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

I remember exactly when and where it happened: a Saturday around 11:00 am and I was on Erin’s massage table. One minute I was relaxed, and the next minute fear and anxiety poured through my body as I experienced something that had not happened in a long while. It was hunger.

At first Ed jumped right in and told me to ignore it, that I was stronger than hunger and all I had to do was listen to him and he would make it go away. I gave him the floor to say all he had to say—and then I put a stop to it.

Ed was lying, and I told him so. I also told him I was not going to listen to him on this. Then I reframed his so-called logic and put it into language that made sense to me in terms of my recovery. I affirmed that hunger is a feeling that “normal” people experience every day and it did not mean I was bad or had done anything wrong. On the contrary, it meant I was doing something right: I was getting healthy.

I knew that hunger pains were going to become part of my every day life, because they would help me learn when and how much to eat. And I didn’t want to associate hunger with fear. So in order to quickly and decisively make hunger pains about recovery before Ed could creep in and try to take over, I decided to rename them “recovery nudges,” which is a positive, healthy twist on something that is scary for me to feel. In this way, I renamed my fear and took away its power.

Now, when a nudge comes along, I know it means that my body is functioning properly and communicating with me about what I need to do for it to heal. My body needs to experience recovery nudges in order to keep me strong, healthy, and on the path of recovery.

What fears are you faced with in your process of recovery? Write them down and then rename them so they have a positive spin. When a fear is replaced with a positive thought, it is not as scary and easier to get through. What might you come up with?

With health, hope and strength,