“Recovery – Managing the Moment When Crisis Arise (By: Ashley Vicari, NCC, LPC)

You’ve done it! You’ve gone through treatment! You are home seeing your out-patient team, living your life, and figuring out what life post treatment looks like. Then suddenly, IT hits you. Whatever IT is – IT comes at you with intensity and ferocity. IT is a crisis – IT catches you off-guard and leaves you feeling shaky in the knees. Crisis’s lead to big emotions that feel difficult to handle in the present moment. So, what do we do about IT when IT strikes again?

We make a PACT with ourselves.

P – Pause. Use your Mindfulness skills of practice staying in the present-moment and having non-judgmental awareness. Deep breathing; mindful walks around your house, neighborhood, or local park; bird watching; flower smelling; and bubble baths are just some examples of taking time to PAUSE. And remember to practice not judging yourself for having whatever experience you are having when IT shows up.

A – Acknowledge your experience. Give yourself permission to feel and have the experience that IT is bringing. You are not a superhuman. Neither am I. Let’s give ourselves grace and permission to be us especially when IT shows up.

C – Check-In with yourself. First, write down your thoughts about the situation – whatever they are. Again, practice not judging yourself for your thoughts about IT. Next, notice your physical sensations. Is your heart beating fast? Is your tummy hurting? Are you sweating? Finally, notice your urges and behaviors. Are you wanting to use an eating disorder behavior? Are you pacing back and forth? Are you handling IT instead of avoiding IT? Reminder – no judgement here. We are simply practicing checking-in with ourselves.

T – Time back. As you practice attending to yourself and your needs, you spend less time worrying about IT and more time living in your freedom.

In recovery, you will have experiences – be them positive or negative or anywhere in between. You also deserve to take care of yourself throughout these experiences. I strongly encourage you to make a PACT with yourself and remember that healing and growth are possible even when IT says otherwise.

About the Author

Ashley Vicari is a licensed Therapist in the state of Tennessee. Her training in trauma and attachment wounding, coupled with her passion for empowering women informs the work that she does with The Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders. Ashley currently maintains a private practice and works as The Professional Relations Representative for The Renfrew Center in Nashville, Tennessee