Hello, lovely people!
My name is Amber. I've been researching/verrrry gradually transitioning (i.e. lots of slip-ups!) to LFRV for a little over a month now. I've been vegan, for ethical reasons, for 9 years so at least that part wasn't a challenge for me!!
I wanted to post here to ask if anyone has had success with the 12-Step program in beating eating disorders not only in terms of overeating, but bulimia/anorexia. I know there is an eating disorders group here, but I have avoided it because I don't want to think of my problem as a 'disease' - more like a bad habit, or collection of bad habits, and I feel at my core that this is true. I am trying to focus on wellness itself, not beating a disease.
Unfortunately, as "food issues" tend to be, my bulimia is very much tied into emotions so that until finding 30BaD, I've been convinced I was "emotional eating." I am now sold on the role of carbs in avoiding this type of eating! Still, the part of my brain that is still wired to old, unhealthy habits has not accepted that it is now getting what it physiologically needs - bananarama! ;) Aaand it still wants to binge on things like peanut butter and toast. Sigh.
Soon I may have an opportunity to see a therapist who works with a similar program (I'm in university and my parents have very kindly offered to pay for it) but I am really torn as to whether it is right for me. To make a long story short, therapy has NEVER helped me no matter the type of therapy or my reasons for attempting it.
Has anyone had remotely similar experiences? Thank you so much for any and all replies. Namaste and sunshiney wishes! :)
Hi Lori & Amber - Lori, in your words..."I feel that those who desire self-growth will typically move on and learn to view their issues from a different perspective in which they can see the abuse to their bodies, learn from it, and move on to higher ways of living." This is exactly what 12 step groups are all about. When I first went along to one I thought god was for people who wore brown turtle-necks, corduroy slacks and parted their hair in daggy ways. But soon realised that a higher power is whatever you want it to be. It's simply something other than yourself - nature, energy all around you, or a spiritual force.
Something miraculous does seem to happen when I hand over control over my body to a spiritual being. A kind of grace and peace allowing for me to treat my body kindly. This is completely different from the 'white-knuckling' control I've experienced in the past trying to do it all on my own.
Everyone has their own journey though. And I wish you both well on yours. Love and light.
Just wanted to add that the way 12 step groups view disease is in this way - It is simply a dis-ease - in other words a lack of ease in living. So any habitual practice which is causing you pain is viewed as a disease simply because of the lack of ease it is causing in your life. I have found that accepting that I have a dis-ease around my food habits means that I can open myself up to help in all sorts of forms. If I think of it as a habit which I and I alone have to fix then I get into all sorts of trouble...
I like how you put that. definitely applies to me. I actually googled, "Is binge eating an eating disorder?" It is, from a medical point of view. It kinda helped me to forgive myself for having it.
Thanks for the replies, Lori and Dandelion. :) I know what you're saying, Lori; I'm not exactly religious and I've always held out against trying the 12-Step program whenever I hear about it because I want to be independent from the concept of a higher power helping me through life. I want to be strong and healthy in and of myself (if that makes any sense). It's great that the program is flexible for whatever "higher power" one wants to think of, though. I still may give it a try because I know my bulimia's caused by a tangled web of lies I tell myself, and I want to connect with Truth, whatever that is for me personally - the truth that will let me understand and master myself, mind and body.
You are definitely on to something there, Dandelion: "If I think of it as a habit which I and I alone have to fix then I get into all sorts of trouble... " That's been my experience too. :(
Sad thing is that if my gag reflex wasn't almost completely gone already (after only 1+ years of bulimia) I might just keep relying on it. But it's becoming impossible to purge so I'm reminded that I can't go on this way ...
Amber, I'm in Portland, Oregon and I see so many vibrant, intelligent women going to Overeaters Anonymous in recovery from bulimia and/or anorexia. Oh, and actually quite a few men now identifying with that too now, which is good they're coming forward.
Many of them really don't screw around. They weigh and measure their food every day to ensure that they are not engaging in their disease and that they are getting the appropriate amount of calories. They are taking responsibility for themselves and I have profound respect for that. We've all had to get our egos out of the way to get our butts to meetings. Our disease wants to keep us isolated. People on the Internet are just not the same as looking eyeball to eyeball with someone who cares in real time. There's no hiding there.
By the way, I know athiests, Christians, pagans, "generically spiritual people" and Jewish and hippies and everything else going to meetings. Find a better reason not to go! (teasing!)