I started the year with a 10 1/2 day fast, which I broke last Saturday. To my dismay, I rebounded into what felt like a long, semi-continuous binge / disordered eating episode.
It’s been a journey. I mean, I’ve been here before, and probably it’s been more a part of my life than I want to admit and just has been amplified by everything else lately. Life does that sometimes, you think you’ve moved past something but you’re really just letting yourself tolerate a lower level of it, and lying to yourself that it’s gone entirely. Addictions can be like that. They’re sneaky.
But like I said, I’ve been here before. I’m not new to this dilemma. There’s just a part of me that wants to avoid facing it head-on. I think that’s a weak part of me – as in, a part of me that believes I am weaker than I am, thinks I really do need the compulsive eating to get by somehow, or that I’m just not worthy or strong enough to move past it completely.
But today – I’m calling BS! For me, and for anyone else that struggles with disordered/compulsive/strange/difficult/complex/WHATEVER eating issues. People like to say these issues stay with you your whole life, and I think that at least in part is total baloney. It’s baloney when you read it in a resigned, weak way – thinking, I’m not [strong/good/smart/????] enough to put this behind me for good. Or, I don’t know how to live without this. Or whatever. It’s the small self, not the Big Real Self, that repeats that line in your head. It is a manifestation of the energy of I’m-not-good-enough. Or maybe it’s something different for you, I don’t know. But for me at least, I can recognize that feeling! It’s shame and distrust. And it’s not who I am at the root, not in truth.
I believe my body talks to me, that it doesn’t do anything accidentally. I believe life talks to me, too. And sometimes when there’s a message we aren’t receiving, it gets louder and more painful until we are willing to listen. Recurring issues don’t go away until we do something about them – in this way, they are an invitation from Life to step up and grow into the next best version of ourselves, to decide what that person, the higher version of you, does to face and transcend this problem. So the fact that it’s here for me now is exactly that – time to grow up a little bit more, time to come up with a solution that suits who I am, and jump in wholeheartedly.
Part of my solution is to show up here, on the blog. And to show up in my friendships. Writing and talking are two good ways for me to be vulnerable, and also potentially to be helpful. My hope is that in revealing my own process, I can both 1 – obliterate shame in myself by revealing my truth instead of hiding behind a facade, and 2 – model that process for others. Plus if any of you reading this struggle with similar things as me, maybe this will help you feel less alone and tap into your own strength. We are SO MUCH bigger than these issues. There is NOTHING wrong with you if you struggle with food stuff, or any addictive behavioral patterns. These patterns are a very real part of our world right now, and we don’t have a great way of dealing with it collectively.
Another part of my solution is to literally practice saying NO and holding a boundary around this part of my life! The binge energy is an energy I’ve been entertaining, allowing into the temple of my body and life, for a long time. It isn’t me. I can absolutely practice saying “no” to it when it knocks on my door, practice holding a new boundary. To do that requires acknowledgment of my power to do so – and I believe it! I’m not fucking weak and helpless! I’m a powerful, grounded woman!
Will I be perfect at this right away? Probably not, because I am human! But I can certainly practice! Already, just feeling into the power of “I can say no if I want to” – it’s a huge leap from the helplessness I’ve been feeling every other day when I think about food – literally, I’ve been waking up in the morning and feeling afraid of the day, feeling like a werewolf-man on the eve of the full moon, knowing and dreading the monster he will soon become. I’ve felt exactly like that, as though I am powerless to the course of events that will play out. And you know what happens when you inhabit that powerless energy? Exactly what you fear. So every day, I ended up binge eating, or junk-food-eating, or whatever.
Today I choose strength instead. I’m taking the wheel, and declaring it publicly. I invite you to witness it, and if you’re going through your own stuff, maybe take it as an opportunity to tap into your own power and do the same.