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Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.


The two quotes that stood out for me were:


"If you stand, stand. 

If you sit, sit.

 But don't wobble!"

 - Zen Master Ummon


“Be ye lamps unto yourselves”Gautama Buddha


The first quote felt like a message around the current (divorce) situation with my ex, a reminder that no matter how well we get along, that there is no way back, I need to make sure I stand firm and don't soften over time, because I know without a doubt that getting out of the relationship is the right thing to do, even though I still care about her a lot.

Journalling about it, what I realised was that actually I don't feel a great sense of loss about my ex as she is now and has been for the last 2 years, the feelngs I have are actually about losing my husband, the male person she was before she changed gender; and missing being 'just a "normal" family with a mummy, a daddy and 2 children', I feel sad that my children don't have that anymore.... but realistically that person she was then, when she was male, is long gone!

I knew really when I started ED therapy that it would cost me my marriage, it was the one thing I was so scared of, I remember telling my therapist that I was reluctant to start treatment because of it, because I wasn't willing to end that relationship. Over time though what I realise is that we both had backgrounds that had left us with ways of being that made us unhealthy partners, and we were both codependent on each other. What I never really thought about though was what happens when one of you takes steps to deal with some of those issues, gain some self-esteem, start setting some boundaries, and generally becoming emotionally healthier and stronger....it's sad that my emotional and mental healing has not just opened up a gap and but it's almost like it has exposed a lot of her weaknesses, because she is no longer able to use me to blame things on or bolster her self-esteem, and that seems to have really affected her and hit her hard.

It's hard because I do feel an element of guilt there, but I cannot do the work for her, it's hers to do - you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink...I've done all I can do.

I know it's time to be strong and stand firm on this decision, it's what needs to be done.

The second quote "be ye lamps unto yourselves" is a reminder that I know that deep inside, away from the insecurities that have been fabricated and constructed from my interactions with others, who I am, I know exactly what I need, there is an inner core, an inner self that instinctively knows what I need to do, it's a driving energy, a warm energy, that feels like closing my eyes and basking in sunlight. My inner self knows I am strong, knows I will not be beaten down easily, she is gritty and determined, yet she is soft and vulnerable too, and she senses when it is safe to let those vulnerabilities show, when it’s safe to lay herself bare. When she strips away the requirements of everyday life imposed upon her, and is completely open and bare, her primitive instincts take over, and she becomes grounded and fulfilled, and feels at one, not just with the earth, but with the universe....she knows that she belongs to the earth, yet the earth belongs to the sky and the universe beyond that, of which she is a tiny part.

She knows that if she stays connected to this part of herself, that she will be just fine she'll be able to fulfil her innermost needs, and find contentment, not in a slovenly way, but with a sense of adventure and an open mind that allows her to be constantly evolving and developing herself.

What I also realise is that choosing the 2 quotes that were instantly meaningful to me was probably more affirming than fruitful and that I should repeat this exercise using some of the quotes I feel less drawn to.



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