How I Deal with ED Triggers in Places Outside My Control

April 28, 2021 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

One of the first lessons I had to confront in eating disorder (ED) recovery is that, more often than not, triggers are unavoidable. As much as I still want to insulate myself from these triggers that activate my harmful thought patterns, sheer avoidance is an unrealistic goal. The fact is, I will encounter situations that trigger me because I am a human who lives in the world. Many areas of life are chaotic, stressful, anxiety-inducing, and just plain uncontrollable—I cannot hide from this reality. So, a more effective use of time is to equip myself with tools to deal with ED triggers in environments outside my control.  

Don't Hide from ED Triggers—Make a Plan to Confront Them

Here's a real-time example from my own life of how I prepare in advance to deal with ED triggers in certain environments outside my control. Most of next week, I will be in Atlanta to visit my husband's parents, whom I have not seen in almost two years. In the past, my relationship with them has been tense and contentious. Even now, I often feel on-edge in their presence which makes me want to numb out from the tension with eating disorder behaviors. When I stay at their house, there is not much I can do to control the physical environment, but I am still in charge of my own responses to this environment. A situation that triggers me is not an automatic excuse to neglect my commitment to ED recovery.   

Since I know that I will be walking into a potentially uncomfortable environment next week, I can formulate a contingency plan on the front end. This empowers me to deal with ED triggers if and when they surface, rather than allowing them to blindside me. I find that when I take proactive measures beforehand to anticipate these triggers, I can face them at the moment without succumbing to the pressures or acting out in unhealthy behaviors. In the video below, I will discuss what this contingency plan entails and how it prepares me to deal with ED triggers in environments outside my control.    

This Is My Personal Strategy to Help Deal with ED Triggers

Do you find it helpful to plan in advance how you will deal with ED triggers in places outside your control? What strategies work the best for you in this particular area? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please share in the comment section below.

Tags: ED triggers

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2021, April 28). How I Deal with ED Triggers in Places Outside My Control, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 22 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

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