Another symptom of eating disorders that I am sure I am not unique in experiencing and is poorly understood is that the prospect of not eating in my very rigid and safe times, places and ways could be as tormenting as the prospect of eating more or facing fear foods.
The eating disorder I have lived with for the past decade has led me to restrict eating and only eat certain foods at certain times.
This type of food restriction leaves the body and brain starved.
A starved body and brain views any source of permitted nourishment as precious and to be protected at all costs… we cannot afford for anything to interfere with those rare energy supplies.
Therefore, if my usual snack was at 5 pm and I would usually consume this snack in a routine way at home:
if anything or anyone affected my ability to do that I would become agitated and annoyed.
If anyone dared phone or try to visit at 5 pm, they would most likely be ignored as this precious eating time came first.
If I was out and something affected my ability to get home by snack time I would become antsy, agitated and would find any way to get home to feel safely cocooned to have my snack in my usual isolated and ritualised way.
As above, this is understandable if the animal brain is of the belief that it is in a scarce environment for food and supplies will only come at 5 pm…. It needs to fight for survival and so fight anything that will affect its ability to eat at that time!
Any rational person would say -well why not answer the phone, have a chat and then have your snack after that??
Yes – this is the rational thinkers very rational solution but this is an eating disordered brain we are talking about.
If that 5 pm snack time is pushed back too far, then it runs a great risk that ED would say – nope – can’t eat now as too close to next meal time – or eat that now but you will have to eat less at dinner.
Eating disorders are complicated and messy and this is why recovery is so much more complicated and messy than simply eating a bit more food and gaining weight!
We have all this added layering of rules and fears to unwind and break free from.