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  • Writer's pictureVickie Fuhriman

Calling all the monsters

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

With all the craze around the new horror remakes lately, Doctor Sleep, It, Candy Man, The Invisible Man, The Craft: Legacy and so many more it makes one think about the demons and monsters inside oneself. I read an interesting narrative therapy novel about a month ago that delves into how you can attach your personal demons to ones that are in your pop culture so that you may externalize what is going on with yourself. The example that really stuck with me is using the Demogorgon from Stranger things to externalize your depression. Today we're going to externalize my anorexia using the Candy Man. For a long time I had not given them a backstory and so they had been this blob of a being that just got too big and would just take over and I would just lose control, they were given a name "Ana", which for a long while I thought that if they just had a name I could control them and it would be sufficient. But as I delved deeper into the counseling world and learned more about narrative therapy it turns out that a name is only a name and it only has power if there is substance behind that name. So with Candy Man, he is much like the Demogorgon in many ways, he is big and scary and can come out and take over and can potentially kill you (just as anorexia can) but if you look at Candy Man as a person, he was just an artist and a son of slave who was unfortunately murdered. Anorexia in and of itself has done nothing wrong, but it is angry and it is what it is doing to you that is causing you damage. You need to get on an equal playing field with Candy Man and sit him down at your table, see him for what he is and make ground rules. He isn't going to be able to kill you if you don't say his name five times. Just with anorexia if you set up a meal schedule and eat regularly and keep yourself accountable, the Candy Man can't kill you. Just like in the films, you need to make sure that you have an adequate support system in place to make sure that you stay safe and that the Candy Man won't get you and that you are keeping your toolbox full (keep food in the house, keep a meal plan down, eat regularly, drink water, take vitamins, sleep regularly, don't over exercise or use other purging methods, keep a timer if you feel the need to purge, reach out to friends or family if you're struggling, eat meals with friends or family, learn what an adequate portion size is, don't count calories). The Candy Man will come when you least expect it so always be prepared and if he comes just be ready to use your tools and your support system. You are good enough and you will survive this. The Candy Man will not kill you, if you feel like you need a higher level of support reach out to 1-800-931-2237 or if you are feeling suicidal please reach out to 1-800-273-8255 or 911.

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