When I started working as a case manager for an eating disorder recovery center, I was so thrilled because I believed I was going to finally understand eating disorders. I was convinced that I would learn enough to further me on my own healing journey AND help others to do the same. Turns out, I DID learn a lot from an amazing team of experts and of course, the patients themselves. I also learned some things that were unexpected.
Control, Control and more Control
One thing that I observed very quickly as I began my new job, was how cut off from the world the patients in this center were. At first, it made a lot of sense to me. I mean, we can’t be distracted by the world when we are doing something as important as trying to heal from a life-threatening disease, right? No phone. No internet. No TV. Extremely limited communication with family. No trips to the bathroom alone. No food unless scheduled and prepared for you. Nurses, techs, and more keeping their eyes on you to keep you from slipping up. Great right? Or not.
EDIT™ - ED or Intuitive Therapist?
If you understand that the root of eating disorders is the need for control, it might make you second guess a treatment center that takes any control you have away. How do we learn to trust our inner voice or guide when we are constantly being told what to do. According to Dr. Dorie McCubbery (creator of EDIT™) The “voice” of an eating disorder is made up of negative thoughts that are externally driven. “People will love me more if I lose weight.” These thoughts make up our “false self.” Overcoming an eating disorder requires learning how to tune into that internal voice of the “true self”, “I am lovable no matter my size.” Is this possible to do when your choices are so limited?
Part II continued Next week...