On Monday, I had the realization that every time I choose my eating disorder, I'm actively reducing my chances of getting into Berkeley for graduate school, which is the ultimate goal.
I used to believe that I could have an eating disorder and go to Berkeley. That I could have an eating disorder and be extremely successful in my academics. Although I have no proof against this idea, I do have experimental evidence that tells me that this isn't possible.
There's a skill in DBT, called radical acceptance. The idea behind radical acceptance, is to accept that some thing are beyond your control. The example my therapist gives is the following:
Say you're standing between a steep cliff and a large body of water. A big wave is heading towards you. You can try to climb the cliff, but you don't have time to get out of the way. You have two options.
You can: a) try to climb the cliff to not get wet, but the wave will still hit you, and you'll be tired and wet.
Or, you can b) radically accept that you're going to get wet, and work within the situation.
To be honest, I find this idea somewhat ridiculous. I was always taught that you should try, no matter how impossible the situation seems. In my mind, radical acceptance sounds like failure.
However, when it comes to my eating disorder, maybe what I need is to radically accept that I can not go to Berkeley and have an eating disorder. Some may be able to do it, but I cannot. Instead of being bitter and trying to make this possible, I can accept that I need to choose. My mom used to say: "You can have anything but not everything". This rings true in this situation. I can have an eating disorder, or I can have Berkeley. But I can't have both. And I want Berkeley more.
So I've set up some 'recovery rules' for myself. I'm eating at least 1200kcal/day. I'm exercising to improve my gymnastics, not my body. And I'm no longer purging. The no longer purging will be the hardest, but I'm going to try as much as I can. I need to get this under control.
Today is day 2 of these new rules. I had a slice of pizza for lunch, and came very close to purging, but kept it in. I had a massive bowl of oats for breakfast, as I find it easier to get my calories in earlier in the day. I have a protein shake for the train ride home, and then I'll have breakfast for dinner (vegan sausages and egg whites).
I'm still struggling a lot with my thoughts. I have motivation right now partly because I'm broke and can't afford binge food. I'll have to work hard when I get paid to keep my motivation going.
I can do this. I will do this. I must do this.