Writing your thoughts and experiences, especially if you write them on a regular basis, is a powerful force in your eating disorder recovery.
The healing power of moving your pen across a blank page while you are still is vast and endless. Even if your mind is awhirl and you are in emotional pain, if you keep moving your pen and writing random words, sentences, maybe paragraphs or lists you will find yourself shouldering your way through barriers and into something fresh.
Maybe you were crying and find your way to some ease and calm. Maybe you were bewildered find some simple grounding tasks as you write, like "take a shower" or "get some sleep."
Maybe you wonder what you need for creating a better life for yourself. You wonder on paper and find yourself writing about what you care about. When you do this you discover your dreams and goals. Memories, little poems, shards of dreams can emerge to remind you of long forgotten loves like music or art or design or law. Maybe you've neglected your love of history or French culture.
I recently reread Henrik Edberg's Positivity Blog post, "7 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Write Things Down." I highly recommend it. He clearly and simply describes key benefits you get from writing down your thoughts and experiences. He includes in his excellent post a quote I like very much and continue to find true as I write my morning journal.
“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.”
Francis Bacon, Sr.
Remember, your eating disorder is a blocker. It's such an effective blocker that you don't know what is being blocked. It will keep your own treasures hidden from you. This means more than not knowing about how to live a life of health, prosperity, love and joy. It means being certain, based on a false knowing, that you can never live such a life. You are certain you need your eating disorder to get you through your days.
When you are alone moving your pen over paper writing down the thoughts that freely come up from your mind, you reveal what dwells in your hiding places guarded by your eating disorder. Over time you discover your treasures. The more you discover and honor them the less you will need your eating disorder and the more you can live the life that is in you waiting to be free.
What old loves have you put aside? What did you want to be when you grew up? Can you write you way through the numbing haze of your eating disorder to find your treasures? They are still in you.
Joanna Poppink, MFT Los Angeles psychotherapist specializing in eating disorder recovery.