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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.


Well my friend is coming to help me jiggle furniture around and get ideas for how to make my "authentic me" living space work, and I'm conscious that I need to order my orange reading chair and a new (non-orange) sofa ASAP, so that they will be ready and here before Christmas, and it's left me with conflicting thoughts.

Now that I'm looking at sofas and considering my needs on a practical level, I find myself torn. Torn between beautiful, smart, stylish clean lines, scrapping the orange chair idea and the moving and expanding of bookcases, and going for a cleaner, more minimalist look, one that always looks clean, smart & tidy; versus my original vision, of bookcases, our own artwork on the walls, a comfy reading chair and something that fuses cosiness and comfiness with enough colour to inject a vibrant energy, without getting too gaudy or tacky.

I tried to work through it - why am I so drawn to the sleek, smart, co-ordinated, very tidy-looking room, when I believe that the quirky room reflects my authentic self? I realise that I see the smart room as something I'd feel proud of, and proud to show off to others, it would boost my self-esteem to own that room. The quirky room, I don't think other people would like/get, despite being comfortable and cosy in it, I wouldn't feel the same pride and self-esteem that I would about the other room, it wouldn't give me the same confidence boost I feel so torn between the two.

I keep reflecting, how much of being drawn to the smart room is about pleasing others, wanting their approval, needing to fit in? But it's more than that, there's something about being organised and having structure too, and about the safety and comfort of staying with what you know. The quirky room is a risk, it might be brilliant or it might turn out awful, I might hate it - going with this style would definitely take me out of my comfort zone, despite feeling like a representation of my authentic self. And I question whether that is the answer, that I've spent so long not being my authentic self, not letting people see her, because I was ashamed of her and scared what people would think of her, is something that it is still a bit alien and uncomfortable for me, a bit challenging to stay there. If I make the quirky room, then I will be ditching the safety blanket that is the smart room, and the ability take pride and self-esteem from what people make of the objects I surround myself with, rather than the person at the centre. If I follow my authentic self and go for the quirky room I will be following a path that is less predictable and organised.

I guess when I weigh it all up I know that I should find the confidence to ditch the safety blanket and take the risk of going with the quirky room, the room that feels true to who I am; and to learn to have faith and self-confidence in my true self, rather that seeking it through objects and other people's approval, and learn to feel proud of who I really am!


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