High Speed and Lonely Soul
- Category: Healing Resources
Watching a car chase on the news or in a film can thrill you. You heart pounds. Your breath comes short.
You are mesmerized and fascinated. But your inner spirit is untouched.
When you live with an eating disorder you remove yourself from your authentic emotional experience as you live your life. You can trick yourself very nicely with high speed experiences.
One way to side step your feelings is to binge or purge or starve or simply graze yourself into a dull numbness.
Another is to go the other way and engage in activities that are highly sensational and flood your capacity to feel.
Both ways leave your center alone and ignored. An adrenaline rush can create so much drama in your physical being that you trick yourself into believing you are living fully.
But then the cravings come or the fear comes or the anxiety comes. You want the dullness or the rush, and you believe that your eating disorder actions will ease your suffering.
When you live with an eating disorder, your genuine feelings that come from your authentic soul are unknown. When they tremble or stir in the slightest way, a rush for a flooding experience will drown them down and out. A high speed car chase, especially around sharp curves, like an elaborate and dangerous roller coaster, will take you away into adrenaline land leaving your soul neglected and alone.
With no awareness this tragic scenario will repeat in many forms.
(Thoughts while writing my eating disorder recovery book.)
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Hi Joanna, Reading this entry I look back and reflect that when someone has had an eating disorder for a very long time, the 'highs' and 'lows' no longer have to be dramatic. It becomes easier to make automatic adjustments in the stealthily familiar 'shadowy unhealthy' zone. My weight is at the lowest edge of normal range and I actually eat in a very healthy way; however I eat just under enough to maintain a shape that at my middle age (or maybe any age) would be unrealistic to maintain without discipline. My husband is ill plus other things and I am seeing a therapist to confront these old patterns I return to, but this is so hard. I do nothing dangerous but still use compensatory eating behaviors that only exacerbate anxiety. I hope you're right that checking in at an eating disorders site is a sign I'm getting ready to change. It's the inner struggle that I would like to see keep focusing over things that matter no matter how they hurt-not my weight! Diane
Dear Diane, I congratulate you on your insight. Yet, as you say, old patterns and compensatory eating behaviors can remain deeply entrenched regardless of insight. This, I believe, is where we need to develop and honor our spiritual strength, whatever that means to us.
Reading and studying various kinds of spiritual teachings is lovely and can be profound. But it still doesn't get us there. We need to live the teachings we believe. We need to make them not only our own but make them such an integrated part of us we don't even notice that we live them out. Then we have a foundation that goes far deeper than "compensatory eating behaviors" to care for ourselves.
This is not easy to accomplish. It's subtle. But it begins with simple steps. For example, in my studies of Buddhism I learned to add to any prayer or wish or desire or goal setting "for the benefit of all."
Over time this affected how I set goals and my attitude toward what I wanted in life. It brought me a greater connection to other people and a greater liking for myself. And that can undermine those old patterns.
We often don't need to say "no" to our negative patterns. We need to say "yes" to something better.
So yes, yes, yes, keep your attention on what really matters to you no matter how that affects your weight.
Eventually you will come into balance with yourself. warm regards, Joanna