Eating is stupid

Tinyflame

MyPTSD Pro
I just thought of something that might be helpful, but I don't want it taken the wrong way. So if it's disturbing just ignore it. But it might be ok but a little uncomfortable.

By way of analogy, usually every argument wherein one person accuses the other, the other responds in a way that gives 'supporting evidence'. For example, one says, "you whine!" and the other says "No I don't!" (as they whine).

Well in this case, you are trying to avoid the similarity of your fathers routines around himself/ eating, but by making routines around not eating, and having it front and center in at least some of your thoughts.

So actually by pushing through in baby steps, and it becoming not a big(ger) deal, it is the least like your dad's behaviour, the opposite.

(Just to be clear I am not inferring you are narcissistic, but rather that responding to his narcissism argument-style (even if only in the battle of your thought in your own head) is actually making (not) eating a big deal, as eating was a big deal for him. Replacing that reduces the remnants of his influence or imprinting. It won't happen overnight but the more overthinking I make of something (or complete avoidance vs the painfulness of exposure) usually the less likely I will accomplish it, just in my experience).

ETA, and in doing so and seeing and knowing you are very dissimilar to your father, that will be very validating and help make for more progress.
 
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Sideways

Moderator
So for me doing what’s in my body’s best interests triggers the self-judgement that I’m just like my dad.
For me, anything that looked or smelled like kindness towards myself was fraught with emotional backlash. I gave up trying for self compassion and stuck with self-neutral to avoid the overwhelming distress that came with self compassion.

There were ways of framing things, though, that brought them out of this trap. And Eating was one that I had to tackle - I couldn't afford to wait until I was okay with self compassion. I wouldn't survive that long if I didn't find a way to eat. And it was that simple.

So, I totally get the self compassion angle, it makes a lot of sense to me. But I can relate a lot to the sorts of self loathing issues that can come from it. It's a behemoth of an issue to tackle, and some stop gap measures for things like eating and sleeping are sometimes necessary because they're more urgent that "learning self compassion" allows for.

For me, framing it in terms of my recovery worked. If I probe it too hard with rational philosophical analysis, it probably won't hold up. But I could grasp that I was committed to trying to recover, and eating falls nicely into the various things I did each day for their therapeutic benefit.

And when my head wanted to start trying to spin the "but this is self compassion - you are evil" line? I used thought diffusion, rather than trying to overcome my issues with eating/nutrition and self compassion in one go.

I remember an exercise I did in group therapy once where we got given a List Of Pleasant Activities to help with depressive symptoms. When I went through the list and realised there were kind things I was already doing for myself (like drinking water), I had a major meltdown. It triggered a fresh wave of SH. It was an absolute nightmare. So I definitely feel you. If you can find a way forward with your relationship with food and eating, go with it. Even if it needs to be a circuitous route to avoid rubbing up against other triggers that may need to wait a little longer before you deal with them.

ETA communicating what I was trying to say was especially difficult here for some reason. I've done my best, but I'm not sure I've made any sense!
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
But I could grasp that I was committed to trying to recover, and eating falls nicely into the various things I did each day for their therapeutic benefit.
So you had framed recovery as outside of the self-compassion/care/love paradigm? Was it more on the grounds of neutral that you spoke about earlier?

When I went through the list and realised there were kind things I was already doing for myself (like drinking water), I had a major meltdown.
Yes, I can see this being a possible outcome which would make healing a massive double bind. Somehow one would have to dissociate from anything that was anything to do with caring and kindness. Massive challenge, yes. I see it. Thanks @Sideways
 

Tinyflame

MyPTSD Pro
, I can see this being a possible outcome which would make healing a massive double bind. Somehow one would have to dissociate from anything that was anything to do with caring and kindness. Massive challenge, yes. I see i
Very wise words.

So right @Sideways , I understand completely.. I used to get SI with anything remotely kind. I think why Paul Gilbert (Compassion Focused Therapy) said ('we') are the group of people who oftentimes fully grasp CBT but can't believe it in our heart. I too think there are workarounds. I shoot for neutral if need be also.

Hope you are feeling a bit more understood @OliveJewel , not an easy battle.

I don't want to say I'm glad you relate @Sideways but I even feel better myself that someone else could put it in to words. Kind of triggering to talk about it. Thank you for your wisdom and vulnerability to share it.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
And when my head wanted to start trying to spin the "but this is self compassion - you are evil" line? I used thought diffusion, rather than trying to overcome my issues with eating/nutrition and self compassion in one go.
Appreciate the support and validation. I understand what you are saying about neutral and it’s something to shoot for. What is thought diffusion?

Thank you everyone for the kindness.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Thought defusion.


This was what I was trying to get to when I spoke about wasting your time on that thought. Clearly there are larger problems than I was aware. This would be a start small and work up to it concept. Observation is a very effective dissociative or neutralizing tool. You may find handy this John Grinder Double Dissociation strategy as well.


John also has a video piece out on installing filters that addresses how to incorporate a statement about supporting health and wellbeing. This may be a lot right now for you, but while it is fresh in my mind thought I would send it your way. I am not expecting you to jump on it all. I am offering it to you in case you have future use for any of it.

Have a great day!
 
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Sideways

Moderator
What is thought diffusion?
It's something which is typically taught with ACT. And there's a lot of ways you can do it. It's essentially taking a thought, which you know you have a lot but isn't useful to you, and reminding yourself "this is just a thought, I don't actually have to pay any attention to it".

For example, when I have SI crop up, "Thanks Brain, there's the habitual SI thoughts again, not gonna listen to that broken record right now".

Then you re-engage with whatever it is you're doing in that moment.

It's something that you have to repeat over and over with persistent thoughts, because you're rewiring new neural pathways, and your brain is going to prefer taking the more familiar pathways. You brain has a lot of practice generating and engaging with these thoughts. It's often habit.

I like it, because it removes the internal struggle that you often have when you deliberately try to change thoughts (which is where a lot of folks get frustrated with CBT). In the moment they occur, you're not trying to change the thought, or judge the thought as good or bad - it's just an acknowledgment the thought is there, and using strategies to not engage with it.

Some people put the thought in a filing cabinet or a box. Some people sing the thought (for example, take the Happy Birthday tune and sing the thought to that - takes the power of the thought away). When I started with thought diffusion, I carried a small teddy around and gave the thoughts to him to hold on to.

When distressing thoughts come up, thought diffusion gives you a strategy for dealing with them, without actually fighting against them. It also helps change those thoughts from being some kind of truth that you're telling yourself, to being what they are - thoughts that may not actually be true, and which you can choose whether or not you engage with.

So you had framed recovery as outside of the self-compassion/care/love paradigm? Was it more on the grounds of neutral that you spoke about earlier?
Yep, exactly. Committing to trying my best to recover was something I could grasp because I framed it in terms of healing from sickness. I'e always been able to appreciate that regardless of how shit I feel, the science is that (1) this is an illness; and (2) the majority of people recover from that illness.

Living inside that 'neutral' bubble was a way of not undermining that commitment to "smarter people than me say this is possible if I work at it", without constantly butting up against that incredibly painful fight to learn 'self compassion'. Like a compromise I was able to reach - I can do this, but I can't yet do that.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
@Sideways very helpful. With your explanation I can see that this is something that I already do but not with measured regularity, which gives me a point of reference and another tool to build up. Feeling like it’s something I understand and know how to do, all I have to do is put it in play. 🙏

Bookmarking so I can read it again.
 
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