Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Loving the Binger/ Loving the Starver

Most the time I post homework that can benefit anyone. I really believe these exercises can help us learn more about ourselves and learn to love ourselves and treat ourselves better, which will help us live better lives. I hope if you have teenagers you send them to my blog once a week to participate in these exercises and I hope you do them as well. Most of the exercises I post I did myself years back, and I feel they were a major part of my healing.

The exercise assignment this week does focus more on those of us who have had or do have eating disorders.
I love watching people learn that the treatment for someone who is an addictive/ binge eater is the same treatment you use for someone who starves them self. It proves that it is not about food, but about an underlining issue causing the behaviors. So this exercise is for the binger or the starver- same homework.

(This is from "Some Body to Love" by Leslea Newman)
Close your eyes and imagine yourself after a binge. It can be a binge you had yesterday or thirty years ago. If you do not binge, imagine yourself after a day of self-starvation. How do you feel physically? Emotionally? What do you want? What do you need?
Now picture yourself as you are today, comforting the you that just binged or starved. Tell her it's alright. In fact, thank her for what she just did. She took care of herself the best way she knew how, at that moment. She was trying to protect you from some feelings that she thought were too painful for you to experience at that moment in time. She was doing the very best that she could.
Write this part of you a love letter, telling her how much you appreciate the ways she tried to protect you and take care of you. Write for twenty minutes without stopping.

After Writing:
Read this letter out loud to yourself in front of the mirror, making eye contact with your reflection. How does it feel to hear these words out loud? Were you really able to appreciate your "binger" or your "starver" ? Could you feel compassion for her? Could you love her? Or did you feel angry at her and want to punish her? Di you judge her? Are you willing to be friends with her?

(There is more discussion that follows in her book.)

One thing she says during the discussion part of this exercise really hit me and was interesting to me it says: "I don't think you will be able to let go of this part of yourself until you fully accept her and even love her. She was very creative and resourceful to think of a way to cope with your particular painful situation. She thought of bingeing or bingeing and purging, or starving, all by herself, as a way to keep you safe."

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