AN ADDICTIONS PERSPECTIVE ON EATING DISORDERS

The blog is intended to share some of the research and collective experiences of those of us who have come to recognize anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, food addiction, compulsive overeating as variants of the same "tyrant"-namely addiction. Equally important is defining the solution once we've come to recognize the real problem.

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"Green with Envy or Is the Grass Really Greener"

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Although certainly not limited to those who harbor an addiction, the familiar saying, "the grass is always greener" is a perfect fit for the addict within us. After all, nothing is ever good enough, is enough, or satisfies our "hunger" for more. Nowhere is this more prominent than for those of us who have suffered with any one of the "flavors" of disordered eating [aka food addiction].

So, if we were to pick out one of the seven deadly sins, which one would we be referring to with our habitual comparisons? I'd venture to say - Envy. We have been know to be a competitive lot, comparing what we have, what we think we look like, and who we think we are in relation to just about everyone. With an eating disorder, this usually comes down to "am I as thin as," "Am I thinner than," "Do I look better or worse than," younger or older than"...well you get the idea. With an eating disorder, this is not just a passing thought but rather a constant obsession.

One of the basic tenets of good recovery, and a product I might add, of those that have worked the steps in recovery, is learning to identify with our fellows' feelings and not get seduced into comparisons. Translation: "The grass isn't always greener." Think about it. Some of the most insecure and miserable people on the planet are those whose lives and living are a product of how they look. Yet we constantly tell ourselves that we would be, or will be, happy, when we [fill in the blank]. For those with an eating disorder, it's usually either a number on the bathroom scale, a dress size, or being able to literally have our cake and eat it without consequence.

Perhaps one of the most valuable gifts in recovery is to be truly grateful for what we have and lose our compulsion for "more." Getting to this point may take some work. Staying in that space may take even more vigilance. However, those who find a reprieve from the absolute horrific tyranny of an eating disorder, seem to have in common an appreciation for who they are and not who they think they should be like. To be sure, recovery is worth the price of admission.

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Licensed psychologist and an active participant within the recovering community, living in South Florida with my wife, Michele, two daughters,Janelle and Danielle, and our dog [Golden-Doodle] Reggie for the past 25 years. Founder and executive director at Milestones In Recovery, a residential and outpatient program treating eating disorders.


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