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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.


Relationships suffer when you have an eating disorder.  Deep, valuable and sincere relationships may be difficult to maintain or even impossible to establish. You want and need people in your life to help ward off isolation and loneliness. 

When a relationship ends or changes into something unpleasant you may wonder what happened. And, you may not be able to think clearly about what happened because the end or change triggers your eating disorder.  So you feel great loss and sorrow, criticize yourself and act out by binging or throwing up or starving or all these behaviors in their turn.

If your anguish is so terrible that you must throw yourself into your eating disorder, you lose any chance of realistic awareness of what happened to the relationship.

The eating bingeing, purging and starving affect the ability of your brain to function clearly. You will alternate between attacking and justifying both yourself and the other person, making yourself more confused and lonely as you go.

If this description seems to relate to experiences you have had or are in now, please know that you need to find a way to calm your emotions and clarify your thinking.  This is quite a challenge when you are raging or feel so badly about yourself you want to hide under the covers. But you can do it if you approach yourself gently with tiny tasks.

For example, every two hours during the day, write down a skill or an interest or a talent you possess. That’s all.  You can do more if you like, but one item every two hours is a minimum.

When you do this you are pulling on a rope that disengages you from being stuck in an emotional quagmire. Instead of thinking about what’s right or wrong about the other person or what’s right or wrong about you in your relationship with the other person you create a different train of thought entirely. You pull yourself toward what is authentic in you.  Maybe you’ll discover what you have been disregarding or ignoring in your life.

After a few days you may be motivated to put your energy into one of your skills or interests or talents. That will help clear your mind and give you a more clear space from which to evaluate your relationship. What’s more, you will be creating more valuable and satisfying days for yourself.



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