A couple weeks ago when I was feeling all bingey, a sponsored link appeared on my fb newsfeed about binge eating and freeing yourself from it. There was some webinar, I think. I signed up for it because I was curious. Not because there is any one cure all somewhere, but because it had the feel that it could provide a spark of information striking me at just the right time to propel me somewhere.
That’s all recovery is for me. One opportunity propelling me to the next while I figure out all the meat of the in between. The in between is forward and backwards and progress and stagnation. That’s where all the hard work happens. That’s where my results are. In the long term.
But those short term propellings…that’s what allows for the good stuff.
So I signed up. And then promptly didn’t go to the webinar and haven’t read any of the emails. I see the titles of the emails every day and think “I’ll get to that.” But at the moment Sarah Rentfro provided my last propelling and so I’ve been riding that one.
This morning I skimmed through some of the emails. It was all about how you don’t have to avoid foods and deprive yourself of *living* in order to be rid of your binge eating disorder. Embrace it! And just join this free class or this one-on-one session. And within three days you’ll be rid of bingeing. And you’ve never done it this way before and that’s why recovery has never happened!
And I don’t doubt that works for some people. I don’t even doubt that some people have long term success with it. It’s just not my success. And it makes me wonder, too, how many people *aren’t* feeling success because they’re eating foods that make them feel terrible. And when you feel terrible, you want to eat comfort foods to feel less terrible.
But I digress.
My point is that a) there’s no “right” way; you have to search (even when there’s no end in sight) for what works, and oftentimes what works doesn’t work permanently because we are ever-changing in body and mind b) avoiding foods that trigger you isn’t the worst thing you can do; no one would ever tell an alcoholic that the best way they can overcome their addiction is by drinking in moderation; “just two shots a day–you’ve got this!” c) there’s no time limit; even if one day you consider yourself completely recovered, something could happen in your life to knock you down; no one is absolved from disordered thinking, not even someone who has never experienced it before d) there’s going to be an ebb and flow; there’s going to be a symbiosis between the natural ebb and flow and the amount of practice you put in; the sooner you can practice learning to accept that, the more enjoyable living will be e) [and this was the missing piece for me]–it doesn’t matter what effort you put in toward the food; the issue isn’t the food.
For me, because I could never speak for someone else, somewhere tucked deep into my psyche and hidden far in the depths of memory, flowing even into muscle memory, lived the dwarfed parts of myself that, for whatever reason–neglect, abuse, lack of attention–didn’t (couldn’t) grow into their own. So while I did alllllll the other work I just mentioned, I simultaneously spent time, not only *finding* those parts of me, but also unlocking their doors to give them the opportunity to connect and be free.
What I learned too is that finding the door or the key or even unlocking the door doesn’t necessarily change anything. It’s a start for sure, but then there’s more work to be done. The teaching yourself that you can be trusted and that you have value and worth and that you’re going to make mistakes and that the mistakes don’t negate the worth. Over and over and over. Until you learn that it’s the showing up. It’s the practice.
At least it is for me. This has been *my* recovery. So no email telling me I can cure my eating disorder in three days by “embracing” food can sway me from the truth I’ve clawed my way to find.