Eating Disorders and Emotions: Inside Out

Eating Disorders and Emotions: Inside Out

If you haven’t seen the movie Inside Out, or you want a chance to see it again and discuss its incredible message, please join us at Positive Pathways for Movie Night on December 11th from 6-8pm! (more details at the end of this post) Movies can be a great way to add context to things that we are going through – like eating disorders and emotions. The journeys of characters can help us gain different perspectives on our situations. To illustrate how we can navigate through the complexities of eating disorders and emotions, the movie Inside Out by Disney’s Pixar offers a wonderful roadmap. Inside Out is a great story about a young girl and an emotional journey. It combines elements of the hero’s journey with important emotional truths about the human experience. For those struggling with eating disorders and emotions, this movie can be a great analogy for the interplay of our primary emotions, and how to allow our emotions to come into balance. All of our emotions have a purpose, and while some may be uncomfortable, it is learning how to feel all of our feelings that complete recovery from eating disorders is possible. Without giving too much of the storyline away, Inside Out shows how we need all of our emotions, and that when we favor one, it can squelch important experiences. The main character, Riley, is shown in her stages of developing memories and personality. One of her dominant emotions strives to keep in control of all experiences in order to make Riley happy. Putting on a happy face even when we are feeling sad or angry or...
Eating Disorder Support Groups

Eating Disorder Support Groups

I remember what it was like when I was struggling with eating disorders – I tried to hide my eating disorder behaviors from others, I justified my actions if I was confronted, and I denied that I had a problem. I felt ashamed about my eating disorder behaviors, confused because I couldn’t control them, and afraid to ask for help. To cover up all of those uncomfortable feelings, I turned to my eating disorder even more. Can you relate? Eventually, I had a moment of honesty with myself – I admitted that I had an eating disorder, and that I needed help. I had a friend who was in school to be a social worker, and I contacted her to see if she had any resources for me. She told me about eating disorder support groups in my area, and suggested that I start there. What?!? Walk into a room full of people I don’t know, with the label eating disorder stuck to me? My friend explained that other people at eating disorder support groups probably felt the same way when they went to their first meeting. She added that although I might not know anyone, that we would all share a similar experience – and that I would quickly feel understood and connected with others. Really? There are other people like me? I won’t have to feel so alone any more? I contacted the facility where the eating disorder support groups were held, to get some additional information, and to ease my worry about what to expect. I learned that there were usually 4-6 people at the eating disorder support groups, and that the groups were led by...