Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:10 AM
I hope that helps. Eating disorders are diseases and need to be treated with professional intervention.
Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:37 AM
But it is really something outside of us. To defeat it, we must look at it that way. Like when someone says to a drunk person "That's not you talking; that's the alcohol talking," we must say to ourselves when such self-destructive desires surface: "That's not me talking; that's the disease talking."
Separating our selves from our self-destructive desires is vital in battling the Yezter.
Two: Read Seforim that talk about Emunah and Bitachon in Hashem. I'd recommend Rabbi Shimshon Pincus' books on Emunah, and יבד"ל Rabbi Gamliel Rabinowitz's "Essence of Emunah." Strengthening your Emunah and Bitachon will help you here, by reminding you always that Hashem is right there giving you strength to deal. And you will need strength.
Three (perhaps the most important): When you daven, including even a "small" Tefilah such as Modeh Ani in the morning, have in mind that you are talking to Hashem, your Creator, Who is right there with you all the time, rooting for you to win this battle. Focus on how you are now talking to the One Who manages everything happening in the entire universe during every moment of time - from the furthest supernovae to the smallest atomic particle, and the thing that matters to Him most is you and what you have to say to Him. And the thing He pays most attention to is you and your situation, and that the thing He hopes for most is your success.
Know that you are talking to Him and ask Him for success and for strength and to keep being at your side rooting for you as you go through this.
And finally, seeking help should be looked at as spiritually nurturing as well. The Torah tells us to curse ourselves, and if we have in mind that by doing so is service to Hashem, then indeed it is.
Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:42 PM
besides that thought thank you so much your thoughts have been really helpful
Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:02 AM
You really do feel the way you feel. Nobody is questioning that. But sometimes our feelings, which we really feel and may even really feel are part and parcel of our core identities, are synthetically induced by things that are external to our selves. Mood altering drugs work this way. They can cause a person to have certain feelings, that to the person seem like they are natural and part of them, but they were synthetically created by the drug. Anti-depressants work like this, too.
I am not here to speak about medical issues, as that is not my field, but you asked me what the Torah says about such things, and drug-induced feelings serve as a moshol for how the Yetzer Horah tries to fool us into thinking that certain self-destructive urges we may have are really "us" when in reality they are externally induced.
Please listen to this Shiur for a full explanation, but in short, one of the tactics the Yetzer Horah uses to get us to do self-destructive things is to convince us that if we do not pursue something we desire, we are being untrue to ourselves, that we are suppressing our natural tendencies, that doing what we are supposed to do is "not us."
But the truth is, what we really want - and by "we" I mean our real, true selves - is to be healthy, productive, spiritual, growing people. The Halachah is, in the olden days, if a Jew refused to do a Mitzvah we would force him to do it. The Rambam explains why such Mitzvah would count, even though the person was forced to do it.
He says that inside, deep down inside, all Jews want to do the right thing. But sometimes we get confused or scared and we think we really want to do what's wrong. So when you force a Jew to do the right thing, you're really just helping him do what he really wants to do.
Like when Hashem forced us to accept the Torah on Har Sinai (כפה עליהם הר כגיגית). First we said Naaseh V'Nishmah, then when we saw the Kolos Uberakim, we got cold feet. When someone gets cold feet, they need a push, because they really want to move forward; they're just too confused or scared to do so.
But even then, we knew we were scared and confused. Sometimes the Yetzer Horah makes us think its not fear or confusion that makes us want what's bad for us - but it's really us. Our real, core selves. When he does that, he is fooling us. Because we are not naturally self-destructive. If self-destructive behavior seems natural and normal to us, there is something wrong.
And when self-destructive behavior feels like it is our salvation, like it is the only thing that makes us feel in control, that without it we are powerless, then the Yetzer Horah is trying to commit identity theft, to get us to think that his self-destructive tendencies are really us. And our desire for them is really what our true selves desire.
The drugs really are a good Moshol for this because the reason we often feel this way is due to the זוהמת הנחש, the poison that was injected into us when we received the Yezter Horah after Adam ate from the Eitz HaDaas. This poison that constitutes our Yetzer Horah is like a hallucinogen - it distorts reality, and part of what it does is, it tries to steal the "אנכי" of a person, to make the person think that what it wants, the person wants, and that if the person does not pursue what the Yetzer Horah wants, if he does not pursue the self-destructive behavior, he is not being true to himself, he is being forced to be something that is "not him," and he will never be happy.
When that happens we must focus on the fact that the euphoria or security or whatever feelings we feel that are self-destructive, are not us, They are synthetically being induced by our Yetzer Horah, who is trying to confuse us about who we really are.
As I am writing this, I am thinking that this could be the pshat in the Bas Kol that said to Acher, as he was doing a terrible Aveirah: שובו בנים שובבים חוץ מאחר. At the internet Asifa at Citifield Rabbi Wachsman said over a pshat in this from the Satmar Rebbe, that usually, when people do Aveiros, they can do Teshuva. But if they are so involved in Aveiros, to the point where they actually change, when a person becomes a totally different person than he once was - that person cannot do Teshuva. שובו בנים שובבים חוץ מאחר.
Now I am thinking of a variation on that. Sometimes the Yezter Horah simply convinces a person to do an Aveirah because of the perceived benefit the Aveirah provides. That person can do teshuva. But sometimes the Yetzer Horah convinces us to do an Aveirah because that is who we are. It sometimes convinces us not to be good because we are not "cut out" for it. Once the Yezter Horah convinces a person that he is someone other than who he really is, that he is not cut out to be good, that being bad is "being himself" how can a person do Teshuva? חוץ מאחר. You can do Teshuva even if it's hard to do; you can do Teshuva even if it's painful - but how can you do Teshuva if you think being good is "not you"?
חוץ מאחר. You can't do Teshuva if you think that doing so is "not you."
First you need to remember who you really are. Then it's much easier to do what you need to do.
PS - Obviously, the Torah and the secular world have different ideas of what constitutes self-destructive behavior. But in this case, even the secular world understands that eating disorders are self-destructive. And so, they too, understand that the "needs" felt by those with eating disorders are unnaturally induced by the disorder. Read this book. The author deals with eating disorders in this way.