Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why I Don't Believe In Recovery

Recently, someone came to my support group for the first time and shared  about his problems with binge eating.  And then he said something that I hear a lot - but no matter how often people say this, I'm always stunned:

He said he he knew he'd be dealing with bingeing for the rest of his life and that it would always be with him in some form. 

And did I mention he was in his mid-20s?  Yikes.

I'm sure I looked openly taken aback.  I said, "Oh, really?"

He nodded.  "Recovery means that you're always dealing with the problem.  Like, forever."

I said, skeptically, "Oh, really?"

At that point he asked if I believe in recovery.

I shook my head.  "No, I absolutely do not believe in recovery."

The whole group looked at me in shock.  This was not what they were expecting to hear.  
That's when I clarified:

"I don't believe in recovery.  I do believe in liberation.  

No matter what your eating issues are, you can completely change your relationship to food and to yourself.  I know this from personal and professional experience.

If you're familiar with my work, you probably know my thoughts on the importance of language.  The way you speak to - and about - yourself affects the way you feel, which impacts your behavior.   

Changing your language can change your life.  

So to me, you recover from the flu.   You recover from a bad break-up.   You recover from a financial setback.

You don't say, "I'm in recovery from depression."  You might explain you were depressed and now you feel better.

You're not "in recovery" from anxiety.  You describe that you were anxious and not you're not, or you're less anxious.     

You don't recover from eating problems.  You liberate yourself.

Liberation means freedom.  It means freedom from counting calories.  Freedom from the idea that you're good if you eat healthy foods and bad if you don't.  Freedom from negative self-talk.  

Freedom from thinking about this stuff All The Time.  

When you identify what's going on in your head and your heart, when you express your needs, wants, emotions, and conflicts, when you change your relationship to yourself and others, you don't need food to numb, distract or express difficult or painful emotions, conflicts, and wishes.  

That's how you liberate yourself from the dictatorship of food and win the diet war.  And then lunch becomes lunch, and not a battlefield.

In the last decade, I've helped many, many people liberate themselves from the tyranny of disordered eating.  They are free - and you can be, too.  

You CAN win the diet war and make peace with food.

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