Your Eating Disorder Recovery Work Can Make You an Inspiration to Others
- Category: Psychotherapy and Recovery Work
People with eating disorders have an opportunity to be leaders toward positive change in bringing a more life supporting system to the human relationship with our environment. Those of us who have or had an eating disorder are metaphors for the imbalanced consumption human beings demonstrate around the world. Our eating disorders and global consumption disorders affect every phase of our lives and every phase of life on this planet..See: Humanity's consumption disordersWhat we as individuals need to do to recover from our eating disorders is very similar, and perhaps even identical, to what humanity has to learn and do to move our planet into a healthy and sustainable state.
in your recovery work, you are not only saving your own life. You are putting in your community, your culture and the world a recovery system that works, that makes you sustainable and could make the world sustainable.
In my sustainability studies I continually hear the call to "think big." This means:
- expand your vision
- take on the really big jobs
- don't be afraid to stretch your imagination
- work to keep up.
- save the world
Save the world is not too big a goal. And for us, we who have or had an eating disorder, saving our own world comes first.
We live in our bodies and experience life through our sensibilities. Eating disorders destroy both and leave us in a life of such severe restriction and limitation we don't even know about much of what we are missing.
But, if we know that every step we take to live our lives in a healthy and sustainable way is a teaching gift to a world that needs the lessons we are learning in recovery.
We expand our vision and our self worth. Rather than seeing ourselves as weak, damaged and suffering people with dark secrets that can never be shared or understood, we can see each other as spiritual warriors leading others to health and well being. And, that is exactly what we are, spiritual warriors.
Recovery from an eating disorder requires that we:
- stand up for ourselves,
- make changes in our lives,
- reach out to new and positive resources for help,
- face our fears and our terrors and grow through them,
- learn new ways of living, discover our real values,
- and above all, build a quality life that we can be happy to live and share.
Meaning of Sustainability:
"Sus" comes from Latin and means "stand up."
"Tenere" the source of "tain" comes from Latin and means "hold."
Isn't that the goal of recovery? To be able to stand up for yourself and hold your existence? I see many parallels to the eating disorder journey and the global journey to sustainability.
Your recovery journey has tremendous value, starting with yourself and moving to the people you love and who love you. The value spreads to your community, your culture, your country and the world.
You can know this now, regardless of what stage of recovery you are in. You matter and every recovery step you take matters. And yes, I am including the steps you might consider slips or falls. They are part of the journey.
So many people in recovery and after recovery ask me, "How can I help others?" People with eating disorders want to help others recover. They want their journey to mean something in this world.
You don't have to wait until you are recovered to bring valuable lessons of meaning and help to this troubled world. Your struggle and pathway to recovery is in itself the valuable teaching example the world needs.
So think big and bigger. Your recovery is about you, and it is about much more than you.
Questions for you:
How would you think differently about yourself if you knew that your personal recovery effort
- supports creating a world that is healthy and vibrant for you and everyone you love?
- is more far reaching than what you weigh or how you appear but is inspiring to others?
- even your slips, served as a teaching example to bring peace and abundance to the world?
- helps restore a balance in nature and in human relationship with nature?
- could stop extinctions and support life in the seas, forests, mountains and deserts of this world?
- was influential in bringing social justice to women and children and men?
Think big and bigger. And please know, your efforts to recover can save your life and the lives of countless others.
Psychotherapy with Joanna
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Los Angeles eating disorder recovery psychotherapist
author of Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder