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Overcoming an Eating Disorder

Experience submitted by Carmel
Experience submitted by Carmel

Before I came across Belsebuub’s spiritual work, I had a compulsive eating disorder (I was compelled to eat large amounts of food, even when I wasn’t hungry). I was also often in a mindless state.

In a short space of time, my eating was totally out of control like an addiction. It caused a great increase in weight, due to the large volumes of food I was consuming.

I felt totally out of control and even if I was full, I would still continue to eat and I felt I couldn’t control myself at times.

I would become overweight and would then starve myself in order to lose the weight I had gained.

After I lost the weight I had gained, very often I would then begin to overeat again and the cycle would repeat itself.

This went on for a very long time, I would eat alone and lock myself away due feeling extremely depressed and guilty about what I had no control over. I would stand in front of the refrigerator and continually binge.

But through carrying out several of the spiritual techniques on self-knowledge explained by Belsebuub and following the practices that were taught through courses he had written that I had been attending, I was able to overcome my eating disorder.

I first had to be able to see the egos that were compulsively making me eat and starve myself in this cycle, and see what lays behind these urges in order to understand them and overcome them.

It took a lot of effort and determination. But through using techniques such as awareness and self-observation, I would become aware of the impulse to start eating and would then pray to my Divine Mother and use the elimination of egos technique so that it would go away.

I prayed and prayed for help to my Divine Mother every time I had the urge to compulsively eat.

Public domain image found on Pexels.

As I kept doing this, I began to feel the opposite of what I had been feeling all these years: I was very calm, very clear, very peaceful and I was able to overcome this addiction and I continued to keep praying for strength and guidance.

It was thanks to the spiritual practices that I had learned and discovered through Belsebuub’s work, and through the help of my Divine Mother that I was able to finally get rid of this addiction.

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34 comments
  • I can relate to your experience of prayer to the Divine Mother. I have also been finding that in times when it feel powerless I pray to her and the help is there, and it tends to be a genuine help. I have been finding this to be true particularly for psychological struggles. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Carmel
    Thank you very much for sharing your journey of overcoming the eating disorder. It must have taken you a lot of work to overcome something big as that. I can relate to the compulsion to eat a lot and sometimes even having a cup of tea can be a hidden urge inside of me to fill myself up in order to dampen the feelings I was experiencing.
    Once I did an experiment when I was going through a depression. I had this urge to eat although I wasn’t hungry so I thought I would just lie down and see if I can uncover what is really behind this compulsion. I didn’t have the elimination of the egos technique then so it was quite hard but after some time lying in the bed I started to breathe very deeply – I could only then see that there are some very strong emotions behind it. This lasted for quite a while then I started to cry anxiously. I was testing a theory that says that there are always some emotions behind any compulsion and if only we can see them then we could deal with them. Although I verified this theory I couldn’t do much about this compulsion but al least I knew what it was and was able to have some control over it since then. These things are a lot easier to deal with these days now that I have Belsebuub’s techniques of self-observation and the elimination of the inner states.

  • Hi Carmel,

    Im very happy to hear how you have overcome your eating disorder. Consuming food can be at times difficult to discern what is necessary for the body. I have found plenty of egos in my own life, that have taken advantage of a situation to over indulge in food.
    They can be very sneaky aswel, as we all need to eat right?

    Thanks for sharing your very deep and personal experiences. I feel it is such a great example of how we can overcome dark times, with the help of our divine mother!

    • Yes I agree our body needs to eat food. (that somehow sounds less profound when I read it in my writing 😀 )

      I’ve felt that I didn’t have much strong issues with gluttony or food related ego states. My body needs food, it knows roughly what it wants and I would just eat those foods. Making sure I ate pretty healthily of course and control myself not to eat too much chocolate etc. Like this things were pretty fine for me. Natural you could say.

      What I noticed was something which felt similar to what Belsebuub mentions somewhere on another topic. I can’t point out exactly where so this is just a paraphrase, but he mentions ‘to watch any distortions beyond the basic attraction’. It occurred to me that it was similar to food, because I saw that as soon as someone would introduce these distortions to that natural need for food that the ego’s states would start to kick in. For example, you deny your body foods that it needs because of an idea of ?being too fat, or this and that is not good for you, etc. But then that food drive starts to try to find its way around. So that basic and natural need for a food is denied seemingly for beneficial reason, but a person can then become obsessed and overly involved with everything ‘food’ because of those states that try to still make it to their goal.

