MEET IRIS MCALPINIris McAlpin is a certified trauma coach and NARM® Practitioner specializing in self-sabotage, eating disorder recovery, and complex trauma. After struggling with bulimia, C-PTSD, and depression for over a decade, Iris became determined to understand what was fueling her self-destructive behaviors and troubling symptoms. This eventually led her to an in-depth study of trauma, which resulted in a radical personal transformation. She now helps people all over the world overcome similar struggles through trauma-informed education, group programs, and individual coaching. Visit Iris McAlpin's website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. FREEBIE: Take Iris' free Masterclass: From Sabotage to Self-Love.
IN THIS PODCAST
- Trauma: finding the deeper roots of the problem
- Opening up to recovery
- Allow yourself to rest
Trauma: finding the deeper roots of the problemThe healing and recovery finally started for Iris once she realized that her eating disorder was a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. Her eating disorder was a maladaptive coping mechanism that she had used unawares to help her cope with deep-seated trauma from her childhood and teenage years.
Opening up to recoveryIris looked for a therapist that was the right fit for her because talking about trauma can overwhelm the nervous system to the point of shutting down.
There’s a key concept in trauma-therapy called titration … our nervous systems can only handle so much at a time and so if we dive in too deep and start moving too quickly it can flood our systems [and we become] incredibly overwhelmed and it’s difficult to make progress when we’re in that space because everything feels threatening. (Iris McAlpin)Some therapists are trained to work with symptoms that occur in the intersection between deep-seated trauma and eating disorders. Iris and her therapist walked through her past and coping mechanisms very slowly and gently to unwind the issues and deal with them in turn.
It’s better to go slow here, so … if anyone wants to muscle through it, I encourage taking a breath and slowing it down because I think that’s more sustainable long-term with trauma healing. (Iris McAlpin)
Allow yourself to restYou do not have to be constantly fighting, changing, fixing, or healing. You can also rest, but it is important to remember that resting is not the same as stopping. Continue being committed to healing and recovery while you take it slow, allow yourself some breathing room, and pick it up again in due course. There is a lot of intense introspection that goes into recovery. Therefore, it is also important that you turn your gaze outward and enjoy life.
- HOLDING OUT HOPE: SUE BOWLES' INSPIRING STORY OF RECOVERY | EP 72
- Visit Iris McAlpin's website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- FREEBIE: Take Iris' free Masterclass: From Sabotage to Self-Love
- Sign up for the free Behind The Bite Course
- Practice of the Practice Network
- Email Dr. Cristina Castagnini: firstname.lastname@example.org
MEET DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINII am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!
THANKS FOR LISTENINGDid you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to comment below and share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of Behind The Bite on Apple Podcasts (previously) iTunes and subscribe!
[CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Please note that listener discretion is advised for this episode, as it contains content of a sensitive nature that may be triggering to some listeners. Please check the show notes at www.behindthebitepodcast.com for more detailed information. Thank you. Behind The Bite podcast is part of a network of podcasts that are good for the world. Check out podcasts like the Full of Shift podcast, After the First Marriage podcast and Eating Recovery Academy over at practiceofthepractice.com/network. Welcome to Behind The Bite podcast. This podcast is about the real life struggles women face with food, body image and weight. We're here to help you inspire and create better healthier lives. Welcome. Well, hello everyone. I'm always grateful when I have guests on the show who come here and share their stories. I know it cannot be easy for anyone to open up and talk about some of the most painful and difficult parts of their lives. If any of you have listened to any of my previous podcasts, you may have heard me say that one of the goals I had starting the show was to have a mix of guests on here; professionals who could speak on topics so I could help bring you expert advice and information and non-professionals, real people like all of us who would be willing to share their realities, their stories, so that you could know you're not alone. Because let's face it, when you're out there living your life, struggling, and feel like you're the only person in the world who has experienced what you have or feel or think how you do or you're struggling every day like you do the world can feel like a very lonely place. You can feel scared, disconnected from everyone and hopeless; and opening up to anyone is the last thing you would ever consider doing. Because really nobody would understand and they might even judge or criticize you. But if you happen to come here and hear someone else's story and relate to what they're saying, I'm hoping you don't feel like you're still alone. Know that you're not the only one. If you're able to hear that this other person they're able to make changes and have a different life, then that's something. Because I'm hoping that it instills hope for change because that's so important. That's what I'm hoping some of you listening today will walk away with. I'm hoping that after listening to the guest today, that because she has such an inspirational story of transformation that you also walk away with some hope. After struggling with bulimia, complex PTSD and depression for over a decade, our guest Iris McAlpin became determined to understand what was fueling her self-destructive behaviors and troubling symptoms. This eventually led her to an in-depth study of trauma, which resulted in a radical personal transformation. What's so great is she is now a certified trauma coach and NARM® Practitioner specializing in self-sabotage, eating disorder recovery, and complex trauma and helps people all over the world overcome similar struggles through trauma informed education, group programs and individual coaching. Iris, welcome to the show. [IRIS McALPIN] Thank you so much for having me. [CRISTINA] I know it's always a vulnerable position to be in on the podcast and come here and share your story. I really appreciate the fact that you're here. So would you mind sharing your story with us? [IRIS] Sure. Do you want the long version of the short version? [CRISTINA] Whichever version you are comfortable sharing? [IRIS] Well, I think like so many people, my eating disorder history had sort of a steady progression. It wasn't just overnight I just woke up with an eating disorder. It started for me, I think really when I was 9-years-old. I started using food as a coping tool. I didn't know that that's what I was doing, but that's when some binge eating started for me and that was just a really accessible and an easy way for me at that time to start to manage some of my emotions that I didn't know how to manage at that age. But then by the time I was 12 that's when I started to have a little more awareness of what the cultural and my family's idea about an acceptable body was. I didn't feel like I was measuring up to that. So that's when I started my first diet. I think many people listening to this podcast probably know that diets don't work. I didn't know that at the time, but they often do work short-term. So I had some short-term changes that made me feel in control. It made me feel powerful in some way. Maybe that's a slight overstatement. I'm not sure I felt powerful when I was 12, but it felt more powerful. Then from there it just became this fixation and it got more and more extreme as the years progressed. Then when I was 17, I developed bulimia and dealt with that for over a decade. It was like my late twenties when I finally started to really get better from that. I tried everything under the sun, every therapy, every energy healer, you name it. I tried it. It was not an easy process for me to get out of that until I really started learning more about trauma and started understanding my eating disorder as being a symptom of something rather than the problem itself. That completely shifted my orientation toward it and started to make very big strides in my recovery once I started getting trauma treatment [CRISTINA] Interesting. So if you don't mind me asking a few questions, because I know a lot of people here have a similar trajectory where it starts out, the benign like, oh, I just want to try a diet. Then it morphs into something over time into like a full-blown eating disorder. Now when you're 17, did you know you had an eating disorder or did you not realize that at the time? [IRIS] I mean, I knew that it wasn't something I could just go tell my parents, "Hey guess what I just did." I knew that I had enough awareness to realize that was not something that you were supposed to do and that it wasn't supposedly healthy. I agree that it's not healthy now, but at the time I was skeptical about that. I was sort of in denial that it was bad for me initially, but then it very quickly spiraled out of control. It didn't take me too long to realize, okay, doing this almost every day is not sustainable. It's not good for you. I did make attempts to stop many times, many, many, many, many times along the way and was not able to do that for a long time. [CRISTINA] Now when I hear that all the time from people, "I try to stop, I want to stop. I don't want to keep doing this. I know this isn't "good" for me." I don't know if you went through this at the time, thinking I'm a failure because I can't stop this or I just need to try harder or what's wrong with me that I can't stop? Stopping is almost more painful than doing it. I don't know if you were caught in that fine. [IRIS] Since you all can't see me, I'm nodding my head the whole time she's asking that question because yes, I felt like something was really wrong with me because, and I just want to qualify this. I know CBT can be really helpful for some people. I did not find it helpful. I found it actually compounded some of the shame that I felt because I can look at this cognitively, I can look at this logically and I understand why this is bad. I can see the wear and tear it's having on my body. I can notice my thought distortions, but it's still not changing. So that made me feel worse in a way about myself at the time, which I know is not everyone's experience. But for me in particular, I think because I had a pretty significant complex trauma history, that just wasn't the tool for me. So I had to ultimately end up approaching it from a very different perspective and, yes, it was a long windy road to get there for sure. [CRISTINA] So in terms of the complex trauma history, was that something that separately you had gone to get help to resolve previously or was that something you didn't even connect to your eating disorder? [IRIS] I didn't connect it at all. I really didn't. I'd seen so many different therapists and it just was never mentioned, it never came up and it wasn't until I started developing some pretty severe symptoms that were in addition to my eating disorder later. I had a few periods of time where I got so triggered that I actually could not talk for periods of time. I went into a full catatonic shutdown state. [CRISTINA] Wow. [IRIS] Not, it