when you are alone. You believe that isolation in terms of being alone, or hiding in public view by living a life of pretense, is necessary for as long as you have your eating disorder.  You feel that you can't share your genuine experience with anyone or let them know who you really are. 


Your eating disorder may have such a distorting grip on your perceptions that your true self is buried under negative and false beliefs about yourself.  These beliefs push you into retreat from honest relationships and leave you bereft of help or hope. You believe you must find your way alone.  And though you are desperate for companionship, you haven't the tools or the strength to bring yourself into community.


Healing Your Hungry Heart says:

"Helping yourself does not mean going it alone.  Helping yourself means committing to your life and supporting your own recovery.  This includes learning how to recognize opportunity and reach out to people who are in a position to offer you genuine help on your journey to healing.  Part of recovery is learning how to make wise choices abiut trustworthy and honorable people.  They will come."


What does self-help mean to you?


Reprinted with permission from Red Wheel/Weiser LLC, Healing Your Hungry Heart by Joanna Poppink is available wherever books and ebooks are sold or directly from the publisher at 1-800-423-7087 or at

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