      Of course there’s a lot more to this story. What is a need of our body? What is an ego ‘want’ telling us we need it?

      I found it pretty manageable when I would just (sensibly) eat when I felt I needed to etc. like I mentioned earlier. Leaving the waters undisturbed so to speak. Although more recently because of a specific diet change I’ve been stopped from being able to to eat many things I would normally, so this has complicated things a bit and put some of those distortions in place for me. Good opportunity to see what comes up I guess.

  • Thanks for sharing Carmel your very personal story I know myself, and probably more people reading this, understands to a greater or lesser degree what you went through.

    Having any sort of addiction causing a compulsive drive to do something that we seemingly have no control over can be devastating glad to hear you have overcome it

  • Thanks for sharing your experience of overcoming this difficult eating disorder Carmel. Although I have never had an eating disorder myself, I can relate to the compulsion to eat, which you described. This was particularly strong as a child, where I would receive sweets or chocolates as gifts, but feel compelled to eat them all within in a fairly short period of time, rather than making them last. I remember one time eating too much chocolate in one sitting and feeling quite unpleasant afterwards – partly due to feeling over-full, but also partly due to the feelings of guilt, which you described.

    I think that binge drinking is on the same continuum as binge eating, although this is often seen as more socially acceptable among younger people in many cultures, even if it results in vomiting, as it is associated with having a good time and socialising. By contrast, purging the body after binging, such as in bulimia, is usually done very secretly and with strong feelings of shame and guilt associated with the act.

    There seem to be a lot of negative influences within society both in relation to eating and drinking alcohol, so it’s little wonder that so many people develop negative behaviours or even addictions as a result. Most Westerners are brought up being rewarded with sugary treats for good behaviour, or having sweet foods as a central part of family celebrations, such as birthday cakes, or chocolates at Christmas. Similarly, when I first went to university, most social activities revolved around drinking alcohol, usually to excess.

    Unhealthy food and alcohol consumption are often associated with important social occasions throughout our lives, from the cake on our first birthday, to the one-too-many glasses of wine when toasting our friends at a wedding. So I can understand the mechanisms that drive people to seek these pleasurable activities during times of emotional turmoil. I think that an underlying drive behind comfort eating is often the desire to be reassured, cared for etc., which we may unconsciously associate with the happy celebrations from our childhood.

    Unfortunately though, the initial pleasure soon gives way to pain and all sorts of health complications can develop as a result of addictions, which can have a devastating impact throughout many aspects of our lives. In my case, I learnt how to develop self-discipline in relation to eating unhealthy food and binge drinking through suffering the consequences of indulging these pleasures over a sustained period of time.

    Initially I had some minor health complaints that could easily be brushed aside in favour of feeding the same pleasures again, but as I got further into adulthood, I began to experience extremely disabling health consequences, which are still affecting me today. Although consuming the wrong things doesn’t seem to have been the only cause of my current health issues, I think they certainly played a role.

    Despite these difficulties though, I feel glad to have developed self-discipline in relation to eating and drinking particular things, as I no longer feel a compulsion to consume the things that I know will harm my body. Like you, I sometimes needed to apply the technique to ask my divine mother for the elimination of these compulsive drives, in order to be free of them. But it’s now quite a nice feeling to be able to sit at a table full of delightful treats during social celebrations, or even have people teasing me by offering me things I can’t eat, but to actually be indifferent to the tasty things on offer and not feel any desire to indulge in those pleasures.

    • Thanks for sharing Michael. Though I tried to find ways to eat and treat myself that worked best for optimum energy levels, (after the common period of ‘anything goes’ that I saw was damaging) it was when I started to see my body as a physical gift from my divine mother and potential temple that belonged to her, that I was able to really change the way I treated it.

  • Wondeful story Carmel, thanks for sharing.

    I can relate to what you are saying as I applied the same teachings to get off coffee, well worth the effort.

  • Thank you very much Carmel for sharing this inspiring story. I find addictions or different compulsive activities to be very hard to deal with, as they sneak in when we are unaware (which is usually most of the time) and so we sometimes only “wake up” in the middle of the activity, realising what we are doing. To just mention an example of biting fingernails, in my experience it comes so quickly and unexpectedly that I often only become aware of it after I have already been biting them for a while… :-O

    Therefore, I find your ability to stop and recognise the first thought or urge to indulge in an activity admirable. You must have achieved quite a good level of awareness to be able to stop this destructive activity at its beginnings.

