Thursday, 3 January 2013

Day 157: Generating an Eating Disorder – The Power of Thoughts - Part 1

Since I didn’t ‘naturally’ develop an Eating Disorder – I had to manage my thoughts and behaviour very deliberately and extensively.

I guess that when you ‘naturally’ develop an ED that at some point in time a traumatic event happens from whereon one’s behaviour and patterns change and over time, through accumulation you set yourself up with a particular mind-set within which you lock yourself. I skipped that part, and I wanted to do this NOW and not wait for it to ‘slowly’ develop.

Within this, I came across some interesting points in terms of how my mind works and much time, energy and effort I had to invest in my thoughts, imagination and physical behaviour.

I mean, it’s really hard to force yourself not to eat. For me food, and foods that I liked, were the highlights of my day – but unfortunately they were ‘in the way’ of my newfound ‘project’. The first few weeks/months I had immense trouble keeping up with my new ‘commitment’ and could barely focus on it – the passion was just ‘not there’.

Then, one of the first things I did was read books about anorexia which were kind of biographical in nature. I found that spending time reading this and engaging myself into these patterns as how these girls lived them, ‘motivated’ me and I literally felt ‘energized’ and re-committed to this. Interestingly, if I ran out of books to read or simply did not read for a while – the feeling would disappear and I would ‘drop’ again in my engagement towards not eating and end up feeling miserable. I would then go and read again, but after a while – it was just not giving me the ‘effect’ that I was looking for, like that resource had been exploited and depleted for me.

That wasn’t working anymore, so now I had to go and find a different point that I could use to ‘motivate’ me and ‘keep me on track’. Then I went and decided that if I *think* like someone with an Eating Disorder, that I could ‘simulate’ this and get the same result. This was quite a story, because this wasn’t happening automatically – I had to actually go and decide on what type of thought I was going to have and then formulate it specifically and then try and believe what I was thinking (which was really hard at first because it felt really unnatural and fake) – and then do this over and over again, all very deliberately and consciously. This was quite ‘exhausting’ but after many months, the thought patterns had integrated quite effectively and would just play out by themselves. I remember at some point actually getting scared, because I tried to stop the thoughts and they just wouldn’t – I kept being flooded and realised that what I had done had spun out of control. I had spent so much time and energy into a pattern of thinking, that it had actually become me, and now the it wasn’t me managing my thoughts – my thoughts had taken over and were in control – they were now managing me.

To be continued
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