Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.

- Welcome -

If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.

Recently "I" wrote me about her friend "C".  "C" is in her twenties and a brilliant athlete.  But "C" suffered from anorexia so severely that she required several hospitalizations.  She can't perform or even coach because it triggers her anorexia.  She has no family support. Quite the contrary. Her family rejected her because of her sexual orientation.

Once in a while she does perform, leaving the audience dazzled at the beauty and grace of her excellence. But her actions, despite their beauty, trigger her and she falls into emotional devastation.  What, asks, "I," as her friend, can I do or say?

My response is this:

"C" needs to rally her courage in order to honor her heart and soul.  That's the crux of it.  But this is an arduous and painful task.  She needs to develop herself as a woman so she can access her courage. She needs support and encouragement while, at the same time, her family punishes her for living her authentic life as best she can for now.

I say this because living a lesbian life is honoring her authenticity. Yet, by honoring her authenticity in this cultural climate, she has to deal with unkind and sometimes even violent prejudice.  Yet, I assume here, that she does have the support of her lesbian community.  That can give her an emotional home.  But this is partial.

Denying her soul that dances and sings in her body when she does her sport is a psychological tragedy. When she moves toward her beloved sport, where she is in harmony with herself - mind, body and soul - she triggers her eating disorder.  She needs to work with someone who understands triggers and how to learn and grow from them.  Otherwise she has to live a limited life avoiding triggers.

This is another tragedy because avoiding triggers only teaches her that she is helpless before them.  When that lesson is accepted then the person's psyche grows weaker and triggers becomes stronger and show up more in her life.

It's a sad but real fact that when the fundamental issues that plague her are unaddressed she doesn't plateau where she is.  She, and we all, get better or we get worse.  We don't stay the same.

You, "I," did not create her predicament.  But somehow she touches your heart and somehow she cares about you and trusts you.  Perhaps you can help her find the treatment she needs.


By all means write again.


warm regards,



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