    Another problem I find with these addictions/compulsions is belittling their importance. If a behaviour like this is not obviously harmful to us or others, it is easy to brush it under the carpet as “nothing much”. Like this, it continues feeding and growing and damaging us in one way or another, stealing our awareness.

    Just a few days ago, I happened to listen to one of Belsebuub’s videos, and in it he said that basically all egos are compulsive in their nature. This made me aware of how hypnotised we are by these different states, and that they are all, in fact, addictions of one sort or another.

    Thank you again for sharing and wish you a continuous strength in your battles!

    • I think that’s a good point Lucia – how we can make excuses for compulsive behaviours, by thinking that they’re not really that big of a deal. But these subtle behaviours still gradually take away our awareness and clarity. I’ve never bitten my fingernails, but I have seen compulsive “motor egos” of a similar type, such as compulsively picking at flaking skin. I realised that I had developed this habit some years ago, but it’s really only fairly recently that I managed to stop myself doing it regularly, as I recognised that it had no benefit and was just an excuse to fidget.

      I also used to have a habit of sometimes drumming out rhythms with my hands or fingers, or tapping my feet, which seemed harmless enough. But I realised that this habit wasn’t coming from useful creativity, but was another excuse to engage in agitated, fidgety behaviour. Although it seems so simple, I found that it can actually take a lot of practice to learn to just sit still, without the desire to be moving around.

      I think it would be really useful to see a video of ourselves doing our everyday tasks, as there must be a lot that we miss about ourselves, but observe in others. For example, I can recall going for a job interview where the interviewer was picking at his ear wax and looking at it while I was talking to him and I was amazed that he could be so unaware! 🙂 But then I have sometimes been surprised to see some of my own behaviours, such as recently, when I was frustrated with something that didn’t work. I put it aside, but didn’t realise I still had a distressed expression on my face until I looked in the mirror.

      Often in social interactions, we may not even be aware of these expressions or movements, especially if they are fleeting. But others can pick up on them and see what’s going on within us. I think that’s why it’s so important to gain self-knowledge, as there is so much that we can miss about ourselves. It’s then easy to see the faults in others, but remain oblivious to the influence that we have on our environment too.

      • Michael, I think that self-video tape would be a great idea. It’s a good tool to use when learning to teach as well. There’s so much learning to do when you can look at yourself from outside. I remember an astral experience I once had when I had been struggling to study a certain ego for a long period. I came and saw myself (a younger version of myself) and I felt completely sorry for my self because I could see how tortured I was by that inner state. I was immediately filled with compassion for myself and wanted to help myself get out of that state.

        • That’s interesting you were able to see a younger version of yourself during an astral experience Andrew. I think there can be so much to learn from seeing ourselves from an objective point of view, as an onlooker.

          I actually recently had the opportunity to see a couple of younger versions of myself on a home video. One was nearly 20 years ago and the other was closer to 30 years ago. I remembered the occasions, but was surprised to see the subtle inner states that were manifesting through my gestures, facial expressions etc.

      • Ha ha Michael, that’s some funny examples of complete unawareness. The interviewer must have been really interesting in the structure of that wax, probably more than what you had to say…. 😉

        I also agree that the video of ourselves during the day would be very interesting to watch. It almost makes me want to put a camera in my kitchen for the studying purposes… But then, I think we already know about our problems, we just have to admit them and take them seriously.

        Sometimes when I watch interviews with some faous persons/politicians, etc., I really admire some of them for the neat and calm demeanor, even their facial expressions being nice and polite, without sudden twitches or weird expressions. And I am thinking, with all the spiritual work I have been doing, I can not even talk calmly like that. Of course if somebody is calm during an interview it does not mean they have overcomed their other inner states, but it still shows a control in one area that I think is very nice to have.

        • Yep I agree, that tape would be very useful. Sometimes I unconsciously judge someone for acting in a weird or inappropriate way, but it helps to have that compassion and understanding that especially in a social interaction all these habits and behaviours can pass by completely unnoticed by yourself but noticed by everyone else, which is a little scary : ) But yes realising I have lots of those too and others can see it’s inappropriate or annoying or weird but I just haven’t noticed. Thanks for the discussion, makes me want to be more aware to catch those little ways and become more conscious in the way I am.

          Ps. About the politicians Lucia. I think it also depends on personality, upbringing and culture. In some cultures like mine you are ‘required’ to keep a stoic face in public and just automatically learn to regulate your tone of voice at all times and hide your expressions. I didn’t used to know how to express myself : o But yes for sure for anyone who is in public they would have had to teach themselves that. I also observe this in Belsebuub when I watch his videos, how entirely calm and deliberate all his movements, facial expressions, and words are, but it is from consciousness, and that is really awe-inspiring.

          • I agree Laura, it’s very interesting to watch videos of Mark speaking, and to see how he is able to speak so truthfully.
            I was speaking about this with a friend recently – how just so much of our behaviour is warped by fears and concerns about how others percieve us, and how this stops us from speaking truthfully about spiritual things. Not in the way of just being oblivious to what others are open to and bombarding them with things they’re not interested in, or saying too much if they are, but there’s such a wisdom that Mark shows in how he can say the right amount (I think the recordings of the radio shows were good examples of this – here he was dealing with radio presenters, often who want to make their audience laugh or be interested by exciting things, and he managed the situations so well). It’s obvious to me that all these worries about how I am seen really block me from speaking the truth, standing up for my own morals in certain situations, and ultimatly stop me from being able to help others through properly representing the spiritual teachings I’m so grateful for having been given, by those who were brave enough to.

            Having a video of yourself around different people would be particulalry interesting. Just how many characters do we have!?

          • Yes, I agree Ella. I think those radio interviews with Mark show his ability to communicate according to the level of understanding of the recipient. It can be difficult to continue giving a clear and succinct message, with just the right amount of detail, particularly when the interviewers were sometimes overly sceptical or wanted to joke around. I think Mark did a good job of keeping a light approach, without being rigid, but still giving enough information in order for interested listeners to follow it up.

        • Hi Lucia,

          I think some of those ways of acting may be due to the politicians’ PR coaching, so that they learn to present themselves in a certain way when they’re in the public eye. I can recall reading a kind of self-help book that advised about how to give talks to an audience – to ignore scratching itches or the desire to fidget etc.

          Other politicians learn certain mannerisms, such as when a former British prime minister used to often gesture with his hands directly in front of him to show honesty and openness, or perhaps to show that he was “embracing” his audience. He and a former American president also used to walk along together with a kind of wide-shouldered “cowboy” walk to demonstrate power, with the backs of their hands facing forwards, rather than just hanging naturally by their sides.

          I think it’s reasonably easy to learn to act in a certain way in particular situations, but it’s much harder to maintain that image at all times, as despite the best PR training, politicians sometimes slip up and let their real intentions leak out. I remember reading an analysis of a former US president’s statement during a much publicised scandal, in which it was shown how he very subtly rubbed his eye each time he denied any wrongdoing.

          As politicians’ behaviour is scrutinised in the media, it’s odd how the current US president seems to bypass so many social niceties completely, not just in his words, but also by sometimes pulling quite contorted faces when he’s speaking. Perhaps this adds to the perception among his supporters that he is a maverick, who is bucking the system, which is pity when he’s actually an integral part of it.

          In a similar vein as the public image that many politicians try to cultivate, I remember a talk by Belsebuub, in which he commented upon the spiritual demeanour that many in the new age like to develop when making public appearances. He made a particular comment that stood out to me, in which he said “it’s interesting to look at the figure of Jesus portrayed by Robert Powell in Jesus of Nazareth. There he seems to be most people’s idea of what a spiritual teacher should be… if he was giving talks, I bet loads of people would want to go and see him. But he’s an actor, that’s all, giving another person’s words…and yet there he seems to be this perfect spiritual figure. How much then is due to ideas?”
          https://www.belsebuub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Belsebuubs_Live_Weekly_Talks_Starting_the_path_0.mp3

          I always found Belsebuub’s approach very refreshing in contrast to this, as in a world where so much of what is presented to the public as information is scripted and rehearsed, its’ rare to find someone who is able to explain things in a way that is clear and simple, but also spontaneous and natural.

          Sometimes when people are caught “off camera”, they slip up and allow their true nature to be revealed, but those who have met Belsebuub have commented on how his natural warmth, openness and interest in the wellbeing of others continued, whether giving a talk, or just in informal situations, such as joining a group for lunch. I think that says something in itself, as it can be hard to fake those qualities over a prolonged period of time.

