To Control Or Not To Control: Eating Disorders & The Control Paradox.
Let’s debunk the control paradox.
Most eating disorders start out in an attempt to gain & maintain control over nutrition when faced with events beyond our control.
The question then arises:
Are eating disorders about control or lack thereof?
One of the biological factors that contribute to the development of EDs is perfectionism & the desire to always be in control & have everything perfectly mapped out.
When an individual with said personality is faced with an event that he or she can’t control, the mind wanders, the heart rate races & the anxiety spurs & feelings of confusion, guilt, shame & self-hate kick in.
As things fall apart & control is lost, those who felt they always had their lives together suddenly question why they lost the ability to control & in turn, they start questioning their worth.
This questioning leads to self-hate & resentment & a desire to gain control over something else to compensate for the loss.
ALL HAIL ED.
All my life, I ALWAYS felt like I had everything under control (school, friends, work & family life). Everything just worked & always seemed to fall into place.
But, in 2013, when my mom got very ill, I lost control.
I lost control because there was no longer anything we could say or do to change the way her illness had degraded.
I knew I was going to lose her & there was nothing I could do about it.
It was heart-wrenching & mind-boggling to grasp the idea that my best friend in the whole world would be taken away from me.
But then, when it happened, I failed to grieve the loss because I internalized all my pain & suffering.
Years later, it had to come to the surface.
When it did? The guilt, shame, self-hate & the realization that sometimes in life, there are things you can’t control kicked in.
I found comfort in finding control over the one thing nobody could take away from me: food.
I welcomed ED with open arms, without even knowing it at first.
Until one day, I realized that you can’t welcome, love & worship something that wants to kill you.
Doing that makes you LESS IN CONTROL THAN EVER.
Months later, I’m in control of my mind & body.
But: I’m also perfectly content & accepting of the fact that I won’t always be able to control every aspect of my life & that’s actually what makes LIFE SO BEAUTIFUL.