Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Take Yourself Out of that Little Box

A woman posted in a facebook group I'm in about a "new" thing called Orthorexia Nervosa. Long story short, the article she posted was grossly biased and it had me going back and forth between telling her so and not saying a thing. Normally when I am torn like this I might ask myself why I'm so conflicted, or why I even care.

In order to know why I care, it is important to let you know what Orthorexia Nervosa is. If it kind of sounds like an eating disorder, that's because it is. In short it's when your drive to eat "right" gets to a level of obsession where it's affecting your quality of life. 

Where it gets sticky is what the word "right" means. Eating right is just another word for "whatever your motivations are" and that could be anything from eating fully raw, to eating paleo, to atkins, low calorie, low fat, low water, low chocolate, etc.

This is all important to me because I generally err on the side of obsessive with a lot of things. My mom has called it "an addictive personality" but I really think it's just a love of control and wholeness. When I'm not dieting I am obsessing about food, when I am dieting I'm obsessing about food. When I've made a decision to stop using shampoo, the number of days I've gone without becomes a small measure of worth. My ability to stick to something is at stake. When I am in a store and there are multiple colors of one thing, I want ALL THE COLORS. At work when there is a pile of fresh notebooks - I need one. I need one every time there is a fresh pile of notebooks until I have accumulated 16 blank notebooks in my office.

I'm not one of those people who are like "There's this thing about me that only I have and it's very rare." If this is happening to me I'll bet its happening to a lot of people, so I'm thinking you might be able to relate in some way. I think a lot of disorders out there are magnified versions of general human instincts. It's normal to want all the things - it's not normal to act on it every time and then drown in your own stuff. It's normal to want chocolate cake - it is not normal to bathe in it. It's normal to bite off a hangnail if you don't have any clippers around - it's not normal to chew your fingers till they bleed. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

Anyway, those behaviors can be scary when they get that point, you know, the one where it's affecting your quality of life. Sometimes I can get like that, and in the past I have been to a point of acting out dangerous behaviors. No bueno.

I eventually did reply to that facebook post. I didn't mention that the article was a crock of spit, but I basically said that Orthorexia Nervosa is really not that far-fetched a thing. Then guess what I did?

I washed my hair with shampoo and ate a cookie.

No comments :

Post a Comment