(A chapter from Telling Ed No! by Cheryl Kerrigan©)

During one of my sessions with my therapist, Bob, he suggested that I make a list of pros and cons to compare what both Ed and recovery had to offer. Then I could make decisions about what to do based on that information. He said he was confident that recovery would come out on top.

So, I sat down one day with paper and pen and made a list with two columns: Ed versus recovery. In one column I wrote down the things Ed offered me: loneliness, lies, isolation, bad body image, depression, manipulation, judgment, rules, a false sense of security, and other similar negatives. In the other column I wrote down the things that were the result of recovery: freedom, strength, energy, dreams, self-acceptance, life, choices, confidence, the love of food, and other wonderful possibilities.

It was hard to get started, but after a while, the ideas just flowed. I was amazed. Recovery held many more positive things than Ed did. Even though he was a master at convincing me (and I did believe what he said) that he also had positive things to offer like comfort, safety, predictability, security, and control, I had to look through the eyes of recovery—and not the camouflaged vision of Ed—to see what I was truly missing. This list was a powerful visual, the reality of which I could see and experience. I kept it handy, referring and adding to it often.

To help you visualize what Ed and recovery give to you, arm yourself with paper and pen and write out your pros and cons list. Be honest and open. You will soon see the power and possibilities that recovery can offer.

With health, hope and strength,