Four years ago, I started a major lifestyle change, dietary, exercise (running), no alcohol, big weight-loss, mental health focus.
Before I continue, I should point out that I suffer from clinical depression, I take SSRI antidepressants and I take betablockers to keep panic attacks at bay. I should also point out that I have OCD (psychiatrist said I do but I think I might ‘just’ have a very obsessive personality).
How am I at the minute? At this minute, this very minute, ok, pretty good really, but tomorrow might be very different, might be better, might be worse. The changes I have made to my life, whilst there are downsides (read on…), they have made a big difference for the better. As I say about my running, for instance, “my antidepressants allow me to function, my running allows me to live!”
No biscuits, cake, chocolate, alcohol for 4 years. Obsessive calorie counting. Very strict on what I eat.
It’s about control, I tell myself, though I think/know that the obsession is controlling me.
I think I could escape the obsession’s gravitational pull but I don’t want to (or do I?).
I have to be in control of my life!
My mindset, diet, running, self-discipline, mental de-cluttering, mindfulness are all pieces in the jigsaw of self-control. The irony of the concept of ‘letting go’, the irony for obsessives, is that, if they’re anything like me, it can become just another bit of clutter, another obsession, another link in the anchor!
My dietary regime, resisting temptation, sometimes/often being hungry, seeing a thin person in the mirror, being comfortable in my narrow-fitting, 30-inch waist jeans, it makes me feel in control. I don’t even want cake, sweets etc any more but on the odd occasion when I do sense a desire for a slice of cake, saying “no” is easy. It’s not will power. It’s obsession.
Four years is a long time. I can’t throw away what I see as an achievement.
Do I have a problem?
How can I have a problem if I like the feeling of being in control?
Is it a wall that stands between me and genuine, authentic freedom/release?
Is it an anchor that is rooting me to where I am now, is it preventing me from growing, moving forward, progressing, is my obsessive personality preventing me from really, fully, authentically enjoying life?
Is it stopping me from ‘letting go’?
Am I deluding myself when I say that I like/need this way of life?
Am I, as a matter of unarguable fact, a captive at the whim of this food/calorie/weight/running obsession?
Obsessives “can’t” do moderation. I think/know, in my heart of hearts, that this obsession is mentally unhealthy yet I don’t want to escape it: Stockholm Syndrome?
I’ve lived like this for so long that I can’t imagine even eating one, just one, biscuit – I feel sick, literally sick, at the thought of eating a piece of chocolate.
It’s not anorexia? I don’t see a fat person in the mirror. I think it’s just a symptom, a manifestation, of my obsessive personality, or OCD.
Do I need help?
If yes, why?
Remember, though I might be deluded, I do feel in control of my life and I need to feel in control.
I “can’t” let go but I don’t want to let go.
The thought of letting go, eating a biscuit, it is repellent. Losing control, my grip, it’s too scary for me to contemplate.
Alcoholics have to stop drinking, otherwise they die. Drug addicts, gambling addicts, they have to seek help. I can live ‘happily’ like this – it’s not killing me.
However, to a degree, it controls my life beyond just the food and running aspects of it. I think it is fair to say that it is the primary feature of my daily life, that it is the ‘soundtrack’ to my day. I am always thinking about my calorie intake up to a particular point in the day, thinking of when I can eat next, and what I can eat. If my life was being lived out on a computer, the food/eating/calories/running window would be continuously open. In a way, I am continuously multi-tasking because whatever I am doing, working, reading, travelling, socialising, watching football or a movie, I am doing it at the same time as thinking about food/eating/running etc. If I need to go somewhere, I have to work it into my eating plans. In this respect, I guess one could say that my obsession – or my obsessive personality, or OCD – is impacting on my life, that it is restricting my life but I can’t/don’t want to change it.
My inclination is to continue to work hard to make my life comfortable, manageable, within the confines of my obsessive personality, to turn it, that ability to commit to a task/project, to my advantage rather than seeking help to rid myself of the condition.
I – we all – have to look at our lives, not only at its parts, the minutiae, but as a ‘big picture’. No one’s life is perfect, no one’s, we all have difficulties, problems, ‘issues’. I look at my life today and, in the context of my life some years ago, back when my depression almost killed me, it is, on the whole, much, much better. To what extent I’m in control, I don’t really know, but I am much more in control than at other times in the past. I am getting better! So, I have this obsessive issue with food. Do I want to risk unbalancing my whole life by trying to rid myself of this obsession or my obsessive personality? No, I don’t.
We’ll see where it goes from here…