Friday, December 11, 2009

Challenges/Triggers-Stepping Stones to Recovery?

The title may seem odd, but it fits with my stream of thought at the why not? Among my on line 'sisters', there has been a lot of talk about 'triggers'. Do you try to avoid them or remove them from your life? If you think about it, 'triggers' are simply people, situations, advertisements, or statements that may cause us to feel the urge to act out in an eating disordered way. They are all part of LIFE. Unless you want to avoid living, which for me, is exactly why I LOVE being recovered....I AM living, you have to learn to deal with 'triggers' and decrease the power they may have once had over you.
I see a big similarity between challenges in recovery and triggers in everyday life. In fact, can't you pretty much interchange those two words in my statement?
The challenges in recovery are many. It comes down to NOT hiding from your fears, and facing them, doing whatever is required to take that next step. Each time you don't back down, you take power from your fear and the eating disorder, which you can use to take once again, that next step forward. How is this similar to dealing with 'triggers'?
When faced with what usually triggers you to have a symptom or put yourself down, which then may lead to self-harm or a symptom, the test is to not react, but to act, in the opposite direction. Think about how you can use the knowledge of how this affects you to change how it affects you. I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. Once you have knowledge, if you choose not to use it, you have no excuse. Along with this, once you are aware of what may 'trigger' unhealthy thoughts or behaviors, you can use this awareness as power to resist those past responses. This is much like ammunition against the eating disorder, and for recovery. You get to decide how you will use this a stepping stone to recovery, or as a step back into the prison of the eating disorder.
Knowledge of what my trigger you may be what saves you. Not because you avoid it, but because you learn how to arm yourself and not allow it to control you. Avoiding would be just what was accomplished by the eating disorder. How well does that work?
As with recovery challenges, if you never challenge those rules you had/have about eating, would you ever be free? Would you ever be recovered? Why settle for partial recovery, with a 50% chance of relapse?


  1. i tink you an amazing insightful peson jan, i am currently trying to recover from an eatin disorde and i would be truly graeful to be in touch with you for support if possible thank you...wishing you health and hapiness

  2. Nicola...thank you for your kind words. I would be happy to offer you support in any way that I can. You may email me at, or find me on Facebook (Jan Lockert). Good luck on your recovery....I look forward to hearing from you!! Jan