Early in my therapizing days, I started using a metaphor. I don’t know if I made it up….maybe. There’s a chance I borrowed it from someone (and will happily give them credit if anyone can enlighten me). The metaphor is it is hard for your toe to heal if a hammer continues to swing at it. I know it’s a bit graphic. Often, that metaphor is meant to incite action. Get away from the hammer….quit swinging the hammer (if you are swinging it yourself).
It occurred to me this week, in the world of eating disorder recovery, it is durn near impossible to get away from the hammer! The hammer is a world obsessed with diets and changing bodies! At first, I was sad! Sad for all of my clients recovering from eating disorders and troubled relationships with food and body. Sad for the many who will get hit by the swinging hammers out there and end up with injuries that are hard to heal. Then I just wanted to take everyone who doesn’t want to be around the hammers anymore to an island and live in a bubble. Don’t tell me that the idea doesn’t sound nice. Maybe our own Hawaiian island?
I do get mad! And I know there are some amazing people out there fighting the good fight to change the world and get rid of the swinging hammers. In the meantime, we have to figure out how to be in this world until the hammers are gone. We have to try to avoid hammers, protect ourselves when we can, and tend to the wounds that occur.