The Defeatist Omniscient

Learnings.  I has them.

Thursday evening I saw my doctor.  I weighed in at about the same weight as four weeks ago.  (A pound lower, but that doesn't really count.  A pound up or down, NPV = 0).  I've gotten to the spot where I definitely don't see myself as underweight (literally don't see, that is).   Not that I'm ever good about recognizing my own weight or shape, but I've gotten to the point where I see myself in certain recent pictures and go, "Oh.  Really?  Huh."  This is not to say that my body weight or shape is significantly different than it was in, say, April, just that I've reached the point where my eyes are sort of seeing a continuous looped image of my body recorded maybe a year ago.  I look at pictures of myself last May in Sonoma and see what I see in the mirror or looking down at myself right now.  I look at pictures of myself right now and I do not see the mirror.

In general, the doctor news is fine.  I'm having trouble taking in enough calories, but otherwise I'm plugging along.  The doctor is making me visit her every four weeks on the theory that eventually her prodding will get me to take the step of setting up a therapy appointment.  I'm what they call "pre-contemplative of treatment."  The stages from episode/relapse to recovery are often described as precontemplation, contemplation, determination, action, and maintenance (maintenance being recovery, more or less).  Where I, and many like me, get caught up right about now is that we know what we need to be doing.  We know what our disorders are providing for us (and preventing us from providing for ourselves).  We know our other options.  We know there are techniques and therapies, CBT, DBT, MET, what have you.  But we're pretty sure, somewhere in our crazy brains, that since we know all these ideas and treatments are out there (theoretically we didn't know about them, the first time around), and since we're not doing them, it just means that we can't/won't succeed at them if we actively try.   We know about them, so they must be pointless.

It's a logical fallacy of the first degree.  Maybe that's why it's so widespread in the relapsed ED community.  Logical fallacies are very popular with us humans.


  1. Trent Reznor, when asked why he didn't seek treatment for drug addiction until he was almost dead, said, "It's not that I didn't know I was an addict. It's not that I didn't know it was killing me, or that I didn't see that my life was destroyed. It's that I was afraid that it wouldn't work, and if it didn't work that was it. I'm dead. As long as I didn't try, I hadn't failed and everything was fine."

  2. It's a common problem with addiction, eating disorder, etc. patients. It's the magical thinking of self-deception. With anorexics, there is usually a denial of illness since anorexia is seen as an end in itself and an accomplishment, so the illness functions as a reason not to seek treatment for the illness. In bulimics, the sense of shame around the bulimic symptoms is often so overwhelming that the natural urge to hide the symptoms is reinforced by the disorder's nudging to hide oneself. In addicts and eating disorder patients, there is often a sense of self the illness provides (in addition to the sense of self-soothing or the sense of accomplishment), so on top of exposing the anorexic's false sense of accomplishment or the bulimic/addict's shame is a hurdle in addition to the more underlying one of the fact that you've used the addiction or the disorder to construct something about yourself that you thought was lacking (or that actually was lacking, as is often the case).

    It's very thorny, all of it. And ED patients are notoriously hard to treat, whether because of brain chemistry or because of personality imbalances is a point of contention.


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