child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Tuesday, June 12, 2012




There is nothing logical about an eating disorder.  If it were logical, those of us who have had them could easily see the error of our ways and stop killing ourselves.  

Hubby once told me that dealing with someone with an eating disorder is difficult because you have to be rational yourself while acknowledging that the person you love cannot be rational or reasoned with.  Malnutrition messes up every single thing in your mind.

When I was malnourished, I couldn't see how much my actions were effecting my body.  I was constantly in a state of "conspiracy theory", certain that everyone around me hated me.  Even when I finally realized that I was killing myself I couldn't think logically about it.  The logic of my malnourished brain said, "My family is already watching me die slowly.  If I were in a car accident, they wouldn't watch me die they would get a phone call to say I was gone.  It makes more sense than putting them through this."

It made perfect sense to me.  It was logical for me.  But it wasn't rational.  Nothing at all is rational or logical about any addiction, including eating disorders.  Do you know how many times I have heard,  "Why don't you just stop?"

If it were that easy it wouldn't be a disorder.  If I could explain it, I wouldn't have needed help.  If it made sense I would have never been stuck.  If it was logical, I wouldn't still have days that I just don't feel like eating for no reason at all.

I have a friend who is dealing with some pretty serious food demons right now.  And the difficult thing is that her husband is dealing with his own different demons.  He finally acknowledged his demons with this statement, "I guess I should start to stop."  She proceeds to tell me that she doesn't understand that "start to stop" mentality.  When she decides to do something, she just does it.  What does it mean to start to stop?

I smiled and reminded her of the illogical ways that that addictions work.  Do you know you should be eating?  Yes.  Do you know you are destroying your body? Yes.  Then why do you do it?  You know the problem, you can see the problem and yet you haven't stopped the behavior.  Suddenly his issues and willingness to work on them came into perspective.  

Addiction is emotional first and then physical.  Long before our bodies  crave the relief from restricting or purging or alcohol or drugs or whatever the addiction, our minds do.  Our minds crave the relief from the craziness of life, from the pain of our emotions.  We cater to our minds and emotions and then without warning and very quickly the physical body is completely addicted.

It would make sense to just stop.  But in the middle of the addiction, it doesn't make any sense.  To someone on the outside it seems so obvious.  To someone stuck it is terrifying.  To just stop means to have no way to cope with the pain of life.  To just stop takes away the illusion of control that you think you have.  

If making sense of it all were enough, if being logical and reasonable and rational were enough, no one would need treatment centers.  We wouldn't need help.  If being logical were enough, it wouldn't be a disease, it wouldn't be an addiction, it wouldn't be an issue at all.


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