Eating Disorders, Autism and Shift to Recovery


Ship-weathervane-Viking-Ship-with-gold-leaf-photoCulture Bound in Eating Disorders

If you have an eating disorder, you are stuck in an eating disorder personal culture that governs your feelings, perceptions, behaviors and relationships (or lack of relationships).

Because an eating disorder exercises a thorough influence on every aspect of your life, you can't see it clearly. You only have eating disordered eyes to see. That makes you culture bound.

You are committed to routines without knowing you are committed to them. You maintain these routines even if you hate them. You are stuck in patterns you can't break.

Yet a small change in your patterns can mean a beginning shift from an eating disordered way of life to living a life free of eating disorder controls. Once you step beyond the jurisdiction of the eating disorder you are in new territory where you can begin to reach for growth and healing.


I just finished reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time a novel by Mark Haddon about an autistic boy's detective adventure and want to recommend it to you. The book can open your emotions in a surprising way and open your mind to a different way of being in the world.

As I thought about what I would say to you about this book I remembered another, which I read some years ago, Nobody Nowhere: the Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic, by Donna Williams. I recommend this one too.

They are both short, fast reads, moving, funny at times, and, to my way of thinking, mind opening.

Why the recommendations? Because visiting another culture can open your perceptions to new and different ways of being in the world and relating to yourself and others. Visiting another culture can give you a blast of insight regarding your own ways of being in the world and relating to yourself and others.

Shift to Recovery

But, how do you find your way to that first tiny shift? That's the question I forever ask myself because I consider it the crucial question. That first shift can move you to a path leading to a new and better life, a healthier and longer life, a more satisfying life.

That experience, or thought or feeling or perception or fantasy or jolt or subtle dream message takes a personal form unique to each person. These two books might lead some of you to your shift. So I invite you, in the privacy of your safe space, to observe another mind's way of being in the world and finding ways to function among people who don't understand the lens by which his and her world is seen and lived.

Learning from Someone Else Locked in a Different Culture Bound Experience

Visiting the inner mind of an autistic person, through the writings of Haddon and Williams, might give your mind an opening. You might experience compassion for the people you meet through these books and develop more understanding and compassion for your own situation.

These people are thoroughly locked within the confines of their autism as you may be within the confines of your eating disorders. Yet the world beyond autism might be as vast as the world beyond eating disorders.

As you observe these remarkable people using their gifts and talents while burdened with their limitations, you might get a glimpse of limitations that surround you. Once you have an inkling of the nature of your own barriers you can consider what might be possible for you without those barriers.

Perhaps you might move a tiny step beyond the boundaries set by your eating disorder. You never know what little moment of feeling or insight or experience can set off your shift into recovery. Your shift can begin with one tiny step.

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