How Thinking About Your Funeral Can Help You in Recovery

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This blog post was originally posted on recoverywarriors.com on October 18, 2016 and can be found here.

If you’re anything like me (and I’m sure you are, considering you’re reading an eating disorder blog!), then your brain has a tendency to take frequent field trips to the future. Oftentimes before we even realize it, our brains take off on a mission to find solutions to the billion “what ifs” that cross our minds (without us even asking for it to). Thanks, brain.

While I’m sure we can all agree that this type of “future tripping” (as us therapists like to call it) can hold us back from truly living in the present moment, here’s one way we can put that futuristic thinking to good use. I want you to take a second to think on this simple, yet profound question: What do you want to be remembered for most after you die?

Now, hear me out. I get that death isn’t exactly a “fan favorite” topic, but bear with me here for a second. Seriously think about this: When everyone is standing around at your funeral some day, what do you want them to say about who you were and what you were all about?

Now, I’m no mind reader, but I can pretty much guarantee that your answer is NOT that you want to be known for having a thin body, for being in shape, or for eating really clean and healthy. In fact, if that’s all that people were saying about you at your funeral, I’m sure you’d be pretty dang peeved to have your life be condensed to such trivial things.

Yet…when you’re in the throws of an eating disorder, those things can oftentimes feel like all that matters. When your mind becomes so consumed with losing weight (or preventing weight gain, whichever way you spin it), much of your time, energy, and focus gets devoted to things like counting calories, researching the nutritional content of foods, rigidly/compulsively exercising, weighing yourself multiples times a day, checking the size and shape of different parts of your body, etc.

And guess what? The time and energy that you’re devoting to those things is time and energy that you aren’t devoting to other things—things that probably, deep, deep down, matter more to you in the end than your body being a certain size, shape, or weight.

How sad would it be if you devoted your entire life to obtaining a certain ideal image of yourself, but ended up sacrificing your sanity, peace, freedom, individuality, pleasure, passion, fun, authenticity (need I go on?) in order to achieve it? What if this obsession led you to isolate yourself so much to the point where you aren’t sure who would even show up at your funeral?

That just can’t be how things go down. Not for you. Not for anyone. Our lives are worth so much more than that. And you, my friend, have so much more to give to this world than the way your body looks. (Not to mention that your body is temporary and won’t last forever).

What CAN have a lasting impact in this world is the legacy that each of us leaves behind. So, what DO you want your legacy to be? What do you want to be known for? What do you want to stand for in this life? What do you want to contribute to this world?

Let the answers to those questions be your guide for how you spend your time and energy and where you place your focus on a day-to-day basis. If, for example, you want to be known for being caring and creative, think of how you can align your actions with those values, and how the eating disorder often holds you back from living out those values to their fullest extent.

Friends, don’t let the eating disorder’s agenda pull you away from the purpose your life was intended to serve. Don’t let your body or how you eat define who you are. Don’t let yourself get sidetracked perfecting this temporary body of yours.

Instead, connect with what truly matters to you in the end and work to cultivate more of that in your life. Be true to who you really are and give the finger to society’s standards. Just do you. And your life, and all those you come into contact with, will be a lot better for it. This life is worth living and your authentic self is worth fighting for. Keep fighting the good fight, warrior.

Why I Gave Up Social Media for 4 Years and How It Changed My Life

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This blog post was originally posted on recoverywarriors.com on July 4, 2016 and can be found here.

When I started high school, social media was just starting to take off. My friends and I said goodbye to AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and hopped on the bandwagon of MySpace and eventually Facebook, which for the first time allowed us to create “online identities” that showcased to the world how we wanted to be seen.

While this new space allowed me to stay more frequently connected with others and feel more “in the loop” with what was going on, I didn’t realize that it could possibly negatively impact my life as well.

Around the same time that social media was gaining traction, I also began to develop an eating disorder. Looking back, one factor that contributed to my eating disorder was the “thin ideal” that was often portrayed in the media at that time. (Nowadays, the “fit ideal” is often what is portrayed, which can be just as detrimental for us to chase after, but that’s another spiel for another post!).

Since I was a developing adolescent, my body was undergoing a lot of changes. I was “filling out” with breasts, curves, and the like, but these changes weren’t welcomed at the time. Because most of the models and actresses had bodies that were rail thin (and pretty much resembled a pre-pubescent girl), I saw the necessary and healthy weight gain that accompanied my transition from a girl to a woman as excess fat on my body that needed to go.

Back then, I remember being warned about how media images (such as models in magazines) were often distorted through the use of plastic surgery, airbrushing, Photoshop, etc. Research shows us, however, that even if we rationally know that the images we are viewing are “fake” (and thus know we shouldn’t compare ourselves to them), we still end up doing so if we expose ourselves to them enough.

What no one warned me about, however, was how social media can have the same impact on our lives. If you think about it, the images and content that we post and view of others on social media is distorted as well. We edit, filter, and take pictures at just the right angle and tend to show others the versions of ourselves that we want them to see. Thus, we end up comparing our lives (of which we know the true ins and outs of) to the glorified portrayals of others’ lives. This unfair comparison often leads us to conclude that our lives are inferior in some way to others.

Steve Furtick put it this way: “The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Even though I rationally knew that what I was viewing on social media wasn’t necessarily the full scope of reality, it still affected me just the same. I would constantly leave social media feeling less content with my own life and wishing it were different in some way.

When I recovered from my eating disorder around the time I graduated from high school, I made the decision for the first time to give up social media. (Which ended up lasting for about a year). My motive behind this break-up with social media was to guard my heart and mind from falling back into the same comparison trap. I wanted to foster contentment with my own life, live in the present, and focus on developing deeper relationships.

And I did just that. I loved the freedom of focusing on my present life and not having the pressure to “keep up with Joneses.” I ended up choosing to get back on social media in college, since it was a requirement for some of the organizations I was in, but I had a much different relationship with it since I had had such an extensive break from it.

About a year after I graduated from college, I decided once again to break-up with social media, only this time I was sure it was for good. I had no intentions of ever getting back on it. I was tired of continually falling back into this all-too-easy comparison trap, so I made the decision to eliminate that trigger from my life once and for all.

But now, here I am, four years later, and I just reactivated my Facebook account and plan to share this blog post as my first status update in four years.

What’s brought me back, you ask? Well, in a nutshell, my values (which are exactly what led me to not be on social media for the past four years.). That is why it is so important for us to continually examine our motives behind whatever it is we are doing.

Social media, like most things, can be used for good or bad (or a mixture of the two). Before, I felt like the bad was outweighing the good for me, and thus I chose to step back from it. But now, I’m feeling led to get back on social media to use it as a platform to spread meaningful messages, such as my faith and eating disorder awareness. I have confidence that I can now use social media in a way that won’t be detrimental to me and adjust the ways I use it as I examine how certain things do/do not serve me along the way.

What about you? How are you using social media? Are you using it in ways that are in alignment with your values? Are there any ways you may be using it that negatively impact your life or recovery? Are there certain types of social media that you may need to step back from or change the way you use (e.g. limiting the amount of time you spend on it, unfollowing triggering accounts, changing your content, etc.)? If you do whatever you feel will serve you best in the long run, then you can’t go wrong!

How to Secure a Positive Body Image

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This blog post was originally posted on recoverywarriors.com on May 2, 2016 and can be found here.

Let’s get one thing straight: Our body image has little to nothing to do with what we actually look like on the outside. Don’t believe me? Explain then how someone whose body is wasting away can still feel obese? Or how your body image can sometimes drastically fluctuate within the same day, even though your outward appearance has hardly (if at all) changed?

It’s hard for many of us to believe that our body image isn’t directly linked to what we look like on the outside, primarily because that’s the idea we’ve been sold for most of our lives. Advertisers love this idea, for example, because if we believe that we’ll feel better about ourselves if we only change x, y, or z about our bodies, then we’re more susceptible to buying products that serve to change those aspects of ourselves.

However, from what I’ve seen with both myself and countless others, is the truth of this quote: “Body confidence does not come from trying to achieve the ‘perfect’ body. It comes from embracing the one you’ve already got!” In other words, if we chase after this idea that we’ll finally feel great about our bodies (and in turn ourselves) once we are a certain size, shape, or weight, then we’ll likely be waiting to love ourselves for our entire lives.

I am constantly telling my clients that they aren’t just going to wake up one day surprised to find that they are all of a sudden in love with their bodies. Instead, positive body image is formed through the process of continually committing to unconditionally loving and accepting your body and yourself.

Much easier said than done, right? If it were easy, everyone on the planet would naturally have a positive body image without much effort. But alas, the reality is that many people (unfortunately) are walking around drowning in self-hatred, jealousy, and discontentment with their bodies.

While securing a positive body image is not necessarily “easy,” it is definitely something that can be obtained with persistence (and is totally worth the effort, if I do say so myself). I love the quote, “We don’t think our way into new ways of living; we live our way into new ways of thinking.” This is so true when it comes to our body images! Like I said earlier, you won’t just magically start loving your body out of the blue, and then, voila!, start caring for your body. Instead, it works the other way around. The more you commit to treating your body the ways in which it deserves to be treated, the more your mindset surrounding your body will begin to change.

For example, if in an ideal world, you’d like to treat your body with respect, kindness, gratitude, compassion, etc., then you can begin to consciously treat your body in those ways right now. You don’t have to “earn” this type of treatment by being a certain way; you can commit to treating yourself in these ways right this very second! The more you practice treating yourself in these ways, the more you’ll begin to view yourself and your body differently.

But what if you hate your body and don’t think it deserves this type of treatment? Well, then I’d say you’re in the same boat as any other person who is embarking on a journey to transform their body image! The key is to remember that while you can’t control the thoughts and feelings that come up for you surrounding your body, you can control how you respond to those thoughts and feelings and how you choose to treat your body.

For example, you can look in the mirror and think, “Ew…I don’t like the way such and such body part looks in this outfit,” and feel the feelings of disgust and insecurity. However, you don’t have to allow those thoughts and feelings to dictate how you go about treating your body in that moment and beyond. Those thoughts and feelings can still be there, but you can choose to say to yourself, “I choose to unconditionally accept my body in this moment,” and choose to treat yourself with respect, kindness, and compassion. The more you practice treating yourself in these ways, the more your mindset surrounding your body will begin to change.

I know that this idea of securing a positive body image probably sounds like a pipe dream, but I wouldn’t be sharing all of this with you if I hadn’t experienced this transformation myself. When it comes down to it, you’ve got to decide how much power you’re going to assign the thoughts and feelings you have surrounding your body. Are you going to allow them to dictate how you view and treat your body (and in turn, yourself)? Or are you going to take the reigns of your life and consciously work to treat your body and yourself with unconditional love and acceptance, regardless of the thoughts and feelings that pop up?

If we continue to chase after this idea that we’ll finally love and accept ourselves when (fill in the blank), then we will never truly be satisfied. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life hating your body, wishing it were different, and allowing your dissatisfaction with your body hold you back from the bigger purposes your life was intended to serve. Instead, you can commit to unconditionally loving and accepting your body and practice appreciating your body for how it can serve you moment by moment. I promise you’ll be much more content in the end!

How Perfectionism Can Hold You Back

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This blog post was originally posted on recoverywarriors.com on February 29, 2016 and can be found here.

Whenever I’m asked, “What’s your greatest weakness?”, I know that if I answer, “I’m a perfectionist,” it probably sounds like I’m making up a weakness to secretly compliment myself (much like saying, “I work too hard,” or “I care too much.”). However, for those of you like me with a “perfectionistic leaning” (as I lovingly like to call it), if we aren’t aware of how perfectionism can influence us, it has the potential to hold us back. The following is a list of just five ways perfectionism can negatively impact our lives if we aren’t aware of it.

#1: Procrastination.
Say what? Why would a perfectionist, who is striving for perfection, not start working on something right away? Simple: It all boils down to expectations. Perfectionists have high expectations of themselves, right? So, if you procrastinate, you can lower your expectations, and avoid a sense of disappointment or failure.

For example, if you started studying for an exam weeks before, your expectations are bound to be pretty high for your performance. After all, you’re putting in your full effort, so anything less than an “A” may come with some disappointment (especially if you’re a perfectionist). But if you don’t start studying for the exam until the night before, then you’re likely to have low expectations for your performance. If you don’t perform well, it isn’t an insult on your intelligence, because after all, you hardly tried. But if you do perform well, then you’re a genius for being able to pull that off!

So, all in all, perfectionism can sometimes lead people to procrastinate to lower their expectations to protect themselves from feeling a sense of disappointment or failure. The problem with this approach is that it not only robs you of producing your best work, but it also adds undue stress to your plate in the mean time.

#2: Lack of Efficiency and/or Productivity.
Hand-in-hand with procrastination, the high expectations that perfectionists often have can lead to a lack of efficiency or even a struggle to complete certain tasks. For example, you may find yourself taking longer than necessary to do certain things due to getting side tracked perfecting the small details along the way.

My favorite quote to help combat this struggle is: “It is better to do something imperfectly than to not do it at all.” That’s the only reason I have a website, for instance. I could have spent months (or years) waiting to launch it until it was “just right” in my eyes, but instead I committed myself to putting it together in an afternoon and launching whatever content I had at the time, so that I could start moving forward with the purposes it needed to serve.

#3: Indecisiveness.
Since perfectionists tend to be “all-or-nothing”/“black-or-white” thinkers, it can sometimes be difficult for them to navigate through “grey areas,” in which there isn’t necessarily one “right” decision or way of doing something. For instance, a simple task like choosing a paint color for a room might lead a perfectionist to feel overwhelmed by all of the possible options and experience “paralysis by analysis,” in which they feel so overwhelmed by trying to make the “perfect” decision that they end up throwing in the towel and not making a decision at all. Thus, perfectionism can sometimes lead to indecisiveness.

#4: Constant Dissatisfaction.
This point may seem like a no-brainer, but perfectionists tend to be so hard on themselves that nothing they do ever seems to feel “good enough” to them. If your standard for yourself is perfection, the truth of the matter is that you’ll always be falling short of that, since we are imperfect human beings and perfection isn’t truly attainable.

One thing that can help combat this struggle is to base your sense of pride in yourself on the process rather than on the outcome of a situation. For example, if you’re a student, instead of putting your emphasis on the grade you’d like to make (the outcome), practice shifting your emphasis to the effort you are putting into studying (the process), so that no matter what grade you make, you can feel proud of yourself and rest knowing you truly tried your best.

#5: Forgetting the Big Picture.
Has anyone ever told you, “You’re missing the forest for the trees”? It can be so easy for perfectionists to get stuck on tiny details and lose sight of what is most important in the end.

To help maintain perspective, practice taking a step back and asking yourself, “What’s the ultimate purpose of this? or “What’s the end goal here?” to help center yourself on what truly matters. Once you do this, it makes it easier to focus on the things that will ultimately lead you to complete the big picture goal, rather than getting fixated on tiny details that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

All in all, if we aren’t aware of how perfectionism can impact us, it has the potential to hold us back from producing quality work, being efficient and productive, making decisions, feeling proud of ourselves, and investing in the big picture. The good news is that if you practice noticing the way perfectionism is impacting you, you can start to catch this mindset in its tracks and consciously work to prevent it from holding you back.

Letting Go of What You Can’t Control

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This blog post was originally posted on recoverywarriors.com on November 16, 2015 and can be found here.

As I drove home from work on Monday, I thought about how excited I was to be getting home earlier than usual. “I so need this,” I thought to myself, as I pulled into our garage, looking forward to the much-needed respite ahead.

That’s when I noticed something strange: The garage floor was wet. “I wonder where that water came from?” I thought. My question was quickly answered as I entered our house and found myself standing in water up to my ankles. It was clear: our house had completely flooded.

It turns out that a water pipe had burst upstairs, moving water across the upstairs floor and “raining” down through the ceilings. Needless to say, most of our house, furniture, and personal belongings were damaged.

It can be so difficult for us to wrap our minds around things like this that happen outside of our control. The fact is: There is nothing that I could have done to prevent this from happening. It just happened! The same can be said for a number of other things in our lives. For instance, we can’t control the weather, what other people say or do, or the fact that each of us will eventually die someday. At the end of the day, all of those things are completely out of our control.

This is not an easy reality for us to accept, which is why many of us find ourselves fighting against it by “tricking” ourselves into thinking we have more control over our lives than we really do. For instance, if you struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating, you might use behaviors like restricting your food intake, over-exercising, purging, weighing yourself multiple times a day, etc., to feel more in control of your body’s weight/size/shape/health/etc. in order to ultimately feel more in control of your life at large.

So, what’s the problem with that? Well, for one, none of those behaviors change the fact that many aspects of our lives are truly out of our control. Even if we fight this reality, life will continue to throw us curveballs, and no number on the scale can prevent us from experiencing them.

In addition, eating disorder behaviors don’t end up helping us work through the real issues we are facing. Instead, they only serve to temporarily distract us from them, and end up leaving us with additional problems that make life even more unmanageable and difficult to navigate.

For instance, if our house had flooded like this eight years ago, when I was in the throws of my eating disorder, I would have most likely used the behaviors of restricting or bingeing and purging to temporarily numb, distract, and comfort myself during this time. While those behaviors would have allowed me to temporarily “check out” from reality and given me a (false) sense of control for a short period of time, I would have ultimately ended up creating far greater problems for myself and missed out on all that this experience could teach me. Engaging in behaviors would have also taken up most of my time and energy that I now get to spend tackling the necessary steps to resolve this issue.

Instead of continuing to fight for control over every aspect of your life, I challenge you to practice taking a step back and asking yourself: “What is truly outside of my control in this situation that I can practice accepting? What is truly within my control in this situation that I can focus on to help me move forward in a positive direction?” For instance, you can apply this to your body image. You cannot control the way that your body was naturally designed to be (e.g. height, body type, etc.), but you can control how you treat your body (e.g. accepting, appreciating, and nourishing your body vs. hating, criticizing, and depriving your body).

When we continually practice letting go of what we truly cannot control, it frees us up to focus on what we truly can control: how we decide to “show up” in life and respond to our circumstances. As I prayed on the night our house flooded, I pray for you Recovery Warriors now: “God grant them the serenity to accept the things they cannot change, courage to change the things they can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Body Image 101: You’re More Than the Sum of Your Parts

While browsing for shoes the other day, I overheard two women gossiping about one of their family members and sharing opinions about ways she could (and should) lose weight. One said, “She uses the excuse that she just had a baby this year. I told her, ‘I know other people who have lost their baby weight a lot faster than you are.’” The other agreed and said, “Maybe she should take diet pills.”

Later, while shopping for dresses, I overheard a mother and daughter bickering. “What about this dress?” the daughter asked. “No – you don’t look good in yellow,” the mom argued. “Besides, you should be looking in the Junior’s department instead of in the Women’s.” The daughter whined, “But this is where so-and-so found her dress!” Her mom then yelled out the part of their exchange that bothered me the most. “Yeah, because so-and-so is FAT!” she snickered. The daughter then stormed off and shouted, “You’re mean!”

With conversations like these circulating so regularly, it’s no wonder our culture is so body-obsessed. It’s no wonder I encounter so many people who are willing to give up the quality of their physical health, mental health, relationships, work, etc. so they can achieve their ideal body weight, size, and shape.

What we often forget about our bodies and ourselves is Aristotle’s principle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In other words, if you base your body’s value solely on the appearance and function of each individual part – your thighs, your stomach, your rear, etc. – you miss the greater value your body possesses as a collective whole. Even more so, if you reduce your value as a person to the appearance and function of your body, you miss the greater value you have as a human being.

I once heard the quote, “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” Your body was not designed to be “the end.” Rather, it was designed to be a means to “greater ends”. In other words, your body is the vehicle through which you can engage in the world around you and do the things that really matter to you in the end.

If you spend a great deal of your time, energy, thought space, etc. obsessing over every calorie you eat, the number on the scale, how “toned” your muscles are, etc., then your body becomes “the end,” and it’s easy to lose sight of the “greater ends” your body was meant to help you accomplish. For example, I’ve had many female clients either lose their ability to have children (as a result of losing their menstrual cycle from malnutrition) or give up their previous dream of carrying children due to their current fear of gaining weight. In these cases, their bodies have become “the end” (i.e. the most important end goal), and they are missing out on one of the “greater ends” their bodies could assist them in doing.

On the other hand, if you neglect your body by regularly eating to the point of feeling uncomfortably stuffed, abusing substances, refusing to exercise, etc., then the same thing happens as when you worship your body: you miss out on the “greater ends” your body was designed to help you do, since your body’s functionality is compromised. For instance, if your size prevents you from flying on an airplane to visit your family members or if you don’t have the stamina to play with your children, then the way you are treating your body is holding you back from engaging in the “greater ends” your body was meant to help you do.

All in all, our bodies serve a vital function in helping us engage in the things that matter to us. Thus, it is important for us to take care of our bodies, while also keeping in perspective that our bodies are “vehicles” and not “ends” in themselves. We as human beings are more than merely the bodies we inhabit and our bodies are more than the appearance and function of each body part. If we can view ourselves and others in this holistic manner, perhaps we’ll hear less and less of the types of comments I overheard while out shopping the other day!

