I'm pretty sure I'm feeling something, I just don't know what
Recovering from an eating disorder requires learning a whole new set of skills. One of those is the ability to identify, own and properly process emotions and feelings. That doesn’t sound that difficult, right? How hard can it be?
Except that it can be. Heck – the reason we got started with our eating disorder was to avoid bad feelings – whether it was connected with our body image or not. The more we practiced our eating disorder, the more we trained our brains to turn to those behaviors as a coping skill whenever the going gets tough.
So here is my challenge for you this week – the next time you feel a craving coming on - -whether it’s to binge, purge, or starve, identify your feelings. Are you angry? Scared? Jealous? Anxious? What else is going on that you want to escape from?
Does fulfilling the craving make the situation any different (other than postponing dealing with it?) What would happen if you felt the feelings and didn’t numb them?
Can you entertain the possibility of living with those feelings for a little while without giving in to the cravings? The more we can know and remain present with our feelings, the less we need our eating disorder as an escape and we can learn to bear our own human experience.