Have you ever played with one of those Chinese Finger Traps.. You know…the ones where if you try and pull your fingers out it actually gets tighter. The only way to get out of them (other than have someone cut it off) is to release and push in. To give in to the discomfort. And I am learning in life…my recovery….it’s a lot like the Chinese finger trap.
You see I am still struggling majorly with meal timing and I realized tonight the reason is this. It’s not that I don’t want to change it. It’s not that I can’t. It’s not that it serves me. And it’s not that my fear of night hunger is too great. It’s that I keep trying to rationalize and justify eating earlier. I keep on trying to rationalize away the fear eating earlier brings up. I try to not fear the night hunger. I literally tell myself to stop being afraid. You want to know what happens? I feel more and more afraid and before I know it all I’ve done is avoid eating and I am forced to eat late.
I am essentially trying to fight the fear instead of fight the disorder. Well guess what, I developed the disorder to fight fear…so I am going to have to feel fear to fight the disorder. When I keep trying to avoid or stop my fear of night hunger instead of just letting it be, I am trying to pull my fingers out of the finger trap and things are just getting tighter. Timing is getting worse, and I am stuck even more afraid to eat earlier.
It’s just like this exercise. Okay…ready. Don’t think about your foot. Seriously, just stop. Don’t think about how it feels against the floor. Don’t think about how it feels heavy on the floor. Don’t think of how it feels cold or warm. Just don’t think about it. I bet I can tell you what you are thinking about: your foot.
In the same way the more I tell myself to not be afraid of night hunger. To not push my eating later. To not make my meals last hours. The more I think about these things and the more scared to change I get. So…I am going to try something new.
Tomorrow, as I try once again to eat earlier and the fear comes I am not going to do what my CBTdrilled mind has taught me. I am not going to try and counter the thoughts or change them. I am not going to try and rationalize my way out of fear. I am just going to experience it. I am going to accept that I am afraid of being hungry. That it is possible I will be hungry especially eating earlier. That I don’t want to be hungry. I am just going to accept it. Not judge it. Just accept that I am afraid and my fear is real…and I am going to eat anyway. And as the fear grows…I will continue to accept it. I will let myself feel it and if it gets to the point it makes me want to use behaviors or substances, I will then distract. But I won’t think it away. Or try to rationalize my way out of it. I will instead push into it….and see my Chinese finger trap release.
Sned me your thoughts and prayers tomorrow and expect a report of my experience on here (or my new blog) soon.