It seems the answer is time. How boring eh. :)
When you start becoming conscious of how your disordered desires are linked to your disordered thinking, then you expect to be able to form automatic links that explain everything away quickly. It only works like that part of the time. The rest of the time you feel things and you're not sure why.
So I've had this recurring issue where directly after Group Therapy or a session with a therapist in the clinic, I get the urge to binge. It's strange - just after receiving a veritable truckload of encouragement and support, you want to get down to the chipper quicksmart and stuff in a burger. This has been baffling me since the start of the journey. Then, finally, I understood why this week.
A few days ago I had a session with a clinical nutritionist who specialises in eating disorders. She herself is recovered from Eating Distress. It was deeply helpful. (Some other day I will post up her advice for the healthiest way for the body to eat.) However it was also very emotional, because she understood. She got it. She'd been there. I left tearful, but armed with a lot of helpful information, and feeling very supported and motivated. And then I was struck with the overwhelming urge to binge.
Because the session allowed me to be vulnerable, and being vulnerable makes me feel fragile. And feeling fragile makes me look around for something that will make me feel strong. Food, while eating it for emotional comfort, has always in that moment made me feel strong. It's the very definition of a crutch. This explains why I have had the urge to binge after every single session at the ED clinic. It has taken a few months of feeling the fragility and simultaneously enduring the urge to binge to finally get some clarity.
Last night I found myself struck with grief about a difficult situation in my life that I cannot change. It basically involves someone that I love and with whom I have a complicated relationship in a long-term pattern of severe self-destruction. It has been going on for years. I have always used comfort eating as a way to cope with it. Last night, I cried and cried and cried about it. It was very unexpected and a little scary. But I am aware that all the blocked emotions of my life are currently making their way to the surface and have been advised to (where appropriate!) just let it come. To my surprise, the grief was not accompanied with the urge to binge. Amazing.
Thanks to those of you who are reading. It's great to have some companionship for the journey.