didn't last for very long, but that happened a couple of times. It was very alarming to me because I had never experienced anything like that before. So I was able to find and I honestly don't even remember how I found her or why I looked this up. Everything at that stage was a blur, but I found a somatically trained therapist who understood the connection between the body and trauma and recognized this as a symptom of PTSD. I think I had, the lines between PTSD and complex PTSD are blurry, especially if you had some shock trauma and complex trauma, but I sort of ultimately determined that I was dealing with both. So that was the first time it even occurred to me that that's what was going on just because I'd seen so many people and it never came up. So I just figured if that's what the issue was, somebody would've said something, but I think at this time there's been such a huge movement forward in the trauma field even in the last five years. So that wasn't happening then. That wasn't as part of the conversation when I was in school. [CRISTINA] Did you have awareness that you had had a trauma history or did that come up in therapy over time when you realized that whatever you had gone through was a trauma? [IRIS] I didn't fully acknowledge it. I was in pretty hardcore denial about it, to be honest. A lot of my trauma had to do with sexual trauma over the years and I just wasn't prepared to really look at that. I just to give my previous therapist some credits, not like I had been telling them that I had experienced all this sexual trauma and they just glossed over it. I wasn't talking about it because I felt like there was nothing that could be done to change it. So I had so much shame about what I had experienced. Something I didn't mention that in the mix here in childhood, obviously this wasn't the case, but later on I was drinking a lot to manage some of the intense feelings that I was dealing with in addition to bulimia. I put myself in some pretty sketchy situations where some things happen and so I blamed myself for those things. So I just didn't really feel like there was any point in talking about it. Of course I realize now there was a lot of point in talking about it and I've done a lot of processing of all the things that have happened, but there was a good chunk of time there where I just didn't feel like anyone could help me with that. So why bring it up if no one can help me? So yes, I kept that to myself. [CRISTINA] I can imagine there's lots of people listening who probably have that same thought or feeling of, oh gosh, if I tell somebody this is going to be so embarrassing or maybe I'll get judged or if you're blaming yourself already, like who else isn't going to blame you? Or maybe nobody will believe you. I don't know if, did you feel like you couldn't even tell people in your life like your family or did you feel like I just have to hold onto this to myself. This is my shame. This is my, this is something I can never tell anybody? [IRIS] Nobody knew about it. I didn't tell anyone. I didn't think my family would believe me. Then my friends, I just didn't feel like anyone could relate. I just thought this is something I have to carry with me. This is mine to carry. That's it. Because I didn't know anyone at the time. This was pre-social media. There were no public figures that I was aware of talking about their eating disorder symptoms. There's nobody talking about sexual abuse that I was aware of. There probably were, but I just didn't know who they were or how to find that. So from where I was sitting, it seemed like I must be a freak because this happened to me, but I don't think this happens to other people because nobody talks about it and it didn't occur to me at the time that, well I'm not talking about it either. So maybe all these other people are experiencing it and not talking about it, but I just didn't have the, I didn't feel like I had the safe relation to catch me if I were to share that and for me to feel like that was going to go well. [CRISTINA] I'm so grateful to you for opening up and sharing about this because just like you said, anyone listening might feel like, okay, I'm not alone and can just so relate to everything you're saying right now. Because I think that's such a common experience and just feeling that loneliness and the stuckedness and the trauma and the fear. What was that like for you to first start opening up about it? Was it more of a relief or were you just really scared? [IRIS] It was overwhelming. It was really overwhelming. Yes, it took me a while, too, to find a therapist because even that first one that got the ball rolling, it wasn't quite the right fit, where I got pretty flooded. Like there's a really key concept in trauma treatment called titration; our nervous systems can only handle so much at a time. So if we dive in too deep and we start moving through things too quickly, it can actually really like flood our systems where we're just incredibly overwhelmed and it's difficult to make progress when we're in that space just because everything feels threatening. So I got into that place pretty quickly and was just, my nervous system was on a hair trigger. I was jumping at everything. It was really tough for my partner at the time because he would touch me and I would jump. There was just, it was a lot, but eventually I found someone who had a really strong understanding of how all of that worked and was able to walk me through it very, very, very slowly. That's what I needed at that time. Prior to that, I was someone who wanted to try to grab the bull by the horns and just force my way through things and that's just not how it works when you're looking at some of these early, especially early trauma experiences. So that was an important lesson for me, is it's okay. It's okay to go really slow here. It's better