  • Hi Carmel,

    Thank you for sharing this testimony to the power of prayer and self knowledge. It must have been a painful struggle to overcome that addiction. How wonderful that you were able to apply the mystical techniques that lead to real change and so truly leave this compulsion behind you and find peace instead.

    It seems that food and the emotions have a really strong relationship, and with the stomach/intestines being in the same area as our ‘solar plexus’ and emotional centre, the physical/metaphysical relationship between the two centres seems clear. I’ve also experienced ‘comfort eating’ habits, sometimes overeating to try and smother a feeling or to distract some pain with a pleasure. In particular during a period of depression I put on weight, partly as I did a lot of sleeping and partly as I did a lot of eating chocolate!

    It seems the food industry capitalises on this desire to have something pleasurable that’s a core weakness of ours. Constant temptation, constant reminders to ‘treat yourself’, And from such a young age we are rewarded with sugary treats for ‘good behavior’. No wonder so many people struggle with an imbalanced relationship with food!

    I remember when I came across the theory and method of the struggle between the subconscious and consciousness, I knew it was real and important because I’d experienced a battle between addictions and the wanting to break free of them. And then learning how to use the the tools meant I finally made headway with overcoming addictions that I could only dream of.

    Thank you again for sharing your story – I hope it might make it to others who are looking for inner change.

    • Yes, I’ve noticed the same Ella – how there are often strategies within the food industry that encourage unhealthy eating habits from an early age. It’s very common to have stickers, toys and other gifts in burger chains, or in packets of sugary cereals or crisps, along with bright cartoon characters on the packaging. But it’s very rare to see the same thing in healthier foods. This pull towards unhealthy eating is then often reinforced by family, friends and sometimes school teachers, who give children sugary treats as a reward for good behaviour or when there is a celebration.

      As adults, cartoon characters and free toys are not appropriate marketing tools, so the “temptation” angle is then used, where people are encouraged to indulge by slogans such as “treat yourself!” or “naughty but nice!” I can remember seeing a poster for cakes in a local shop, which had a cartoon devil on it and a slogan saying “Go on! Be a devil!”

  • Thank you for sharing this. I can relate a bit to that feeling of wanting to eat, to fill something empty inside of yourself. Or at least that’s what it feels like to me. And it’s such a beautiful testimony to the power of our Divine Mother. It’s so amazing to have a light and power like that on our side, and that we can stop and pray to her throughout the day, any moment. I often forget this.

  • Thank you so much for sharing what you went through Carmel – that is not an easy thing to overcome at all, yet not only were you able to overcome it but it seems you were also able to gain so much more from it – that point of of freedom, and of no longer being a victim of these egos – it was really inspiring to read, and the connection you describe with your Divine Mother was also really touching.

  • That’s an incredible story and a very fortunate story Carmel, you were surely blessed to find the teachings of Belsebuub.

    Thanks for sharing your story Carmel and I very much enjoyed ready about your personal connection to your Divine Mother.

  • What a truly astounding personal transformation, Carmel! It’s so inspiring to read about how you turned your life around.
    That eating disorder and the problems it caused sound just awful, but hearing of you overcoming it and reaching a state of peace and self-control is beautiful.
    It really shows just how powerful and life-changing Belsebuub’s teachings can be when applied with sincerity and diligence!

  • Thanks for sharing your inspiring story Carmel. It is wonderful that you were able to liberate yourself from the addiction with the help of those techniques.

  • What a beautiful story of true freedom. Thank you for sharing Carmel. An inspiring reflection of the role of the Divine Mother and how she can help us battle through difficulties, addictions and unwanted habits and behaviors – when we genuinely mean to change.

  • Hello Carmel,
    Thank you for sharing this experience. I found it really moving even though I’ve never experienced eating disorder myself. Some expressions that you’ve used I could very much relate to as they reminded me of some destructive patterns that have really made me feel like I was ‘mindless’ and totally under their control.

    I found so much depth in Belsebuub’s work while studying it that I cannot imagine ever being able to make any impact on those states without it.

