Friday, October 21, 2016

Why recover from BED? Why struggle to give up comfort?

May 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Binge Eating, Featured

Recovery frees you to open the doors of your choice

g Recovery frees you to open the doors of your choice

You know how the insistent urge to binge takes over your mind and body.  It seems like the only action you can take to get away from unbearable anguish. Yet with recovery you have an opportunity door in your future, waiting to be opened.

*picture credit below

You might even think of promises you’ve made to yourself to get on or stay on your recovery path as you walk to the refrigerator to pull out the ice cream and cookies – the carton of ice cream and the whole package of cookies.

Clear thinking that allows you to see where you life is going and could go loses influence when your body throbs with waves of increasing anxiety and, almost like being in a trance, you begin your binge. You are oblivious to the opportunities of a lifetime.

You may have gained and lost large amounts of weight in your past and now try to binge only on “healthy” foods. Instead of ice cream you may reach for eight oranges or start cutting up an entire watermelon.

Looking for a safe binge is a lonely and desperate psychological state, full of fear and hope that you can get out of your pain without causing too much damage.

Why try to stop?  Why live with that anguish when a binge can numb you all the way to oblivion for a while?

Here’s one answer. I hope you will respond with your own answers so we can share what keeps us in recovery.

A big difference between living with an eating disorder and being free of an eating disorder is about awareness and a having a sense of your future.  If you have an eating disorder you use it to reach your goal of oblivion. Blocking your feelings becomes your primary goal.

Living a life with blocked feelings blinds your vision and narrows your life. To live fully, to reach for your true desires, to embrace your true loves you need the emotional stamina to bear heartbreak.

A full life means going for your authentic goals.  The goals are yours, not predetermined by others.

  • Do you want marriage? children? business success? political position? 
  • Do you want a career in science? the arts?
  • Do you want to advance the human condition in some way in this country or abroad?
  • Do you want to create or be a powerful force in an organization or movement that already exists?

If you can envision your heart’s desire a pathway will occur to you.  You’ll see the doors you need to open. But…. to risk knowing what you love is to risk heartbreak.  It’s a rare journey that doesn’t have obstacles, detours and collapses that need to be overcome.

Behind your opportunity door is the life you can live as a free woman.  You’ll feel suffering as well as joy.  You’ll feel grief as well as fulfillment. You’ll feel truly alive and worthwhile.

So why struggle to give up the comfort of a binge? Because the binge is a lying seducer that promises you freedom from pain but only delivers oblivion and blockades to the richness and wonder that could be your life.

Your recovery is about building your inner strength so you can bear your feelings.  Then you can open your door and travel on your true path.

Why recover?  So you can bear all the feelings that are part of living as a healthy and whole human being. That’s what gives you the freedom to live your real life.

Don’t let your eating disorder blind you to the magnificent doors waiting for you to open.


  1. What are your reasons for wanting recovery?
  2. Why do you stay with your recovery work?
  3. What doors can you see that you want to open for a more fulfilling life?
  4. Are you willing to bear the feelings that accompany your path?
  5. Are you willing to grow and become strong enough to bear those feelings?

Joanna Poppink, MFT

Los Angeles eating disorder recovery psychotherapist

author of Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder


*Door, 17860 Yeşilyurt, Çanakkale, TurkeyNevit Dilmen 2003. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this photo under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License,


One Response to “Why recover from BED? Why struggle to give up comfort?”
  1. Christine says:

    Thank you for this. I will be reading these words multiple times.

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