by Dr. Gia Marson
Most of us love to share fun times, joys and pleasures with the people we hold most dear. Those euphoric moments can bond us together and create happy memories.
"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed” -Khalil Gibran
But what do you do when life feels burdensome? What happens when you are stuck in eating disorder behaviors? Do you isolate yourself? Do you enter into a shame spiral? Do you put on a mask and wait until you feel better or stronger to authentically show up with your friends? If so, I hope you’ll try reaching out, without self-judgment instead. With one friend, you might be somewhat vague and say you are having a tough day without going into details. With another, you might share specifics about your mood or eating disorder behaviors. Regardless of how open you choose to be, reach out. Allow a friend to be your warm landing. Let her or him be your bridge. Communicate the problem and what you need...a compelling distraction, a good cry, a hug, potential solutions, or simply listening? We need different types of supportive responses at different times. By not getting stuck in self-judgment, isolation and shame, you may surprise yourself and notice the psychological resilience that often emerges when you connect with someone honestly.
Brene Brown, Ph.D. said it well in a Ted Talk about shame: “I know it’s seductive to stand outside the arena, because I think I did it my whole life, and think to myself,I’m going to go in there and kick some ass when I’m bulletproof and when I’m perfect. And that is seductive. But the truth is that never happens. And even if you got as perfect as you could and as bulletproof as you could possibly muster when you got in there, that’s not what we want to see. We want you to go in. We want to be with you and across from you. And we just want, for ourselves and the people we care about and the people we work with, to dare greatly”. 1
While daily life can be very challenging at times --eating disorder recovery is an added, particularly bumpy road to travel. Let friends truly see you. Reach out for support. Begin to dare greatly.
Brown, Brene (2012). https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame