I hear this a lot from potential patients. “It’s just not a good time to start therapy.” Why? All too often, this statement is uttered whenever we are asked to take care of ourselves. I do it too. I don’t want to take time away from work or family to schedule that annual physical or visit the dentist. I get it. But it’s not a valid point.

If life has become difficult and you’re falling into your eating disorder behaviors due to stress at work, family issues, impending holiday anxiety, and the like, then it’s time to get back to work on yourself.

At The Center for Eating Disorders Management (CEDM), we don’t like to sugarcoat therapy. It’s hard work. We need to dig into the dirt of what is causing your depression, anxiety, restriction, purging and bingeing behaviors. We do it by directly dealing with food. We do it through talking about hard issues both one-on-one and in groups. We do it through normalizing the experience of having these thoughts, feelings, and behaviors all of us are struggling with.

That last part is the most crucial by the way. Who wants to be in therapy? Not a whole lot of folks. It’s like saying, “Hey, I can’t wait to have that mammogram!” Yeah, right. But once patients get here, what they come away with is a community of support from like-minded and like-struggling individuals.

Our teens love the support they get from their peers, find each other on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else is the latest social media outlet. They exchange cell numbers for group texts and back each other up when they’re struggling at home.

Our families love the opportunity to share the hardship of loving a child through the ravages of an eating disorder. The parents may go off to dinner together while we work with their children in our IOP. They come back refreshed, no longer feeling alone or ashamed.

And the adults in our program are some the hardest working folks I’ve ever met. They’re in this to get better and fully end their relationship with their eating disorder (ED). It’s inspiring, and they root for each other every step of the way.

This is what it means to be in therapy at CEDM. We keep it real. We work hard. We value, honor and support each other. If you want that kind of feeling, that kind of compassionate understanding, to feel like you’re not alone, and that you don’t have to fight for every scrap of happiness in your body, your self-esteem, and your relationships, then don’t wait.