The Log and The Shore

Yesterday was a really long day. I started out with a cafe au lait on my way to work and then had a bowl of cereal once I got settled in. In my bowl was shredded wheat, cinnamon, ground flax seed and milk.

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The day was really hectic and I felt as if I would never get it all done. I took a break for lunch around 11; I had the chef make me a small spinach salad to get in some good green veg

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and then I had my 4 second flat lunch. I packed leftover brown rice topped with a black bean and corn mixture from the freezer. I added in a little Cajun spice and olive oil and lunch was born. When I heated it up, it smelled like a Mexican restaurant. Sadly, it didn’t taste as good as it smelled but it got the job done.

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Around 2:30, I was hungry again so I had greek yogurt topped with thawed mixed berries and a few mixed nuts.

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I finally finished the huge pile of work that had been daunting me all day and then headed home. Once home, I did a half hour walk run interval program on the treadmill while watching Sex and the City. It was the episode where Mr. Big is leaving NY to live Napa. That episode always makes me sad, like Charlotte, I always rooted for Mr. Big. But I digress.

After the treadmill, I popped a frozen pizza in the oven and took a quick shower. Once I was fresh and clean, the dear husband and I had a very fast dinner. The pizza was the Buffalo Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato made my Archer’s Farms, our favorite brand of frozen pizza.

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On the side, we had steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil and a sea salt sprinkle.

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I had to rush, rush, rush to eat dinner because I had to be at group therapy by 6. I arrived at group just in time for the opening music. I joined this group last week at the recommendation of my regular therapist. The group focuses on eating disorders using the book Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Anita Johnston. The books uses fairy tales, myths and metaphors to aid in recovery from ED.

The group runs 15 weeks and last night was session 2 which focused on chapter 3. This chapter really spoke to me and I am still working through all of the ways that it hits home. The part that touches me so much is the story of  The Log . The summarize, the log represents ED, the shore represents a healthy, happy life and the rough waters represents all of the reason why we cling to our ED. We learned that we have to appreciate our ED for getting us through times that we may not have been able to cope with otherwise. Each time we return to our log, we have to realize that there is still something we need to learn.

Now, I don’t know about you but I have never appreciated my ED. For me, it has been a curse, a force to be reckoned with. But now, what I can see is that my ED helped me cope with times that were too overwhelming for me to handle. I never developed the coping skills I needed in order to survive without ED. I remember being a young teenager, hiding in my room with cake frosting. In my solitude of cake frosting, I was safe from the things that happened outside of those doors. I was child that only felt safe when I could stuff “it all” down and I am not a bad person for wanting to feel safe.

Now, in order to recover from compulsive/binge eating, I have to learn new coping skills. I learned in group that each time I reach for my ED during hard times, it means that I still have yet to learn everything I need to know to get to the shore. Ironically enough, once I got home, I wanted to binge. I wanted something chocolate and something crunchy.  I ate a few varieties of chocolates before realizing I was about to be out of control. So, I grabbed onto my log and made popcorn. The popcorn felt safe.

Thought Provoker: What do you think or feel about the log, the rough waters and the shore?

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9 Responses

  1. STEAMED BROCCOLI!!! Simple pleasure 🙂

    Glad that the group and book are helping you!!

  2. that group sounds really neat, Beadie.

    Good for you for “grabbing onto your log” last night 🙂

    Also, can you send your chef to my office to make me lunch, too ?

  3. Wow… I’ve never appreciated my ED either… how interesting. I can’t wait for my copy of the book to come!

  4. I do like the idea of appreciating the strength that rough times can bring us.

  5. Wow – powerful post. That’s awesome that you were able to recognize your triggers, acknowledge them, and then cope without going overboard. I’ve never thought of an ED as helpful in anyway. Interesting perspective. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Remember, your honesty and transparency inlife will take your further along the road to recover than you know. EDs are life changing, they traumatize us, its hard to get out of the mindset, hence it is called “recovery”.

  7. oh and btw i am currently obsessed with adding flax to everything–it makes everything taste so yummy! i use bob’s red mill flax stuff!!

  8. Thanks for sharing that metaphor of the log and the shore; that’s helpful. Last week, for the first time in my life, a therapist helped me finally “get” the “inner child” thing. She had me bring out each of the competing voices in my head that want to be heard. I gave a name to each of them and she asked questions of each of them. One is “Laziness” who wants to hide in her apartment all the time and eat junk food and watch TV. Another is “The Enforcer” who constantly berates Laziness for doing that and tells her what a fat, disgusting pig she is. I’ve spent so much energy over the years fighting within myself. The more The Enforcer berates Laziness, the more afraid Laziness gets and clings to the bed or couch with food and TV. Learning that Laziness is actually more fearful than lazy changed my thinking right away. The Enforcer has changed her strategy. She’s not inclined to berate Laziness anymore, because she realizes that it doesn’t work, because it addresses the wrong problem. If Laziness (who’s actually afraid of the oustide world rather than lazy) is allowed to be heard and soothed by Enforcer, then Laziness might actually want to get off the couch and put down the food. Then we’d all be working synergystically, rather than wasting time and energy fighting with eachother – that’s time and energy that could be used to plan and cook healthy meals each week.

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