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Healing From ACEs: 12 Ways To Begin Your Emotional Healing Journey

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Embark on the Path of Healing From Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). For example:

  • experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect

  • witnessing violence in the home or community

  • having a family member attempt or die by suicide

ACEs are common. About 64% of U.S. adults reported they had experienced at least one type of ACE before age 18, and nearly 1 in 6 (17.3%) reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs.

According to the CDC, Preventing ACEs could potentially reduce many health conditions. For example, by preventing ACEs, up to 1.9 million heart disease cases and 21 million depression cases potentially could have been avoided.

Some people are at greater risk of experiencing once or more ACEs than others. While all children are at risk of ACEs, numerous studies have shown inequities in such experiences linked to the historical, social, and economic environments in which some families live. ACEs were highest among females, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults, and adults who are unemployed or unable to work.

ACEs can have lasting, negative effects on health, wellbeing in childhood and life opportunities, such as education and job potential, well into adulthood. These experiences can increase the risks of injury, sexually transmitted infections, maternal and child health problems (including teen pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and fetal death), involvement in sex trafficking, and a wide range of chronic diseases and leading causes of death, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and suicide.

To embark on the path of healing from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the first crucial step is acknowledging and accepting the impact of these experiences on your life. This acknowledgment involves understanding that the trauma you endured during your childhood has left imprints on your emotional, psychological, and even physical well-being. By accepting this truth without self-blame, you empower yourself to address the wounds that have shaped your perception of self and the world around you. This acknowledgment sets the foundation for seeking appropriate support, such as therapy and peer groups, to navigate through the healing process.

Next, it's essential to prioritize your mental health by seeking professional help. Engage with a therapist who specializes in trauma and childhood adversity, as they can guide you through evidence-based therapies to process and integrate the trauma into your narrative. This therapeutic journey involves delving into the emotions, thoughts, and beliefs associated with the past, fostering resilience, and developing coping mechanisms. Additionally, practicing self-compassion, self-care, and incorporating mindfulness techniques can aid in building emotional resilience, allowing you to gradually rebuild a sense of safety, trust, and empowerment within yourself and your relationships. The healing journey is a transformative process that unfolds at your own pace, fueled by courage, self-awareness, and the commitment to cultivate a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Facts About Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is characterized by episodes of excessive food consumption over short periods. The condition currently affects 2.8 million adults in the U.S.

Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States. Also referred to as emotional eating or compulsive overeating, binge eating disorder is characterized by episodes of excessive food consumption over short periods. Binge eating disorder statistics estimate that the condition affects 2.8 million adults in the U.S.

Some key binge eating disorder facts include:

  • The exact cause of binge eating disorder is unknown

  • Binge eating disorder always involves experiencing a loss of control over food consumption during binge periods

  • Affected individuals usually feel depressed or guilty after an episode of binge eating

  • The main difference between binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa is that binge eating episodes are not followed by purging, excessive exercise, or fasting

I share this information with folks because I was diagnosed with binge eating in my early 20s. I work through unresolved emotional pain I experience due to adverse childhood experiences ACEs of abandonment and childhood emotional neglect trauma. I did well for a while making self-care a top priority. Then in 2013, I relapsed due to burnout, exhaustion, and self-neglect. I simply returned to old habits and had a health scare that caused me to reexamine my life, and wellness goals. I chose to take a full year off to heal, recover, and come up with a recovery plan. That meant I needed to study and learn what was needed to take better care of myself to maintain my sobriety. In the Fall August 1, 2015, I achieved my goal of staying in full remission with Codependency People Pleasing, Sugar Addiction, and Emotional Binge Eating Disorder, and have maintained my sobriety goals.

How To Heal Adverse Childhood Experiences

Healing from abandonment wounds, emotional neglect, and people-pleasing tendencies, and addressing sugar addiction and emotional binge eating disorders require a comprehensive approach that integrates emotional, psychological, and physical aspects. It's essential to work with a trauma-informed nutritionist, recovery coach, and a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, to tailor a plan to your specific needs and circumstances.

