Thought for Food Traditional Therapy, AA or OA and Triggers Disclaimer: Hopefully, the following does not plagiarize from 'Brain Over Binge'. Many of the author's thoughts concur with my own long-held beliefs and theories. This is why I instantly related to her. If I have inadvertently intertwined some of her thoughts with my own, it is because they are so close in nature. Alcoholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous AA and OA operate on the same principles and 12-step program. I have never been to an OA meeting but long ago attended several AA meetings. Definitely not my thing. I simply could not get on board with most of their basic philosophies. Nor was a fan of their steps. For one example... I was supposed to "admit that I am powerless over alcohol and to ask God (or a higher power) to remove the flaws that cause me to drink". I could not see those as effective strategies for at least two reasons: I am not now -- and never have been -- "powerless". To believe otherwise is to fail to take personal responsibility and to hold myself accountable for my behavior. I am a firm believer that most of my "flaws" (in my drinking days) were a result of my drinking - not the "cause". Traditional Therapy With most conventional therapies, there's so much focus on addressing the "underlying real issues". Rather than treating the eating-disorder or alcoholism as the real problem, they are treated as symptoms of the "real" problem or "coping mechanisms" for the "real" problem. You're the innocent victim of a disease or personal trauma. I disagree. This is not to disrespect victims of unfortunate circumstances or trivialize their experiences. Some of us have been dealt some very tragic and traumatic cards. I'm speaking purely from my perspective on traditional therapy for addictions. I also disagree that alcoholism is a disease. If left unchecked, it can certainly cause diseases. But the only thing that causes alcohol-addiction is excessive drinking. Therefore, I was not an innocent victim. I caused my own addiction, regardless of the 'reasons' I started drinking in the first place. I now believe the same applies to binging. Binge-disorders are caused by binging. Therefore, I caused my own binge-disorder, regardless of the 'reasons' I started binging in the first place. The only way to stop drinking was to STOP drinking. The only way to stop binging is to STOP binging. Easier said than done, I know. But I believe this to be true regardless of any emotional trauma I may have -- past, present and future. I believe therapy, as a means of sorting out issues or learning how to deal with trauma and stress, is great for those who feel the need for help. But I think those issues need to be dealt with, in and of themselves, for the issues that they are... not as a roundabout way of treating addictions. And addictions need to be addressed for the serious problems that they are, independent of other issues. Otherwise, I think we place too much value on "triggers" and thereby give them too much power. More on Triggers Coming Right Up. First, a Final Thought on Traditional Therapy and 12-Step Programs: My intent is not to knock such therapy or programs. I realize that many people benefit from them. I guess people need to tap into whichever methods they find helpful. They're just not my cup-o-tea. While I believe psychology and spirituality have a place... for me, they don't get to the heart of the matter when they treat the matter as secondary or symptomatic. :shrug: Triggers Life is full of ups & downs and countless "triggers". Let's say I identify my deep-rooted "real" problems and learn how to deal with them in constructive ways. So, okay, finally free to tackle my binging! Giddyup! Here we goooo! No more unresolved issues! No more unaddressed emotions! Voila! Binge-free! Even if it did work that way... then what happens when life deals another, inevitable, future blow? Start outta control bingefests again until I learn how to manage my latest heartache/stress/pain? And how long will it take this time? If this were the case, I would have had countless "reasons" and "triggers" to start drinking again over the years. Another flaw with attention to triggers: Most people (including myself) who have serious binge-issues or serious alcohol-addiction tend to binge or drink regardless of what's going on... whether they're upset, grieving, happy, celebrating, having fun or simply relaxing. Sure, stress and upsets can certainly be triggers but so can various settings... such as wedding receptions, parties, camping, studying, watching a movie, etc. Any emotion/activity/setting that the brain has been trained to associate with binging or drinking can be a trigger. In other words, once the problem has been truly overcome there really is no such thing as a trigger. You can't trigger a problem if the problem no longers exists. I firmly believe this because of my success in having rendered my sobriety to be effortless... so effortless that I don't buy the common "expert" theory that I'm "in recovery" and will "always be in recovery". Sorry, "experts", we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. I am recovered. Period. And I'm looking forward to finding the same success with my binging. Sorry to keep :blah: :blah: :blah:'ing about my past drinking. Though it was long ago, I have only recently realized the seriousness of my bing-eating and I'm trying to find ways to seriously tackle it. So my mind is busy trying to recall the strengths I'd needed & utilized back then in the early stages of alcohol-recovery. I think that... maybe... I had actually applied some of the thinking-skills/techniques from Brain Over Binge to my drinking. Even though: •the book hadn't yet been written (the science isn't new)... •and I was unaware of the concept, at the time, and didn't realize that's what I had done... •and I'm not sure exactly how I did it... maybe somehow, I unknowingly used the detachment technique? The book that did help me back then didn't speak of such technique. But the information helped give me tremendous confidence in my resolve! Perhaps my new-found, rock-hard confidence (in my ability to abstain forever) just, somehow, naturally compelled me to detach without realizing it? Maybe that's why abstinance suddenly and quickly became easier & easier, after having been such a struggle for so long? I had effectively disengaged from the neuro-pathways? Therefore, the neurons stopped firing? hmmm... I may be on to something here! Now to figure out how do this deliberately with binges. Practice! Practice!