    • Yes, I agree Pavlin. I can think of many inner states that once had a much bigger impact upon my life, but which were significantly reduced after finding Belsebuub’s work. Although I studied many other spiritual and psychological approaches prior to finding Belsebuub’s work, it’s clear to me that none of them brought the same benefits of being able to free myself from deeply ingrained inner states.

  • I’m sorry to hear you had such an issue. I can see how one thing can lead to another until it’s become this out of control compulsive thing.

    Belsebuub’s techniques for self knowledge seem perfect to help with this. To really understand the causes and see the workings on top of changing that harmful behaviour of course.

    I imagine it must’ve been so calming and nice to feel in control again. 🙂 Like you say with the help of the divine mother to fee you from those temptations.

  • This is just amazing to read Carmel 🙂 I’m very glad you were able to overcome this disorder as I know it can completely take over your life, completely distorting reality and causing such damage to your body, mind, relationships, work, everything. Those egos can be very strong and compelling like you wrote about, so absolutely well done for having the willingness, strength and determination to overcome it!!

    I had anorexia for a few years where I starved myself and became very underweight, and my psyche and body suffered a lot. The constant state of starvation and exhaustion amplified any inner states and I was a mess of anxiety, fear, guilt, etc. Luckily I found Belsebuub’s courses at this time. My body got the weight back on its own, as can sometimes happen (the body goes into “survival mode” and you can’t help yourself from eating) but having this spiritual focus in my life allowed me to keep from relapsing or going to other forms of eating disorders, as so often happens with eating disorder sufferers.

    Thank you so much for sharing this sensitive and personal battle and the final victory 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your experience of overcoming anorexia Laura. I’m so glad that having this spiritual focus in your life helped you to avoid relapsing or developing other eating disorders. I think that it shows a lot of strength and courage to move on from anorexia, as I understand that it can be such a debilitating illness to experience. I think the lack of social support and understanding can make the situation worse, as sufferers are already locked into a secretive and guilt-ridden way of life and many may feel too ashamed to admit their hidden secret to others, which perpetuates the cycle.

      On top of this, there seems to be an awful lot of pressure put on girls from an early age to conform to an ideal body image. This starts in childhood, with Barbie dolls having bodies that are completely out of proportion in comparison to the average woman. Then as girls grow up, they are continually exposed to unattainable images in the beauty, fashion, music and entertainment industries. This has various aspects to it, such as the digital manipulation of images, or models being encouraged to become dangerously thin in order to be accepted by model agencies. I was disgusted to hear of the case of a size 8 model, who was told by a major modelling agency in the UK that they wanted her “down to the bone”.

      As you mentioned, eating disorders can completely take over the lives of those suffering from them and completely distort their perception of reality. So it’s wonderful that you were able to move on from this and to move your life onto a very different track. I think your story can provide solace and hope to those going through similar difficulties.

    • Thanks for sharing Laura. It must have been a horrible time for you, and it must have taken a lot to overcome it, even with the help of the divine. It’s interesting to me why some people respond one way to a stimulus, while others another way. Say the stimulus is the bombardment of images of impossibly skinny women in society, like Michael mentioned. Then some will respond with patterns like anorexia, other bulimia, others work out incessantly, others become overly sensitive to media images and so on. We all have different primary egos that we struggle with, in the face of the same darkness. Self knowledge is such an amazing tool to be able to change and see the ways in which our own unique psychology torments us.

      I used to smoke, a lot. It became this physical action that was stimulated by and fed anxieties and other bad states. I really couldn’t understand how I would quit. I would for some time and then relapse, and it wasn’t until I found the inner death prayer that I was able to totally beat it.

      • I’m glad that using the technique to remove unwanted inner states helped you to quit smoking Ella. I expect your body was certainly grateful for it! 🙂

        It’s funny how smoking is often seen as a grown-up or macho behaviour among teenagers who take up the habit, whereas there may often be anxieties underlying it. In that respect, it seems to fall into the same category as other oral self-comforting habits, such as comfort eating, nail biting, lip touching or even thumb sucking.

        I can remember at secondary school there were one or two kids who still sucked their thumbs, but of course they tried to conceal the habit, as it was a great source of ridicule amongst their peers. But by contrast, some of the male smokers seemed to view themselves as “hard men” and rebels, even though the underlying mechanism behind their habit was fairly similar.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comments Michael and Ella.

