Disproving denial

So I’ve talked about voice #1 – “the bitch” – the one who berates me, tells me I’m stupid, makes me feel like an awkward 12 year old girl with braces left on the side at the junior high dance. But there’s been another voice of late. She hasn’t shown up in a while, but I’m actually glad to hear her. Madame Denial. That’s right – I’m glad to hear Madame because it means I’m getting somewhere. She only shows up when she’s threatened.

I was at an EDA meeting tonight and I thought – I shouldn’t be here. I don’t belong here. Yes, these women sound like me, but it’s really not that big of a deal. So I stress about food – who doesn’t? I’m making this into something bigger just to get attention. I put a label on it, I see doctors and dietitians, psychologists and psychiatrists but it’s all just something that I choose to do. I don’t have an eating disorder – I’m just blowing things out of proportion as I always do, asking for attention when I don’t deserve it. I’m throwing myself into a new cause – attending meetings and reading literature and thinking about the steps because it keeps me busy, that’s all. Silly and pointless, all of this is.

And there’s a part of me that believed Madame Denial. I really did. I’m listening to others and thinking not that I’m better than they are, or that what I’m facing is less serious than they are – these people are incredibly brave and honest and it’s amazing to hear their insights and their struggles – not with food, but with the underlying issues of self-worth, trust, self-care, and control.

So while I was struggling with the “I’m overreacting” speech from Madame Denial, I went into the kitchen for my evening snack. And I realized that there was nothing I really wanted to eat except chocolate. I really, really wanted chocolate cake, and I have cake mix, and I make this little mini cake-in-a-cup in the microwave and it’s really yummy. And IMMEDIATELY I thought, you had a slice of pizza tonight, you don’t deserve chocolate cake. And then, right after that, it was – how would I even log this in MyFitnessPal? I don’t know how to convert the cake mix stats into 1/4 c. And that would be a lot of calories and fat, and I’d eat it, and then I’d feel guilty, and I can’t take feeling guilty today.

All of this is rushing around my head and I had to laugh aloud! Because I don’t know if God really does answer prayers, but he answered my unspoken one. He showed me in that thirty second interlude that I DO have an eating disorder. That normal people don’t think about food that way. That I need help. That no one is judging me at EDA. And that my husband doesn’t know what to make of my going to meetings but he seems cautiously supportive [he’s a cautious guy who feels out of his element with all of this]. I don’t have to be hospitalized and dying to get help. I don’t have to irreparably damage my internal organs and my bones to realize that I can’t do this alone. I don’t have to JUSTIFY myself – my freaky, scared, panicky self – to anyone. It doesn’t matter what my BMI is or isn’t. I know I have a problem, and I know I want to be better. That’s all it takes.

So God, if you do answer prayers, please know that I heard you tonight. And maybe I heard you not because I’ve been praying, but because I’ve realized I really need to just start listening.

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6 thoughts on “Disproving denial

  1. I too struggled with a eating disorder for years but only after I was willing to deal with underlying issues was I able to heal. Treatment sucked!! but it helped with the framework to getting healthy. Glad God is allowing you to see the light.

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    • Sherryirvin – thank you for your kind comment. I’m working on the higher power thing – not working the steps yet but getting there – I believe in God but I still don’t trust him and I have some issues. Don’t we all? Yet it was so interesting that amidst my issues, He sent me a little reminder, a little justification.

      Treatment does suck – I’m not IP or even IOP, just OP and hoping to keep it that way. It’s been a long year this time around – this is my third round – and it’s been the hardest. You’d think I’d bet better at recovery from sheer practice!

      I hope you keep reading – thank you for your reach-out!

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  2. Found you on NaBloPoMo… I haven’t had an eating disorder-but I can definitely relate to those voices in your head! I’ve been hypercritical of myself and others too, until at some point, I decided to try and treat myself the way I would treat a friend…if a friend came to me with what I was going through, what would I say? It did help…

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    • Claudia – thanks for reading. I hope you’ll stick around. Hypercriticism is a huge thing for me too, and while I try and think – “would I let someone say this about my childrens’ mother?” I still can’t make it stop. It’s so hard to turn down the volume when it’s blaring in my ears.

      Good luck to you and hope you can continue to practice self-kindness.

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