House M.D.: Season 7, Episode 8:
Dr. House: We’re hardwired for answers…Problem is when we don’t find a logical answer, we settle for a stupid one. Ritual is what happens when we run out of rational.
I’m not saying the eating disorder is a “stupid” answer, it’s not that simple. However, my experience does fir this quote. When I feel poorly physically, I immediately try to figure out a logical answer. For example, when I am I tired I try to figure out all the possible reasons – did I get too little sleep? Too much? Did I drink too much or too little caffeine? Nine times out of ten though, I can’t find a logical reason. I’m sleeping enough, eating enough, drinking enough etc. So, I “settle for a stupid” answer – I blame eating. I start to think that maybe I’m feeling tired (or have headaches or whatever) because I am eating too much. I somehow figure that if I eat less, I’ll feel better.
Along with that, while rationally I know that engaging in eating disorder behaviors is not helpful, they are so hardwired after seventeen years that it is fairly easy to fall back into the rituals. Rationally, I know that every time I start down that road, it winds up leading me away from life and into a higher level of care. I try very hard to stay in wise mind and counter distortions with rational responses. However, the process is incredibly exhausting, and often times the eating disorder just keeps pushing until eventually I just get worn out. Then when that happens, I turn back to the rituals.
In keeping with this quote, I think that I need to stop looking so hard for answers. I need to accept that sometimes I am going to be tired, or sometimes there isn’t going to be a perfectly rational response to the eating disorder thoughts. I think that if I can accept the uncertainty, or at least be less obsessed with having an answer, that might keep me from turning back to the rituals.