Emergency Hospitalization, Eating Disorder, Coming Home


window_washingAfter his emergency six week hospitalization for eating disorder recovery, Jeremy asks  if bringing his home into order will help him stabilize.  To me, it sounds as if his emergency escort to the hospital was a rescue mission, and that he is lucky he got his life saved.

Now it's time for him to take over and rescue his own life.  That's true for everyone with an eating disorder. The big questions are what to do? how to start? when to start?

The time to start is now.

How to start?  This question relates uniquely to each person. However, the answer is usually right before your eyes.  As old school 12-step says, "Do what is in front of you to do."  Then follow it.  If the window is dirty, wash it. If a paper clip on the floor, pick it up. Then see what's next.  If it's a phone call to make or hair to wash and comb, or a diaper to change, or a bed to make, or dishes to wash, or an appointment to keep, do it.  Then you'll see what comes next.

If you can see what's in front of you to do and take healthy and practical action regardless of how you feel you are on a positive path.  But maybe you can't see that path.  Maybe you're flooded with so many tasks and feelings that you are immobilized.  What then? That's when people ask, "What should I do?"

Jeremy asks, should I clear out and organize my home?  I say, Yes!.

Living with an eating disorder in control of your actions leads to chaos in your life and environment. Creating a healthy structure that will hold your life securely even when you feel insecure is the foundation that will keep your life and your relationships intact.

What's above reflects what's below and vice versa. Inner chaos creates outer chaos in your home, your file system, you closets, your kitchen cupboards, your closets, your work, your relationships. Everywhere you look you see the chaos theme reinforced.  That view goes in your psyche, and you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

You know where those feelings lead: binge, purge and more.

So, by putting some order in your outer life you can give your psyche the signal of order and personal empowerment that influences  your perceptions and your  state of mind.

Yes, Jeremy. Clear the clutter out of your house.  It will help you clear out what's unnecessary in your mind. Get rid of what doesn't work for you, especially if it's broken.  That will help you get rid of your reliance on old ways of thinking that don't work for you. Put some beauty in your home.  That will help you smile and be more comfortable in your own skin.

House organization is certainly not a substitute for ongoing and deep psychotherapy that is necessary for recovery. But, cleaning, organzing your home and bringing beauty to your environment is a strong move to reinforce your self esteem and your eating disorder recovery.  By supplying yourself with a healthy balance of what you need in your environment to have your environment support your health and following through on your goals you bring more balance and health to your life.

You give yourself the firm and stable holding environment the hospital gave you to see your through your crisis. Now that you are home again you recreate your home to be your own caring environment. Your caring and thoughtful attention to your home as a supportive and serene environment transforms into wise and compassionate self care. You stabilize your path to eating disorder recovery.


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