Dressing for Recovery Class


written by Muddled

I’ve heard it mentioned a number of times that if someone walked in off the street on a Tuesday evening or Saturday morning they would think they had stumbled into a book club meeting, rather than an eating distress group. In many ways this is true. But this is not a book club. It is a place where people with eating distress meet to try to learn more about what they can do to recover. Everyone is different and is at different stages. Most attendees are super sensitive. They are prone to comparisons. Every day can be a challenge. They are trying to love themselves and their bodies again.

A one Recovery Class a Freedom Fighter mentioned their belly. They were speaking about how they were much more connected they are to their body now and they were using ‘belly’ as part of an example of how they used to think and feel about their body. It was a completely positive, honest sharing. However immediately afterwards a Carer spoke about how the entire atmosphere in the room had changed at the mention of this little word. The normally open, honest warm environment had changed to a tense, nervous energy. I hadn’t noticed but as soon as the Carer began to speak about it I realised I hadn’t noticed because I had become instantly absorbed with my negative body thoughts. I was holding my breath. My entire posture had changed and I was sitting with tight tense shoulders. What a profound effect and all at the mention of one tiny word…. belly. I don’t think that would happen at a book club!

Recently however I have noticed that I have been feeling that same uncomfortable sensation at some group sessions. I have noticed I am a little distracted. I am sometimes a little tense. I have noticed my eyes repeatedly drawn to some Freedom Fighters. Group is all about openness and honesty. Often if someone asks a question then others will say they were just about to ask the same one. If someone has a problem others will offer solutions that helped them. I am only at an early stage of my recovery and so I am only addressing this as I think perhaps it might also be having an effect on others, as it is definitely having an effect on me. In this case the cause of my discomfort is not due to what is being said but is due to some of the clothes that are being worn to group sessions.

Before I began attending Marino Therapy I flaunted my body. Tight tops, super skinny jeans, tiny skirts, tight yoga gear, crop tops… anything to show off my bones, juts and gaps. I may not dress that way now but condition still actively seeks it out in others. I am of course happy for people to dress as they see fit and please don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect people to wear  loose, baggy or unflattering clothes!  I definitely do not want to sound like some sort of clothes tyrant and I definitely do not want to cause offence! In fact this was quite hard for me to write about but group is a sanctuary for me, a condition-free zone. It irks me that condition has started sticking its nose in!

I would truly appreciate it if my fellow Freedom Fighters would spare a thought for their fellow supersensitive, comparing, perfectionistic Freedom Fighters when dressing for group. Please help me kick condition back out the door!