Identify your values: Create your destiny
This blog is dedicated to Sarah K.
As many of you know, I recovered from anorexia, bulimia, and exercise addiction. My path was a long and arduous one. At times it was terrifying and felt impossible. And at other times it was invigorating and purely enlightening.
For those in recovery I salute you. Please know that you are strong, resilient, and brave. Recovery from an eating disorder is one of the most courageous fights of your life. Deep down you know you deserve more and then the eating disorder voice shouts in your face that you don’t.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment that I am comprehensively trained in as a therapist and something that I used in my treatment and often use in my personal life. Broken down into four modules (core-mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance), DBT offer concrete skills to use in your life.
For me, my eating disorder was my best friend- my confidant. It was who I turned to when I was sad, lonely, and anxious. So, it was vital that as part of my recovery, I focus on building a value-based life -to find meaning and passion in my life- to find an enthusiastic path- to find ways I can grow without the eating disorder.
This leads me to the DBT skill of “Accumulating positive emotions in the long-term.” Adding these emotions helps us to reduce our vulnerability to emotion mind. And emotion mind is when we are controlled by our feelings, which may lead to eating disordered behaviors and/or making the current situation worse.
Here are the steps:
- Identify the values and priorities that are important to you in your life right now
- Pick one value
- Identify goals that relate to this value
- Pick one goal
- Identify a list of action steps
- Take one action step
- Avoid avoiding!
- Values that are important to me is education, family, and integrity.
- Learn something new, increase my knowledge in psychotherapy topics, finish my memoir
- To increase my knowledge in the field of psychotherapy
- Read books, take online courses, engage in supervision
- Take an online training course on Internal family systems
- Sign up! Start the course!
You are enough. You deserve recovery. Please follow my blog at recoveryfromanorexia.com or reach out to me on my website meredithobrienlcsw.com for eating disorder resources and guidance.