To the anoretic, real control means restricting and manipulating ones own diet, doing an excessive amount of exercise to counteract what she has eaten and continual weight loss. Feeling out of control comprises of exactly the opposite – too much food at the wrong times when she didn’t want to or it“wasn’t necessary”, not enough exercise, weight maintainance or weight gain. The anoretics life becomes solely about controlling these things – becoming “perfect” or “completely in control”. Not only does the anoretic deny their need for food, but also for sleep, relationship, emotion, sex – they become completely immune and numb to the outside world.
Real control for me now is eating something when I feel hungry, even if it isn’t the normal time that I eat. It’s not overexercising or restricting what I eat or engaging in binge / purge behaviours.
I guess what I want to know is this: how does one give up the whole notion of “control”? How does one say “stuff it, it doesn’t even matter!”? To be well, I believe that is something the eating disordered individual seriously needs to challenge. I think that the control I was exerting over food and exercise has been transferred into other areas in my life and I’m not entirely sure how to give it up, let it go and allow God to be completely and utterly in control.
Here’s one example of me giving up control. It might seem completely stupid to you but eh – this is it for me:
See my right foot? The sock is inside out. Was completely unintentional and when I noticed, it bothered me an immense amount. Ended up wearing them both inside out to bother my perfectionist brain. It’s kind of liberating.
Go ahead. Walk barefoot. Wear your socks inside out (or odd socks!) Wear your jumper back to front. Step on cracks in the pavement.
The world isn’t going to end if you don’t feel in control.