Welcome to Mindfullness
A Community For Eating Disorder Recovery
Dr. Kristine Vazzano
The mission of Mindfullness is to assist individuals suffering from an eating disorder reach full recovery. Mindfullness offers online consultations, online community forums and educational training programs for community and professional groups. Dr. Vazzano offers individual, family, and group therapy as well as professional supervision at her private practice in Bloomfield Hills Michigan.
Time is running out to register for the Assessment & Integrated Treatment of Eating Disorders: Clinciain Training Series! The first session is scheduled for May 13 from 9-12 p.m.
Topics to be discussed include:
* New DSM criteria for Eating Disorder diagnosis
* Working with a treatment team
* Developing an integrated treatment plan
* Providing psychoeducation for clients
* Understanding resistance
Space is limited, contact Dr. Vazzano at email@example.com to register or learn more!
Current Blog Post
I am thrilled to share the following post from Kirsten Haglund Timberline Knolls, Community Relations Specialist Founder, The Kirsten Haglund Foundation, Miss America 2008. I hope her wisdom and insight into the recovery process is inspirational to many of you!
When I was a little girl, I loved to collect dandelions from the unmanicured, wild field in the middle of the cul-de-sac near my family’s house. They were bright and yellow, their petals were soft, and there were so many of them! I remember prancing eagerly through the grass, plucking up the lively little plants, making a bouquet to bring home to my mother.
Imagine my dismay when I learned that dandelions weren’t flowers – they were weeds! My little girl heart sank as I realized these plants that I thought were wild and beautiful were actually pesky growths that hurt and damaged other wildlife, hording water and nutrients, disturbing the order of otherwise carefully kept lawns and gardens. Weeds grow up, and are difficult to destroy, especially if you don’t remove the root. If you just pluck up the dandelion, the destructive root remains, and a weed will grow back in its place. The weed is stubborn, and its roots are deep. The dandelion may look very beautiful, but at its root, its true identity is revealed: a life-stealer, not a life-giver.
When I began my recovery from an eating disorder, I learned the pesky roots of my eating and exercise behaviors lay far beneath what everyone could see on the outside. With my nutritionist and therapist, I worked through what was going on inside – the underlying emotional issues. The roots of my eating disorder went deep and they were ugly: rigidity, perfectionism, frailty from a mother’s breast cancer battle and a brother’s mental health struggles, the lack of self-worth and body-hatred as a result of being a ballet dancer. Many think that an eating disorder is just a coping mechanism and ask, “Why don’t you just eat?” The truth is that the roots of an eating disorder lie deep in a person’s soul and require commitment, treatment and support to fully remove.
That being said, the roots don’t come out easily. It is important, in therapy and recovery, to fully commit to exposing the lies one has believed and replace those with truth. When we only address basic, surface issues or behaviors in recovery and do not delve deeply into emotional history, our childhood influences, the development of certain types of thinking, and especially trauma, we fail to get to the root of the problem. But removing the root can be painful, which is why many receiving treatment don’t “go there,” emotionally. Isn’t it conventional and simple wisdom, however, that the greatest things we achieve in life, including recovery, rarely come easily and are the payoff of hard work and vulnerability?
The fact is, it takes effort and perseverance to remove the root of an eating disorder, but ultimately, it is worth it, for a life of freedom from the weed. I worked hard through treatment for two years to remove the roots of my eating disorder, and practiced how to deal with stress, with anxiety, with the expectations of society, and how to love and serve myself and others. In the place of a weed grew up a beautiful, authentic, flower –free to be tossed by the wind and rain of life, and embrace the great gift of being a real flower, not an imposter, a dandelion.
For everyone that struggles with an eating disorder, the roots are different: depression, family struggles, grief, trauma, perfectionism or abuse. From these roots can spring ugly weeds that grow up in our hearts. If we try to simply “pluck the dandelion,” avoiding the deepest issues, the hardest memories, only working on fixing behaviors, we will never get to the root of the problem. True healing begins when one begins work at the root. This is why therapy and treatment is so important to recovery. Through hard work and support, the root can be discovered and removed, and complete transformation can take place. Just because you struggle with weeds does not mean you ARE one. Recovery is journey to remove the root, so that in its place can grow truth, life, and hope.