Recovery from any kind of eating disorder is about stepping outside of your comfort zones time and time again. It involves facing your fears on a daily basis and giving time and energy to your healthy self versus your eating disorder self. In the therapy process, however, there will be times when you get to a point where you feel that you don’t have the motivation to challenge yourself as much or your ideas of recovery are very different than how you imagined them to be.
As human beings we all want to feel safe and secure; there is a desire to stay within what is comfortable and we can get complacent. However, if the very behaviours that are making you feel safe (e.g. restricting, binging and purging) are slowly hurting your body, mind and soul, you will have to take positive steps to move away from your comfort zones and do the harder thing.
To grow in your recovery it is important to continue to do the harder thing on a daily basis. For some that might be introducing fear foods, letting go of the need to compulsively exercise, riding the wave to avoid purging or simply asking for help. In the therapy process we break down weekly recovery goals or a goal that feels challenging but is not too overwhelming or consuming.
I help people to challenge themselves with self-compassion while at the same time doing the harder thing and gently moving themselves out of their comfort zone in manageable steps. In recovery, we create a nurturing support system to help you and your loved ones while you are going through the process. That team may involve a therapist, doctor, family, friends and dietician.
As a therapist who supports people who are experiencing an eating disorder, I also support loved ones who are caring for a loved one who is going through an eating disorder. Eating disorders can have a very negative impact on family members and friends and educating all involved in the process can make it that much smoother for a full recovery to be achieved.
Your eating disorder self may try to convince you that you are not sick enough to reach out for support in the form of therapy, I hear this all the time from clients. Eating disorders are a mental health illness. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of psychiatric disorders. The female mortality rate for Anorexia Nervosa is 30 times the female suicide rate.
It is also important to note here you can have no health conditions and still be experiencing an eating disorder. Eating disorder affects both men and women of all ages and you cannot tell how much a person is suffering by their weight or appearance. Show up for yourself and reach out for support today. Reaching out for help takes great strength and courage.
Michelle O’ Gorman is an eating disorder therapist in private practice in Wexford Ireland. Michelle specializes in helping adolescents and adults struggling with eating disorders and body image issues. Michelle offers eating disorder therapy to individuals in person over the phone or online through zoom. Call 086 0205172 www.michelleogorman.com