It seems laughable, at first, the idea that it would benefit you, delving into your own psyche. It seems self-evidently self-destructive.
“Self” being the vulnerable construct. Formative experiences, and the assumptions based on them, have been integrated into your foundational belief systems. Your mind and all its thought processes, your sense of self and of the world around you, are built up from these systems. They are the premises that begin all your trains of thought. Surely to dismantle them will bring the whole edifice down around your ears. You might be reduced to an incontinent, blubbering wreck, a heap of formless flesh and shit and snot and tears, quivering in the ruins of your own cognition. Rigid control holds you together.
I try to engage with this threatening process, but sometimes, when I’m asked to explain myself, a part of my brain will be thinking, “Yeah, right! Like I’m going to admit to that!”
That’s when I’ve understood what’s going on because the question has been a straightforward one about whether I’ve been restricting or exercising, or something. More often, though, the explanation is so deeply buried that I just don’t understand it. I can’t identify my habits of thought, only their products. When challenged, my mind stutters with a blank perplexity. Abi keeps asking me, bluntly, why I do things. If I’ve lost weight, she’ll ask me – “why has that happened?” Then she’ll wait, expectantly, for a reply. (The famous interrogation technique!)
I used to want to blurt out, “I don’t bloody know, do I? If I knew that, it wouldn’t have happened, would it?” Of course, I didn’t have the nerve to say anything of the sort. I aim to please. And, anyway, it would still have happened, because I knew exactly why it happened – because I hadn’t been keeping to the bloody rules, had I? I can identify the superficial reason why I’m not better yet: it’s because I can’t commit myself, fully, to recovery. For some reason, I can’t renounce, fully, the behaviours. But I don’t want to admit that thought into my head, because then I’d have to explain why. And that is an illegitimate, inadmissible train of thought: a dull glint of train tracks leading back into dank caverns in some abandoned, haunted mine.