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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.


joy caterpillar in cocoon 1236338 640The caterpillar may lead a joyous life, but at the end of the life cycle, it goes into reclusion for transformation. That may be joyous until the change is complete. Now, the new being works its way into a different life as the worn-out chrysalis crumbles.

A quiet self-talk statement to keep yourself centered and awake is this: I can find my path to joy.

Bored? Restless? Lonely? Feeling guilty about wasting time? Overeating? Starving? Numbing yourself in bars? Sex becoming dull? Are people uninteresting?

You weren’t always like this.

You can remember a time when you were happy and excited about the start of a new day. You remember when you were passionate about something or someone. You wanted to learn, share, and rush to adventure. You felt alive.

Something changed. At the end of a cycle, your world grows grey. People became almost interchangeable. Movies seem the same. Some jolt you with a temporary thrill that doesn’t last through your leaving the theater or completing your binge-watch.

The days march on. You may feel hopeless and without purpose, as if the best were over. You can stay this way or move toward change.

You have reached the end of something without knowing it. You discover the finality of a life stage when you hit these listless doldrums that lead nowhere. This is a signal that you are about to start a new cycle in your life.

The world is still here, vaster than you know. You are free to explore and discover what you can reach and where your passion now resides. You can come out of your dusty corner and explore the world.

All you need to start is the intention. Your first step is to decide to start.

Think back. When did you reach the end of a cycle before? When were you anxious, sad and frightened of facing the unknown? Was it clearly marked, like losing interest in favorite hobbies or pastimes?

Were you weary of a monotonous or abusive relationship? Were you anxious about suddenly seeing your job as repetitive with no future? Perhaps you experienced a profound loss like the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship you thought would never end?

What did you do, or what happened to bring you to a new, more engaging life? How you did it may not apply now, but your ability to do it is still with you. Can you find your way to begin again?

If you’ve outgrown something, your mind, heart and soul are no longer invested in what or who is before you. You’ve accomplished your goals or completed your task. Now you are here and feel you are wasting your time.

You may not know your options. Your imagination has gone dull and stiff. But your pain and yearning means you are ready for the shift.

Once you acknowledge that you’ve hit an evolutionary stage in your own development, you can start making effective moves. If you were a caterpillar at the end of your metamorphosis, you might be bored, scared, claustrophobic, depressed and desperate.

If you make no moves toward your next phase you will die in a withered chrysalis never using your new wings. So, you wiggle out of your old container that crumbles as you go.

Long-term solutions don’t appear immediately. Now, alone, feeling strange and in the unknown, you wait. You rest from your exertions. You wait for your wings to dry.

You’ve accomplished what was necessary, spurred by your internal desires and inspiration. Now you are here and on the verge of moving on.

Our culture doesn’t recognize this normal stage of human development. Certainly, friends and family don’t want to lose your predictable and habitual ways of being in their community. That pressure can create guilt in you for even thinking about disrupting the life you’ve established and the expectations you have nurtured in the people around you.

Repeat: I can find my path to joy.

Now, you need to rally your determination to live your new life. Discovering your choices rallies your strength and triggers your creativity.

You can be kind and thoughtful to the people in your life who matter to you and proceed with your meaningful life at the same time. You decide to go for joy.

Complete Listing of Path to Joy

Part One: Welcome and Introduction: Your Path to Joy Part 1

Part Two: New Begins with the End of Old: Your Path to Joy Part 2

Part Three: Rally Yourself to Move Forward: Your Path to Joy Part 3

Part Four: Be a Trailblazer: Your Path to Joy Part 4

Part Five: Your Action Steps: Your Path to Joy Part 5

Part Six: Stumbling Block Alert: Your Path to Joy Part 6

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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