bandaidsmallWhat I learned from fracturing a bone in my foot, it takes time to mend. However, healing emotional scars and wounds can take time to mend too. They are harder to see because they are invisible and internal, which makes them easier to ignore or deny altogether. The hardest part of coping with emotional pain, is facing it. When you don’t face it, things can go array.

When I was running away from my emotional pain, I became numb. I “stuffed” my feelings and emotions into a deep dark hole. I found artificial, unhealthy solace in an eating disorder (E.D.) at the time. I became so numbed that death was knocking on my door. At the time, I didn’t know exactly what, but something had to change in my life. I didn’t want to die.

Change can involve the fear of the unknown. Change can be a step outside your “comfort-zone.” It takes insight knowing that what may have worked before is not working anymore. But what makes change so difficult? Why does it feel so uncomfortable at the time? Here are some of the thoughts and barriers that I faced:

  • Letting go of what is “familiar” can be scary. I could fail.
  • Why rock the boat? It’s easier to keep things the way they are.
  • I”m fearful that people may reject the “new” me.
  • I’m angry that I “have to” change.
  • Why can’t I stay the way I am?
  • It’s overwhelming when I think about all that it takes to “get better.”
  • I may lose people who might not be healthy for me.
  • Who am I without “E.D.?”
  • Last but not least, change can suck in the moment!
 The biggest part to realize with change is that the coping mechanisms we use to separate ourselves from all the suffering of emotional pain themselves become barriers to healing. Such can be true with an E.D. because you are blocking out the emotional pain by distracting with food and body image preoccupations. The biggest hurdle is stopping the cycle and realizing enough is enough. The first step to change is realization that what may “have worked” before is no longer working anymore. Once, you take that step, the healing process can begin.
About the author:
ArianeAriane Theriault is a registered nurse at a Boston Hospital in the cardiology field. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude for Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her favorite part of blogging for Walden is being able to help others and herself on her road to recovery from an eating disorder. She likes to give a fresh perspective on eating disorder related news in the media and on her own personal struggles, while relating them to others. In addition to writing for the Walden Blog, Ariane also writes her own blog Rest in Peace E.D., Hello Ariane. Her passions range from gardening, writing, and advancing her career. She enjoys spending her time with her partner, family, friends and her two cats, Jaguar and Binks.