Owning Our Stories

By Quinn Nystrom, MS “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” -Brene Brown Perfect human lives only exist on TV. Actually, I can’t even say that anymore since the most popular shows these days are the ones that share what life is really like; messy,…

5 Things I Have Learned in Recovery

By Hannah Hammon, LCSW My Voice Matters.  This took the entirety of my experience in 24-hour care to begin accepting.  I recall about a month in that my already-high anxiety was peaking.  I was certain my family was falling apart because I wasn’t there to help take care of things and, basically, be the glue…

I Want It, No I Don’t: Working Through Ambivalence

By Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT Mixed feelings about recovery is a normal and expected part of the process. Eating Disorders often play a complex role in the life of the one who suffers. While it brings much pain and isolation, it also has typically served a purpose in helping the person cope with painful life…

National Diabetes Awareness Month

By Quinn Nystrom, MS November is a month of so many wonderful holidays and observances including things like Hug a Bear Day, World Kindness Day, Adoption Awareness Month and of course, Thanksgiving. But the eleventh month is also known to many for one special reason: it’s National Diabetes Awareness Month. If you want the scoop…

Cultivating Hope in Recovery

By Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT In times of personal or collective suffering and darkness, we need hope. When we turn on the news or scroll through our social media feeds, there can be so much sadness, despair, fear, and loneliness. And if you are in the depths of an eating disorder, addiction, or other mental…

What’s Your Pace?

By Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT   Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson Making the decision to come into a treatment program or enter therapy takes great strength and courage….and it doesn’t just stop there. Each day in the treatment process requires making a choice to engage from a place…

Appreciating Imperfections

By Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT “Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver Our culture places so much value on the new, the shiny, the perfect, the best. We tend to overvalue perfection and under value the messiness of being human. For those struggling with an eating disorder, black…

Cure Stigma: Thoughts on Mental Illness Awareness Week

By Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT Since 1990, the first full week of October has been dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma and shame associated with having a mental health condition. The theme for 2018 is Cure Stigma. The National Alliance on Mental Illness tells us that 1 in 5 Americans is affected by…

Letting Go Like the Trees

By Quinn Nystrom, MS Fall in our area is a breathtaking event. When the heat of summer fades, and cooler temps take over, it signals the trees that a time of transformation is near. Their normal leafy foliage shifts from bland green to a symphony of blazing oranges, yellows, and reds. But within a few…

National Recovery Month | What it Means to Me

By Quinn Nystrom, MS September is one of those months that just has a lot going on. Of course, there are the common milestones that occur around this time every year like Labor Day and the first day of school; both of which indicate that summer is officially over. Its’ also a month packed with…

Be Still

By Quinn Nystrom, MS Our brains, no matter what age we are, can sometimes be like an over-active toddler. We respond immediately to “shiny objects,” noises, and colorful stimulants so our attention is constantly being shifted from one thing to another. If you’re five, that is completely normal behavior. If you are an adult trying…

Back to School: Tips for Maintaining Eating Disorder Recovery for Students

By Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT It’s that time of year again. Summer is in full swing, but Fall is right around the corner. Late August and September brings with it the ritual of students returning to high school and college campuses. For some students this can be an exciting time of reconnecting with peers, meeting…

Doing Anything is Easy (It’s being good at it is the challenge!)

By Quinn Nystrom We all have dreams that may seem a bit unattainable. But we hang on to them anyway. We might not “go public” about these dreams, but they are alive and well and residing in a hypothetical “Wish File” that we like to mentally crack open and peek at on occasion. Some people…

Please Stop “Shoulding” on Me

By Quinn Nystrom, MS Should…such a benign word, but such a pressure-filled one too. Basically the definition of “should” is the same as “ought to” as in; I ought to schedule that dentist appointment before the end of the month. Since we were little, our parents were charged with lovingly directing us to all the…

Why We Need to be Talking About Eating Disorders AND Type 1 Diabetes

By Quinn Nystrom I’ve struggled with an eating disorder since I was 12 years old. I was a competitive figure skater and remember back to the year when I started comparing myself to the other skaters, equating my weight to how good I’d be at the sport, and putting myself on a strict diet regimen….

When Holidays Aren’t the Most Wonderful Time of Year

by Quinn Nystrom In our American culture, I think it’s easy to buy into the sense that holidays should be the most joyful and wonderful time of year. But then if we don’t feel that way, there’s something wrong with us, and/or we’ve become Scrooge! There are a lot of reasons why research has shown…

3 Ways to Practice Fearlessness in Recovery

By Nikki Rollo, PhD, LMFT Sometimes even just the word “fear” can be enough to cause a knot in our stomachs and send a shiver up and down our spines. We might remember a situation in which we felt afraid or a worry we have about the future that we just can’t seem to shake….

Five Ways to Find Inner Peace in the Recovery Process

Peace has been on my mind a lot lately. Whenever we move into another holiday season, I think about how we can increase peace in the world, in our country, in our neighborhoods, in our families, and in our own hearts. Peace is something that transcends religion, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa,…

Recovery-minded Living

We often feel motivated after inspiring experiences—finishing a good book, hearing a rousing speech, taking part in service, having a great therapy session, etc.  However, at times these feelings fade and we often return to old mindsets and habits.  So how do we find the motivation to keep working towards our goals? Deep inside each…

Why Be Mindful?

When I first teach mindfulness, I often get initial resistance from clients. I have heard responses such as “I can’t do it. I’m too anxious” or “I don’t see the point. How is this really going to help?” Research has shown that meditation practices can help with a variety of issues, including substance abuse, trauma,…

Strong Enough to be Broken

In today’s society we are told that we have to be unbreakable. We have to be iron men and iron women. To show any weakness or to have anything negative to say is taboo. Every day we are consciously and, more often, subconsciously inundated with messages that we must have a perfect life – a…

Made for Something More

As women in the modern world, we are constantly being measured up to society’s expectations. We are taught from the time we are young that as we strive to be what the world expects us to be, we will inherit a plethora of  friends, money, status, relationships, and success. We are told by society what we are…

Don’t Let Your Struggles Define You

We all have something in our lives that is hard for us to get through.  For some it may be an addiction to drugs, alcohol or maybe an eating disorder.  For others it may be a physical or mental ailment.  The one thing we all have in common is that we struggle.  It is a…

Be Here Now

For as long as I can remember, the fear of the future has been my biggest inhibitor. I am constantly planning, preparing, and worrying about my next step. This habit has been inbred by a mother who plans constantly, a world that glorifies multitasking, and a society that praises being busy. My planner is heavy…

Don’t Talk to Yourself Like That​

When someone you know is struggling, upset, or depressed, it is human nature to feel compassion and empathy for them.  We often show this compassion and empathy through kind and encouraging words and being a good listener.  We would never intentionally say anything hurtful or damaging to someone we care about, especially when that person is in…