to go really slow here. So hopefully if anyone out there is listening and wants to muscle through it, I just encourage taking a breath and slowing it down. Because I think that's more sustainable long-term, with trauma healing. So yes, eventually I got to a place where I was, I felt a little more balanced as I was working through it and I would say I'm done. I'm not sure we're ever fully done understanding ourselves and understanding the impacts of things that have happened, but I'm in a place now where I can continue to look at this stuff and feel quite grounded and safe as I'm doing that. [CRISTINA] Again, I'm so glad you're sharing your experience when you first started opening up because I can imagine some people, and maybe you did this too, want to bolt from therapy and say, gosh, this is making it worse. It's making my life worse, my relationships worse. This is not helpful and this is awful. I want to just quit and go back and just not open up ever again. [IRIS] I get that. I had that thought too, for sure. I wish I could articulate this because I'm not sure there's a good way to do it. There was just this deeper part of myself that trusted that somehow there had to be an answer or there had to be some pathway forward. I don't really know exactly where that came from. I think some of it, perhaps there's, in my family, there's a lot of history of pretty significant mental illness. One person, my family in particular, I watched them go from truly the brink of death to actually thriving and over the course of my lifetime. So I have to imagine that seeing that progression had to have given me some idea that it's like, okay, even if it gets really bad, even if it gets that bad, there's some way through it. I don't know. Everyone's path is going to be different. Mine was definitely different from my other family members. But yes, it's hard to imagine that that didn't plant a pretty powerful seed in there that I could somehow figure out a way through it. [CRISTINA] Thank you. And resilience as well. It does take a lot of time and effort and years, the time part. and I think that's the part I really want to focus in on too, is you didn't give up. You just kept going. Because I think, there's sometimes this question people ask, well, how it going to take? How much, when is it going to be over or when am I going to be done? I don't know if you got ever frustrated, like, gosh, this is taking forever. Am I ever going to be better? [IRIS] Just a little bit. An understatement of the century here. Yes, I got extremely impatient and frustrated and it felt like, oh my gosh I started and I just want to say this too. I was in a really privileged position to have access to treatment. I know a lot of people don't. So I started treatment when I was 12 and first started seeing a therapist when I was 12. Even though a lot of things actually got worse from there, there were still little nuggets and pieces of wisdom or tools that accumulated over the years. So it took me a long time to find the thing that I found the most helpful, but I still think it's not like all of that time was wasted either. Because with every therapist and coach and practitioner that I saw along the way, it either taught me one tool that was useful or maybe even just like one insight that was useful or it showed me what wasn't useful, which is also useful. So I think it's always easier in hindsight to look back and say, okay, that actually was helpful in some way, or that was just one step along the path. But if anyone's listening to this, I just really feel for you because it is the most natural thing in the world to want this to go quickly. I think something that I think has helped me understand this a little bit better, we wouldn't walk around with this idea that you would be able to develop a really deep trusting, beautiful relationship with a partner overnight. That takes time. That takes effort. That takes shared experience. That takes conflict like rupture and repair. There's so much that goes into building a deep lasting, trusting, romantic partnership. And building a healthy relationship with ourselves is similar. You can't build that overnight. A lot of it is from eating disorders, a lot of healing from trauma. It's rebuilding that relationship with ourselves. That's by definition going to take time. I know nobody likes to hear that. We want there to be some weekend workshop that we can do or some magical treatment that we can do that's just going to make it happen. But it's really like any other relationship and takes a lot of time and effort to cultivate. [CRISTINA] Yes. I'm glad you're saying that too, because I know people ask that and like you said, anyone listening, who's in the thick of it and maybe just wondering or stuck, I can't express enough the need to just keep going. It's worth it to just keep going on the path because quitting on yourself or quitting the process is just, that's where you stay suck. [IRIS] It's so true. I think one thing that maybe you've talked about before, but I do think it's also okay to rest sometimes, which is very distinct from stopping fully because there were times where I was frustrated and I was spending a lot of money on treatment that I didn't feel like was working. There were times where I just felt like, okay, I just need to think about something else for a while. I'm glad I took those periods of time occasionally. I don't recommend that if you're really like in thick of an eating disorder and having symptoms that could be dangerous for your health. But if you're in a place where your symptoms are a little bit more managed, sometimes it's okay to just focus on traveling or I guess not right now traveling, but a hobby or something that you enjoy because I think there can be so much intense introspection that goes into recovery. Sometimes it's also important to turn the gaze outward a