Suffering and Joy to reach her goal
Binge Eating Recovery Work
Often clients in my eating disorder recovery practice don’t recognize their accomplishments. As they gain more awareness about their binge eating experience pain or anxiety. They don’t understand that experiencing their pain and anxiety is part of releasing the eating disorder and gaining emotional strength. They don't know, yet, that they are crossing a threshold into stronger and healthier ways of being in the world. Growing your way out of eating disorder entrenchment, even a little, can feel frightening.
Joy in Binge Eating Recovery Work
Climbing out of the prison of an eating disorder and blinking from the light of the new world becomes an incredible joy.
Discovering your own strengths and value is wonderful.
You and your psychotherapist share the always unpredictable turns of life as you heal and develop on your way to a better life. It’s a never-ending growth experience.
As you bring your healthy and united sense of herself to face the world you follow the genuine lead of you heart and soul, I feel privileged and grateful to share in that journey.
In the day to day of my professional world the people I meet are affected by eating disorders, They are on their healing path because they came to me and are ready to begin. Or they come to me because they have begun and want to go beyond their current limits. Or they come to me because they want to begin and hope I can show what binge eating recovery work involves.
Suffering and Ignorance
When you are embroiled in binge eating or restricting you suffer terribly and are in a state of ignorance. You are aware enough to know that your eating disorder behavior, whether bingeing, purging, restricting, overeating, over exercising, is out of control. Plus, it's not giving you the benefits it promises, i.e. freedom from anxiety and self-doubt.
What makes the suffering worse is that you are ignorant of your true condition. You think you are weak, a failure, a loser because you can't control your behaviors. You don't know that the eating disorder behaviors are your protection from unbearable feelings. You don't know that because you don't know that. That knowledge is out of your awareness. You think, wrongly, that you are deficient as a person.
That sense of deficiency fuels self-doubt, self-criticism, shame, guilt, worthlessness, and more suffering. It's a terrible loop. And when you make strides away from being entangled in that dark, looping labyrinth you leave your familiar protections. At first you feel frightened or angry because you are losing the familiar. And I want to cheer.
Ignorance creates a hurdle difficult to leap. It’s an interesting word. It could mean that information is ignored. Or it could mean that information about something isn't available or accessible. So, if a person with an eating disorder is ignorant of dangers in her behaviors, is it because she doesn't know the dangers or is ignoring the dangers? If she is ignoring the dangers, is this a conscious choice? Does she feel or believe she knows that the danger of an eating disorder is less dangerous than losing it?
Hope, trust in the process of binge eating recovery work develops over time. A small voice within that reminds her she is walking, sometimes crawling, sometimes staggering toward healing and health keeps her going. Her awareness rises. She recognizes past achievements she didn’t appreciate in the moment. She relies on her lfe force to guide her and her therapy to encourage, support and stimulate real healing.
It’s the best work she has ever done for herself. Healing work will bring her to her true and valuable self. It will bring her into the world in a strong, capable, lovable and worthwhile form. And then we both can cheer.
Joanna Poppink, MFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in eating disorder recovery. All appointments are virtual. For a free telephone consultation e-mail her at
Image by Erika Marcial from Pixabay