Exposure Therapy

For many people a picture like this of delicious food depicts a happy occasion and a relaxing time…

To me, a picture like this depicts hard work, pain and my version of exposure therapy!

Most people who first learn that restrictive eating disorder treatment entails having to rest a lot and eat a lot of good food tend to chuckle to themselves as they would find a therapeutic approach such as this a little slice of heaven!

Of course to those of us genuinely in an eating disorder, this route to recovery which we have to face if we ever want to be well is a form of torture.

The pictures like this could so easily give a false impression.

Yes, the delicious cake, pizza, restaurant meal or whatever it is was eaten but were there fully relaxed happy smiles attached?
Maybe… but probably not entirely!

These pictures from eating disorder recovery are undoubtedly hiding a person experiencing intense anxiety before, during or after the eats.

The consumption of the food likely came with painful deliberations beforehand, with shaking terror during and with tears after.

Mind games and ED negotiations probably took up more mental energy in the person behind the camera than anyone could know.

So, for me and many like me… these eating disorder recovery photos might look like recovery is rainbows, deliciousness and happy occasions but actually no.

These photos depict very necessary treatment with intense and painful side effects, but treatment we must endure so that finally, one day, images like this will portray just pleasure for us too, not pain.

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