little bit and focus on things in your life that are pleasurable or joyful or meaningful as well. [CRISTINA] Switching gears a little bit, so a lot of people who have trauma histories and eating disorders, their relationships really suffer and especially their personal, romantic relationships. So people often ask, well, I'm never going to be able to trust and have a close, intimate relationship. Your experience, was that part of your concern too or did you work on that in therapy as well? [IRIS] Oh yes. That's actually mostly what I worked on in therapy that felt like the thing that was the most accessible for me to talk about. I struggled with a lot of codependency stuff, so I was very focused on my romantic relationship to a point that was not ideal actually, but I really struggled with romantic relationships had a lot of challenges ended up in some pretty unhealthy relationship dynamics over the years and didn't really find a truly healthy relationship until I met my husband. I was in my thirties when I met him. So everyone's timescale is different, but for me, a lot of people I knew were already married and settled at that point. So it took me a little bit longer, but I'm glad that all is welded in. Well, it turned out pretty great, but yes, it was one of my primary struggles and was seeking that sense of safety through another person and seeking validation through another person. That was just a recipe for a lot of heartache for me until I was able, and I don't want to say, oh, you can't love someone until you love yourself. Because I don't think that's necessarily true but I think until I was able to have a sense of safety within myself to trust myself fully, it was going to be really hard for me to trust someone else. I found myself choosing partners that weren't very trustworthy. Part of that was because I didn't trust my own intuition. I would have these gut instincts early in the relationship that I would just dismiss because I was like, no, I need this person to love me. I need this person to validate me. So if I listen to this gut instinct, I'm going to have to walk away and I can't do that. This is too important. I ended up in relationship much longer than I think. Well, I know I would've been if I had actually been listening to myself and trusting my own instincts. [CRISTINA] So, and I know there are people out there who are shaking their head going, "Yes, me too," because it is so tied to, so much of your past and your relationship history too. Like you said, your ability to trust, trust that what you're feeling and your perspective on things is accurate. I'm sure going through all that, you are questioning yourself all over the place and just questioning well, probably everything. So why would you not question is my gut reaction right? Or not like maybe if I lose this relationship or listen to this that might be wrong. You can see that. [IRIS] Well, and especially I'm sure a number of people listening to this will have a shared experience here where I experienced a lot of gas lighting in my childhood where my reality was questioned. Things were, like the tables were turned. I was told I was the crazy one and that never happened, all this stuff. So I naturally, as a result of that started questioning my reality in so many different situations. So when I would start to see red flags or things that didn't feel right to me, I would immediately start second guessing myself. Then in some cases the partner that I was with would also turn it around on me and like, how could you say that that's never happened? Then I find out we've been sleeping with other people or whatever, but it got sort of weaponized against me, like, how could you even say that about me? Because of my history too, I really internalized that. I was like, oh my gosh, you're right. I'm not a very trusting person. This is my issue to work on. So I blamed that on myself and it wasn't until later that the truth comes out and I realized, okay, my gut instinct was dead on, but it was very confusing as you might imagine. [CRISTINA] Okay, so as you're working through trauma, you're being traumatized emotionally by being gaslighted again, like you were as a child. That must have been so hard. [IRIS] It was very difficult. It was very confusing. I just feel so lucky at that time period because that was a little bit later on. That was like later in my twenties. I just had a few people, a few really honest people in my life who did not sugarcoat things, who were very deeply compassionate, but also were like shaking me by the shoulders, "Hello, like wake up. This is not good for you. This pattern that you're in this relationship that you're in is not good for you. I'm very stubborn, which I think is really helpful in recovery, but it's also sometimes a hindrance. So it took me a lot of time to feel ready to walk away from some of these relationships. Thankfully I had some people in my corner who believed that I was stronger than I believed and helped me come to terms with some changes that I needed to make at that time. [CRISTINA] It is so important to have healthy people around you, too supportive people outside of your therapy. It's really important. I'm glad to hear you're in a healthy marriage now and you're at the other end of all of this talking to us now coming at it. That's why really, I'm glad you're on the podcast to be a beacon of hope like, yes, you can get to a place where you are able to have a relationship and not continue on in these patterns with people that are hurting you and trust yourself. [IRIS] Yes. It turned out really well. [CRISTINA] I did want to ask too, so you have also turned everything you've been into what you are doing now, which is how I found you. So I didn't know if you wanted to talk about that as well because I think it's super important what you're doing. [IRIS] Thank you. I got to this point