This was a tough one.
I’m not insane.
I don’t like the word “insane”. I think it’s reductive and denigrating.
I have, however, developed irrational, destructive habits driven by fucked up, defensive thought patterns that became embedded in my brain at a pretty young age.
I’m going to take “insane” as meaning “acting irrationally” and, by that definition, I do act irrationally as a result of my eating disorder. Some of my actions exist as recognizable “eating disordered” behaviors. Those include things like:
- restricting calories to the point of malnourishment,
- weighing myself multiples times per day,
- allowing the number on the scale to dictate my mood, be it despair or elation,
- thinking that, despite being a size 00 in pants and able fit into my daughter’s size 12 skinny jeans, I would finally feel good about myself if I would just lose 5…more…pounds.
Fucked up shit like that.
That is all recognizably irrational. While I have been successful in addressing and getting those particular behaviors under control, I’ve come to realize that what I have accomplished is akin to cutting down a weed at the base of the stalk and failing to remove its root. I have yet to tackle the beliefs. The ones that are more difficult to root out are the ones that:
- allow me to believe that my inherent value lies in my ability to stay thin and beautiful,
- make me fear, above all else, criticism from other people,
- lead me to sleep with guys I don’t even like, just so they’ll like me,
- lead me to believe that I must run from confrontation and lower my status so as not to be attacked,
- cause me to devalue every other gift and talent I have in service of the aesthetic,
- make me want to be small in every area of my life, not just my weight.
Now for the “higher power”
I instinctively recoil reading this step because I am not a religious person. I initially believed that I couldn’t be successful at Step 2 for this reason. I think the notion that there is a omnipotent, conscious god who would be willing to “restore me to sanity”, but whom refuses to provide food for starving children and correct other global atrocities, is upsetting. I can’t co-sign it.
I’m at a point in my life where I don’t judge the beliefs of others, but I’m also aware that the idea of deity personfied simply doesn’t ring true to me as an individual, nor does it sit well with my personal moral compass and I can’t pretend that it does in order to put a checkmark in the Step 2 box.
So I have thought about it, as well as conferred with others, and believe that I have arrived at a meaningful place.
For me, my higher power is found in the intrinsic balance in the universe. I see it in the beauty of the incomprehensible enormity of the cosmos and sense of awestruck, mind-blowing wonder I experience when I look at the stars. I find it a planet teeming with life that wouldn’t exist at all without the most delicate balancing of elements and atoms.
I believe in harmony.
I believe in yin and yang.
I believe in sacred geometry and cycles and patterns and repetition.
And I have faith that, as a part of this beautiful design, I am not exempt from being able to find my center.
I believe that balance is my natural state of being and that the universe can swing the pendulum back in my favor. I have seen evidence of this in the way the universe sends me experiences that answer my questions and leads me down paths that are just right in that moment. It sends people my way that are crucial to my progress. I believe that the energy I am deficient in is attracted to the vaccuum of the spaces that surround me.
I believe that I will be brought full circle by the benevolance of life’s very essence.
I believe that my mind is inherently rational and I have faith that I can be returned to that state.
The universe can restore me to sanity.