What Kind Of Day Has It Been?
The idea of “black and white” thinking among eating disordered individuals is widely accepted. Here’s what that means for me at the moment: anorexia bisects thoughts into clear cut categories. My world is either hopeful or headed to Hell in a handbag at the speed of light; I’ve either not eaten or I am convinced that I have overindulged; I haven’t exercised or I’ve worked myself to the point of exhaustion and then 5,000 jumping jacks beyond; a day is either “good” or “bad.” It’s admittedly very simplistic thinking for such an analytical young woman.I had to explain what precisely constituted a “bad” day to my dietician this morning. It’s a two sided concept, because like in every debate, I am of one persuasion and my eating disorder is of quite another. To the ED a bad day is eating enough to survive and sitting still long enough to pull my socks on. (Note: it’s got to be a pretty good day if I can sit still long enough to right a cogent post).That’s only half of the equation though- to the girl who wants to be healthy someday, a bad day means so many things. It’s a day marked by a series of arguments with my irrational, yet powerful, disorder that I consistently lose. It’s a day punctuated by hyperactivity that cannot be stopped even when the bright, studious, social girls wants so badly to sit still. It’s a time when my body lets me know that it’s hungry or thirsty or tired or hurt and I refuse to listen. It’s a night when I lie in bed, exhausted from the days battles, but too jittery to let go of the day and just sleep. It’s when I read about the damage done by eating disorders without feeling a hint of fear. At it’s heart a “bad day,” for me, is filled with compensatory measures. I’m working toward an understanding of what an “ok” or simply “acceptable” or “fair” day entails. Today I wrote about the difficult days because yesterday was challenging and I’m trying to process why that was the case. Today I am determined to win one more argument with the anorexia than I did yesterday and let that be the gateway to a rare “grey day.” A balanced day marked by the use of diverse, even healthy, coping skills.