There is so much shame attached to disordered eating. So often I don’t want to go outside. I don’t want you to see me, I don’t want you to talk about me, to think about me, to comment on me. My way of dealing with the shame is talking about it, but all that does is getting in front of the conversation. The shame is still there. It’s big and ugly and it eats me up.
The shame is about loss of control, about not being able to stop myself from acting on my impulses. The shame is about not being able to keep up the image. About yo-yo-ing, about being all the things society looks down upon.
I am so ashamed.
It hurts to admit to it. I am ashamed of admitting to my shame.
I’m at a place in my eating disorder I have never seen before. It’s new territory and it’s scary. I thought I was getting better and then I relapse. Again. I’m scared. I’m alone. My body is hurting, my heart is hurting. I’m hurting. I don’t know how much longer I can take this, but I must. The alternative is not really an alternative. I must go on, but sometimes it’s a struggle just to get up. And I’m alone.
I wonder though, if being alone can be my superpower?
Can the fact that I have no alternative but to deal with myself alone be the one thing that will bring me back to health? Of course I could just binge watch Netflix and YouTube all day, but instead I choose to sit with myself. I meditate. Often at a loss at how to move forward, sometimes non movement is movement enough.
I allow for the shame to be here. It’s real, so I must acknowledge it, but I must not necessarily engage. I look at it with love, trying to understand it and the reason for its existence. Then I release it. Or rather, I try to release it. Shame is a sticky thing.
In the meantime, I focus on today being a new day. I don’t want to go out, but I must. My exercise for today is compassion.
In physics there is a phenomenon called interference. That is when two waves cancel each other out. You basically have two possible outcomes when you add a wave to an existing one: They can either be in phase, in which case the second wave add to the first and increase the combined forces of the two, or they can move in opposite ways, meaning the troughs of the one wave will fall in the crests of the other, thus cancelling each other out. Interference.
If I view my shame as a wave, what would be the wave to interfere with it? Is compassion the interfering wave? What is the opposite of shame? Someone said the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. I completely agree, because hate is still an emotion and such a strong antagonist to love that it actually becomes a part of it. Love and hate are two sides of the same matter, but indifference cancels out everything. So is indifference the interfering emotion to shame?
In psychology one identifies six basic emotions: Anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise. Lately, new research has shown that there are really only four basic emotions, as fear and surprise, as well as anger and disgust share the same facial expressions. As such, you can basically boil all emotions down to one or more of these four emotions: Fear, anger, happiness and sadness.
Can they somehow cancel each other out? Do I actually want to? Indifference is the black hole of emotions and not really the solution, is it? I still want to feel happiness! Maybe a certain detachment is the way to go. Viewing the whole thing at a distance and then being able to choose which emotions I want to engage with.
“Yes, shame, I see you, but I choose not to engage in your drama.”
So, can I do the same to the whole disordered eating thing? Identifying the interfering wave to it? Not engaging in its drama? Both?
Would be lovely, wouldn’t it?