In a previous post I figured out in therapy that this disorder is not about the food. Duh, I knew that, but I didn’t know that. I knew it had nothing to do with food, but I was still obsessed with it and I couldn’t figure out why I was coming back to that, weight and body image. I had my epiphany when I was sitting on the couch getting more and more frustrated and hating my sandwich more and more. I understood that I was projecting my feelings into the sandwich and wanting to throw the sandwich against the wall to get rid of those feelings and not have to feel them. Seems legit, right? Makes sense!!! Except that isn’t how life works…. We have to feel those feelings.
Last night was a turning point in recovery for me. I’m learning how to “talk back” to the eating disorder. I know how to “just do it anyway” when it comes to the meal plan. I follow my meal plan while hating it and the eating disorder thoughts go crazy after meals. I hate them they run wild and I don’t know what to do so I just let them happen. In therapy, I had to list out what the eating disorder says in my head after dinner. I made my list of awful things and said, “now what do I do?” My therapist, said, “now you have to tell Ed how you feel.” (let me take a break and insert some thoughts that aren’t spoken)…. What? Say how I “feel”… more of those damn feelings???? Seriously, I feel like I want to throw something because I’m sick and friggin tired of feelings. How about you say how you feel and shove it up your ass!!!! Everyone in the world can take their feelings and shove it up their asses! There has to be a world where we aren’t run by feelings or a day when we can go on without feelings c’mon, people!!!!!! (end rant! I’m kind of sick of feelings if you haven’t noticed).
So, I went with it and she made me choose several words and I did. I had to formulate a sentence and say something along the lines of “Ed, I feel angry, sad and hated when you scream those things at me.” I thought … “woo hoo… I did it!” – Nope, it didn’t stop there! (womp, womp). I had to take each word and explain why I felt that way. I had to break down the “angry” and explain it in a separate statement and then move on to the next statement.
By the time I got to the third word, I couldn’t speak. I realized that my eating disorder is directly attached to my past. I realized that when I hear the eating disorder screaming in my head I can see food, fat and body image…. but when I have to attach these feelings to the statements of how Ed makes me feel, I see something totally different. I see everything from my past that I didn’t like that is negative that I don’t want to think about.
I’m realizing that the eating disorder is doing a great job of helping me push down those things and helping me to not feel them. When I have to think about how Ed makes me feel, I don’t see Ed anymore….. I see those things in my life that I don’t really want to deal with. It’s kind of hard to conceptualize, which is why I drew that awful picture for you! 🙂
I don’t know how many times my therapist has told me that the eating disorder is just a symptom of something larger, or that I’m pushing down feelings that I don’t want to feel. She has spelled it out about ten times (seriously, probably more) and I heard her… but I didn’t hear her. She told me exactly what I experienced. Well, now I see it…. Because I had to feel it. That session was the first time that I realized this disorder is not about the food, but instead about negative feelings! Great, right? Hell no! Now the hard work begins! Now I have to face those pesky feelings! Not only do I have to do that, but I have to look at my feelings each time I am frustrated with food!
In between facing those pesky feelings, I still have challenges! Beth didn’t just disappear!!! She’s still here!!!!
Now, I have to eat a challenging food just because it tastes good – on top of my meal plan! Oh the stress!! Now, I’ve decided to retire from anorexia, and I’m sticking to it, but this is getting a bit tough these days!
Today is a day for a challenge! And…. I’m an overachiever!!! This is #2!!! I missed breakfast because my morning was crazy in the world of ESL kids, so I was going to make it up at lunch. Then I couldn’t make up the missed item at lunch, so I have to add an extra item at dinner….. and even though I feel guilty…. this massive cookie at Panera just looked like it needed a home in my tummy! (man, it was damn good)
So, even though I have a long way to go, I’m still well on my way down the right path. I’m 7 weeks down on my meal plan following it, and I see this being a new way of life. It’s hard as shit, but it’s not impossible.
I’m going to keep on keeping on because there is definitely something better out there than living with ed. It really sucks feeling awful and being healthy is so much better than living in a sick world!