I was planning to write a post about the media, but it will have to wait until next week. First I want to backtrack a little, because I may not have been as clear as I could have been with my Ed post. Again, I have no problem with people describing what methods worked for them in recovery, especially if the information given can help others. In the case of giving a separate identity called Ed to eating disorders, my concern is that this may not resolve deeper issues. I agree that this technique might make identifying disordered thinking easier, but it misses the mark in terms of getting into WHY WE CREATE these thoughts and sometimes follow through with unhealthy actions. It is my opinion that not addressing the underlying issues makes it difficult to truly move forward. If I hear a voice in my head that tells me I'm fat, and I tell myself, "Oh that's Ed," like it's some foreign entity, does this really get to the bottom of why those thoughts are coming up for me? If, instead, I ask myself why I am creating these thoughts, it's easier to stop them by getting to the bottom of it. Am I stressed out; recalling old situations that no longer apply; feeling out of control, unhappy, lonely, tired or angry? Once I identify the emotion or feeling behind the thought or thought patterns, it's more likely that the unhealthy self judgement will dissipate or stop all together. I hope this makes sense, because a gimmick can only go so far.
Getting well takes work. There's no way around it. I wish it were easier, but I truly believe that the best way to get to the other side of an eating disorder is to first understand the illness, and then find as many tools as you can to help create your own path to recovery. This means taking what works for you and tossing the rest. In a sense there is no real right or wrong in recovery, but there are certain approaches that, throughout history, seem to get better results. I tend to follow Diane Israel's suggestions when it comes to getting healthy. There are four key components that seem to work well for most people who are struggling with addiction. The first step is to reclaim or identify the self. Healing or addressing past trauma and family issues is the next step. Finding community support locally or online follows, and finally giving back through charity or service to others is the last step. Of course, these steps don't have to be taken in any particular order. One need not be completely well in order to give back, but it's important to be in a healthy place in order to have the energy to do so.
As always, take what anyone says with a fist full of salt. Be open minded when it comes to taking in information, but use only what resonates and makes sense.