Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Therapy homework

Two weeks ago, my therapist gave me a homework assignment. I was to write down all the 'secondary gains' I get from Ed. Then, on another piece of paper, I was to write down the negative consequences of Ed. This week, my therapist gave me the assignment of disproving the secondary gains. She wants me to take time to look at each gain. Then, I am to write about thoughts/situations that disprove the gain. Soooo... Here I go....

Secondary gain #1: Ed makes me feel like I am in control.
          DISPROVED: earlier this summer, when I went to my in-law's house for dinner, Ed would not allow me to fully participate in the celebration. He was busy making sure that I saved enough calories to binge later that night. So, I restricted and as a result my husband was very upset. It turned into an argument and I was left feeling lonely, sad, and very angry that once again Ed ruined what was suppose to be a fun night with my husband.
          DISPROVED: Again earlier this summer, my husband and I had a fun day together. During the day, Ed had convinced me to restrict to save calories for a binge. He was convincing and nothing sounded better than a binge, so I agreed with him and made the choice that I was going to obey him. It was time to cook dinner, my hubby was going to grill. When I got out what I was having for dinner, he asked if I was going to have anything else. I immediately became defensive, because he was challenging me (well really he was challenging Ed, but I felt like he was treating me like I couldn't make a decision). I angerly said, nope this is it. He got mad and went out to grill. I went upstairs and sobbed and sobbed. He came in to comfort me and I told him I was trying to be well (but really, I wasn't. In my mind I wanted to Newell, but I wasn't putting any action/effort into recovery. I was still doing what Ed told me to do). Hubby grilled, and I ate the restricted meal. Then, I let myself binge later... Like I had planned. Of course, I vowed it would be the last time because I hated how I once again felt lonely, sad, angry, and sick of Ed.
          DISPROVED: despite knowing what I need to do to stay in recovery, I made the choice to listen to and follow Ed again this past Sunday. I restrcited while the husband golfed and allowed myself to binge. 
*****ed does NOT make me feel like I am in control. In fact, Ed is the only one who is in control when I engage in eating disorder behaviors. When I engage in eating disorder behaviors, I put Ed and what Ed wants above everything and everyone in my life, including myself. Sure, I make the choice to binge, but is it really what I want to do. To be honest, sometimes it feels like it is. But, its got to be Ed that really wants to do it. I want to be free!

Secondary gain #2: Ed gives me a body that I love.
          DISPROVED: In 2 weeks, I am going back to the gyno to talk about the next step in my infertility problems. This is not healthy, and I believe deep down that Ed is responsible for my infertility issues. Ed tries to convince me that he has nothing to do with it, because I am at a healthy weight and I get my period every month. But, to be honest, deep down, I believe that Ed is the reason that I am not ovulating/ovulating so late in my cycle/have Luteal phase defect.
          DISPROVED: My mind and my spirit are part of my body. I feel depressed a lot of the time because of Ed. I don't feel like I experience joy and happiness, during some of these very happy times in my life because Ed takes away my emotions...including joy and happiness. He also takes away my happy spirit and dulls my relationship with God. When I let Ed be in control, he makes me focus solely on him and food and I miss out on the good things in my life.
*****ed tries to convince me that I have the body that many people long for, but that is not true....at least it's not entirely true. Sure, there are some people that would look at me and wish they had certain parts of my body, but would they want to go through the torture of Ed to have it? Never! They wouldn't. The wouldn't want to be controlled by Ed...forced to restrict...binge....exercise...criticize themselves...count calories...be tormented with Ed thoughts throughout the day. The truth is, I want to be happy with my mind, body, soul, and spirit and that is impossible with Ed. With recovery, my body will change (and I am having trouble accepting that right now) but more importantly, with recovery my mind, spirit and soul will change. I truly believe I will be happier and more fulfilled that I have ever been in my life.

Secondary gain #3: Ed gives me safety and sucurity.
     DISPROVED: I remember one day while I was restricting so that I could binge, I was so light headed and dizzy. I was scared. I started to panic. I felt so sick. I became sweaty and shaky. Of course, Ed told me that nothing bad would happen because  i was at a healthy weight and in no danger. But I was scared.
          DISPROVED: I have feared losing my husband. I have feared that he would get sick and tired of having a wife who was not fully there, participating in life and would realize he deserves/wants a life partner to live life with, who is not simply existing while he lives.
*****i am not safe when I obey Ed. In fact, Ed jeopardizes my safety. He risks my health, happiness, and well-being. God is the only one who can protect me. God is the only one who can fully be in control and provide me with the safety and security I long for. And, yes, bad things will happen, but when they do, I know (from past experiences) that God will never leave nor forsake me. He will comfort me and provide me with other people in my life to show me his love as well.

Secondary gain #4: Ed gives me something to focus on, something I am interested in, something I am passionate about.
          DISPROVED: sometimes whe my husband is talking to me, I can't focus on what he is saying. I am too busy listening to Ed, thinking about when/what I am going to eat next, planning my next binge, etc. when I engage in Ed behavior, I have trouble focusing on anything except Ed related things.
          DISPROVED: I have spent so many years listening to and obeying Ed, that I no longer know what I am interested in/passionate about. Ed placed all my time and focus on food and I have missed out on so many wonderful things life has to offer.
*****the reason I don't feel that I have interests, focus, and passion are because so much time has been devoted to Ed. When I am in recovery, I am able to peruse and discover my focus, passion, interests. Like a baby discovering life, I will take time to learn my likes and dislikes. I will take time explore, try new things. Over time, I will discover what I enjoy, what I am passionate about, and I will have a better focus. In recovery, I am also about to focus on other people....not just myself and Ed. I am able to participate in conversations with my husband which strengthens our marriage!

Secondary gain #5: Ed makes me special/unique.
          DISPROVED: millions...maybe billions of people suffer from eating disorders. 
          DISPROVED: when people list qualities they admire in someone 'special' in their lives, no one lists characteristics of someone who engages in Ed behaviors... A liar, someone who is deceitful. Someone who is self-centered, someone obsessed with his/her body, someone who refuses to take care of themselves, a binger, a purger, a restricter, an over exerciser, etc.
*****yes, I am the only one in my family and friends with an Ed. But, I am not the only person in the work. When I engage in Ed behaviors, I do not exhibit the characteristic of someone who is 'special'. I exhibit horrible characteristics. I possess Ed characteristics. I lie, am deceitful, I act as though I care on,y about myself, I don't take care of my health, etc. to me, being a special means not being like the work, but being more and more like Jesus. Valuing the things of God. That is what I truly want.

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