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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Challenging the Power of the Mind

Yesterday, I received logical and completely sensible advice: Honesty is the best policy. It's better for me to be completely honest with others even if I feel it may affect their feelings or attitudes than to feel the pressure to act a certain way or say things that may not be entirely truthful. The advice was given to me after I shared a dilemma I struggle with everyday. I feel like everyone who is "on my side" have particular expectations, especially when they tell me how great I'm doing, how much better I look, and to "keep up the fantastic progress."

I've realized how hard it is to be around my closest family and friends because I feel pressured to act like "the old me" and to be strong.  Am I embarrassed? Maybe. Further, I loathe all the attention I receive and the time others are spending trying to comfort me to get better. It's as though I have an obligation to be/act healthier sometimes.  Honestly, I feel selfish.  It's difficult because I genuinely appreciate everything everyone has done for me every step of the way thus far. But, like I learned yesterday, the ones who do truly care will respect how I'm feeling no matter what, and will do anything possible to keep my best interests in mind.

I appreciate my visitors.  I'm thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life who want to come out and visit. But, it's a double edged sword. Sometimes, it's less emotionally draining when I don't have visitors than when I'm only allowed to see guests for 90 minutes, because I end up missing them, my life, and my home. In addition, I think I'm reminded more of my struggles and illness when I have visitors because the conversation is generally related to the disorder and treatment.  Nonetheless, I would be drastically more lonely without visitors.

The power of the mind.
So far, I am not as optimistic as I had set out to be. Today was Dunkin Donuts day, which automatically started the morning off on a negative note. I'm also feeling lonely, although I'm not quite sure who I'm missing or why I'm feeling this way. Maybe I'm just missing my life.   I need to get it together, though. I need to challenge myself more and confront more fears or else I'll never make any progress. Exposure behavioral therapy is the most effective method of treatment for eating disorders. I need to step it up.. We'll see how my optimism holds up.

The effect of brain chemicals on an individual's life is SO incredible. Today in psychotherapy, I had yet another realization. My disorder, ED, is like a bad boyfriend (who can't talk back).  I keep him around because I hold all the control and power in the relationship (i.e. it's positively reinforcing).  So, my goal is dump ED for good and be happy on my own, without feeling the need to control and worry.  I just need my mind to cooperate.  And then there are the mirrors.  They lie... especially to those with eating disorders.  The mind plays nasty tricks on perception, hence why I'm avoiding mirrors at all costs.  I'm scared of what I'll perceive because I'm scared of gaining weight.  I'm also
terrified to know my weight because I know I'll freak out, worry, and obsess. I need to get over that...eventually. But, like FDR said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

1 comment:

  1. Great insights into trying to chip away at this beast. We're always here when you need us, but completely understand when it is "me lone" time. Love you.