Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Update to 'An Honest Bulimic'
©Shers Gallagher 2013
I just read about the cancers one can receive having an eating disorder, which I liken to any addiction of an obsessive compulsive. The long-term effects of bulimia/anorexia are alarming and frightening enough to provoke one to action, to deal with and stick with the daily chore of working alongside and through the struggle. What initially struck me in reading a medical professor’s blog on the subject that includes a personal confession is that she’s an obvious overachiever with little ability to both admire and trust her laudable achievements. Instead, she ludicrously discloses inner thoughts of being an incompetent fraud. Why do I say ludicrous? Contrarily, she’s no fraud at all but a highly skilled and degreed individual with a vast accumulation of experience; a marvel, in fact, to have accomplished so much yet sadly value herself so little. So where does all this devaluing come from? IMO, it is a perfectionist’s voice unable to acknowledge and deal with personal imperfection. Yet does anyone know anyone who is perfect? Anyone at all? Come on.
This woman's blog was written in 2010, and I wonder where she’s at with it all now? I personally find counselling of little value over what it costs to go to a licensed psychoanalyst. Perhaps the profession will one day even be perceived as passé, or as a hype presenting itself as a cure. I've known therapists in my lifetime who have got into the profession because of their own deep searches into personally vexing psyches. They too must also go to other therapists to supervise and/or hear them out, believing it ‘cathartic to vent’. I too believe it cathartic to vent…up to a point, that is. And where do you think therapists take all the garbage and hostility flung their way from patients needing to break down walls while fighting every step of the way as pocketbooks and bank accounts bleed dry in the process? It’s a vicious cycle of hearing and wanting to be heard, fixing and wanting to be fixed. Honestly, there is no key but to admit that we are all of us flawed accompanied with the multitudinous aspects of our being that make us enlightened and engaging, as well as boring and mundane until the day we take our last breath and die. I have come to this personal conclusion that many may not agree with. So be it. What we do with life’s battles, in the meantime, boils down to what each individual does who struggles with them. There are friends or caring souls who may hold our hand along the way, encouraging and/or reprimanding us. But as we age fewer and fewer remain with us to play such roles, nor are they as willing to do so as when we were younger, fresher, more vulnerable and perhaps more good looking.
The healing profession is one I started pursuing academically before switching to another. It’s a demandingly hard and draining profession, which any medical caregiver who has a breath within them will at some point turn to something else to relax and relieve the strain, doing so hopefully not during but after the workday is done. Question is: What can we do to find a balance?
Binging is a form of punishment involved in an inability to stop loathing one’s self for not being the image we want to be, and purging is its retribution. Cancer is its payback, which is a bitch. Therapy may help in its recognition but only personal determination on a daily basis is a workable resolve. We are born with or develop a flaw or many flaws – no, a challenge – to never stop working with because these issues never go away. We only get better or worse...or keep it all in balance with a developed sense of maintenance. I'm specifically addressing eating disorders here but this can be anything that one does obsessively compulsively in a physical, emotional way.