07/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Don't Text Spencer: Using Eating Disorder Recovery Skills in Everyday Life

A few days ago, I felt lonely. I wanted to smile and laugh with someone. Instead of calling a true friend who I knew would listen and cheer me up, I sent a text message to Spencer, a guy who predictably ignores me. I sent the message, and, of course, he ignored me. Why did I expect a different result?

One definition of insanity is, "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

I think I am insane. That's the bad news. The good news is that -- thanks to my work in recovery from my eating disorder -- I can diagnose insanity rather quickly in my life today and work toward positive growth.

During the depths of my eating disorder, my life was immersed in insane thinking. For example, I knew that restricting inevitably led to bingeing. (Not sometimes, not most of the time, but every time.) Yet, I would still restrict and expect not to binge. "This time, it will be different," I thought. It was never different. It wasn't different until I was different. I have heard it said nothing changes if nothing changes. I slowly began to change.

Gratefully, today, after years of hard work, I no longer have insane moments with food. But I still have my insane moments in life. (Those of you who know me personally are nodding your heads up and down right now in agreement.) My challenge today is to recognize these insane ways of thinking and then to move in the direction of positive change. Awareness is key.

The next time I feel lonely, I won't text Spencer. I am making a commitment to myself right now to call my friend, Melanie, instead.

That's positive change. That's going sane!