If you or someone you love is struggling with negative body image, eating/weight issues, anxiety, depression, or past trauma, I would love to help you work through it. Call 281-785-2273 or email me at kelley.dawson.counseling@gmail.com. Take care!

8 Reasons Why People Cut Themselves

“Why is she doing this to herself?” “Does this mean he is suicidal?” “What can we do to help her?” These are all common questions parents ask me after first discovering their child has been cutting themselves. At this point, parents often express a mixture of emotions: fear, anxiety, guilt, and quite commonly: utter confusion. Many of the people I counsel who are struggling with cutting typically don’t understand why they’re doing what they’re doing at first, so how could a parent possibly be expected to “get it” at first, either? (And if it makes you feel any better, even mental health professionals who don’t specialize in self-harm often confess they don’t get it, either!). So, if you or someone you love is struggling with cutting, and you find yourself scratching your head trying to comprehend it all, you’re certainly not alone…and this post is written for you.

Before I list some of the common reasons WHY people cut themselves, I want to first explain WHAT cutting is: a coping mechanism. Most people are not cutting themselves to attempt suicide (a common fear for many parents), but rather, are doing so as a way to cope or deal with what’s going on in their lives (much like how others abuse drugs, alcohol, food, etc.).

While cutting is obviously destructive in the long-term, it has short-term “benefits” that drive people to do it in the first place. In other words, it does something for them temporarily (key word: temporarily). In order for a person to change any behavior (like cutting), they must first understand and address the function(s) of their behavior (i.e. what it does for them in the short-term). In order to give you a better understanding of this struggle, the following is a list of 8 common reasons why people may choose to cut themselves (though this is by no means an exhaustive list!):

  1. To “numb out”. Much like drugs, alcohol, or food, people commonly use cutting as a way to numb their uncomfortable emotions for a brief period of time.
  2. To distract from deeper issues. Much like #1, people can use cutting to escape from reality and distract themselves from what’s really troubling them in their lives. For example, if it a teen is being bullied at school, cutting may serve the purpose of shifting their attention from the deeper issue (feelings of rejection, sadness, etc.) to their physical pain and struggle with cutting.
  3. To feel something. While this is the complete opposite of #1, it’s common for those struggling with depression and/or feeling an overall sense of numbness to cut themselves in an effort to feel something. In the midst of feeling emotionally “dead”, the physical pain gives them a temporary sense of feeling “alive.”
  4. To punish themselves. Another common reason people cut themselves is to punish themselves for something they believe they did wrong and/or feel guilty about. For instance, someone with an eating disorder may break one of their “food rules” (e.g. eating something they labeled as “off limits”) and punish themselves by cutting in order to vent their frustration with themselves and curb their future behavior (e.g. to follow that “food rule” in the future).
  5. To relieve stress. When we experience high amounts of pain and/or stress, our brain releases endorphins to help us through it (e.g. a “runner’s high”). Thus, when people cut themselves, their brain is flooded with endorphins to help cover the physical pain, which creates a “high” that can become quite addictive. As a result, some people may find themselves cutting deeper or more frequently to experience the same effect (much like someone addicted to drugs or alcohol).
  6. To communicate their pain. For people who struggle with directly communicating their needs to others, cutting can be a way of indirectly communicating how much they’re hurting to others.
  7. To cry for help. Much like #6, some people struggle to communicate their need for help or do not feel like their struggles are being acknowledged and/or validated by others. Cutting can serve as a way for them to gain the attention and support they need to address their pain.
  8. To fit in. Sadly, cutting has become an epidemic among our youth. For those who don’t feel like they belong, cutting can sometimes be a way to fit in with other “misfits” or “outcasts” whom they can relate to who also may cut themselves.

While cutting has temporary “benefits” that do something for a person in the short-term, it ultimately costs people MUCH more in the end (but that’s for another post!). In every case, cutting serves as a signal to a much deeper problem that needs to be addressed and communicates a person’s need for help. While cutting can be difficult to understand at first, it is very treatable, and I have seen many people break free of the grip it once had on them.

If you or someone you love is struggling with cutting, depression, anxiety, food/weight issues, or past trauma, I would love to help you work through it. Call 281-785-2273 or email me at kelley.dawson.counseling@gmail.com. Take care!