Skip to main content

THE 3 C's OF EATING DISORDER RECOVERY

THE 3C'S OF EATING DISORDER RECOVERY



No-one ever chooses to have an eating disorder; however, there are choices still available to you. For me, recovery is about empowering yourself, rather than empowering your eating disorder. The first stage of this empowerment involves separating your voice from the voice of Ed. Many of you will experience this via the internal argument that goes on between your voice and the voice of Ed.

The internal dialogue between you ('I want to eat regularly and get better so I get a job; have a family; finish my education; start a business; travel the work [insert your own goals]) and Ed ('If you don't eat that meal you will feel better about yourself; if you purge you will get rid of those horrible emotions; hey you, exercise 5 minutes more and don't be so lazy [insert what your eating disorder voice says to you]).

You have a choice of whether to listen to your voice or the voice of Ed. This is easier said than done; I know this from the 1000s of people I have worked with over the past 21 years and so I understand how difficult this is. However, I encourage my clients to chose to start listening to their own voice a little more each day. We work to made this voice a bit more 'real' and significant by writing down the thoughts, feelings, opinions, sentences etc that the client's voice expresses to them. Some people I have worked with have even got a dictaphone or used their phone and used their physical voice too by speaking into the dictaphone pr phone.

This gives 'realness' and physicality to their voice and, in so doing, their voice begins to become separate from that of Ed's. This helps to empower their voice and give it more strength and importance. Listening back to their voice on the dictaphone /phone has also helped those I have worked with see things differently. Things seem different when they hear them out aloud in their own voice. They can then challenge the eating disorder thoughts and behaviours that they have been engaging with for such a long time and that are ruining their life and putting their life at risk.


Following on from challenging the Ed voice and the eating disorder thoughts and behaviours that had become so entrenched, a gap opened in the vicious cycle. A little gap, yes, but a gap nonetheless: a space in which to experiment with change; to embark upon making changes, small changes that would further help me challenge Ed and empower me, thus weakening Ed. Change is difficult, scary, frightening, anxiety-provoking, dark, and often unknown, but change is like that for most people, not just those of us who have or have had eating disorders. So, please know that you are not alone in your apprehension towards change.

Change can be exciting and fun too and it doesn't have to be all the same time. The key is to take small, manageable, realistic steps. It isn't realistic to change everything just like that. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. Having an eating disorder becomes a way of life: you become locked in a cage; trapped in a bubble; ensnared in a spider's web.

No-one can just get out of it 'just like that'. It takes lots and lots of small, realistic steps over a long period of time. Steps and goals that you want to do, not that others want for you. Steps and goals that are small enough to manage and can realistically be done within a specified time (determined by you) but which are also challenging: not challenging in a way those they scare you off are provoke a huge amount of anxiety that become overwhelming and difficult to deal with; but producing enough anxiety that you become a little uncomfortable but not too uncomfortable that you can't actually take on and complete the goal or step.

A little anxiety is ok - it can actually motivate us to do things. Each small goal should be challenging but not so challenging that you become so frightened that you can't even think about it. It makes lots of sense, doesn't it?

This works for me and I use it myself with lots of other things in my own life. My clients and I think of recovery as: Choice: Challenge: Change

Remember these three steps and you can empower yourself towards recovery. I call them The 3C's. Why not start working on your 3C's today? Empower yourself! Let your voice speak!
 
Best wishes,

Alexandra


(Alexandra Easton, 2014, 2022, Talking EDs: Eating Disorder Support Service Scotland)
 
www.eatingdisorderscotland.co.uk
support@eatingdisorderscotland.co.uk
 

 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

VACANCY: AFFILIATE THERAPIST/COUNSELLOR FOR GLASGOW ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION COUNSELLING SERVICE

Experienced Counsellor/Psychotherapist/Psychologist: Glasgow Anxiety and Depression Counselling Service (GADS) Please note this position may close at any time, therefore, early submission of your application is highly encouraged. The GADS team is growing and we are experiencing an increased demand for our services. We are looking to recruit another suitably qualified and experienced psychotherpist, counsellor, CBT therapist or psychologist to join the team to provide psychotherapy, counselling, support and therapy sessions to clients. This is based in our offices in Glasgow city centre (in-person appointments), although there is the opportunity to see see some clients online and at other times. This role is NOT suitable for newly qualified practitioners (1-3 years). We are looking for experienced practitioners. We are looking to see a minimum of 5-6 clients per week (although other work will be available here and at our other should you want extra clients ). We do all the adm

COUNSELLOR/THERAPIST/PSYCHOLOGIST WANTED FOR GLASGOW ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION COUNSELLING SERVICE

  Experienced Counsellor/Psychotherapist/Psychologist: Glasgow Anxiety and Depression Counselling Service (GADS) Please note this position may close at any time, therefore, early submission of your application is highly encouraged. The GADS team is growing and we are experiencing an increased demand for our services. We are looking to recruit another suitably qualified and experienced psychotherapist, counsellor, CBT therapist or psychologist to join the team to provide psychotherapy, counselling, support and therapy sessions to clients. This is based in our offices in Glasgow city centre (in-person appointments). This role is NOT suitable for newly qualified practitioners (1-3 years). We are looking for experienced practitioners. You will be required to see a minimum of 5 clients per week. You will see clients at our offices in Glasgow city centre We are looking for someone to see our clients for one of the available clinic times below. We request that Affiliates commit to see

CBT Therapist: Adult Eating Disorders (Vacancy)

CBT Therapist: Adult Eating Disorders    You will see clients at our offices in Glasgow city centre Talking EDs: Eating Disorders Support Service Scotland seek to recruit a suitable CBT Therapist to join our friendly, supportive team of psychotherapists, counsellors, mental health practitioners and dieticians. We are currently a team of 14. We are looking for an Affiliate CBT Therapist: Adult Eating Disorders to provide in-person therapy and counselling appointments at our offices in Glasgow city centre. This role is not suitable for newly qualified therapists (0-3 years) or those with little or no experience or training in eating disorders and disordered eating. We are looking for someone to see our clients for one of the available clinic times below. We request that Affiliates commit to seeing a t least 5 clients per week during one of the clinics below. Other work will be available here and at our other non-eating disorder practices, should you want extra clients. We