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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 stumbling block business 19148 640Someone may call you for old behaviors. You may call (or want to) so you can return to your old ways. Or you'll feel both internally.

On your path to joy, be prepared for pushback. You are making time for reading, exploring, taking classes, attending seminars and concerts, writing and communicating with new people. You have disrupted the pattern of what was your ordinary day.

Others in your life may want to interrupt your set times for reading, walking, writing or visiting places in the community. You will need to defend your boundaries.

You may be the one who wants to postpone or cut short your explorations and new activities to revert to your old patterns. Moving on to your new choices is sometimes fun and sometimes frightening.

Your feelings of isolation, dullness, bewilderment, and fatigue can rise at any time. When they do, old choices rise up strong.

Familiarity can feel safe and appealing. You will be tempted to fall back into old patterns and distracting activities. You can eat, drink, sleep, binge watch, drug yourself, shop, and get into old risky behaviors alone or with people who live dangerously or in a way that is dangerous to you.

Your challenge is to set and honor new boundaries that allow your path to joy to unfold. If you don’t take your boundaries seriously, no one else will. Your efforts will dissolve. Going back to old choices can leave you where you began, except sadder and more disheartened.

You may not be able to honor your new boundaries successfully all the time. I doubt that anyone can. But you can do one thing when you are tempted to give up on yourself.

Don’t leave. No matter what, don’t leave. Stay present for yourself and your new goals. If you want to stop reading, writing, drawing, or asking questions, and you can’t resist that desire, then stop. But don’t leave.

Take a break if you wish and walk the dog, watch a show, write a letter, do some gardening or organize a drawer in your kitchen. Then, return to your assignment on your Path to Joy itinerary.

Taking a break does not mean quitting. You probably have several items on your activity list. You can alternate when you feel stuck.

Move from reading the book to listening to the podcast. Pause and write in your journal. Go to the meeting place of the event you want to check out. Stay for as long as it is interesting to you. You can speak up. You can leave early. But give yourself the experience of showing up.

If you remain on your path to joy, your path will remain firm under your feet and unfold before you. You will grow more solid and sure in the new directions you follow.

(Psychological tip) When you remain present for your goals, your psyche absorbs your intention. You erode your fear. You come to realize that being near your goal path and on it inspires you to head into your life of joy with more energy than before.

Yes, this process takes work and courage. But what of value does not? Your gift is that you can begin any time and anywhere. You can choose Here and Now. I hope you do.

I wish you unexpected, happy awakenings on your path to joy. You are not alone on this path. You will meet fellow travelers and share new lives lived in 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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