Categories
Anxiety In Recovery Lower Level Movement / Exercise Recovery Rewiring

Compulsive Movement – Between A Rock And A Hard Place

For years, compulsive movement has taken up my every waking moment.

If I couldn’t be moving then I would be hyper-anxious and my thoughts would be consumed by the need to move.

This was my status quo and movement was my drug.
If I was a smoker then movement would be my nicotine rush or the effects from a large dose of valium could not be any more calming!

Of course, the compulsions became stronger over the years, more ingrained and disabling as movement took priority over anything else in my life.

Then, I started eating disorder recovery.

Not only must I banish my food rules but I must also banish the movement compulsions keeping me so sick.

So, I decided to stop the walking & unnecessary movement.
I was determined to address it head on.

Staying indoors, eating and sitting has felt so distressing, torturous and unbearable at times.
There have been many occasions when I couldn’t tolerate it and relented – walking to try to calm myself.

And, at the start it worked.  I would set off, very distressed inside and quickly the hit from moving and from the eating disorder being back in charge was calming.  At that point I didn’t care that this was nothing but a short term fix.

Then, I reached a point where I would feel skin crawlingly distressed not moving, hit the pavement to walk it out and feel worse.

Reality hit.
I knew movement would not ease my distress any longer.

Short term gain was great but not at the price of having to stay ill forever.

As I left the house guilt set in and I was torn between my wise, healthy side, crying to go home and rest and the eating disorder luring me to walk.

I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place!

It felt a shit place to be but this also seemed a key turning point.

When it was equally painful to continue the compulsion as it was to break it – well there is only one right answer!

When movement doesn’t offer the same hit of calmness then finally the healthy, exhausted me could take back the upper hand.

I know movement will still lure me – that instant calming effect when times are tough is going to be too tempting but I know too it will get easier and my poor muddled brain can learn that it is ok to let me eat and rest my body… it really is ok!

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