Contraband

The Hummingbird Approach

Contraband: Anything prohibited by law; Illegal.

Contraband I feel is a word not heard all too often. However, I stumbled upon the word while studying my GRE vocabulary flashcards and something about the term resonated with me and how it could also relate to recovery from an eating disorder.

Framed in the light of recovery, unhealthy substances and damaging behaviors are considered contraband. The unhealthy substances and damaging behaviors included are any that create a barrier to recovery. This means that they allow you to avoid direct communication with your feelings—along with the people who comprise your support team—by offering you ‘alternative’ means to avoid/numb out. So what types of behaviors and substances might very well be considered contraband in recovery? Below is a tentative list I began to work on.

Diet pills, water pills

Vomiting

Chewing and spitting

Energy drinks, soda, coffee, any excessive caffeine

Laxatives

Over-exercising

Alcohol…

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