Eating Disorders

Guest blog: What To Do When Your Boat Has A Hole In It

November 2, 2016

Self-Paced Course: Non-Diet Academy


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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

Meet Katy

When we are dealing with struggle in our lives, it can be hard to function. The struggle could be anything, and with any struggle, inevitably there is some amount of pain that accompanies it. When we are struggling, and when we are in pain, we look for a way to cope. This is the natural progression, but we can't simply cope with pain and struggle indefinitely. We have to find a way to heal.

Let's try to use this analogy to think through this topic.

You are in a boat on the ocean. For the most part the waves are gentle and carry the boat along without issue. Once in a while, an angry wave comes along and crashes in to the side of the boat. One day one of these waves hits so hard that it actually knocks a hole in the side of your boat.

Damaged, your boat starts to take on water. Panic sets in and you remember that this is your boat. It's damaged, and it's up to you to save it. For a while you stay afloat by scooping water out of the boat with a bucket. Eventually, you become exhausted from scooping out the water. You realize that you have to find a way to patch the hole. You understand the importance of patching the hole, but you realize that you have never done this before and will need help.

How can you get help? You are on the ocean and do not readily see anyone close enough to you to help. You search through the boat and find a flare. You aim the flare in to the sky and fire. Then along comes another boat with an entire crew on board. This boat, and the people on it, are fully prepared to assist you in repairing the hole in the side of your boat. They have repaired holes before in a lot of boats and they have even repaired holes in their own boat. The crew needs your help in the process of repairing the hole and after awhile the hole is fixed and the boat and crew sails away.

Now, your boat is not in danger of sinking, but your boat will also never be the same as it was before the wave crashed in to the side of it either. You will always know where the hole was and will need to be cautious of it. There will be some amount of maintenance required to this area throughout your journey and you will need to find a way to keep the waves from crashing in to it. You will need to learn how to protect it.

This analogy is just one way to think about the process of healing. Whatever way you choose to think of the process, what is key is that you recognize that everyone needs help to heal. More importantly, you need to recognize that asking for help is okay. Coping can’t be sustained indefinitely. When we are struggling and when we are in pain, we have to find a way to heal.

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