Eating Disorder Symptoms of All or None Tendencies: understand and heal
- Category: Self-Help
If you suffer from an eating disorder and even if you have some recovery you have developed an all or none perspective in your attitudes about eating and much more. You are familiar with feelings of excitement, anticipation, expectation and find uncertainty hard to bear.
Holding the tension of these internal experiences is a challenge for most of us and especially if you have an eating disorder. You want the information, the cookie, the package, the date, the phone call, the completed project, the recovery now. You may force yourself to accept "as soon as possible," but you find it difficult and even excruciating to wait. You want all and you want it now.
If you have anorexic tendencies you may withhold too much of yourself or deny too much to yourself. You operate on the principle of none. The paradox is that you want all of the none. You want the biggest and most nothing possible.
If you have bulimic or have binge tendencies you may say too much, take too much, give too much. If you have anorexic tendencies you may say very little about yourself except once in a while when you release a torrent of information and feelings. You regret that.
One recovery goal is to end these extreme positions. They are symptoms, not identity characteristics. In recovery treatment you develop your ability to contain your impulses. You reveal yourself and engage with the world though speech and action, gradually and with thoughtfulness and consideration for yourself and your environment.
Tolerating uncertainty means tolerating anxiety without acting out. Acting out your all or none impulses will relieve your immediate anxiety, but the consequences can be more than that relief is worth
What do you feel or think just before you act on impulse?
1. What consequences have you experienced from impatience, demands or verbal and emotional explosions?
2. What value might you get in holding uncertainty?
3. Can you think of an instance when you were thoughtful, gradual and considerate before you spoke or took action? What was the result?
4. What value might you gain if you emerged from the all or none perspective and entered a life where you are thoughtful and gradual in what you take and what you give?
Please write in your thinking and your experience on these question. Your exploration is key to your long lasting eating disorder recovery.