Sometimes I Need to Pause Healing Conversations

February 24, 2023 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

I talk about eating disorder recovery all the time. You might call them healing conversations. I unpack the layers and nuances of it with my therapist. I excitedly share these revelations with my partner once the session is over. I journal about what I'm learning in the process. Then I pass on those lessons to the younger women I mentor, who deal with similar experiences of their own.

When further inspiration strikes, I turn the discussion into a topic for this blog. Even my cat gets an earful occasionally. I also consume a slew of recovery-focused content: books, podcasts, articles, and social media accounts. This can be cathartic, but sometimes I need to pause healing conversations for the sake of my fluctuating mental health and emotional capacity.

Why I Think It's Necessary to Pause Healing Conversations Sometimes

While I don't have any real data to back this, I would still wager that most of us in eating disorder recovery alternate between two ends of the healing conversation spectrum until we reach a sustainable balance. What exactly do I mean by that?

There are seasons when all we want to do is verbalize the progress we make and the challenges we face to anyone who will listen. But inevitably, there are also seasons when it feels overwhelming to put the trauma of this illness into words.

Maybe this pause is needed due to the fear of a trigger, the shame of a relapse, the anxiety of an internalized belief, or the sheer exhaustion of resisting unhealthy behaviors and compulsions all day. Whatever the reason, it's just too much to articulate.

In those cases, I equate talking about recovery to peeling the scab off a wound that was almost on the mend. It's not always constructive to rehash the pain, belabor the issue, or inundate myself with a constant fog of heaviness. Life on this planet is heavy enough. Sometimes I need to pause healing conversations until I can muster the emotional stability to resume a dialog.

How I Fill My Spare Time When I'm on Pause from Healing Conversations  

To be fully transparent, I have not posted on this blog for the last few weeks because my mental health required some time away. I am grateful for this space to excavate all the facets of eating disorder recovery and connect with others who can relate to my experiences. But sometimes, I also need to pause from healing conversations out in the world, so I can reconvene with my inner self who wants stillness, peace, quiet, and gentle, tender care. I want to laugh at mindless entertainment. I want to feel light and joyful rather than immersed in the serious work of recovery. Sometimes I can just use a restful breather from all that reflection and introspection. I'm still a passionate reader, writer, podcast listener, and communicator, but while on pause from healing conversations, these pursuits look somewhat different.

I re-watch my favorite TV shows. I read memoirs of women I find interesting or influential. I write for creativity instead of self-examination. I talk to my friends about their lives. I spend as much time as possible in nature. I listen to music that compels me to sing (off-key) at the top of my lungs. I refuel that mental energy tank, so when I return to the microcosm of eating disorder recovery, those healing conversations won't feel quite as heavy.    

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2023, February 24). Sometimes I Need to Pause Healing Conversations, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 24 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Connect with Mary-Elizabeth on Facebook, Instagram and her personal blog.

Leave a reply