The Hook Before The Fall

Quick announcement: If you are interested, or know someone who would be, in working with me in a small group to investigate bulimia or painful binge-purge eating, then I am offering a program for the first time for those with this type of disordered eating.

We’ll meet on Wednesdays, January 8th from 9-10:30 am Pacific Time and meet for 8 weeks. Send me a quick reply to this email and I’ll give you all the details. You can see for yourself if its right for you to participate.

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In so many ways, any one addiction is like every other addiction. People have their favorites, their specialties, the ones that “work” for them or that they are drawn to or trapped in.

But you don’t really call it an addiction until you see it does NOT actually work, it’s harmful, it’s a mixed love/hate kind of experience.

For me, I either ate food, smoked tobacco, or drank alcohol…or worried, obsessed, grew more and more fearful.

I remember the feeling right in the moment of moving towards the activity, even though I swore I wouldn’t do it again.

These were my thoughts:

  • I don’t care, I need this
  • I’d feel desperate (or irritated, angry, scared) without this “x”
  • there is no love, kindness, safety, power, rest, entertainment or care for me here now
  • it doesn’t matter what happens later
  • I’ll stop doing this tomorrow
  • I hate this feeling
  • I must satisfy this craving

It appears that there is a moment of discomfort, whether extreme or mild, or a painful idea or memory. Then comes anxiety, loneliness, pressure, wanting to relax, anger, mystery, emptiness, self-criticism, fear, craving, self-doubt, worry, sadness….

….and then these thoughts to ease that feeling, change the feeling, ASAP.

I know it all seems to happen very, very fast. Almost unconsciously. It begins to happen in the snap of a finger.

So let’s question the thoughts.

Is it true that you need to do this? Is it true that this feeling won’t end unless you do your activity (drink, smoke, eat, internet, phone, emails, shop, spend, TV, contact “x”)?

Is it true that you should control this feeling, this craving, or that it is too big for you right now?

Yes, it certainly felt that way. Overwhelming feelings, a pull like a gravitational force, like a wave that has to crash on the sand.

Can you absolutely know it’s true that you need to do this? That this moment and the feelings in it are too big right now?

No. Something feels right also about NOT engaging in this behavior. I know other people who don’t do it, and they’re fine.

Are you sure you’re powerless? Are you sure you’re not safe? Are you sure you’re not loved? Are you sure you can’t rest?

No.

How do you react when you think the thought that you need to do this thing that also hurts you? What happens?

I scream at myself in my own head. I feel scared, nervous, unhappy, alone. Against some parts of my life. I feel like giving up. I think it doesn’t matter anyway.

I call myself a loser.

But who would you be without the thought that this feeling is terrible? That you can’t handle this moment? That this is too uncomfortable? That you’re completely powerless (in a bad way)? That you need to go do that thing, get that food, drink that alcohol, smoke that cigarette, surf the internet?

Who would you be without the thought that there is no love, safety, rest, power, comfort and connection for you right here, right now?

Pause to see.

Without the thought “I need to do this”?

I might stop. I might cry. I might call someone for true, honest, intimate connection. I might lie down, rest, listen. I might punch a pillow and yell, or go on a walk. I might be silent.

I turn the beliefs around.

  • I do care, I don’t need to do this
  • I will feel desperate (or irritated, angry, scared) with this “x”
  • there is love, kindness, safety, power, rest, entertainment or care for me here now…how could I access it or receive it?
  • it does matter what happens later
  • I will stop doing this now (or, I will not stop doing this tomorrow)
  • I love/accept this feeling, I can stay with it, open to it
  • I must not satisfy this craving, this craving will end without me
“Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain. Nobody chooses insanity. This happens because there is not enough presence in you to dissolve the past…You are not fully here.” ~ Eckhart Tolle 

 

“An uncomfortable feeling is not an enemy. It’s a gift that says, ‘Get honest; inquire.’ We reach out for alcohol, or television, or credit cards, so we can focus out there and not have to look at the feeling. And that’s as it should be, because in our innocence we haven’t known how. So now what we can do is reach out for a paper and a pencil, write thought down, and investigate.

Just hit reply if you’re interested in the 8 week teleclass to take a deep dive into the greater extremes of painful eating, binge-purge cycles, bulimia or over-exercising.

And whatever your go-to relief is that doesn’t provide deep rest…question your thoughts about what isn’t possible for you.

If I could have the addictive cycle fall away, without violence against myself, or rules, or discipline…..so can you, so can you.

Much love, Grace

3 thoughts on “The Hook Before The Fall

  1. What wonderful looking at that “space” and the smallness or largeness…whatever the qualities. Fascinating to watch the feelings that follow so fast with this looking, like the fear you mention. And this place where a competition arises almost (TV vs. space) and that one should go for the space. Would be interesting to look at that TV without the thought that it shouldn’t be watched, too, and soften it so you can see a little better if you do or do not enjoy it. I remember discovering that I liked eating Bit O’ Honey candy and instead of attacking it…had a new idea to have it every single day, like medicine, with acceptance. Once I leaned that way, the war with it fell away and at some point I believe I noticed I didn’t like it as much as I thought. It was quite awhile, though! –Grace

  2. how many times have i stood at my desk with the thoughts “i want to watch tv while i eat lunch. i am wanting this for the wrong reason. i wish i didn’t feel so compulsed to watch tv while i eat lunch. if only i don’t watch tv while i eat, i will achieve enlightenment.”

    only yesterday.

    it’s the emptiness i fear. that little space is so scary!

    “it’s such a small space. i’ll get stuck there forever. there is nothing there–and that’s a terrible thing! if i can just hold off watching tv, i’ll find peace forever!

    what if people see me watching tv with lunch? so pathetic! can’t i even control myself that much? what will i do when i have a REAL problem to face?

    if i don’t watch tv it (tv) will disappear forever. (hmmm)

    i need to be better than other people. i need to be free of this.

    “it’s a small space…” that’s an interesting thought to question. after all, when i’m looking at a computer screen or a book–now THAT is a small space. when i look around the room, out the window, that gets to be a pretty BIG space. a space to move around in. not a small space at all.

    thank you.

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