[Valid Atom 1.0] Life With Cake: Eating Disorder Blog: "Urge Surfing"

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Urge Surfing"

An important concept the patients learn at Renfrew is Urge Surfing. That is, you ride the wave of the urge to use ED symptoms until it passes. For so many years, I couldn't see that there was a psychological surfboard on which I could ride the crashing waves of my urges and cravings. I would have a thought to binge or purge and it would automatically send me into the action. As if I didn't have a choice. I could have saved years of time wasted on the ED if I had been willing to wait out the emotional storm.

Urge surfing takes SO MUCH practice! It is much like real surfing in that when you first get on the board to surf the urge, you feel afraid, uneasy, and off balance for not giving into the ED behaviors you're so used to. But the more you practice getting back on the board and do the balancing act of recovery, which means resisting those urges, the more steady and grounded you will feel when urge surfing. The waves actually become less intense because you gain confidence in your ability to urge surf the more you do it.

In order to surf your urges, you have to know that YOU don't have to be defeated by them! It is SO hard to remember in the moment that a thought or an urge doesn't mean you throw in your beach towel! It means you get on your board and get ready to ride the wave of the urge. It is an OPPORTUNITY to strengthen your recovery. Don't wait until tomorrow ... you may get swept under the wave, never seeing tomorrow. Start to surf those urges TODAY!


Cassie said...

thank You. This is vey helpful. It's so hard to do though.

Delilah said...

"Surfing" is so hard to do... I often feel like the anxiety and the urge will never stop. It's so much easier to just give in to the binge and feel bad afterwards. At least that way I'm not hyped up.

Anyone out there have any tips? I just started recovery, and I'm definitely struggling.

Shauna said...

You're right Delilah- the anxiety and urge will never stop unless you do something DIFFERENT. I have struggled in that place for the past three years (also in recovery). The problem is that our solution is short term, instant gratification and before long we're desperate again to binge. So...I'm in the process of learning how awesome it is to deny myself the immediate fix. Sounds crazy huh? I treat my bulimia as if it were an addiction and I need to stay sober. I simply can't allow myself the option. IT'S NOT A CHOICE! I TELL MYSELF THIS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I can't pick it up when I want to because it obviously has a crazy grip on me and I spiral down fast. This works for me. I can't allow myself to make excuses and give myself an out. When I eat too much I need to keep my focus on what's inside and deal with all the feelings. I have to look so deep within and write it all out. (THIS does take work and is difficult - but binging and purging is a lot of work too and leads to a more miserable me.) Ultimately I need to be okay with myself, who God created me to be, where I'm at, and press forward. I have to do this NO MATTER WHAT for my recovery to last and to live in joy. Delilah- you're exactly where you're suppose to be. One minute at a time...the sooner you let yourself sit in the yuck of your feelings the sooner you'll get through them. I promise. I hope you've found a safe place and you're not doing it alone.

A shorter tip if that was too much (it's my first time commenting on blog) - structured eating helped me out a lot too with the binges...took a few attempts, but it's essential for my recovery and setting myself up for success.

VENTING said...

Thank you so much for this blog. It gives me hope that I will be able to recover.

Anonymous said...

just found your blog today...thanks for this blog. it's helpful to know i'm not alone. i am having a hard night and finding/reading this made me feel better.

Kelsey said...

So true. So true. Keeping ED at bay is a daily challenge.

Blogged a little bit about my journey over at my blog today.


Ramonita said...