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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.



I'm so glad your trip to Ireland was everything you wanted it to be and so much more! Bizarrely I read this on my phone sat in my car in the supermarket car park, I hardly ever use my phone to go online, unless I'm on a train journey, or staying away from home for a few days, so I have no idea how or why I ended up here, but I'm glad I did - I ended up with tears streaming down my face, and feeling like, "I don't want to do the shopping, I want to go home and respond to this"...and unlike my usual sensible self who would've said "just do the food shopping, you can respond later", I followed my heart, my inner energy and came home to reflect and to respond.

I needed to read what you wrote, I needed to feel the amazing positive energy that it exudes.

It's no great secret that I've had a difficult year, and I relapsed quite badly into my ED - not ED ways of thinking, but ED ways of eating, and what I learned was that whilst psychologically I felt everything relating to my recovery was very much in tact, in fact continuing to grow and flourish in many ways, that eating-wise, my ED ways, are my natural defence mechanism, the way of coping that I fall into without even being aware of it until I'm completely immersed in it. I knew that tackling my eating meant tackling at least some of the stressors that were driving it, and I actually made a conscious choice to allow my ED ways of eating to continue for several months until what I believed would be a less stressful time, after my uni exam, when I would have the time and energy to get myself back into recovery. I had my last exam on Friday, and so (as I posted on the forum), that time is now here.

Over the last few days as I've been thinking about what I need to do, I realised that I no longer felt how I felt when I finished with my therapist last November, or how I felt earlier in the year when I felt amazed that I was going it alone and like I was just going from strength to strength, especially in terms of self-care and self-awareness, and the way I felt inside. I realised that I'd lost her, she'd gone, buried under everything else that's taken precedence in the last 6-8 months, and buried under the mountain of food that I've consumed in that time too. I wanted "her" to come back, I wanted to feel like that again, but I didn't know how to find her again...in fact I spent last night reading over my old journals, looking for her, for a sense of her, for something to reignite a spark or flicker that would help me to find her again...

... reading your blog post today Joanna, has done it!

It's hard to describe and convey this, but I have 3 people who I credit with helping me become the person I am today, that I have so much gratitude for, and you are one of them. All were very different in the things you imparted to me, I took different things from each of you - and you were kind of "the sensible one", your advice and questioning was warm,yet firm, and I knew if I followed your advice, and asked myself about the things you raised, searched for the answers, that it would help me - I always felt that your advice was reliable and dependable.

And in my recent need to find myself again, I actually didn't need, that kind of level, sensible, reliability...I needed something that I realise from reading your blog, was an element of my old therapist - I saw in your blog, a thing she used to see in me, and point out to me. Sometimes she would say, "look at you...gosh, look at the energy that is just pouring out of you talking about this ("this" being something that meant something to me, that I felt enthused, and passionate about), your face is radiant, your eyes, your smile and laughter - it's contagious, when you come in here in this mood and talk like this, I love it, you make me feel energised and full of life too"...and she basically made me see that that was "it", the things that made me behave that way and impart so much positive energy, they were the things that were key to the life I was looking for. She absolutely filled me with the confidence that no matter how crazy or unconventional those things were - that I should find the courage to value them and go with them. And towards the end of my time with her, I was able to connect the things that appeared that way outwardly, with an inner sensation, an inner energy. And part of it is around, I can't remember how you described it Joanna, but a feeling of having things you want to get out and share with the world ...for me I feel there are things deep inside, within that inner energy that I need to utilise to make a useful contribution to the world (my therapist would call them, my "gifts")...and I'm still not fully aware of what direction I need to go in to do that, but I do believe that if I just follow that energy and go wherever it takes me, that the answers will be revealed.

Joanna - I am so grateful, that your blog has reconnected me with all of that, as it was so deeply buried again after months of relapsed eating... it's the thing I've been looking for, the thing that I'd "lost".

I just love feeling that amazing, fuzzy, "aliveness" inside me - I don't care that people might think I'm crazy...in fact it is this feeling and perspective that I had to book a therapy session for, just to check I wasn't seriously mentally ill, for feeling and believing this! I'm so grateful to have it back... and yes, please do translate your scribblings Joanna, I for one would really appreciate that!






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