Originally Posted by freelancemomma
It sounds like you're learning a lot about yourself on this journey, Veggiedaze. At the same time, I sometimes get the sense that you sound almost TOO optimistic in some of your posts. Perhaps that's one aspect of the OCD -- you want to have this beast PERFECTLY conquered, just like you've wanted to eat PERFECTLY clean in the past.
I'm no expert, but I do wonder whether it may be more productive (and realistic) to embrace imperfection in your relationship with food. Just as a recovered alcoholic can never take sobriety for granted, I believe we food types can't take our abstinence (whether that means no restricting, no trigger foods, or whatever we've chosen to abstain from) for granted.
Insisting that you solve your food issues once and for all could set you up for a big fall, if ever you slip (which all of us do). What I'm suggesting is that you don't need to solve this as you would a Rubik's cube. You just need to take it a day at a time and celebrate the learning process.
I know what you mean freelance, and I really appreciate this advice due to my obvious OCD tendancies. One thing I should say though is that I don't think my optimism is that I think I've conquered anything. I think my optimism and positive outlook is that I finally think I know exactly why I have been doing what I have been doing. All these things I have considered, food addicition, emotion etc. It's all valid stuff, but the bottom line is that I have a conditioned brain connection that was brought on by starving and now persists due to habbit and the brain reward it gives me. Knowing this seems to take the personalization and self blame out of the equation for me which is why I feel so elated. I do realize I could slip and/or relapse at some point (especially if I were to restrict again), but I also feel that now it would be similar to if I slipped and decided to have a cigarette and then maybe buy a pack. I think most people in that situation would say "oh no, looks like I got hooked again" and then they would proceed in quitting if they wanted to quit again. That would be the approach I would take if I binged again. I don't think I'd get emotional about it and cry and say "why me, what's wrong with me!!!! with tonnes of emotion". Because I know what's wrong with me now and I know it's not my fault. I also know I am normal (whereas before I felt like some kind of freak) and have conditioned my brain to do this behaviour; and on top of everything I know it's my choice. Just like you so wonderfully brought to my attention before, if someone were to walk in on me going nuts on food in the lunchroom at work, I would stop. I can CHOOSE, just like smoking. I don't like the idea of "one day at a time mentality" because it seems like it gives me the idea that every day has to involve longing and torture for the habbit and that it has to be difficult. I also think when a person expects themselves to relapse they will. I think it gives themselves permission if things get "really bad". I think this happens becuase like all "addictions" the act of doing the behaviour provides pleasure; a pleasure we don't like to think we will never have again. I think it's best just not to think about it. I don't like wondering if I'll ever ever in my life ever enjoy a cigarette again. When I think I will enjoy this sometime in the future it seems to give me permission at some point. When I think "never", it upsets me. With cigarettes, I just don't think about it either way. So in that respect, of course I will never say never with bingeing; but I will also not say "probably at some point". Both ways set me up for disaster.
Also, I don't think it's unreasonable to think it's possible to stop bingeing for a great length of time. It's been 5 years since my sister has binged. I've heard of people on this site and other testimonials from people who have gone several years and counting without bingeing. I guess I just don't like what Trimpey refers to as "recoveryism" where you live out your days as a caged animal forever in the shadows of the binge.
I think the biggest thing that has changed for me is my perception of everything. I used to be tortured by urges and the anticipation of urges. I don't know why but I felt like an urge was so dangerous and meant I had to act on it and that there was something wrong with my brain because I experienced it. Now I think urges are no big deal and are expected due to my previous conditioning. I know I do not HAVE TO act on urges. I CAN act on an urge of course, but I don't have to. And maybe I will act on an urge at some point. But the urges are not a scary monster anymore where there is emotion attached.
It used to be all or nothing for me. I used to eat perfectly or binge. I am not eating perfectly now. I sabatage any day that seems too perfect. I can see perfect doesn't work. I won't expect that of myself anymore. I can find happiness in something else I hope. I guess that is my new search. I have alot of empty space in my thinking now that I am not thinking about food.