Because this is something that we ALL have to do, that I have to do...that being, of course, to kick the ED habits and behaviours right in the butt and out of our lives.
ED habits and behaviours may be small, or big. They might be quite explicit, or barely noticeable at all. But none of them are at all helpful to recovery, in any way whatsoever, and only help to contriubite to the vicious cycle of the eating disorder. Once you get stuck into a habit, whatever it may be, it is very, very difficult to break it again and a behaviour or action which at one time might have seemed abnormal and odd becomes a daily practice, almost like a ritual. You feel compelled to skip your 11 o clock snack... as that, the Voice in your head tells you, is what you have been doing for the past three days, or so... so why not do it again???
Anyway, it is vital in recovery to step out of your comfort zone and face all of your fears...yes, even your biggest nightmares and anxieties have to be confronted, faced head on. And this includes working on all those habits and compulsive behaviours.
Now I know my method might be a little bit silly, but hey, I'm going to give it a try anyway...yesterday I made a list of all the ED habits which I myself know I practice on a very regular basis (some of them, every day). And, week by week, I am going to take a small number of these behaviours ( my key worker suggested five a week which I think is manageable!!) and focus on trying to refrain from engaging in this particular behaviour for the remainder of that week. As with everything in recovery, it's always a good idea to take things one step at a time. If you try to take on too many things at once, it's easy to become overwhelmed and your anxiety levels will shoot up sky high...and you might feel so overcome with apprehension that, instead of conquering any of your fears, you end up challenging none of them!!! So take small steps, baby steps if you must...but take those steps. In keeping with the baby metaphor - that little baby learning to walk, tha'ts what recovery can be likened to sometimes, in a way. It takes him a while to get onto his feet, and when he does so he is wobbling and stumbling all over the place, and may take a few falls. But he never gives up, he never stops trying...and if he perseveres and believes in himself and refuses to give up...before he knows it, he is standing on his own too feet...he has done it, despite all the struggles and the falls and the tears, that little baby has done it. And believe it, we can do it, too. We can overcome all those struggles and bumps and trips upon the road. We can and will make it to full recovery. NO one is an exception. EVERYONE can reover...if they are willing to put enough determination and strength and perseverance into recovery, as that little baby put into his bid to walk by himself.
Anyway - to retun to my original point!!! I wrote out all my ED habits and behaviours on one big list and drew little bboxes beside them , and decorated my list in pretty colours, me being me, haha. And I selected five habits which I am going to work on this week, and then in 7 days time I plan to review my progress and see if I succeeded in omitting - or redicing, at the very least - my usage of these habits/behaviours. perhaps you could give this a try too. Sit down and think very, very hard about any ED habits or behaviours which you know, deep down, are present on your life right now. Be honest with yourself and get them onto paper.
When you successfully manage to omit or reduce your use of the habit or behaviuor, it is always a really good idea to treat or reward yourself after doing so. For example, for me, if I manage to not do any pacing for at least 5 out of the 7 days this week, I am going to reward myself by going for a little walk in Phoenix park before going into the hospital one day next week. For another habit I might treat myself to something nice, for another have a bath (awwww <3 ), etc.
Anyway, here is my own ED habit/behaviour list whcih I am going to start working on, 5 a week, starting from the top and working my way downwards.
- Not cleaning my yoghurt pot at snack/after lunch( I usualy leave a good spoonful sitting at the bottom :(
- Leaving a bit of milk/hot choc etc in the bottom of the glass/mug
- Not thanking Mam when she makes me dinner or lunch ( as I am usually afraid that if I did so she would give me more the next time)
- Not ever letting myself say things like, "that looks really yummy" "I'm hungry", even though that might bbe what I'm really thinkng
- Picking crusts off bread/toast
- Putting skimmed or semi-skimmed milk on cereal
- Having small bowls of cereal andbeing frugal with milk on it
- Feeling compleed to always have the exact precise amount of foods every day - the same amount of cereal always has to be in my bowl, the same size piece of toast/bread, the same amount of chocolate on my dessert, etc
- Picking little bits off food or pushing small bits off the edge of my plate
- Not cleaning bowl/plate or always leaving a small bit of food on it
- Being a little frugal with the fillings of my sandwiches
- Skipping snacks if my family/care team are not there to support me.
Be free, like Benny...:) <3 xxx