I have come to the conclusion that Goldilocks is not an addict.
It’s not that she is without issues, most notably a lack of respect for others’ personal boundaries. But her behavior is clearly abnormal when considered from an addict’s perspective.
Come on–she samples two bowls of porridge and finds the third one to be “just right.” She eats it. Satisfied, she goes and finds a nice place to take a nap.
What’s wrong with her? Why isn’t she rummaging through the bears’ kitchen, trying to find more of that perfect stuff? Or trying to mix the hot and cold porridge to capture that “just right” again? Or just gulping down the too-hot and too-cold porridge, because it’s better than nothing? How is it possible that she is moving on?
After decades of living with an eating disorder, I know how to eat in a way that my body and brain like. I’ve learned, the hard way, that starving myself sets me up for an inevitable compensating binge. I’ve learned, through much trial and error, which foods trigger cravings and are best avoided. I’ve learned not to deprive my body of fats and other things I used to be trained to withhold. When I eat the right way for me, I feel stronger, calmer, and in less pain. I don’t obsess about food between meals. My body and mind send me messages amounting to “About time, dumbass!”
There’s just one problem–I’m nothing like Goldilocks. The concept of moderation, of just right, of enough...my addict brain squirms in discomfort. No quick gratification from weight loss? No resolutions to starve virtuously after the latest episode of binge eating? No “tomorrow will be different?” Weird.
Embracing the reality of my eating disorder, and the need to deal with it even while other conditions might seem more urgent, is a balancing act I will never master. This process will never end, only ebb and flow. And I have to love myself anyway. Weird.