However, I can provide a general roadmap to guide your recovery journey:

1. Seek Professional Help:

  • Therapy: Consider individual therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), to address abandonment wounds, emotional neglect, and people-pleasing tendencies.

  • Nutritional Counseling: Work with a nutritionist to develop a healthy eating plan and address your sugar addiction and emotional binge eating.

2. Self-Reflect and Understand Triggers:

  • Keep a journal to identify emotional triggers and patterns related to people-pleasing, self-abandonment, sugar addiction, and emotional binge eating.

3. Practice Self-Compassion and Self-Care:

  • Develop a self-care routine that includes activities you enjoy and that promote relaxation and well-being.

4. Mindfulness and Meditation:

  • Incorporate mindfulness practices to help you stay present, manage stress, and become more attuned to your emotional and physical needs.

5. Build a Support Network:

  • Reach out to support groups or connect with individuals who have experienced similar challenges. Sharing experiences can provide validation and valuable insights.

6. Healthy Eating and Nutrition:

  • Work with a nutritionist to develop a balanced meal plan that addresses your sugar addiction and emotional binge eating.

  • Gradually reduce your sugar intake and replace it with healthier alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

7. Regular Exercise:

  • Engage in regular physical activity to improve your overall well-being and manage stress. Find activities you enjoy to make it sustainable.

8. Address Emotional Eating:

  • Learn and practice alternative coping strategies for dealing with emotions, such as mindfulness, deep breathing, or engaging in creative activities.

9. Set Boundaries:

  • Learn to say no and set healthy boundaries in your relationships to prevent overcommitting and people-pleasing.

10. Educational Resources:

  • Read books and attend workshops related to overcoming emotional wounds, sugar addiction, emotional eating, and building self-esteem.

11. Celebrate Progress:

  • Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and acknowledge your progress in healing and recovery.

12. Regular Check-Ins:

  • Have regular check-ins with your mental health professional and nutritionist to assess your progress and make necessary adjustments to your recovery plan.

Take Away

Remember, healing and recovery take time and effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate the progress you make along the way. Reach out for help and surround yourself with a supportive network to aid you on this journey towards a healthier and happier life.


Need Help Developing A Plan For Self-Care

Do you want help developing a self-care plan that works for your busy schedule? Do you want accountability in implementing a self-care plan? If you or someone you love is struggling to maintain optimal mental and emotional health, consider reaching out to Spiced Life Conversation Art Wellness Studio and Botanica. We are a Metro Atlanta, Conyers Georgia area. We are a coaching and counseling practice with empathetic, skilled counselors and recovery coaches who can help you set goals, develop a self-care routine, and move forward to build a more fulfilling life. Our team would be happy to work with you either just for a couple of sessions to develop and implement a Self-care plan or longer term to work toward overall better mental health within our membership site or other programs.

Dr. Nikki LeToya White
Dr. Nikki LeToya White

About The Author: Dr. Nikki LeToya White MSEd-TL, Ph.D. RHN is the founder, director, and full-time board-certified trauma-informed nutritionist, folk herbalist, and wellness consultant at Spiced Life Conversation Art Wellness Studio and Botanica. She created Spiced Life Conversation, LLC Art Wellness Studio and Botanica to provide the Metro Atlanta area with counseling and coaching services where clients are carefully matched with the right program for healing abandonment and childhood emotional neglect trauma that cause codependency, emotional eating, financial stress, and imposter syndrome as it relates to fear of success and being abandon. We help you begin your emotional healing journey with ease. Recently, we have expanded to include an online membership site so we now provide support to people living all over the world. All of our recovery coaches provide at least one evidence-based treatment to assist in your recovery. Dr. White is a big proponent of self-care and helping people live a fulfilling life! She has been in full remission with both codependency and emotional binge eating disorder since 2016. In living a life in recovery from sugar addiction. Loving her low-sugar balance lifestyle. Best Regards Dr. Nikki LeToya White


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