“One of the definitions of insanity is changing nothing and pretending something will change.” ~ Stephen Colbert
Colbert said the above quote in the course of talking about the Oregon college shooting and the fact that these shootings keep happening with no resulting change to gun laws. However, it hit home for with regards to eating disorder recovery and treatment.
I have done the treatment go-around more times than I care to admit, and each time I go into a higher level of care I think “ok, I’m really going to do it this time.” I think of all of the things that have worked or not worked in the past, and vow to do things differently. However, usually after a few days of eating more and gaining weight, all of those new things that I planned to do, such as trying new foods or not looking at my weight, seem to go out the window. I’m so overwhelmed by the process, that the thought of adding something else on top of an already challenging endeavor seems like too much. However, as the above quote states, doing the same old thing while thinking that something will change is, well, insane.
Furthermore, I think the quote also applies to those moments where I think “ok, I’m just going to restrict a little, or lose a few pounds, but nothing crazy, not enough for it to be a relapse and for me to need inpatient or PHP.” I am actually in a position right now where I desperately want to lose just a little. I tell myself that it will be ok, that this time will be different and that it won’t get out of hand. But, shaving off exchanges here and there, walking extra here and there, losing just a few pounds…that’s the same thing I’ve always done when getting out of intensive treatment. I need to keep in mind what Colbert said – it is insanity for me to do that same thing and think that the end result will be different. Unless I change something, such as really making a commitment to put recovery first and really making eating 100% my number one priority, it is insane to think that this cycle of treatment and relapse will actually change.