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I’m Back…

23rd July 2010

I’m Back…

posted in Author, Greta, Mind & Body, Recovery |

Hi Everyone,

It has been months since I’ve posted, and I apologize.  I’ve been ridiculously busy… first it was school, then graduation, working two jobs, doing proposal edits for my agent, and now I finally have a minute to breathe.  I have so many posts in my head, so I guess I’ll start with my personal life and recovery.  About six months ago, my partner decided (operative word) that she was going to become spiritually enlightened through Buddhism.  I couldn’t have been more happy.  Through this process, she has drastically cut out unhealthy food from her diet, essentially cleansing her mind, body, and soul.  She has been a long-time sufferer of IBS, so she had a reason to change her nutritional regimen.  Since she made the decision to change her eating, she has never looked back.  Of course, this has caused her to lose quite a bit of weight, and she was already thin.

Enter my insanity.

As an ED in recovery, I, naturally, think that this can’t be good.  My thoughts race.  She’s be in denial.  She doesn’t realize she’s doing this on purpose.  She really wants to lose more.  She must have an eating disorder. So, I allude to her that she’s becoming anorexic and she gets offended.  Okay so that’s my first clue that she does not have an ED.  Moreover, she tells me that most people who tell her she’s too thin are people who only wish they could eat as healthily as she.

Enter my reality.

She is right.  I was completely jealous.  After struggling for years with the ED, then struggling with mental obsession (although it has lessened) in recovery, I was dumbfounded how, in one swoop, she just decided to completely change her life.  Just how is it that one can evolve so quickly?  While she is not in a recovery program, her behaviors seem to mimic the 3rd step of all 12-step programs… Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. I’m no longer a 12-stepper, but the third step just keeps popping up in my brain.  Another phrase embedded in my brain from “the rooms” was that we had a god-sized hole that we were trying to fill up with food, alcohol, people, etc.

What I’m learning is that god-sized holes aren’t just for addicts, and my partner has shown me that many spiritual solutions exist outside the rooms of AA/OA–no matter how much people in the rooms tell you otherwise.  Second, another major difference between my partner and I (besides being separate people, lol) is I’m the one with the eating disorder.  Solely losing weight does not make for an eating disorder–a symptom of an ED, yes.  But, as we all know, EDs are full of biopsychosocial/spiritual complexities, and considered a disease by most medical professionals.

I still have food patterns that bother me… though, it’s my perfection and ED voice that are most bothered by them.  By non-ED standards, my food intake is healthy.  So, because I have this “disease” hanging over my head, does that mean I cannot make a decision and evolve overnight?  It certainly makes me wonder.  I haven’t been able to do it so far, so probably not.  As “normal” as I try to be and free myself from the ED identity, it seems to always be hangin’ around in some form or another.  I remember in treatment professionals telling me that as many years as one is in the ED it takes an equal amount of time in recovery to undo the ED mindset.  So, I have about a decade to go I guess!  Something to look forward to, lol.

Anyway, that’s all for now!

More posts are on the way!!

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 23rd, 2010 at 11:56 am and is filed under Author, Greta, Mind & Body, Recovery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 8 responses to “I’m Back…”

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  1. 1 On July 23rd, 2010, Piffle said:

    Glad to see you back, glad your partner is doing well, glad you are learning and happy. :)

  2. 2 On July 23rd, 2010, Rachel said:

    I actually credit Buddhism with helping me RECOVER from an eating disorder. Yes, Buddhism does place some dietary restraints on its followers (most are vegetarian; most try to eat healthy, sustainable foods; and many also don’t drink alcohol), but it also teaches you to reject the superficial and focus on what really matters. The emphasis in Buddhism on self-analysis and introspect, combined with its focus on the cultivation of mind and body as an instrument of goodwill, encouraged me to examine my life and my disorder and helped me learn to treat my body with the same kindness and compassion I try to show to others.

    People who are recovering from an ED may never fully get rid of that ED voice in our heads, but we can choose to ignore it and make healthier decisions. Even though you still struggle mentally and emotionally, it sounds like you realize the voice for what it is and are not falling into the old ED trap — and THAT’S what really matters most in recovery.

    Glad to see you back :)

  3. 3 On July 23rd, 2010, Mrs/Dr T said:

    OMG! I’ve been reading too many viagra ads or something! I was thinking ED = erectile dysfunction for most of your post. Makes much more sense now that I know its “eating disorder”. I even researched anorexia nervosa as a grad student! We called it AN back then. I don’t mean to make light of a very serious condition…but I’m laughing at myself for making such a dumb mistake! Thanks for the Friday giggle!

    Mrs/Dr T

  4. 4 On July 23rd, 2010, Jackie said:

    It kind of irks me that your partner suggested that people who complained about her being too thin, wished they could eat as healthily as her. I don’t think people’s choice of food, and wether or not it qualafies as healthy, should be under judgement by others.

  5. 5 On July 24th, 2010, SteveD said:

    Sounds like she has Will Power. Can I have some? But welcome back!

  6. 6 On July 26th, 2010, Alyssa (The 40 year-old) said:

    One of the things I have learned since starting intuitive eating is that there are people out there who DON’T have issues around food. (My husband is one of them. He eats when he’s hungry, stops when he’s had enough, and doesn’t think about it beyond that. He’s also someone who, once he puts his mind to something, gets it done, seemingly without all the self-doubt and paralyzing fear.) The reasons for our food issues are as many and varied as those of us with said issues are. We all bring our own experience to the table (literally). And for a long time I tried SO HARD to instantly think like a “normal” eater, which doesn’t work. Those voices are there, and I have to deal with them. They are there for a reason Shutting them up is only temporary and will only force them to get louder in the long run.
    I highly recommend Geneen Roth’s “Women Food and God” if you haven’t read it yet. It’s all about how our food issues can lead us to the deeper issues.
    Take care!

  7. 7 On July 27th, 2010, Rachel said:

    @Mrs/Dr T: HA! I actually think the opposite every time I see one of those annoying ED commercials on TV. If only eating disorders COULD get the publicity and financial support that erectile dysfunction seems to get!

    @Alyssa: Same here. My husband is so incredibly sane around food that it amazes me. And he doesn’t even have to try! A normal, healthy relationship with food is as natural to him as breathing.

  8. 8 On November 11th, 2010, Nina said:

    I have also been in many 12 step programs where the focus was on food as an addiction and seeking a higher power to relieve us of the insanity and obsession around food. I no longer go to these programs and I do consider myself a normal eater these days, after almost a decade of eating disorder hell. I believe that Buddhism states that there are thousands of paths to enlightmenment. For some it is Buddhism, for some it is 12 step.
    What I found worked for me is completely letting go of all forms of dieting, control, restriction and meal plans. I wanted to be a normal eater, and that IS the way that I eat today.
    Just like @Alyssa described her husband – that is the way that I eat today. I eat exactly what I feel like, when I feel like it. Sometimes I dont eat breakfast and sometimes I eat at 2am if I am hungry.
    The important thing is that I dont have any obsession and my weight has not changed at all in years. I almost forget that I even had the eating disorder, and this is coming from someone who was an inpatient at several clinics, lost jobs and a fiance through the eating disorder and often could not get out of the house for weeks on end due to a massive binge/purge episode.
    I write this and have started a blog http://www.helpforeatingdisorder.com in order to help others if only to open their minds to the possibility that complete recovery IS POSSIBLE.

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