The eating disorder thoughts rush in and out and up and down your brain all day long. For years. Without explanation or reason.
They involve worry and fear and make you feel trapped. But are they even rooted in reality?
What if you chose to separate yourself from those thoughts for a moment. You may start to think “Are they real? Are they rational? Or is this a fake reality I’ve convinced myself is true?”
To be honest, I can’t always answer those questions.
But my hope is to eventually acknowledge the irrational nature of my thoughts. My therapist has taught me to label these irrational eating disorder thoughts as “brain farts.” They’re simply irrational fears turned into thoughts that I’ve convinced myself are reality.
Easier said than done…
But the question I ask myself day after day is, “How do I make the irrational thoughts less common than the rational? How can I believe things that go against my eating disorder thoughts: I’m NOT huge, they DON’T hate me, it WILL happen for me, I’m NOT ugly and I CAN do it”
Answer is… I’m not completely sure what the answer is. All I know is that the only way to keep fighting this awful disease, this awful “irrational” train of thought, is to keep fighting.
I think the real shock to my system was the realization that I’ve spent most of my life believing these irrational thoughts. Without ever questioning them.
I seem to be what my thoughts tell me I am. However, now that I have more of a desire to break that cycle, it’s astonishing and enlightening to begin to question them.
I can finally tell my therapist that I know what I’m thinking is irrational and I know the “true” rational response.
But that part isn’t easy either.
Fighting the thoughts
Lately, I’ve been working on combating the irrational thoughts by comparing them to the probability of there being any truth to them.
One way I do this is by saying my irrational thoughts out loud over and over. Soon, I become aware of how irrational I actually sound.
Yes, sometimes it seems impossible that these thoughts could be irrational. But I have to remember that in order to push the irrational aside, I have to continue the fight in my head.
Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. And rationally, I know that’s okay.
But know I’m aware that I see myself differently than what’s actually true. For example, everyone doesn’t hate me and I have amazing friends that aren’t going anywhere even though I tell myself I’m not worthy of healthy friendships. And my sweet son loves me and I love him, even though we aren’t perfect.
One day, I know I’ll be able to fully conquer the critical voices telling me these lies. And until then, I will just keep on fighting.