THE SUN… IT WILL CURE WHAT AILS YOU. This I am totally convinced of. The sun makes me happy, brightens my spirits and gives me a much more positive outlook. I am feeling much better today than yesterday. I think maybe a combo of not wearing tight clothes and staying clear of the full length mirror is a help. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was thinking, thinking, and thinking. THEN, my mama woke me up before my alarm…?? She goes “it’s 6:30, you might wanna get up”…. I WAKE UP AY 645 EVERYDAY…haha somehow it didn’t seem to bother me. I am not a morning person, at all. Anyways…
I thought about my will power and motivation a lot last night. I came across this very interesting study done in the 1970’s. It was performed by a psychologist named Walter Mischel. This experiment was conducted on four-year-olds. He placed each child in a room, where they sat down at a table. In front of them- a marshmallow. The psychologist made each child an offer:
1. He could eat the marshmallow right away
2. Or wait for a few more minutes and receive another one.
Almost everyone decided to wait. Mischel then left the room for 20 minutes.
While a few of the four-year-olds were able to resist the temptation for up to fifteen minutes, many lasted less than one minute. Others just ate the marshmallow as soon as the psychologist had left the room.
This was a test of self-control. If the child wanted to achieve the goal of receiving another marshmallow, then he needed to temporarily ignore the feelings and delay gratification for a few more minutes.
What I found interesting are the strategies the successful children employed in order to endure the experiment. They kept themselves distracted. Covered their eyes, played with their hands or just entered a trance-like state where it seemed they were lost in their thoughts. Their attention was elsewhere.
So how does this play into recovery? In the stage I am in now, I need to simply resist “the marshmallow” which is relapse in recovery. I want to achieve my goal, and my goal is recovery. This takes a hell of a lot of will power, and lots of “eye covering” and distraction. My ED is right in front of me… I can blow it off and delay gratification because I will come out stronger in the end. Like the children who ate the marshmallow as soon as the doctor exited the room, I have to option of immediately giving into my ED just because I am unhappy with my appearance. Recovery does not work that way. I need to be one of those strong children, who exhibited the characteristics to avoid the temptation.
While anorexia involved a lot of self-control, this sort is very damaging. I think I spend too much time focusing on my goal and when it suddenly seems to have surpassed me, I end up sabotaging myself and reverting to the comfort of anorexia. This may not hold much ground in other areas of life where, in order to be successful, focus and time investment is of critical importance.
Have a life.
If I focus my every move on myself, my recovery and my future, the road to recovery will feel like a very long road indeed. Commitment and dedication dispensed over a longer time period is superior to more focused efforts. Therefore, instead of taking 2 steps forward and wishing I could fall5 steps back, I need to move on and stay strong.
The reality is I need to work on separating myself from my ED and giving it no identity…lots of distractions. But in reality, this is not where I am at the moment. My body image and food preoccupation is still haunting me and preventing me from attaining the health I desire. I am convinced to not let ED win though and I know I am not alone. Gaining weight is an obvious plus to any spectator here- it is a good thing. I still don’t have my period and can’t even remember the last time I did have one. I lived in this comfortable plateau of recovery for WAY to long now, and just because I bump up my weight, my effort and my motivation in recovery does not mean in any way that I am mentally okay with it. it is hard as hell. I despise looking in the mirror and constantly being bombarded with hate. I know this is “not me” who I am seeing and I know I don’t look like what I do see. It is still there though; my two eye balls still see what I see.
I plan to stay distracted. I will do my nails, my toes, go on walks, and the Saints are on TV this weekend against the Vikings. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS GAME! my older brother is a HUGE Vikings fan, he bleeds purple and yellow. Me, die hard Saints fan. I love my fleur de leis!! GEAUX SAINTS!
* Images from weheartit.com *