Thursday, May 30, 2013

Anger a key part of recovery?

Sometimes, things become readily apparent when maybe they were not as clear before. All along, I have known it is likely very important for those with eating disorders to become angry at their disorder. I don't think I realized until tonight, however, how vital it might be to recovery.

Thursday night is group night. And through many twists and turns, tonight focused on anger. Anger at many things, and perhaps even more important, the struggles these women have with expressing anger. Oh, they feel it; that I don't doubt. But, they struggle to express it, feel comfortable with it, have it be okay. What stood out to me is while trying to get one member to realize that perhaps anger is important in her recovery, another group member provided an example of how the "healthy voice" and "ED voice" might communicate based on whether or not the healthy voice was angry at the ED. So, in the first situation, there was no anger, and the healthy voice was asked to identify what it would say to the ED.

She threw her arms open wide and said something along the lines of, "Come on in!" in a cheerful, welcoming voice.

Then, she was instructed that she, the healthy voice, was mad at the ED. And, I will confess, I don't remember exactly what she said, but I do remember the motion of her hand represented a WWE beat down. I think she might have said something like, "Get out of my house!"

I don't know if the message sunk in, but it sure did to me. It made it even more clear to me how important anger at the ED is if one wants to get better. After all, if you aren't angry at what it has taken from you, what is there to fight?

So, whether it's an ED, or any other negative force in your life, are you opening your arms wide and welcoming it in? Or are you preparing for a (figurative) beat down?

What makes you angry with your eating disorder?

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