All emotions are important, some just feel better than others. Instead of focusing on pushing through, I encourage clients to try to just sit with them, pay attention to how they feel, notice where they experience them in their bodies. The more present we are with our emotions as they arise, the less control they have over one’s life.
"For anyone struggling with an eating disorder, I am letting you know that things do get better and easier. Hold onto your support system, and appreciate the help and guidance they give you. Celebrate the daily victories because it means you are on the right path. And most of all believe in yourself throughout your journey, because recovery is possible."
"In my eating disorder counselling practice, I get asked multiple times a week about whether or not it is safe to eat certain foods... While I am of course here to provide support, I also think it is important to realize that one of the main jobs of recovery is to say yes to pretty much every food opportunity and option that comes your way and to train yourself to realize that food isn't what hurts you."
Recovery is such a unique process, and universally I think everyone just wants to be at peace with themselves, but this shows up differently for everyone and how this is achieved can vary so greatly depending on culture, background, and identity.
"As a poem transfers from just a few lines or a concept into a full collection of letters and spaces, something happens. I wrote 'Days Below Zero', because I have a hard time understanding how to support someone who has a problem with themselves at the level someone struggling with an eating disorder would. I was trying to show how a peer support volunteer could engage someone, and hopefully challenge the perspective that is causing pain."
As I have discovered, learning about eating disorders does not stop simply because one is getting better or recovered. In order to truly be well from eating disorders we need to continue to educate and challenge ourselves, to learn and try new things, and to sometimes risk what feels comforting and familiar as a necessary step to break free from those deeply inscribed patterns of behaviour that just don’t serve us anymore.
"I stand behind self-care being a critical part of recovery. Not because a bath (or any other form of self-care) is the answer to your struggles, rather because learning to engage in a respectful and kind way towards yourself is what turns your relationship with yourself from destructive to healthy."