After I wrote yesterday's post I went to the grocery store to buy laxatives, and I used them. I am not proud of that, nor am I happy with myself about it. But I must say, they did relieve my anxiety about weight and body image. I guess that's why laxatives can be habit-forming.
I had a session with D this afternoon and it was tough. We talked about the standards that I set for myself and how they are unreasonable. I told him that if I'm fat then I'm a failure, if I don't complete uni in 4 years then I'm a failure (so that means I've already failed), if I don't have friends then I'm a failure, if I don't get into graduate school then I'm a failure, and if I don't complete graduate school on time then I'm a failure. But these principles only apply to me. D says that that makes no sense, but I disagree. Firstly, who am I to determine what standards others should live up to? Secondly, I feel that if I don't hold myself to high standards then I'll really fail. Essentially I believe that being perfectionistic protects me. I know that that's magical thinking-- that my thoughts can't control what happens around me-- but it's really hard to give up my beliefs.
D says that this inflexible thinking and behavior will keep me stuck in my depression and eating disorder. I don't know if he's right or not-- if I suddenly stop being perfectionistic will I stop obsessing about food and weight? I admit that inflexibility doesn't help me get better, but I don't know if becoming flexible will be the magic ingredient in my recovery. And so I stay inflexible because it's what I know. It's safe.