I haven’t written in ages, cos I’ve been thinking of other things like work, my relationships, my health, my Masters studies. However, this morning, I am in the uni library, supposedly researching my thesis but really, getting distracted by various thoughts of various other interests. My thoughts lead me to the topic of ED and I wanted to share some of them.
Folk psychology, according to one definition, is our network of beliefs about how our mind works and what goes on inside it. I have noticed, partly through the disintegration and slow re-building of my own (I prefer cognition over ‘mind’, as mind to me has too many dualist connotations and I do not believe in the mind/body separation), that because I most often have absolutely fuck-all idea about what goes on in my consciousness and un – there-of, I can easily interpret everything through a chosen folk psychological frame and radically sometimes alter my well-being if the chosen explanation is a more positive one. So I got to thinking, yet again, how to construct my origin story in the fun world of ED.
I used to think, I got ED because I was worried about certain changes in my life I could not affect, and the fact that I couldn’t control bad things happening in my life lead to a desire to control my eating. Your basic ED lore that. Therein lies the problem. I think a lot of ED discourse explains the irrational behaviour of Those Who Stop Dining with the tools of reason. Irrationality is rationalized, which, to me, seems like an impossible task doomed for failure.
I think, now that my irrationality is much less behind me than in front of me, that I simply lost my appetite due to worry about a loved one and a situation my family was in, and through losing my appetite lost the ability to make rational choices, such as eat enough food. The spiral of malnutrition -induced irrationality was deep and vast and down I went. I am claiming that I was a smart-enough child even at 13-14 to know better than to try to solve problems un-related to food consumption with (lack of) food consumption. Smart enough, when my brain was getting enough fuel. Which, obvs, it wasn’t.
I am thinking, what if I start telling this story instead of the older version? How will it change how I view my chances in recovery, health and happiness? I predict, I will fare better. I know myself to be a rational human being when I eat enough and perhaps I always was that. I am returning to myself, and finding confidence in that I will do okay in the world, as long as I remember to take good care of my cognition (ie dine enough, regularly and healthily). When I do, I am good at solving problems, coming up with new ideas and moving forward. There is nothing to be afraid of with a clear head and a good heart. Indeed a most comforting thought.