Binge eating treatment is so much more than attending a program and making changes to our eating habits — it’s about expanding our support system, letting others in, accepting love, and allowing for true, reciprocal relationships.
Last Friday, my beloved grandmother passed away. She was a beautiful, formidable, fabulous woman who challenged me, supported me and loved me fiercely. She was a huge contributor to the woman that I am today – teaching me to be brave and true to myself.
Needless to say, my last week has been filled with tears, grief, and reflections. Death puts life into perspective very quickly – what is important and what is … noise. As they are saying these days, I’m having all the feels.
One of my dear friends says it best, “Life gets lifey.” Ain’t that the truth. Through all of this, I’ve been so taken and amazed by the power of love and of my community.
Back in my sicker days before binge eating treatment, I was the “It’s-no-big-deal”, “I’m fine”, “I’ve got it” kind of girl. No matter the crisis, no matter the issue, to ask for help, to connect, to share my pain with others was a non-starter. Vulnerability? No thank you, I’m fine. Real connections with others? Um, I’ll pass. While I could show up for people, taking help and support was something I really struggled with. Unknowingly, that left me isolated, lonely, and HUNGRY.
When you’re without support, cookies, ice cream, cake, and pizza can trick you into believing that they can take you through these hard feelings. And we all know that while that feels true at the time, when we’re using food as a coping skill, we are usually left feeling worse and more lonely than when we started.
On my journey of binge eating treatment, I’ve found that my connections with others – my community and tribe – are the skill and the gift that keeps giving. And you know you agrees with me? Science. This article says so perfectly, “Our need to connect is as fundamental as our need for food and water.” And if you’re struggling with food and weight issues, your need to connect may be MORE fundamental than your need for food and water.
My take-away from my week of grieving and sadness is this: Community matters. Connection is imperative. Being seen by others is a necessity. What’s carried me through this week, when “comfort food” and checking out of life are not skills that my recovery allows, are the relationships and love that I have cultivated in my life. I’ve taken the calls from my friends. I’ve answered honestly when they’ve asked me how I am. I’ve inhaled their love and support. I’ve let them come over and take care of me. I’ve taken them up on their offers to give me a little extra TLC and support.
And, by the way, as a person who is pretty hard wired to live in the “I’m-fine-I-got-this-it’s-no-
big-deal,” this has taken a wholllllleeeee lot of skill. Yet, it’s the kind of skill that has been worth the risk and investment. It’s TRULY a skill that gives infinitely.
I encourage you today to think about who is in your Power Circle – your community. Who do you have to turn to when life gets lifey? Does your community need an upgrade? An add on? There’s lots of love and connection to be had in this world – and, Buddy, you are worth loving and connecting to.