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Why You Don’t Want Your Eating Disorder to Magically Disappear

November 16, 2016 Z Zoccolante

You don’t want your eating disorder to magically disappear. You may be thinking, “Um, yeah I do,” but hear me out. In counseling, there’s something known as the “miracle question.” Often it sounds like, “If you woke up tomorrow and you no longer had your problem, how would you be different? How would your life be different? How would your future be different?” The process is supposed to get you to think about, envision, and even feel what your life might be like if your problem were gone. But here’s why you don’t want your eating disorder to magically disappear.

The Hope of the Eating Disorder Magically Disappearing

Hope is a vital thing. Change can’t occur without hope. However, a trap to recovery can be wishing that the eating disorder would magically disappear. I speak from experience, wasting many years on this path, longing for the eating disorder to magically be gone so I could be normal again.

The inherent problem in this logic is that eating disorders don’t surface out of nowhere. There are reasons why eating disorders start and things need to be addressed in order for us to become healthy and whole.

The Flawed Logic of the Eating Disorder Magically Disappearing

You don’t want your eating disorder to magically disappear. You may be thinking, 'Um, yeah I do,' but hear me out and you'll see why. Read this.

Let’s think about it in story form. Take Jane, with an eating disorder. Let’s pretend that Jane’s standing in front a labyrinth, which represents her eating disorder journey. Let’s pretend I’m a giant and I can see the other end of the labyrinth. I don’t want Jane to suffer, so with my powers, I pick her up and place her at the other end of the labyrinth, where she’s magically recovered.

Sure, this might sound wonderful but Jane has avoided the entire journey of the labyrinth. It’s in the labyrinth that Jane will face the things that allow her to grow. She will face monsters. She will face dead ends and trapdoors. She will find allies.

She will develop courage and show her bravery. She will learn new coping skills (Three Safe Coping Skills in Eating Disorder Recovery). She will learn love and forgiveness. All these things and more are learned during the process of her traversing the labyrinth.

You Don’t Want the Eating Disorder to Magically Disappear

If Jane magically recovered without the lessons and tools she learned along this journey, she won’t be able to face her life. When she faces conflict or stress she’s going to return back to her favorite coping skill – the eating disorder (Using Coping Skills In Eating Disorder Recovery)

It’s a fantasy dream, of having the eating disorder disappear, but the beautiful part of recovery is that it is work. It’s not always easy. It’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s a battle (Recovering From Your Eating Disorder When You Want to Quit). It takes bravery and willingness to move into scary, unknown lands, to take paths along the labyrinth that we’ve never seen before not knowing where they’ll lead.

The labyrinth is where we grow. The labyrinth is where we find our freedom. The labyrinth is good. It’s okay to realize this, even in retrospect, as we smile over our shoulders.

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APA Reference
Zoccolante, Z. (2016, November 16). Why You Don’t Want Your Eating Disorder to Magically Disappear, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2016/11/why-you-dont-want-your-eating-disorder-to-magically-disappear



Author: Z Zoccolante

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