here is the last instalment of my conversation with joanna poppink. this is part of a series of interviews about different topics in eating disorders.
originally, i was going to tack the answer to my last question on to the second part of the interview. however, i realized that the answer to this question is applicable to a much wider range of audience than “just” people with eating disorders, so i decided it deserved its own entry. here it is.
isabella: in your replies, you have often used the term “recovery”. what is your definition of recovery?
joanna: recovery is a noun that describes a continuing process. to start recovery is to start a journey.
to be on that journey is to be on your path to health and emotional and intellectual
development. the path leads to your true self, to your inner resources of courage, creativity, self respect, strength and ability to be committed and dedicated.
recovery from bulimia or anorexia or binge eating or compulsive eating is not just about making peace with food and developing healthy eating habits. recovery is not just about developing or forcing yourself into living with a realistic sense of your body.
recovery involves living a balanced life. it means feeling all you can feel and digesting your feelings so they inform and enrich your entire personhood. they don’t spill out for others to take care of. they don’t create such distress that you need to use food or drugs or sex or shopping or high drama or manipulations or dissociation to get relief.
recovery is about being real in the real world. it is about having the ability to live, cope, adapt, work, love, play in freedom. it means being responsible for yourself and your actions. it means respecting and honoring boundaries so you can truly take care of yourself while respecting and being in relationship with others.
it means more serenity, joy and smiles in your life. and it means being able to eat and enjoy food in freedom.
recovery is an endless journey where life continues to get better as you go.
image by tarzan