“There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen to write.” -William Makepeace Thacary.
Writing can be an effective coping tool when in distress or when bored. Put some music on, prepare a cup of tea, and get to writing. Writing can provide distraction, reflection, emotional release, and increased motivation, hope, understanding and perspective. Here are some writing prompts to help you move towards recovery from an eating disorder.
What job does the eating disorder have in your life? What is it’s function and purpose. What role does it have and play in your life?
What is the eating disorder protecting you from? What is the eating disorder afraid would happen if it didn’t do it’s job?
Write a good bye letter to your eating disorder. You can incorporate things about the eating disorder that you have liked, enjoyed, respected (e.g., a sense of control, relief, distraction, etc.) and list negative things about the eating disorder.
Write your vision of recovery. What would a day in the life without the eating disorder look like? What are your goals for recovery? What is your plan for achieving them?
What if today were your last day of engaging in eating disorder behaviors? What if the last time you used behaviors was really the last time?
Make a pros and cons list about keeping the eating disorder and letting go of the eating disorder. Ask yourself about the things that the eating disorder has provided and what it has taken away (be honest about this). The pros and cons of having it and the pros and cons of letting it go.
Write down the eating disorder thoughts vs. your Soul Self thoughts. Your soul self is the energy you feel flowing through you characterized by calm, confidence, courage, perspective, curiosity, joy, open heart and mindedness, compassion, clarity, connection, and creativity. Eating disorder thoughts are often critical, intrusive, pressured, judgmental, distorted, and destructive. For example, an eating disorder thought might be that “If I gain weight, no one will like me.” The truth is that our connections to people are not determined by our weight. An eating disorder thought might be “If I eat, it means I have no will power and I am a bad person.” The truth is hunger cues and listening to them are essential to our survival- we need to eat to survive, function, and thrive.
“Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.” -Mina Murray, Dracula.