Sunday, June 1, 2008

Filling the Gap

I think wondering how to fill the gap your eating disorder previously filled is very common. But remember—only you can answer the question of what to do next.

And there is so much waiting for you. There are a thousand possibilities at your fingertips, from the simple every day things to the more complex life goals. You just have to ask yourself one question.

What do you want to do?

It’s an open question with many possible answers…and that’s the beauty of it.

What's in your head and your heart? What are your passions? What makes you feel good?

Do you want to make new friends? Do you want to go back to school? Do you want to get out in the job world? Do you want to pursue a dream you’ve often had in the back of your mind? Do you want to have a family? Do you want to travel?

Now comes the obvious thought: we can’t always do what we want to do. Finances get in the way. Time can be an issue. A lot of things can prevent us from doing what we want to do. BUT—and this is a big but—you never let things be an issue when finding a way to fit your eating disorder into your daily life, did you?

Granted, money doesn’t grow on trees and lots of things that are very important take up our time. Understandable. Valid. But if you really want something, you can achieve it. And don’t let anything stop you.

Most importantly, think about what would make you happy. Come up with three things.

Then find a way to incorporate them into your life. Fill that gap. There’s no charge for that kind of fill-up.

Best of luck.


Jena said...

Hey, I'm new... new in many ways. New to damaging my body too. Its a long story kind of, and it will take a few weeks of blogging to get it all out i think!

Anyway I wanted to comment on your post because I'm trying to educate myself on eating disorders as much as I can because i'm trying to convince myself to quit what i'm doing.

I had no idea that it took up a part of someone's life that would have to be refilled with something else. It didn't occur to me. It made me wonder how that would happen, but I guess it's a relationship and a heart thing, and it's part of your heart that is affected. Just like a break-up, a heart has to mend from the loss of the relationship to the eating disorder.

Very insightful. Thank you. :)

Arielle said...

Hi Jena,

Sometimes convincing ourselves to stop destructive behaviors can be a lot harder than it sounds. I wish you the best of luck. Just's not a one step process. It may take a while...and that's okay.

Regarding the post, I think you'll find that if you've been eating disordered long enough you become obsessed with food, weight, appearance, perfection, and the eating disorder itself. It can become very hard to have a life outside of the eating disorder.

You know what it's like to stop a bad habit. Well, imagine a hundred bad habits and trying to stop them. It's like that.

An eating disorder takes up a lot of time. You focus on it when you could be doing other things. Therein lies the problem of filling a gap when the recovery process begins and is completed.

If you ever want to talk, I'm here.

Much love,

Summer Jen said...

Hi Arielle, (It's Jena, but I changed my display name)

Thanks for your response. Come visit my blog if you're up for it sometime... maybe when you hear my story you'll have other thoughts?

I think you make a good point about how much one can think about the disorder. I don't think i've ever thought about this one until recently, or if I did, I've ignored it. And now that I'm losing all this weight, it's becoming more of an obsession and worry.

I have another disorder that consumes my life though, Bipolar. As if I already didn't have enough on my plate, right? Because I live it I breathe it, and I'm a mental health professional too. My life sucks! lol

So what to do about the weight loss and the fear of fat. That's where I'm at.

Anyway, this is a long comment, but just my thoughts (I've had a lot of them lately)!

Thank you again, Arielle. Nice to "meet" you. :)

Arielle said...

It's nice to meet you too Jena, and I will definitely visit your blog. It's so easy to get sucked into obsessing about weight and the loss of it. I know many people have wandered on to an ED path this way.

As for being bipolar, I know that many times an ED and another disorder can go hand in hand. Which does kind of suck, doesn't it?

You may be a mental health professional, but you're still human. You can't beat yourself up about having your own struggles. I know it must get hard dealing with these things yourself when you are in their profession, so to speak. But you're a woman first, and a mental health professional second.

And you know, dealing with your own issues and coming out on top can really make you be an even better health professional I would bet. :)

Off to check out your blog now...
Much love,

Summer Jen said...

Knowing, really knowing, what people go through does make you a better helper. This is one thing I have learned.

If dealing with eating issues is going to help me help another then maybe it's worth it.

The better part of me thinks that.

But first I have to sort it all out and that will be a process.

Congratulations on your marriage :) I visited your other blog and you are so beautiful!

Signing out... xoxo

Arielle said...

Thank you, Jena!

And you are will be a process... but you have all the tools you need at your disposal... you just have to tap into them.

Much love,