Safety, and Videos that Refuse to Upload.

Yesterday I made a video to upload on here. I’m not going to lie, I thought it was a brilliant idea. But then it wouldn’t upload. And then I couldn’t upload it on R is for Recovery’s Facebook page. And then I felt sad that I had spoken into a camera for a while and made a video that had no use really. So anyway – I’ll blog about what I talked about in the video at a later date. Essentially, it was about whether the eating disordered are full of themselves. I’d be interested to hear your opinions in the meanwhile!

So this morning I was getting a plate from the cupboard for my raisin toast and I saw this plate hidden beneath a whole pile of other plates:

That cheese? It wouldn’t have been edible for me if it wasn’t on that plate. I had a bowl exactly the same and I always ate my yoghurt out of it. With a teaspoon. Because that’s the only way it was allowed to be eaten. And it made the food safe. Measuring the food made it a safe thing to be consumed. Anything beyond that was not safe.

It sounds completely irrational, huh? But looking back at it now, I can see that it probably wasn’t because it is an extremely important thing to feel safe. That’s what we want for people, isn’t it? We want our elderly parents to feel safe, or our young children. We want our wife to feel safe, we want our families to feel safe. We our very selves want to feel safe. We want to protect the people that we love.

So when we have a situation where someone hasn’t felt safe, maybe not for a long time because they are physically in an unsafe environment, or because they haven’t been able to express their emotions in healthy ways, we wind up with behaviours like this: individuals creating their own safe-havens because they haven’t been able to find it elsewhere. It isn’t even necessarily even going to come out in child-like behaviours – someone expressing a need for safety could come out in the regular use of alcohol or drugs, it could be an habitual behaviour that needs to be done at a certain time each day… It could be counting things – reading certain things – wearing certain things – anything. But the thing is this: we need to be looking out for these sorts of behaviours and not pretend the behaviour is the issue. We need to delve deeper. We need to understand why the person doesn’t feel safe. And we need to let them know that with us, they can feel safe.

I don’t use that plate anymore, FYI. One day I’ll let my kids have it and maybe even explain why it was such an important thing to me in my ED days.But because of this freedom I have experienced n recovering, it’s no longer a huge deal to me.

So go ahead. What makes you safe?

 

Love, Rebekah Xo.

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12 thoughts on “Safety, and Videos that Refuse to Upload.

  1. Oooh… i hear ya. Counting calories here. Even if i’m at a place where i’m not restricting, somehow i panic at the thought of not being sure if i’m way over… So guilty of that today!

    • I think eventually you’ll find yourself in a place where you ca’t be screwed counting calories anymore. I’ll pray that is the case! And yeah, just that you can start to trust your body a little more about what it needs.

      Holidays like Christmas and Easter are hard though. My ED came out to play today, hasn’t in a long while! Was a tough day.

  2. I don’t think I could even BEGIN to list all my ‘safe’ behaviours.
    Counting calories…
    and measuring/weighing food…
    and sitting with my back to the wall, preferably in a corner, in cafes and restaurants…
    and avoiding cafes that are too full…
    and avoiding cafes that are too empty…
    and never eating on the street (eg, whilst walking along)…
    and not having hot food and cold food on the same plate…
    and making sure packets are opened from the “right” end…
    and not eating food with seeds (ESPECIALLY poppyseeds – those things are evil! πŸ˜‰ )…
    and…. aaargh – too many things!!

    BUT… last week I ate corn. Off the scary list and back onto the menu. Win. Just one more step in slowly chipping away at the ‘safe’ behaviours and learning where real safety lies.

    • Yay for eating corn! Do you actually have a scary list that you’ve written out and physically cross stuff off? If not, I highly recommend doing so. I don’t think I actually have any scary foods anymore. For awhile my only safe foods were yoghurt and carrots. So, so bad. Becoming “unvegetarian” was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

      How did you cope today?

      • I don’t have an actual written list, but it’s in my head. Most of them are binge foods, or foods that would trigger a binge. But then there are also foods that affect my teeth (eg, soft drink) or get stuck in them (eg, corn) which was originally not an ED issue but a tooth-related phobia/anxiety issue… unfortunately all the food stuff got lumped together in my head so lots of things became unsafe and I don’t really remember which were ED related and which were teeth related. It’s just a mess inside this brain – I really need to do some tidying up! πŸ˜‰

        Yesterday wasn’t too bad. Well, there were hot cross buns and Caramello koalas AND some Caramel Crown biscuits (there’s a delicious theme here) and probably not a lot of REAL food, but it wasn’t a binge so I’m not too stressed about it. I didn’t count calories and I’m not going to count them retrospectively because I know it will freak me out. I spent a few hours yesterday knitting and that was GREAT. I haven’t allowed myself to do anything enjoyable like that for a long time. A couple of years, really. So it’s all good.

        And now I’m off for a walk (for enjoyment, not punishment). It’s 6.12am and it’s 9 degrees here in Melbourne. If you don’t hear from me again, it’s because I froze to death on my walk… πŸ˜›

  3. I didn’t really class yesterday as a binge either, just a day where I ate more than normal (and I think that’s normal for people to eat extra at Christmas and at birthdays etc).

    So I had breakfast and then half a brownie and a cup of coffee at morning tea … but we had lunch with some people from church so we had this huge meal together. Like soup as an entree, then fish and zuchinni slice and baked vegies and salad. I’m trying to work on feeling comfortable eating foods at different times. No being rigid!

    So did you freeze to death? 26 in Syd today πŸ™‚ Maybe 24 on the south coast. Not too shabby!

    • Haha – nope, I didn’t freeze. And the rain held off too. It was looking decidedly gloomy, and I do a 6km walk in a loop from my house. I had visions of it pouring when I was at the furthest point from home… a 3km walk back in the rain would be okay on a warm day but it’s very unpleasant when the temp is in single figures! It’s about 18 degrees here now. 24 would be nice! And I wouldn’t mind a lazy day on the south coast of NSW… when I was a kid we used to stay in our caravan at Werri Beach. πŸ™‚

      I have no problem eating at different times since I’m a grazer – eating at set times is more of a problem. I think it adds a degree of difficulty, though, when other people provide the food and it’s all taken out of our hands. I might choose to eat a huge meal, but being given a huge meal by someone else is a bit trickier and more stressful.

      • I’m on Geering St! (that huge long hill up from Werri :))

        I could not handle grazing. That’s all I did when I was bulimic really.
        But yeah, you’re definitely right. It’s harder when someone else is in control (and oh boy, don’t we just love that!) X

  4. Safety, as you say, is what we crave for. It doesn’t matter if what we are doing is illogical, against our instrinct, suppresses what our ‘mind’ says is the best way forward, or whatever – safety is what we seek. Such a barrier, particularly when the reality is, we can never be safe enough.

    • And you realise too, Petey, that everyone deserves safety. There is no one in this whole world who doesn’t deserve to feel safe. It’s not a barrier, it’s a right.

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