On today’s episode, Duane talks with Faith Elicia about her nine-year journey through an eating disorder. They discuss how she struggled several times to get help and how she finally found something that worked for her. They also talk about what helped her deal with not only her eating disorder but also with her anxiety, depression, and family history of addiction and family dysfunction. Faith’s story provides a lot of hope that, even when you feel at your worst and like you can’t go on, there’s still hope out there. 

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Faith comes from an addictive household, being a child of an alcoholic. She used to believe that all dads yelled. She was scared of all fathers and generalized that all dads are mean. At 16, Faith saw her dad drunk for the first time, throwing a chair while she was hiding under the table. Then, he sought help and got sober for 30 years until his death three years ago.

She also has a sister who found recovery in Narcotics Anonymous and another sister who found recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous. Although she was very familiar with the behaviors of addiction growing up, she wasn’t aware that there was addiction in their house because of shame. Everything had to stay within the walls. 

After she had her third child, Faith dealt with anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia. This was in the 80s and there wasn’t really an understanding of anxiety disorders at that time. She couldn’t tell anyone for fear they would lock her up in a psychiatric ward. Mental health just wasn’t talked about like it is now. Understandably, Faith was petrified. 

She was very afraid of drugs and alcohol. However, impulsive compulsive behavior can come out in other forms. Food became her way of coping and dealing with her internal chaos. Faith’s anxiety disorder turned into an eating disorder. It wasn’t until she started to incorporate a mindfulness practice that things shifted for her.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Growing up in a family with addictive behaviors
  • Depression and anxiety during her third pregnancy
  • How her anxiety disorder morphed into an eating disorder 
  • Feeling guilt knowing her daughter also had an eating disorder
  • Finding her home in Codependency Anonymous
  • The shift that occurred when she joined the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program
  • How she deals with the eating disorder voice that comes in
  • Digging deeper into what’s really going on

Key Quotes:

[08:39] – “Addiction is a disease. It’s a sickness.”

[14:41] – ​​”It becomes all-consuming, weighing myself all day. It really took over.”

[16:26] – “It’s very important for someone who thinks they have an eating disorder to seek help from someone who specializes in it and who really understands it.”

[19:00] – “No two eating disorders are the same. No two recoveries are the same. … this is a process. It’s a journey.”

[19:21] – “This is a journey of self-awareness, self-discovery, retraining my thoughts filling that void that was always inside with self-care.”

[32:34] – “When the eating disorder voice is trying to distract me, it’s from some feeling or situation that I don’t want to deal with.”

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Supporting Resources:

Do You See What I See? by Faith Elicia

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Codependency Anonymous