The first part of the journal is about a young woman suffering from anorexia, who has found her way out of this mysterious and dangerous disease and now enjoys a healthy life again. It leads the readers gain insights into her therapy records and explains her thoughts and feelings that have accompanied the therapy. In the second part of the diary, therapy records are presented by several patients, with the help of which the “secret language of eating disorders” can be clarified, immersed in this world of thoughts, and how the true inner voice of the patients grows larger in therapy to win over the diseased, negative voice through objectivity.
Where / how do I notice my disease? In which situation does it affect me?
QUESTION FROM THE THERAPIST
If someone spontaneously asks me if I want to do something, I first consider if this collides with my mealtimes
What would happen if it wouldn’t fit in? Imagine, you go with it. What would happen? Would it be so bad that you couldn‘t stand it?
When I go out in the evenings, I couldn’t come home late at night because I have to get up early to do sports and earn my food
Which person has to earn his food and why?
I cannot stay overnight with friends or spontaneously go to a concert (or anything else) overnight, because in the morning I have to go through my plan which is always the same.
Why is this like this? Who tells you so? Do you want to let your life be determined by a plan forever?
Before going into an exam, I am always convinced that I will fail for sure. I do not dare and cannot trust in my performance.
Have you ever failed in an exam?
I’m so scared to get close to anyone because I’m scared he’ll realize what a bad, stupid, boring person I am. So far I have pushed away or denied any relationship / partner.
How do you know that you are a bad, stupid and boring person? Has anyone ever said that to you? What was the worst thing you’ve ever done in your life?
Everyday situations: Shopping: I look at things I would like to eat, put them back, take them again, watch the calories, put them back …. That saddens me because I can never enjoy anything without thinking
What exactly do you think in these situations? Why can’t you take your things? What would happen if you would “allow” it?
I am constantly restless, always have to do something, work or clean Only when I have done quite a lot in one day, I may allow myself to lie down or rest.
Who determines your day? Who says you have to work first to rest? Is there a law?
I do not dare to leave my structure and try new things. The structure gives me control and security.
The structure torments you and keeps you from many things in life. The control is deceptive. Not you but your illness controls it
I never dare to say my opinion because I am afraid that the others will not like me anymore.
Task of the therapist: Do not do sports for 1 day
Notes of the patient:
I have to, I have to, I have to do sports. That’s the law! Without sports, I haven’t earned food. I’m getting fat. I cannot live without sports! I’m scared, I get panic. I want to do sports.
But Sandra gave me the task of not doing sports for one day.
If I could do that, I would have made a huge progress. I try to deal with it as little as possible. I try to repress it.
I cannot give up my structure, what would happen afterwards?
When my sport time starts, I pretend that the task never happened and I am doing my sport. After my practice I feel relieved, because now I can eat something and have done my own job. But afterwards I am angry and disappointed. I did not make it! I tell myself that the task was just too difficult
I will never make it!
The next day, I’ll try it again:
I intend to do only half of my sport. I am getting nervous and restless. Get a bad feeling and think about whether I should just do the whole sport. I am so afraid to break through “my” structure. Without sports, I get fat and lazy.
That’s not correct. Many people do not exercise and eat normally and do not get fat.
In the time when I started to lose weight, I did not do any sports and even lost weight.
I am afraid that I am now restless all day, have a bad conscience and then give in to the urge and do sports.
You want to defeat the disease, so you have to face the fear and endure these feelings. Maybe at the end of the day you will see that the world is still existing.
You can do it! Sandra has also given you tips and she believes in you. Turn away or write down your thoughts and do not give in to the illness.
Why should you have a guilty conscience? You could be proud of yourself because you did it!
You know very deep inside that it’s illogical to believe that not doing sport for one day, would make you fat. Besides, you are way too thin, so rationally it would be even positive to cure your body and slowly put on some weight.