There is something thrilling about learning to surf – conquering those waves. I only wish that in reality I was a better surfer. Thankfully, there are other ways of learning to surf that may be more attainable and equally as thrilling.
I am reminded of a quote by John Kabat-Zinn, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” More than once, I have heard eating disordered thoughts be described as an onslaught of emotional waves and shower of thoughts that may feel uncontrollable. They are described as deafening and maybe even chaotic.
The challenge with eating disorder thoughts is that simply wishing them away may not achieve the desired result. Even with extensive therapy, some eating disorder thoughts may remain for a lifetime.
So, most of my clients learn to surf these thoughts and emotions in the course of therapy through coping strategies like journaling, thought catalogs and emotion logs, recognition of irrational thinking, and nurturing the ability to “catch and release” these thoughts.
Mostly my clients are ready to kick their eating disorder to the curb through sheer will power and the motivation to work therapeutically. Even if learning to surf was never on their bucket list, they learn to surf in their mind’s eye. How will you learn to surf?