If you are familiar with articles, blogs and books about eating disorder recovery you have noticed a common theme that runs through many. People with eating disorders suffer from low self-esteem.
Can you recover from an eating disorder if you have low self-esteem? What does self-esteem have to do with eating or starving?
If you have low self worth then behaving as if you have self worth can be mystifying. Plus, you won't understand how low self-esteem influences your responses, reactions, behaviors and thus your relationships. You might get low self-esteem mixed up with pride or arrogance or control. You might even get it mixed up with a sense of entitlement that gives you permission to dismiss, neglect, punish or hurt other people or to demand special treatment.
A person with a solid sense of self worth can lose an argument and learn from it. She can honor her values and defer to another person's choice. She can be attacked without feeling she is wrong or lacks value.
She can meet criticism with interest and questions or not engage with them rather than feel diminished. She can be confronted with someone else's anger, fear or grief with care and calm.
She can be refused something without doubting her self worth: e.g. She doesn't get the job afte rher interview. She doesn't get a loan from a friend or family member. She doesn't get accepted into a school or training program after applying. She understands that for reasons she may or may not know, she did not meet necessary qualifications or the entity that refused her is unable to grant her request.
If she's not qualified she uses the rejection to spur her on to more education, training, practice until she is qualified. If the source of her rejection is unable to say yes, she learns to qualify the people she asks in order to be sure she is not wasting her time.
She can feel and show compassion without being pulled into an other's emotions or have a drastic reaction of her own.
So, building your self-esteem gives your a sturdy center you can rely on rather than reach for your eating disorder behaviors.
These responses and behaviors come naturally to a person with healthy self-esteem. Without it you quake at your very center and reach for your eating disorder for support. Buildikng self-esteem frees you of your eating disorder behaviors You can improve the quality of your life and relationshps by bringing new ideas, new experiences and more understanding of yourself and others into your normal day. Self-esteem really is a big deal.
In the following articles, which self-esteem building practices which can you choose for your life right now?
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Los Angeles psychotherapist, speaker, author.
Self-esteem building practices: urls