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What does losing my dogs have to do with eating disorder recovery?


My dog Buster in 2013

Don't let your despair win.

When you're in the depths of despair you might feel there's no hope, no-one can help, what's the point? Well that's not true – it's just your despair talking.

If you've reached that level of despair you need to trust people and ask for help because you just can't do it alone. And you'll always find there are people you can trust who are willing and able to help you.

There was a time a couple of years ago when I was in the depths of despair…

I'm a dog person. I had two dogs at the time that I loved dearly, a dachshund and a golden retriever. Sometimes I even brought them into the office to help with my work as therapy dogs.

So you can imagine my distress the day the lawn mowing guys accidentally left my gate open and the dogs escaped into the street during rush hour. I didn't even notice they were gone for 45 minutes because I was seeing a patient.

I was distraught. I searched and searched – no sign of them anywhere. I was frantic. After several hours of searching I pulled up to a local park and started calling their names (it looked like a place I'd like to play if I was a dog!)

A guy playing Frisbee called out to me "Are you looking for a dachshund?"

Yes! I certainly was.

Turns out a lady had found a dachshund, with a golden retriever, about half an hour earlier. But he didn't have her name or number.

Where was she now? Where were my dogs? Some kind-hearted person had them and was probably looking for me but I had no idea how to find her.

Hope dashed. Despair overwhelmed me.

Then a wonderful thing happened. Several people walking their dogs in the park came over and started asking about the situation. They reassured me they all knew each other and they would help me find that lady and my dogs. They all took my name and number and started to spread the word.

I went home - there wasn't anything else I could do at that point. But I was worried, despairing of ever seeing my pups again. All I could do was trust the strangers in the park.

The next morning the phone rang! "Are you the woman who's missing a dachshund and a golden retriever?"

Yes! She had my dogs, and they were just fine. I was quickly reunited with the animals and gave the woman a big hug.

But I never would have found them if I hadn't been willing to ask for help from all the kind people in the park. If I hadn't trusted those people to be able to help me they wouldn't have been able to give that lady my number. If I'd just sunk into my despair and given up on my dogs I may never have seen them again.

So, even if you're in the depths of despair with your eating disorder, whether it be anorexia, bulimia, compulsive exercising, or emotional eating, you need to trust others and ask for help. There are people who are willing and able to help you – you only have to muster the courage to reach out and ask for that help.

At The Body Image Counseling Center, you will find the right people to help and support you.

Trust takes time to build, and we know that. Remember you can always take us up on our offer of a free 15 minute consult to speak with me in person and get a good feel for who we are before you schedule your first appointment. Don't try to recover alone, don't let your despair win – you only need to trust people and ask for help.

Hope to hear from you soon .

Lori

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