Here is an entry from my journal. The comments in blue were added so you could understand what I was talking about.
Morning Pages 4-21-2012
Offer it up.
Yesterday I met with my eating disorder specialist. I have Binge Eating Disorder. I haven’t purged in 22 years but I continue to battle binge eating. The specialist and I went over my Emotional Eating Journal and chart for the past 6 weeks. The first month = 16 incidents of desire to binge evenly spaced throughout the month with 3.5 actual binges. The last 2 weeks = an AMAZING 0 incidents of desire to binge and 0 binges. We discussed why, when my desire-to-binge numbers are high, rated on a scale of 1-10, I sometimes binge, but more often I resist.
But an important question is: What tool do I have that I can use to resist the urge when the binge monster is on my back?
Again, no answers. At least not during the session.
I know in my heart I can’t successfully move on to the next phase of change until I have that tool in place. So, later that same day, I’m driving down the road pondering what tool I might use to defend myself. I needed something special, something reserved just for the times when I feel the temptation to binge. That way, it won’t lose its effectiveness to mundanity.
Using something ordinary to distract myself – like tv or exercise or reading or other humans – has worked in the past, but not consistently. Probably because those things aren’t always instantly available, and a binge can happen quickly. There may not be a tv/human ear/good book/gym around, or even time to put on my tennis shoes.
So I’m pondering this and an idea pops into my head fully formed in a single word. It is “Prayer”. I’m startled, but I immediately see the perfection in it. Prayer is always and instantly available. It travels faster than the speed of binge.
Now how do I use it?
I consider myself a relaxed Catholic. I have no desire to be anything but Catholic and yet I don’t work too hard at the whole thing.
I love God. He loves me. That’s enough.
I pray and meditate daily, but I don’t make a production of it. Short and sweet. In addition I also pray at odd moments during the day, but those prayers consist mainly of random shout-outs of “help!” and “thanks!”.
If I’m going to adopt prayer as a tool when the binge monster is trying to climb on my back, I don’t want some long exhausting ritual. I want something that’s natural to my temperament.
I think I know what that should be. But for now I’m not going to say.
If you were in my shoes, what would it be for you?