My brain is at odds with itself. There’s a conversation I’m observing. Today was going to be a non fast day. It being old chap’s birthday, and the original idea being a visit up to Birmingham. Anyway. He is still poorly. So all plans are off right now. No nice breakfast. No slap up lunch. No cake. So it’s not a particularly special day. The problem is that in my head it was not going to be a fast day. I was going to enjoy a day of eating out and birthday cake.
At time of writing I still haven’t had breakfast. But I have had a cup of tea and a bath. And oh the can of worms that bath opened! As I lay there, a conversation started in my head that goes something like this.
“Why not just have the day off fasting? You were going to anyway”
“But the plans have changed. No point eating for the sake of eating. Might have a piece of cake later if he’s up for it, but I do actually think I want to fast”
“The problem here is fear of losing control! You’re worried about losing control. You can’t control yourself if you eat”
But then it hit me. I’ve always approached the “c” word thinking it is about my fear of losing it. That “in for a penny, in for a pound” type thinking that can happen, and does happen often, is easy and forgivable. But there is something far more sinister going on within that I had been unaware of fully until today. It’s not the fear of losing control. It’s the fear of maintaining control, and become obsessively controlling. A fear of going back to the controlling nature of past eating disorder episodes. So to compensate, or protect maybe, I prefer to lose control than maintain control! It’s kinder somehow to overeat eat and forgive, than to let myself retain control and see positive results from that control!
It’s a bit of a revelation to be honest, and looking back I can see a very clear pattern of collapse after a period of time of capitals control. My mind starts to panic, to emphasise that control that I am using, to demonise it, and to let me kindly fall into failure. Thanks not to say I am not completely capable of becoming obsessive and over controlling around food. But I think maybe my defence mechanisms are going into overdrive a little too readily these days. Control isn’t a bad thing. It is that balance I need to find.
Will I fast all day? Maybe not. Maybe old chap will wake in an hour and wasn’t a day out. What I do know is that for now I shall keep going, and worry about neither losing, nor obsessing about control.