where I realized, maybe I should rewind a little, but I think I knew for a long time, I mean, I first started getting interested in psychology when I was in middle school. I was pretty fascinated by it, but I was also afraid of it because I think I knew that, I mean, there was some things I definitely wasn't ready to look at, so that was certainly part of it. But I think as I got older, I started to realize that part of really making this my career and part of my calling was to start to share openly about the experiences that I had. I was absolutely not willing to do that for a long time. I was really invested in keeping up the façade and was pretty good at it. I think a lot of people didn't know everything that I was dealing with. So it took me a while to feel like I was actually ready. I had to be in a pretty solid place within myself to feel comfortable speaking out about what I had been through. So that's where it started. I didn't really have a master plan of any kind. I just felt like, okay I don't see enough people talking about this. This was a number of years ago. I feel like it's really been wonderful to see so many people start to step out and share. But I first started on social media, just sharing my experiences. Then the more I learned about trauma, I started getting pretty obsessed with it and learning as much as I could about it. The more I learned, the more I felt like eating disorder treatment wasn't really incorporating. And at the time there was very limited research on that. Again, thankfully there's a lot more now but at the time that I was getting most interested in this, there wasn't a lot. So I was going on my gut and looking at my own experience and trying to figure out a pathway forward. So I started like a group mentor program for eating disorders, just wanting to share some of this information that I had learned and that kick-started my coaching career. From there, it has evolved quite a bit. I've gotten a lot of education and some certification and trauma. Now I'm actually back getting my master's in clinical psychology, which I never thought I would really do, but here we are. So it took on a life of its own, but I've been very, very blessed to be able to share what I've been learning with other people. [CRISTINA] Fantastic just doing this. I find that fascinating, just taking everything you've been through and being able to turn around and help other people who are now going through it and being able to look at them and like you're doing now talk about it. They can actually see you and go, okay, if you healed, I can heal too. I can get through this. [IRIS] Yes. Well, I think something that's important too, because I try really hard to stay away from anything prescriptive because it's like, what worked for me may not work for you. My path is going to be different from your path. What I do hope to equip people with is some information so that they can start to do their own exploration and start to see, okay, what pieces of this fit for me? What pieces of this don't fit for me and hopefully spark some curiosity about themselves and about the research that's out there because I really don't think there is a one size fits all and people have different amounts of resources at their disposal for different types of treatments. And unfortunately a lot of people have terrible insurance and a lot of people don't accept insurance. It's a huge issue, but if I can leave people with something, I'm hoping people will start to get online and start to dig around and go on Google. Scholar and see what you can find. The literature, there is a lot of information out there. There's a lot of great books out there. A lot of the healing that I found was through just following my curiosity and learning as much as I could. And of course you can't do all the work in your mind. You can't just learn and just magically be healed but I think that at least helped me remove some of the shame because it started to drive home for me that I was responding in a reasonable way to some very unreasonable situations and that it wasn't an Iris problem. There was this bigger problem and I was managing it the best I could. That dissolved a lot of shame for me. [CRISTINA] Well, and I think you're absolutely right. There's not a one size fits all treatment program or healing process for everybody. So I'm glad there's lots of different people out there trying to heal other people. Maybe somebody who's listening would say, "Hey, how do I get a hold of Iris? How can they get a hold of Iris?" [IRIS] You can find me on Instagram. My hurdle is just at Iris McAlpin. We don't have any programs coming super soon just because I'm eight and a half months pregnant right now. [CRISTINA] Congratulations. [IRIS] Thank you. I do have a program called bloom that focuses on self sabotage, but that covers such a broad range of experiences, including challenges with foods. I've definitely have people struggling with their relationship with food and the program. We look at the role that early developmental trauma plays and some of our tendencies to get in our own way and what that's really about. So I mean, I want to say it's a fun program. It's all the things. There are moments that are fun. It's really cool. It's also stirring as you might imagine. But I'll be running those again later this year. [CRISTINA] Fantastic. Well, Iris, any last words before we end? [IRIS] Just thank you. Thank you for asking thoughtful questions and for giving me an opportunity to reflect on this a little bit. It's been a while since I've done that. [CRISTINA] Well, thank you, at eight and a half months pregnant for taking the time to be here. I remember being in that spot a couple times myself and it's exhausting. So thank you so much. [IRIS] You're welcome. Thanks for having me. [CRISTINA] This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.