      Anorexia is a difficult disorder because it distorts your thinking so completely and eventually your whole life is based on this form of self-deceit and you can’t see objectively. I’ve heard people with starved brains actually really see themselves overweight while they are very underweight (I can’t remember if I actually physically saw that, just that I was extremely afraid of gaining weight). And you have to gain the weight to be able to correct your perception. It’s such a vicious cycle because starvation makes your body very ill so your brains don’t function properly and it amplifies all the egos and the disorder as well, so you are extremely opposed to gaining weight and becoming healthy.

      You develop a world around yourself and isolate yourself from others completely, so that your life only revolves around the illness and the associated behaviours. You find a distorted ‘strength’ in it, safety, you think it makes you beautiful and perfect. It’s really a coping mechanism, to deal with some kind of inner pain you don’t have other ways of dealing with. But there are many reasons and aspects of why it gets developed and they are different for everyone… But unless the sufferer really wants to get better, there is no way of helping them, because they will do all they can to hang onto the disorder behaviours in secret, except in some extremely controlled and monitored hospital settings. That’s where many people are able to get over it, with lots of therapy and seeing the reasons for it, but some are stuck in a cycle of in and out of hospitals for years.

      To have the self-knowledge techniques and apply them is basically like going through therapy, but with the divine : ) Yes it’s such an amazing opportunity and one that so many people don’t have. Many anorexics actually report perceiving the disease as the voice of a separate ‘entity’ that makes them do bad things but that they are too tangled with to overcome for whatever reason. I never thought of the illness as separate from myself but to me this is interesting because then it wouldn’t be a huge step to go to a place where you separate yourself from that voice and find your own will and go against it, if you only had the knowledge to do it.

      Way to go for being able to stop smoking Ella!! : )

      • Thanks for sharing your perspective on overcoming this difficult and often misunderstood illness Laura. As sufferers usually build up a wall of secrecy around the illness, I think it takes a lot of courage to not only break free from those safe boundaries, but to also then be able to admit publicly that the illness was once a central part of your life.

        I can understand that there are various factors that drive someone to developing anorexia and not simply the desire to be thin. I met a young woman who had recovered from anorexia and she mentioned that for her, the illness wasn’t just about an obsession with not eating, or triggered by worries about becoming overweight, it was about control. She explained that she had some other traumatic events occurring in her life prior to the illness developing and it seemed that food was the one thing she could exercise control over, until it became an obsession.

        There are often emotional traumas underlying many mental illnesses, some of which may not be fully understood even by the person going through the illness. Often mental illnesses go unnoticed by others, unless a person’s behaviour begins to impact upon those around them, such as when someone acts bizarrely, or is extremely anxious or depressed. So it’s ironic that in some ways, anorexia is one of the most “visible” mental illnesses, in that it eventually becomes physically apparent, once the sufferer has lost a significant amount of weight. However, as you mentioned, it may also be one of the most difficult illnesses to treat, due to the secretive nature of many of the associated habits and rituals that underpin and perpetuate it.

        It also seems ironic that female sufferers may feel that if they put on weight, they will no longer be attractive, whereas I think that the opposite is true, as it’s actually quite unattractive to see women who are so thin, as they lose their natural feminine figure and so become more androgynous in their appearance.

        I wonder if for some female anorexia sufferers who experience trauma during adolescence, there may be an unconscious desire to return to the comfort of childhood, as the illness can also disrupt the menstrual cycle, in addition to making them appear less womanly. Of course, I’m not suggesting that this is the case for everyone, particularly as anorexia can affect both males and females, even though it’s often associated with being an exclusively female disorder.

        What you mentioned about anorexia becoming a vicious cycle is also a very unfortunate aspect of the illness, particularly in cases where the effects of starvation upon the brain can distort someone’s perception so markedly. So it’s wonderful that through your study of self-knowledge, you were able to detach yourself from the deceptive emotions surrounding the illness and begin to see that it was not fundamentally the real you.

        Thanks again for sharing your experience of overcoming a very difficult and self-perpetuating illness. I think that it’s a great testament to the positive impact that we can create in our lives once we make this spiritual work a central part of our lives.

About Belsebuub

belsebuub mark pritchard
Image © Mark Pritchard
Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is an author and spiritual teacher that has been writing about and demonstrating practical techniques for self-discovery for more than twenty-five years. Read more

More Experience Sites

More experiences with Belsebuub's work:
- Dream Guidance
- Mystical Experiences
- Out-of-Body Experiences

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